THIS MORNING: A very, very bad day for Big Oil + things are heating up between the US and China
Good morning, friends, and welcome to a pleasantly quiet Thursday. We’re just a few hours away from the warm embrace of the weekend. In the meantime:
THE BIG STORY AT HOME- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Cairo yesterday has everyone talking about a possible shift in Egypt and the US’ diplomatic relationship. We have chapter and verse in the news well, below.
TWO STORIES ABROAD are competing for your attention this morning:
#1- It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day for Big Oil, which is taking it on the chin for its role in climate change after Shell was found in a Dutch court to be partially responsible for global warming on the same day that Exxon can now look forward to a future with two activist investors on its board of directors. “The events of today show definitively that many leaders in the oil-and-gas industry have a tin ear and do not understand that society’s views and the [legislative] and political environment in which they operate are changing radically,” said Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy professor Amy Myers Jaffe, who has advised energy companies. Lots more in the WSJ and Reuters.
#2- Things look to be heating up between the US and China. Word broke just before dispatch time that the top trade negotiators for Beijing and Washington have had their first phone conversation since Joe Biden took over the White House. The news came just after the US’ National Security Council’s top official for Asia “signalled that the era of engagement with China has come to an end. US policy toward China will now operate under a ‘new set of strategic parameters’ and ‘the dominant paradigm is going to be competition.’” Adding fuel to the fire: Biden has ordered an intelligence review of the Wuhan lab leak theory on the origins of covid-19. Keeping the dialogue going will fall to a new US ambassador to Beijing as Biden prepares to announce he’s tapping a retired career diplomat, Nicholas Burns, to lead the embassy there.
HAPPENING TODAY- Budget week continues at the house: Parliament’s Healthcare Committee is due to discuss the budgets for the General Authority for Healthcare; the Universal Healthcare Ins. Authority; the Health Ins. Organization; and the General Authority for Healthcare, Accreditation, and Regulation, according to parliament’s schedule.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which turned 125 years old yesterday. Articles, books and podcasts (“it doesn’t matter”) have assailed the Dow for its multiple shortcomings, but the gauge continues to have a hold on the imaginations of investors and journalists alike. The WSJ has a birthday paean to the index owned by its parent company.
***CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- Macro Group has tapped EFG Hermes and RenCap as advisors on its planned IPO. CI Capital and Renaissance Capital had been splitting duties as lead coordinators and bookrunners when the transaction was first announced. The company is now looking to the fall IPO window.
- Iron and Steel for Mines and Quarries will list on the EGX today: Egyptian Iron and Steel’s mining spinoff will list around 977 mn shares at EGP 0.20 apiece, giving it a market cap of EGP 195.4 mn.
- Russia and Egypt are still discussing the 2015 Metrojet crash: Investigative teams have met to discuss and “exchange information” on the incident, which saw Moscow impose a ban on direct flights between Russia and Egypt’s Red Sea destinations.
Editor’s Note: We draw inspiration from many publications at Enterprise, including the Financial Times, the New York Times, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Information, Skift and many others — the list of institutions providing good business journalism globally is astoundingly long for a “dead” industry. We have always included the Economist on the list of publications we admire, and that’s in part why we have always written with a “house voice” — and done our best to have a point of view. By necessity, both things mean we have no bylines.
Why is Patrick blathering on about our inspiration and bylines? Because we are naming names this morning as we say goodbye to Salma El-Saeed, one of our two amazing managing editors, who is taking a very well-earned summer vacation before she decamps for New York, where she will be enrolling this fall at New York University’s graduate school of education. Salma came to us as our “resident grammar Nazi” and has become an editorial leader whose skill, story judgment and decency have enriched us for years. All of us — myself, Hadia, Hisham, Ahmed, Matt, Yasmine and everyone on the team, whether on the English or the Arabic editions — will miss her deeply. We love you, Salma. Be good, have fun, and write us every now and then.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry is due to hold meetings in Athens next month with counterparts from Greece, Cyprus, and France, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said in a statement picked up by Cyprus Mail. The EU could be looking to participate in the East Mediterranean Gas Forum and will send in a request soon, Christodoulides suggested.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.