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Monday, 5 August 2019

What we’re tracking on 05 August 2019

It’s PMI day: The Emirates NBD purchasing managers’ indexes for Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia are due out this morning at 6:15 am CLT. Non-oil business activity had remained in contraction territory in June, but the slowdown rate was softer than the month prior. You can find the PMI here when it’s released.

Also coming up this week:

  • Foreign reserves: The CBE is due to release Egypt’s net foreign reserve figures for July.
  • Inflation: Monthly inflation figures are due out from the CBE and Capmas. Inflation fell to a three-year low in June, coming in at 9.4%.

The subscription period for the retail component of e-payments platform Fawry’s IPO closes today. The company has set aside 35.4 mn shares for its Egyptian retail offering, which is so far around 7x oversubscribed, according to the local press. Fawry’s private placement, which closed last week, was nearly 16x oversubscribed. The company’s shares will debut on the EGX at EGP 6.46 per share on Thursday.

It’s official: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly will today oversee the official signing ceremony with Canada’s Bombardier to build the much anticipated monorails, Al Shorouk reported. The Transport Ministry yesterday signed an agreement with the Bombardier-led consortium to construct the monorails linking 6 October City to Giza and Nasr City to the new administrative capital. We have more on this in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Is the US heading for a summer stock market correction? Escalating trade tensions, the heightened risk of a no-deal Brexit, and a hesitant US Federal Reserve could create a perfect storm resulting in a stock market correction in the coming weeks, analysts tell CNBC. US equities have turned a blind eye to rising global headwinds, soaring to record highs in recent weeks on hopes that the Fed was about to embark on an extended easing cycle. But Fed chair Jerome Powell’s unexpectedly hawkish comments last week and Trump’s trade war escalation have sent shockwaves through the markets. “The risks are significant,” Barry Knapp, managing partner at Ironsides Macroeconomics, said. “ I think we’ll get a correction… We could trade back to May lows.” Julian Emanuel, BTIG’s head of equity and derivative strategy, warns that there is unlikely to be any clarity on the main issues plaguing the market for weeks. “The real issue as to why there’s going to be a correction in our view is there’s a massive, massive vacuum… The issues are China, the issues are the Fed and the issues are Brexit. In the first two, you’re almost not going to hear anything.”

Morgan Stanley has changed its tune on EM debt: It was only last month that Morgan Stanley was telling us to get into EM bonds in the event of a market downturn. But after the Fed dashed its expectations for a more dovish turn, the bank has turned decidedly bearish on EM debt and is advising clients to reduce their exposure, Bloomberg reports. “The backdrop for EM has worsened in several ways in a short space of time,” bank analysts said in a note on Friday. “All this justifies a more cautious stance and will likely worsen an already weak global-growth backdrop.”

Affirma Capital has become an independent EM private equity firm after completing a USD 1 bn management buyout (MBO) from Standard Chartered Bank, it said in a statement (pdf). Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) purchased the majority of the bank’s PE assets through its ICG Strategic Equity, which will provide Affirma with USD 400 mn for new and follow-on investments. Affirma will manage Standard Chartered Private Equity’s USD 3.6 bn portfolio, which includes over 50 investments across China, India, South East Asia, South Korea, Sub-Saharan African and the Middle East. Affirma immediately announced a USD 50 bn investment in Indian nutraceutical company Tirupati Group following the completion of the MBO.

Ever wondered why the terms ‘bull market’ and ‘bear market’ are so widely used but often so difficult to define? This mini-crash course in financial history and language from the WSJ tells you where the terms came from and traces their use as widespread terminology. You might be surprised to know that they have actually been around since the 1850s, with financial optimists and pessimists first referred to as ‘bulls’ and ‘bears’ respectively in Britain in the early 18th century. But modern use of the terms (in which a bull market is commonly defined by a 20% rise from a market index’s most recent lowest point and a bear market by a 20% decline from its latest high) only became the accepted definitions in the 1980s and 90s.

Sudan generals, opposition sign constitutional agreement: Sudan’s military and civilian leaders yesterday put pen to paper and signed the constitutional declaration agreed on Saturday, the BBC reports. Protest leader Ahmed Rabie and Gen. Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti” Daglo signed the agreement, which will set up a transitional governing council consisting of six civilians and five generals that will rule the country until elections are held in late-2022. A general will lead the council for the first 21 months before handing power to a civilian, who will rule for a further 18 months. The council will establish up a 300-member legislative body and a cabinet headed by a civilian prime minister.

Foreign Ministry welcomes declaration: The Foreign Ministry has welcomed the declaration, calling it an “important step on the right path towards achieving security and stability in the country” in a statement.

Another day, another tanker seized in the Gulf: Iranian state media announced yesterday that the Revolutionary Guards seized an Iraqi oil tanker said to have been smuggling fuel, Reuters reports. Seven crew members were detained when the vessel was detained near Iran’s Farsi island in the Arabian Gulf. This is the latest in a series of tense standoffs between Iran and its Gulf neighbours.

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