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Tuesday, 14 May 2019

What we’re tracking on 14 May 2019

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the slowest news morning yet of Ramadan. Business is moving at a snail’s pace between the heat and lack of caffeine, making the one big story of the day the still-unfolding mess in global markets. We have the full rundown in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Meanwhile, the global stock sell-off has ensured Uber and Jumia spent another day in the dog house. Uber fell nearly 11% as it slid again on its second day of trading, leaving the ride-hailing app’s shares down nearly 18% since it went public last week. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi reassured staff that everything will be okay.

Jumia (and the very notion of consumer-focused tech in Africa) got a kick in the teeth from the FT’s influential Lex column yesterday. The column took note of a short-seller Citron’s claims that Jumia misled investors on customer and merchant numbers and hid the fact that “41% of its deliveries were either returned, not delivered or canceled,” as we noted earlier this week. Lex’s view on the potential of tech in Africa is facile, to say the least, but the column is widely read…

Keep it all in context (for Uber, at least): Both Amazon and Facebook struggled with their share prices after going public, with El Face taking close to 12 months to climb back above the price at which it went public.

WhatsApp can be used to inject commercially available Israeli spyware on your phone, whether it’s an Android or iOS model. The vulnerability — which still hasn’t been patched — allowed spyware to be installed via WhatsApp voice call whether you answered the call or not, the Financial Times reports. And here you thought we just like to polish our tinfoil hats with all these warnings about privacy…

Also worth knowing about this morning:

  • Europe is warning the US and Iran not to inadvertently trigger a war as tensions escalated following an attack on four ships in a UAE port, including two Saudi oil tankers. (FT | BBC | Guardian | Washington Post)
  • Good news for our energy export ambitions: Europe more than doubled its LNG imports in 1Q2019 despite an unusually warm winter, Bloomberg reports, citing “genuine underlying demand” and falling European production.
  • At least four people are dead in Khartoum as violence flared following the announcement of a power-sharing agreement between the military council and opposition groups, Reuters reports.

A pre-iftar reading list to kill time between your post-workout shower and the breaking of the fast:

  • How to help your kids accept their future robot overlords. Or, as the WSJ puts it somewhat less breathlessly: Today’s middle-schoolers are the first generation of “AI natives.” Here’s how to teach them about algorithms and their effects.
  • Shut up and get lost: The last thing a new CEO wants is her predecessor sticking around to offer advice, the Financial Times sagely suggests.
  • Time to short trebuchet stocks? This WSJ profile looks at the future of taxidermy and film-set tourism in Ireland as Game of Thrones draws to a close.
  • Hollywood star Doris Day passed away yesterday at 97.Reuters covers the illustrious acting career of one of the greatest box-office attractionsof the 1950s and 60s, and a brief preview into how she got there. The New York Times obit is also worth a read.

RAMADAN PSA- Bank hours are at 9am-2pm for employees; doors are open from 9:30am until 1:30pm for customers. The trading day at the EGX runs 10:00am until 1:30pm.

So, when do we eat? Maghrib is at 6:40 pm CLT today in Cairo. You’ll have until 3:23 am tomorrow morning to caffeinate / finish your sohour.

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