TONIGHT: Annual inflation up less than expected in June. + Egypt gears up for UN Security Council meeting. ALSO: ECB isn’t too worried about inflation.
There’s technically six working days until wa’fa, which is expected to land on Monday, 19 July. We, like many, are marking the days like Robert De Niro in Cape Fear.
THE BIG STORY TODAY- Have we been shielded from the worst of the commodities boom? Annual headline inflation inched up marginally last month, defying everyone’s expectations of a steady upward trend for the rest of the year on the back of the global commodities boom and mounting cost pressures on businesses. The slower-than-expected reading came as monthly food prices were little changed from May.
A rate hold coming: Consequently, analysts we’ve spoken with today are expecting the central bank to keep interest rates on hold when it meets early next month. We have chapter and verse in the Speed Round, below.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is taking less of a hardline on inflation, announcing in a landmark policy review today that it will let the headline rate exceed its target of close to 2% whenever necessary, tolerating temporary price growth. This suggests that the ECB is following in the Fed’s footsteps and is less likely to raise rates soon. The new strategy will first be put to the test when the Governing Council holds its interest-setting meeting on 22 July.
Egypt and Sudan’s foreign ministers have been coming up with a gameplan (with a little help from our Tunisian friends): Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Sudanese counterpart Mariam Al Mahdi sat down yesterday to prepare for today’s meeting — the second time this week — ahead of the long-awaited GERD talks, the ministry spokesman said on Twitter. The two countries will back Tunisia’s draft resolution to the council, which Shoukry describes as “balanced”, he told the Associated Press. The push at the security council came after Ethiopia announcing that it has unilaterally begun the second filling of the dam.
Meanwhile, we’re still drumming up last minute support: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had a call with DR Congo President Felix Tshisekedi to discuss the latest developments in the dam dispute, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Tshisekedi supported a trilateral resolution between the three sides and said that the Security Council meetings would act as a pathway for peaceful negotiations for other African disagreements.
** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:
- The EGX is putting closing auctions to the test today, a new system to calculate closing share prices that is hoped to improve accuracy, increase trading volumes and boost foreign investment in local stocks.
- Made-in-Egypt Sinovac vaccines could be available in clinics in two weeks, earlier than the previously announced August date.
- A contractor will be assigned to collect waste from around Cairo until the procedures are completed for launching an official public tender.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Operations have resumed at Jebel Ali Port after an explosion lit up the sky over Dubai at midnight, Bloomberg writes. No casualties were reported at the blast, which happened on a small 130-container ship in Terminal 1. Sabotage is also out of the question at this point, as the blast may have been caused by friction or high temperature, according to a person familiar with the matter, cited by Bloomberg.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Cairo International Book Fair is currently ongoing at Egypt International Exhibition Center today. The event will run through to 15 July and the fair’s committee has now allowed the exhibition ground to operate at 70% capacity.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
UAE wants to pollute the world even more so it can quit oil 😕: The UAE is looking to sell as much crude as it can before demand drops, in order to wean its economy off oil, the Wall Street Journal reports. The aim is to generate revenue for the diversification of the economy, including new energy and revenue streams, the WSJ cites a person close to the matter as saying. It’s a matter of market share at this point. To support those plans, Abu Dhabi is seeking investors to build hydrogen-export facilities and long-term supply contracts, according to Bloomberg.
This comes after the UAE rejected a proposed OPEC agreement on oil production earlier this week, arguing that its production quotas were unfair and rallying up prices to a three-year high. OPEC members did not set a date for their next meeting. The UAE may be following the lead of Saudi Arabia, which is looking to lead a future market for blue hydrogen.
Google is getting slapped with yet another lawsuit: This time, three dozen US states are alleging that the Alphabet-owned firm has an illegal monopoly with its Google Play app store, according to the Wall Street Journal. The lawsuit points to Google’s collection of a 15-30% service fee on sales through its Play Store, while also accusing the Big Tech firm of trying to “buy off” Samsung and convince the competitor to let go of its Galaxy app store. Google has since responded in a blog post, saying it competes fairly and aims to support and aid developers.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
One for the Egyptian NBA fans (we know you exist): HBO Sports’ documentary The Day Sports Stood Still is now available to us through OSN Streaming, providing a deep look into the world of sports during a year full of racial reckoning and the pandemic. The documentary covers the surreal and sudden shutdown of sports in early 2020 and the complex return to competition in the summer and fall through initiatives like the “bubble” system. A broad swath of voices is brought to the spotlight to explore how covid-19 pressed pause on their lives, but still managed to push them to bring race issues front and center in the sports field. The trailer is sure to get you excited (watch, runtime: 01:38).
WE CAN’T WAIT FOR- Season three of Succession which is due to be out this Fall on HBO Max. The series follows a family that owns a media empire as they battle for leadership after their father steps down. We’re not sure if the episodes will be released all at once or once a week, but you should definitely check out the trailer and catch up on the first two seasons until then (watch, runtime: 01:23).
⚽ England versus Italy, here we go. England is going to the Euro 2020 finals after beating Denmark 2-1 last night during extra time. The England versus Italy match is expected to be a doozy and will take place on Sunday at 11pm. This is the first major international final for England’s national men’s team since 1966.
Al Ahly is playing today: The Egyptian Premier league will see El Entag El Harby play against Pyramids at 7pm, while Al Ahly is going up against Al Mokawloon at 9pm.
Also, if you are so inclined (some of us are) UFC 264 will kick off late night Saturday, with the preliminary fights starting at 12am CLT Sunday morning. The main draw of the event: McGregor vs Poirier 3, which isn’t due to start until 4am CLT Sunday. You can sign up for the pay-per-view event at UFC Arabia.
🥐EAT THIS TONIGHT-
What’s a Sahel beach party without a good cookout: BBQ Bros, the formidable barbeque joint is opening up all over Sahel with their signature grill setups that are sure to draw you in from a mile away. From burgers to steaks to imposingly large kabobs, the meat lovers among you will discover your eden. However, they also offer a range of delicious appetizers and platters such as honey glazed salmon, creamy chicken breast, and fried chicken gravy. You can find BBQ Bros in Marassi, Diplo, and Seashell in Sahel as well as in El Gouna and Cairo (at Zed Park).
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
Rock N' Roll cover band Retrograde are playing at Garden City’s The Room tonight at 9pm.
Try out kayaking with Egyptian Rowing Club’s weekly kayak ride that is suitable for all levels of experience. The rides will take place on Friday at 9am and Saturday at 10am.
A talk titled ‘The sustainability of analogue photography’ will be given by photographer Mafric tomorrow at Dawar Arts at 1pm.
Catch Dina El Wedidi back from her hiatus at Cairo Jazz Club in Agouza on Saturday at 9pm.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
We all need a jumpstart in networking: With so many ways to connect with people, often business relationships can feel transactional and dehumanizing… a means to an end. The Lost Art of Connecting by Susan McPherson and Jackie Ashton focuses on creating a guide to ensure that your networking efforts bring more knowledge and insight, and possibly even friendships. The book poses the ‘Gather, Ask, Do Method’ which urges that you shouldn’t wait for the perfect chance to network, but be more open to sudden circumstances and new things where you can ask a lot of questions. The most important part is the ‘Do’ which advises you to follow through on the promises you made and keep in touch.
☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Cairo temperatures will inch down to 39°C over the weekend, which is why we urge you to visit the 31°C amazingness that is Sahel, thanks to forecasts from our favorite weather app.