TONIGHT: Tanmeyah is now wholly owned by EFG + unemployment inches up in 3Q2021
It’s an energy-focused hump day, ladies and gentlemen, with a flurry of energy news coming out of various global oil, gas and commodities summits today, some of which looks like it could pose upsides on the domestic front.
This includes Tel Aviv reportedly wanting to back out of the UAE pipeline agreement over “environmental risks,” and Europe having to diversify its gas imports away from Russia as it reportedly risks more rolling outages this year.
Domestic carbon capture projects on the horizon? Italian energy firm Eni is in talks with the oil ministry on joint projects in carbon capture, the details of which are set to be announced at next year’s COP27 climate summit in Sharm El Sheikh, according to a ministry statement.
THE OTHER BIG STORIES TODAY-
#1- Unemployment rate inched back up in 3Q2021: Egypt’s unemployment rate rose for the first time since returning to pre-pandemic levels in 3Q2020, inching up to 7.5%, marginally up from 7.3% last quarter, according to figures (pdf) released by Capmas. The state statistics bureau put the jump down to the entry of fresh graduates into the job market in August and September, which it says widened the size of the workforce and led to a subsequent rise in unemployment levels.
#2- EFG Hermes now has full ownership of Tanmeyah: EFG Hermes has acquired the remaining 6.5% stake held by retail investors in its microfinance firm Tanmeyah for EGP 415 mn, a company official confirmed to Enterprise. The microfinance player has issued EGP 18 bn in loans to some 1.5 mn clients since it was founded in 2009, according to Al Mal, and recently became the first microfinance firm to offer pre-paid meeza cards in Egypt.
^^We’ll have more on these stories in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.
HAPPENING NOW- The Prime Minister will be given expanded powers during pandemic and other health crises after the House of Representatives approved the measures today, Youm7 reports. The PM would have the authority to impose restrictions on movement and public gatherings, suspend schools and universities, and set opening and closing times for retail stores, among other powers.
The 25 powers granted to the Prime Minister also include setting price caps on key goods and services. These powers can also be expanded at a later date depending on the circumstances. The powers were put forward as part of a draft bill outlining procedures to combat pandemics, which just received a preliminary sign off from the House, the newspaper reports.
The first day of the Africa Fintech summit is currently underway. The summit looks at innovation in the fintech ecosystem, venture capital and other forms of investing, and will also discuss the rise of healthtech.
CORRECTION- A story we picked up from Amwal Al Ghad earlier this week incorrectly claimed that Tatweer Misr is borrowing EGP 3.5 bn from the National Bank of Egypt and AAIB. Representatives from Tatweer told Enterprise it is not borrowing the sum from these banks. We have updated the story on our website to reflect this information.
** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:
- Gov’t looking to gradually back out of certain economic sectors: The state will decide its “priority areas for structural reform” in order to open the door for more private sector involvement in the economy, and will review every two years which state-owned enterprises it will drop, and which it will keep in its portfolio.
- House gives PPP Act final nod: Private sector players will have an easier time bidding for public infrastructure projects under amendments explicitly allowing public entities to partner with private companies on transport, energy, communications and healthcare projects.
- e-Finance pushes expansion with B2B e-commerce, digital health, and tourism platforms: e-payments firm e-Finance is focused on the build-out of new lines of business and expanding its regional footprint, and is also pursuing a number of non-bank financial services licenses.
THE BIG STORY ABROAD-
Haftar joins the Libyan presidential race: Khalifa Haftar announced his candidacy for president in the December 24 election in a televised statement today, which will see him face off against Seif al-Islam Al Qaddafi, who announced his candidacy on Sunday. Haftar backs the eastern Libyan government and commands the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, a position he relinquished to his chief of staff in September to run for president. He is supported by Egypt, the UAE, France and Russia. Parliament Speaker Agila Saleh, Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and former Interior Minister Fathi Bashaga are also likely to make presidential bids. Ahram Online, Reuters, Washington Post and the Associated Press all have the story.
The Intra-African Trade Fair 2021 is still ongoing in South Africa. Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea is heading a delegation of 40 Egyptian companies participating in the trade fair this year, according to a statement.The event this year will focus on the newly-launched African Continental FreeTrade Area (AfCFTA) which aims to boost trade and investment for 55 countries, including Egypt. The trade fair will run until Sunday.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
We’re getting a royal visit this week: British royal family members Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will be in Cairo on Thursday and Friday, following a visit to Jordan today as part of a royal tour, in which they are expected to focus on bilateral relations and climate change.
☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The mercury will rise to 26°C during the day tomorrow before falling to 16°C at night, our favorite weather app tells us.