<![CDATA[rss-Business & Economics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Business & Economics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Turkish lira hits record low against US dollar]]>
The lira was down over one percent to 3.97 to the dollar at 0652 GMT before rallying slightly to 3.96 at 0800 GMT.

The drop followed the delay on Monday of a scheduled trial of Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy chief executive of Turkish lender Halkbank, accused of defying US sanctions on Iran.

The trial has caused anger in Ankara, with the Turkish government on Monday calling the case "political" and a plot against Turkey. The government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag claimed the suspects were being held like hostages.

Judge Richard Berman announced that jury selection, which had been set to begin Monday, was delayed until November 27. Opening statements are now scheduled for December 4.

There are concerns over the impact of the case on US-Turkey relations and the possibility of fines against Halkbank in the event of a guilty verdict.

The NATO allies' ties have already been strained over Washington's support for a Syrian Kurdish militia that Turkey views as a "terror" group as well as the failure to extradite a Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric blamed for last year's failed coup.

Turkish authorities also announced new regulations in the "merger, division, transfer of assets and exchange of bank shares" in the Official Gazette on November 16, state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

But Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek on Monday denied claims that Halkbank would be absorbed into another bank: "There is no such thing," he said, quoted by Anadolu.

As the lira weakened, the Turkish central bank announced that banks would not be able to borrow funds overnight in the interbank money market from Wednesday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the central bank last week over its refusal to cut interest rates which he said was causing high inflation.

Erdogan has repeatedly verbally attacked the bank over its unwillingness to cut rates.
The central bank's last change in rates was in January while inflation was at 11.9 percent last month, the highest in 2017 so far.

Conventional economic wisdom suggests inflation should, however, go down as interest rates are raised as this softens demand and weakens money supply growth in an economy.]]>
11/21/2017 1:00:55 PM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir to swing to a profit this year -chairman]]>
EgyptAir has struggled to rebound from the 2008 global financial crisis and two revolutions that have hobbled Egypt’s economy since.

“This year the company will transfer from a loss,” EgyptAir Holding Chairman Safwat Musallam told Reuters in Sharjah.

He declined to say how much money the airline would make in the year to June 30, 2018, or to disclose its loss in the previous financial year.

EgyptAir, one of Africa’s largest and oldest airlines, would carry 9 million passengers in its current fiscal, compared to 8 million in the year ago period, he said.

The airline is cutting costs by dropping unprofitable routes and reducing workforce.

The workforce could eventually be reduced by up to 500 employees, or 10 percent, by not replacing staff who resign from the airline, Musallam said.

EgyptAir signed a letter of intent to purchase 12 Bombardier CS300 jets last week at the Dubai Airshow.

Musallam said those aircraft would start to be delivered from the end of 2018 or early 2019 as part of plans to replace and increase the airline’s fleet to up to 100 jets by 2025.

EgyptAir also agreed last week to lease 15 Airbus A320neos and 6 Boeing 787s from leasing company AerCap .

The airline plans to retire 30 aircraft, including its older Airbus A320 and A330s and its Embraer jets, Musallam said.

He said the airline was keeping all options open on how to finance the new aircraft. ]]>
11/21/2017 12:41:12 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia is biggest furniture importer from Egypt]]>
Chairman of the council Ehab Deryas said in a statement that Saudi Arabia is followed by United Arab Emirates at $39 million, Iraq at $33 million, Sudan at $25 million then Jordan at $20 million.

Egypt’s furniture exports declined 10 percent between January and September 2017 to $244.2 million, compared with $272 million in the same period last year.

Egypt’s trade balance deficit dropped $12.23 billion (37 percent) in the first eight months of 2017 to $20.1 billion, compared with $32.4 billion in the same period in 2016, according to Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Kabil.
]]>
11/21/2017 12:18:43 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian ministries cooperate to support entrepreneurs]]>
Under the MoU, the Higher Education Ministry will promote the program, while the Investment Ministry will directly contact project owners to provide them consultations and training workshops.

Several international financial institutions expressed willingness to support the program through offering grants and technical support programs, Nasr said.

Nasr stressed on the importance of supporting the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the emerging companies especially in the neediest governorates in Upper Egypt, as it has a vital role in providing job vacancies for youth and women.

“Fekretak Sherketak” Initiative was launched in September by the Ministry of Investment to encourage startups and promote the entrepreneurial atmosphere in Egypt.

The program promotes the launch of the Egypt Entrepreneurship Program (EEP) in partnership with Hermes Financial Group and UNDP.

In July, Nasr inked an agreement with Flat6Labs and Egypt Entrepreneurship and Investment Company to invest LE 10 million ($559,070) in emerging companies. ]]>
11/21/2017 11:50:59 AM
<![CDATA[Euro steadies after biggest daily fall in a month]]>
With core bond yield spreads tightening and benchmark European stock indexes trading well within recent ranges, markets are focusing on the steady drip of positive data coming out of the eurozone.

“Politics is not much of a concern for now and I think the euro may only weaken now if it seems that Merkel herself may be a casualty of this fallout,” said John Marley, head of FX strategy at Infinity International, a currency risk management firm.

The single currency EUR=EBS rose 0.1 percent to $1.1749 on Tuesday after falling half a percent on Monday, its biggest daily fall since Oct. 26.

With growth from the bloc exceeding the United States in the third quarter, led by largest economy Germany, the single currency has recovered from earlier lows and investors were becoming more comfortable in holding European assets.

Morgan Stanley strategists said the rebound in European assets point to the underlying strength of the economy and the risk-absorbing capacity of loose global equity conditions when trading political risk factors.

Derivatives markets pointed to further upside for the euro with risk reversals still at elevated levels while implied volatility gauges holding near 2017 lows.

Elsewhere, the dollar gave back some of its gains in Asian trading on Tuesday but stuck close to a one-week high against a basket of currencies as a German political deadlock continued to pressure the euro.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rival currencies, was broadly flat at 94.00 .DXY, but was still within sight of its overnight peak of 94.104, its highest since Nov. 14.

The U.S. data calendar is relatively sparse ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen scheduled to give a speech later on Tuesday. Minutes from the Fed’s November meeting will be released on Wednesday.]]>
11/21/2017 11:26:27 AM
<![CDATA[Honda China JVs to recall 254,650 vehicles starting in January]]>
The recall is to repair faulty rear-view mirrors on the doors of Honda car models sold in China, including the Elysion and the Spirior, produced between 2013 and earlier this year, the company said. No accidents have been reported, Honda said.]]>
11/21/2017 11:23:09 AM
<![CDATA[Banks directed 13% of their loans to SMEs]]>
Speaking to Egypt Today, Tenawy said the banks shifted focus to SMEs since the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) launched its initiative to support that sector in early 2016.

