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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Last night’s talk shows for Tuesday, 5 November 2019

It was a quiet night on the airwaves, but one story is of particular interest to the business and finance community: Lamees’ second and final show of the week dove deep into President Abdelfattah El Sisi’s suggestion last week that military-owned companies could trade on the EGX.

Lamees on listing businesses owned by the military: Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi commented on El Sisi’s recent announcement that we may one day see shares in military-owned companies trading on the EGX as part of the state privatization program. El Hadidi said the companies would have to abide by new governance and regulatory standards to ensure transparency. Achieving this would remove some of the controversy that surrounds the military’s engagement in the economy and bring it into the open, she said. There would also be strong investor demand for sectors in which the army is active — such as construction materials, mining, petroleum, and chemicals, El Hadidi suggested. We had the full story in Sunday’s issue.

Lamees phoned Hisham Tawfik, Mohamed Farid: Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik told El Hadidi over the phone that proceeding with stake sales in military-owned companies will take some time to gauge their potential. EGX boss Mohamed Farid said in a separate call that daily turnover on the bourse has been stable in recent months and that the time is ripe for successful EGX debuts. El Hadidi suggested, though, said that at around EGP 800-900 mn daily, turnover remains too low, prompting Farid to counter that the market needs to list larger companies if it’s going to raise volumes and attract more foreign investment. This is problematic, he admitted, as there are not many large companies left to list on the exchange.

You can watch the full segment here (runtime: 26:18).

Sherif Amer hosts Unilever CEO Alan Jope about … corporate governance, of all things: Unilever’s CEO Alan Jope spoke of a worldwide trend in corporate governance in an interview with Yahduth Fi Misr’s Sherif Amer. “The thing that we see changing the most is moving from shareholder primacy to a multi stakeholder model,” Jope said (watch, runtime: 1:20). The influential Business Roundtable — a business lobbying group composed of execs from some of the biggest US corporations — in the summer suggested moving towards a business model that accounts for the views of all a company’s stakeholders — including employees, suppliers and the environment — rather than primarily focusing on shareholders.

What captured the imaginations of the talking heads last night?

Talking point #1: El Sisi spoke with Trump ahead of DC talks: El Sisi thanked US President Donald Trump in a phone call for America’s offer to mediate talks with Ethiopia and Sudan to resolve the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam dispute. Both Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 2:02) and Hona Al Asema’s Rehan Ibrahim (watch, runtime: 1:43) took note. The talks kick off in Washington tomorrow.

Talking point #2: Another ministerial meeting: El Sisi sat down with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Housing Minister Assem El Gazar to follow up on work in the new urban cities. The meeting was widely reported. Among the note-takers were El Hosary (watch, runtime: 0:38), Ibrahim (watch, runtime: 1:20), and Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 1:06).

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