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Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Bond investors are getting pressure to divest from countries with spott rights records –FT

Human rights and finance are together the big story on Egypt as the Financial Times reports that some bond funds are coming under pressure to divest from markets where there are rights concerns. Egypt gets plenty of ink in the piece, which appears in FTfm’s responsible investing section, with fund managers talking about why they bought into the country’s inaugural green bond despite Freedom House and International Federation for Human Rights driving the narrative in the piece. The story gives passing mention to Belarus and Saudi Arabia (and, curiously, not China), but Egypt is the “star” of the piece.

Also from the human rights file: Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah appeared in court yesterday after two years of pre-trial detention. His next hearing is scheduled on 1 November (AFP).

Meanwhile: Reuters ran a piece looking at the last of Egypt’s fez-makers, writing that the once widely-worn symbol of stature is now only in demand among clerics and Al-Azhar scholars, while Egypt got a mention in the top-five African holiday destinations, with the Financial Times recommending a dahabieh Nile cruise.

Other headlines of note:

  • Egypt is said to be interested in more trade with Israel though the Nitzana border crossing, a topic of conversation in a recent meeting between intelligence chief Abbas Kamel and Israel’s Economy Minister Orna Barbivai (i24 News).
  • Egypt allegedly barred UK-based Palestinian filmaker Said Zagah from boarding a flight to Hurghada to pitch a film at El Gouna Film Festival for unclear reasons (Variety).

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