THIS MORNING: Senate convenes today for new season + Brent hits a three-year high — and Aramco seems to want to send it even higher
Good morning, wonderful people, and welcome to the next-to-last business day of the week. We hope you’re looking forward to a productive workday — and to a well-deserved long weekend.
Have you recovered from your forced social media detox last night? WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram are all back online after crashing at around 6pm CLT in an outage that lasted until nearly 1am. The glitch that hit Facebook’s consumer apps also took down its internal comms systems. Word over on Twitter (where the memes exploded last night) was that someone inside the company somehow messed up DNS records. The outage comes as Facebook continues to face questions after the Wall Street Journal’s multipart takedown of the company’s business practices in The Facebook Files.
We’re very tempted to be ostriches this morning and just bury our heads in a (metaphorical) hole for the rest of the day, claiming that our WhatsApp is still mysteriously down.
THE BIG STORIES THIS MORNING has to be the spate of private equity investment news coming out of DPI and EFG Hermes. Throw in recent fundraising successes by firms including Ezdehar and Lorax and it’s enough to make you wonder whether private equity is making a comeback as an asset class in Egypt and Africa after years in the wilderness following the implosion of Abraaj.
You’ll also want to check out Also on our Radar this morning for fast rundowns on the CBE’s September reserves report, the latest on taxing social media creators and influencers, and our new ambassador to Ethiopia, among other stories.
The Senate begins its new legislative session following the end of its summer recess. This comes four days after the House kicked off a new legislative session over the weekend with a raft of business-relevant legislation to chew over in the coming months. Officials have yet to provide a look a the Senate’s legislative agenda.
“Daddy, what’s the Senate?” To paraphrase a 1980s advert: It’s “a question a child might ask, but not a childish question.” Fully 200 members were elected in 2020 (turnout was just over 14%) and 100 more appointed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi. Senate votes are required on some matters of foreign affairs (treaties, alliances and sovereignty) as well as any proposed amendments to the constitution. It may also offer opinions on matters “referred to it by the president” or, in some cases, the House. Here’s who was in charge of Senate committees as of March 2021.
A preparatory conference for the Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 — which is scheduled to kick off in South Africa in mid-November — is being hosted today by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) at the Westin Cairo Golf Resort & Spa. Here’s the day’s agenda (pdf).
HAPPENING THIS WEEK- The House Planning and Budgeting Committee will hold a series of 10 meetings to finalize the government’s draft unified budget act, according to Al Mal. The meetings start this week and run into next. The bill proposes merging legislation governing the state’s annual budget and government accountability into a new act that erases overlap between different pieces of legislation. If passed, the bill would require the government to present a medium-term budgetary and fiscal strategy to the House of Representatives every year. We have more on the proposed law, along with everything else likely to be on legislators’ agendas during the new parliamentary session, here.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD on this fine morning: The price of oil in the US hit a seven-year high yesterday after OPEC and its allies opted against raising output by more than they had originally agreed in June. The cartel made the decision at a meeting yesterday, agreeing that it will continue to lift its combined output by 400k barrels per day each month until supply is restored to its pre-pandemic levels.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, hit a three-year high, advancing to USD 81.26, a gain of 2.5%. The story is everywhere in the global business press, from the Financial Times and Reuters to Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.
Could prices go even higher? That seems to be the contention of Saudi Aramco (not that it has a dog in that fight…) which said yesterday that the world’s brewing “natural-gas crisis was already boosting oil demand.”
** IN CASE YOU MISSED IT– Stories from yesterday’s edition of EnterprisePM:
- How organizations can implement an anti-burnout strategy: Jennifer Moss’ new book, The Burnout Epidemic, argues that workplaces should take the lead in developing strategies that reduce burnout among their workforce on a case-by-case basis.
- The i-Sheep will have to stand by a little longer: Delivery times for the new iPhone 13 have been delayed due to constrained supplies of camera components.
- Fashion that can be worn digitally? Companies are now offering digital versions of everything from workout clothes to gravity-defying avant garde fashion, often in the form of NFTs.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Cairo International Fair continues today at the Cairo International Conference Center, running through 8 October.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.
*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.
In today’s issue: With EGX-listed companies and some NBFS firms facing new ESG reporting requirements next year, we break down what this means for businesses.