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Thursday, 2 June 2022

THIS MORNING: “Food shock” and an “economic hurricane”: Just another week in 2022

Well, friends, we’ve made it through another workweek together. We’re capping the week with a pile of news covering everything from the threat of a global “food shock” and a “economic hurricane” to what most expect will be a boost to inflation here at home after the Madbouly government hiked the exchange rate it uses to calculate customs duties.

Want a dose of optimism after digesting all of that? Read this morning’s Coffee With interview with Todd Wilcox, the CEO of HSBC Egypt, who sees us pulling through 2022 — and who’s optimistic about the prospects for a country that his bank has declared a priority market.

^^ We have all of this and more below, in this morning’s news well.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD- Jamie Dimon’s doomsday warning: The chairman of JPMorgan is warning investors to brace for an “economic hurricane” driven by the war in Ukraine and aggressive monetary tightening by the Federal Reserve. “That hurricane is right out there down the road coming our way,” Dimon said at a financial services conference yesterday. “We don’t know if it’s a minor one or Superstorm Sandy. You better brace yourself.”

His comments are everywhere in the financial press this morning: Bloomberg | WSJ | FT | CNBC.

Sheryl Sandberg is leaving Facebook Meta after 14 years of serving as Mark Zuckerberg’s no.2: Becoming the company’s chief operating officer when Zuck was just 23 years old, Sandberg is regarded as being the brains behind the transformation of the social media platform into a bn-USD advertising giant. Everyone’s talking about it: AP | Reuters | WSJ | FT | Washington Post | CNBC.

SIGN OF THE TIMES- Show up to the office or GTFO: That’s Elon Musk’s message to Tesla workers. In an email to executive staff, the tech bn’aire said that employees will have to spend a minimum of 40 hours a week at the office — and if people fail to show their faces, the company “will assume you have resigned.” (FT | WSJ | CNBC | Reuters)


Countdown to Ghazl El Mahalla IPO: Ghazl El Mahalla FC will publish its public subscription notice (PSN) for its upcoming IPO in the local press today. The small, EGP 98 mn retail offering has been approved by the Financial Regulatory Authority, paving the way for the football club to go ahead with the sale later this month. The club has already completed the private placement component of the offering, raising EGP 37 mn from institutional investors back in November. It’s tiny, but as we’ve previously noted, the offering could set a precedent that allows Al Ahly to follow suit — and that could be very interesting indeed.

The Islamic Development Bank’s 2022 annual meetings are continuing today in Sharm El Sheikh and wrap on Saturday. Enterprise is attending the annual meetings and will bring you the details next week.


“Food shock”: Prepare for more downgrades in emerging markets, S&P warns: The economic and political fallout of the “global food shock” will spell trouble for a raft of countries in the developing world, which could see fresh downgrades in the coming months, ratings agency S&P Global said in a report picked up by the Financial Times. “Rising energy and food prices represent yet further balance-of-payments, fiscal, and growth shocks to the majority of emerging markets. This intensifies strains on their public finances and ratings, which are already impacted negatively by the global pandemic,” said Frank Gill, sovereign specialist for Europe, Middle East and Africa at the firm.

Commodity traders are finding ways to circumvent sanctions on Russian oil: Russian oil is continuing to find its way to Europe and the US thanks to traders who are blending it in refined petroleum such as gasoline, diesel and chemicals, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is despite the US and UK embargoing Russian energy earlier this year, and the EU announcing a partial ban this week.


NEWS TRIGGERS you’ll want to keep an eye on as the new month gets underway:

  • PMI: May’s purchasing managers’ index figures for Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be released on Sunday, 5 June. The UAE’s release is out tomorrow, Friday, 3 June;
  • Foreign reserves figures for May should be announced sometime next week;
  • Inflation figures for May are due out on Saturday, 9 June (from state statistics agency Capmas) and Sunday, 12 June (central bank figures);
  • Capmas’ monthly bulletin covering the price of key building materials is due out on 5 June;
  • The Central Bank of Egypt holds its policy meeting on Thursday, 23 June.

Conference season continues next week:

  • Africa Health ExCon runs from Sunday-Tuesday, 5-7 June at Al Manara International Conference Center, Egypt International Exhibitions Center, and the St. Regis Almasa Hotel in the new administrative capital.
  • Technology conference Tech Invest 4 will take place next Tuesday, 7 June at the Grand Nile Hotel in Cairo.

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

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