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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Tonight: Another railway accident in Alex + Get Pfizered in Abu Dhabi. ALSO: Rick and Morty is back.

Good afternoon, wonderful people. We have more covid news than you can shake a stick at, including word that Saudi Arabia has declared us a “high risk” country, the possibility of being Pfizered in Abu Dhabi as a tourist, and Capital Economics’ declaration that our “slow” vaccine rollout could dent our ongoing tourism recovery.

Oh, and you’re going to pay more for electricity starting next month. We have more on all of this below.

HAPPENING NOW- Yet another railway accident took place this morning, injuring at least 40 people after two trains collided in Alexandria, according to statements from the Railway Authority and the Health Ministry. The conductor and other staff members now face investigation. The accident came just hours after a train hit a vehicle in Helwan overnight, killing at least two people and injuring six others.

Shoukry, Aboul Gheit leave Cairo for Berlin 2 Conference: Foreign Ministry Sameh Shoukry and Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit are heading to Germany today ahead of tomorrow’s Berlin Conference on Libya, the second round of the UN-sponsored talks, according to Al Shorouk. This will be the first time that Libya’s transitional government will participate in the peace talks, which will focus on the country’s national elections planned for the end of 2021, reports Deutsche Welle.

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

  • Tawasol-LimeVest consortium launches Alex Medical takeover bid: The consortium has submitted a bid that values the company at more than EGP 740 mn and has submitted a request to go ahead with a mandatory tender offer to acquire a 74.08% stake in the company at EGP 52 per share.
  • Private-sector companies will be able to bid for some of Egyptian Iron and Steel’s land bank: The government is continuing the process of liquidating the state-owned company, with the New Urban Communities Authority put in charge of preparing the sale of some of the company’s 6 mn sqm of land.
  • The US is giving us more vaccines: Egypt will be getting a slice of a second batch of 14 mn vaccines the US has allocated to 30 priority countries, following an initial batch of 6 mn doses announced last month to be divided between Egypt and 13 other countries.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- It’s taxes and Big Tech as far as the eye can see. The Financial Times, CNBC and and Wall Street Journal are all leading with the news that the European Union has opened an antitrust investigation into Google’s advertising business. Meanwhile, Reuters notes that US companies would still pay lower taxes than their rivals under the Biden administration’s proposed corporate tax hike. The FT is digging deeper into opposition from tax havens to Biden’s other tax proposal — a global minimum corporate tax.

Bermuda’s resistance will sound familiar to Egyptian ears: It’s an issue of sovereignty, they say.

Not good for anybody other than The Platforms: News that Google faces an antitrust probe in the EU comes as a top court in Europe has ruled that Youtube and other online platforms cannot be held liable for uploads that violate copyright restrictions, Reuters reports.

MEANWHILE- A top Fed official is (sort of) trying to spread oil on troubled waters, with the head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reassuring investors late yesterday that “the US economy was not yet ready for the central bank to start pulling back its hefty monetary support, even though the outlook has become rosier,” the FT reports, noting that markets are “highly sensitive” to Fed comments. Equities in Asia rallied this morning on the news, and shares in Europe are now following suit. Futures suggest Wall Street will shortly do the same. The central bank suggested last week that it could hike rates twice in 2023, earlier than previously forecast.

YOUR STATUTORILY REQUIRED COVID STORY- Saudi Arabia’s Public Health Authority has classified Egypt as a “very high risk” travel destination due to covid-19, Gulf News reports this morning, citing travel advisory notices. Residents of Saudi Arabia are advised against travelling to Egypt and 10 other Arab countries in the same classification. EgyptAir had earlier asked vaccinated Egyptian and other non-Saudi travelers to the kingdom to register their immunization data through an online portal (click here), according to a statement.

Many of us can now get Pfizered in Abu Dhabi if we head over for a bit of shopping. You could also take the Sinopharm jab in the emirate, if you prefer. “The vaccines are only available for holders of a visa issued by Abu Dhabi or holders of passports eligible for visa on arrival,” Bloomberg reports.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Want to join the EGX’s board of directors? You can throw your hat into the ring starting 9 am tomorrow.

The CIB PSA World Tour Finals 2020-2021 kicked off today at Mall of Arabia and will run until 27 June. Tickets are currently on sale for the final two days on TicketsMarche.

The Clean Energy Business Council (CEBC) MENA are holding a webinar titled Energy Efficiency in the MENA region: Status and Outlook on 6 July at 3:30pm. The session will focus on energy efficiency developments and provide recommendations for businesses and policymakers. Later on next month, CEBC will also host the webinar Women Entrepreneurs in Clean Energy on 21 July at 3pm in cooperation with the initiative, Women in Clean Energy MENA and WiRE.

