Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict
We are concerned about the potential fallout and wider implications of the assassination of a high-ranking Egyptian official, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat, who was killed when a car bomb was detonated next to his motorcade in Cairo's Heliopolis district on Monday. Barakat is the highest-ranking government official to be assassinated in the past two years. This is a major show of force by unknown militants, and the security response will be heavy-handed. Two days later, militants launched a major strike in the Sinai Peninsula to mark the anniversary of Egypt’s military coup. Investors should be aware that this is likely the real beginning of an onslaught against Egypt’s security forces and the backlash will be formidable, putting future oil and gas investments at risk.
Russia has announced that the price Ukraine pays for natural gas will be reduced by $40, to $247 per 1,000 cubic meters due to falling global energy prices. This is largely a meaningless deal in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine's Donbas region. There is still no end in sight to this conflict and Moscow’s impatience is becoming more visible by the day. The Kremlin wants Ukraine to legalize the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics and rewrite the constitution, but Ukraine has so far not bowed to Russia’s provocations, through proxy hostilities, to implement the political terms of an armistice…