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Monday, 9 August 2021

THIS MORNING: Russian flights to the Red Sea return today

Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to a fairly typical Monday on this holiday-shortened week.

IT’S A BIG DAY FOR: The tourism industry, as Russian flights return to the Red Sea. The first flights from Moscow to Egypt’s Red Sea coast in six years are set to land in Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, bringing to an end a six-year ban.

The first direct EgyptAir flight from Moscow to the Red Sea will land in Hurghada today at 9am CLT, according to a cabinet statement, with the national flag carrier expected to run seven weekly flights from Moscow — three to Sharm El Sheikh and four to Hurghada.

Could that number be even higher? Egypt’s ambassador to Moscow, Ehab Nasr, told Sada El Balad that EgyptAir will run 10 direct flights a week divided equally between the two Red Sea resorts (watch, runtime: 22:37). The EgyptAir flight to Hurghada this morning will bring as many as 320 Russian tourists the Red Sea resort Nasr told Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 18:32), adding that Rossiya Airlines will also run 10 direct flights a week divided between Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.

Inflation figures for July should be out tomorrow. Inflation bucked the global trend in June, remaining effectively flat even as countries around the world see prices rise at a pace not seen in years. Price growth in Egypt ticked up to 4.9% in June, from 4.8% the month previously thanks to a favorable base effect and a deceleration of food prices.

PSA- We’re feeling a bit European this morning, so our popular weekly verticals are on hiatus. Each week, we take deep dives into infrastructure, education and the green economy in weekly verticals brought to you in association with some of the biggest names in each field. (Orascom Construction, CIRA and Infinity, if you’re keeping track at home.) Just as many European publications put special sections on hiatus in August (and as many offices there close for extended breaks), we’re giving our people the chance to catch a breather while so many of us are in Sahel. Hardhat, Blackboard and Going Green will be back soon. 🙂


** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:

  • Corps-Solutions bond sale in 4Q2021: EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions plans to raise EGP 500-700 mn from a securitized bond issuance in 4Q2021
  • Taaleem could be in the market for an acquisition: Higher education outfit Taaleem could potentially acquire an unnamed local education provider, Managing Director Mohamed El Rashidi reportedly said.
  • New EGX closing price mechanism: The EGX’s new mechanism for calculating closing share prices will come into effect on 2 September.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Covid-19 and China (as two separate stories) dominate the headlines in the international business press on a typically slow Monday morning. The delta variant of the virus that causes covid-19 is delaying plans in the US to send workers back to the office and forcing the cancellation of events, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s a sign that the pandemic is “not coming to an end soon” because so little of the world is vaccinated, CNBC quotes renowned epidemiologist Larry Brilliant as saying in its lead story this morning.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times is still focused on Xi Jinping’s capitalist smackdown, writing that Chinese tech tycoons have lost a combined USD 87 bn in wealth in the wake of the crackdown.

MARKET WATCH- Global investors head for safety on delta fears: Inflows into global bond and money market funds rose last week as investors sought safer assets in response to rising concerns about the economic impact of the delta covid variant, Reuters reported citing data from Lipper. Money market funds saw inflows of USD 36.68 bn, their highest in 10 weeks, while global bond fund inflows doubled in a week to hit USD 14.6 bn. US 10-year treasury-bond yields hit a six-month low as bonds rallied in the US, Europe, and to a lesser extent Asia.

Global equity funds, meanwhile, saw modest inflows of USD 9.4 bn, marking a 47% weekly drop, as optimism over strong earnings reports was tempered by covid concerns.

Emerging markets bucked the trend: EM equity funds saw net inflows of USD 2.8 bn last week, the biggest weekly inflow in more than four months, according to an analysis of nearly 24k EM funds. Conversely, EM bond funds saw USD 190 mn in net outflows.


MORNING MUST READ- Huawei — a leader in 5G tech — isn’t offering 5G in its newest smartphones: The Chinese telecom giant’s latest flagship models P50 and P50 Pro may be much slower than potential buyers anticipate as they operate on 4G, not 5G, the Financial Times reports. Blame it on US sanctions as well as supply chain disruptions that have denied the P50 the components needed for ultrafast 5G connections. In turnabout for a company that just a year ago claimed a global leadership position in high-speed tech, the product’s 4G launch shows Huawei has so far failed to find viable alternative parts and workarounds from its domestic suppliers.

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