Wednesday, 24 November 2021

TONIGHT: Booster jabs coming for high-risk individuals here at home + OC joins Ain Sokhna green hydrogen project + markets shrug at Biden’s oil dump

It’s an unexpectedly brisk news day, considering it’s been a generally calm week so far. We’re certainly not complaining — especially since the biggest stories of the day here at home are all good news.

THE BIG STORIES TODAY-

#1- Booster jabs approved for Egypt’s most at-risk: A plan to offer third shots of covid-19 vaccines to those most vulnerable to infection here at home has received government signoff, Higher Education and Acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar said today, according to a cabinet statement. Booster jabs will be offered to those with primary immune disorders, people taking immunosuppressive therapies, elderly people, and those with high exposure to the virus, such as healthcare workers, Abdel Ghaffar said, without specifying when the rollout would begin.

More covid news from the cabinet meeting: An app is under development to streamline submitting covid-related tests and paperwork for tourists to Egypt.

#2- OC joins Ain Sokhna green hydrogen project: Orascom Construction is joining a consortium of Norway’s Scatec, Nassif Sawiris-backed Fertiglobe, and the Sovereign Fund of Egypt to build a 100 MW green hydrogen project in Ain Sokhna, OC said in a statement (pdf). OC will be responsible for the local works on the facility, which it expects to wrap before COP27 kicks off next November.

#3- Germany’s BSH Home Appliances will begin constructing its planned EUR 30 mn oven factory in 10th of Ramadan City next year, according to a press release (pdf). The factory, which will have a production capacity of over 350k units per year, will be Bosch und Siemens Hausgerät (BSH)’s first in Africa. Construction is set to take two years, with the factory slated to come online in 2024.

^^ We’ll have more on these stories in tomorrow’s EnterpriseAM.

HAPPENING NOW-

Aldar-ADQ MTO subscription period begins: The 10-day window for SODIC shareholders to subscribe to Aldar Properties and ADQ’s mandatory tender offer for 90% of SODIC kicked off this morning and wraps at the end of the trading day on Tuesday, 7 December. Aldar and ADQ are offering (pdf) EGP 20 per share.

Swiss investors in town: A delegation of 16 Swiss business leaders are wrapping up a four-day visit to kick the tires on potential cooperation, according to a cabinet statement. International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat met with the delegation earlier today to discuss the government’s structural reform program and forward-looking development plans, the statement said. The visit comes a few days after the two countries signed a cooperation agreement through 2024 that will focus on Egypt’s transition towards a green economy.

** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:

  • Investor confidence in Egypt is showing a “marked improvement,” EFG Hermes Group CEO Karim Awad said at EFG Hermes’ Egypt Day conference yesterday, pointing to progress on the government’s economic reform program as having a significant impact on the business climate.
  • CIB approved the allocation of USD 70 mn in proceeds from its maiden green bond issuance to fund sustainable projects in the education, banking, and food and beverage sectors.
  • Covid death toll: More than 20k Egyptians have now died as a result of covid-19. Egypt has one of the highest covid mortality rates in the world, with 5.7% of reported cases resulting in death.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

Olaf Scholz taking over from Merkel as Germany’s next leader: The country’s finance minister and member of its left-leaning Social Democrat Party (SPD) will succeed German Chancellor Angela Merkel early next month, with Germany’s “traffic-light” coalition having come to an agreement on joint governance. The SPD, liberal FDP, and Green parties began a joint press conference to announce their coalition agreement in Berlin as we hit “send” on this afternoon’s edition, German media reported. The news comes after almost two months of negotiations between the political parties after national elections in September, which returned a narrow victory for the SPD, while Merkel’s Christian Democrats saw their worst-ever result, forcing the party into opposition for the first time in 16 years. The story is getting wide coverage in the international press (Financial Times | Deutsche Welle | Bloomberg | Wall Street Journal | CNBC).

Biden’s oil dump barely makes a dent in prices: The announcement yesterday that the US would release 50 mn bbl of crude oil into the market as part of a coordinated effort to increase supply with a handful of other nations appears to have made little impact on prices, Bloomberg reports. Benchmark US crude had been trading lower in recent days in anticipation of the news, but WTI futures for January stabilized to trade at USD 78.39/bbl as of dispatch time, not far off YTD highs of over USD 80/bbl.

Why the ‘meh’ from the market? The contribution to the plan from partners including India, the UK, China, Japan and South Korea is set to come in below expectations, while much of the oil from US reserves will have to be returned to the stockpile by buyers, according to Bloomberg. “It doesn’t really make a big difference physically in the market today but will probably just make things worse rather than better down the road,” one analyst told Bloomberg.

Now the focus is on OPEC’s response: The Saudi and Russia-led group of oil exporting nations could clap back by halting planned supply increases for months, offsetting the impact of Biden’s dump. All eyes will now be on the OPEC+ meeting scheduled for next Thursday, 2 December, where the group will agree on January output. OPEC had rebuffed calls from the US and others to increase output at a steeper rate preceding Biden’s intervention, with key officials insisting that the market will switch into a surplus by the first quarter of next year on the back of a resurgence in covid cases in Europe and the US, Bloomberg reports.

FOR TOMORROW-

Luxor’s 3k-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes or Rams Road will be unveiled in an opening ceremony tomorrow, according to the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry. The avenue features sphinxes and statues lined up on either side of a 3 km long walkway that connects the Karnak Temple with the Luxor Temple.

Rameda Pharma’s annual general meeting (pdf) will take place tomorrow, during which the company will decide on the sale of a 5% stake in the company from an individual shareholder to an unnamed institutional investor.

Startup gathering RiseUp starts tomorrow and runs through Saturday.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Cairo International Film Festival kicks off its weeklong run this coming Friday.

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 26°C tomorrow and a nighttime low of 15°C, our favorite weather app tells us.

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