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Tuesday, 6 September 2022

THIS MORNING: Palestinian president in Cairo for summit + Europe’s energy crisis just got taken up a notch

Good morning, everyone, and happy hump day.

THE BIG STORY here at home this morning is that not one, but three, GCC sovereign wealth funds are eyeing TE’s stake in Vodafone Egypt. We also think you should read today’s Going Green feature, which looks at how climate change is impacting small dairy farmers — the people who account for the majority of the milk our nation produces.

^^ We have both stories and plenty more below.

Welcome back, US and Canadian readers. We hope you enjoyed your Labor Day holiday — and that you’re now settling comfortably into the fall grind. It really is the best season of the year for you folks (all the more so if you live at a latitude that allows you to enjoy fall foliage).

*** You have just three days to tell us how you’re feeling about your business and the wider economy. We’ll have the results for mid-month — just in time to give you a sense of what everyone else is thinking heading into budget season. Make your voice heard in our Fall Reader Survey. It won’t take more than a few minutes to complete.

HAPPENING TODAY-

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in Cairo for an Egyptian-Palestinian summit. The two sides will discuss the situation in Palestine and the possibility of releasing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody. Egypt played a key role in brokering last month’s ceasefire following clashes between Israel and Gaza militants.

HAPPENING THIS WEEK-

We’re expecting some sort of announcement from the government on how it plans to proceed with its privatization program, according to comments given to the media by Finance Minister Mohamed Maait last week. This came on the same day as the Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouy met with the heads of the EGX and the Financial Regulatory Authority to discuss plans to sell stakes in state-owned enterprises on the bourse.

US climate envoy John Kerry will be in town tomorrow for the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF), which runs 7-9 September at Almasa Convention Center in the new administrative capital. The three-day event will bring together global policymakers, ministers, development partners and other participants ahead of COP27 to discuss climate action and green transition, food security, and others with a focus on Africa. Check the full agenda here (pdf).

Tourism expo starts tomorrow: The four-day Gate Travel Expo 2022 starts tomorrow at El Qubba Palace.

Support measures coming for local commercial ships? Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir will hold a meeting this week with the maritime transport sector and private shipping companies to discuss ways to boost the commercial fleet, Al Mal reports, citing an unnamed source.

THE BIG STORY ABROAD-

Chaos has returned to the European energy markets on the first trading day since Gazprom said it would be indefinitely shuttering the vital Nord Stream gas pipeline. Gas and power prices soared, equities tumbled, and the EUR hit a fresh 20-year low against the greenback as markets freaked out about the escalating energy crisis and its implication for eurozone economies. The move — the latest round in a tit-for-tat energy war with Russia that came shortly after the G7 agreed to cap Russian oil prices — has forced Brussels into considering unprecedented measures to curb the crisis, including emergency caps on wholesale prices and hundred-bn EUR bailout packages to prevent utilities companies and household finances from collapsing. (Reuters | FT | Bloomberg | Politico | WSJ)

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And in its most escalatory move yet: Moscow slapped sanctions on Zoolander. Ben Stiller and Sean Penn have been permanently banned from entering Russia for showing support for Kyiv’s war effort. The White House is yet to comment on how it might respond to the latest escalation.

CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-

The German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce will commemorate 70 years of German-Egyptian business and economic ties with a gala celebration on 15 September.

Our monthly list of data points to keep your eye on over the next few days and weeks:

  • Foreign reserves figures for August should be out during the first week of the month.
  • Inflation figures: Inflation data for August from Capmas will land on Saturday, 10 September. Expect the Central Bank of Egypt to follow up on Sunday, 11 September with its inflation report.
  • Interest rates: The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on Thursday, 22 September to review interest rates.

The National Dialogue’s board of trustees will hold its next meeting on Saturday to name 30 rapporteurs and assistant rapporteurs for the dialogue’s 15 political, social and economic subcommittees.

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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*** It’s Going Green day — your weekly briefing of all things green in Egypt: Enterprise’s green economy vertical focuses each Tuesday on the business of renewable energy and sustainable practices in Egypt, everything from solar and wind energy through to water, waste management, sustainable building practices and how you can make your business greener, whatever the sector.

In today’s issue: How the changing climate is threatening the future of Egypt’s dairy farms.


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