Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said that he aims to push Egypt's net foreign reserves to $380 billion instead of the $38 billion achieved in September 2020.
The president's remarks came in a televised talk during the Armed Forces' 32nd Cultural Symposium that marked the 47th anniversary of Egypt's victory in the 6 October War.
"The governor of the central bank told me that the foreign reserves have reached $38 billion. I told him 'you say $380 billion?' He said 'no, it is $38 billion,' so I tell him, 'when we reach $380 billion, tell me,'" El-Sisi said.
Egypt's net foreign reserves gained 0.15 percent by the end of September, or $59 million, to reach $38.425 billion, up from $38.366 billion at the end of August, the Central Bank of Egypt said on Wednesday.
El-Sisi also said that his goal is to raise the state's budget to EGP 20 trillion ($1.27 trillion), up from the EGP 2.2 trillion estimated for the current 2020/2021 fiscal year.
The president said that societal needs are enormous in all fields, giving an example of the government's need to build about 700,000 residential units to house the growing population.
The state will implement a vertical urban growth system in villages and countryside in various governorates, he said.
El-Sisi added that the state spent more than EGP 4 trillion ($254.7 billion) on various projects in recent months, but needs EGP 40 trillion to meet the needs of its 100 million citizens.
He said that all that has been achieved in recent years is just the first step out of one thousand steps that should be taken to enhance the country's economy.
He also urged awareness of "conspiracies that aim to undermine the country’s stability."
El-Sisi confirmed that the state can overcome all challenges it faces, adding that he was not promoting delusions when he previously warned of major emerging challenges.
Also during the event, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that Egypt’s population has increased from 19 million citizens in 1950 to 100 million in 2020, with a new baby born in the country every 13.5 seconds.
Madbouly said Egypt's annual rate of increase in population was equivalent to that of Italy in 1950, but is now equivalent to that of Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Sweden and Belgium combined.
Egypt increased subsidies from EGP 15 billion ($954.5 billion) in 2000 to EGP 326 billion in 2020 due to the increasing population, Madbouly said.
The average citizen's share of grants, subsidies and social benefits in general has now reached EGP 3,231 ($206) instead of just EGP 227 in 2000, the prime minister also said.
Prime Holding acted as the financial adviser Al Saidy Tobacco Company's acquisition of a 100 percent stake in ELDAWLIA, the owner of El-Hennawy Tobacco trademark, according to a bourse disclosure yesterday.
"We are very excited about our investment in ELDAWLIA for Tobacco, as we see that we have a great opportunity to create a process of integration between our activities," said the chairman of Al Saidy Tobacco.
In a separate disclosure, Prime Holding said that Sameem Financial Investments had reduced its stake in the firm from 25.62 percent to 0.00001 percent.
Sameem sold 89.68 million shares in Prime Holding at a total cost of EGP 105.827 million ($6.7 million), or EGP 1.18 per share.
Beltone SME plans to establish an investment fund with a capital of EGP 1 billion ($63.6 million) by the end of next year for the financing of small businesses, through promotion and collecting contributions from investment institutions, CEO Beltone Financial Ibrahim Karam told Al Mal.
There is interest from local and international institutions, he added.
Beltone Financial Holding approved the establishing of the new company, Beltone SME, in March, with initial capital of EGP 30 million ($1.9 million), but aims for it to reach EGP 100 million by next year.
Beltone SME will be a specialized SME-financing company offering tailor-made financing products that focus on supporting the Egyptian small business sector.
Karam said that the new firm is based around the idea of financing SMEs through participation and risk-sharing on both sides.
Pharos Research predicts that the Aluminium Company of Egypt (Egyptalum) will witness an improvement in its revenues "driven by volume recovery locally and internationally as well as the pick-up in global aluminum prices by 12.5% QoQ," according to a recent research publication.
Pharos recommended a hike in aluminum prices to reach $1,900-$2,000 per ton, "a major reduction in electricity tariffs, or a major weakness in the EGP/USD exchange rate."