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.

🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-

Coke and Pepsi would so very much like you to know that they are not polluting the planet with all of their plastic, Fortune magazine suggests in Coke and Pepsi eye new sustainability goals after years of failed promises. Don’t get us started on the fact that the story doesn’t mention the words “sugar” or “diabetes” even once.

Cybercriminals are flocking to Monero — a new crypto with no visible transaction trail, according to the Financial Times. The “privacy coin” obscures the sender and receiver as well as the amount exchanged, leading infamous ransomware groups to opt for Monero as their payment method of choice. Between 10 and 20% of ransoms are currently paid in Monero, experts estimate, and that number is likely to rise to 50% by the end of the year. However, Monero’s market capitalisation currently stands at around USD 5 bn, only a fraction of BTC’s USD 727 bn, though it has amassed an increasing number of dedicated followers — it has the third-largest developer community of any cryptocurrency, following BTC and ethereum.

Over 70k people have signed a petition titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth— referring to the Amazon founder’s upcoming trip to space on 20 July aboard Blue Origin’s first mission. Another similar petition has garnered over 20k signatures and compares Bezos to Superman arch nemesis Lex Luther, calling him “an evil overlord hellbent on global domination.” Ouch.

📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-

The resident (almost) 14-year-old approves: The first episode of season 5 of Rick and Morty is out: We would have added a dozen exclamation marks if they didn’t cause us to slide into a bad folder in your email client. In the premiere episode, Rick's nemesis Mr. Nimbus is back and the two (unsuccessfully) try to keep things civil. Meanwhile, Morty goes on a date with Jessica, but Rick has other plans for him that force Morty to jump from one dimension to another. You can watch the first episode on Netflix or on YouTube if you’re in the US.

New episodes will be released every Monday on Netflix, with the season having a total of 10 episodes for us to anticipate.

FOR LATER VIEWING- Steven Spielberg has been tapped by Netflix to create several movies for the platform over the course of the next few years, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the slim chance you don’t know who Speilberg is, think E.T., Saving Private Ryan, and Jaws. The agreement with the filmmaker comes as Netflix’s throne is being threatened by a number of fast growing competitors such as Amazon Prime and Disney+.

It’s Group D-Day: All the Group D teams are hitting the field tonight at 9pm, with Croatia playing against Scotland and Czech Republic taking on England.

Last night’s fixtures: It was a big night for the Euro yesterday. Austria beat Ukraine 1-0 and the Netherlands downed North Macedonia 3-0. Meanwhile, Denmark finally came out on top after its rocky start, sending Russia off 4-1. Finally, Belgium continued its streak, beating Finland 2-0.

In local football, El Zamalek and Misr Lel Makkasa are competing in the Egypt Cup with a match at 7pm.

🍜 EAT THIS TONIGHT-

Authentic Japanese cuisine, anyone? We’re talking sushi, ramen, and all the appetizers your heart can desire. Makino (located in Hilton Zamalek) has a cozy and romantic atmosphere and offers the best Japanese fare we’ve had in Cairo. The menu is diverse and you’ll definitely find a few things that you’ve never heard of before, but the thing we insist you try is their ramen. Few places in Egypt boast true ramen, but Makino is one of them and you get the option of choosing between miso- or salt-based soups with chicken or beef. We also love their gyoza and shrimp tempura appetizers as well as their heaping plate of fried rice. Also on your must-try list: unaju, their signature grilled eel dish on rice. The eel is boned and grilled with dark soy sauce, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), and sugar and served with sansho pepper as condiment. Also great, even though it’s originally Chinese, is their halal version of mapo tofu.

Bonus: Your eats are prepared under the supervision of Japanese head chefs.

🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-

Egyptian oudist Micheal Onsi will perform at ElSawy Culturewheel tonight at 7pm.

The Bubblegum Kollectiv is hitting the stage at Agouza’s Cairo Jazz Club tomorrow to play ‘retro pop songs’.

💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-

Achieve your version of uncommon success: The creator of the popular podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire, John Lee Dumas, has interviewed thousands of business leaders from different backgrounds for the show. He eventually came to the conclusion that while each entrepreneur has an uncommon story of success, they take a similar approach. From there was born the idea for his first book The Common Path to Uncommon Success, which outlines a 17-step road map the entrepreneurs he spoke to all tended to follow. The steps are straightforward and simple and Dumas breaks them down even further to ensure you get to every checkpoint confidently, having overcome the challenges that are likely to face any budding entrepreneur.


☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Summer is upon us: Look for a high tomorrow of 39°C, with the mercury falling to 23°C at night, according to our favorite weather app. That sets up a string of daytime highs in the 39-43°C range over the coming 10 days.

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