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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

China escalates crypto crackdown

China is further escalating its clampdown on crypto, ordering all of the country’s major financial bodies to cut off all transactions linked to BTC and other digital currencies, according to a statement by the People's Bank of China yesterday. The Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Postal Savings Bank of China and Alibaba’s online payment service Alipay are among the companies ordered to cut payment channels of clients involved in crypto trading, which China sees to have “disrupted the normal order of the economy and financial [system].”

The news sent Bitcoin prices sliding by 10% to as low as USD 31.6k this morning, putting the currency on course for its biggest daily drop since the crash last month. China has been ramping up its regulation of cryptocurrencies, recently banning financial institutions and payment companies from the crypto business and shuttering bitcoin mines.

Big banks could soon be throwing money at shareholders: The results of an annual stress test conducted by the US Fed are due out on Thursday, and if all goes well, 23 large banks including JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs are expected to release a flood of liquidity into stock dividends and buybacks, reports the Financial Times. The Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, which the Fed runs to keep the banking system safe from so-called “doomsday scenarios,” will determine how much of a buffer banks need to hold above regulatory requirements.

Why should you care? The Fed began at the start of the year easing restrictions imposed last year at the start of the pandemic that had capped shareholder payouts and banned buybacks, in measures that were mirrored among regulators around the world, including our very own Central Bank of Egypt.

GLOBAL IPO WATCH- India-based self-drive car rental company Zoomcar is considering a US listing sometime in the next 12 months, CEO and co-founder Greg Moran told Bloomberg. The company, which was backed by a number of early-stage investors including star VC fund Sequoia Capital after it was set up in 2013, is looking to expand to the Middle East this quarter and is eyeing Egypt and Saudi Arabia as potential markets due to their low levels of vehicle ownership, but large upwardly mobile populations.




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The EGX30 rose 2.7% at today’s close on turnover of EGP 1.78 bn (29% above the 90-day average). Regional investors were net buyers. The index is down 7.2% YTD.

In the green: Ezz Steel (+5.8%), ElSewedy Electric (+5.6%) and GB Auto (+4.6%).

In the red: Orascom Investment Holding (-1.6%), Credit Agricole (-1.5%) and Export Development Bank Egypt (-1.3%).

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