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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

TONIGHT: The European Super League has crumbled + update on Aldar’s bid for SODIC

Good afternoon, everyone. Just a few more hours to go and we’ve closed the books on day nine of Ramadan — and we’ll be one step closer to the weekend.

Do we have a long weekend? The Madbouly government has yet to make an announcement, and the Central Bank of Egypt and EGX are so far keeping their own counsel.

The question: Whether Sinai Liberation Day will be observed next week on Sunday or Thursday. A cabinet decree has said that most mid-week holidays will be celebrated on Thursdays, but it has left the window open to observing some on Sundays.

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s edition of EnterpriseAM:

  • Aldar moves ahead with Sodic DD: The UAE property developer is expected to begin due diligence within days as it targets a majority stake in Sodic.
  • Education investment: Dubai-based Africa crest has earmarked EGP 900 mn to establish two schools in Egypt this year
  • Water treatment investments: The Sovereign Fund of Egypt could offer up water treatment projects to investors.

CORRECTION + UPDATE: In a story in EnterpriseAM today on Aldar starting due diligence on upmarket real estate developer SODIC, we said SODIC shareholders would have 60 working days to decide on Aldar’s offer. That was incorrect: Aldar has 60 days from its expression of interest last month to make an MTO, ask for an extension from the Financial Regulatory Authority, or walk away. Also: Our friends at SODIC denied a report in the domestic press this morning that they have appointed Goldman Sachs as their international investment bankers. They tell us that they will make an announcement on their choice of international advisors once an appointment has been made. They have selected an investment bank and are finalizing the letter of engagement.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD this afternoon remains the conviction yesterday of former policy offer Derek Chauvin in the United States for the on-camera murder of George Flyod. The story is at the top of front pages in the global business press.


Climate will be the big story of the day as 40 world leaders gather in the United States for the Biden administration’s Leaders Summit on Climate. Climate Change News and CNBC have the rundown on what to expect, including a potential pledge from Biden to “help less wealthy countries combat climate change” and the possible unveiling of “a new emissions reduction target for the Paris climate accord.”

European lawmakers have reached a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law ahead of the summit, the European Commission said in a statement. The climate law is a key component of Europe’s pledge to hit climate neutrality by 2050. The law still needs approval from the European Parliament and Council.

What does it contain? The new climate law will increase 2030 ambitions to cut EU-wide emissions by 55% from 1990 levels from the previous 40% target. It will also set the stage for a series of regulations in June to cut emissions, impose tougher carbon dioxide standards on vehicles, and border tariffs on imports of polluting goods, Reuters reports.

YOUR STATUTORILY REQUIRED afternoon covid update: Despite the setbacks, vaccine rollouts are working: Recent data gathered by the Financial Times shows that rates of infections, hospitalisations and deaths have been on a downturn among older populations, while younger people now comprise most of global cases (which makes sense as they’re less likely to have been vaccinated). The data from the UK, France, the US, Chile, and India, among others points to a possible end in sight for countries that can effectively roll out the vaccine among their younger populations.

** So, when do we eat? Maghreb prayers will release us from our fast at 6:26 pm, and we’ll have until 3:49 am to eat and hydrate.


Renaissance Capital virtual conference titled RenCap ESG – a New Focus for EM will run until tomorrow. The conference will include three panel discussions exploring environmental, social and governance issues in investing. Panels will be live streamed.

The Gouna International Squash Open 2021, a PSA event, will run 20-28 May with 96 men and women competing. The event has the backing of our friends at CIB.


European Super League (ESL) crumbles as nine teams drop out: Italy’s Inter Milan and AC Milan and Spain’s Atletico Madrid have joined all six Premier League teams involved in the 12-team Super League in withdrawing from the breakaway tournament following immense global backlash, the BBC reported.

Why are folks grumpy? Football fans worldwide, pundits, insiders, associations, leagues, teams — in essence, anyone who doesn’t hold shares in the clubs — simply felt that it smacked of outrageous greed on the part of owners. We have the full rundown here.

