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Thursday, 23 June 2022

THIS EVENING: Egypt still has capacity to boost LNG export volumes + CBE to hold policy meeting today + Germany reflects Europe’s ongoing energy crisis

Well, friends, we’ve made it to the end of the week. We hope you have a restful (or otherwise enjoyable) weekend ahead of what will likely be a shortened workweek: Next Thursday, 30 June is expected to be a national holiday in observance of June 30 Revolution Day.

THE BIG STORY TODAY

Egypt still has capacity at its Idku and Damietta liquefaction facilities it can use to boost LNG export volumes, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said today, according to a ministry statement. El Molla’s statement comes after Egypt signed last week an agreement with Israel and the EU that will see Tel Aviv send more gas to Egypt’s facilities for processing before being shipped to Europe. The agreement also covers cooperation on infrastructure utilization to help efficiently increase gas shipments to the EU.

The availability of extra capacity at our facilities is great news, considering…

THE BIG STORY ABROAD, which is the escalation of the energy crisis in Europe as the continent’s face-off with Russia continues to roil energy markets. Germany moved into the second phase — the “alarm stage” — of its national gas emergency plan after several days of lower gas supplies to Europe through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Although Germany is officially labeling the situation as a “gas crisis” and gas is a “scarce commodity,” Economy Minister Robert Habeck, higher prices will not yet get passed on to industrial or household consumers. If Germany moves into the third phase of its emergency plan, the government could begin rationing gas supplies to factories and households. The story is getting plenty of attention from the Financial Times, Reuters, and CNBC.

HAPPENING SOON-

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will hold its latest policy meeting today against the backdrop of rising inflation and an acceleration of the biggest global tightening cycle in decades. Coming on the back of worsening inflation data and the Federal Reserve’s huge 75-bps rate hike last week, emerging economies across the world will come under increasing pressure to act as liquidity tightens and borrowing costs rise.

We don’t really have a consensus on what the outcome of today’s meeting will be: A narrow majority of analysts we surveyed last week expect the CBE to keep things steady this month while it assesses the impact of recent rate hikes on inflation in June and July. Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Reuters this week has the CBE raising interest rates. Its survey of 17 analysts forecasts a 50 bps increase in the benchmark rate to 11.75% and a 25 bps hike in the lending rate to 12.50%. The central bank has already raised rates by 300 bps since March in response to inflation and external pressures.


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

  • FinMin wants to cut reliance on hot money: Egypt needs to focus less on attracting portfolio flows and more on foreign direct investment and export growth, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum this week.
  • POLL- Real estate players react to the government’s new regulations: Real estate developers facing new regulations designed to protect consumers and reduce market risk are broadly happy with the new rules, but are concerned that red tape could slow down the process.
  • Alhokair Group subsidiary FAS Energy is planning to invest some USD 450 mn (SAR 1.7 bn) to construct a 500 MW solar plant in Egypt in partnership with the Electricity Ministry and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company.

🗓 CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The Big 5 Construct Egypt (pdf) construction industry exhibition runs from 25-27 June at the Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC) in Cairo.

Amcham AGM next week: Our friends over at Amcham will hold their annual general meeting on Monday 27 June at the St. Regis Cairo Hotel. Finance Minister Mohamed Maait will address the gathering.

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 Friday to be particularly unpleasant as the mercury reaches 42°C during the day, our favorite weather app tells us. Saturday will be a tiny bit cooler at 40°C while temperatures will drop to 23-25°C during the weekend.

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