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Thursday, 6 May 2021

THIS MORNING: We’re getting a five-day Eid break + Biden wants covid vaccine patents suspended + it’s PMI day

Well, wonderful people, we’ve nearly made it through another workweek together. Just a few hours left.

THE BIG STORY here at home: We’re getting a five-day Eid break. Also, something about new restrictions. But did we mention the five-day break for Eid El-Fitr? The vacation begins on Wednesday, 12 May (likely to be the last day of Ramadan) and we’re due back at our desks on Monday, 17 May. We have the full rundown in this morning’s news well, below.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD on this final day of the workweek? There’s no contest: The Biden administration is backing plans to suspend patent protections for covid vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. The story leads front pages from the Financial Times and Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal and Reuters, by way of everything else in between. The hope is that doing so will let companies in countries including Egypt make vaccines at prices affordable to frontier emerging market countries — and increase supply in doing so.

FROM THE DUMPSTER FIRE that is our Twitter feed:

SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- Goldman Sachs recalling its US and UK bankers to the office in June, joining JPMorgan, where boss Jamie Dimon has made clear he really doesn’t care if you don’t like your commute, saying, “I’m about to cancel all my Zoom meetings. I’m done with it.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

It’s PMI day: The PMI reading for April will be out this morning at 6:15 am CLT and you’ll find it here. Non-oil private sector conditions worsened for the fourth consecutive month in March, with the gauge dropping to 48 from 49.3 the month before, but optimism reached new highs as the vaccine rollout continues to pick up steam.

A first round of reconciliation talks between Egypt and Turkey will wrap up later today: A Turkish delegation led by Ankara’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal arrived in Cairo late Tuesday for two days of talks aimed at finally ending years of tensions between the two regional powers.

** CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

**So, when do we eat? We sit down for iftar at 6:36pm this evening, and will have until 3:30am to wrap up our sohour.

MARKET WATCH-

Galaxy Digital is acquiring crypto wallets provider BitGo in a USD 1.2 bn transaction that marks the first acquisition worth north of USD 1 bn in the burgeoning crypto industry, reports the Wall Street Journal. An acquisition will give Galaxy, a BTC-focused financial services firm, over USD 40 bn in assets under custody and create a combined entity offering a wide variety of services from trading, investment banking, and prime lending to crypto mining operations.

Begad, it’s not a bubble #1: Ether has now rallied a whopping 1,500% in the past year, hitting a new peak of USD 3.45k earlier this week, according to Bloomberg. Crypto enthusiasts see a bright future for the second-largest cryptocurrency, which uses the Ethereum blockchain, with some penciling in a USD 5-10k price tag for the token by early next year and arguing that it is bound to follow in Bitcoin’s footsteps. Separately, Dogecoin — a cryptocurrency whose entire purpose when launched in 2013 was to ridicule the crypto frenzy at the time, has become the fourth-largest token after soaring yesterday to an all-time high that brought its cumulative market value to over USD 85 bn, Reuters reported. The cryptocurrency was worth nearly USD 70 bn just one day earlier — and about USD 7 bn in February.

Really, not a bubble: Hundreds of US banks will soon be permitting BTC exchange through their customers’ existing accounts, CNBC reports. The move by smaller institutions could spell the beginning of even broader adoption as larger institutions come under pressure to offer similar services, optimists say. For now, customers can expect to soon be getting things like BTC rewards debit cards and savings accounts that pay interest in BTC. It’s not the End Times, right?

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- You can now bid on a trip to space: Jeff Bezos-backed space exploration company Blue Origin is offering civilians the chance to fly beyond the earth’s atmosphere for the first time on 20 July, launching an online auction for a seat aboard its commercial space shuttle the New Shepard, the company said in a statement.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Inflation: April inflation figures will be out next week.

The nation will get a five-day holiday in observance of Eid El Fitr from Wednesday, 12 May to Sunday, 16 May.

Further afield, the IMF will conduct on 1 June a second review of targets set under the USD 5.2 bn standby loan approved in June 2020.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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