What we’re tracking tonight on 10 February 2020
Good afternoon, everyone. We hope Wednesday has treated you well, that you’ve been super-productive, and that you’re looking forward to a relaxing evening with family and friends.
THE BIG STORY here at home today: Annual urban headline inflation slowed to its lowest level since September 2020. Most pundits think this makes it even more likely that the central bank will go for a rate cut this year. We have all the details in Speed Round, below, and a counterpoint in Go with the Flow.
THE BIG STORY in global business news right now: Both the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times are leading with Donald Trump’s second impeachment, where Democrats are to lay out their case today in day two of his trial.
Your statutorily required afternoon covid update: Several GCC countries have seen new daily cases creep back up to near last year’s record highs, while the results so far from Israel’s super-fast rollout of the Pfizer jab should give us all a measure of hope.
CATCH UP QUICK- The top stories from this morning’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- Egyptian equities are looking under-priced right now, EFG says in its look ahead at what’s in store for the market and the economy in 2021.
- Non-bank financial services players are going after healthcare professionals and merchants as competition in the red-hot sector heats up.
- The Finance Ministry has no plans to tap the global bond market before the end of June, minister Mohamed Maait said after a snap USD 3.75 bn issuance earlier this week.
*** You’re reading Issue #3 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. You can subscribe to Enterprise by hitting the link in the nice green box below:
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR- The World Economic Forum will take place in Singapore this coming August after having already been delayed once to May. Organizers are looking at a much smaller gathering and don’t expect to be back in Davos until 2022.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
From the Department of Duh, #1: There’s no bubble and stocks will keep going up. Unless they don’t. JPMorgan’s co-president tells CNBC that “I don’t see a [stock market] correction anytime soon, unless the situation changes dramatically.” Somewhat more cogently, he admits what not many bankers want to talk about: That upstarts including “challenger banks” and fintech startups are actually threat: “They are very good at creating a great client experience. They are very good at delivering products fast. They are very good at creating an image that is cool.” Go read: JPMorgan’s Wall Street chief gives his call for the stock market, SPACs, fintech and CEO succession.
Maybe we could all get together and raise a bond to make sure it happens — and that he’s in the cargo bay at takeoff? “Turkey aims to achieve first contact with the moon as part of its national space programme in 2023,” Reuters reports the Nutter in Ankara as having said. Quoth Erdogan: “The first rough landing will be made on the moon with our national and authentic hybrid rocket that shall be launched into orbit in the end of 2023 through international cooperation.” National and authentic? Sounds great.
From the Department of Duh, #2: Cisco’s CEO says people want to go back to working in the office. “One of our employees said to me the other day, ‘I don’t mind the option of working from home. I don’t like being forced to work from home.’” Groundbreaking. And “one of our employees?” Sounds like a really scientific survey, sir. More to the point: Salesforce is looking beyond the pandemic and mulling what its remote work policy should be — and what post-covid offices might look like. Employees will have more flexibility to work remotely — and office design is changing: “As employees are expected to do much of their independent work remotely, the mock-ups of the new offices feature cafe-style seating, open-air conference areas and private nooks, with an emphasis on clean desks and social distancing.”
PSA- A movie can be a nail-biter. So can a TV series. Some novels rise to the description. But actual nail biting IRL? No thanks. Want to get out of the habit and help keep the rest of us sane? Go read the WSJ’s How can I stop stress-biting my nails?
SIGNS OF THE TIMES-
- The studio that brought us Ice Age and Rio is dead. Disney is shutting down Blue Sky Studios as covid saps its movie and theme park businesses, Bloomberg reports.
- Japan is seeing a rise in the suicide rate among young and middle-aged women, the Financial Times writes. Officials are scrambling to figure out what’s at play, with possible factors including domestic violence and more stress due to childcare or serving disproportionately.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
No football matches in sight today: La Liga and Serie A are taking a breather until Friday while the Premier League’s gameweek 24 will begin on Saturday. It’s a double gameweek in the English league, so Fantasy PL players might want to think about breaking out a triple captain or bench boost.
Terry loves Netflix: Season 7 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has finally dropped on Netflix. Diehard fans have already planned out their night accordingly. If you haven’t yet sampled New York’s 99th precinct, give it a chance. Yeah, we’re tired of cop shows, too. Comedy, drama, doesn’t matter. But this one stars Andre Braugher.
For the documentary buffs among you, Netflix has released an original documentary series titled Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, which explores the notorious crime hub Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, specifically the mysterious disappearance of a Canadian college student. Variety and the Guardian aren’t impressed.
Amazon Prime has added some throwbacks to its platform this month, including Jackie Chan’s The Spy Next Door and Dazed and Confused starring Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey. (“Alright, alright, alright”).
🍕 EAT THIS TONIGHT-
Pizza with a real Italian stamp of approval: Maadi’s What The Crust (Google Maps) is Africa’s first only Associazione Verace Pizza napoletana (AVPN) certified pizzeria. AVPN (literally: The True Neapolitan Pizza Association) certifies pizzerias that cook up an “excellent product of Neapolitan tradition.” It’s one of the best pies in Cairo — and it’s female owned and led. Check out the restaurant’s website and menu. Order in advance — when they get busy, y’all are gonna be waiting a while.
What’s your favourite restaurant? Downtown, New Cairo, Zayed — it doesn’t matter. Drop us a note and include a few sentences on why. We’ll stockpile your answers and write them up for future issues, with an h/t to you. Send us your picks on email@example.com.
💾 FOR TECH NERDS-
An app recommendation from someone we don’t know, but love on Twitter: Machead and former New York Times / Wirecutter and Macworld journo Dan Frakes tipped us to TextSniper. Take a screenshot and it will OCR any text it contains. The text goes straight into your clipboard so you can paste it into just about any other document you can think of.
Why follow Frakes? If tips like this aren’t enough, he’s also the one who brought to our attention the brilliant The case for semicolons.
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
It’s French Movie Month in Cairo: The French Institute of Egypt (l’institut français d’Égypte) is screening one movie every Wednesday over the course of February with the films selected from the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Today’s movie: Alice et le Maire. Catch the trailer here. Venue: the institute’s main office in Downtown Cairo (Google Maps).
A comedy show at a secret venue? Al Hezb El Comedy Founder Hashem El Garhy will be performing his one-hour special 300 Grams tomorrow at 8pm CLT. The venue hasn’t been announced, instead you’re meant to text a number to receive the exact whereabouts of the event. Hit the link for the digits.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
A BOOK THAT CHANGED HOW WE SEE (AND RUN) OUR BUSINESS: Built to Sell, by John Warrillow, whose thesis is that every business owner should set out to build a company that can run without them. That’s a business that’s (a) sellable and (b) sellable at a great multiple and with no earn-out. It’s also a business that could very likely continue to pay you (or your heirs) dividends long after you retire or shrug off this mortal coil, in the event you decide not to sell. The book is short and told through a fictional character, making it one of the easiest-to-read self-help business books you’ll ever pick up. The central character’s firm is in the service industry, but the lessons learned apply to just about any sector you could think about.
We love it so much we order copies by the boxful and give them away to business owners who are trying to figure out how to stop working “in” the business and start leading it. On Amazon Kindle and as an audiobook. Want more? Try his podcast and website.
☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Sunny with a daytime high of 25°C and an overnight low of 11°C. Your weekend outlook is more of the same, with a high of 24°C on Friday and 22°C on Saturday. Brace yourselves for a cold snap starting the middle of next week, though…