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Tuesday, 1 June 2021

THIS EVENING- Egypt’s finance ministry isn’t tapping debt markets before the end of this month — and global markets are starting to get edgy about inflation

Good afternoon, friends, and welcome to the “setting the record straight” issue. We have lots and lots of news this afternoon, so let’s jump straight in.

HERE AT HOME: The Finance Ministry has denied a report that it has a eurobond issuance in the pipeline for execution this month. In a similar vein, reports of Juhayna’s imminent delisting are greatly exaggerated (if you’ll allow us to borrow from Mr. Twain). JUFO has been moved to the D-list of companies that are in violation of listing requirements, but a company official says it hopes to remedy the situation before the end of June. We have chapter and verse on both stories in this afternoon’s Speed Round, below.

HAPPENING NOW- President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is inviting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of other Palestinian “factions” (read: Hamas) to Cairo for unity talks, Youm7 reported just before we hit “send” on this aftenroon’s issue.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- “The Market” is starting to get really edgy about inflation after the rate hit 2% in May, the first time since 2018 that inflation has topped the European Central Bank’s target, the Financial Times reports. Across the pond, that comes as “some investors are preparing for wild swings in financial markets, worried that inflation, and the Federal Reserve’s pledge to let it rise, will lead to a more volatile world, the Wall Street Journal adds. It all has Bloomberg asking whether policymakers are really ready to manage the economy boom they’ve created through the rapid doling out of stimulus funds.

ALSO HAPPENING NOW- OPEC+, a cartel of OPEC and other “oil producing partners” are meeting today to set output targets. They’re widely expected to “reiterate their decision to gradually increase output,” CNBC reports.

KEEP YOUR EYE ON- A new pandemic? It’s admittedly really (really) early to talk about another pandemic, but: A Chinese man has been confirmed as the first case of human infection with the new H10N3 strain of bird flu after being diagnosed last Friday, Reuters reports, citing a statement by China's National Health Commission. The statement did not detail how the 41-year-old man contracted the virus, but said that H10N3 was a mild virus strain and the risk of it spreading on a large scale was very low. The last recorded cases of humans contracting bird flu were in 2016 and 2017 when the H7N9 strain killed around 300 people.

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

  • You can go for coffee at 9:01pm tonight if you want with the easing of “lockdown” measures. Daily cases have fallen below 1k for the first time since late April, leading the Madbouly government to start talking about the peak of the third wave having passed.
  • PHD has new CEOs: Real estate developer Palm Hills has appointed former CI Capital co-CEOs Hazem Badran and Tarek Tantawy as its new co-CEOs.
  • Can cement be “green?” Suez Cement isn’t alone in thinking so.

MARKET NEWS- EFG Hermes topped the EGX’s brokerage rankings in May with a market share of 23%, according to the monthly league table (pdf). EFG, which had traditionally dominated the rankings in past years, returned to the top spot in April after a spell in which brokerages catering to retail investors gobbled up market share. Rounding out the top five: CI Capital (6.1%) Mubasher (5%) Beltone (4.8%) and Pharos (4.7%).


The FIG World Challenge Cup in Artistic Gymnastics for men and women will kick off in Egypt on Thursday and run until Sunday.


The European Union will unveil Wednesday plans for the rollout of an EU-wide digital wallet that will allow citizens to access private and public services online, according to the Financial Times. Users of the digital wallet will be able to access governmental websites, pay utility bills, and store official documents such as their driver’s license, in a bid by the EU to increase digital literacy in the wake of covid-19. The digital wallet is expected to be fully operational in around a year, though usage will not be mandatory.

High-end properties in Dubai priced at or above USD 1 mn might lose 2% of their value this year, making Dubai one of only two locations on a Knight Frank prime cities list to experience declining property values in 2021. Overall home prices in Dubai are also expected to see a 2-3% decline next year, continuing a trend that began with a 2008 supply-demand imbalance that “over the next few years, looks set to persist,” Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East Research at Knight Frank, told Bloomberg.


Netflix is out with a biopic on football star Roberto Baggio, documenting the Italian footballer’s rise to fame and the challenges throughout his career. Baggio started off at Vicenza and Fiorentina before a controversial move to Juventus for GBP 8 mn, which was a record transfer fee at the time. Baggio played for Italy in 56 matches and holds the record for most goals scored in World Cup Tournaments for Italy, alongside Paolo Rossi and Christian Vieri. You can check out Baggio: The Divine Ponytail or read up on the footballers story on RadioX.


Seven Fortunes is the most recent coffee place making a bang in Egypt. Their Spanish lattes and cold brews come in an aesthetically pleasing glass container that prove that branding can sometimes add to taste — not that the coffee needs any help in terms of flavor. Seven Fortunes also has all the coffee essentials — from beans to coffee makers — for those of you wishing to take home a dose of liquid happiness. We also love their snacks, especially their thanksgiving turkey sandwich. You can find them at Waterway, The Drive, and Lakeview in New Cairo, Palm Hills, Arkan, and Walk of Cairo in Sheikh Zayed, as well as at Hacienda White, Seashell, and Marassi in the North Coast.


Creating a trustworthy brand could make or break a business, especially in a world where cynicism tends to undermine new ventures. In Trustworthy, author Margot Bloomstein proposes that bridging the trust gap has to do with granting clients and audiences more control over the brand by utilizing content and design strategies. Looking at diverse organizations such as Airbnb, Zoom, the FBI, TED, and The New York Times, Bloomstein examines how they managed to build trust through imagery, editorial style, storytelling, and retail design. The book is a great read for copywriters, designers, creative directors, and CMOs, or anyone else who would like to harness the power of marketing.

???? TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect daytime highs of 35°C and nighttime lows of 19°C tomorrow, our favorite weather app tells us.

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