Egyptalum previously said that it had incurred losses of EGP 993.8 million ($62.5 million) during fiscal year 2019/2020, against net profits of EGP 570.9 million a year earlier.
The company's revenues shrank to EGP 7.25 billion ($456 million) in the 12-month period ending on June 30, down from EGP 12.2 billion in the fiscal year 2018/2019.
Egyptalum attributed its shift to losses to the increase in in electricity fees and other production costs, in addition to a sharp decline in the basic price of aluminum on the London Metal Exchange, the recent depreciation of the US dollar against the Egyptian pound, and the exit of large investments.
The Trump administration said on Friday that it would impose tariffs on nearly $2 billion of aluminum sheets imported from 18 countries including Egypt after a preliminary investigation concluded they were being "dumped" in the US.
IGI Real Estate has entered into a cooperation agreement with PayTabs, which specializes in electronic payment services, in order to provide an e-payment feature through the company's website.
This is the first time that an Egyptian real estate company has provided electronic payment methods to its customers; the move is aimed at facilitating reservations of units amid the current anti-coronavirus precautions.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Hany Soliman, general manager of PayTabs; Karim Eyada, business development manager at PayTabs; Khaled Sheta, chairman of IGI Real Estate; Nagy Mokhtar, vice chairman of IGI Real Estate; and Sherif Mostafa, managing director of the company.
Sheta said the partnership is part of the company's move to enhance digital services, including to establish a virtual space to display its range of real estate products.
Customers will be able to view all details of units online, as well as some virtual reality simulations of the units available. They will also be able to chat with the company's sales team and reserve units with online payments.
Misr Insurance Holding Company intends to expand into the non-banking financial services sector and will establish a new financial leasing and factoring company in the near future, according to Basel El-Hini, chairman and managing director of the company.
El-Hini told Hapi that the company has also completed a study of a planned medical insurance company and incorporation procedures are scheduled to begin soon.
The company is also about to finalize the full acquisition of TBE Egypt for Payment Solutions and Services, an electronic payments company. The full deal will be announced soon.
The General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone has obtained a license to establish electricity distribution networks, following the approval of the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency.
This comes according to the presidential decree establishing the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).
The license guarantees that the authority establishes the distribution networks and nominates a distribution company or companies to carry out the distribution in order to obtain a distribution license and sell electricity, in accordance with the rules, procedures and documents required by the electricity law of 2015.
The agency also approved permits for Coca-Cola to establish three solar power stations: one at a plant in the company's facility in the industrial zone in Nasr City in Cairo, with a capacity of 651 kilowatts; a station on the Alexandria-Cairo Desert Road with a capacity of 102 megawatts; and a production plant on the Alexandria Agricultural Road in Tanta with a capacity of 730 kilowatts.
Tarek Shoukry, chairman of Arabia Holding, was appointed the head of Real Estate Investment Division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) yesterday, succeeding Mamdouh Badr El-Din.
Amr Soliman, chairman of the Mountain View, was appointed senior vice president, while Mohamed Al-Bostany, chairman of Al Bostany Real Estate Development, was appointed second deputy, and Hany El-Assal, chairman of Misr Italia, was appointed general secretary.
The New Cairo Developers Association, headed by Mohamed Al-Bostany, won a quarter of the 21 seats in the Real Estate Investment Division.
Al-Bostany said he would aim to overcome obstacles facing developers and find new mechanisms to regulate the real estate sector.
Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has issued a decree requiring insurance companies to shore up their financial reserves in order to deal with the risks of applying the country's new accounting standard, which complies with the International Financial Reporting Standard known as IFRS 9.
IFRS 9 is an accounting standard model published by International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). It replaces an older model, IAS 39, and was put into effect in 2018.
FRA Chairman Mohammed Omran said during a conference on health insurance that the decision would increase insurance companies' financial reserves by around EGP 1.2 billion ($76.4 million).
In related news, FRA Deputy Chairman Reda Abdel Moaty said during the conference that health insurance premiums received by insurance companies totaled EGP 5.4 billion ($343.6 million) in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, which ended in June.
