What we’re tracking on 25 March 2021
Before you ask, yes: The damn thing is still stuck, and the blockage of the Suez Canal by the MV Ever Given is simultaneously the biggest story at home and internationally this morning, as things remain largely unchanged from when we last wrote to you in yesterday’s PM edition. We have the latest on the still-evolving saga in this morning’s news well, below.
The story is so big that there’s a #SuezCanal hashtag on Twitter. Aside from the actual updates on the situation, the hashtag has blessed us with some great memes. You can check out some of our favorites here, here, and here. (Warning: This includes one you may want to check when your spawn isn’t watching over your shoulder.)
The EGX30 snapped its losing streak yesterday as foreign investors and local retail traders were net buyers and only regional investors were net sellers. Institutional investors stepped up their activity again, accounting for 36% of activity yesterday against 29% on Monday and 33% on Tuesday.
The *&(#@^ sand storm is finally over. You can expect a high today to 21°C with largely clear skies. The mercury will dip a bit to 19°C tomorrow and 20°C on Saturday, but there’s no sand in sight, according to our favourite weather app.
- Microenterprises and self-employed folks will soon find it easier to open business bank accounts in Egypt under new guidelines announced yesterday by the central bank.
- Brokerages are about to get a financial shot in the arm after plans were announced yesterday to set up a fund to finance margin trading and boost liquidity on the EGX. We have more details in the news well, below.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT-
Egyptian Iron and Steel’s mining spinoff will hit the EGX sometime in the first week of April, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik has said, according to Masrawy. This comes as the government prepares to start liquidating Iron and Steel in a process that is expected to take two years.
UAE Finance Minister and Deputy Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum passed away yesterday at the age of 75. Hamdan was the Emirates’ finance minister since the formation of the cabinet in the early 70s and had also led the Dubai Municipality, Al Maktoum Foundation, Dubai Aluminum, Dubai Natural Gas Company, and the Dubai World Trade Center. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi expressed his condolences in a statement yesterday.
Naguib Sawiris dunked on Turkey on CNBC: The recent sacking of Turkey’s central bank governor will add to the country's economic “mess,” celebrity b’naire Naguib Sawiris told CNBC yesterday. “Inflation is very high, and trying to push down the interest rate when you want to defend your currency … is not the right decision,” Sawiris said, adding that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision was “based on a political agenda, and it’s unwise to mix politics with economics and finance.” Erdogan last week installed a more dovish central bank boss (his third in two years) who shares his unorthodox views on monetary policy that champions forever-low interest rates, leading Turkish equities close to their worst two day slump and guiding the TRY to new lows against the greenback.
THURSDAY MORNING KUDOS-
The nice people at USAID want to see more of us with jobs and have earmarked another USD 14.5 mn to help students at public universities figure out how to join the workforce. The funding doubles the agency’s total investments in career development to USD 33 mn and will allow 30 career development centers to be set up at 22 universities across the country.
Fine dining restaurant Sachi was recognized as the best luxury dining experience in Egypt by the Luxury Lifestyle Awards. Ayman Baky and his wife, Tina Antaki, founded the first Sachi restaurant in Heliopolis back in 2014, and shortly after opened Sachi by the Sea on the North Coast, with the third branch in Sheikh Zayed expected to open soon.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Real Gate real estate exhibition will kick off today and run until Saturday at the Egyptian International Exhibition Center.
Bok, prijatelji: The Egyptian-Croatian Business Forum meets next Wednesday, 31 March, for the first time since 2010. On the table: Giving a nudge to both trade and investment, a FEDCOC statement says. The forum will take place while Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman is in town next week. Grlić-Radman and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry are expected to attend.
Former cabinet minister Ghada Waly is chatting with AmCham on Sunday at 3pm. Now the executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Waly will talk about tackling corruption in African countries and women’s rights. Tap or click here to register for the event (Zoom event, not in person).
Egypt and Jordan will hold a tripartite summit with Iraq soon, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said during the weekly cabinet meeting yesterday, which was focused on recapping his visit earlier week to Jordan for the Egyptian-Jordanian Joint Higher Committee meetings. The two countries signed seven agreements this week in a number of sectors, including telecoms, energy, trade, housing, and archaeology.
PSA- You have less than a week to get an RFID sticker affixed to your car’s windshield. Head to the moroor to get it done before the deadline next Tuesday, 30 March.
More deadlines are coming up on 31 March, including real estate tax filing (which you can do here) and income tax filing for individuals. It’s also the last day to settle building code violations with the government.
Reminder: Companies have until the end of April to file their taxes.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.
CORRECTION- We incorrectly stated in a story published this week that a Thndr-led consortium is aiming to become Egypt’s first e-signature service provider. Thndr, the zero-commission trading app, had issued a press release stating that the alliance aims to become “a standalone electronic signature provider” after the ICT Ministry’s executive arm ITIDA said it will award up to three new licenses. Those licenses will create new providers alongside existing information security company EgyptTrust, which has held its own license to provide the service since 2005. The story has since been corrected on our website.