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Thursday, 24 December 2020

What we’re tracking on 24 December 2020

Good morning, everyone, and a very Merry Christmas to all those who are observing tomorrow. We made it through another week together — and have a pleasantly quiet issue for you this Christmas Eve morning.

Last orders on the NYSE and Nasdaq will be at 1pm Eastern today while the closing bell on the London Stock Exchange is at 12:30pm London time. Most Western markets are closed tomorrow in observance of Christmas day.

Next week could be a four-day workweek here in Egypt. Banks with January-December fiscal years are typically off on 1 January to close their years, meaning the EGX is off, too. Our hunch is that we may get Thursday, 31 December off instead — look for an announcement next week.

Our next statutory holiday here in Omm El Donia: Thursday, 7 January 2020 in observance of Coptic Christmas. Then 25 January and the long, slow vacationless trudge to 25 April for Sinai Liberation day, which will provide a nice mid-Ramadan break.

** We’re taking our traditional publication holiday next week. We’ll be back on Sunday morning to give you the rundown on today’s Central Bank of Egypt rate decision and will then be off Monday-Thursday.

Christmas may be canceled pretty much everywhere, but that just means you have all the more time for movies, TV shows, and podcasts. The Wall Street Journal has a rundown of the best content to watch and listen to this holiday season as much of the world hunkers down for a second wave of covid-19.

Need more options? The Gray Lady, the Financial Times, NPR, and even Oprah Magazine have end-of-year reading lists with a handful of options to beef up your TBR pile as we slide into the holiday season. For the hardcore biz nerds out there, Fortune has a rundown of the best business documentaries, movies, and TV shows to stream during your time off, while the Financial Times puts the Pixar cartoon Soul and Wonder Woman 1984 on your list of six films to watch this week.

That said, please consider this your annual, statutorily required reminder that Die Hard and Trading Places are the ultimate Christmas movies. No dissent shall be brooked on this point — even the Resident Thirteen Year Old agrees. Want more Trading Places? Planet Money did a whole podcast on the film’s key trade.

Tired of all this looking-back stuff? The NYT has a sneak peak at the books coming out in ‘21.

We forgot about Festivus yesterday. Grievances will (retroactively) be aired today. New to the Festivus for the Rest of Us? This poster has the rundown for the uninitiated.

Cooking more your thing? Can’t stand another turkey recipe this weekend? The NYT Cooking app’s 20 most popular recipes of 2020 is a great starting place.

Need a pick-me-up this morning? Go read The best advice our elders ever gave us in the Wall Street Journal. You can thank us later.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Private equity types are toasting a 2020 well done. Private equity firms capitalized cheap debt and the global turmoil unleashed by covid-19 capitalizing to push the total value of PE transactions to the highest figure worldwide since the global financial crisis, the Financial Times reports. PE firms announced some 8k transactions (the highest number since records began in 1980) worth some USD 559 bn worldwide (up nearly 20% from last year).

It’s interest rate day: The Central Bank of Egypt meets today for its final monetary policy meeting of the year. All 10 analysts and economists we spoke to earlier this week expect rates to be left on hold. The CBE has cut rates by 400 bps so far this year, leaving the overnight rate at 8.25% and the lending rate at 9.25%.

Trade talks between Egypt and the US that were supposed to take place this month have been delayed to 2021 due to the pandemic, a US embassy spokesman told Enterprise yesterday. Negotiators from both countries were due to sit down to discuss moving toward the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) — which could lead to trade liberalization with the US if Egypt relaxes non-tariff barriers and tackles several other issues. “The United States remains closely engaged with its Egyptian partners on ways to increase bilateral trade and investment flows, and looks forward to resuming TIFA discussions,” the embassy said.

We’re one week out from these deadlines:

  • The deadline for EGX-listed companies to comply with regulations requiring at least one woman to sit on their boards of directors.
  • The deadline for vehicle owners to install a RFID electronic sticker on their cars.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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