What we’re tracking on 14 March 2021
Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to Sunday. Last week’s run of M&A news continues this morning as Banque Misr successfully closes out its offer to take a 90% stake in CI Capital. Meanwhile, GSK is not selling its Egypt arm to Hikma after talks broke down. We have chapter and verse on both stories in this morning’s news well, below.
THE BIG STORY AT HOME this morning is the general consensus that the third wave of the pandemic is just around the corner for Egypt, with expectations that matters will only be made worse with Ramadan and Eid El Fitr. We have the full rundown in Covid Watch, below. Thursday’s fire at a garment factory in Obour, which killed at least 20 people, so far hasn’t shown signs of having legs.
Foreign affairs is also making waves: We have back-and-forth on whether and when we might re-establish relations with Ankara and a rebuke from the UN on human rights has angered the House of Representatives.
SPEAKING OF THE HOUSE: MPs are back in plenary sessions today after going on recess earlier this month. On the legislative agenda this week:
- A EGP 2 bn overdraft for the FY2020-2021 state budget and the Bankruptcy Act are up for discussion in a plenary session today;
- The general assembly will look at the Water Resources Act tomorrow;
- The House Economic Committee is set to resume discussing the Sovereign Sukuk Act today;
- The Central Agency for Organization and Administration’s plan for informal laborers is also up for discussion at the House Manpower Committee today.
The House will also be getting its hands on the FY2021-2022 state budget soon, with Finance Minister Mohamed Maait scheduled to present the draft budget to President Abdel Fattah El Sisi this week before shipping it off to parliament, Maait said in a statement yesterday.
ALSO HAPPENING TODAY-
Qatari tourists visiting Egypt will now be able to purchase a USD 25 visa on arrival, putting them on par with visitors from other Arab countries under the terms of an Interior Ministry decision published Thursday.
Your brother-in-law’s niece’s best friend might need to get their own Netflix account: The streaming platform is considering cracking down on password sharing between users who do not live in the same home, and is trialling an authorization system through text message or email codes, the BBC reports.
- IPO Watch: Consumer healthcare giant IDH could go ahead with its dual listing on the EGX within two months.
- Digitalization: The Finance Ministry is planning to gradually roll out the e-invoicing system for all B2B transactions after all large taxpayers join the system on 1 July 2021.
- Covid: Nearly 5% of Egyptian adults may have been infected last year with the virus that causes covid-19, according to state pollster Baseera.
THE BIG NEWS INTERNATIONALLY– Bloomberg is leading with talk that we may be in the early days of a bear market for US equities, while the Financial Times thinks everybody piling into crypto and SPACs (to say nothing of a USD 69 mn NFT sale this weekend) is something to be concerned about.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Life coach Arfeen Khan is giving a talk at a virtual AmCham event tomorrow.
Business tech expert and TEDx speaker Patrick Schwerdtfeger will explain how entrepreneurs, businesses and investors can harness disruptive tech at a webinar hosted by AmCham on Tuesday, 16 March. The two-hour event will see Schwerdtfeger talk block chain, AI and crypto, and discuss how the business community can reposition in a world undergoing rapid technological change. Register for the event here.