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Thursday, 25 October 2018

What we’re tracking on 25 October

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is in Khartoum today for talks with his Sudanese counterpart, Omar Al Bashir. Egypt and Sudan are expected to sign a final agreement for on a 630 km railway line connecting the two countries, Sudan’s Transport Minister Hatem Al Ser said, according to Al Mal. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry flew yesterday to the Sudanese capital to lay the groundwork for El Sisi’s trip.

Progress on GERD talks? The two countries, along with Ethiopia, have made “progress on reaching an agreement about the filling of the [Grand Ethiopian Renaissance] Dam (GERD),” Sudanese Irrigation Minister Khader Mohamed tells Reuters. No further details were provided, but all three countries have been trying to arrive at a “joint vision” for the dam’s construction that would cater to their varying interests, which for Egypt would require Ethiopia to reduce the pace at which plans to fill the dam’s reservoir. Last we heard, the tripartite committee overseeing the issue had failed to reach a breakthrough when it met last in Addis Ababa in September.

The US trade and business delegation wraps up its visit to Egypt today. The business figures and government officials have had packed days of meetings in Cairo as they kick the tires on investment opportunities.

AOI signs MoU with America’s Armored Group to manufacture armored vehicles in Egypt: The Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) signed yesterday an MoU with American armored vehicle manufacturer the Armored Group to manufacture armored vehicles in Egypt, according to Al Shorouk. The two also agreed to set up a technical committee to increase cooperation and share know-how on combating terrorism and manufacturing defense equipment.

Investment Minister Sahar Nasr is at Davos in the Desert in Riyadh, where she is pitching investment in Egypt, according to a ministry statement.

Conference season continues this weekend and into next week. The 57th ACI World Congress and the 43rd ICA Annual Conference 2018 get underway today at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. The 2018 Narrative PR Summit is happening on Sunday, 28 October, also at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza.

In miscellany this morning:

** #9 Do you employ people? Read this on your way to work, if you read nothing else: Once upon a time, companies grew because they treated workers on par with shareholders and management. That’s the key takeaway from When Sears flourished, so did workers. At Amazon, it’s more complicated — a story that prompted us to let out our inner democratic socialists (yes, they live still inside us … deep, deep inside us) and ponder for a moment what might be wrong with capitalism as we practice it today. Don’t be thrown off by the headline focusing on US companies: Every single word here applies to Egypt, even if only conceptually at privately-held companies. The fundamental questions we’re asking ourselves this morning:

  • Why do so many of us embrace the very American notion that leaving something on the table for staff is stealing from shareholders?
  • Wouldn’t treating employees — the “means of production” — on par with shareholders and management create a healthier company and, in the long-term, more “shareholder value?”
  • And sure, Nasserists are chowderheads. But does that mean that there’s no critique of capitalism worth entertaining? No way we can make it fairer for everyone?

There are 12 days left until the US midterm elections, where it still seems to be anyone’s guess how it will play out. We like the New York Times’ ongoing daily roundup.

The inventor of the Little Free Library has diedat age 62.

Private equity AUM will one day eclipse the hedgies, but we’ll still love Bns: “Private equity will overtake hedge funds as the largest alternative asset class within the next five years as investors flock to private rather than public markets in search of returns, according to a new analysis,” writes the Financial Times.

PSA- It’s a return to beautiful fall weather this morning. Expect a high of 29°C today and 26°C Friday and Saturday with overnight lows in the mid-teens. The weekend forecast holds no sign (so far) of the blowing sand and rain predicted earlier this week.

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