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Sunday, 1 August 2021

TONIGHT: Israel points fingers at Iran over tanker attack. + Bezos got slightly less rich. ALSO: Work from bed?

It’s a slow start to the work week, ladies and gentlemen, with barely any news moving the needle today, which isn’t surprising considering it is August. Enjoy it while it lasts.

THE BIG STORY TODAY- The EGX plans to institute in September fundamental changes to how it calculates the closing price on shares as well as raising the limit of intraday movement on share prices to 20% from a current 10%. These changes, which the EGX hopes will raise trading volumes, have been in the works for some time, with trials on the new closing price mechanism being launched last month. We break down what’s coming chapter and verse in the Speed Round below.

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

  • The Central Bank of Egypt will likely leave interest rates on hold when it meets this Thursday as it looks to keep inflationary pressures in check, according to an Enterprise poll of analysts.
  • Moody’s still likes Egypt: Moody’s has affirmed Egypt’s credit rating at B2 with a stable outlook that balances the country’s “significant shock exposure” with our track record of successfully weathering volatility.
  • Russia is getting one super-sized RIZ: Russia will receive an additional 5 mn square meters in an expanded Russian Industrial Zone in Ain Sokhna and East Port Said.


The row between Israel and Iran over an attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman on Thursday is the big story in the region this afternoon. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has followed the country’s foreign minister in blaming Tehran for the drone attack, which killed two people on board the vessel. Iran was quick to deny the allegations, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh this morning calling the allegations baseless, the Associated Press reports.

The US has pledged to work with Israel to investigate the incident, but stopped short of blaming Tehran. The two countries will also work with the UK, Romania — who both had a citizen die in the attack — as well as other international partners to investigate the incident and “consider the appropriate next steps”. Bloomberg writes that the attack marks “an escalation in maritime tensions in the Middle East” following several attacks on Iranian and Israeli ships this year.

Is an Iran-Saudi rapprochement in the cards? According to Asia Times, officials from both countries have been in “constructive” secret talks and Saudi Arabia could send an envoy to attend President-elect Ebrahim Raisi’s inauguration this week.

FOR TOMORROW- The Africa Food Manufacturing exhibition will kick off tomorrow at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event will run until 4 August.


  • PMI: July’s purchasing managers’ index will be out on Tuesday, 3 August.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet this Thursday to review interest rates. Our poll of analysts forecasts a hold.
  • Foreign reserves: July’s foreign reserves figure should land next week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for July will be out on Tuesday, 10 August.


How many of you have spent most of your WFH careers in bed? You’re not alone. As many as 38% of people who are WFH in the US do so from bed on the regular, according to a poll. Of the 1.5k+ people surveyed, 45% said they often work from the couch, 20% work outside, and 19% bizarrely choose to work from a closet. The findings suggest that many workers don’t have a functional office setup in their homes and struggle to find a proper workspace.

The world’s richest man just got slightly less rich: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos just lost USD 13.5 bn, equivalent to 80% of his 2021 wealth gains, off the back of the e-commerce giant’s disappointing earnings for the second quarter, Bloomberg reports. Amazon’s shares slid 7.5% on Friday, lowering Bezos’ net worth to USD 193.6 bn, though he still retains the title of richest person on the planet.

Amazon 2Q earnings disappoint: Amazon shares tanked after the company reported 2Q revenues that fell short of expectations. The company announced it had made USD 113.1 bn in sales during the quarter, more than USD 2 bn short of forecasts. Amazon also warned that 3Q revenues could fall below estimates. The company expects to record USD 106-112 bn in sales during the current quarter, below the USD 119.2 bn consensus among analysts.


Netflix’s new family comedy / action flick stars Jean-Claude Van Damme. The Last Mercenary features a secret agent-turned-mercenary struggling to be a father after he is forced to go to France to help his estranged son who has been accused of smuggling by the government. The French-language film is a great light watch and never tries to be anything close to serious, rather taking on a parody format. There’s a lot to like for Van Damme aficionados, but the folks at Variety and Roger Ebert won’t be seeing the film again anytime soon.


Egypt is now out of the table tennis competition: The men’s team lost 3-0 to China this afternoon, just a few hours after the women’s team suffered a 3-0 defeat to Romania. We covered the rest of the day’s events in this morning’s EnterpriseAM.

WHAT TO WATCH tonight and tomorrow-

  • 2:37am: Samaa Ahmed will compete in the women's K-1 200m canoe sprint.
  • 3:30am: Mostafa Al Gamel will compete in the athletics’ men's hammer throw qualification round.
  • 4:30am: Osama Elsaeid is up in the shooting men's 50m rifle three positions qualification round.
  • 4:51am: Enas Mostafa is competing against Germany’s Anna Schell in the wrestling women's freestyle 68kg.
  • 8:00am: Mohab Mohymen Ishak will participate in the diving men's 3m springboard preliminary round.
  • 12:30pm: Youngsters Hanna Hiekal and Laila Ali are representing Egypt in the artistic swimming women's duet preliminary round.


Burgers and wings for both the Cairo and Sahel dwellers: Maadi food truck 33 Burgers and Wings is known for its towering burgers, made super juicy and super tender. The joint offers a wide assortment of beef and chicken burgers for every culinary mood you might be in as well as all the quintessential appetizers needed for a real comfort meal, from onion rings and curly fries, to fried mozzarella and chicken strips. The real kicker, however, are their delicious wings that come doused with enough sauce to put out a fire — or start one if you order their buffalo wings. We love their mushroom burger, sriracha chicken, and basically their entire selection of wings. You can also find 33 Burgers and Wings at Stars Hub in front of Hacienda Bay at North Coast.


Dandy's Art Yard Exhibition kicked off today and will run for the remainder of the month, showcasing 25 local artists.

The play About Lovers will be performed at Amir Taz Palace from August 5-11. The play is based on the book Tawko Elhamama (The Dove’s Collar) which was written by Ibn Hazm, The Andalusian.

The eleventh film night in the de*sync series by the Contemporary Image Collective will take place on Tuesday at 7pm.


From Bacteria to Bach and Back takes on the ambitious feat of trying to explain how evolution gave way to consciousness. Author Daniel Dennett looks at concepts from natural selection, biology and even computer science to come up with an explanation for why human beings have minds capable of deep analyses and wide imaginations. He argues that it all started with the appearance of language, paving the way for communication with one another through proto-languages now lost. Language and this new way of thinking gave way to fast cultural evolution which Dennett also believes advances through natural selection. He terms the word memes to mean units of cultural transmission that inhabit the mind and can be reproduced by several people. The book is complex but an eye opener, we’ve heard. Meanwhile, The Guardian gives a great summary of Dennett’s work, but overall is critical of the book.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Cairo has 42°C weather in store for tomorrow, with the mercury falling to 27°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us. Meanwhile, Sahel is slightly cooler with daytime highs of 35°C and nighttime lows of 24°C.

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