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Sunday, 25 July 2021

TONIGHT: UAE’s Al Dar has 30 days for SODIC MTO. + Check out Egypt’s performance so far in Tokyo Olympics.

Corporate Egypt is easing back into the workweek after a long Eid vacation — and the summer news slowdown seems to be in full swing abroad, compounded by this being the opening weekend of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

THE BIG STORY of the day here at home: The UAE’s Aldar has another 30 working days to submit a mandatory tender offer to take control of upmarket real estate developer SODIC. We have chapter and vest in this afternoon’s Speed Round, below.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD? It’s a really vanilla news day in the west. The Financial Times is leading with news that SoftBank’s play on China has left it in the red, while the Wall Street Journal is trumpeting that “investors are buying American” after global money managers put more than USD 900 bn into US funds in the first half of the year, a new record.

On the wires: Reuters is leading with an Olympic update, including Tunisia’s Ahmed Hafnaoui taking gold in the men’s 400 mn freestyle swimming event in a victory that “stunned the swimming superpowers.” Bloomberg, meanwhile, thinks we need to keep an eye for “record profits followed by eye-watering dividend payouts” as mining companies start reporting how much they’ve made amid the ongoing global commodities boom.

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

  • Fuel prices hiked for second consecutive quarter: Motorists will now pay an extra EGP 0.25 per liter for 95, 92 and 80 octane fuel during 3Q2021 after the government increased fuel prices in response to rising international oil prices.
  • FRA approves Bank ABC’s MTO to purchase Blom Bank Egypt: The transaction would see the Gulf lender purchase up to 100% of Blom Egypt at EGP 22.33 a share, valuing the business at USD 427 mn.
  • Russian flights to the Red Sea to resume in 2 weeks: Flights between Moscow and Egypt’s Red Sea resorts will resume on 9 August following a six-year hiatus, with five flights to run weekly to Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.

YOUR MANDATORY COVID STORY- The race is on for a covid-19 treatment in pill form: Japan’s Shionogi is developing a once-a-day pill for covid-19, with human trials starting this month and expected to continue into next year, writes the Wall Street Journal. Pfizer and Merck are also developing pills that aim to neutralize the coronavirus.

But there’s a catch: None of them are the so-called “vaccine pill,” which is about to start clinical trials in Israel.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Trading app Robinhood held an open-to-all roadshow, defying conventions again ahead of its expected Thursday debut on the Nasdaq, according to Bloomberg. The trading app live-streamed its presentation yesterday instead of limiting the event to large institutional investors. The upcoming IPO is also shaping up to be far from traditional, with Robinhood reserving as much as 35% of its shares for traders from its own app in one of the largest retail allocations ever. The current target range for shares is between USD 38-42. The company is seeking to raise about USD 2 bn, and is trading under the ticker HOOD.


The Clean Energy Business Council will host a webinar focused on female entrepreneurs in the MENA renewable energy scene at 3 pm on Wednesday, 28 July.

Egypt will host the Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center on 2-4 August.

The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 5 August.

That means it’s more important than usual to keep an eye on the US Federal Reserve this week, which is meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. CNBC notes that the Fed isn’t expected to take action, but figures odds are good the central bank will mention the possible winding down of its bond program — a development that “could move the markets since the tapering of the central bank’s bond purchases is seen as the first step on the way to interest rate hikes.”

Speaking of the Fed: Pundits are already wondering whether Jay Powell will be reappointed when his term expires in February. The Wall Street Journal suggests that Powell is in line to be reappointed, but suggests “Fed governor Lael Brainard is the most likely candidate to succeed him” if Joe Biden “decides he would prefer his own pick.”


SMART POLICY- Make companies pay for the cost of recycling. Egypt’s solid waste problem isn’t simple — and we’re a bit tired of responsibility being piled on the private sector with comparatively few benefits on the other side — but a movement in the United States to force companies that use packaging to pay for the cost of the consumer waste they help produce is definitely worth a read. Go read Maine will make companies pay for recycling. Here’s How it works.

The European Union is proposing the first carbon border levy by 2026 to combat climate change, according to the Financial Times, though exporters to the EU think it could put foreign trade at risk. Russia — Europe’s biggest supplier of oil, coal, rolled steel and aluminium — estimates that the climate tax could cost it USD 7.6 bn. The EU, however, maintains that the policy targets companies rather than countries, calling it an environmental policy tool to push for climate change, rather than a tariff that meddles with international trade.

