What we’re tracking on 1 April 2021
Welcome to the second quarter of 2021, friends. It’s also April Fool’s day as we gear up for this final day of the workweek, so you may want to up-regulate your BS meter if you have kids under the age of 12.
Looking back, 1Q was kinda phenomenal if you’re a finance nerd or just love doing business. We end the quarter with two hot IPOs in the market (Taaleem and Macro) and our first-ever technical listing on roadshow (IDH). Then there’s the M&A boom, which has so far included two rare transactions in banking (Bank ABC bought Blom Egypt and FAB snapped up Bank Audi’s local arm). Banque Misr has acquired 90% of investment bank turned NBFS house CI Capital, and there’s been tons of activity in the healthcare and NBFS sectors.
Two to keep an eye on: Hospital giant Cleopatra’s ongoing acquisition of Alameda Healthcare and Aldar’s offer for at least 51% of upmarket real estate player Sodic.
And the M&A news continues this morning, as ADQ acquires 100% of Amoun Pharma (is this the … third time Amoun has changed hands?). We have the rundown in this morning’s news well, below.
The M&A boom isn’t just an Egypt thing: We’re closing the best quarter for M&A globally since 1980, the FT writes. The quarter saw transactions “worth USD 1.3 tn agreed in the three months to March 30, more than any first quarter since at least 1980 and topping even the heady levels of the dotcom boom at the turn of the millennium.”
THE BIG STORY INTERNATIONALLY: US President Joe Biden unveiled yesterday his proposed eight-year, USD 2.3 tn infrastructure investment plan, which would cover developing transport infrastructure, improving care for the elderly and disabled, expanding affordable housing construction, and addressing climate change concerns, among a host of other things. Read the broad strokes of the plan, courtesy of Reuters and the New York Times, then jump over to Politico for analysis on the bill’s chances of survival through Congress and the Senate.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-
***CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- The House slashed proposed irrigation fees designed to curb water waste by 90%.
- Flat6Labs rolled out an Abu Dhabi-based fund in partnership with ADQ to support startups with USD 32 mn in funding.
- KSA, Oman and Bahrain gave public backing to Egypt as it tries to prevent Ethiopia from going ahead with the second filling of the GERD.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group are set to take place this coming Monday and run through 11 April. This year’s virtual meetings will bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, representatives from civil society organizations and academics. The topics up for discussion include the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, aid effectiveness, and the global financial system. Some events will be open to the public and can be streamed live from the World Bank’s platform.
The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry is hosting a webinar that will take a deep dive into the Madbouly government’s program to create a national ID for all residential and commercial properties and to digitalize the country’s building permit system. The gathering runs Tuesday, 6 April from 4pm to 6:30pm and you can sign up here.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due in town on 12 April to discuss the latest developments on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, signaling Russia could be looking to play an active role in mediating the impasse, according to TenTV’s Al Mashhad (watch, runtime: 1:28). Lavrov’s planned trip comes after expectations that Russian President Vladimir Putin would visit Egypt sometime in March did not materialize.
“Summer hours” will come into effect for stores and restaurants as of 17 April. This means retail shops can close at 11pm (instead of 10pm during the winter), while cafes and restaurants can stay open until 1am (instead of midnight currently). We have more details on the winter vs. summer hours here.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.