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Sunday, 10 March 2019

What we’re tracking on 10 March 2019

Two thoughts are rattling through our brains this morning as we slide back into our usual routine after a week in the UAE at the EFG Hermes One on One conference. It was the best-attended edition of the One on One yet, and sentiment is strong. Those two thoughts (because we’re rarely capable of maintaining more than one at a time): First, the themes running through emerging markets are striking. From Cairo to Kampala by way of Port Louis and Dar Es Salaam, companies are largely facing variations on the same challenges — and the same upside. Second, Mark Mobius still goes to investor meetings. The man invented emerging markets as an asset class (and created jobs for so many of us in the process) and still goes to investor meetings at age 82. [Redacted] legend.

Wall Street’s oldest-ever bull market turned 10 yesterday. “The S&P 500 has more than quadrupled from its devil's bottom of 666 in March 2009. The Dow has spiked nearly 19,000 points, or almost 300%. And the Nasdaq has skyrocketed just under 500%,” CNN reports. Reuters and Seeking Alpha have the story, but Bloomberg isn’t sure how much longer it will last.

Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are mulling a potential merger, the Wall Street Journal writes, saying top Deutsche execs have agreed to hold discussions with their rivals at Commerzbank as the two sides “explore strategic options after suffering prolonged performance and share-price declines.”

Elizabeth Warren is promising to break up Facebook, Google and Amazon if she wins the US presidency. The Democratic senator said at a campaign event this weekend that it is “time to challenge the increasing dominance of America’s biggest technology companies,” Reuters and the Verge report.

Qatar returned to the bond market last week with a USD 12 bn issuance, meaning the country has now raised some USD 24 bn in less than a year, Bloomberg reports. The issuance saw healthy appetite from investors flocking back to emerging markets, recording demand of USD 50 bn.

Speaking of EM debt (Egypt, take note): Investors are worried the market may be overheated, Bloomberg reported. EM borrowers have so far raised about USD 360 bn in 2019 (including Egypt’s USD 4 bn eurobond issuance) — a record on a year-to-date basis fueled by a pause in US interest rate increases and prospects of an ‘imminent’ trade agreement between US and China. Investors expect yields to take a hit if the US Fed changes policies to target inflation.

Libyans fear a shutdown as the country’s eastern commander Khalifa Haftar may move to take control of Tripoli, reports Reuters. The Egypt and UAE-backed leader of the Libyan National Army recently took control of Libya’s southern oil fields, effectively monopolizing the country’s crude oil output. The news comes after discussions of potential Libyan elections were floated just last week in a United Nations-led effort to de-escalate tensions between Haftar and Tripoli’s UN-recognised government led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj.

PSA #1- Clocks change in the US and Canada this morning. Readers visiting (or living in) much of North America will ‘spring forward’ today, meaning New York and Toronto will become CLT -6. Remember:

  • Clocks don’t change in the UK until 31 March, so London is still CLT -2 this morning.
  • Clocks never change in the UAE or KSA, which don’t observe daylight saving time.
  • Time won’t change here in Egypt — in one of their brighter collective moments, our elected representatives did away with DST a few years back after a year in which we sprang forward, then fell back for Ramadan, sprang forward again after Ramadan, and then finally fell back in fall.

PSA #2- You can expect a high of 23°C in the capital city today and an overnight low of 11°C as average temperatures continue to warm up now that we’re effectively in spring, according to the Egyptian Meteorological Authority (pdf). Alexandria will see a high of 20°C and low of around 9°C, while the mercury in Upper Egypt will rise to the upper 30s.

PSA #3- Ramadan begins in less than two months. Depending on whose forecast you believe, the Holy Month begins in about 56 days.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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