THIS MORNING: What’s going to make news in Egypt in August + bracing for Delta and a fourth wave of covid-19
Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to a new month — and to interest rate week.
All 12 analysts we surveyed in our Enterprise Poll expect the central bank to leave rates on hold when its monetary policy committee meets this coming Thursday, with inflation and rising global commodity prices weighing heavily in their decision. We have chapter and verse in this morning’s Speed Round, below.
What does August have in store for us? Among the news triggers to keep an eye on in the coming couple of weeks:
- PMI: July’s purchasing managers’ index will be out on Tuesday, 3 August.
- Foreign reserves: July’s foreign reserves figure should land next week.
- Inflation: Inflation data for July will be out on Tuesday, 10 August.
Wait, there’s more: 2Q earnings season is about to start in earnest — and the countdown to “back to school” has just begun. Much to the chagrin of the resident 14-year-old, Cairo American College is first back on Tuesday, 17 August. NCBIS follows suit on Sunday, 29 August and returning students at BISC are due back in class on 30 August.
Schools regulated by the Ministry of Education are due back in session on 9 October and the 2021-2022 academic year runs through 16 June 2022, according to a cabinet statement.
WE HAVE ONE DAY OFF this month: Thursday, 12 August is a national holiday in observance of Islamic New Year.
BIG STORY ABROAD- We’ve cancelled covid (particularly in Sahel), but the rest of the world is singing the Delta Blues. Canada is warning that the country may be in the early days of a fourth wave of the coronavirus thanks to the very transmissible Delta strain, the country’s CBC reports. The Wall Street Journal says Delta is driving more Americans to get vaccinated, while the New York Times takes a deep dive into “who are the unvaccinated in America” amid rising backlash from the jabbed against the unjabbed. CNBC notes that the World Health Organization is still trying to figure out how much more dangerous Delta is than previous variants, and the Economist writes that “the pandemic has exacerbated existing political discontent,” saying the problem is “worse in middle-income countries.”
MORNING MUST-READ- No, it’s not a reboot of Hot Tub Time Machine. Seif al-Islam El-Qaddafi is still alive — and apparently weighing a bid for Libya’s presidency, according to his first interview in a decade with a foreign journalist. Read Qaddafi’s son is alive. And he wants to take Libya back in the New York Times.
Egypt has put itself forward to host the UN Climate Change Conference in 2022, Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad said in an interview with MENA news agency. A final decision will be made during the upcoming conference to be held in Scotland from 31 October to 12 November.
The Central Bank of Egypt last week approved new interoperability rules designed to make it easier for the public to deposit and withdraw money with any payment card or mobile wallet, regardless of the network operator or the bank, according to a statement (pdf). The move comes as part of the state’s efforts to maximize the use of infrastructure for payment service providers and boost e-payments. Also: CBE Governor Tarek Amer was in for a sit-down with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, according to a statement from Ittihadiya.
SIGN OF THE TIMES- EgyptAir charter flights from Madrid to Luxor began operating yesterday, with two flights to operate every Saturday as of the second week of August, reports, according to a Civil Aviation Ministry statement. The news comes as the national flag carrier expands service to Canada with its codeshare partner, allowing travelers to book directly into Halifax, Ottaway, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver via EgyptAir’s website.
THE LATEST FROM THE TOKYO OLYMPICS-
Egypt’s men’s handball team triumphed over Bahrain in the early hours of today in the final matchday of the group stage games. The team has secured a place in the quarter-finals after beating Sweden 27-22 in Group B. Egypt, alongside Denmark, Sweden and Bahrain, are the top four from Group B that made it through to the next round.
Also from last night: Egypt’s men’s foil fencing team lost to France, while our women’s table tennis team lost to Romania in a round of 16. In wrestling, three Egyptian athletes lost to their Russian counterparts in the men’s Greco-Roman 60 kg, women’s freestyle 76 kg, and men’s Greco-Roman 130 kg categories.
Coming up: Egypt’s men’s table tennis team is set to face off against China at 12:30. The two countries have met before on the individual table tennis court, and China’s team includes athletes who snagged gold and silver in the men’s individual competition on Thursday.
AS IT STANDS-
WHY IS THIS TABLE CONTROVERSIAL? Because there are two competing ways of keeping track of who’s on top. Many newspapers (particularly in the United States) track who has the most medals overall. But the official Olympic medal table ranks countries by the total number of gold medals they have won, taking silver and bronze into account only to break ties.
** Check out today’s edition of EnterprisePM for your rundown of how Egypt is doing and who plays next.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
Egypt will host the Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition at the Egypt International Exhibition Center on 2-4 August.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.