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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

What we’re tracking on 16 January 2019

You can now email your financial statements to the FRA: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) now requires emailed copies of quarterly and annual financials for companies that have issued (or are in the process of issuing) securities to the public, the regulator said yesterday (pdf). Companies are to send their financials to

Finance Minister hits G20 meeting in Tokyo: Finance Minister Mohamed Maait is in Tokyo for a meeting of G20 finance ministers that will lay the groundwork for a G20 summit in June, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. Maait is currently in Asia on a roadshow ahead of a series of global bond issuances and attended yesterday a workshop on cross-border information sharing at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

You can expect public consultations on new tax procedures and e-billing system over the coming two weeks: Maait said his ministry will put proposed legislation on new unified tax procedures and an electronic tax filing system up for public discussion in two weeks’ time, Al Mal reports. We remind readers that however this may be positioned by some domestic press outlets, the changes do not presage a change in tax rates, which the government has repeatedly said will not change anytime soon. (Maait’s most recent assurance on that front came on Sunday in Cairo.) Rather these are simplified procedures that allow for unified filing of income taxes and VAT, as well as implementing a new electronic billing system that would help the ministry keep tabs on the books.

Speaking of taxes — the national healthcare tax is 0.25%: A number of readers have reached out to us to suggest that the national tax on revenues to fund the new healthcare system under the Universal Healthcare Act is 0.0025% as that was the tax rate that ran in the Official Gazette. That’s unfortunately incorrect: We checked months ago with the Finance Ministry (and did so again this week). They, like other friends of Enterprise, confirmed to us that the levy is in fact 0.25% — the taxman will take EGP 2.5 out of every EGP 1,000 in sales revenues. The ministry has issued a correction on the Official Gazette. Also remember that the 0.25% levy doesn’t count as an expense that would reduce your taxable income.

The head of the US development finance agency is in the running to become president of the World Bank. Ray Washburne heads the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a government agency that has been a stalwart investor in Egypt. Washburne also been the advocate of a plan to recast OPIC as the International Development Finance Corporation with a higher lending ceiling to counter Chinese “economic warfare,” as we’ve previously noted. OPIC has previously backed or proposed backing companies in Egypt including Apache, CIB, Carbon Holdings and Qalaa Holdings as well as microfinance players, among others.

The UK Parliament nixed Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan in a vote yesterday in the “largest defeat for a sitting government in history,” BBC reports. A victory would have led the UK to proceed with plans to exit the EU on 29 March. The Brexit plan failed in parliament 432-202, prompting opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to call a confidence vote on May’s government for this evening. The Financial Times expects May will win the vote, which is scheduled for this evening, setting the UK up for a “hard” Brexit.

Want to trade UAE futures? Nasdaq Dubai has got you covered. The exchange launched trading of futures on the MSCI United Arab Emirates (UAE) equity index, it said in emailed statement (pdf). Trading of MSCI UAE futures comes a week after Nasdaq Dubai began offering single-stock futures trading on 12 Saudi companies. The MSCI UAE index is made up of 11 of the largest and most liquid companies in the Emirates including DP World, Emaar Properties, and First Abu Dhabi Bank. Look for “more regional MSCI index products” in the period ahead, Nasdaq Dubai CEO Hamed Ali said.

OECD sees mixed growth prospects for emerging markets: There’s no single theme underpinning the prospects of emerging-markets members of the OECD, a report from the organization out on Monday (pdf) suggests. While growth in China is projected to be stable (we’re not so sure on that front, frankly), along with India and Indonesia, the picture is a little less pretty for Russia, Brazil and South Africa, whose economies will continue to slow in the coming months. Turkey, meanwhile, could see some easing of pressure.

China continued to dominate global econ news after it raised the prospect of renewed economic stimulus yesterday, Reuters reported. Weak export data released on Monday showed that the country experienced its worst month in two years in December, as the US-China trade war continues to weigh on the country’s economy.

In miscellany this morning:

Cracks are starting to show for UAE banks as bad loans look set to rise, Bloomberg suggests, citing analyst reports that provisions could rise by as much as 20 bps thanks to struggling real estate and SME players.

Lessons for us from Vietnam: Red tape is holding back frontier market power Vietnam’s transition into a cashless society, the FT reports: 46% of Vietnamese use only cash to settle payments, compared to 34% of those surveyed in the Philippines and 18% in Malaysia.

So much for rapprochement: Qatar Airways’ boss says he won’t buy Jet Airways because it is backed by an “enemy” state, the WSJ writes.

It’s day 25 for the US government shutdown. Reuters has a look at how US agencies are faring.

How tell your boss s/he is clueless, via the Financial Times. Bonus: It’s from the author of How to be successful without hurting men’s feelings.

And speaking of the patriarchy, may we rather recommend reading this morning Advice from one woman portfolio manager to others, also in the FT, regardless of whether you identify as a boy, a girl or neither?

PSA- Expect strong winds to continue today with gusts as high as 65 km/h, carrying with it the chance of a sand storm and a small possibility of raindrops mid-to-late afternoon in the capital city. We’re looking at a daytime high of 15°C (it will feel like 11°C) and an overnight low of 8°C.

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