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Sunday, 6 November 2022

THIS MORNING: It’s finally here + You now need to pay for your blue tick on Twitter

Good morning, friends, and welcome to day one of COP27 as the eyes of the world swivel to Sharm El Sheikh for the kickoff of the UN climate summit.

The big show starts on Monday with the world leaders’ summit, which includes roundtables on climate and development finance, the future of energy, and water security, among other issues. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi will be in Sharm tomorrow to inaugurate the summit. Some 40k people have registered to attend.

So, what’s happening today? It’s the official opening. COP26 President Alok Sharma, COP27 President Sameh Shoukry, IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee, and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary Simon Stiell, will open the conference in a session at 10am CLT. A number of other groups will hold closed-door meetings, including the Arab and African groups, groups representing low-income and developing countries, and non-governmental organizations. You can check out the full agenda for the day here (pdf).

We have a primer on what you can expect below in this morning’s news well. COP features heavily on our roundup of Last Night’s Talk Shows and is driving the conversation on Egypt in the international press.

The gathering will dominate the news cycle here in Egypt through 18 November, though you can expect interest (and announcements) from the business community to rise and fall depending on the “theme” of the day. Major corporate backers of the gathering include our good friends at Infinity Power, Orascom Construction, SODIC, Mashreq Bank and Hassan Allam.

EGP WATCH- The EGP slightly slipped again against the greenback on Thursday, ending the day down 0.3% to trade at EGP 24.3158, according to central bank figures. The currency has now fallen by 23.0% since the CBE’s move towards “a durably flexible” exchange rate at the end of October. It is now down 54.1% since the initial devaluation in March.

PM sings the praises of a flexible exchange rate: Exchange rate flexibility will “help boost exports by making them more competitive — and make [pure] imports less attractive,” Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said in a letter to officials leading the National Dialogue, who met yesterday. The PM said his government aims to double tourism revenues to USD 30 bn “over the next few years” through a variety of means including more flights and yacht tourism.

Madbouly expects the impact of inflation to be transitory and said his government expects to see local production of wheat rise to 5 mn tons as the state raises the price it pays for local wheat in the 2023 growing season.

WATCH THIS SPACE #1- Last month’s Egypt Economic Conference generated 125 recommendations and the government will set up a committee to implement them, Madbouly said. A digital platform will be set up allowing public participation, he said, without elaborating. Madbouly didn’t provide any information on what the recommendations are or when they could be implemented.


DATA POINT #1- Egypt’s net foreign reserves inched up to USD 33.4 bn in October from USD 33.2 bn in September, according to central bank data out Thursday.

DATA POINT #2- We’re exporting more natural gas. Egypt’s LNG exports rose to 1.5 bn cubic feet per day starting November, up from 700 mn cubic feet per day in September, an unnamed Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) official told Bloomberg Asharq.

SUNDAY MORNING KUDOS- The US and Egypt inaugurated the restored British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter’s house during the centennial ceremony of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, according to a US statement. The restoration was funded through our friends at USAID.

PSA #1- Got a complaint about an NBFI? There’s a website for that. The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has launched a demo version of an online portal the public can use to submit complaints about non-bank financial service providers, it said in a statement (pdf).

Want to complain? You’ll need to set up an account and provide the FRA with your national ID and contact details.

PSA #2 + CORRECTION- Clocks fall back one hour in much of North America today, meaning New York, Boston and Toronto will be seven hours behind us — not five, as we wrote on Thursday. The story has since been updated on our website; we can only plead sleep deprivation. H/t Beverly C. and Karim M.



Americans voters head to the polls in the US midterms on Tuesday: All 435 seats in the House, 35 of 100 Senate seats, and 36 of 50 state governor positions are up for grabs in a landmark election that will test the mettle of the Biden presidency and set the tone for the 2024 presidential race. Republicans have a non-zero chance of taking the House and the Senate. Polls in the key swing states that will decide who controls the Senate suggest that the race remains too close to call, according to Politico. (AP | NYT | The Guardian | CNN)

AND- Twitter is everywhere in the global press this morning after the social media platform began charging users USD 8 for the coveted “blue checkmarks,” the first major change made by Elon Musk. The company also dominated the news flow over the weekend after the company’s new owner and CEO began laying off as many as half of its workforce/ (Associated Press | Reuters | Bloomberg | WSJ).

MEANWHILE- How much have US oil companies made from the 2022 oil shock? More than USD 200 bn, according to the Financial Times.


The Techne Summit continues at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina today, bringing together entrepreneurs and investors from various sectors in the Mediterranean region. The global multi-industry gathering runs until Tuesday as a hybrid event.

New int’l wheat tender: State grains buyer GASC is seeking an unspecified amount of wheat in an international tender this week, Reuters reported. The deadline for offers has been set for Monday, 7 November, it said. Shipping is set for 15-30 December and/or 1-15 January.


WATCH THIS SPACE #2- Russian oil price cap soon: A price cap on Russian oil will be finalized and announced by the G7 later this month, Reuters reported. The news comes following weeks of negotiations between the US and G7 countries over the plan, which is expected to come into force on 5 December. “The coalition has agreed the price cap will be a fixed price that will be reviewed regularly rather than a discount to an index,” a source told the newswire.

Fifteen global green startups will pitch at COP27 as part of the government’s ClimaTech competition: The International Cooperation Ministry has selected its 15-strong shortlist from the 422 startups that applied to the ClimaTech Run competition — which is supported by our friends at USAID through their Business Egypt program. Finalists will pitch their businesses to a judging panel composed of top UN officials as well as representatives of Afreximbank, Microsoft, and Google during the climate summit’s Youth Day, the ministry said last week.

The Knowledge Hub Universities and Nova University Lisbon’s newly inaugurated Cairo campus will host the QS Reimagine Education awards and conference from 6-7 December. The hybrid event will also take place online and at the Wharton School campus in Pennsylvania, and offers awards of up to USD 50k for innovative projects in higher education.

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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