TONIGHT: Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Fresh energy projects for the private sector from EMGF? Plus: valU eyes cross-border expansion.
Mabrouk, friends — we’ve made it through the workweek. We can’t believe it’s already Thanksgiving today, which means we’re starting the tumble towards the end of the year. Before you know it, we’ll be staring down the face of the new year (and hopefully a proper winter season).
Speaking of winter: Some good news for parents looking for something to keep the kids busy during the break: EGX-listed education outfit CIRA is bringing the US’ IVY Camps to Egypt, starting off with an online winter camp next month, according to a statement (pdf). The camp — which will cap each class capacity at six students — will focus on STEAM, business leadership, arts, media, and communications, in addition to providing pre-university courses for students heading to higher education soon. CIRA also plans to bring the camp offline to the North Coast as early as next June.
THE BIG STORY TODAY-
#1- New energy projects in the pipeline for the private sector? The East Mediterranean Gas Forum has several future projects lined up that will entail cooperation between the forum’s member countries, international financial institutions, and the private sector, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said at the forum’s ministerial meeting earlier today, according to CNBC. No further details were provided. Cyprus has also been tapped to take over the presidency of the forum for 2022, according to an Oil Ministry statement. Cyprus’ Permanent Secretary of the Energy, Commerce, and Industry Ministry Mario Panagides has also been tapped as the forum’s executive board for next year. The forum, whose member states include Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Italy and France, will hold its next meeting in June 2022.
#2- EFG Hermes subsidiary valU is eyeing expansion into Saudi Arabia and North Africa as early as next year, EFG Hermes Finance CEO Walid Hassouna told Bloomberg Alsharq. The buy-now-pay-later firm’s plans for cross-border expansion come as it is on track to record EGP 2 bn in revenues this year, doubling its 2020 figures, according to Hassouna.
** CATCH UP QUICK on the top stories from today’s EnterpriseAM:
- Egypt’s economy grew 9.8% in 1Q2021-2022 — its quickest pace in two decades — as it continued to rebound from last year’s slump in activity caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
- Booster shot rollout coming soon: The Health Ministry has decided to start handing out booster shots to vulnerable people and the elderly in the coming days amid elevated case rates at home and surging infection rates abroad.
- Coca-Cola is pouring USD 1 bn into Egypt expansion: Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) is looking to invest USD 1 bn in the Egyptian market over the next five years following its acquisition of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Egypt
THE BIG STORY ABROAD-
The death of 27 migrants as they attempted to illicitly cross the English Channel this morning is topping headlines across the foreign press. London and Paris exchanged blame for the accident in the channel, which is known for its strong currents, with border control continuing to be a source of friction between the two countries. Four human traffickers were arrested by French police, but the nationalities and identities of the migrants remain unknown. Reuters, BBC, France24, AP, and the FT all have the story.
Saudi Arabia and Russia could decide to hold off on planned oil supply increases to offset the impact of US President Joe Biden’s decision earlier this week to turn on the oil taps and release release 50 mn bbl of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter. It’s still unclear whether Riyadh and Moscow will be able to sway the rest of the OPEC+ cartel to shift its policy at the next meeting scheduled for 2 December, as Kuwait and the UAE are both “resisting a pause,” the newspaper says. WTI futures for January inched down another 0.18% today to trade at USD 78.25/bbl as of dispatch time.
Rameda Pharma’s annual general meeting (pdf) takes place today. The company will decide at the meeting on the sale of a 5% stake in the company from an individual shareholder to an unnamed institutional investor.
Startup gathering RiseUp kicks off this evening 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.
FOR TOMORROW- The Cairo International Film Festival kicks off its weeklong run tomorrow.
🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
It’s a new month next week. The key news triggers to keep your eye on as we approach December:
- PMI: Purchasing managers’ index figures for November for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar will be released on Sunday, 5 December. Figures for the UAE, which normally drop on the same day as Egypt and Saudi, will be released two days later on Tuesday, 7 December.
- Foreign reserves: November’s foreign reserves figures will be released during the first week of the month.
- Inflation: Inflation figures for November will be released on Thursday, 9 December. Data for inflation typically drops on the 10th of every month, but is moved up one day if that falls on a Friday.
- Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee will hold its final meeting for the year to review interest rates on Thursday, 16 December.
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.
☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- The weather is heating up again: The mercury will go up to 27°C on Friday, 29°C on Saturday, and 30°C on Sunday, with the weather peaking on Monday at an unseasonably warm 32°C, our favorite weather app tells us. Nighttime lows will be in the range of 16-20°C in the coming days.