TONIGHT: A good start to the EGX this week + Kabul could fall any minute. Int’l football kicks off, so, let these sports documentaries get you in the mood.
Good afternoon, ladies and gents — and welcome to the start of another week. We have a fairly packed issue for you to kick off the week, starting with the news that we’re about to receive another USD 282 mn from the Arab Monetary Fund as part of its USD 639 mn loan approved last year to help us follow through on our economic and fiscal reform program.
Tycoon is well on its way to acquiring a 90% stake in Alexandria National Company for Financial Investment (ANFI) after the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt agreed to sell its 85% stake in the firm.
We also have news that microlender Tasaheel has become the first company to be awarded a microleasing license from the Financial Regulatory Authority — a move that will open up leasing facilities to smaller businesses that don’t enjoy access to finance provided by conventional non-bank lenders.
STAY TUNED- 2Q unemployment figures dropped this morning — and they’re virtually unchanged from the first quarter. We’ll have the full story for you in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.
THE BIG STORY TODAY- It was a good day on the EGX: The EGX30 index closed today’s session 1.3% in the green, leaving the benchmark index up 1.7% since the start of the year. Index heavyweight CIB rose 3% during trading while Speed Medical was the strongest performer, up 4.6%.
A major turnaround, helped by a strong earnings season: “Egyptian stocks, until a few weeks back, were significantly underperforming compared to other regional and global indices,” Naeem Brokerage’s Allen Sandeep wrote in an email picked up by Bloomberg. “What we are seeing right now is the narrowing of that spread amid good incoming 2Q results across the board.”
** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:
- IPO Watch: Mass transportation startup Swvl and state-owned Administrative Capital for Urban Development could both go public on the EGX by 2023.
- M&A Watch: The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company has agreed to purchase almost 95% of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt for around USD 427 mn.
- More green bonds? Banque Misr could soon be following the likes of CIB and the Finance Ministry by issuing green bonds to investors, according to Vice Chairman Akef El Maghraby.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD- A déjà vu of Saigon: Taliban forces have entered Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, as key strategic areas in the country continue to topple to the Islamist militant group with alarming speed. Afghan forces appear to have crumbled in the face of the Taliban’s rapid advance, while Western officials and diplomats in the country were equally blindsided. American diplomats were evacuated from the Kabul embassy by helicopter today, just days after US intelligence sources were cited as saying they expected the capital to hold out against an attack for another three months. Meanwhile, options are dwindling for the tens of thousands of Afghans seeking refuge from the Taliban, many of whom fled their homes to Kabul in the past week.
Making headlines regionally is a fuel tank explosion that left at least 20 dead in Lebanon and 79 injured in the northern region of Akkar Lebanon, the Lebanese Red Cross tweeted. The exact reason for the fuel tank blast is still not known, but it happened in an area of illicitly stored fuel that residents had discovered earlier. This comes as the country suffers from severe fuel shortages that would push hospitals to face forced shutdowns. The story is getting digital ink in the global press: FT I Bloomberg I Reuters I the Associated Press.
Egypt has pledged to send medical aid to Lebanon as soon as possible to support the crisis-racked country in combating such a disaster, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK-
Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi is in town this week as part of a tour that will take him to six countries in the region over the next 10 days, the country’s foreign ministry said. The minister will discuss security issues and the region’s responses to the pandemic. It remains unclear when Motegi will land in Egypt.
IN GLOBAL MARKETS- Delta variant has replaced inflation as the current market boogeyman: So says HSBC, which said last week that the fall in treasury yields suggests that investors are no longer as concerned about rising inflation and are now paying more attention to the spread of the delta covid variant, according to CNBC. Investors have voiced increasing concerns over US inflation, which is currently running at its highest level since mid-2008, but the slow decline in yields since April may be evidence that attention is now returning to covid, the bank’s wealth management unit said on Thursday. Treasury yields tend to rise in response to higher inflation as investors price in the increased likelihood of interest rate hikes.
US consumer confidence just fell the most since the global financial crisis. Bond yields fell last week after a survey showed US consumer confidence having its worst two-week spell since the height of the global financial crisis in October 2008. The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index plunged 13.5% during the first two weeks of August in what it described as a “stunning loss of confidence,” causing investors to buy into safer assets such as US treasuries and gold, the FT says.
