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Tuesday, 30 November 2021

TONIGHT: ESG-related bonds are coming to the EGX + the unvaxed can (probably) still go to the bank. Plus: New vaccines for Omicron?

Happy hump day, friends. It’s not quite a news dump day — as is typical of Tuesdays — but it is a relatively brisk news day with several important stories to keep your eye on.


Market regulator adds ESG-related instruments to Egypt’s bonds menu: Companies in Egypt will soon be able to list social, ESG, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and sustainable development bonds on the EGX after the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) approved amendments to the executive regulations of the Capital Markets Act today, according to a statement (pdf). The rollout of these bonds aim to support Egypt’s Vision 2030 in the areas of sustainability, gender equality, ESG, and social equity — the same way the introduction of green bonds in 2020 was meant to aid Egypt’s transition to a green economy.

WATCH THIS SPACE- Citizens won’t be able to get into a post office branch or government facility starting tomorrow without proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test. The Madbouly cabinet had issued a decision last month barring citizens from entering government facilities as of tomorrow. Egypt Post will be abiding by the rules as of tomorrow, with an internal circular distributed to all branches, a senior Egypt Post source confirmed to Enterprise.

You might be able to go to the bank, though: Customers can still enter bank branches without showing proof of vaccination, as long as they are wearing a face mask and adhering to other precautionary measures, Federation of Egyptian Banks Chairman Mohamed El Etreby said in a statement (pdf). These rules will remain in place until banks get official orders to do otherwise, according to El Etreby. Local Development Ministry spokesperson Khaled Qassem had said earlier this week that the cabinet’s decision would extend to post offices and banks.


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez is in town to discuss bilateral relations, economic and political cooperation and strategic ties, the Spanish embassy in Egypt said. Sánchez is leading a delegation of business leaders, the statement says.

The Egypt Defense Expo (EDEX) continues today and runs until this Thursday, 2 December. Some 400 international manufacturers and suppliers are showcasing military equipment and defense technologies at New Cairo’s International Exhibition Center.

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

  • SODIC board oks takeover bid: SODIC’s board of directors has approved a bid from Aldar Properties and ADQ despite the offer price falling short of the benchmark set in a fair value report.
  • The PM now has emergency pandemic powers: A law handing the prime minister extraordinary powers to respond to pandemics and public health crises was ratified by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday.
  • More African exports ahead: The government wants to increase the value of exports to Africa to USD 7 bn in 2022 and USD 10 bn by 2025 as part of a broader plan to boost trade with the continent.


We’ll need new vaccines for Omicron — and it will probably take months, says Moderna CEO: Currently available covid-19 vaccines are probably going to be significantly less effective against Omicron, which has a “high number” of mutations on the spike protein, than they were against the delta variant, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel tells the Financial Times. That means vaccines will need to be modified, but it will likely take months before pharma companies will be able to produce “new variant-specific jabs at scale.”

But previous vaccines will still provide some level of protection, European Medicines Agency executive director Emer Cooke told the European Parliament, according to Reuters.

Boosters for all: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone aged 18 years and up should get a booster shot to help improve protections against potential Omicron risks. Egypt is also rolling out booster shots to vulnerable people and the elderly soon, the government announced last week.

Nonetheless, the statements from Moderna got the markets in a bind: Responding quickly to the news, the Stoxx Europe is currently down almost 1%, Tokyo's Nikkei index ended today’s session down 1.6%. WTI futures for January are down 2.8% to USD 68.09/bbl while Brent crude slipped 3.1% to USD 71.17/bbl as of dispatch time.

Oil losses give us March 2020 déjàvu: Oil prices plunged 19% in November in the biggest monthly loss since the early days of the pandemic in March 2020, when the onset of covid smashed global consumption, according to Bloomberg.

Winter Olympics are still on: China is undeterred by Omicron and is on track to hold the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing, in roughly 65 days, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a presser today, according to Bloomberg. The new variant will pose challenges to prevention and control, but China’s experience in coping with the pandemic will not force it to cancel the event, the spokesperson said.


It’s a new month tomorrow. The key news triggers to keep your eye on at the start of 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 come out 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 appears 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.


Young professionals can now apply for the recently-launched McKinsey Forward program which focuses on leadership, business, and the transition to digital, McKinsey announced in a press release (pdf). The six-month program aims to teach participants how their business can combat challenges and use them to their advantage, integrate tech, and be adaptable and resilient during times of change. Forward will be available without charge to those eligible to apply, and one of the requirements is having less than five years of work experience. You can apply via this link before the 12 December deadline.

You have until 24 January to submit your local project proposals to Germany’s KfW Development Bank’s investing for employment facility (pdf). The bank will give grants to projects that drive job creation, especially those that are considered green. You can find more information on how to apply here.

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 week’s weather is sticking to 22°C during the day starting tomorrow, with nighttime lows between 12-15°C, our favorite weather app tells us.

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