QNB Alahli's net profits decreased by 12.6 percent year on year during the first nine months of 2020, consolidated bank statements reveal.
The bank said that it recorded a net profit of EGP 5.64 billion ($359 million) since the beginning of January to the end of September, compared to the EGP 6.45 billion generated during the same period last year.
The bank's net income from revenues, fees and currencies increased during the first nine months of 2020 to reach EGP 12.37 billion ($787.7 million) by the end of September, compared to EGP 11.65 billion made during the same period of 2019.
dreevo for Technology and Logistics Services launched its operations yesterday to enable e-commerce entrepreneurs in more than 22 cities in Egypt, having obtained pre-seed funding of close to $1 million from EF Logistics.
dreevo is a start-up that focuses on last-mile delivery services and aims to facilitate the e-commerce cycle for both merchants and customers.
"We are positioning ourselves to be the partner of choice for all e-commerce start-ups and merchants in the region, with a network of 200 couriers, we are also aiming to achieve 300,000 shipments by the end of 2020," said Sameh Shaheen, CEO of dreevo.
dreevo provides door-to-door transportation and pick-up and retrieval services for some products, in addition to offering special services tailored to merchants' needs.
"dreevo represents the next logical step in our evolution as third party logistics provider,” said Ahmed El Zahwi, CEO of EF Logistics, highlighting "their emphasis on advanced analytics combined with the caliber of team assembled, coupled with our own experience in the logistics field."
Egyptian financial wellness platform NowPay has raised $2.1 million in seed investment.
The seed round was co-led by Foundation Ventures and Endure Capital and had investors from the US, China, Egypt and the UAE.
Companies such as 500 Startups, Plug and Play, MSA Capital and Ebikar took part in the round.
The platform focuses on employees in emerging markets and works on allowing corporations to offer salary advances to their employees. It allows employees to request their salary or a fraction of it at their convenience.
The platform raised $600,000 from seed investments last year.
Public Enterprise Sector Minister Hesham Tawfik has said that a joint stock company will be established to conduct the first initial public offering (IPO) in the sports sector, to provide the necessary funds to develop the land belonging to Mahalla Spinning Club.
In an interview with Economy Plus, the minister said that there will be a second offering aimed at establishing sports academies for young people in the Mahalla region.
Tawfik said that the ministry is planning an additional development process for the Mahalla Spinning Club to become a sports social club for workers at the Mahalla Textile Company.
The minister said that the cost of developing the spinning and weaving sector amounts to EGP 21 billion ($1.3 billion), of which EGP 11 billion has been secured through loans from the National Investment Bank, in addition to €540 million to renovate machines and EGP 10 billion from the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA).
The ministry has received the help of software companies Microsoft and SAP to develop and modernize the 63 companies affiliated with the ministry within up to 2.5 years, at a total cost of $50 million.
The ministry is currently working on developing three cotton gins in Zagazig, Kafr El-Zayat and Kafr El-Dawar at a total cost of EGP 1.4 billion ($88.9 million), and three others in the Nile Delta region, which are expected to be ready next year, Tawfik said.
The ministry will announce on Monday the details of the redevelopment strategy for the Heliopolis Housing and Construction Company. It will focus on developing 40 percent of the company's land portfolio of about 20 million square meters over the next four years.
Tawfik said that Egypt will receive detailed a joint study with the Chinese Dongfeng Motor Corporation within 10 days regarding manufacturing electric cars at the factories of the Nasr Automobile Company.
The initial capacity will be a production of 25,000 electric cars, to be available on the Egyptian market by the end of 2021. It can be increased to 50,000 cars depending on demand, he added.
Egypt's blue-chip EGX30 index stretched the gains it began last Tuesday into this week on Sunday, rising 0.29 percent to settle at 11,360.37 points.
Turnover totaled EGP 981.69 million ($62.5 million), although the index's heaviest constituent, Commercial International Bank (CIB), dropped 0.56 percent to EGP 67.98.
