THIS MORNING: Welcome to EFG Hermes + hotel restaurants, beaches will still be open this Eid holiday
Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another abridged workweek. We now have three days of work and, for those who observe, four days of fasting ahead of us and then we can unplug before a madcap six-week dash to the start of summer. The nation is getting a five-day holiday in observance of Eid El Fitr from Wednesday, 12 May to Sunday, 16 May.
Before we get underway this morning:
WE’RE DELIGHTED to welcome EFG Hermes to Enterprise today as our newest sponsor. Longtime readers know we’ve counted the team at EFG among our very close friends for years — and it’s a relationship that, at our parent company, goes back 13 years now. It’s been incredible fun to watch the firm transform from the nation’s leading investment bank into an Arab-world champion and, today, into the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets. The story of how Group CEO Karim Awad and his team made that transformation happen was the most popular episode in season one of our podcast Making It, which tells the story of how business leaders are building great businesses here in Egypt.
The team at EFG will also help power Planet Finance in EnterpriseAM, our daily look at markets in Egypt and around the world — look for more insights from their top-ranked research team (pdf) there in the weeks and months to come.
Please join us in thanking the good folks at EFG Hermes and all of our other advertisers, including CIB, SODIC, Infinity, Somabay, Orascom Construction, CIRA, Act Financial and USAID. Their generous support has helped us build a sustainable business — and ensures that more than 150k of you are able to read Enterprise without charge each morning.
PSA #1- If you’re booked into a hotel, you can still go on vacation (or get married or whatever) this week. Cafes, restaurants and beaches at hotels are exempt from new covid restrictions that came into effect on Thursday. That means beaches are open and hotel restaurants and shops can stay open past the 9pm curfew imposed on other establishments, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El Enany said in a statement on Friday. Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly last week announced temporary measures to curb the recent rise in covid cases during the Eid holiday. All stores, malls, cafes and restaurants and public spaces outside of hotels will close early at 9pm daily through 21 May.
One thing that isn’t going to be going ahead is the 2021 Egypt Petroleum Show, which has been canceled due to covid-19. The organizers announced over the weekend that the event — already pushed from February this year to 7-9 June — will not go ahead. The gathering will next be held on 14-16 February 2022.
PSA #2- EGX-listed companies have another month to file their 1Q2021 financial statements after the Financial Regulatory Authority extended (pdf) the deadline to 15 June.
PSA #3- We love you, Mom. It’s Mother’s Day in Canada and the US of A. Happy Mother’s Day to Deedee and all of the other Moms of Enterprise.
** So, when do we eat? We sit down to eat at 6:38pm, and we’ll have until 3:27am to eat and hydrate.
THE BIG STORY INTERNATIONALLY #1- Israeli forces attacked Palestinian worshippers gathered in Al Aqsa Mosque for prayers over the weekend, leaving at least 269 Palestinian civilians injured over the course of two days. The clashes coincided with the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the attack on worshippers and said the eviction attempt violates international humanitarian law. The Associated Press and Reuters have the story
THE BIG STORY INTERNATIONALLY #2- A cyberattack on Friday forced the closure of a major US pipeline as a preemptive measure, before the pipeline’s operator found the attack involved ransomware. The Colonial Pipeline transports around 45% of the fuel consumed on the US’ East Coast. The story is front-page news on the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
Is a Chinese rocket gonna fall on our collective heads today? The odds of it landing on our heads at Enterprise World Headquarters in the People’s Democratic Republic of Maadi are low, but: A huge chunk of a Chinese rocket is going to plunge back to Earth some time this morning. You can check out this live stream keeping track of the rocket’s path.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK-
The House of Representatives has a few bills on its plate as it kicks off its pre-Eid sessions. Among the bills on the agenda: A newly proposed law would see government employees automatically dismissed if they flunk a drug test, and an amendment to the criminal code that would give authorities the right to confiscate electronic devices used to carry out cybercrimes.
** CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from Thursday’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- The private sector slump continues: Activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector contracted for the fifth month running in April as output, new orders and employment continued to deteriorate, according to PMI figures.
- It was only a matter of time: The global shortage of semiconductors is beginning to hurt Egypt’s auto sector as companies struggle to obtain vital electrical components.
- The latest from Planet VC: Algebra Ventures wants to raise USD 50 mn in 3Q2021 for the first close of its recently-announced USD 90 mn tech fund.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The short week shouldn’t get in the way of Capmas and the CBE releasing inflation figures for April this week. Expect last month’s numbers to land tomorrow.
Africa-based startups have until 26 May to sign up for the French government-sponsored AFD Digital Challenge, an annual startup competition (pdf) by the French Development Agency (AFD). This year, the competition involves startups finding solutions to curb the carbon impact of economic activities or promote sustainable economic activity and the use of natural resources. The 10 startups chosen will receive an “acceleration pack,” a package of technical and financial support worth EUR 20k.
The IMF will conduct on 1 June a second review of targets set under Egypt’s USD 5.2 bn standby loan. The loan was 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.