Who’s out? Within a few short hours of a protest outside Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, six of the 12 founding clubs announced formal action to withdraw from the ESL group, including Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal. Liverpool principal owner John W Henry published an apology to fans. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin welcomed the move and said they were “back in the fold,” the BBC reports.

Where does that leave the Super League? Juventus chairman and ESL founder Andrea Agnelli said that the league can no longer go ahead after the six English clubs withdrew, according to Sky Sports News (watch, runtime 1:12) The organization had earlier said that it is considering “the most appropriate steps” to reshape the project, in a statement seen by the BBC.

Instagram is getting serious about cyberbullying: The social media platform is rolling out a new tool to combat abusive messages in DMs by automatically filtering DM requests containing offensive words, phrases or emojis, the Facebook-owned company said in a press release. Instagram has worked with anti-discrimination and anti-bullying organizations to develop a predefined list of offensive terms, and will enable users able to add their own custom list. Other new features in the pipeline will include allowing only people you follow to add comments to your posts, as well as giving you the option to block a single account or block all accounts a user might create in future.


Watch Oscar-nominated film Sound of Metal ahead of Monday’s award show: With the Oscars days away, we’re trying to watch as many of the nominated films as possible so we can confidently cheer, or yell at the screen, during the ceremony. A must watch before the show is Sound of Metal, which sees Riz Ahmed play a heavy metal drummer who is rapidly losing his hearing. With the support of a Paul Raci who runs a community of deaf recovering addicts, Ahmed paves a new life for himself in this well-acted tale of empathy and rebirth. The film is nominated for six Oscars in total, and Ahmed is the first Muslim to be up for a best actor award. Sound of Metal is also in the competition for best picture, best original screenplay, best editing, and best sound, while Raci is up for best supporting actor. You can watch the film on Amazon Prime. The Oscars will air on 26 April.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had this much football on:

The English Premier League will see Spurs play against Southampton at 7pm while Aston Villa will face off against Man City at 9:15pm.

Serie A is full swing ahead with seven matches today. Some games to look out for are Milan versus Sassuolo at 6:30pm, Spezia versus Inter Milan at 8:45pm, and Juventus against Parma at 8:45pm.

Among today’s six La Liga matches is Real Madrid’s game against Cadiz at 10pm.

Al Ahly is also up tonight, playing against Smouha in the Egyptian Premier League at 9:30pm.

COMING UP- Raya and Sekina are going global: Egyptian writer Mariam Naoum will team up with Oscar-winning director Terry George to co-write a serial killer series dubbed “The Alexandria Killings,” Dubai’s Front Row Filmed Entertainment announced in a statement. The Arabic-language show, produced by Front Row and London-based Rocket Science's Yalla Yalla, will be based on the story of the notorious real-life murderous sisters Raya and Sakina, who robbed and killed at least 17 women in the 1920s.

Want more MENA murder mysteries? Apparently this show will be the first in a MENA-based true crime anthology series “set in various periods and locations within the Arab world.”

Egypt’s Olympic football team has landed in Group C along with Argentina, Spain and Australia in the draw for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that were postponed to this year, FIFA announced. Egypt plays Spain on July 22nd at 9:30AM, Argentina on July 25th at 9:30AM, and Australia on July 28th at 1:30PM.


How did SpaceX go from a shaky startup to signing agreements with NASA? The bumpy success of the rocket company and the early days of founder Elon Musk are the main focus of Liftoff by Eric Berger. Founded in 2002, SpaceX now has the largest constellation of commercial satellites in orbit and last year became the first private company to launch human beings into space. But it didn’t look so promising at the start, with little in the bank, fierce competition, and engineering challenges standing in the way. While many books have been written on Musk, nothing quite touches upon the desperation and then-possibility of failure quite like this one. You can read an excerpt on Space News.

???? TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect daytime highs of 31°C and nighttime lows of 14°C tomorrow, our favorite weather app says.

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