Earlier this month, Egypt’s second largest state-owned bank Banque Misr said it financed LE 4.4 billion ($249 million) to SMEs and micro-small projects by June 2017.

The government has recently adopted many programs to support SMEs. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) was approved by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to become one entity, working to upgrade and develop the SMEs sector by offering financial and non-financial services.

The MSMEDA will launch an online platform to include services and data, for the benefit of new companies. It will also launch new training programs that will develop skills of project founders. There are four programs certified by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
]]>
11/21/2017 11:20:02 AM
<![CDATA[Enel plans to spend more on modernizing mature markets]]>
In its 2018-2020 business plan, the group said it would spend 80 percent of its growth budget in Italy, Iberia and North-Central America while cutting its investment in South America, which it said could face more risks.

Much of the 17 billion euros ($20 billion) it plans to spend in the next two years in its established markets will go to grids and renewable energy, installing so-called smart meters in homes to take advantage of the “Internet of things”, where appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators are online.

Like other utilities across Europe, Enel is reshaping its business to cope with falling margins on the traditional generation business and is looking to offer new services to better meet customer demand and capture clients.

The boom in green energy with its intermittent output and the fall in traditional more centralized thermal production has prompted energy companies to invest more in digital technology and storage systems.

Such investments command fatter returns, fueling earnings and dividend payments.

“We can leverage the trends of urbanization and electrification of demand... to capture the opportunities presented by the major disruption of the entire energy sector,” CEO Francesco Starace said in a statement.

Enel’s Open Fiber unit and Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) are rolling out separate ultrafast broadband networks in a country with among the lowest internet speeds in Europe, raising concerns that it could lead to a mutually damaging war where both companies lose money and infrastructure is duplicated.

Enel, which controls Spanish utility Endesa (ELE.MC), confirmed most of the financial targets from its previous plan but said it would pay a minimum dividend per share next year of 0.28 euros from 0.21 euros this year.

Europe’s biggest utility in terms of customers said it would be selling 3.2 billion euros of assets in the three years to 2020, mostly in thermal electric generation.

It said it had earmarked 2.3 billion euros to buy back minority shareholders and 2 billion euros to buy grids and e-solution businesses while committing 400 million euros to equity partnerships.]]>
11/21/2017 11:17:52 AM
<![CDATA[Oil prices steady as rising U.S. output undermines OPEC cuts]]>
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $62.20 per barrel at 0301 GMT, 8 cents above their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $56.50 a barrel, also up 8 cent from their last settlement.

Traders said they were avoiding taking on large new positions due to uncertainty in markets.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russia, has been restraining output since the start of this year in a bid to end a global supply overhang and buoy prices.

The deal to curb output is due to expire in March 2018, but OPEC will meet on Nov. 30 to discuss the outlook for the policy.

OPEC is expected to agree to extend cuts as storage levels remain high despite recent drawdowns, although there are doubts about the willingness of some participants to continue to restrict their production.

“If the OPEC/non-OPEC cuts continue, the stocks surplus will reduce to just some 50 million barrels above the 5-year average in 3Q 2018 (down from 140 million barrels above that average now) and prices will hit $65-70 per barrel,” energy consultancy FGE said on Tuesday.

Outside the group of producers voluntarily withholding output, the biggest headaches for OPEC has been rising U.S. drilling activity, led by shale oil producers.

Energy consultancy Westwood Global Energy Group said U.S. output would climb even faster than implied by the rising rig count, which has jumped from 316 rigs in mid-2016 to 738 last week, as producers get more productive per well.

“Westwood Global Energy forecasts an 18 percent increase in active rigs in 2018, but more rapid demand growth in certain service areas as operators focus on efficiency and delivering more for less,” the consultancy said.

For 2018, FGE warned potential supply disruptions during an already tighter market could trigger oil price spikes, but it added that the market could slump again towards 2019 as U.S. output continues to soar and OPEC and its allies at some point will stop withholding output.

“We see another big rush with (U.S.) production growth of some 1-1.5 million bpd in 2018 and 2019,” FGE said. It added that OPEC also “has some 1.5 million bpd of spare capacity (while) Russia and Kazakhstan could also add another 500,000 bpd”.]]>
11/21/2017 11:14:51 AM
<![CDATA[Sisi, Anastasiades inaugurate Egypt-Cyprus Business Forum]]>
Sisi has arrived to the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, on Monday morning for a two-day visit to take part in the fifth tripartite summit with his Greek and Cypriot counterparts.

The two Mediterranean leaders signed several Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of security, communication, medicine and business. In a subsequent press conference, Anastasiades welcomed President Sisi and said that the two countries share strong historic ties.

Egypt’s_President_Abdel_Fatah_Al-Sisi_and_his_Cypriot_counterpart_Nicos_Anastasiades
Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades - Press Photo
Sisi said that they discussed several issues including boosting economic relations. He added that holding the Egypt-Cyprus Business Forum will help to boost communications between businessmen in the two countries.

Sisi pointed out that the Egyptian economy has faced a number of challenges and structural problems, in addition to successive political developments. "Therefore, the government has launched a serious economic reform program since 2014, addressing structural and financial imbalances, and announced a new ambitious strategy to achieve sustainable development by 2030," he added.

"As a result of the internal economic reforms, the Egyptian GDP increased by four percent over the past two years, the country’s foreign currency reserves recorded $36 billion, an average of 700,000 job opportunities were created annually, and the budget deficit decreased by 1.1 percent in the current fiscal year," Sisi stressed.

He further added that the parliament has issued the new Investment Law recently, presenting a set of important reforms to improve the investment atmosphere. The new law would facilitate investment procedures and establish a central unit to issue all required licenses for different projects.

Egypt’s_President_Abdel_Fatah_Al-Sisi_and_his_Cypriot_counterpart_Nicos_Anastasiades_(2)
Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades - Press Photo
The parliament also issued the new Civil Service Law that aims to create an incentive system of production and develop wage system, in addition to the value-added tax (VAT) law to expand the tax base.

The president asserted that the government currently works on accomplishing “Egypt's investment map,” that would guide businessmen to available investment opportunities in the country, and present the most important incentives offered for these projects.

