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Sunday, 30 September 2018

What we’re tracking on 30 September 2018

It’s the last day of September — and of Q3 while we’re at it. Happy start of earnings season, ladies and gentlemen. We also hope you’re already working on your 2019 plans and budgets — an exercise that is always equal parts agony and ecstasy around here. Musical accompaniment for today’s issue? That could only be Green Day.

It’s shaping up to be a big week in this part of the world, though we expect media attention will be focused squarely on the US of A given the ongoing saga that is the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to sit on the US Supreme Court, where the first day of business is tomorrow (the court always starts its new session on the first Monday in October).

Stories we’re watching this week:

We have won our bid become the East Med’s premier energy hub. Call us pie-in-the-sky optimists, but that’s our takeaway from the EMG pipeline agreement announced on Thursday. Expect a wave of follow-on news and plenty of pundits weighing in. We have chapter and verse in Speed Round, below. (It’s a story we have, immodestly, owned since the second month we began publishing, so we’re rather happy to see this one through.)

The House is back in session on Tuesday at 10am.Avoid Downtown at all costs. We’ll have a special preview for you of what lawmakers have in store for us.

What FX and interest rates are you using for your new budget? With budget season slamming into the EM Zombie Apocalypse and the CBE’s consequent decision on Thursday to leave rates on hold, we’re all going to be hearing a lot about that — and debating when / whether capex spending should be back on your agenda.

Also: What’s your average wage rise going to be in your 2019 budget? For blue-collar workers? For white-collar staff? Inflation is cooling, but wages haven’t quite caught up to pre-float levels. If you care about the long-term health of your company, it’s a question you’re going to be asking.

Promoting industry in the boonies: Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar is set to unveil on Monday a new national initiative aimed at developing local industry. Details are still fuzzy, but it looks set to target supply-chain integration, if a ministry statement (pdf) is anything to go by.

It’s PMI week: The purchasing managers’ index for Egypt (as well as the UAE and Saudi) is due out on Wednesday, 3 October. Look for it here when it arrives a bit after 6am CLT.

We’re probably going to get a kick or two from the American press given that US First Lady Melania Trump is due in town this week as part of an African tour to “promote child welfare and education.” Her visit will also take her to Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.

Is El Sisi heading to Russia? President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will visit Moscow “soon,” Russia Today cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov as saying, according to Extra News. Bogdanov offered no further details on timing, but the groundwork is likely in place: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday to discuss strengthening relations and cooperation, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

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