THIS MORNING: It’s PMI day + Hegazi u-turns on plans for licensing private tutors
Good morning, friends, and happy THURSDAY. It’s the last workday before the start of COP27. We wish all of our friends descending on Sharm nothing but the best and look forward to seeing you back in the capital city on 20 November…
PSA #1- Your weekend weather is looking fantastic. Look for a daytime high of 26°C in Cairo on both Friday and Saturday, with an overnight low of 14°C. Folks landing in Sharm can expect a high tomorrow of 29°C, with the mercury dipping to 22°C at night.
PSA #2- Clocks change in North America this weekend — New York, Boston and Toronto will be seven hours behind us when you wake up on Sunday morning. Keep that in mind as you schedule calls next week.
PSA #3- The November issue of our monthly Your Wealth won’t be out this weekend. We usually publish on the first Friday of each month, but we’re going to hold fire until Friday, 18 November — just two days before the kickoff of the 2022 Fifa World Cup, which just happens to be the subject of this month’s issue.
THURSDAY KUDOS to TE investor relations boss Sarah Shabayek, who was named this year’s best investor relations professional in Egypt in the 2022 Middle East Investor Relations Association awards. The team at CIB got the nod for top corporate performer in Egypt. Also: A tip of the hat to our friends Sofia Elboury and Abhishek Kumat at FAB, who took home the gong for best corporate in MENA and in the UAE. Sofia was also named best IR professional in the UAE.
It’s PMI day: We’ll know how Egypt’s private sector fared in October a few moments after we hit send on this morning’s issue when S&P Global releases the latest purchasing managers’ index. A 22-month contraction in private sector activity didn’t show signs of abating in September as high inflation continued to weigh on demand and output. You’ll find the release here at 6:15am CLT.
Adipec 2022 continues in Abu Dhabi: It’s the final day of the oil and gas expo in Abu Dhabi.
The highlight of day three for Egypt: A meeting between Oil Minister Tarek El Molla and Adnoc representatives to discuss investment in the Egyptian petroleum sector, according to a statement from the Egyptian OIl Ministry.
PSA #3- You won’t be hearing anything out of the House of Representatives for the next two weeks: The House has adjourned for two weeks for the COP27 summit, which starts next week. MPs will return on 20 November, while senators are back a week earlier on 13 November.
Food producers are catching a break: Customs authorities have released some thousands of shipments the past 48 hours, Alaa Ezz, secretary-general of Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), said yesterday. The Supply Ministry said Monday that authorities would immediately begin to release goods held up at port because of FX shortages, and pledged to clear all inputs by the end of the week. Most of the goods released in the past two days have been production inputs for food manufacturers.
U-TURN WATCH- Licensing private tutoring centers is just an “idea”: Education Minister Reda Hegazi is walking back proposals to start licensing private tutoring centers following backlash, stressing that it was just an “idea” and not a decision. Hegazi’s statements sparked controversy, with many worried that licensing the private tutoring industry would replace schools as a main venue for education and teaching in the country. The industry continues to be part of the informal economy and isn’t governed by legislation — Hegazi’s idea to require them to get licenses (or at least incorporate as businesses) is one still worth considering.
THE BIG STORIES ABROAD-
Dominating the front pages of the global business press this morning: The Federal Reserve’s decision to hike interest rates by another 75 bps yesterday. We have more on that in this morning’s Planet Finance, below.
Good news on wheat: Russia has agreed to rejoin the agreement that allows Ukraine to safely export grain through the Black Sea, averting a fresh crisis in global food supplies. Moscow suspended its participation in the UN- and Turkey-brokered pact last week following a drone attack on its Black Sea fleet but yesterday backtracked on the decision, saying that Ukraine had provided assurances it would not use the safe corridor for military action. (Reuters | FT | Bloomberg | BBC)
Bad news on wheat: Egypt’s wheat contracts with Argentinian suppliers may now be in jeopardy as the country faces its weakest harvest in almost a decade due to a severe drought, according to Reuters. The government in the coming days is expected to allow exporters to delay shipments, potentially forcing Egypt to renegotiate contracts.
Tigray truce: Ethiopia and Tigray rebel forces yesterday agreed to lay down their weapons, raising hopes of a permanent end to the two-year civil war that has killed thousands and displaced mns. (Reuters)
COUNTDOWN TO COP (3 days to go)-
This morning’s Enterprise Climate has a rundown on what you need to know ahead of the kickoff of COP27 on Sunday
A message to world leaders ahead of COP: FM Sameh Shoukry urged world leaders and negotiators to take “meaningful and tangible steps” to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, days ahead of COP27 in Sharm, the Associated Press reported, citing a four-page letter by Shouky to participants. “We aim to restore the ‘grand bargain’ at the center of the Paris Agreement and our collective multilateral climate process,” he said. Shoukry said COP27 comes at a time of mounting challenges, including a failure by G20 nations to draft an agreement on climate and a lack of “concrete agreements” on climate finance at this year’s fall World Bank and IMF meetings.
ALSO- PM Rishi Sunak has decided to attend COP after all, he said on Twitter.
DATA POINT- Investment in clean energy across emerging markets is at less than a tenth of what’s needed as part of a drive to limit global warming to 1.5°C, a BloombergNEF report showed.
CIRCLE YOUR CALENDAR-
A delegation of Italian agricultural firms will visit Egypt in the second week of December to explore potential cooperation with local companies, Italian Ambassador to Cairo Michael Caron told Trade and Industry Minister Ahmed Samir in a meeting, according to a cabinet statement.
Check out our full calendar on the web for a comprehensive listing of upcoming news events, national holidays and news triggers.
CORRECTION- We originally noted the time change in North American incorrectly. This story was updated on 6 November 2022 to reflect the fact that Toronto and New York will be seven (not five) hours behind us.