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Thursday, 25 November 2021

THIS MORNING: East Mediterranean Gas Forum meeting in Cairo today; Turkey, UAE sign huge investment pact; Merkel out, Scholz in.

Good morning ladies and gents, and welcome to the end of yet another week — and the final Thursday of November. We only have five left of those this year, if you can believe that.

Today we bring news of stellar growth figures, an unexpectedly early booster-shot rollout, and one of Egypt’s biggest names jumping on the green hydrogen bandwagon, which looks like it’s going to keep rolling as we count the days to next year’s COP27 summit in Sharm.

Before that though: We wish all our American readers a happy Thanksgiving. The US markets will be closed today for the holiday, and close early tomorrow for Black Friday. Many international schools in Egypt that follow a US curriculum are off for the day, too.

BIG IN THE REGION-

MBZ just bailed out Erdogan: Turkey and the UAE yesterday signed agreements for bns of USD of investments, helping to stabilize the TRY following its historic crash on Tuesday. The Abu Dhabi wealth fund, ADQ, will invest USD 10 bn in strategic areas of Turkey’s economy such as food, energy and healthcare, while 10 agreements signed will see the two former rivals strengthen energy, technology, environmental and banking ties.

Tensions have well and truly thawed: The raft of agreements came during Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s first visit to Turkey in years for talks which Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called “very constructive.” “Problems with the UAE are now behind us. We are entering a period based fully on cooperation and mutual benefit,” one source said. Cavusoglu plans to visit Abu Dhabi for follow-up talks next month.

The news seems to have satisfied the currency traders — for now: The TRY recovered some of its losses suffered on Tuesday, rising as much as 7% yesterday. The currency was in freefall earlier this week after Erdogan defended the central bank’s decision to cut interest rates last week in spite of rising inflation and a weakening currency that has now lost as much as 45% of its value against the greenback this year. (Bloomberg | Reuters | FT | Wall Street Journal | CNN)

HAPPENING INTERNATIONALLY-

Move aside Merkel, Germany has a new chancellor: Social Democrat Olaf Scholz will officially end Angela Merkel’s 16-year stint as the country’s chancellor after the three-party coalition finally reached an agreement to enter government after three months of negotiations. Merkel only has a few weeks at the top of German politics remaining, with Scholz likely to be elected chancellor by parliament early next month after the parties’ members have signed off on the coalition agreement. (BBC | Wall Street Journal | Bloomberg | New York Times | Washington Post | Reuters | AP)

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY-

East Mediterranean Gas Forum meeting in Cairo today: Energy ministers of the member countries that make up the East Mediterranean Gas Forum will meet today in Cairo. Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Italy and France are all members of the forum, while the EU, US and World Bank have observer status.

Rameda Pharma’s annual general meeting (pdf) takes place today, 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 today and runs through Saturday.

Luxor’s 3000-year-old Avenue of Sphinxes or Rams Road will be unveiled in an opening ceremony this evening, according to the Tourism 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.

COMING SOON- A USD 30 mn SME loan straight from Kuwait: The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development is lining up a USD 30 mn loan which will be channelled in Egyptian SMEs via a local bank, the cabinet said yesterday following a meeting between PM Moustafa Madbouly and officials from the fund. The agreement will apparently soon be signed with the bank, whose identity was not disclosed.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Cairo International Film Festival kicks off its weeklong run tomorrow.

PSA- Calling all college seniors and recent grads: You have until next Monday, 29 November to register for a career development training program from the CIT Ministry’s Digital Egypt Youth initiative. The program will be held online in January 2022.

The new round of Silicon Waha’s Startup Factory will kick off on 10 December at the Assiut Technology Zone. The program will offer marketing tips and tricks for startup founders, who can apply here.

Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.

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