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Tuesday, 15 March 2022

THIS EVENING: More green hydrogen investments as Madbouly gov’t gives more details on green incentives. Plus: Subsidized bread price caps coming soon?

Happy hump day, ladies and gentlemen. It’s not quite a news dump day, but there are definitely a few big stories we’re watching closely this afternoon.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

#1- More green hydrogen + green ammonia investments coming our way? British energy services company Petrofac will conduct an early-stage feasibility study on a new green hydrogen / ammonia facility for a Mediterranean Energy Partners’ (MEP) subsidiary, according to a Petrofac statement. The project would produce 125k tonnes of ammonia annually for export.

The announcement comes as the Madbouly government is providing more clarity on incentives for investments in the green economy, as well as scientific research and increasing domestic manufacturing, according to a cabinet statement.

#2- That price cap on unsubsidized loaves could be coming sooner rather than later, after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ordered the government today to set prices for the bread after prices spiked on the back of the Ukrainian-Russia crisis, according to an Ittihadiya statement. The move comes after the idea of the mechanism was floated last night by cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad, who said the regulations would put into consideration global inflation, wheat prices, and fairness to the end-consumer as well as bakeries. El Sisi has also directed ministers to diversify the sources of staple commodities, with an eye towards raising strategic reserves to no less than six months, the statement added.

^^ We’ll have more on these stories and others in tomorrow’s edition of EnterpriseAM.


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

  • Gov’t to up local wheat prices and cut fertilizer costs: The government is going to pay more for the wheat it buys from domestic farmers and will reportedly make new announcements on subsidized fertilizer prices for wheat farmers.
  • We are “not yet” in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a fresh loan, said Planning Minister Hala El Said, but the Finance Ministry is currently working on an emergency plan to handle the country’s rising import bill on the orders of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.
  • Palm Hills Developments’ general assembly approves EGP 3.25 bn sukuk issuance: Shareholders voting at the company’s ordinary general assembly approved the issuance of shariah-compliant bonds worth EGP 3.25 bn at a meeting on Sunday, after its board of directors greenlit the sale in February.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD

A delegation of Central European leaders are making their way to Ukraine “to offer a broad package of support” to Kyiv, the Wall Street Journal reports. The delegation includes the heads of state of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovenia.

The delegation is arriving as Ukraine imposed a 35-hour curfew starting this evening in Kyiv after at least four people were killed as Russian forces escalated their assault on the Ukrainian capital, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said, according to Reuters. Citizens will only be allowed to go to bomb shelters, Klitschko said, prohibiting them from moving in the city without special permission.

Over three mn people have fled Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis, the UN’s International Organization for Migration said on Twitter, warning that “mns more” could follow.

Without a peace agreement, the war could end in two months as Russia eventually runs out of resources, Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich said, according to Reuters. Arestovich sees two possible scenarios: Either the two sides reach a peace agreement within a week or two, or Russia regroups and manages to scrape together some resources for a fresh round of attacks. If the latter scenario plays out, Arestovich expects that Ukraine would continue to hold its ground and eventually reach an agreement by mid-April or late April.

MARKET WATCH- Oil prices slipped below USD 100 per barrel today, with Brent crude futures for May delivery falling 6.6% to USD 99.84 per barrel and WTI futures for April falling 6.7% to USD 96.12 per barrel.

US equities are having a better day, with S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rising 0.2% each, while Nasdaq 100 futures are up 0.4%, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, the London Metal Exchange is resuming trading on its nickel contracts as of tomorrow morning, following a six-day suspension of trading, the exchange said in a notice (pdf).

More sanctions for Russia: The EU slapped Moscow with additional sanctions targeting its defense, steel and energy sectors over its invasion of Ukraine, according to a European Commission press release. The sanctions include a ban on investments in Russia’s energy sector, an export ban on luxury goods, and an important ban on Russian steel products, which are set to cause Russia losses of EUR 3.3 bn in export revenue. The bloc has also extended the list of sanctions persons and bodies to include Russian oligarchs linked to the Kremlin. The UK followed suit with its own ban on exports of luxury goods to Russia, while Russian products such as vodka, fertilizers, steel, and aluminum are getting a 35 percentage point increase in customs tariffs.

THIS WEEK-

Members of the public will be able to take a stroll along the Ahl Masr promenade for the first time on Friday when the government opens the first, 1.8-km section running between Imbaba Bridge and the 15 May bridge. The two-level walkway will house restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as a theater and three parking lots.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

Green energy forum: The German Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce is hosting the Egyptian German Green Energy Forum next Tuesday, 22 March. The event runs 5:30-9pm CLT at the InterContinental Cairo Semiramis.

ITIDA’s Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is organizing its first “metaverse hackathon,” according to a press release (pdf). The challenge bagan on 15 February and will run until 15 June.

PSA- We have 18 days left until the start of Ramadan. If you’re in Cairo, you’ll have until 4:16am CLT to finish sohour before the start of the fast. Maghrib prayers are at 6:14pm on the first day. On the final day of the holy month, you’ll be looking at 3:37am as the cut-off for sohour and will break your fast at 6:32pm.

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 19°C tomorrow during the day and a nighttime low of 8°C, according to our favorite weather app.

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