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Thursday, 16 September 2021

THIS MORNING: it’s interest rate day; The semi-finals of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open take place today; Egypt-Libya committee meeting today.

Well, ladies and gentlemen: We have the meatiest workaday issue that we can remember to close out the week. Before we get down to it though, as we say every six weeks…

It’s interest rate day here in Egypt: The Central Bank of Egypt will meet later today to review interest rates. All 10 analysts we polled last week expect policymakers to leave rates on hold for a seventh consecutive meeting, pointing to the uptick in inflation and the pressure to maintain foreign inflows into Egyptian debt. Participants in a Reuters poll also expect the MPC to leave rates unchanged.

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY-

The Egyptian-Libyan Higher Committee is set to meet for the first time today since 2009. A Libyan delegation headed by interim PM Hamid Debeibeh arrived in Cairo yesterday for the meeting. Dbeibeh will hold talks with Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly ahead of the committee’s main session. The committee was revived this spring following the restoration of official ties between Egypt and Libya. Libyan General Khalifa Haftar and the speaker of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives Aguila Saleh — who haven’t always seen eye to eye with Dbeibeh — were in Cairo on Tuesday for talks with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

Infrastructure diplomacy ahead of the meeting: Transport ministers from both countries signed two agreements that will see Egyptian companies work on Libyan infrastructure works such as roads and bridges as well as projects to upgrade Libya’s ports and lower pollution.

The semi-finals of the CIB Egyptian Squash Open are being played today: In the women’s draw, world no.1 Nour El Sherbiny plays third seed Camille Serme while world no.2 Nouran Gohar faces fourth seed Amanda Sobhy. In the men’s, first seed Mohamed El Shorbagy is up against Tarek Momen while world no.2 plays Paul Coll.

ALSO- EFG Hermes’ fourth Virtual Investor Conference continues today, running through to 21 September with the theme of “After Reflation — FEMs in 2022.”

The UN General Assembly is ongoing in New York until 30 September. The general debate will take place from 20-28 September. Leaders from at least 83 countries are expected to attend in person — in contrast to last year, when the meeting was almost 100% virtual. There’s no word yet on whether President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will attend in person or virtually.

NEXT WEEK- The US Federal Reserve meets to review interest rates on 21-22 September. Pressure has been building on the Fed to take a more hawkish stance to combat inflation by bringing its stimulus programme to a premature end and start raising interest rates earlier than planned. But a slight slowdown in US consumer price inflation last month could give the Fed a breather and relieve pressure for a policy change.

The Cityscape real estate investment conference gets underway next week at the Egypt International Exhibition Center. The event runs from Wednesday, 22 September to Saturday 25.

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

***IN CASE YOU MISSED IT-

  • Egypt will start shipping natural gas to Lebanon before the end of the year, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla told Bloomberg. The gas will be sent through a currently out-of-use pipeline connecting Egypt to Jordan and Syria, and be used to power a 450 MW plant in northern Lebanon, hopefully lessening the chronic power shortages plaguing the country.
  • Could the world’s most indebted company spark a systemic banking crisis in China? Evergrande, China’s second-largest property developer, could be on the verge of defaulting on its massive debts, forcing it to offer units for sale at cut rates to clear out inventory and try to keep up with repayments
  • The EU will ship another 200 mn vaccines to Africa by the middle of 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday. This takes the EU’s total commitment to 450 mn shots.

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