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Sunday, 16 September 2018

What we’re tracking on 16 September 2018

**#6 Daytime ban on heavy trucks on Ring Road starts today: Heavy trucks will only be allowed on the Ring Road around the nation’s capital between midnight and 6:00 am under a ban that came into effect overnight, according to a state news agency report picked up by Ahram Online. Heavy trucks carrying more than four tonnes of cargo will be required to use the Regional Ring Road instead. Would that pickup trucks were included in the ban…

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will inaugurate today new schools following the Japanese curriculum, Al Masry Al Youm reports. Education Minister Tarek Shawky had announced last week that 34 Japanese schools across 19 governorates will be operational by 22 September.

Pope Tawadros II is on a pastoral tour of the United States. The pope presided yesterday over mass during the inauguration of the Holy Family Coptic Church in Boston and the Queen Helen Coptic Church in New York.

A Slovak business delegation is in town kicking the tires on potential trade and investment opportunities.

Ethiopia and Eritrea will sign a peace agreement today in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres is due to attend, according to Washington Post. The move comes just a week after the two countries reopened their shared border for the first time in 20 years.

Abu Dhabi Financial Group revises bid to for Abraaj’s ME funds: Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) submitted a revised bid to acquire the management rights for Abraaj’s Middle East funds, according to a letter from ADFG seen by Reuters. The new offer includes up to USD 6 mn for the audit and litigation financing as well as a USD 10 mn credit facility to fund the operations of the Middle East funds. This is in on top of USD 10 mn earmarked separately for the fund manager’s liabilities. “This means there is a zero capital call requirement from all the 200 unique investors in the Middle East funds which will clear one of the major hurdles going forward for the protection of the assets,” says the letter. ADFG is up against Actis, a consortium formed by Kuwait’s Agility, and New York-based Centerbridge Partners in its bud to acquire management of the funds.

Turkey’s central bank raised interest rates on Thursday, giving the TRY a much-needed boost, the Financial Times says. Currencies in South Africa, Russia, and Mexico all gained against the USD last week, slightly calming investor worries. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who last week appointed himself manager of his country’s sovereign wealth fund, had called on the central bank to slash rates further.

And the investment bankers shall inherit the earth: With Lloyd Blankfein set to step down by the end of the month, it’s increasingly clear that Goldman’s investment bankers are in the driver’s seat, writes Bloomberg. “Three of the most important roles now are going to be held by executives who rose through the dealmaking unit, overhauling the masthead of a firm that for years was Wall Street’s dominant trading powerhouse.” The Wall Street Journal is taking the same angle. Meanwhile, Reuters thinks JPMorgan CFO Marianne Lake is the most likely candidate to succeed Jamie Dimon whenever he decides to head off into retirement.

Mary “Queen of the Internet” Meeker is leaving Kleiner Perkins to start her own firm amid a split over how to balance between growth-stage and later-stage investing. “The Silicon Valley firm’s growth-investment team focused on later-stage funding is leaving the firm, spurred partly by internal differences over investing strategy and resulting in the departure of famed former Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker,” the Wall Street Journal reports. The NYT also has the story. Meeker is best known for her exhaustive annual internet trends report. You can catch the 2018 edition here.

Also “de-merging” is the South Africa-UK hybrid Investec, the Financial Times’ Lex column notes, saying the firm is spinning off its (potentially undervalued) asset management franchise.

It’s Financial Crisis Week in the international business press, with many looking set to continue their 10-year anniversary coverage after zeroing in on the 15 September collapse of Lehman Bros. We’ll have picks throughout the week. Start today with the FT’sInvestment winners and losers 10 years after the crash.

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