🚙 FOR YOUR COMMUTE-
Clothes made from recycled plastic are now in fashion: From sneakers to swimsuits, recycled plastics are increasingly being used by the likes of Nike and Adidas as a means of sustainably producing fashion wear while recycling harmful waste, The Financial Times reports. And the timing is right, as the price of recycled plastic appears to have fallen to the point where these big name brands will expand their use.
But does this actually help the environment? In some ways, yes. Recycled polyester emits 70% less greenhouse gasses when compared to virgin plastic, according to the NGO Textile Exchange. There’s a catch: Recycled plastics are more likely to release microplastics when washed, thus polluting the water system.
📺 ON THE TUBE TONIGHT-
With the int’l football leagues coming back, we thought this week could be all about sports documentaries. That being said, it would only make sense to start with one of football’s greats and someone who has been in the spotlight in the past few weeks… Lionel Messi. The 2014 documentary Messi chronicles the life of the soccer icon, from his youthful small-town feats to his professional triumphs in Spain and Argentina. Through interviews, re-enactments, and on-the-field footage, the story of Messi’s rise to stardom unravels itself. If you’d prefer a shorter take on the footballer’s career, The Story of the GOAT- Lionel Messi is available on YouTube as a compilation of Messi’s greatest moments on the field. Meanwhile, many of you might be opposed, but Barca Dreams on Netflix could be worth a watch before it is removed from the platform on 31 August.
⚽ It’s the last day of the first Premier League gameweek. Finishing off the week are Newcastle versus West Ham who are currently on the field as we head towards dispatch, while Tottenham and Man City will play at 5:30pm.
And it was a typical showing by all the big clubs in week 1, with Manchester United scoring a comfortable 5-1 against Leeds United, Chelsea winning 3-0 against Crystal Palace, and Liverpool doling out the same to Norwich City.
…The usual exception being, of course, Arsenal, whose amateur coach, lack of action in the transfer market, and poor form of its vets saw it take a 2-0 L against newly promoted side Brentford. Some vocal Arsenal fans (including those in Enterprise) have even expressed taking a break from this Premier League season until Mikel Arteta hits coaching puberty or gets sacked.
In other European leagues, a sans-Messi Barcelona side is playing against Real Sociedad today at 8pm in La Liga for their first game of the season. Sevilla and Rayo Vallecano will compete at 10:15.
🍔 EAT THIS TONIGHT-
Hacienda Red has a new burger joint in town and they call it Big Daddy: Let’s admit it… Sahel sometimes calls for larger-than-average burgers, fries with all the stops, and cheese everywhere. You can blame it on the salty waters making you hungrier than usual. Either way, Big Daddy has you covered. We love their breakfast options such as their bacon egg sandwich, their Italian cheesy egg sandwich, or sriracha egg lovers dish, each with a ton of different cheeses, sauces, and everything else that makes your morning better. For their burgers, you can’t go wrong with their big daddy burger or surf and turf burger (get the matching fries too). Other things worth checking out on the menu are their Mexican hot dogs and churros. Big Daddy delivers to all of Hacienda as well as Telal and Seashell.
🎤 OUT AND ABOUT-
Cairo Contemporary Arts Center is holding its beginner’s bellydance class from 8:30-10pm today, at EGP 150 for a single class.
Art Square Academy is running fashion-focused drawing classes from 10am-1pm, every Monday and Wednesday. The 30-hour course costs EGP 3.5k.
💡 UNDER THE LAMPLIGHT-
Read up on the league that has us all glued to the TV every week: Football wasn’t always the commercial powerhouse it is now and The Club: How the Premier League Became the Richest, Most Disruptive Business in Sport shows how in the span of 25 years, PL became synonymous with major football in 185 countries. From Russian oligarchs, Arab Sheikhs, Asian Titans to American Tycoons, battle-hardened managers, ruthless agents and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, several parties put their hands into creating a league that boasts some of the world’s best players and brings in bns easily.
It’s a story of success that quickly fell into the trap of bottomline over integrity. The book written by Jonathan Clegg and Joshua Robinson was released in 2019 (pre the Super League debacle) and foreshadows how local fans are being priced out and clubs' local identities are fading. It’s a great book to understand the business, politics, and love behind Premier League and football as a commodity.
☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The mercury will finally fall below 40°C: Expect daytime highs of 39°C in the capital city and nighttime lows of 25°C, our favorite weather app tells us. Meanwhile, Sahel is at a nice 32°C during the day.