Elsewedy Electric climbed 4.35 percent to EGP 7.44 ($0.47), EFG Hermes rose 1.01 percent to EGP 13.97, Telecom Egypt was up 0.97 percent to EGP 12.5, and Talaat Moustafa Group inched up 0.45 percent to EGP 6.74.
Eastern Company lost 1.38 percent to reach EGP 12.17 ($0.77).
The broader EGX70 EWI index increased 0.78 percent to close at EGP 2,021.77 points.
Net purchases by Arab investors stood at EGP 136.23 million ($8.7 million), while net sales by Egyptian and foreign investors hit EGP 128.71 million and EGP 7.52 million respectively.
The Egyptian stock market will launch a media campaign of a 13-episode cartoon series called "Sherif and His Friends" to promote financial awareness among children, in partnership with several ministries concerned with education and culture.
The news was announced at yesterday's trading session, in the presence of Haitham Al-Haj, head of the Egyptian General Book Authority, representing the culture minister.
"The current administration believes that the process of enhancing financial knowledge and raising levels of awareness is one of the most important objectives of the value-added chain that it adopts to develop the market and to raise efficiency and competitiveness, by increasing the number of listed companies (the supply side), the number of investors (the demand side), as well as developing new financial products," said the bourse chairman.
The Egyptian stock market invited Planning Minister Hala Al-Saeed, Culture Minister Inas Abdel-Dayem, Education Minister Tarek Shawki and Higher Education Minister Khaled Abdel Ghaffar to inaugurate Sunday's trading session, amid expectations that a cooperation agreement will be signed with their ministries to promote awareness of investing and stock markets, Al-Wafd reported on Thursday.
HSBC economists predict Egypt's GDP growth will reach 2.4 percent in 2020, Martin Tricaud, CEO of HSBC for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, told local media outlets.
Tricaud said that the Egyptian economy had been resilient in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus, saying that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) and the Ministry of Finance acted swiftly at the beginning of the pandemic to facilitate the digitalization of the private sector services that are being offered to customers.
In its June 2020 World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund predicted that Egypt's GDP growth would hit 2 percent in 2020.
Egypt's annual core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, jumped to 3.3 percent in September, up from 0.8 percent in August, the Central Bank of Egypt said yesterday.
The country's monthly core inflation registered 0.1 percent in September compared with negative 0.2 percent in August, the CBE added.
On Saturday, the state-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics announced that Egypt's annual urban consumer price inflation had inched up to 3.7 percent in September from 3.4 percent in August, while the monthly urban consumer price inflation reached 0.3 percent, up from negative 0.2 percent in August.
The CBE is targeting an annual headline inflation of 9 percent (±3 percentage points) in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In related news, Beltone Financial predicted the central bank will keep interest rates unchanged at its next monetary policy committee meeting in November, citing in a research note that the impact of cutting interest rates by 350 basis points (bps) has not yet fully materialized.
The CBE cut interest rates by 50 bps last month, leaving the deposit rate at 8.75 percent and the lending rate at 9.75 percent.
It was the second cut this year, after an emergency 300 bps cut in March.
Beltone Financial predicted in a research note that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will keep interest rates unchanged at its next monetary policy committee meeting in November, as the impact of this year's 350 basis points (bps) cut has not yet fully materialized.
The bank cut interest rates by 50 bps last month, leaving the deposit rate at 8.75 percent and the lending rate at 9.75 percent.
It had opted for an emergency 300 bps cut in March.
The Egyptian Sugar and Integrated Industries Company (SIICEgypt) of the Holding Company for Food Industries has signed a development contract with an international consortium of four companies, with the aim of developing, modernizing and restructuring the sugar company and its affiliate factories.
The international alliance includes CEGMAN, Roland Berger, Main Capital and BMA.
Supply Minister Ali El-Moselhy said that Egypt has reached 75 percent of self-sufficiency in sugar production.
