What we’re tracking on Monday, 8 February 2021
Good afternoon, everyone — we the end of your workday is in sight.
THE BIG NEWS here at home this afternoon: We’re seeing lots of M&A in the finance industry and turnover on the EGX broke the EGP 2 bn mark as retail investors continued to dominate flows. The benchmark EGX30 is now up 6.3% for the year after losing 0.7% at the closing bell today. We have more on both stories below.
THE BIG NEWS GLOBALLY: US President Joe Biden is planning competition, but not conflict, with China and will “work with Beijing when it’s in America’s interest to do so.” The competition, he suggested, will be extreme. Meanwhile, Biden’s predecessor faces the kickoff of his second impeachment trial — and the GOP a reckoning — tomorrow.
HAPPENING NOW- Egypt is leading an emergency Arab League meeting with Arab foreign ministers as part of a bid to add new impetus to peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has held high-level talks with French, German, EU and Jordanian officials in recent weeks to push things ahead.
You’re reading Issue #2 of EnterprisePM, our afternoon briefing on what’s going on in Egypt and emerging markets — and your guide to where you may want to spend your time and money tonight.
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🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Columbia Entrepreneurs Organization will be hosting a MENA x CEO panel on venture capital and entrepreneurism in the region. The gathering headlined “Investor Perspectives from New York to North Africa” takes place on 17 February. Lots of friends are among the panelists, including Global Ventures Managing Director Amal Enan, HOF Capital Managing Partner Onsi Sawiris, AAF Management General Partner and CFO Omar Darwazah and AUC Entrepreneurship Professor Ayman Ismail. Tap or click here to register.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
Oil may have just broken past the USD 60 / barrel barrier, but that may not be enough to save companies whose finances are in “tatters,” the Financial Times argues. “ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell recorded more than USD 50 bn in losses between them last year, as the pandemic-driven crash in oil demand crushed crude prices and forced them to slash their spending plans,” and Exxon and Chevron have discussed a mega-merger. And it’s going to be tricky for the “supermajors” to recast themselves not as oil giants, but as energy companies with a rising contribution of clean(er) energy. The answer? M&A, of course, but of what form? That’s the question the FT raises in Big oil’s huge losses raise prospect of mega mergers.
Can you have green aluminum? No matter how you pronounce (or spell) it, aluminum is ridiculously energy-intensive to produce, and one of the most common sources of that power is none other than coal (which ain’t clean no matter how you burn it). As climate nerds, it makes us want to cry. As gadget lovers, we can’t get enough of it. It’s why we cheered a little bit when we heard that Emirates Global Aluminum is going to be the first company globally to start commercial-scale manufacturing of aluminum using solar energy under a contract with BMW. Bloomberg has the news, and both EGA and BMW are out with statements.
The “genius equation” is G=SxNxD, with ‘S’ standing for Significance of the degree of impact or change effected, N for the Number of people impacted, and D for the Duration of impact, explains Yale University Professor Craig Wright, the noted musician and musicologist who has studied how history’s greats nurture ideas and turn them into works of genius. He reflects on what he’s learned in an excellent essay on Aeon. Want more? Wright has also published a book called The Hidden Habits of Genius.
What are the “first and second spouses” doing in the Biden White House? Dr. Jill Biden will continue to teach (as she did when her husband was Obama’s veep), while entertainment lawyer Doug Emhoff (who recently left DLA Piper) needs to figure out what it means to be the US’ “first second gentleman.”
Okay, but how are throwaway metal capsules good for the environment? Nestle to double sustainability spending at Nescafe coffee brand.
FINALLY: A gratuitous video of a lemur that really wants the kid to keep on petting…
Today’s Google Doodle commemorates Egyptian actress and singer Shadia on what would have been her 90th birthday. Shadia was considered a darling of the Arab entertainment industry for close to forty years. She appeared in over 100 roles, from movies to radio plays and her song “Ya Habibty Ya Masr” is a patriotic anthem played during many national events.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
Al Ahly versus Bayern Munich at 8pm CLT tonight. The two teams will go head to head in the semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup, in a highly anticipated match that marks the third time the clubs compete. Egypt recorded a win against Bayern Munich in 1977 but lost to the Bundesliga club in the latest friendly game in 2012, reports EN24. The winner of today’s match will play the final of the competition this Friday. Check out The Hard Tackle for possible team line ups, key stats, and a match prediction.
Al Ahly’s coach doesn’t seem too confident… Coach Pitso Mosimane told FIFA that Al Ahly “are just going to have fun”.
Other matches tonight: The English Premier League’s Leeds and Crystal Palace will hit the field at 10pm CLT. Meanwhile, La Liga will see Atlético Madrid play against Celta Vigo also at 10pm CLT. There are no Serie A matches for you today.
ON NETFLIX TONIGHT- “Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer”: The documentary follows two detectives hunting down serial killer Richard Ramirez in 1985 Los Angeles. Ramirez murdered at least 13 people between 1984–85. Not convinced? Here’s a review from The Guardian.
FUTURE TELEVISION- You can’t watch it yet by Seekoseeko in the City is making a comeback, looking at how Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte are faring in their 50s. Actress Kim Cattrall (Samantha) is sitting this one out after a spat with Sarah Jessica Parker (Carrie). (We’re not being cutesy with the use of “seekoseeko” instead of the three-letter English word — the algos that determine whether we’re admitted to your inboxes won’t allow it.)
And for future Netflix and Chill sessions: The streaming giant has announced its 2021 film slate.
EAT THIS TONIGHT-
🍗 Kokio (eat-in and delivery, branches in Maadi or New Cairo) serves up the best fried chicken in Cairo, full-stop. Double-fried the Korean way, it’s incredibly crispy and quality has been consistent throughout the pandemic. (Trust us: It’s the only takeout we order, figuring the bug that causes covid can’t withstand being deep-fried. Twice.) Order a whole or half Kokio Chicken — though how a “whole chicken” has five drumsticks and three wings, all of different sizes, we’ll never know. Then throw in an order of soy chicken. The spicy chicken nuggets are also not to be missed if you’re feeling indulgent. The resident 13-year-old’s rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
For Maadi peeps, antique furniture store Darb 15 Beit Arafa (Google Maps) is holding a book fair in collaboration with book delivery platform Book Stop. The fair will run until next Sunday.
Art Cafe has a ton of classes and workshops on for the duration of the month that you adults or your kids can attend at their branches in Maadi (Google Maps) or Sheikh Zayed (Google Maps) or from the comfort of your own home on Zoom. The classes include digital painting, art universities preparation, and photography & photoshop. You can check out their full schedule here.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
In the era of QAnon and other conspiracy theories, comes Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler who follows a woman who discovers her partner is a popular internet conspiracy theorist. Her newly-released debut novel is an exploration of what it means to live our lives online and it’d influence on our ideologies. You can check out the book’s reviews from The Guardian and The Nation.
🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- We’re looking at two more days of sunny skies with cloudy periods and unseasonably warm daytime heights of 28°C tomorrow and 26°C on Wednesday.