In the past two years, Egypt has witnessed the launch of some major projects, including the development of the Suez Canal axis, the New Administrative Capital and a number of new cities across Egypt. These projects offer promising investment opportunities in many fields, such as infrastructure, construction, mining, information technology, industry, transport, energy and renewable energy.

With the start of natural gas production from Egypt’s new gas fields, notably Zohr and Noras, the country will be able to provide the required electricity for various investment projects. Egypt expects a 30 percent increase in its gas production in 2018, at 55 billion cubic meters, up from 42-43 billion cubic meters in 2017.

Sisi noted that Egypt, with its population and economy worth about $330 billion in 2016, represents a real promising market in different fields, not to mention being the main gateway to a huge regional market in the Middle East and the African continent.
“In this context, we rely on our meeting today to lay the first stone for more economic cooperation between the two countries in trade, industry and technology,” Sisi stated.

For his part, Anastasiades revealed that Egypt and Cyprus have signed 38 agreements in various fields, expressing his desire to boost bilateral ties in the coming period.

Egypt’s_President_Abdel_Fatah_Al-Sisi_and_his_Cypriot_counterpart_Nicos_Anastasiades_3
Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi and his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades - Press Photo
Also, Sisi praised the military cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus in the last three years. In November 2015, Egypt and Cyprus have signed their first military cooperation agreement. In December 2016, Egyptian Navy and Air Force participated in joint military exercises named “Medusa 2016” with Greek forces, in Greece.

Lately, Egypt has headed toward strengthening ties with Greece and Cyprus. Sisi visited Greece in December 2015 in a three-day visit during which he discussed with his Greek counterpart boosting bilateral relations and enhancing economic ties between the two countries.

In October 2016, the fourth round of the trilateral summit between Egypt, Cyprus, and Greece was held in Cairo. As a result of the summit, the three countries agreed to work on the implementation of projects in the fields of energy, maritime transport, tourism, and agriculture.

The summit also included discussions on the illegal immigration crisis and the constant flow of refugees streaming from conflict areas across the region.]]>
11/21/2017 9:30:19 AM
<![CDATA[New Direct flight agreement between Egypt, Romania: Ambassdor]]>
The statement added that Laufer met with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr as well as the Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil.

A number of agreements were signed during the visit, including one guaranteeing Romanian products in Egypt, another for opening a representative office for the Romanian trade association, and a third agreement for academic cooperation between Cairo University and the Romanian institutions. Additionally, an agreement was signed supporting direct Romanian flights to Egypt, under which a technical team will visit Egypt in February to activate the agreement.

Ismail reviewed during his meeting with Laufer the economic and social program reform has been applied by the Egyptian government.

Ismail said his government insists on carrying out its plan, which managed to improve the performance of the Egyptian economy and make the business environment more attractive for new investments. He also said that the reform program guarantees upgrading services for citizens.

Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil announced on Monday in a statement that Egypt and Romania will form a working group for bilateral cooperation in the micro, SMEs field.

“The group of experts will work on exchanging know-hows and technical expertise for the benefit of the two countries,” Kabil added, noting that a developed SMEs sector will help create job opportunities for youth.

]]>
11/21/2017 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[PM meets Romanian commerce minister]]>
Ismail reviewed during his meeting with Laufer the economic and social program reforms applied by the Egyptian government.

The PM said his government insists on carrying out its plan, which has managed to improve the performance of the Egyptian economy and make the business environment more attractive for new investments. He also said that the reform program guarantees upgrading services for citizens.

Ismail appreciated the Romanian visit, hoping that it will contribute to creating increased cooperation and bilateral trade between the two countries.

On other hand, Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil announced in a statement Monday that Egypt and Romania will form a working group for bilateral cooperation in the field of SMEs.

“The group of experts will work on exchanging know-how and technical expertise for the benefit of the two countries,” Kabil added, noting that having a developed SME sector will help create proper jobs for youth.

This came during Kabil’s meeting with the Romanian delegation headed by Laufer, in addition to a number of the country’s businessmen who are also visiting Cairo to participate in the Egyptian-Romanian Business Forum.

The meeting discussed the efforts that the Egyptian government has been exerting to develop and bolster the SME sector, referring to the new entity established to administrate SME projects.]]>
11/20/2017 10:38:36 PM
<![CDATA[Business news wrap-up ]]>Answers you should know on petroleum debt to foreign firms

The Petroleum Ministry announced a plan to completely settle the dues before the end of 2020.

Egypt, Romania to exchange expertise on SMEs



“The group of experts will work on exchanging know-how and technical expertise for the benefit of the two countries,” Kabil stated.

Government keen on supporting heavy industries: PM



The meeting reviewed recommendations of producers to protect this industry and increase its exports.

EFSA studies establishing Transactions Risk Fund: Omran



Omran said the authority will also work on preparing the legal framework for new financial tools, such as the Green Bonds.

EGX continues declines on foreign sales


Market capitalization declined LE 3.2 billion ($181 million) to record LE 764.802 billion.

Egypt studies power interconnection with Greece, Cyprus



President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived to the Cyprus capital, Nicosia, on Monday.

Oil markets tepid ahead of Nov. 30 OPEC meeting



Oil markets were tepid on Monday, as traders were reluctant to take on big new positions ahead of an OPEC meeting at the end of the month.

Planning Minister to visit UAE for administrative reform review



Said will study the UAE experience in terms of administrative reform, government performance, governance policies and innovative programs.

Samy calls on entrepreneurs to not only depend on bank loans



Establishing investment funds for micro-financing is strongly needed in Egypt to attract more social investments.
]]>
11/20/2017 9:43:48 PM
<![CDATA[Sudanese pound registers record decline against USD ]]>Sudanese experts say that the decrease in currency value reflects a deep crisis in the country’s economy and the “fragile rates of economic growth.”

“The Sudanese central bank’s policy of gradual SDG flotation is not done clearly,” the experts added, noting that these moves reflect the weak rates of economic growth.

They said that there are many obstacles preventing any plans to achieve economic reform for Sudan, such as the high trade deficit that hit the country, and thereby more local and foreign debts will be loaded on the country.

“The political instability also precludes new investments,” they added.

All ambitions and inspirations that the Sudanese economy will improve after removing the American sanctions were not realistic. The price of a currency can be defined only by the volume of investments and production, not via inspirations.

They expected the USD to hit 32 SDG, as the government tried every possible way and it has no choice except leaving the price to supply and demand.

The weakness of the Sudanese financial institutions makes the country fragile against any massive economic challenge and raises pressure on citizens.