El-Moselhy, who attended the signing ceremony, said that, with the completion of the construction of new factories and the development of government sugar factories and subsidiaries, the country will eventually reach complete self-sufficiency.
The minister said that the international alliance will carry out an extensive analysis of the current situation of each of the sugar company's 22 units and their inter-relationships.
The value of real estate financing provided by banks and companies to low-income customers via the Social Housing and Mortgage Finance Fund (SHMFF) increased by EGP 900 million ($57.3 million) from mid-August to mid-September, fund CEO May Abdel Hamid told Hapi.
Abdel Hamid said that the total value provided by mid-September was EGP 32.5 billion ($2.06 billion), up from EGP 31.6 billion in mid-August.
The number of customers also increased by about 7,461 during the same period, to reach 326,920, compared with 319,459 customers until mid-August.
Abdel Hamid said that banks had provided EGP 30.8 billion ($1.9 billion) to 312,032 clients, while the funds provided by companies amounted to EGP 1.6 billion to 14,888 clients.
She said that the National Bank of Egypt continued to lead the real estate finance providers with financing amounting to EGP 8.85 billion ($563.5 million), from which 87,536 customers benefited, while Al Tameer Mortgage Finance topped the list of companies, with funds of EGP 634 million for 5,497 customers.
Fifteen out of 35 floating hotels operating on Egypt's Nile have received the new health and safety certificate required for reopening, said Assistant Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Abdel Fattah Al-Assi.
Thirteen of them are in Luxor and two are in Aswan.
The Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority has published an advertisement for the promotion of Nile cruises on Twitter.
The authority said on its page: "Fresh air, stunning nature, surrounded by the calm waters of the Nile and its captivating views, not only that awaits you on your Nile cruise in Aswan, you will discover archaeological sites that tell about the Egyptian civilization on the banks of the Nile so that your trip is the best ever."
About 1,035 restaurants and cafeterias have obtained the health and safety certificate so far.
The coronavirus has had a negative impact on tourism, a key pillar of Egypt's economy. Hotels were completely closed from March 19 to May 15 as the pandemic spread. They were then allowed to reopen at a maximum capacity of 25 percent, which has since been raised to 50 percent.
International flights were halted in March but resumed in July, with tourists only allowed to visit Matrouh, South Sinai and the Red Sea, and then later Luxor and Aswan.
As of August 24, Egypt had hosted 126,000 tourists in three governorates since the gradual resumption of international air traffic, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany said previously.
Egypt has welcomed the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which came under the auspices of the Russian Federation, the foreign ministry has said.
The agreement was made following 10-hour talks between officials from the two countries in Moscow.
Cairo called on both parties to abide by the ceasefire in order to achieve peace and the aspired humanitarian goals.
Egypt also stressed the importance of the two sides resuming negotiations in order to reach a sustainable settlement to the conflict according to international law.
Egypt recorded 129 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 104,516.
The health ministry also reported 12 new deaths from the virus, to reach a total death toll of 6,052.
Forty-five patients have been discharged from hospitals nationwide in the past 24 hours, bringing total recoveries to 97,688.
The National Election Authority has closed its voter database so that no more amendments may be made, after receiving updated information from a total of 62.94 million voters, making them the only citizens eligible to vote in the upcoming parliament elections.
The first phase of the elections will be on October 21-23 for Egyptians abroad and then from October 24-25 for Egyptians in the country.
The results are to be announced on November 1.
The NEA's executive body will re-allocate voters to their electoral committees' polling stations to limit the spread of the coronavirus during the election period.
Voters will be able to enquire later about their polling station, polling committee and voter number in the lists on the National Authority website, using their national ID.
National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia's largest bank by total assets, has signed a binding merger agreement with Samba Financial Group to establish a new entity with SAR 837 billion ($223.13 billion) in assets and SAR 171 billion in market capitalization, NCB said in a bourse filling.
The merger will make the new entity the third biggest lender by total assets in the Gulf region, after Qatar National Bank (QNB) and UAE's First Abu Dhabi Bank.
