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Sunday, 20 September 2020

What we’re tracking on 20 September 2020

9/20 marks the start of our birthday week here at Enterprise. On September 20, we wrote the first “zero issue” of what became your morning read — two more followed before we released issue 1 on 25 September 2014. Exactly 50 of you read it. Fast forward six years and we’re on track to have more than 160k unique readers this month between our email and web editions — with most of you coming back multiple times per week (bless you). This morning, for those of you keeping count at home, is issue #1,419…We’ll have more for you later this week on how we plan to celebrate our sixth year.

In the meantime, make our birthday awesome by checking out this tune. Yes, our distaste for techno-shaabi is well documented. Yes, we remain sure that Omm Kolthoum is spinning in her grave. But when your college-bound nephew celebrates the start of his engineering studies in London by dropping a track, you tend to have changes of heart.

Tap or click here to listen to Yoda by Khalaf on Anghami, better known as Aly Khalifa, nephew of our Grand Poobah and all-around awesome guy. Haven’t signed up for Anghami yet? Listen here on our website.

It’s interest rate week, ladies and gents — and we’re calling a ‘hold’. All 11 analysts and economists we surveyed expect rates to be left unchanged for a fifth consecutive meeting when the Monetary Policy Committee convenes this Thursday. We have the full results of our regular poll in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Our newly-elected senators are getting a welcome party today and tomorrow at their new headquarters ahead of the first official session of the Senate, which is scheduled for two weeks from today, according to a cabinet statement. A total of 200 Senate members have been elected, with the 100 remaining spots in the 300-seat chamber set to be decided by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Meanwhile, aspiring candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections have until Saturday to submit their applications to the National Election Authority (NEA), reports Al Shorouk. The elections kick-off on 21 October when expats from the 14 governorates included in the first phase of voting go to the polls. We have the full breakdown here.

The cabinet’s decision to relax some restrictions on mass gatherings comes into effect tomorrow. Public wedding celebrations, funeral prayers, expos, and some sports and educational activities will resume — subject to some restrictions — for the first time since March after the government last week agreed to ease curbs on gatherings.

EFG Hermes’ virtual investor conference kicks off tomorrow and wraps next Thursday, 1 October. You can visit the conference website here.

The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce is hosting a webinar on Egypt-Mercosur trade today. The online conference is expected to discuss trade between Egypt and the South American economic bloc, and follows a meeting with the Food Export Council held last week with Brazil’s ambassador in Cairo.

Oriental Weavers chairman Mohamed Farid Khamis passed away on Saturday at the age of 80 following a long struggle with illness, the local press reports, citing a statement from the Egyptian Federation of Investors Associations (EFIA), over which he presided as chairman. Khamis died in the US while receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness. A prominent local brand, EGX-listed Oriental Weavers is an Egypt-based company that specializes in machine-woven carpets and rugs for the local and global market, with subsidiaries in the US and China. Khamis’ Orientals Group also operates Orientals Urban Development and Orientals Petrochemicals Company.

The Health Ministry reported 128 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 131 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 101,900 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 17 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 5,750. We now have a total of 88,666 confirmed cases that have fully recovered.

Covid-19 has made Egypt’s efforts to develop human capital all the more crucial: Egypt’s education and health reform programs funded by the World Bank could help the country to preserve improvements made to human capital development amid the covid-19 pandemic, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta, the World Bank’s human development program leader in Egypt, writes in a blog post. The USD 500 mn project to reform the education system and the USD 530 mn healthcare program are supplementing the slight gains made over the previous decade: it is estimated that a child born in 2020 is likely to be 49% as productive as one enjoying complete education and full health, compared to the 48% productivity of a child born 10 years earlier. “The crisis created by the pandemic has made Egypt’s investments in human capital more crucial than ever — both to protect its fragile gains and spur its future generations onto greater productivity,” she writes.

EgyptAir is offering discounts of up to 20% for flyers who buy vouchers worth EGP 300-700 before 20 October, the company announced in a statement. The offer hands customers who buy a EGP 300 voucher a 10% discount on flight tickets, while a EGP 500 voucher carries a 15% discount and a EGP 700 voucher grants a 20% discount. The vouchers are valid for one year. The national flag carrier lost some EGP 3 bn in revenues during 2Q2020 when flights were grounded due the pandemic. The airline was operating at around 45% of its pre-covid capacity two months after flights were resumed at the beginning of July, but is still haemorrhaging EGP 600-700 mn every month.

International carriers are also getting a helping hand: Airlines operating at airports in the Red Sea, South Sinai and Marsa Matrouh governorates will be granted a 50% discount on landing and accommodation fees, and a 20% discount on ground services, the local press reports, citing a decision by Civil Aviation Minister Mohamed Manar published in the Official Gazette.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Apparently, some people miss flying so much that airlines may begin offering a “flight to nowhere” that takes off and lands in the same destination, according to CNBC. The idea could help hard-hit air carriers like Singapore Airlines shore up revenues, while providing nostalgic passengers with the chance to fly for a few hours. Our only question is: Who actually enjoys flights?

enterpriseTake a moment to breathe in and watch the beauty around. It’s time for your mind to wander to beautiful places at Somabay and let nature work its magic.

MARKET WATCH- US stocks were down on Friday — with the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all clocking losses of around 1%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq extended losses for a third day on news that the Trump administration was moving to block downloads of Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat, while the S&P 500 hit six-week lows due to the so-called “quadruple witching” — a quarterly event when all equity derivatives expire on the same day, Bloomberg says. Elsewhere, the pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.7% lower on Friday as investors fretted about rising covid-19 cases in Europe.

The lack of a new iPhone model in Apple’s “underwhelming” product launch last week didn’t help the tech company’s nosediving market value, which has dropped 22.6% — or USD 532 bn — since its 2 September intraday record of USD 137.98 / share, CNBC said Friday. While Apple’s product launch last week — which showed off a revamped iPad, Apple Watch 6, Apple One subscription plan, but no new iPhone — is partially to blame, the iPhone maker’s stock has dropped in line with the sell-off on the Nasdaq.

Trump approves TikTok-Oracle agreement “in concept”: In an about-turn, The Donald yesterday announced that he had approved Oracle’s offer to take over TikTok’s US operations, Bloomberg reports. The US Commerce Department said Friday that it would move to ban the Chinese social media giant from the US as of today, but Trump yesterday said that he had given his approval to the agreement “in concept.” US companies would own 53% of the new TikTok Global company and Chinese investors 36%, satisfying US demands it be under American control, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing an unnamed source familiar with the pact.

US ELECTION WATCH- Women’s rights champion and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) has died at 87, after spending 27 years on the US’ nine-member Supreme Court. The death of liberal RBG — the second woman ever to hold a seat on the court since its establishment — will allow US President Trump to appoint a replacement justice, expanding the court’s conservative majority 6-3. This could not only drastically change the outcome of upcoming Supreme Court hearings on issues such as gun control and voting rights, but also saddle a Biden presidency with a conservative-majority supreme court in the event of a Democratic win.

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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