Thursday, 17 June 2021

TONIGHT: Ever Given resolution in sight? + Global shares slide after Fed announcement. ALSO: Meditate with an interactive Netflix special

Well, friends, we’ve made it through another workweek together. We hope your weekend is full of plans to do … absolutely nothing. Or perhaps to decamp to Sahel.

In the meantime: It’s another brisk afternoon of news whether your interests run to IPOs or our green energy future. We have news that state-owned E-Finance just took a big step toward its long-awaited IPO on the Egyptian Exchange, while our friends at Infinity have confirmed they’re building out some 6k charging points at 3k charging stations nationwide over the next three years. To say we’re looking forward to ditching our gas guzzler for an EV would be an understatement…

THE BIG STORY TODAY, however, remains the central bank’s rate decision, which is due later this afternoon. Bloomberg’s poll out today agrees with ours from Sunday: Analysts see rates being left on hold (and maybe a little bit of good news around the corner). We have more in the news well, below.

HAPPENING NOW- The EGX has given 17 listed companies a 15-day extension of the deadline to file their 1Q2021 earnings, which passed on 15 June after having been previously extended by the Financial Regulatory Authority from 15 May (pdf), the exchange said in a bulletin. The companies — which include Orascom Investment Holding, clothing manufacturer Dice, Qalaa Holding, and oilfield services provider Maridive, now have until the start of the third quarter of the year on 1 July to report their quarterly financials.

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

  • AfDB will give us another EUR 95 mn to develop Egypt’s power infrastructure and increase energy efficiency.
  • The US will boost funding to Egypt’s solar energy projects, said US climate envoy John Kerry.
  • GASC is allowing wheat suppliers to submit bids for shipping offers under a new amendment to the tender book for international wheat purchases.

The Ever Given’s insurer UK P&I Club is hopeful about a positive resolution in the near future on the Suez Canal Authority’s (SCA) claims against the ship, according to a UK P&I Club statement. The UK Club “is currently engaged in serious and constructive negotiations with the SCA regarding the authority’s claim arising from the grounding of the Ever Given,” read the statement, without providing details on where things stand. Earlier this month, the UK Club had said it welcomed the SCA’s announcement that it would reassess the damage claims.

Separately, limitation proceedings by the Ever Given’s owner Shoei Kisen Kaisha had begun in the High Court of London, the UK Club statement says. These would determine who is eligible for damage claims and payouts from a USD 115 mn limitation fund set up by Shoei Kisen. The insurer notes that these proceedings do not involve the SCA.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD at the end of our workweek here in Cairo: It’s a tale of two “lived experiences.”

In the global business press: Shares worldwide are slipping from record highs they hit earlier this week and the USD is on the rise after the US Federal Reserve signaled it will be tightening monetary policy ahead faster than expected. The Fed said yesterday that it thinks it will hike rates in 2023 rather than in 2024, setting up a third day of modest declines in the FTSE All-World index of developed and emerging market stocks. The story leads the front pages of the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and CNBC.

Investors are girding for more volatility in the weeks and months to come, Reuters adds in an analysis piece.

In the mainstream press, it’s all about Joe Biden’s sitdown yesterday with Vladimir Putin. The Washington Post writes that Biden’s “strategy of pessimism” has “eked out progress with Putin,” while the New York Times says the headway the US president has made is thanks to his “stubborn optimism.” One or the other, right? Got time for only one piece? Go check out the Economist’s America and Russia return to traditional great-power diplomacy.

OTHER STORIES that should be on your radar:

  • Saudi Arabia may be looking to shake things up a bit in global equity markets. The kingdom is combining “two state-run pension and unemployment insurance funds into an entity with almost USD 29 bn of local and foreign stocks” under management, Bloomberg writes.
  • Summer hasn’t even begun, and climate change is already battering Western states in the US of A, writes the New York Times.
  • Tennis great Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon and the Olympics, where he won a gold medal in singles back in 2008, citing a need to “listen to his body” as he looks to extend his storied career.


Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein is due in Egypt from 20-21 June in his first ever visit to Cairo, according to a press release. The minister will call on President Abdel Fattah El Sisi before scheduled meetings with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry and Suez Canal Economic Zone Chairman Yehia Zaki. Neither side has commented on the topics up for discussion.

Entrepreneurs in the tourism sector have until Sunday to apply for the six-month Tourism Recovery Program launched by Enpact and the TUI Care Foundation and supported by GIZ, according to a press release (pdf). Some 100 startups will be eligible for direct support to the tune of EUR 9k each. The program also aims to create an international network of tourism business to expand cooperation between Egypt, Germany, and other European countries. You can apply here.

The British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) is organizing a virtual education week from 5-6 July with three seminars planned. The first, taking place at 10am on 5 July, will discuss skills-based learning while the future of investment in education will be the topic on the table at 12:30pm the same day. On 6 July, a talk on the digitalization of education in Egypt will be held at 12pm.


