What we’re tracking on 4 April 2021
Good afternoon, everyone. It’s looking like a busy news week for business, particularly as the new listings kick in the door to capital markets, with the retail offering of higher education management company Taaleem’s IPO being 29x oversubscribed on Thursday.
The state appears to want to get in on the action, with news circulating that state e-payments firm e-Finance’s IPO is moving along. We break this down in the Speed Round below.
A good week for Capex? As for Integrated Diagnostics Holdings (IDH) — that other upcoming EGX listing — the company is planning a major expansion in their labs here. You can catch the highlights in the Speed Round.
We also have updates on this morning’s margin trading story in Go With The Flow, with the FRA introducing new regulations on margin trading today.
CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from this morning’s issue of EnterpriseAM:
- The World Bank praised Egypt’s primary surplus, saying it signifies we’re on track to a sustainable debt strategy.
- The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has shelved a tender for a license to set up Egypt’s second tobacco company
- Some 500k tourists visited Egypt in 1Q2021, generating USD 600-800 mn in tourism revenues
HAPPENING NOW- Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are back to the negotiating table in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa, marking the first African Union-brokered round of talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) following an almost three-month hiatus, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. The three countries’ foreign, water and irrigation ministers are now sitting down to resume talks — presided over by Congolese President and current AU Chairman Félix Tshisekedi — in the hopes of reaching a lawfully binding agreement, following meetings of the technical committees yesterday, it added.
There’s speculation that the three countries’ leaders could meet on Tuesday if the ministerial talks fail to yield a breakthrough, Sky News reports. The resumption of the fraught negotiations comes after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi indirectly warned Addis Ababa that it wouldn’t be allowed to take “a drop of Egypt’s water.” Egypt has been pushing to rally international support on the GERD issue, with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman giving us public backing as Ethiopia persists to continue plans to move ahead with the reservoir’s second filling in the upcoming rainy season in August.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Washington and Tehran have agreed to hold indirect talks starting this Tuesday in Vienna to warm up for the revival of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, almost three years after former President Donald Trump had pulled the US out of the agreement, the US State Department said in a statement Friday. The talks are considered a starting point “to clearly identify sanctions lifting and nuclear implementation measures,” Chairman of the organization overseeing the nuclear agreement Enrique Mora said in a separate statement. However, Tehran appears to be taking an all or nothing approach, after a foreign ministry spokesperson said it wouldn’t negotiate a step-by-step reentry to the agreement.
MANDATORY COVID STORY- Pfizer and BioNTech’s covid-19 shot continues to be over 91% effective six months after inoculation, showing just a slight downgrade from the 95% efficacy reported from a clinical trial in November, according to follow-up data from a final stage trial of the vaccine, the drugmaker announced Thursday. Preliminary results from a subset study also indicated the vaccine was effective against the South Africa variant of the virus. The company will now apply for full US regulatory approval, Pfizer said.
More instances of blood clots in individuals who had received the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine have cropped up, as the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory announced it had registered 30 instances of blood clots out of 18.1 mn doses administered as of 1 April, up from five cases from 11 mn doses administered by 18 March, Reuters reports.
For context: 30 cases out of 18.1 mn individuals vaccinated is 0.00017% and five cases out of 11 mn is an incidence rate of 0.000045%.
It’s PMI day: PMI figures for March will land tomorrow at 6:15 am CLT. Non-oil private sector conditions worsened for the third consecutive month in February, but at a milder rate, with the gauge rising slightly to 49.3 in February from 48.7 the month before.
Score another one for our IPO pipeline: Over 577 mn shares of Macro Group Pharma will be listed on the EGX tomorrow ahead of the company’s IPO. Trading on shares is scheduled to begin on 19 April under ticker symbol MCRO.CA. The subscription period for the retail portion of the offering is slated for 8-14 April.
The Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group begin tomorrow and run through next Sunday, 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.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Egypt is organizing a webinar on the government's Real Estate Wealth Inventory and Management Project in collaboration with LYNX Strategic Business Advisors this Tuesday, 6 April at 4pm. The gathering 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 event’s keynote speaker will be Egypt’s Deputy ICT Minister Khaled El Attar who will discuss administrative development, digital transformation and automation, He will be joined by Carrefour COO Hervé Majidier, Tameer CEO Antoine El Khoury, and Voltalia Egypt Country Manager Karim Elazzawi. You can register for the event using this form.