Sudanese local newspapers said on Monday that the licenses of some companies would be removed and sanctions imposed on commercial banks as currency speculators.
]]>
11/20/2017 9:15:11 PM
<![CDATA[Answers you should know on petroleum debt to foreign firms]]>
The Petroleum Ministry announced a plan to completely settle the dues before the end of 2020. Egypt Today answers the significant questions, explaining when the crisis was provoked and what the government’s plan is to terminate it.

When did the crisis appear?

The problem sparked 10 years ago during fiscal year 2004/2005.

What is the reason behind the first debt?

Egyptian consumption of diesel, gasoline and natural gas exceeded domestic production. The Petroleum Ministry then decided to buy shares of production from foreign partners, in addition to importing gas from abroad.

How could the government handle the situation?

The debt declined to $548 million as the Petroleum Ministry settled parts of the dues. This affected the financial results of fiscal year 2006/2007, so the debt witnessed another decrease, reaching $534 million during the same year.

The debt is still not very much, so how did it amount to $3 billion?

The high jump in global oil prices, which exceeded $130 per barrel, doubled the debt to $1.5 billion. The dues decreased after that to $1.1 billion, but not for a long time. It jumped again in fiscal year 2009/2010 to $1.3 billion.

Did the 25th January Revolution add new debt?

After the 25th January Revolution, the Egyptian economy was challenged by the tough situation. The debt amounted to $3.1 billion and doubled to $6.3 billion a year later. The Ministry of Petroleum stopped repaying the monthly tranches, as the country had a clear shortage in foreign currency reserves, so its priorities were directed to buying oil products from abroad in order to meet the domestic market’s needs.

Who are the lenders?

Among the creditors are Shell, BP, Dana Gas, BG, Eni and other companies operating in the Egyptian petroleum sector.

How did the crisis affect the exploration and production works?

Many firms stopped their activities as they were no longer confident in the Egyptian market. There was not a single petroleum agreement from 2011 to 2013, in contrast to seven agreements in fiscal year 2009/2010 and four agreements the previous year.

What are the government’s moves to settle all the debt?

The Petroleum Ministry started to repay parts of the debts at the end of 2013. Thereby, the due decreased to $5.4 billion, down from $6.3 billion. Then the ministry held agreements with the foreign firms to schedule the dues by paying new tranches alongside the former commitments. That decreased the debt to $3.5 billion and $3.4 billion in FY 2014/2015 and 2015/2016, respectively. The total debt is now stable at $2.3 billion.

Is anything changed in the exploration after the repayment plan?

83 oil agreements were signed, including 62 new agreements and 21 amendments to the agreement of exploration in an area of 160,000 square kilometers, with investments valued at $15.5 billion.

Positive results were also revealed in several major discoveries, such as the development of the northern Alexandria field, the discovery of the Zohr field and the implementation of the ninth phase of the West Delta deep fields.

Domestic production jumped from 3.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day in 2013/2014 to nearly 5.1 billion cubic feet per day.

Is it possible to end the total debt shortly?

Petroleum Ministry officials say they target settling the total debts before the end of 2020 by repaying the monthly tranches regularly. Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla announced that his ministry intends to repay $750 million by the end of 2017.]]>
11/20/2017 7:55:17 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Romania to exchange expertise on SMEs]]>
“The group of experts will work on exchanging know-hows and technical expertise for the benefit of the two countries,” Kabil added; noting that having a developed SMEs sector will help create proper jobs for youth.

This came during Kabil’s meeting with the Romanian delegation headed by the Romanian Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Ilan Laufer in addition to a number of the country’s businessmen who are also visiting Cairo to participate in the Egyptian-Romanian Business Forum.

The meeting discussed the efforts that the Egyptian government has been exerting to develop and bolster the micro SMEs sector referring to the new entity established to administrate SMEs projects.

“The strategy included in the electoral program of the Romanian president Klaus Iohannis is prominent and Egypt can benefit from it to strengthen SMEs in Egypt,” the minister said during the meeting.

Bilateral trade amounted to $487 million during the first nine months of 2017, out of which exports valued at $107 million and imports valued at $376 million.

The most important products exchanged between the two countries are agricultural produce, furniture, construction materials, engineering tools, chemical products, fertilizers, medical industries, food industry, textile, furniture, garments, and leather.

The Romanian Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Ilan Laufer said his government is keen on deepening the bilateral economic cooperation with Egypt during the coming period.

He also pointed out that Romania is ready to exchange technical expertise with Egypt in the SMEs sector.

“Romania is working on a project that will strengthen the partnership between the public and private sectors in the fields of infrastructure, education and services,” the Romanian minister added. ]]>
11/20/2017 5:56:46 PM
<![CDATA[Government keen on supporting heavy industries: PM]]>
Ismail made the statements during a meeting with steel investors in Egypt which was attended by Ministers of Finance, Investment, Electricity and Justice, a Monday statement from the cabinet said.

The meeting reviewed the iron and steel industry in Egypt and the recommendations of producers to protect this industry and increase its exports.

To protect local steel manufacturers suffering from losses, Minister of Industry and Trade Tarek Kabil imposed in June a temporary tariff at 17 percent for Chinese steel, 10-19 percent for Turkish steel, and 15-27 percent for Ukrainian steel.

Local steel producers are looking to seal export deals, benefiting from a temporary anti-dumping tax on rebar steel imports from three countries. ]]>
11/20/2017 5:35:54 PM
<![CDATA[EFSA studies establishing Transactions Risk Fund: Omran]]>
Speaking at the annual African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) conference, Omran said that the authority will also work on preparing the legal framework for new financial tools, such as the Green Bonds.

Vice-president of the World Bank Mahmoud Mohieldin also spoke at the same conference. The world has issued $12 billion in green bonds in the past period, "these tools are important to fund sustainable development plans of Africa," he stated.

There are signs of development in Africa such as the growth in gross domestic product (GDP) of North African countries, "however, it is crippled by high public debt and terrorism threats," Mohieldin added.

Reviewing investment opportunities in Africa, Mohieldin said that the continent has massive growth opportunities in the agricultural sector, which attracts high amount of labor, "investment in this sector is still below normal levels," he said.

The World Bank prioritizes projects with sustainable development targets, Mohieldin stressed. "Cooperation between African stock markets will help in developing the economies through giving attention to governance and developing small and medium enterprises," he noted.

The emerging markets worldwide need some $2.5 trillion to achieve sustainable development, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said.