The Wall Street Journal is killing it with a series that looks at what the EV revolution will mean for the automotive industry, from manufacturing to who’s going to make a buck building and running charging stations. Among the stories worth a moment of your time:

  • EV sales are growing faster than are sales in the wider automotive industry, the paper reports, noting that “New plug-in models from Tesla, Ford, VW and others helped to boost demand”;
  • Companies (and families) that have spent generations making car parts are scrambling to retool as the world moves to EVs. The “transition is not yet noticeable in showrooms, but industry resources have shifted”;
  • Who’s going to make bank running charging infrastructure? Utilities and startups are “joining forces” in the US, but the Journal worries about the chicken-and-egg dilemma — and about stress on existing electricity networks as fast-charging stations build out.


Bankrolled, a Mexican TV comedy, follows two “directionless millennial bros” as they try to vault to success by becoming entrepreneurs. After debating ingenious startup ideas such as fartless diapers, Polo and Blas pitch a social justice / social media app that raises mns through crowdfunding. It all sounds fine and dandy, except for the fact that the duo can’t remember the pitch, don’t actually have an app — and have no idea how to make one. The series follows the pair as they attempt to put together a team and create the firm that was promised to their many investors. The show the sometimes hollow nature of the buzz surrounding tech startups, and the sheer luck that can fuel success.


Egypt’s football team suffered a narrow defeat against Argentina, losing 0-1. The Young Pharaohs are in the ‘group of death’ alongside European champions Spain, Argentina, and Australia. The U23 national team managed to hold their own against Spain with a 0-0 tie over the weekend and will next face Australia on 28 July.

Can Egypt advance to the knockout stage? We’re currently in last place with a single point, while Spain has four and both Argentina and Australia have three. The best case scenario for Egypt is to beat Australia on Wednesday, while Spain has to beat Argentina during their match on the same day.

Egyptian tennis player Mohamed Safwat is out of the Tokyo Olympics after losing against Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan in the first round of the tournament.

Other Olympics results:

  • Fencer Mohamed Elsayed lost to Ukraine’s Ihor Reizlin in the epée men’s quarterfinals;
  • Teammate Noura Mohamed also lost in the women’s individual foil to Japan’s Yuka Ueno;
  • Rower Abdelkhalek Elbanna came in fifth in the men’s single scull quarterfinals with a time of 7:32:86;
  • Doha Hany was defeated in badminton women’s singles, losing to China’s Chen Yufei;
  • Doha Hany and Adham Hatem Elgamal lost in the mixed doubles against South Korean duo Chae Yoo-jung and Seo Seung-jae.
  • No Egyptians qualified for the artistic gymnastics categories.

WORLD STANDINGS- China so far leads the standings with six gold medals in the first two days of games, followed by Japan with five and the US with four. Tunisia leads the Arab world (and is number nine overall) with one gold and one silver.

HAPPENING TOMORROW: The handball team goes up against world champion Denmark at 7:15am CLT, while Azmy Mehelba and Mostafa Hamdy are competing in the shooting’s men’s skeet tomorrow at 3am. As for taekwondo, Hedaya Malak — who snagged a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics — is going up against France’s Magda Wiet-Henin in the women’s 67kg round, while Seif Eissa will face off against Australia’s Jack Marton in the men’s 80kg round.


If you’re a fellow sandwich fanatic, check out this new Sahel joint: Describing itself as the ‘smoke ‘n’ roll sandwich shop’, Easy’s has opened up in Hacienda White and offers smoked meat galore. The sandwiches are imposing meat towers, with a short and sweet menu that offers a handful of options including smoked and pulled beef. Easy’s fries come with cheese and brisket on top, in a side dish that could be a meal on its own. For those of you who don’t feel particularly carnivorous, they also offer lobster and shrimp rolls.


Picasso Art Gallery is holding their Summer Exhibition at Marassi Clubhouse in Sahel until 10 September.

It’s stand-up comedy open mic night at The Room New Cairo tonight at 8pm.


Could framing our problems differently help us come up with innovative ways to solve them? Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil looks at the biggest risks to humanity and explores whether the way they’re framed can help us overcome them. “To frame is to make a mental model that enables us to see patterns, predict how things will unfold, and make sense of new situations,” write authors Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Francis de Véricourt. Frames have become essential as computers take on more cognitive functions, leaving humans with the task of putting them into context. The book illustrates the argument with compelling examples such as covid-19, #MeToo, and the Apple/Spotify music rivalry.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Monday weather is expected to be 38°C in Cairo. Enjoy the respite — the mercury is heading steadily upward before settling in the 40s next week. Look for 31°C in Sahel tomorrow, our favorite weather app tells us.

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