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Thursday, 19 May 2022

World Bank to spend another USD 12 bn to combat “devastating” food crisis

The World Bank will deploy an extra USD 12 bn to combat the “devastating effects” of rising food insecurity around the world, driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and climate change, it said yesterday. The funds will bring the Bank’s total funding for food security projects over the next 15 months to USD 30 bn. Supply shortages caused by the war in Ukraine, severe weather and growing food protectionism have cause global food prices to surge to record highs this year, piling pressure on commodity importers and raising fears of a global food crisis.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) wealth fund has taken a 5% stake in Nintendo in its latest gaming push, Reuters reports. The fund has taken an interest in the gaming industry recently, with multiple acquisitions of stakes including in US-based Activision, Nexon, and Capcom. The fund has also launched its own video game and e-sports company, Savvy Gaming.

The US isn’t going to continue allowing Russia to pay off its foreign debt: Russia could finally default on its foreign-held debt, Bloomberg reports, as the US looks set to next week close a loophole that has allowed Moscow to continue paying coupons on its foreign bonds despite sweeping sanctions. Any default would mark Russia’s first in a century, but it's unclear what it would actually mean for the country — which has insisted that it is willing and able to make the payments on its USD 20 bn of sovereign foreign-held debt, and will go ahead and pay in RUB if USD transfers are blocked.

Also worth noting:

  • Google’s Russian subsidiary will file for bankruptcy after authorities seized the company’s bank account, making operations “untenable.” (Reuters)
  • French container giant CMA CGM will become a leading shareholder in Air France-KLM, in a partnership that will see the two firms combine their cargo networks and cross-sell their freight capacity. (Financial Times)




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The EGX30 rose 0.3% at yesterday’s close on turnover of EGP 644 mn (25.5% above the 90-day average). Local investors were net buyers. The index is down 12.4% YTD.

In the green: Ibnsina Pharma (+3.2%), Orascom Development Egypt (+2.0%) and MM Group (+1.5%).

In the red: Rameda (-1.8%), Fawry (-1.8%) and Elsewedy Electric (-1.5%).

Asian markets are picking up where US stocks left off: Markets across the region are in the red this morning as fears over global growth and rising inflation continue. It’s looking like it’s going to be another torrid day in Europe and the US today if the futures markets are anything to go by. A sea of red.

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