Opening the conference on behalf of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Nasr said in her speech that Africa will receive $60 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in total in 2017. ]]>
11/20/2017 3:36:07 PM
<![CDATA[EGX continues declines on foreign sales]]>
Benchmark index EGX30 went down 0.45 percent to stand at 13,680 points. The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.52 percent to end at 750.82 points and the broader index EGX100 leveled down 0.58 percent to close at 1,705.52 points.

Market capitalization declined LE 3.2 billion to record LE 764.802 billion, compared to LE 767.988 billion recorded Sunday.

Foreign and Egyptian institutions as well as foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 6.3 million, LE 74 million and LE 59.1 million. Meanwhile, Arab organizations and investors in addition to Egyptian individuals purchased at LE 60.4 million, LE 11.5 million and LE 67.5 million respectively.

Shares of 54 companies recorded increases, while 109 others saw declines. Meanwhile, shares of 23 firms remained unchanged.
]]>
11/20/2017 3:31:12 PM
<![CDATA[Sokhna Petrochemicals Company to increase investments: Minister]]>
This came at a statement released by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation at the end of the minister's visit to Kuwait.

Nasr also met with Chairman of Al Shaya Company Mohamed Hamoud Al Shaya on the possibility of his group's establishing the avenues complex mall in the New Administrative Capital and a medical complex adjacent to a hotel.

For his part, Al Shaya praised the measures taken by the Egyptian government to improve the investment climate over the past period, noting that such moves have encouraged the company to increase its investments to Egypt in the coming phase.

He said his company has investments of 130 mega shops grouping 22 international agents.

Nasr also conferred with members of the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Cooperation Council in the presence of Mohammad Jassim al Saqr, head of the Kuwaiti side, along with a number of Kuwaiti investors.

The minister also called for increasing the investments of Kuwaiti businessmen in Egypt in view of the new investment opportunities at the New Administrative Capital, the Suez Canal Corridor and New Alamein City.

Saqr, for his part, said the meeting comes as part of the efforts exerted by the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Council to boost historical and sisterly relations between the two countries.

Also, Deputy Executive Officer of Kuwaiti National Banq Sheikha al Bahr praised the progress achieved in the Egyptian economy and the recent rise of growth rates.]]>
11/20/2017 3:19:09 PM
<![CDATA[CI Capital awarded Egypt Asset Manager of the Year ]]>
The Global Investor MENA award gathers fund managers in the region to recognize their performance. CI Capital has won the award for the eighth year consecutively, the group said in a statement.

“We were able to build a strong success formula that allowed us to sustain our outperformance across our diversified mandates in different market conditions,” said Amr Abul Enein, CI Capital’s head of asset management.

CI Capital holds LE 7.4 billion in asset management as of the third quarter of 2017, offering different services, including fixed income funds, money market funds, equity funds and tailored discretionary portfolios.

CI Capital topped the brokerage field in August with a market share of 11 percent, the group's co-CEO Hazem Badran previously said.]]>
11/20/2017 2:23:58 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt studies power interconnection with Greece, Cyprus]]>
In a Monday statement from the ministry, chairman of the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) Gaber El-Desouki said that the project would become part of a larger power linkage project between Europe and Africa.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived to the Cyprus capital, Nicosia, on Monday for his first official visit to the country.

Sisi is scheduled to participate in the fifth Egyptian-Greek-Cypriot tripartite summit on Tuesday. Several topics are expected to be discussed during the summit, including coordination between the three countries, as well as enhancing the relations in the political, economic, trade, security and tourism fields.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are currently developing a power interconnection project aiming to exchange a total capacity of 3,000 megawatts between both countries.

The Ministry of Electricity has finished constructing a direct current (DC) of the substation, at a capacity of 400/500 volt, meanwhile, the alternating current (AC) will be finished within days. The project will be fully delivered by 2020, with the first phase expected to be finished in 2019 at a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

Egyptian electricity is sometimes exported to Jordan as the linkage line between both countries currently works at capacities that range between 400 to 450 megawatts. These capacities are currently being increased. ]]>
11/20/2017 2:16:54 PM
<![CDATA[S&P affirms Saudi Arabia credit ratings]]>
The agency maintained its "A-/A-2" ratings on Saudi Arabia and said its outlook was stable, citing expectations the government would take steps to consolidate public finances in the next two years.

"Recent shifts in Saudi Arabia's political power structures and societal norms, alongside various regional stresses, could increase the risk of policy mistakes that could result in increased domestic and geopolitical tensions," S&P said.

"However, we also consider that these structural reforms could empower Saudi citizens and make Saudi Arabia more attractive to investors over the medium term, as the authorities intend."

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last year unveiled his Vision 2030 programme of economic and social reforms for a post-oil era and has recently announced a host of multi-billion-dollar mega projects, including a futuristic megacity with robots and driverless cars.

But this month's wide-ranging crackdown on dozens of elites, ostensibly to tackle corruption, coupled with increased tensions between Saudi Arabia and its regional rival Iran, have provoked concern among investors.

Analysts have warned the uncertainty could intensify capital flight or derail reforms at a time when the kingdom is seeking to attract badly needed investments to offset a protracted oil slump.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil supplier, has posted more than $200 billion in budget deficits in the past three years and has withdrawn heavily from its reserves.

Following the energy slump, the kingdom undertook reforms and fiscal measures to cut public spending and boost non-oil revenues.

The kingdom has also introduced a series of price hikes, imposing fees on expats and preparing to introduce value-added tax in the new year.]]>
11/20/2017 1:55:03 PM
<![CDATA[Nigeria's economy grows 1.4 percent in Q3: data]]>
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said it was the second quarter of consecutive growth since the country emerged from recession.

"This growth is 3.74 percentage points higher than the rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016 (-2.34 percent) and higher by 0.68 percentage points from the rate recorded in the preceding quarter (of 2017)," it said.

The agency said daily oil production rose in the third quarter, averaging 2.03 million barrels per day (bpd), compared to 1.87 million bpd in the preceding quarter.
"Real growth of the oil sector was 25.89 percent (year-on-year) in Q3 2017. This represents an increase of 48.92 percent relative to rate recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016," it said.

Oil-rich Nigeria depends on the sector for 70 percent of government revenues and 90 percent of export earnings.

Nigeria slipped into recession for the first time in more than two decades in August 2016 after a sustained fall in global oil prices and militant attacks in the Niger delta.

The government in Abuja has been trying to reduce the country's reliance on oil but the NBS said non-oil sector only grew 0.76 percent in the quarter.

