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Monday, 1 March 2021

What we’re tracking on 1 March 2020

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to a very regulation heavy afternoon. Some key regulatory updates we cover in the Speed Round below, include:

  • Proposals from Big Tech companies on the executive regulations of the Data Protections Act
  • And the government appears to be widening its targets of day laborers it plans to provide support to.
  • New customs incentives for EV and nat gas-fuel cars have come out

On that note, an app to locate natural gas refueling stations around the country is now available on Google Play. MOP Stations, which the government formally launched this morning, also helps car owners find where to convert their engines to run on natural gas as the government pushes forward with its multi-year natgas transition plan.

THE BIG READ IN GLOBAL BUSINESS- The US stock market’s roaring 2020 probably isn’t going to continue into 2021, according to Morgan Stanley’s Ruchir Sharma, who writes in the Financial Times that the increasing signs of a coming economic boom will likely mean trouble for financial markets that have become too acclimated to the highs of central bank liquidity.

We saw this last week in the US bond market when investors, fretting about what inflation and a recovering economy may mean for their much-loved zero-interest rate policy, sold bonds en masse, triggering a sell-off in growth stocks and risk assets around the world.

A mirror of 2020? An economic boom in 2021, driven by a savings glut and pent-up consumer demand, will translate into higher inflation, higher interest rates and unhappy investors, concerned about their returns and unsure about whether earnings can keep up with the higher debt costs. This, Sharma argues, is setting up 2021 to be the reverse of 2020, which saw financial markets surge on stimulus measures while the real economy faltered.

The 3rd EFG Hermes Virtual Investor Conference kicked off this morning and will run until 9 March. The conference is headlined as “Frontier Emerging Markets Regaining Momentum” and brings together executives from 197 companies representing 28 countries with more than 700 investors from over 250 global institutions to exchange insights on the current state of frontier emerging markets, the company said in a press release (pdf). EFG Hermes Holding Group CEO Karim Awad said that the company hopes “that the thousands of direct meetings taking place will provide participants with firsthand insights into what a recovery is going to look like for these markets and how sustainable that recovery is going to be as we help them unlock new value across their portfolios.”

IN OTHER EFG NEWS- The firm’s investment banking team advised on Saudi-based Alkhorayef Water & Power Technologies’ (AWPT) SAR 540 mn IPO on Tadawul, acting as bookrunner and underwriter. Alkhorayef Group sold 7.5 mn shares in AWPT (or 30% of the company) to investors in the transaction, at SAR 72 per share,EFG Hermes announced today.

The World Trade Organization got its first female and African director general, as Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala took over the position today after a six-month leadership gap. The 66-year-old development economist is Nigeria’s former finance and foreign minister.


The IDC Future of Work conference is kicking off next Monday, 8 March, under the theme “The Path to Business Resiliency”. The event will take place virtually and will discuss how organizations can accelerate their digital transformation strategies to address challenges around technology, policy, and operations. Experts and business leaders from Egypt and Jordan will run the sessions.

Are you up for this weekend’s Tough Mudder event?: The event features a mud and obstacle course. There will be two types of events, the Tough Mudder Classic (a 10-12km loop of mud-soaked mayhem loaded 30 obstacles) and the less-tough Tough Mudder 5k (a 5k collaborative teamwork challenge with 13 obstacles). You can learn more about Tough Mudder Egypt and register for the event on their website.



Countdown to Skynet begins: The New York Police Department (NYPD) have welcomed a new robotic dog on their force, with the “Digidog” deployed to its first crime scene in the Bronx last week, reports The New York Post. The blue and black, four-legged, 70-pound robot is in its test phase and can run about three-and-a-half miles per hour and climb stairs. The robotic pup is also equipped with two-way communication and lights and cameras to allow cops to see “its surroundings in real-time.”


