What we’re tracking on 1 October 2018
It’s the first day of October, in respect of which we note that (a) it is also the first day of 4Q (heaven help us all) and (b) that the telephone has no constitutional right to be answered, as The Colonel taught us when we were young. It is perhaps more relevant today than it was in the days of rotary-dial phones, though we would substitute the words “text” or “whatsapp” for “telephone.”
CIRA shares make their EGX debut this morning: Shares of leading private-sector education outfit CIRA begin trading on the EGX this morning, changing hands at EGP 6.00 each at the opening bell. Appetite for the company’s shares was strong, with the institutional offering — by a wide margin the larger of the two tranches on offer — being more than 10x oversubscribed. Fittingly enough, the shares will trade under the ticker “CIRA.”
Companies are officially required to file their tax returns electronically as of today. Individuals filing returns outside their place of employment will be required to do so electronically as of 2020, the Finance Ministry said in a statement (pdf) on Sunday. Tax returns can be filed here.
We’ll see the contours of a new local industrial development strategy tomorrow when Trade and Industry Minister Amr Nassar unveils it at a media event. Expect it to focus on supply-chain integration.
A long-lasting slump in Asia will be the next chapter in the EM Zombie Apocalypse. That’s the contention of Steve Johnson, who chronicles emerging markets for the Financial Times. Johnson argues that emerging Asian growth will slump to a near 20-year low in 2019 and warns that the “slowing of the world’s growth engine is likely to be long-lasting,” citing a consensus forecast of 90 banks, asset managers, consultancies and ratings agencies across the region. “The projections are markedly gloomier than those of the IMF.”
Is the USD losing its mojo, potentially easing a bit of pressure on the EGP? The pound has still fallen less against the greenback this year than other EM Currencies, but still: “The USD rally that has pressured everything from emerging markets to commodities in 2018 is reversing into the year’s end,” the Wall Street Journal notes, saying that the USD is down 1.7% from its August peak.
A watchful eye on the “global trade wars”: Canada and the United States, until recently the closest of allies, are headed for a midnight Eastern time deadline to reach an agreement on amendments to NAFTA, a key global trade pact from which the US is ready to walk away. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived at his office last night ahead of the deadline, which runs out at 6am CLT, raising expectations a pact would be announced at the last minute. The Globe and Mail is reporting that negotiators for the two sides have agreed to the outline of a pact and that Canada will open access to its dairy market.
An agreement on NAFTA will be good news for markets today, with the Financial Times noting that investors are “gearing up for a week of political risk” amid trade tensions and questions about what’s next for Brexit as the ruling Conservative party meets in the United Kingdom for its annual conference.
Speaking of the salmon-colored paper: Markets columnist John Authers, who we alternately love and love to hate in these parts, has retired. His last, eclectic Authers’ Note is here.
Will Paris become Europe’s new trading hub in post-Brexit life? A number of global banks and asset managers are reportedly planning to relocate to Paris from London as the UK prepares to move forward Brexit plans. “BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase are poised to join Bank of America and Citigroup in the vanguard,” sources tell the Financial Times. Morgan Stanley is also expanding its operation in the city, while Goldman Sachs said it plans to double its Paris workforce, and HSBC said it was moving as many as 1,000 jobs to the French capital from London.
Your banker is going to want to (really) get to know your face. Biometrics are going to become key to your relationship with your bank, driven in no small part by a European Union requirement starting in September 2019 that will demand online payments greater than EUR 30 require multifactor authentication. “Consumers will need to use two of three things to verify transactions: something they know, like a password; something they have, like a digital device, perhaps a USB token, that identifies them; or something they are: biometric data,” writes the Wall Street Journal
In miscellany this morning to get you through your commute:
- Saudi is shelving its USD 200 bn plan to build the world’s largest solar park, according to the Wall Street Journal, noting that the “eye catching project” is “stalled.” It would have generated more than 3x the country’s daily energy needs.
- It is impossible not to crave fried rice (and mull a quick trip to New York) after reading the NYT’s review of Fan Fried Rice Bar.
- Does your immune system mediate mental illness? Read He got schizophrenia. He got cancer. And then he got cured.
The Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine will be announced this morning, kicking off Nobel week. The prizes for physics, chemistry and peace are due out this week, while the prize in economics will be announced a week from today. You can follow the announcements on the Nobel website as they roll out.
PSA- Expect milder temperature across the country for today, with highs in Cairo dropping a full 4°C to 32°C, meteorologists said, according to Egypt Independent. Alexandria will see highs of 30°C, while Upper Egypt and the Red Sea will experience hot days and cooler nights.