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Tuesday, 17 August 2021

THIS MORNING: Thanaweya Amma results today + Hedge funds on the up

Good morning, wonderful people. That change in the air? It’s the beginning of the end of summer. Families are starting to gear up to send their kids back to school. Corporate chieftains, meanwhile, contemplate the idea that they have only about four months left to make their budget for the year — and start planning for 2022.

Students and teachers at Cairo American College are heading back to class this morning. The resident 14-year-old is among them and starting high school, making the parents of said kid feel … just a bit older this morning (and very proud of her and her classmates). Students at NCBIS, MBIS and BISC follow before month’s end.

You still have a few weeks of good commuting left: The 2021-2022 school year starts at international schools on Sunday, 12 September, while public schools open their doors on Saturday, 9 October.

Thanaweya Amma results will be announced at an Education Ministry presser at 1pm today, the Youm7 reports, during which the minister will also announce preliminary indicators for university allocations. Students will receive a link to the results page, through which they can view their general evaluation, ranking in each subject, as well as compare their results with colleagues nationwide.

A student wellness campaign will kick off before the start of the 2021-2022 academic year, with students getting medical check-ups in schools nationwide. Students will be screened for covid-19, hepatitis C, diabetes, vision loss, ADHD, among other diseases, according to an Ittihadeya statement. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi had on Sunday directed officials to come up with a plan to jab all educators and students ahead of the start of the school year.

IT’S NOT JUST SCHOOL KIDS who can see the end of summer vacation bearing down on them like a freight train: Our elected representatives are due back in the House of Representatives for the next legislative season no later than the first Thursday in October. It’s still unclear when they’re due back at their benches — we’ll poke into this again for you toward the end of the month if there’s no news in the meantime.

PSA #1- The Traffic Police are no more interested in ticketing you than usual despite babbling on social media suggesting police are now enforcing a “new traffic act” that includes fines for offenses including “the inside of your car smells bad.” Trouble is, there’s no such act just yet: The Madbouly cabinet suspended in May a new traffic law, which would have imposed a range of new licensing fees and fines. Al Masry Al Youm, which kicked off the story, notes that the fine for having a stinky car (or a vehicle that belches noxious fumes) is already in the books. Youm7 also has security sources saying there’s no new law in effect.

PSA #2- Asian shares are solidly in the red this morning, and futures suggest much of Europe, Wall Street and Bay Street will follow suit later today. Keep an eye on US retail sales data, which should be out this afternoon. Consumer sentiment in the United States plunged last week to its lowest level in a decade, and Chinese investors remain skittish about Beijing’s still-unfolding Great Capitalist Smackdown.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- US President Joe Biden said he “stands squarely” behind his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Speaking in the White House’s East Room yesterday after cutting short his vacation, Biden blamed the Afghan military and Afghanistan’s politicians for not resisting the Taliban’s advance. “If Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that in one more year, five more years or 20 more years, that US military boots on the ground would have made any difference,” Biden said, saying that the US had provided everything from “salaries … [to the] maintenance of their airplanes. We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide was the will to fight for that future.” You can read his full remarks here.

As Biden spoke, US troops re-established a semblance of order at Kabul’s airport to allow both US troops to land (they’re arriving to help oversee the exit) and others to fly out foreign nationals.

The collapse of Afghanistan to the Taliban is a “once in a generation” story that has captured global attention from the mainstream press to social media. The story dominates the front pages everywhere from the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal to the New York Times and Washington Post

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

  • A third of the population to be vaccinated in the next three months: The Health ministry plans to vaccinate 35 mn people in the next 88 days, it announced in a statement yesterday. To reach its target, the country has amped up the number of vaccination centers from 539 to 580 centers nationwide.
  • Russia will triple its number of weekly flights to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh: We can expect 15 weekly flights from Moscow to Egypt starting the 27th of August, RT reports.
  • Earnings: Fawry is on the rise, with its net income climbing to EGP 51.4 mn in 2Q2021, a 7% increase from last quarter.

FOR FINANCE NERDS-

With hedge funds seeing a surge in investor interest, some wonder: Are they turning the corner on a “dismal decade”? The industry returned 11.8% last year — its best performance since 2009 — while overall assets under management reached a record USD 4 tn this year, the Financial Times reports. That comes after more than a decade in the doldrums as poor performance saw them cast aside, no longer the BSDs of finance as “rival private equity tycoons struggled to invest the piles of money they have raised, and tns of USD flow into [low cost] passive index funds, some of which promise to replicate what hedge funds do at a fraction of the price.” Today, surging investor interest is helping reverse a six-year trend where more hedge funds were liquidated than raised — and industry optimism is “almost palpable.”

Is it sustainable? The industry is reaping the benefits of trends including record low bond yields, notes the FT. Many investors are seeking safe havens in the event of soaring inflation and wobbling stock markets. Others feel overexposed to private equity and venture capital, anticipating dwindling returns.

Go read A hedge fund revival? Industry hopes a dismal decade is over in the FT.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

GIZ Egypt and Fintech Egypt are launching GIZ Finance Summer School next month, a series of workshops designed to teach people in the finance industry about emerging technologies such as blockchain, open banking, and machine learning. The sessions will be held every Wednesday in September at 6pm. Register here.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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