ITIDA is hosting the ‘Hangout with VCs’ event this Thursday, 8 April in collaboration with The Financial Times’ The Next Web — a well-established global network of investors and VCs focusing on tech — that will be presented with Egyptian startups, according to a press release (pdf). Startups can submit applications until the day of the event here.
The Spring Flowers Exhibit (Ma3rad El Zohoor) is currently taking place at Orman Botanical Garden in Giza. More than 200 exhibitors have set up shop to sell flowers, plants, agricultural products, and gardening equipment. The exhibit runs through 13 April.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
The royal mummy parade is still making rounds in the foreign press this afternoon. In case you’ve been living under a rock, 22 mummies were relocated to the Museum of Egyptian Civilizations in Fustat in an elaborate ceremony last evening. Catch more on the parade from The Independent | CNN | USA Today | Emirates News Agency | Africa News | The Telegraph | RT | CNA Lifestyle | South China Morning Post
Airlines want the vaccine passport, but not the fines: Airlines are lobbying against the responsibility of implementing the EU’s digital green certificate that documents covid-19 vaccination, WSJ reports. While the airlines back the concept, they cannot afford the risk of more fines or the costs of policing vaccine and covid-19 documentation, industry sources tell the publication. Airlines are fined up to EUR 10k for allowing a traveller to land in a country without the correct visa, and the current proposal could see the airlines slammed with similar fines, they add. The proposal requires ratification from the European Parliament, and is expected for a June rollout.
We keep telling you, covid passports are a thing: As we had mentioned previously, with major economies including China, Japan, Denmark and Israel independently announcing they are developing vaccination passport systems as well.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
(All times in CLT)
The Serpent seems promising. The Netflix Original is a crime drama following the conman and murderer Charles Sobhraj and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc who posed as gem sellers and traversed Asia in 1975 and 1976, committing a spree of crimes along the 'Hippie Trail'. The duo stole victims' passports and identities to travel the world but were eventually caught with the help of Dutch diplomat, Herman Knippenberg, whose investigation into the murders of Dutch tourists uncovered clues leading to Sobhraj. You can read more about the mini -series and how the real events seemed “too bizarre for TV” in this piece by The LA Times.
Netflix wants us to binge-watch Chucky movies — did anyone know there were so many? Four of the evil doll’s movies have landed on Netflix over the weekend: Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride of Chucky, and Seed of Chucky. If you’re a horror movie buff and want a bit of nostalgia, this could be a binge-watching session for this week.
The English Premier League’s gameweek 30 continues today, with the match between Southampton and Burnley ending with Southampton coming out on top with a score of 3-2. NewCastle and Tottenham are also currently on the field having just started the match half an hour ago. Meanwhile, Aston Villa go head-to-head with Fulham at 5:30 and Manchester United will play against Brighton at 8:30pm.
La Liga is also underway, with Alaves on the field with Celta Vigo and Elche and Real Betis to begin the match soon at 4:15pm. Cadiz and Valencia will compete at 6:30pm and Sevilla will play against Atletico Madrid at 9pm.
🥩 EAT THIS TONIGHT-
Lucca Steakhouse has become famous for their dry aged meat and signature steaks. If you visit the restaurant in Sheikh Zayed’s Al Guezira Plaza, you’ll be in for a culinary and atmospheric treat with their edgy decor and heaping and detailed dishes. The restaurant also features a live kitchen where you can watch your order of meats being torched and cooked in dancing flames. We recommend the T-bone steak or the butter shrimp as main dishes, and don’t miss out on their side plates such as their mac and cheese. For dessert give their ice cream ghazal a go.
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
(All times CLT)
The exhibit opening of Singular by Salam Yousry is taking place today at 6pm at SOMA Art School and Gallery in Zamalek. Through his art, Yousry explores the relationship between the individual and the collective, looking at aspects such as how the body performs itself within a social sphere. The exhibit will run until 22 April.
It’s Make'em Laugh night at The Room Art Space in New Cairo, with hosts Ahmed El-Hareedy, Mohamed Gamal El-Din, and Alaa El-Sheikh. Anyone from the audience can choose to get on the stage and take a shot at stand-up comedy. The event starts at 9pm.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life is a guide to bring an end to wasteful meetings, disorganized papers, endless emails, and unnecessary tasks. The book, written by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein, offers stories and strategies on how to make the most of working hours and increase efficiency while ultimately boosting your own career prospects.
🌤 TOMORROW’S WEATHER- And the heat wave begins… The mercury is going all the way up to 33°C tomorrow with bright sunny skies, before temperatures fall to 16°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us. The heat wave will continue all through the working week, falling back to the 20s during the weekend.