The 2021 Golden Globes took place last night, in what was their first in 78 editions to be held virtually. Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler appeared live from New York City and The Beverly and California, respectively, while nominees appeared virtually from around the world. The show got off to an awkward start with technical glitches amidst the pandemic-dictated format. Nonetheless, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) still had plenty of trophies to pass around and here are some notable winners:

  • Nomadland was named Best Motion Picture in the drama category while the film’s director Chloé Zhao was named Best Director in the Motion Picture category.
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was given Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) while Sacha Baron Cohen was named Best Actor in the category.
  • Rosamund Pike was handed the title of Best Actress in the comedy category for her role in Netflix’s I Care a Lot.
  • Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 was awarded Best Screenplay.
  • The Best Animated Motion Picture went to Pixar’s Soul.

You can check out the full list of winners on Entertainment Tonight while CNN has a rundown of the entire event. The HFPA were called out a few times during the event for their lack of diversity in the all-white organization, especially by Sacha Baron Cohen who also took a jab at Donald Trump.

Everyone’s childhood favorite show Tom & Jerry is making a comeback on the big screen, with an animated-live action hybrid film recently dropping in cinemas nationwide. Despite the film being available for streaming on HBO Max, Tom & Jerry had a shockingly good opening, garnering USD 13.7 mn in one night in the US, the second best opening during the pandemic since Wonder Woman 1913. Worldwide, Tom & Jerry has snagged USD 38.8 mn, writes the Deadline.

Not too many matches on today: Enppi will play against Al Ittihad today at 5pm CLT in the The Egyptian Premier League, while Al Zamalek will go up against Wadi Degla at 7:30pm CLT.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Everton versus Southampton today at 10pm CLT in the English Premier League and La Liga has Real Madrid versus Real Sociedad at 10pm CLT.


A handful of homegrown coffee shops have started to pop up all over Cairo that really do rival their multinational alternatives with fresh beans and delicious blends. If you’re a coffee person like we are, we definitely recommend a stop by one of these shops and their cozy atmospheres. First up is 30 North, which quickly grew in popularity and now has six branches across Cairo in Sheikh Zayed, Zamalek, New Cairo, and Katameya. We fell in love with their Irish hazelnut latte and their wasabi roast beef sandwich. If you’re more of a tea person, this is also the place for you, with 30 North boasting an assortment of Vahdam teas all the way from India.

Fifth Street Coffee is a must-mention, recently expanding from their inaugural store in Cairo Festival City to Almaza City Centre, The Garden 8, and Madinaty. You can choose coffee beans from Colombia, Ethiopia, or Honduras and have it freshly brewed to your liking. We’re a big fan of their iced coffees and their blueberry pancakes.

Finally, The Coffee Maker was an early favorite of ours, having opened up a few years ago in New Cairo and now has a branch at Downtown Mall and City Stars. The shop offers new twists on your normal morning liquid supplement, with creations such as creme brulee cappuccino and marshmallow lattes. The Coffee Maker also has towering milkshakes that are perfect for sunny days — which works well as the shop is planning to open in Stella in the North Coast this summer.


The Room Art Space in New Cairo is hosting a funk rock night with Jiggy Band at 9pm CLT. The band will be playing songs for musicians such as James Brown and Jimi Hendrix.

Start off the month with Cairo Jazz Club’s Closed Circuit today at 8pm CLT in Agouza. This Closed Circuit features both The Disc Jockeys and Omar Khalifa for a night of authentic house beats.

The Gramophone orchestra will be playing at Sawy Culture Wheel today at 7pm CLT, showcasing their unique mix of music and poetry. You can check out their previous performances on their YouTube page.


Calling all readers in their 30s… But You're Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood is a book coming out tomorrow that looks at what it means to be in your thirties, navigating some of the biggest milestones of adult life, and how it is more okay than ever to not have every box checked off. Sociologists have identified the five markers of adulthood as: finishing school, leaving home, marriage, gaining financial independence, and having kids. However, being in the thirties these days has meant these signifiers have been marred by repeated economic upheaval, rising debt, decreasing marriage rates, and a more open-minded society that have all led to a shifting timeline.

If you’d like to recommend places to eat, events to go to, or books and movies to enjoy, send us an email at and we’ll be sure to h/t you.

???? TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Is anyone else confused with this winter? Our favorite weather app expects sunny skies tomorrow with daytime highs of 21℃ and lows of 10℃. Meanwhile Wednesday has a 40% chance of showers alongside strong winds.

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