"This is lower by -0.79 percentage points compared to the rate recorded same quarter, 2016 and -1.20 percentage points lower than in the second quarter of 2017," it said.

President Muhammadu Buhari early this month presented a record 8.6 trillion naira ($24 billion, 20.8 billion euros) budget aimed at supporting economic recovery in 2018.

The government is targeting growth of 3.5 percent next year, with an estimated oil output of 2.3 million barrels per day as against a projected 2.2 million bpd in 2017.]]>
11/20/2017 1:37:29 PM
<![CDATA[Former EGX chairman honored at ASEA Conference]]>
Omran was honored, during the events of 21st annual conference of the ASEA, for his efforts in improving the regulations and performance of EGX during his four-year term, Onyema said.

The conference was opened by Onyema, who is also the head of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Speakers also included the senior vice president at the World Bank who spoke about the role of financial markets in Africa in achieving sustainable development agenda.

The conference's first panel discussed enhancing liquidity in African stock exchanges.]]>
11/20/2017 12:59:57 PM
<![CDATA[EITESAL signs €1.87M deal with EU for entrepreneurship]]>
Named INNOEgypt, the EU-funded project will allow EITESAL to work with 100 entrepreneurs and fresh grads to launch innovative projects in the sector, EITESAL said in a Monday press release.

The agreements come in the framework of EITESAL participating in the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017, held from November 13 to 18, where the organization encouraged youth to launch their own innovative projects through conducting workshops.

The events of the Global Entrepreneurship Week in Egypt included talks, workshops and lectures by prominent business figures and entrepreneurs at the main U.S. Embassy premises, the American Center Cairo (ACC), the American Corner in Maadi (ACM) and in three cities in Upper Egypt: Qena, Luxor, and Aswan.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) has been held annually since 2007 and includes more than 35,000 events and activities aiming to inspire youth to become entrepreneurs in 165 countries. The GEW also offers youth the opportunity to connect with other young men and women from around the world for potential collaboration and mentoring. ]]>
11/20/2017 12:31:55 PM
<![CDATA[Canada, Mexico to question U.S. auto content demands at NAFTA talks]]>
Canada will make a presentation arguing U.S. demands would cause serious damage to U.S. as well as North American automotive manufacturing, a Canadian source with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The rebuttal is expected to come on Monday as negotiators resume discussions on automotive rules of origin in the fifth round of talks to update the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Trump administration last month stunned its NAFTA partners by unveiling demands that half of the value content of all North American-built autos be produced in the United States and that the regional vehicle content requirement be sharply increased to 85 percent from the current 62.5 percent.

The demands are aimed at meeting U.S. President Donald Trump’s NAFTA goals of stemming the flow of U.S. carmaking jobs to low-wage Mexico and reversing a $64 billion U.S. trade deficit with its southern neighbor.

“In terms of the automotive sector, the United States´ proposal is insane,” said a Mexican auto industry representative with knowledge of the talks. “You cannot counter-propose such madness.”

The Canadian negotiating team’s presentation will “provide information about how the U.S. rules of origin proposal for autos would damage the continental industry in general and the United States in particular,” the Canadian source said.

“If you move the content requirement to 80 percent, or even to a number lower than that, it will hit the supply chains. You would then have to deal with potentially ill-equipped suppliers that are maybe more expensive,” the source added.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office on Sunday declined to comment on the talks.

Flavio Volpe, president of Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association, also said Canada and Mexico would try to convince U.S. officials that the proposals would damage North American competitiveness and lead to fewer auto assembly and parts jobs on the continent.

Volpe told Reuters that his group has been briefing Canadian negotiators on the effects of the U.S. proposals. Its analysis found that even if some assembly operations are returned to the United States, these job gains will be more than offset by parts production moving to Asia and other low-cost production areas.

Many car manufacturers and parts makers will simply forego NAFTA free-trade benefits and pay the 2.5 percent U.S. tariff on many components, he added.

His U.S. counterpart, the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association, last month unveiled a study showing that the United States would lose up to 24,000 auto parts manufacturing jobs from higher NAFTA content requirements and up to 50,000 if NAFTA is terminated.

The Mexican auto industry representative said the country’s negotiators would likely ask more technical questions about the U.S. automotive content demands during discussions on Monday and Tuesday. The industry would not back down from its opposition to the U.S. proposal, he added.

Another source close to the negotiations said Mexico and Canada consider the U.S. proposal “unviable” and disagree with the concept.

“So we are not in a situation of being able to go over numbers. It is not about analyzing the figures that they put on the table and us returning with other figures,” the source said.]]>
11/20/2017 11:48:01 AM
<![CDATA[EGX, Lusaka Stock Exchange sign MoU in ASEA conference]]>
The conference kicked off Monday with the attendance of representatives from stock exchanges of 27 countries and senior vice president of the World Bank Group Mahmoud Mohieldin.

Opening the conference on behalf of Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said in her speech that Africa will receive $60 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in total in 2017.

Nasr stressed on the importance of establishing partnerships between the private sector and international financial institutions in order to achieve development and inject investment in the infrastructure sector.

Some African countries have registered vast progress in their business climate in addition to higher growth expectations in the upcoming years, she added.

"Africa's economy will improve through focusing on real reforms in the investment climate through upgrading legislations [to] fight bureaucracy, combat corruption and focus on entrepreneurship and small and medium projects," Nasr explained.

EGX Chairman Mohamed Farid stated that hosting the ASEA annual event in Cairo comes as part of the entity’s efforts to activate cooperation with the African financial centers.

The two-day conference will discuss issues of capital market industry, market liquidity and financial technology in the capital markets. The sessions will also discuss mechanisms to strengthen governance practices and the role of financial markets in sustainability.]]>
11/20/2017 11:41:38 AM
<![CDATA[Oil markets tepid ahead of Nov. 30 OPEC meeting]]>
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $62.47 per barrel at 0752 GMT, down 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $56.57 a barrel, up just 2 cents from their last settlement.

Traders said they were avoiding taking on large new positions due to uncertainty in markets.

“Traders seem to be turning their attention now to the OPEC/Non-OPEC meeting ... and an extension of the production cut deal to cover all of 2018,” said Jeffrey Halley of futures brokerage OANDA.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), together with a group of non-OPEC producers led by Russia, has been restraining output since the start of this year in a bid to end a global supply overhang and prop up prices.

The deal to curb output is due to expire in March 2018, but OPEC will meet on Nov. 30 to discuss the outlook for the policy.

