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Thursday, 21 July 2022

THIS EVENING: Pachin BoD rejects Saybad takeover bid + Uber raises prices on higher fuel costs. Plus: Interest rate decisions from Turkey and the ECB

We’ve officially made it to the weekend, friends. As you join the exodus to Sahel (or if you managed to slip out of work early, if you’re luckier than us), the news flow here at home is also in weekend mode.


Pachin’s board of directors have rejected Saybad’s takeover bid, saying that Saybad’s offer is not reflective of the real value of the company and its assets, according to a company disclosure to the bourse (pdf). EGX-listed Pachin will ask Saybad to revise their offer, taking into consideration the company’s land portfolio, the board decided. The board will also present the question of allowing due diligence proceedings at their next general assembly meeting for a vote.

^^We’ll have more details on this story and others in Sunday’s edition of EnterpriseAM.

PSA- Your Uber ride just got slightly pricier, with base fares for its UberX service in Cairo rising to EGP 9 (from EGP 8.50), while the minimum fare is up EGP 1 to EGP 15, according to an email sent out to users. In Alexandria, the base fare for UberX rides is up EGP 0.40 to EGP 8.70, with the minimum fare rising to EGP 13, from EGP 12 previously. The company attributed the price increases to the government’s recent decision to raise fuel prices.


It’s a busy Thursday afternoon in the global business press. On the agenda:

#1- Russia resumes flow of natural gas to Europe — with a reduced volume, the operator of major pipeline Nord Stream 1 said, offering some relief to the region after a 10-day maintenance period filled with fears that Moscow could choose to tighten the screws on the energy-starved continent and turn off the taps. The Nord Stream pipeline connects Russia with Germany under the Baltic Sea, and ships more than a third of Russian gas exports to the EU. The pipeline has been running at 40% capacity in recent weeks as Russia ramps up the tit-for-tat energy war with Europe.

Flows are expected to remain at the pre-maintenance level of 40% of total capacity. “Unfortunately, the political uncertainty and the 60% cut from mid-June remain,” head of Germany’s energy regulator Klaus Müller said. Russia began throttling supplies in June, choking up the reduced capacity to technical issues related to Western sanctions against Russia. German officials think the levels are a deliberate move to prevent European countries from shoring up their gas reserves for next winter. Germany and other EU nations have pledged to end purchases of Russian energy by 2024. The story is getting coverage from: Wall Street Journal | Bloomberg | Reuters | Washington Post | Financial Times.

#2- ECB says goodbye to negative interest: The European Central Bank just ended an eight-year run with negative interest rates after enacting a 50 bps rate hike today, according to a statement. The bank cited rising inflation for the monetary tightening decision, signaling that it could push through another hike at its next meeting in September.

Meanwhile, Turkey kept interest rates unchanged for a seventh consecutive month despite inflation being at a 24-year high, according to a central bank statement. The country’s monetary policy is swimming against the global current, with central banks across the world going for aggressive rate hikes to curb soaring inflation, which in Turkey has reached its highest rate since 1998, Bloomberg notes. Turkey’s borrowing costs carry the most negative real rates in the world when adjusted for prices — a big red flag for investors — and the TRY plummeted to record lows earlier this year.

#3- Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi officially stepped down this morning after failing to secure the backing of his coalition partners in a parliamentary vote on his future. Reuters has the story.


IDG kicks off cultural festival with sustainable waste in focus at Alamein: Our friends at Industrial Development Group (IDG) are hosting a cultural festival at their eco-sustainable industrial park, e2 Alamein, on the North Coast, according to a statement (pdf). The “Locale” festival, which IDG is hosting in partnership with Art d’Egypte, will showcase nine art installations made with recycled materials to raise “awareness around waste management and encouraging waste prevention, reuse, and recycling behavior.”

The event launches today and runs through the summer.

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

  • A step closer to a military IPO: The state is moving forward with the EGX listing of the National Company for Producing and Bottling Water (Safi) and Wataniya Petroleum after the cabinet approved the pre-listing procedures for the military companies.
  • Beltone Financial has until 3 August to come to a decision on Chimera Investments’ bid to acquire up to 90% of its shares.
  • Dutch development bank FMO has pledged USD 10 mn to Algebra Ventures’ second tech fund, with the money coming from FMO’s EUR 200 mn investment program, which is co-financed by the Dutch foreign ministry and the European Commission.


The national dialogue board is set to meet again before the end of the month, marking its third meeting since the board convened earlier in July. The session will see the board decide on heads and members of the three political subcommittees it agreed on during a meeting earlier this.

Calling tech startups: Universities of Canada in Egypt-based incubator DMZ Cairo has opened applications for its second eight-month incubation program for tech startups, which begins in November, according to a statement (pdf). The incubator — which is backed by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and the National Technological Incubators Program — is accepting applications for the cycle until 29 September.

Further afield, leaders from across Africa are scheduled to convene in Washington for the US-Africa Leaders Summit from 13-15 December. The summit will bring together leaders to discuss pressing matters including food security and climate change, according to a White House statement.

Thirty fashion scholarships are up for grabs: City Centre Almaza and fashion school ESMOD Beirut are joining forces to offer 30 local designers one-month scholarships, which will include courses in fashion design, pattern making and styling and image consulting, according to a statement (pdf). You can register for the scholarship here and the chosen candidates will be announced on 15 August.

☀️ TOMORROW’S WEATHER- Expect fairly hot weather in Cairo over the weekend, with daytime highs of 40-41°C on Friday and Saturday, our favorite weather app tells us. Temperatures will fall to lows of 23-24°C at night.

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