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Tuesday, 7 December 2021

THIS MORNING: Eye on inflation ahead of central bank interest rate meeting + a crazy-busy news day

It’s one heck of a busy news day today, wonderful people, so let’s jump right in and get this show on the road:

THE BIG STORY OF THE DAY- Aldar Properties and ADQ’s mandatory tender offer for up to 90% of upmarket real estate developer SODIC is going through after blowing past the 51% minimum subscription threshold for the acquisition to go through. SODIC subscribers have until the end of trading today to respond to the MTO.

A US-UAE consortium is going to turn our Temple of Bureaucracy into a multipurpose attraction that will anchor the heart of Downtown Cairo. The good people at the Sovereign Fund of Egypt announced the partnership yesterday.

And solid lobbying by industry participants seems to have put the state’s sale of a new tobacco license back on the front burner.

We have more on all three stories in today’s news well, below.

ALSO- It feels a lot like diplomats have taken a Hot Tub Time Machine to some twisted alternate-reality version of 1984. Consider this:

  • Washington is (kinda-sorta) boycotting the Beijing Olympics;
  • The UAE and Iran are edging toward restoring ties;
  • And Amreeka is getting edgy as China looks to project power into the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

Oh, and Joe Biden is picking up the red phone to try to de-escalate with Vladimir Putin as old Cold War tensions flare. The FT wants you to know that “Western leaders are presenting a united front” as Biden is expected to threaten Putin with sanctions if Russia were to (further) invade Ukraine.

MEANWHILE- Have we reached peak 2021? A story in Fortune magazine suggests as much: This artist is auctioning off one of her eggs through an NFT. The creep factor is strong in this one.

Your daily reminder that technical analysis = the reading of sheep’s entrails, from a technical analysis guy with a sense of ha-ha.

PSA- We could be in for some gnarly weather, with wind and possibly rain sweeping Alexandria today and the capital city tomorrow. Our favourite weather app and the national weather service are both on the same page here. Check out Last Night’s Talk Shows (below) for more.


The two-day North Africa Trade Finance Summit starts today, bringing together business leaders, people from the financial industry, logistics experts and policymakers to discuss trade finance.


Inflation figures for November will be released this Thursday, 9 December. Urban inflation slipped slightly to 6.3% in October from 6.6% the month before, which was the highest reading since January 2020. The dip resulted from a serious slowdown in non-food inflation, though food and beverage prices continued to accelerate.

Renaissance Capital expects the trend to continue, writing in a research note yesterday that it is forecasting inflation to fall to 5.8% by the end of the year. Food price inflation, which has been rising for much of this year climbing to 11.6% y-o-y in October, will have started to abate in November, according to RenCap, which is penciling a 2022 year-end inflation rate of 5.2%.

That puts the focus squarely on the CBE’s final policy meeting of the year, which will take place on 16 December. Policymakers have held off lowering interest rates further this year and will continue to remain reluctant to do so next week in the face of Egypt’s current account deficit, RenCap says. The current account deficit widened by almost two thirds during FY 2020-2021 to USD 18.4 bn due to falling tourism revenues and rising imports. RenCap is expecting it to narrow to 4.0% of GDP during the current FY from 4.8% in 2020-2021.


Global Forum for Higher Education and Scientific Research runs tomorrow through to Friday at the St. Regis Al Masa Convention Center.

The Cairo Woodshow kicks off on Thursday at the Cairo International Convention Center

Booster shot registration: The Health Ministry will begin allowing senior citizens with chronic medical conditions, as well as all medical staff, to register for a booster covid-19 vaccine as of next Sunday, 12 December.

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


*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: With plenty of natural attractions across the country, ecotourism has been picking up in Egypt, particularly as the government has incorporated ecotourism into its broader tourism revival strategy. Today, we look at the state of the country’s ecotourism industry and what’s being done to support and encourage sustainable travel.

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