Under the deal, NCB will pay SAR 28.45 ($7.58) per Samba share, which values the company at nearly SAR 55.7 billion.
Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which already owns stakes of 44.29 percent and 22.91 percent in both NCB and Samba respectively, will have a 37.2 percent stake in the new entity.
The chairman of the merged entity will be Ammar Alkhudairy, Samba's current chairman, while the entity's CEO and managing director will be Saeed Al-Ghamdi, who is NCB's current chairman.
Libya reopened Sharara, its biggest oil field, yesterday in a bid to revive its battered oil industry, putting pressure on OPEC and other producers seeking to curb global supplies.
The state-run National Oil Corporation (NOC) instructed the company's operator to resume production, according to a statement yesterday.
"The Libyan oil restart is gaining momentum faster than most people expected," said Bill Farren-Price, a director at energy analytics firm Enverus.
He added that the likelihood of more Libyan exports is considered "an additional headwind for OPEC at a time when it is already grappling with softer than expected demand as the second wave of COVID-19 intensifies."
The field's reopening comes after a truce in Libya’s long-running civil war, which has led to the reopening of many oil fields and ports, after an almost complete halt since January.
The NOC said it had reached a "gentleman’s agreement" with militias that were nearby Sharara field, and that they are now obliged to "end all obstacles" hindering operations at the field.
The field will initially generate around 40,000 barrels of crude a day, which would double the state's overall output to about 600,000 barrels a day, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
The Iranian rial fell to a new low against the US dollar on Sunday as a record daily death toll from COVID-19 compounded concerns over new US sanctions which may block some medicine purchases.
The dollar was selling for as much as 312,200 rials on the unofficial market, up from 304,300 on Saturday, according to the foreign exchange site Bonbast.com.
Iran plans to make mask-wearing mandatory in public in other large cities after imposing it in Tehran to fight soaring COVID-19 infections, the health minister said on Sunday.
Russia witnessed its highest single daily rise in coronavirus cases on Sunday with 13,634 new infections.
Germany should continue restricting the number of people allowed at gatherings and cap unnecessary travel as the country is still grappling with soaring COVID-19 infections, an aide to Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday.
"We are at the beginning of a second wave and only the politicians' and the population's determination will decide whether or not we can avoid it, or slow it down," he said.
Elsewhere, Britain is at a "tipping point" in the coronavirus crisis and the country must act now to stop history repeating itself, the deputy chief medical officer for England said on Sunday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will outline rules on travel between different parts of England on Monday, the housing minister said on Sunday, confirming that there would be no national lockdown.
The Czech government will tighten coronavirus measures from Wednesday to curb soaring infections, trying to avoid fully-fledged lockdown, officials said on Sunday.
The Spanish regions of Catalonia and Navarre will impose harsher restrictions on working and public gatherings to contain a possible second wave of the disease, authorities said on Sunday.
The Indonesian capital of Jakarta will start a two-week "transitional" period of eased coronavirus measures from Monday, after the pace of infections slowed over the last two weeks, Governor Anies Baswedan said.
South Korea will also ease some COVID-19 restrictions on social distancing from Monday, allowing nightspots to re-open and spectators to attend sports events, after new cases edged lower in recent weeks, authorities said.
US President Donald Trump said in a Fox News interview on Sunday that he no longer has COVID-19 and is not a transmission risk for the virus, as he prepares to hit the campaign trail on Monday with a return to big rallies.
"A total and complete sign off from White House Doctors yesterday. That means I can't get it (immune), and can’t give it. Very nice to know!!!" Trump tweeted.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has surpassed 37,696,412, with more than 1,080,267 deaths.
|UAE ABU DHABI||ADX||4,492.63||-0.44%|
|US||Dow Jones IA||28,586.90||+0.57%|
|China||HANG SENG INDEX||24,524.81||+1.68%|
|Gold Egypt||LE/ oz.||1,927.47||-0.11%|
|Silver Egypt||LE/ oz.||25.37||+0.89%|
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