OPEC is expected to agree an extension of the cut as storage levels remain high despite recent drawdowns, although there are doubts about the willingness of some participants to continue to restrain output.

“(The) OPEC meeting remains the key sector catalyst into year-end ... The market expectation is for an extension through 2018, created by OPEC comments early this fall ... (but) there is increased risk that OPEC delays the extension decision,” U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said on Monday in a note to clients.

Morgan Stanley said that the question over extended cuts “has shifted to non-OPEC participants’ willingness to extend, primarily Russia”.

Despite this, Greg McKenna of futures brokerage AxiTrader said it was “worth noting data showed more longs added by the speculative community”, indicating expectations of rising prices.

In the United States, the number of rigs drilling for new oil production remained unchanged in the week to Nov. 17, at 738, data from oil services firm Baker Hughes showed on Friday.]]>
11/20/2017 11:40:29 AM
<![CDATA[Planning Minister to visit UAE for administrative reform review ]]>
As part of a delegation of Arab ministers, Said will visit the office of the Emirati prime minister for two days, a statement from the Ministry of Planning reported.

Said will study the UAE experience in terms of administrative reform, government performance, governance policies, innovative programs and leadership programs.

The delegation will include ministers from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Sudan and Libya.

The Egyptian government has recently exerted efforts to reform the country’s administrative sector and train the youth and government employees through several programs. ]]>
11/20/2017 11:31:37 AM
<![CDATA[Samy calls on entrepreneurs not to only depend on bank loans ]]>
“These kinds of investment funds are very important for micro-financing, which is successfully applied internationally,” he added.

He noted that the application of such funds requires a simple modification to the executive regulations of the capital market law thereby it would not permit granting loans directly to the clients, but via a mechanism similar to securitization.

The new manner of micro-financing will save funds for companies and social organizations.

The news coincides with Samy’s participation in the 2017 entrepreneurship summit organized by international associations in cooperation with the Canadian embassy, along with a number of project owners attending the event.

Samy affirmed the significance of alerting small project owners to the different ways of financing, since banks should no longer be perceived as the only way to do so.

Companies can get financed by IPO programs via stock markets, since the Nile Bourse enables SMEs to raise their capital, Samy noted, adding that entrepreneurs should go aim for other ways to collect funds for their projects, particularly in the early phases of their projects.

Varied means that entrepreneurs can depend on include financial leasing, factoring, and venture capital funds.]]>
11/20/2017 11:07:23 AM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 2.25B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 1.25 billion with a five-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a 10-year term.

The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 22 billion in November, in efforts to finance the budget.

It said it would auction three-year bonds, maturing in October 2020, at the value of LE 3 billion and five-year bonds, maturing in October 2022, at the value of LE 2.5 billion.

The Ministry will also issue seven-year bonds (maturing in December 2024) at LE 2 billion and 10-year bonds (maturing in May 2027) at LE 2 billion.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 370 billion, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.
]]>
11/20/2017 10:57:12 AM
<![CDATA[As Venezuela pumps below OPEC target, oil rivals begin filling gap]]>
The South American country’s oil output hit a 28-year low in October as state-owned oil giant PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] struggled to find the funds to drill wells, maintain oilfields and keep pipelines and ports working.

Venezuela's oil production, which has been falling by about 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) per month since last year, is on track to fall by at least 250,000 bpd in 2017 according to numbers reported to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as U.S. sanctions and a lack of capital hobble operations. [For a graphic on Venezuelan and Iraqi oil shipments to the United States and India, click tmsnrt.rs/2A9EKCH]

Some OPEC members expect the fall to accelerate in 2018, reaching at least 300,000 bpd, OPEC sources said. At a recent internal OPEC meeting, Venezuelan officials were asked to give a clearer picture of the country’s declining output.

“A lot of questions have been raised by Saudis and others to the Venezuelans to present a real picture on the production status and decline,” one of the sources said. The topic could come up later this month at the group’s next meeting.

Saudi Arabia will not raise its output to compensate for this decline as OPEC’s defector leader is focused on reducing global oil stocks, one OPEC source familiar with Saudi oil policy told Reuters this month.

But heavy oil from OPEC member Iraq and non-OPEC producers Canada and Brazil are already replacing Venezuelan barrels to key customers the United States and India, according to the sources and Thomson Reuters data.

Iraq has increased shipments of crude and condensate to India by 80,000 bpd this year as Venezuelan deliveries fell by 84,000 bpd. The second largest OPEC producer also has exported 201,000 bpd more oil to the United States this year through October as Venezuelan shipments dropped about 90,000 bpd, according to the Reuters data.

Venezuela’s weaker output “could be good for market rebalance and we could see price stay at $60 for a slightly longer time,” one OPEC source said. “That doesn’t mean there will be no free riders,” the source added.

PLUGGING THE GAP

Venezuela pumped 1.863 million bpd in October, undershooting its OPEC target by 109,000 bpd, according to an assessment that OPEC uses to monitor members’ output. Venezuela said it had pumped 1.955 million bpd, still below its output target of 1.972 million bpd.

There often are discrepancies between the assessment and official figures reported by the OPEC members.

When member countries have suffered supply disruptions in the past, other OPEC members have covered the gap, often without changing official production quotas.

Saudi Arabia boosted its output in 2003 to offset Iraq’s falling exports after the U.S. invasion, but the agreement was never formally disclosed.

OPEC discussions of Venezuela’s quota is not new. Proposals to change the country’s quota have been raised and batted down several times in OPEC meetings since the South American country’s production started declining in 2012, a Venezuelan government source said.

Venezuela has argued in the past, when faced with questions about falling output, that it was working to reverse declines from its sizeable proven oil reserves.

But it could be difficult for Venezuelan officials to convince OPEC that an upturn is likely in the near future as the country seeks to restructure $60 billion in debt. Dependent on oil revenues, Venezuela has seen its economy contract sharply in the three years since crude prices collapsed from over $100 a barrel.

Reviews of quotas and reallocation of market share can be contentious, and the group may prefer to allow market forces to fill the supply gap left by Venezuela’s decline rather than make an official share revision and reallocation to other members, one senior OPEC source said. A formal change would be opening a “can of worms” that OPEC would not want to do, the source added.

OPEC’s oil ministers will meet in Vienna later this month to discuss supply policy. The group is expected to extend beyond March an agreement under which its members and rival producers, including Russia, have reduced joint output by about 1.8 million bpd.

