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Tuesday, 16 February 2021

What we’re tracking on 16 February 2021

Good morning, everyone. The slow, steady burn of covid-19 remains the big story here at home, with cases stuck above 600 and deaths in the 50s once again last night, meaning that more than 10k Egyptians have now died of the disease.

On the positive side: The Health Ministry has started administering second jabs to medical professionals who have already taken their first of two required doses, and we await news of the next large-scale deliveries of vaccines, expected by the end of this month. We have more in this morning’s news well, below.

CATCH UP QUICK- The big stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM were:

  • UAE property developer Aldar Properties could be looking to ramp up investments in Egypt after the company said it was allocating capital for acquisitions here.
  • 2020 earnings season is upon us, with a number of companies releasing their earnings for one of the scariest years in living memory.
  • The Federation of Egyptian Industries’ (FEI) board is likely to get a new lease on life after operating for nearly six months without a legal mandate.

THE BIG STORY INTERNATIONALLY- No single story dominates the narrative coming off what was a holiday weekend in Canada and the United States. Canada is now bracing for winter storms as 14 American states moved to rolling blackouts after being clobbered. One common thread: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is making history as the first woman and first African to be named head of the WTO, as we noted in yesterday’s EnterprisePM. She’s warning against “vaccine nationalism” ahead of taking the top job at the trade body on 1 March.

MARKET WATCH- Equities are holding their own this morning as traders push into the twelfth day of a rally. Investors around the world are pinning their hopes on a “global economic recovery and expectations [that] low interest rates [will] drive investments into riskier assets.” It should be good news for EM shares. Asian stocks are solidly in the green this morning and futures suggest Wall Street and Europe will both start the week in positive territory.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: An electric Defender? Jaguar Land Rover will make its last petrol-powered car in the next 15 years as its new chief executive unveiled what the Financial Times called “a radical plan to steer one of the UK’s best-known carmakers into the electric era.” The company’s Jag lineup will be all-electric by 2025, while its iconic Land Rover brand will launch its first EV in 2024, Reuters adds. The news is getting wide coverage, with everyone from The Verge to CNBC picking it up.

PSA- It’s going to be wet and windy today, with the chance of a morning shower in Cairo and heavy rains expected in Alexandria, along the North Coast and in parts of Sinai, according to the national weather service. Our favorite weather app says to brace for low temperatures today (daytime high of 16°C), tomorrow (12°C) and Thursday (15°C). The mercury is going to slide in the single digits overnight — and there’s a chance of a sand storm hitting Cairo and the North Coast on Thursday.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

An Egyptian diplomatic delegation is in Libya to discuss reopening the embassy in Tripoli and the consulate in Benghazi, state-run MENA reported yesterday.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is in town for three days to hold talks with FM Sameh Shoukry.

FOLLOW-UP on the launch of the new e-invoicing system: Companies could face fines of between EGP 20-100k if they fail to eventually join a new e-invoicing system currently being rolled out nationwide or refuse pay and file taxes electronically, Finance Ministry spokesperson Ragab Mahrous said, according to Extra News.

Phase two of the new system went live yesterday, with 347 companies added to the list of companies that must now log their invoices on a Finance Ministry portal. The new system is still limited to a subset of the companies that fall under the jurisdiction of the Tax Authority’s large taxpayer office, all of whom will need to be on the system by summertime.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Spring conference season is coming up, with early highlights including:

The Real Gate real estate exhibition will kick off from 25-27 March at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center in New Cairo, offering physical and virtual exhibits, it said in a press release (pdf). Showcasing diverse properties by 40+ developers, the four-day event is being organized by ACG-CBE and Coldwell Banker Egypt. You can register for the event here.

The second edition of the Egypt Retail Summit is set to take place at the Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel on 23 March, bringing together 53 speakers and more than 62 retail brands to discuss solutions in the retail sector, and held under the patronage of the Supply Ministry.

Check out our full calendar in this afternoon’s EnterprisePM or right now on our website for a comprehensive listing of upcoming events, national holidays and news triggers.

EYE ON THE REGION- What’s a little economic nationalism among friends?

Do you want to do business with the Saudi government? Your MENA HQ had better be in Riyadh, or no soup for you. The kingdom’s official news agency says the policy will come into effect at the start of 2024, noting that additional information will be released this year. The Financial Times suggests the policy could go so far as to impact companies that have contracts with Saudi Aramco and the kingdom’s USD 400 bn sovereign wealth fund. This is a direct challenge to the UAE, Bloomberg writes, “as a regional rivalry heats up.”

Is the GCC getting smaller? The populations of Gulf Cooperation Council countries may have fallen as much as 4% last year as migrant workers fled the region due to economic shock caused by covid-19 and the oil crash, S&P Global Ratings said in a report yesterday. The exodus of mainly low-income workers is likely to continue until 2023, it said.

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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