THIS MORNING: EGX tests today; UN Security Council to talk GERD today? Moscow is trying to mend Saudi-UAE ties; Assassination of Haitian president dominates global press.
Happy Thursday, readers — It appears we’ve reached the pre-Eid news slowdown a week early. With a grand total of one business story, we don’t think it’s an exaggeration to officially crown this issue the slowest of ‘21. Fear not though: You can always count on the GERD and covid to provide the headlines, even when the news cycle is at its slowest. Updates on both, below.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-
The EGX will enter test mode later today when it stages the first of several mock closing auctions between 3-4:30 pm.
The aim? Moving away from its current method of calculating closing prices and adopting the auction model could improve accuracy, increase trading volumes, and raise foreign investment on the EGX. We spoke to EGX boss Mohamed Farid yesterday to get the low-down on the bourse’s proposals, which you can find in the news well, below.
Will they/won’t they at the UN: The UN Security Council could hold a meeting today to discuss the crisis over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Egypt and Sudan have both been busy in New York trying to gain the support of council members ahead of a vote on their draft resolution, which would put pressure on Ethiopia to stop filling the dam and re-enter negotiations. Both Egypt and Sudan said earlier this week that the vote would happen today, but there have also been suggestions that it could be postponed until next week. More on this, below.
THE BIG STORY INTERNATIONALLY- Yesterday’s assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise continues to dominate the front pages of the global press this morning. The interim prime minister has declared a two-week state of emergency which he said would help the government track down the killers. The story is getting the headline treatment everywhere from Reuters and the AP, to the NYT and Bloomberg.
Also worth knowing about this morning:
- Bill and Melinda Gates have a plan in case things go sour: The couple, which announced their divorce in May, have agreed that Bill will buy Melinda out of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation if they are unable to continue working together after two years. (CNN)
- Antitrust suit filed against Google: Dozens of US states yesterday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, arguing that the company illegally abused its power over developers using its Play store. (Bloomberg | WSJ)
***CATCH UP QUICK with the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- EFG Hermes made its first USD 200 mn close on its fourth Vortex Energy fund, including a USD 25 mn of conditional commitment.
- The Saudi German Hospital will build a new medical complex by 1Q2022, with a new 300-bed flagship hospital.
- Consumer finance providers will be exempted from VAT, after the Financial Regulatory Authority moved to give them the same tax treatment as other NBFS firms.
MARKET WATCH- Moscow doesn’t want a repeat of March 2020: Russia is trying to get Saudi Arabia and the UAE back on the same page and seal an agreement to raise oil production, Reuters reports, citing several OPEC+ sources. A dispute between long-time Gulf allies went public last week as the two failed to agree terms on increasing the global oil supply, and potentially putting a lid on recent price increases which has sent Brent to its highest level since late 2018. But in a bid to hold OPEC+ together and prevent surging prices / a new oil price war, Russia is trying to use its diplomatic clout to bring Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to an accommodation.
Oil prices fell again yesterday: Brent finished the day down 1.5% at USD 73.39 per barrel, and has fallen 5.7% since peaking at almost USD 78/bbl on Tuesday.
No-one knows what’s happening: “The jury is still out” and “wildly uncertain” were the two choice quotes in Bloomberg’s market coverage yesterday.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Among the handful of dates to keep an eye on:
- Fuel pricing: We should hear by Saturday whether the government will raise, hold or cut fuel prices for the coming quarter.
- Inflation: Data for June will be released next week.
The EGX will hold its board elections for the 2021-2025 term on Wednesday, 14 July. Here’s a rundown of the candidates vying to fill board positions.
The Cairo International Book Fair is ongoing at the Egypt International Exhibition Center today. The event will run through to 15 July.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.