THIS MORNING: EBRD boss in town for second day + Italy’s recovery program looks a lot like Egypt’s
Good morning, wonderful people. One last sprint and we run headlong into the weekend. We’re unlikely to know before this afternoon whether we have a three-day weekend this weekend — or a five-day break next weekend. We’ll have the answer for you in this afternoon’s edition of EnterprisePM.
It’s a busy news day in the meantime, so strap in and let’s get started.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-
It’s the second and final day of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Renaud-Basso’s first official visit to Egypt. We have the rundown on her first day in Egypt — and the bank’s plans to continue supporting our development over the next decade — in the news well, below.
IT’S A BIG WEEKEND FOR: Climate, as 40 world leaders gather in the United States for the Biden administration’s Leaders Summit on Climate. US President Joe Biden could pledge to “help less wealthy countries combat climate change” and is expected to announce a new target to cut US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, relative to 2005 levels, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing a personal familiar with the matter. The US and China have also signaled their plans to work together to set more ambitious goals to tackle the climate crisis.
REMINDER: Egypt has been left out of the summit, despite the US Chamber of Commerce encouraging the Biden administration to invite us to the summit in a bid to bolster Egypt-US ties in the energy, digital economy, health, education, and environmental sectors.
PICKING UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF YESTERDAY- The EU took another major green policy step by defining what it means for business to be “green” in a new set of rules (pdf) announced yesterday by the European Commission. The regulation is expected to make it easier for investors to channel investments into sustainable activities and help the EU achieve its goal of climate-neutrality by 2050. The new rules come as part of the EU’s wider climate strategy, which saw lawmakers reaching a provisional agreement on the European Climate Law yesterday.
So, what’s a “green” business? The new classifications define an activity as climate friendly or green if it reduces or prevents the adverse impact of climate change. Nuclear power and natural gas could be included at a later date, the commission said. The classifications will be discussed with member states and European lawmakers before becoming law. CNBC has the story.
***CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- Rail privatization? Private rail companies will operate news trains to be added to the network.
- Egyptian workers return to Libya: As many as 2 mn Egyptians could return to work in Libya as part of a reconstruction plan that would see the two countries cooperate in several sectors over the next three years.
- Raya offloads stake in transport arm: The company signed an agreement to sell its 62.3% stake in shipping company Ostool.
CORRECTION + UPDATE- In a story in EnterpriseAM yesterday 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.
IN THE REST OF THE WORLD-
Italians: They’re just like us (but with fashion sense and, collectively, more money): How does Italy’s PM plan to overhaul his country’s economy? With a “radical” EUR 221 bn recovery package that emphasizes digitalization and infrastructure, including high-speed rail. The FT has the story.
Joe Biden isn’t going to get Eid greetings from Erdogan: The US administration looks set to recognize Ottoman Turkey’s act of genocide against the Armenians in the early 1900s as exactly what it was … an act of genocide. The WSJ has the full story.
We’re probably going to need annual booster shots of a covid vaccine, just like we have for the flu, according to scientists at Pfizer and BioNTech, who say both vaccine and natural immunity to the virus wane over time. CNBC has the rundown.
A big Apple contract manufacturer is the victim of a ransomware attack and the blackmailers are leaking specs they’ve stolen for upcoming products. MacRumors says that among the schematics that have so far appeared online are drawings that suggest an upcoming MacBook Pro will have an HDMI port, an SD card reader — and that MagSafe is finally coming back. Read about it here.
MORNING MUST READ FOR MARKETING TYPES-
The real reason so many in the field love data is because they’ve run out of good ideas, writes AdAge in its Fletcher on Marketing column. “Too many brands are betting the future of marketing is data, not ideas. That’s because brands and agencies, on the whole, have run out of ideas. Alienate or lay off enough creative talent to make the margins work and soon the well of creativity runs dry. Like Hollywood turning to sequels and remakes, the ad industry is recycling ideas for clients.” Read: The real reason marketers are anti-privacy.
**So, when do we eat? We’ll break our fast this evening at 6:26pm, and will have until 3:48am to finish up sohour.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir will address the House of Representatives next Tuesday to discuss his ministry’s plan to overhaul the country’s transportation system, according to the House agenda. El Wazir’s planned appearance in parliament comes after multiple calls from MPs to question the minister or otherwise hold him accountable for the recent streak of railway accidents, including the Qalyubia train crash, which left 23 dead and another 139 injured.
The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review rates a week from today, on Thursday, 29 April. We’ll have our customary poll of economists and analysts on the expected outcome from the central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee at the beginning of next week.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.
MARKET WATCH- New accounting guidelines by the Securities and Exchange Commission could make SPACs a lot less appealing to investors. New SPAC listings ground to a near halt in the US after the SEC said it could classify SPAC warrants as liabilities instead of equity instruments, meaning existing SPACs and transactions in the pipeline would have to go back and recalculate their financials and value the warrants for each quarter, rather than at the creation of the SPAC — a costly and time consuming process that could detract from the ease and speed promised by the blank cheque companies compared to traditional IPOs. Only 10 new SPAC issuances went forward so far this month, according to data gathered by CNBC, compared to 100 in March. The blank-check companies became the subject of increased regulatory scrutiny and skepticism, after they became the flavour of the day on Wall Street in recent months.