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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

TONIGHT: Bye bye Ever Given? + Nilex small-cap index Tamayoz is up. ALSO: MENA gets its first BTC Fund.

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to another brisk newsday.

THE BIG STORY TODAY- The Madbouly government has postponed the launch of one-stop customs portal Nafeza until October. Importers, shippers and other companies had previously faced a 1 July deadline to become compliant.

HAPPENING NOW- The Suez Canal Authority and the owners of the container ship Ever Given may have reached a settlement agreement, according to an unconfirmed report in the domestic press. We have more in this afternoon’s Speed Round, below.

ALSO- The government may hire foreign firms to manage the national rail system if “laziness and negligence” continue, Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir said in a statement this afternoon, following two consecutive train crashes over as many days reignited debate on the state of Egypt’s ailing rail network. Bloomberg also has the story.

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

  • Sudan has called on the UN Security Council to hold an urgent session to discuss the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and push for a quick resolution before Ethiopia resumes unilaterally filling the dam next month.
  • We’re really going to need those locally produced covid jabs: Egypt and six other countries have used 80% of the shots sent by Covax.
  • Don’t expect fuel prices to rise next month: The former oil minister says it’s unlikely the government’s pricing committee will make us all pay more at the pumps.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD? There are two of them, actually:

  • From Europe to the US of A, developed economies are worrying about the spectre of rising inflation. Fed boss Jay Powell is taking great pains to reassure us all that 1970s / early 1980s-style inflation in the 10% bracket is unlikely.
  • Russia literally fired warning shots at a British navy destroyer that Moscow claimed encroached on its waters in the Black Sea. The story leads the front pages of Reuters and Bloomberg.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Canada’s 3iQ Corp today listed its BTC Fund on Nasdaq Dubai, saying it is the MENA’s first digital asset-based fund, according to a press release. The listing of the fund from Canada’s largest digital asset manager will offer investors indirect exposure to the cryptocurrency. The fund was also listed in Toronto last year and the dual-listing allows investors to transfer their units from the Toronto Stock Exchange to Nasdaq Dubai and vice versa. The fund invests in long-term BTC holdings as what it claims are a safer alternative to investing in crypto, according to its prospectus.

The news comes as BTC continued to rebound this morning from its year-to-date low, climbing above USD 34k earlier today. Ether is also gaining steam this afternoon.

YOUR STATUTORILY REQUIRED COVID STORY- UK eyes eased travel restrictions for double-jabbed Britons this summer: The UK government is considering plans to allow UK travellers fully vaccinated against covid-19 to travel to over 150 of the amber list countries and skip quarantine on arrival back home, Bloomberg reports. The change isn’t likely to come into effect until August.

Is this good news for Egypt? Not yet. Egypt is among those listed on the “red list” and visitors here would still need to quarantine on the way home as the proposal currently stands.


It’s day two of the CIB PSA World Tour Squash Finals 2020-2021 at Mall of Arabia. Yesterday’s games saw top seed Nour El Sherbini lose to France’s Camille Serme, while world no.2 Nouran Gohar overcame fellow Egyptian Salma Hany. In the men’s, the ElShorbagy brothers, Marwan and Mohamed, both came out on top, beating world no.1 Ali Farag and World Junior Champion Mostafa Asal.

Up today: In the men’s draw, world no.1 Ali Farag plays fifth-seed Mohamed El Shorbagy and last year’s victor Marwan El Shorbagy faces Mostafa Asal. In the women’s, world no.1 Nour El Sherbini will play Salma Hany while Nouran Gohar plays France’s Camille Serme. The tournament runs 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.


Microsoft joined the USD 2 tn market cap club during trading yesterday thanks to pandemic-fuelled demand on computers, gaming systems and cloud computing platforms, according to CNN Business. Microsoft's stock has gained 64% since March 2020. Microsoft joins a club that includes Apple and Saudi Aramco — and we could see Amazon and Alphabet’s Google follow soon: each has a market cap of about USD 1.7 tn right now.

Speaking of Big Tech: Firms are scrambling to sign green energy agreements with global providers, writes the Wall Street Journal. As ESG considerations factor more into business and investment decisions, tech firms are trying to reduce emissions coming from their massive energy use in power-hungry data centers and the like. Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are four of the top six corporate buyers of publicly disclosed renewable-energy- purchase agreements, accounting for 30% of the global total. The dilemma that currently stands is whether these new agreements replace existing polluting energy production or just increase the capacity of overall power generation.


Fatherhood is the latest Netflix Original film and stars comedian Kevin Hart in the lead role. When his wife dies shortly after child birth, Hart’s character must come to terms with the fact that he is now a single father … a role he was less than prepared for. Raising a daughter on his own is no easy feat and Hart has always been great at being aggravated. Like many single-parent films before it, you can expect the typical storylines of bodily fluids suddenly flying around, losing the kid, sleepless nights, custody battles, etc. What makes Fatherhood a bit more interesting is the fact that it’s based on a true story, encompassing the tale of Matthew Logelin who had first presented his experience as a single father on his blog, writes Time Magazine.

Group E and Group F are up tonight in Euro 2020: Group E matches kick off at 6pm, with group leader Sweden playing against Poland, currently in the group’s last place. Meanwhile, Slovakia will go up against Spain, with both teams relatively neck-in-neck. At 9pm, the group of death will be hitting the field and see France go up against Portugal and Germany play Hungary. France is currently leading the group with four points, while Germany and Portugal both have three and Hungary has one.

Last night’s fixtures: Croatia took the lead against Scotland with a 3-1 victory and England beat the Czech Republic 1-0.


Rock bands Retrograde and The Cadillacs are performing at Cairo Jazz Club in Agouza tomorrow at 9pm.

Hilton Cairo Heliopolis is holding their Spread of Wellness Festival on Friday from 10am.


If you’ve been keeping up to date with the real-life legal drama that is the Carlos Ghosn case, you’ll want to check out this book: The former Nissan CEO spent decades trying to build a new model for the automotive industry through the colossal partnership between Nissan and Renault, but the business plan was always disrupted by culture clashes, internal fighting between executives and engineers, and government interference. Hans Greimel and William Sposato explore the entire ordeal in Collision Course: Carlos Ghosn and the culture wars that upended an auto empire by talking to key players including Ghosn himself. Readers will get a comprehensive picture of the entire saga, from Ghosn’s entry into the position, his initiatives over the years, to his great escape to Lebanon — all of which has come to be known as the “Ghosn Shock” in Japan.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Welcome, heatwave. Tomorrow will see the mercury rise to 40°C, while the next few days will have daytime highs between 39°C and 42°C, our favorite weather app tells us.

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