TONIGHT: A new corporate green bond sale in the works + what’s up with Uber’s GPS? Plus: Supply chain woes aren’t doing Egypt’s private sector any favors
Good afternoon, ladies and gents, and welcome to a busy second-to-last day of the workweek. A relatively calm news cycle this morning was pierced by news that Egypt has a fresh corporate green bond sale in the works, and indications that the state privatization program is really roaring back to life.
BUT FIRST- What’s been going on with Uber’s GPS? A number of us here at Enterprise and a handful of our friends have noticed that Uber’s GPS system has been glitching over the past several days, instructing drivers to take longer or more time-consuming routes and consequently driving up fares. The app does allow riders to dispute a fare difference once the ride is complete and request a refund on the fare increase. Enterprise has reached out to Uber and is waiting on an official comment.
This might be related — or similar to — a new feature Google Maps has rolled out to opt for the route with the lowest level of emissions if the time difference between routes isn’t significant. The changes are also meant to optimize your route for lower fuel consumption, lowering gas costs for users.
Have you experienced something similar? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
#1- The Great Global Supply Chain Snarl is weighing on Egypt’s non-oil private sector activity, which contracted for the 11th consecutive month in October, inching down to a five-month low as inputs fall and prices soar at the sharpest rate in over three years, the IHS Markit’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) (pdf) showed. The PMI dipped to 48.7 from 48.9 in September amid shipment delays and price surges.
#2- A fresh sale of corporate green bonds is in the works, with unnamed private sector players planning to issue USD 120-200 mn-worth of the climate-friendly securities, Planning Minister Hala El Said said today, giving no further details. CIB issued Egypt’s first-ever corporate green bonds last summer, selling USD 100 mn of the securities in July.
#3- More proof e-Finance’s IPO breathed new life into the state privatization program: HHD is back to eyeing a secondary stake sale. The company is eyeing the sale of an additional stake of an undisclosed size to EGX investors by mid-2022, as part of the state privatization program, Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik told Masrawy. The plans are part of a shift in company strategy that will see it pursue partnerships with private developers in hopes of boosting interest in its shares, Tawfik said.
^^ We’ll have the full rundown of these stories and more in tomorrow morning’s edition of EnterpriseAM.
ALSO WORTH NOTING- The government will officially begin its move to the new capital in December for a trial period of six months, Ittihadiya announced in a statement. No further details on which departments, agencies, or ministries would lead the move had been announced as of dispatch time.
It’s decision day at the Fed: The US Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee will announce later today the outcome of its two-day meeting. The emerging consensus is that the Fed will announce it is winding down its USD 120 bn a month asset purchase program instituted at the start of the pandemic to cushion the economy. The central bank is facing somewhat of a catch-22 in coping with stagflation: Keeping rates low would allow the recovery to continue, but prices could spiral — while tightening would quell inflation but stifle demand and provoke market volatility.
Emerging markets including Egypt will be watching the Fed’s meeting closely — rising US rates will put pressure on inflows into EM debt.
** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:
- It looks like SPACs will be popular in Egypt: Two NBFS players are already eyeing setting up SPACs in Egypt to acquire and list fintech players.
- A slice of green funding, please: Egypt is one of the markets private equity giant BlackRock could be investing in through its new USD 673 mn climate-focused infrastructure fund for emerging markets.
- Benya Capital eyes dual listing: IT infrastructure contractor Benya Capital is considering a dual listing on the EGX and a foreign bourse.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD? Duh — climate change and COP26.
The money managers pledging net-zero emissions haven’t yet agreed on what that looks like. Net-zero has become a buzzword in the finance industry, and the current lack of clarity on an industry standard leaves the door open for institutions to misrepresent or exaggerate their green credentials, Bloomberg reports. In a first step towards improving agreement and transparency among financial institutions, environmental disclosure organization the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has released a report geared toward helping the finance industry set green standards, following the SBTi’s Net-Zero Standard released for companies last month.
The new standards come as global financial institutions controlling a combined USD 130 tn pledge to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 under the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), complying with the goals set out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, as we reported this morning. Critics, however, say asset managers signed up to Gfanz have only aligned 35% of their total assets to net zero targets so far, and must divest from fossil fuels if they are to realise these commitments, The Financial Times reports.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
The Africa Early Stage Investors Summit kicks off tonight, starting with an investor meetup sponsored by the Cairo Angels at Consoleya in Downtown Cairo. The summit will continue on Thursday and Friday with virtual sessions featuring speakers from angel networks, VC funds, accelerators, and the public sector, among others.
Other key news triggers in November:
- Foreign reserves: October’s foreign reserves figures will be out sometime this week;
- Inflation: Inflation figures for October will be released next Wednesday, 10 November;
- There’s no MPC meeting this month — the central bank will next meet on 16 December to review interest rates for the final time this year. The CBE has yet to issue its MPC calendar for 2022.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.
☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect a daytime high of 29°C and a nighttime low of 18°C tomorrow, according to our favorite weather app.