What we’re tracking on 8 October 2018
Good morning, friends, and welcome back from our somewhat impromptu long weekend. And to those Canucks celebrating, Happy Thanksgiving.
Your next regularly scheduled holiday is the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday on or about 20 or 21 November — conveniently just in time for US Thanksgiving.
That means Egyptian businesses are on track to have closed in observance of a record 18 national holidays this year, according to our faithful correspondent Davide C’s latest accounting, completed on Thursday when it was made clear that yesterday would be off. That’s one day more than in 2017 — and about 2x what Davide tells us is the long-term average of 8.6 days per calendar year in Italy, our nearest Mediterranean sibling. (And all of that is before you count days on which your staff “bridged” a holiday.)
Keep the faith: The EGX30 closed down 1.5% on Thursday. With the trading week set to start in a couple of hours, the words of EFG Hermes strategist Mohamed Al Hajj ring in our ears: “While the market could continue to trade sideways in the short term, we cannot justify a change in our view on Egyptian equities given current valuations, earnings per share growth, and the medium-term outlook for local interest rates.”
The IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings kick off today in Bali, Indonesia, with the talk of the town being the economic outlook for 2019. Expect the durability of the “ongoing recovery” from the financial crisis and prospects for the “next crisis” to be high on the minds of attendants. You can check out the landing page for the meetings, which go on until Sunday, 14 October, here.
Finance Minister Mohamed Maait and Vice Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk are in Bali for the meetings.
Egypt is using the meetings to test appetite in Asia for an upcoming USD 5 bn eurobond offering. A nondeal roadshow kicked off in Seoul yesterday and is set to continue throughout the coming weeks, taking officials across Asia and also to Europe. We have more in today’s Speed Round, below.
The IMF’s World Economic Outlook report is set to be released tomorrow. That’s when the fund gives its view on the growth outlook for the global economy, emerging markets, MENA and Egypt. As is customary, two chapters are already out (Chapter 2, Chapter 3).
Trump administration could boost US funding for IMF? In a sign that the internationalism may not have completely flatlined in Washington, the Financial Times reports that “the Trump administration has left the door open for a US funding boost to the IMF, calling for a ‘careful evaluation’ of the global lender’s finances to make sure it has enough money to rescue struggling economies.”