What we’re tracking on 14 October 2018
A thought to keep in mind as we get this show on the road: The real secret to greater productivity is to only do that which you really enjoy. The shortest column we’ve ever read in the Guardian is also one of the best.
** #4 Shorter cooling-off period, new T+0 and margin trading rules go into effect today: The cooling-off period for shares that trip circuit breakers by going up or down more than a set daily limit is being trimmed to 10 minutes from 15 under new EGX regulations going into effect today, according to a statement from the EGX (pdf) on Thursday. Also this morning, newly listed shares will automatically be added to the list of securities in which same-day trading (T+0) and margin trading is allowed, the statement says. Unclear to us is what the maximum up / down is before the circuit breakers go into effect: Previous reports had suggested the EGX was going to allow shares to trade up or down 10% within the day’s trading session, rather than the previous 5%, before triggering a temporary halt to trading. Officials were also said to be discussing a new method of calculating closing share prices as part of a basket of measures that was approved by the FRA last month.
The rule change comes in time for Sarwa Capital’s first day of trading. The consumer and structured finance player makes its EGX debut tomorrow.
An Italian business delegation is in Egypt until Tuesday to look into potential investments, Al Masry Al Youm reports. The delegation includes heads of various Italian associations and heads of SMEs working in manufacturing, logistics, resource management, construction, and real estate development.
Cairo Water Week kicks off this morning. The conference brings together experts from 57 countries to discuss water-related challenges facing the world, according to Youm7.
It’s the last day of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia. The gathering, which ends today, closes on a down note for the Emerging Markets Zombie Apocalypse as IMF boss Christine Lagarde “used her pulpit” in Bali last Thursday to “deliver some marching orders to economic policymakers in emerging markets. They should, she said, ‘use all the tools’ at their disposal to stem the capital outflows that would inevitably be triggered by tightening monetary policy in the US, and the escalating trade war between the US and China.”
Also from Bali: CIB has been named “World’s Best Emerging Markets Bank” for the second consecutive year. We’re pleased to note that our friends won the nod as part of Global Finance magazine’s World’s Best Banks Awards for 2018, one year after being named Euromoney’s “World’s Best Bank in Emerging Markets.” Global Finance made the announcement at an event on the sidelines of the IMF / World Bank Bali meetings. “Winning recognition as the top bank in global emerging markets for the second year in a row is a clear testament to the exceptional caliber of professionals within the Egyptian banking community. It proves that Egyptian institutions can compete on a global scale,” said CIB boss Hisham Ezz Al-Arab in a statement (pdf).
The FT is out with a special report on banking and finance in the Arab world. We have a rundown on the two key Egypt stories in today’s Speed Round (below). The full package (landing page) includes:
- Egypt is the latest darling of overseas lenders
- Egypt’s high interest rates keep lid on borrowing
- Gulf economies rebound as oil price rises
- Banks shrug off impact of Qatar blockade
- Reforms and austerity renew banks’ interest in Saudi Arabia
- Middle East banks decide bigger can be better
- Abu Dhabi Financial Group: a turnaround and tech specialist
The biggest thing in global markets this week: Is the global selloff over? Shares largely held their ground on Friday, but no one seems quite certain whether we’re in for another week of pressure — possibly because no one quite understands what prompted last week’s nosedive. Analysts and investors are “searching for a clear cause,” the Financial Times writes, saying that while the “Fed factor” may have been in play, “other explanations ranged from popular algorithmic strategies to gloomier global growth.” Then again, it could just be “another gloomy October,” the New York Times’ Dealbook adds.
The biggest thing in our part of the world this week: Fallout from the disappearance of dissident Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Media partners and some global officials have pulled out of a high-profile Saudi investor conference dubbed “Davos in the Desert” amid reports that Turkish intelligence had audio of Khashoggi being tortured and killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. US President Donald Trump has warned Saudi could face “severe punishment,” talk in some corners is now turning to a boycott, and members of the US Senate are suggesting far-reaching consequences if KSA officials are shown to have had a hand in the disappearance of Khashoggi, a former insider and counselor to the kingdom’s intelligence service.
Among those turning their backs on Saudi: Bloomberg, the favorite media outlet of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative, as have World Bank boss Jim Yong Kim, CNN, and the New York Times. The Gray Lady has a rundown on which western companies are heading for the exits (media) and which are holding fast (finance, oil and Christine Lagarde).
Best tweet on the firestorm (1 of 2): “Lobbyists repping Saudis and now bolting get to enjoy the best of both worlds. They charged extra high fees for the longest time because of reputational risks and now they can flee with pockets full of cash and try to claim moral high ground.” –Axios reporter Jonathan Swann
Best tweet on the firestorm (2 of 2): “My favorite conspiracy theory yet in macabre Khashoggi affair: rumor that his fiancé is in fact Egyptian Islamist politician Mohamed Mahsoub in drag, playing the role to embarrass KSA. Bless you Twitter.” –Journalist Samer Al-Atrush (check out the photo in the tweet he links)
PSA- Fall weather has officially begun. It’s the first time since the end of April that we’ve put together your morning briefing without the A/C droning in the background. Look for daytime highs of 30°C and overnight lows of 19°C all week long.