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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

What we’re tracking on 11 December 2018

The EFG Hermes Egypt Day Summit gets underway today and runs through Thursday at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. Chief executives at public and private companies as well as multinationals will gather tonight for the firm’s annual EFG Hermes Egypt CEOs Gala Dinner. Also attending are some of the most active investors in the Egyptian market.

Dominating front page news in the global business press this morning: UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to abandon a planned House of Commons vote on Brexit. May’s move came after Chief Whip Julian Smith warned the government would undoubtedly lose the vote had she gone forward, according to the FT. “We have known for at least two weeks that Theresa May’s worst of all worlds [Brexit agreement] was going to be rejected by parliament because it is damaging for Britain,” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said.

What are May’s options now? The New York Times breaks down the scenarios, Brexit for Dummies style. They include May seeking Parliament’s consent to hold a second referendum on Brexit and give Brits a chance to backtrack on their choice to leave the EU. Despite previously saying this is not an option, May might have no other choice if she wishes to remain in power. Other scenarios include leaving the EU with no agreement — “a nuclear option, considering the chaos that would ensue” — or May facing a leadership challenge from within her own party. In all cases, EU leaders are not willing to renegotiate the terms of the agreement, the FT notes.

What does this mean to Egypt’s trade and investment relationship with the UK? Not much. UK Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith OBE told us this past weekend that formal talks on the contours of our post-Brexit relationship will not begin until the UK officially exits the EU. Informal talks are ongoing at a senior level.

The Fed may slow the pace at which it raises interest rates or end its tightening cycle next year amid market fluctuations and signs of a global slowdown, Goldman Sachs’ chief economist and futures traders told Reuters.

The US has set “a hard deadline” of 1 March to reach a trade agreement with China or it will impose new tariffs, US Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer said, according to Reuters.

SIDE NOTE- One of us made a very rare after-dark appearance in public last night (heck, just a rare public appearance — ain’t none of us known for being sociable) at a gathering hosted by members of the business community we hold in the highest esteem. Allow us, please, to just say this: There are some very smart people building some very interesting new businesses in this country. Thank you for the shot in the arm.

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Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.