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Sunday, 22 August 2021

THIS MORNING: Mandatory vaccines for students over 18 + Elon Musk is making humanoid robots

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to a busy news day as we kick off this last full workweek of August. Still in Sahel? Enjoy every minute of it, folks. It’s sticky and hot here in the capital city.

THE BIG STORY here at home this morning: Mandatory vaccination. The government is making jabs mandatory for students aged 18 above as well as all teachers and staff prior to the fall start of the new school year. But our survey of nine bold-name corporates found none of them have either carrots or sticks in place to help ensure their people are jabbed. We have more on both stories in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Afghanistan, where the FT warns that the brother of the late anti-Taliban leader Ahmed Shah Massoud is warning of an uprising against the Taliban if there’s no peace agreement — and the US is mulling whether to order commercial airlines to help in evacuation efforts.

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

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY- Cairo and Dublin are two of six cities that have joined Bloomberg’s Partnership for Healthy Cities, a now 70-city strong network that hopes to “implement programs and policies that protect the health and safety of mns of people.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Covid has “scuttled” the IPO roadshow, the Financial Times writes, stating what’s been obvious for at least 12 months as it claims that bankers and investors are “not mourning” the “demise of physical roadshows” and instead “appear to be warming to the new way of doing things.” Until, that is, some MD somewhere convinces a client that there’s an edge to be had in a real roadshow, pulls off a big transaction, and then everyone else gets FOMO…

Don’t know what an IPO roadshow looks like? The story is actually a pretty good primer.

MORNING MUST READ- Elon Musk (who’s having … issues … with self-driving cars) wants to make humanoid robots to help us with mundane daily tasks. What could possibly go wrong? Elon is still worried that AI is going to kill us, so he’s building a robot that most of us (maybe not granny?) could beat up or outrun if it runs amok. Nice to meet you, future robot overlord.

Perhaps this is the right moment to introduce you all to the Murderbot Diaries series? Seriously. If you’re even remotely interested in the notion of the “singularity” (a word that never appears once in the humourous, thought-provoking series), check it out.

MARKET WATCH- Last week was the worst since June for global markets, as the delta variant sparked worries over growth just as the US prepares to reduce stimulus and tighten policy. The FTSE All-World index ended the week 1.8% in the red, as new regulations in China and fresh lockdowns in Australia and New Zealand combined with fears that the Federal Reserve will soon move to wind down its monetary stimulus.

Stocks in many developed markets rallied on Friday as investors bought the dip — the S&P 500, Nasdaq, Euro Stoxx 600 and FTSE 100 all gained ground on the final trading day of the week. It was another story in Asian markets, where China’s ongoing battle with Big Tech helped drive the Hang Seng Tech index down. MSCI’s Asia Pacific index was also down.

Here at home: The EGX30 dipped 2% over the week, with Saudi’s Tadawul index following suit, losing 1.3%.

Commodities slipped as investors rotated to safe-haven assets like the greenback, which rose 1% over the week against a basket of currencies.

Oil tumbled: The stronger USD and fears of a new demand crunch due to rising global covid cases caused Brent to fall 7.7% to USD 66.45 per barrel during the week to its lowest level since May. Both Brent and US crude have now fallen for six consecutive sessions, the longest losing streak since February 2020.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will begin on Tuesday 24 August and run through 5 September, with Egypt sending a 49-athlete-strong team to the games.

MEED will hold a webinar named Energy Transition in the Middle East, at 12pm CLT on Tuesday 24 August.

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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