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Thursday, 26 August 2021

THIS MORNING: Tory Burch ❤️ Egypt + End of the run for US equities

Good morning, friends. Just a few more meetings / deadlines / whatever and we can all slide into the weekend. We hope this week has been good to you. Anyone else having trouble getting their heads around the fact that we’re heading into the second-to-last weekend of summer? That September starts next week?

We have a pleasantly light issue for you this morning, with some nice news of foreign investor interest in the nation’s agrifoods sector and word that would-be (Egyptian) travelers may start getting booster shots soon. We have more on both stories in this morning’s news well, below.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD remains Afghanistan, where evacuation flights continue with less than a week to go before the 31 August deadline for US troops to withdraw. The new twist in the narrative: The Taliban have “changed” and have “learned” from their time out of power. Sure.

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

  • MaxAB makes first move outside Egypt: MaxAB has acquired Moroccan ecommerce and logistics platform WaystoCap for an undisclosed amount following a fresh USD 15 mn capital injection from its investors.
  • Credit Suisse upbeat on Egypt, warns of fourth wave: Egypt is starting to see “genuine” economic growth and t-bills remain attractive, though a fourth wave of covid-19 will pose a risk given Egypt’s high morbidity rate, Credit Suisse head of MENA research Fahd Iqbal told Bloomberg.
  • SODIC reports strong earnings: SODIC’s net income after minority interest almost tripled y-o-y in 2Q2021 on sales doubling to EGP 1.9 bn.

Tory Burch ❤️ Egypt: Apparently, we’re at that (brief?) stage between waves three and four of the pandemic where folks (with the right passports and vaccination status) can talk about where they like to travel. Three cheers, then, for iconic designer Tory Burch, who tips Luxor as where she goes to feel inspired, telling the Financial Times: “Winston Churchill had a room at The Sofitel, Luxor, and it’s also where Agatha Christie was inspired to write Death on the Nile. It’s what I imagine the 1920s in Egypt would have been like – full of romance and nostalgia.” You can read more about how Burch weathered the pandemic here in the Wall Street Journal.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #1- Junior bankers surf the work / life trend all the way to a mandatory two-week vacation — and one workless weekend a month: Citigroup is forcing two-week holidays on all its junior staff in Europe, the Middle East and Africa before the end of September, Bloomberg reports. The bank is also promising its youngest staffers (drum roll please) … a work-free weekend. One work-free weekend a month, to be precise, to run from 5pm Friday until 9am Monday. It’s the latest in a series of moves by big banks under pressure from young employees, who have apparently been questioning their life choices after working 100-hour weeks from home without the camaraderie of an office environment.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #2- We’re back to talking about whether we’re nearing the end of the bull run for US equities, with the latest sign being news that top-rated T Rowe Price fund manager David Giroux “has substantially backed away from a ‘rich’ US equity market, reflecting nerves among some investors about the lofty valuations that have become entrenched since markets rebounded forcefully from the pandemic lows of last year.” The news comes as the S&P hit a new all-time high this week.

SIGN OF THE TIMES #3- OnlyFans is going to still allow, uhm, “racy content” (we can’t use the common word because the algos that decide whether we get into your inbox will ban us) saying it’s worked out some kind of agreement with its bankers that will see them continue processing payments.

MARKET WATCH- It’s Jackson Hole week: The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual gathering of central bankers and policy makers at Jackson Hole will take place on tomorrow. US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will speak tomorrow evening our time, with analysts expecting him to remain vague on the timing of a potential tapering of the Fed’s bond buying program. This is the second year in a row that the gathering will take place online.


HAPPENING TODAY- Egypt will open today its Rafah border crossing with Gaza in one direction to allow the return of stranded Palestinians back into Gaza, the Hamas-backed interior ministry said in a statement yesterday, citing a report by Egyptian authorities. The Rafah crossing is set to be open in both directions starting Sunday, the statement said. Egypt had closed its Rafah border crossing with Gaza indefinitely on Monday for security reasons after an escalation in fighting between Hamas and Israel Saturday. Reuters also has the story.

Egypt is looking to spark a conversation about what’s next in development, sustainable finance and the road to recovery for developing economies: The International Cooperation Ministry will hold the first iteration of its new International Cooperation Forum on 8-9 September. The two-day event will focus on fostering partnerships in development finance and sustainable development, according to a statement (pdf) yesterday. Attendees will include officials from institutions including the UN, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the African Development Bank and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. On the other side, participants will include ministers and policy makers from African, Asian and Latin American countries as well as financial institutions and the private sector.

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

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

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