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Thursday, 30 August 2018

What we’re tracking on 29 August 2018

At long last, a shuffle of governors? At least nine new governors will reportedly be sworn in today for Cairo, Giza, Marsa Matrouh, Ismailia, and Aswan, among others sources close to the matter tell Al Masry Al Youm. The list of new governors includes youth, technocrats, as well as former police and military personnel, MP Mostafa Bakry tweeted last night. Sources also told Al Shorouk that six individuals from President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s youth program will be appointed as deputy governors. We’re saying “at long last” not because we’re necessarily looking forward to having new faces to cover, but because the shuffle has been rumored and postponed multiple times in recent months.

The talking heads were naturally all over the rumors likes flies on…well, you know…(watch here, runtime: 1:25 and here, runtime: 10:09)

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is set to land in Bahrain today for a meeting with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, according to Al Masry Al Youm.

IFC agreement today? Investment Minister Sahar Nasr is expected to sign today an unspecified agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Regional Director Mouayed Makhlouf, according to an emailed statement.

Global equities market slip on Canada’s uncertainty over Nafta: Global markets eased yesterday on uncertainty over Canada’s position on a renegotiated North American Freetrade Agreement (Nafta) with the US and Mexico. The MSCI world equity index was down 0.1% yesterday after climbing to a near five-month high, according to Reuters. Markets had rallied earlier in the week after the US and Mexico came to terms about revamping the Nafta — signaling a de-escalation of months of rising trade tensions — and on expectations that Canada would cave by the end of the week. US President Donald Trump said he wanted to slap Ottawa with additional tariffs if it refused the agreement. Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both said late yesterday that an agreement by Friday may be possible./

Emerging markets are bracing for the impact of more problems out of Argentina, where “the International Monetary Fund has agreed to revise the terms of its USD 50 bn Argentina bailout package as the peso suffered its biggest tumble in almost three years, sending the currency to a record low,” the Financial Times reports.

Turkey is adding fuel to the fire: The Turkish lira dropped more than 3% against the USD yesterday, “leading losses across emerging markets,” Reuters says. The drop yesterday was driven by a warning from credit rating agency Moody’s that Ankara’s FX debt was growing as it downgraded 20 Turkish financial institutions, as well as by comments from Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak “saying he did not see a risk to the economy.”

The EGX shrugged off yesterday’s emerging markets slide, with the EGX advancing 1.5% in moderate trading. Nearly EGP 1 bn in shares changed hands, a bit above the trailing 90-day average as folks slowly trickle back to work.

(And speaking of Turkey: The Union of Egyptian Investors Associations renewed calls for the Sisi administration to scrap Cairo’s trade agreement with Ankara, which they claim harms local production and serves only Ankara’s interests, according to a press release picked up by Al Shorouk.)

In other news from across the pond, White House counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his post in the fall, Trump announced on Twitter. The announcement “comes after revelations that [McGahn] co-operated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election,” according to the FT, which notes that McGahn’s “position in the White House has made him a key witness in Mr. Mueller’s inquiries into whether the president has attempted to obstruct the Russia probe.”

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte has been available for a couple of days now in North America. In August. We have reached peak capitalism. Or peak retail. Or something that, when you squint at it the right way, is either completely ridiculous or a sign of the End Times.

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