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Monday, 11 February 2019

What we’re tracking on 11 February 2019

It is shaping up to be a busy day here in the nation’s capital, ladies and gents.

The Central Bank of Egypt will auction USD 1 bn worth of one-year USD-denominated T-bills today. The auction comes about one month after the CBE sold USD 854 mn in USD-denominated bills at an average yield of 3.797%.

MSCI Egypt indexes are up for review today: MSCI will release the results of its annual index review today after US markets close. Expect CIB (75.2% weight), Eastern Tobacco (13.1%) and El Sewedy Electric (11.7%) to stay on the MSCI Egypt Standard Index, Beltone Financial said in a research note out overnight. Qalaa Holdings could be added to the MSCI Egypt Small Cap Index with about a 10.3% weight, Beltone added, while JUFO could exit the small-cap index after failing to meet liquidity criteria in the fourth quarter of last year.

Renaissance Capital has a group of international institutional investors in town this morning. Investors will meet with leading publicly traded companies, do site visits and see government officials through Wednesday.

East Med speakers meet: The parliamentary speakers of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus are meeting today in Nicosia, Ahram Online reports.

Expect a flood of oil and gas news over the next couple of days as the Egypt Petroleum Show gets underway this morning at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center. Our friends at Carbon Holdings are sponsoring the exhibition, which will include a keynote address from CEO Basil El Baz, the company said in a statement (pdf). Carbon’s Karim Helal and Karim Hefzy will be leading roundtable discussions during the gathering.

The first StartEgypt Forumgets underway this morning and runs through early evening at the Greek Campus in Downtown Cairo. The startup-focused gathering is presented by Flat6Labs, the British Embassy and the International Finance Corporation.

Factoid of the morning: 5% and 9%. The percentage of US hedge funds that are owned by women and by minorities, respectively, per the Wall Street Journal in a look at Impactive Capital, a new hedge fund founded by a woman and a partner of Hispanic descent. The two are launching with USD 250 mn in AUM already committed. Their focus? ESG investing and “their [own] professed disdain for short-termism.”

We haven’t joined the tinfoil hat brigade, we assure you. And our fascination just may have to do with having been a kid when E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was released. But this opinion piece in Toronto’s Globe and Mail by US astrophysicist Adam Frank is the perfect starting point if you’re curious about where we stand on that whole “search for extraterrestrial life” thing.

In miscellany worth knowing about this morning:

  • Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika wants another term in office. The 81-year-old president plans to run in April’s elections, Algeria’s El Watan reports. Bouteflika has been in office since 1999, but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013, Reuters notes.
  • The United States government could shut down again at the end of this week. Bipartisan talks on a border-security funding agreement have failed. The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have more.
  • US fund managers are bracing for a slowdown in consumer spending, Reuters warns, giving the cold shoulder to shares with “lofty valuations.”

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is still the talk of the town: The WSJ looks at how the world’s richest entrepreneur went from “private family man to tabloid sensation.”

This year’s Grammys were underway at dispatch time, but several artists skipped the show altogether. Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover) won Song of the Year for “This is America,” making the politically-charged song the first rap song to win the accolade. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper also won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Greta Van Fleet won Best Rock Album, and Brandi Carlile won Best Americana Album. You can check out CNN’s live blog for more updates as they come through.

And in other entertainment-related miscellany:

An Italian-Egyptian has won Italy’s national music contest with his rendition of Soldi, leaving the country’s anti-immigrant interior minister a little bit grumpy. Alessandro Mahmoud, 26, has an Egyptian dad and an Italian mom. You can listen to him here.

Egyptian series on Netflix: The Egyptian series Tayea, Ekhtefa and Khalsana Beshyaka have made it to Netflix. Egypt Today has the rundown.

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