Chinese internet giant Baidu is aiming to create a robo taxi fleet in China, teaming up with BAIC Group to create the Apollo Moon electric cars and launch the taxi service, according to CNBC. Some 1k vehicles will be manufactured by 2023 for around USD 74k each, less than half of the average price tag of autonomous cars. Baidu’s foray into the transportation market is part of a recent trend of tech firms looking to diversify into automotives, such as the likes of Xiaomi, TikTok owner ByteDance, and even Apple who is setting out to launch the first Apple Car by 2024.


Just what we needed after a tough workweek: Meditation app Headspace has released an interactive special on Netflix titled Unwind Your Mind. After being greeted by a smiling sun, watchers are given a series of questions to answer. What are your goals? Do you want to meditate? Are you feeling tense? Overwhelmed? Do you need help getting to sleep? How much time do you have? Based on your answers, you’ll be redirected to a custom mindfulness exercise. The narrators Puddicombe or Evelyn Lewis Prieto may just help get you on the right path to relaxation with their soothing voices. The beauty in Unwind Your Mind is that you can go back to it time and time again and receive a completely different meditation experience.

Al Ahly has made it to the CAF Champions League semi-finals, playing against ES Tunis on Saturday at 6pm.

This weekend’s Euro 2020 matches: Today’s matches kicked off with Ukraine and North Macedonia in Group C, who are already at it as we dispatch. Things aren’t looking bright for Denmark, which will face fierce Belgium at 6pm in Group B while still missing their star player, Christian Eriksen. Finally, the Netherlands and Austria are competing at 9pm in Group C, with both teams equally equipped to snag a win.

On Friday, Sweden and Slovakia will play at 3pm in Group E, Croatia and Czech Republic at 6pm in Group D, and England will take on Scotland at 9pm in Group D.

Finally, Saturday’s matches will see Hungary go up against France at 3pm in Group F, Portugal kick off against Germany at 6pm in Group F, and Spain take on Poland at 9pm in Group E.

Last night’s fixtures: First things first, Russia managed to beat Finland 1-0 yesterday. In Group A matches, Wales downed Turkey 2-0, but Italy was the star of the night, snagging a 3-0 victory against Switzerland.

Who’s leading the groups so far?

  • Group A: Italy has taken an early lead with six points to its name, followed by Wales with four.
  • Group B: It’s a three-way tie between Russia, Finland, and Belgium, with each team snagging three points.
  • Group C: Austria and the Netherlands are tied with three points each.
  • Group D: The Czech Republic and England are head-to-head with three points each.
  • Group E: Slovakia is currently at the top with three points, being the only team to achieve a victory in the group since matches began.
  • Group F: It’s a two-way tie in the group of death, with Portugal and France each boasting three points.

CR7 is the goat of health PSAs: In other Euro 2020 news, Cristiano Ronaldo’s snub of Coca-Cola has cost the beverage company USD 4 bn as investors began to sell off shares after Ronaldo moved two Coca-Cola bottles out of frame during a press conference and pulled out a water bottle instead with a passionate cry of “Agua!” according to The Guardian. The Portugese footballer is a known health fanatic and he made his feelings toward the soft drink clear, scoffing as he pushed them away. Coca-Cola is one of the official sponsors of Euro 2020 and its market value fell from USD 242 bn to USD 238 bn after the presser. Liquid sugar isn’t good for you, boys and girls.


Bao buns have made their way to Cairo: Heliopolis’s Baogr has finally introduced the Asian street staple to the Egyptian palate. While their menu might look like a cuisine having an identity crisis, each item is a new delicious experience in the making. Foodies generally agree that bao buns came out of China’s Fujian province and are steamed to create a light, fluffy, and doughy pocket for whatever filling you decide on. You could order a classic bao (which resembles a baby taco) with shrimp, beef steak, duck, or the vegan option of mushrooms as well as a “baogr” which is basically a burger but with the addition of the special buns. We recommend the shrimp blast classic bao or the chick lick baogr and don’t forget to finish it off with a sweet bao with ice cream or banana and chocolate.


Art d'Égypte’s art display by the sea, EX, is kicking off tomorrow in Almaza Bay in North Coast. The exhibit will run until 22 August and feature dozens of local artists.

You’ve got today and tomorrow to catch the International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts. Check out the full schedule and locations for each show here.


If you feel a bit directionless in your career, this book is for you: Ashley Stahl’s You Turn focuses on ditching the Monday (or Sunday) blues and ending the endless autopilot mode you might feel like you’re in when you’re in a job that doesn’t challenge you. She changes up the definition of what a ‘perfect job’ looks like, arguing that it isn’t just one you’re passionate about, but also one that honors who you are. The career coach divulges a 11-step guide for people in the workforce to find self-discovery and success by looking at skills and interests while also mitigating your financial limitations. If you think it’s time to pivot into a different field and you’re not sure if you’re making the right decision, You Turn will help provide some clarity.

???? TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The mercury will hit 37°C in Cairo tomorrow before reaching 38°C on Saturday and Sunday, our favorite weather app forecasts. Nighttime weather will be in the range of 20-22°C.

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