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Thursday, 2 September 2021

THIS MORNING: Egyptian natgas for … Lebanon? Plus: Justice Ministry’s registry app rolls out to three more governorates.

Good morning, nice people, and welcome to the most wonderful morning of the week. We have a really packed issue for you on this final morning of the week — and we’re delighted that My Morning Routine, our popular Thursday column, is back from its traditional summer hiatus.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- No single story dominates the news agenda in the international press this morning. The Financial Times is leading with the notion that with 50 mn paying subscribers, Youtube’s streaming music service is now a “genuine rival” to Spotify. The Wall Street Journal is giving ink to the latest from Afghanistan (“Taliban battle opposition militias, wield new power in Kabul”), as is Reuters (“Taliban wrestle with Afghan economy in chaos, humanitarian crisis.”) Bloomberg is leading with OPEC+’s decision to go ahead with its planned production hike, while CNBC is zeroing in on the WHO’s worries about a new covid-19 variant named “mu,” which “has mutations that have the potential to evade immunity provided by a previous Covid-19 infection or vaccination.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in town for three-way talks with Egypt and Jordan on how to revive peace talks between Palestine and Israel. Abbas arrived yesterday, Palestinian news agency Wafa reports. A senior Palestinian official told Bahrain state news agency BNA that Abbas would meet with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah.

It’s day two of Digi Sign Africa: The three-day advertising and digital printing exhibition continues at the Cairo International Convention Centre.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT-

SMART POLICY- The Justice Ministry’s mobile app for registry / notary services is now active in (almost) every governorate, according to a statement. The app, which points users to the nearest registry office and allows them to use their national ID numbers to book appointments, is now available in North and South Sinai as well as Suez, expanding its footprint to 26 of Egypt’s 27 governorates. Marsa Matrouh will be the last governorate to be served by the app sometime this month. Download the app for Android or iOS if you want to give it a whirl.

Egyptian natgas could make electricity for Lebanon: Egypt is apparently in talks with the US and Jordan on a plan that could ease Lebanon’s electricity crisis, Reuters reports. The agreement would see Egyptian natural gas shipped to Jordan, where it could be used to generate electricity that would be fed into Lebanon’s grid via Syria. Lebanon has been suffering crippling electricity shortages as the country grapples with an economic crisis and lifted fuel subsidies last month.

MARKET WATCH-

Sustainable footwear brand Allbirds is working towards an IPO … sustainably? The company is aiming to become the first company to SPO (Sustainable Public Equity Offering), which would require it to meet environmental, social and governance criteria, but other than that the company’s public listing and securities structure will remain traditional. And with the current trend favoring sustainability and ethicality, it is safe to assume that others will shortly follow.

Instagram is forcing users to share their birthdays — but this isn’t just another breach of privacy by social media platforms. The company shared a statement explaining that it is hoping to protect minors with this new rule, which will enable it to apply its recently imposed rule that protects those under 18 from receiving messages from adults. The app is also working on developing new systems that will help it identify those sharing fake birthdays.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Cypriot prez visiting this week: President Nicos Anastasiades arrives in Cairo on Saturday, 4 September for a joint Egypt-Cyprus summit.

Here are the key news triggers for the first two weeks of September:

  • PMI: August’s PMI figures for Egypt, KSA and the UAE will land on Sunday, 5 September.
  • Foreign reserves: The central bank will release foreign reserves figures for August sometime next week.
  • Inflation: Inflation data for August will drop next week.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 September.

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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