“We want a successful meeting on Nov. 30, re-discussing quotas will not be accepted by Venezuela and talking about it at the meeting will just open the door for others to do the same,” the senior OPEC source said.]]>
11/20/2017 10:07:07 AM
<![CDATA[Euro slips as German coalition talks fail, heightens uncertainty]]>
Merkel, whose conservatives were weakened after they won an election in September with a reduced number of seats, said she would inform the German president that she could not form a coalition, after the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) withdrew from negotiations.

The development leaves Germany with two unprecedented options in the post-World War Two era: Merkel forms a minority government, or the president calls a new election if no government is formed.

The euro slid broadly in early Asian trade after the break down of the German coalition talks, but later pared some of its losses.

Merkel’s conservative bloc, which won the largest proportion of votes in the September election, will probably be able to form a minority government, said Steven Dooley, currency strategist for Western Union Business Solutions in Melbourne.

“They’ll be able to rule in a minority government. It just makes things a little bit more awkward for them but I don’t think it’s really a massive game-changer,” Dooley said.

Against the yen, the euro was last down 0.6 percent on the day at 131.43 yen. At one point, the euro slipped to 131.16 yen, its weakest level since mid-September.

The euro fell 0.5 percent against the dollar to $1.1735, pulling away from a one-month high of $1.1862 set on Wednesday last week.

The euro’s retreat helped support the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, with the dollar index edging up 0.3 percent to 93.968.

Against the yen, the dollar held steady at 112.01, having set a one-month low of 111.89 yen earlier on Monday.

With the euro hobbled by political uncertainty in Germany, and the outlook for the dollar clouded by factors such as lingering doubts over the prospects for U.S. tax reforms, some market participants said the yen could push higher in the near-term.

“If you can’t buy the dollar and you can’t buy the euro, then the yen will strengthen, as you’re seeing now,” said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.

If the euro tumbles further versus the yen, that may spill over into the dollar, and open the way for the U.S. currency to test levels below 110 yen by year-end, Okagawa said.

The near-term focus will be on how European markets react to the political developments in Germany, he added.

On U.S. tax reforms, President Donald Trump predicted on Sunday that Senator Jeff Flake will oppose the Republican tax bill, but the senator’s office says he has not yet made up his mind.

The position of individual Republican senators on the tax bill has become the focus of those trying to determine whether it will pass because Republicans control only 52 seats in the Senate. More than two Republican defections would likely kill the bill.]]>
11/20/2017 9:59:56 AM
<![CDATA[Goldman Sachs sees Fed raising rates four times in 2018]]>
“The U.S. economy heads into 2018 with strong growth momentum and an unemployment rate already below levels that Fed officials view as sustainable,” Goldman’s economists wrote in note dated Friday.

Four hikes are more than Wall Street has been expecting for 2018. In a Reuters poll, Wall Street’s top banks saw the Fed raising borrowing costs three times in 2018.

The U.S. central bank has raised rates twice this year and currently forecasts another hike in its benchmark lending rate from its current target range of 1.00 percent to 1.25 percent by the end of 2017.

The economy’s momentum will be helped by reconstruction following recent U.S. hurricanes and also by tax cuts being proposed, the Goldman economists wrote, noting that they have raised their Gross Domestic Product growth forecast for 2018 to 2.5 percent and lowered their unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and to 3.5 percent by end-2019.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to near a 17-year low of 4.1 percent in October, from 4.2 percent in the prior month.

“The strength is becoming ‘too much of a good thing’ and containing further overheating will become a more urgent priority in 2018 and beyond,” the Goldman note said.]]>
11/20/2017 9:57:06 AM
<![CDATA[Asia stocks wilt as China weakness dims mood, euro skids]]>
Spreadbetters predicted the gloom would spread to European openings, with Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI each seen down 0.5 percent and Britain's FTSE .FTSE expected to fall 0.1 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was off its session lows but still down 0.1 percent.

Japan's Nikkei stock average .N225 finished down 0.6 percent.

“It’s year-end season, so people have more incentive to take profits,” said Kyoya Okazawa, Hong Kong-based head of institutional clients, APAC at BNP Paribas Securities.

“This week and next week, more profit-taking is coming, especially whenever some negative news comes out,” he said.

“Long-only clients overseas are looking at the Japanese equity market, because they’ve been a little bit underweight, and there is still some room to add Japanese equities going forward.”

China stocks clawed their way off session lows but were still down, after Beijing set sweeping new guidelines to regulate asset management products. Analysts said that could dampen investor appetite for riskier assets.

The Shanghai Composite index .SSEC was down 0.5 percent, while China's blue-chip CSI300 Index .CSI300 fell 0.2 percent.

“The new guideline is not the last shoe to drop, or the last piece of bad news,” said Li Huiyong, an economist at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities. “The era of tough financial supervision has just begun.”

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI shed 0.4 percent, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 0.2 percent. [.N]

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed their version of a tax overhaul bill that would cut corporate taxes, but the Senate continued to wrangle over its rival tax bill, with investors uncertain about whether Congress will be able to reach a compromise.

Against the yen, the dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 112.10 JPY=, after earlier falling as low as 111.89, its lowest since Oct. 16.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, added 0.4 percent to 93.987 .DXY, as the euro fell 0.5 percent to $1.1734 EUR=.

Talks among four German parties seeking to form a coalition government following an election that weakened Chancellor Angela Merkel broke down on Sunday after the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) pulled out, citing irreconcilable differences.

The decision by the FDP means that Merkel will either seek to form a minority government with the Greens or a new election will be held.

“It’s not a total surprise, and this kind of political change will not derail the German economy,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist for Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

“We are seeing this kind of reaction in the Asian session, but we need to see how Europe will react to this news later.”

He noted that emerging currencies, which are “usually the biggest victims of risk aversion, are not really falling.”

On Monday, the Thai baht THB=TH rose to its highest in more than 2-1/2 years, while the Malaysian ringgit MYR= inched up to its highest in over a year. [EMRG/FRX]

Position unwinding ahead of this week’s U.S. Thanksgiving holiday could keep the dollar’s gains in check, market participants said.

With the market nearly fully pricing in an interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve next month, speculators cut their bearish bets on the dollar for the seventh straight week.

The net negative value of positions against the greenback fell to a four-month low in the latest week, according to calculations by Reuters of data released by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday. [IMM/FX]

Lower benchmark U.S. Treasury yields also restrained the dollar, as the yield curve continued to flatten. The 10-year Treasury yield US10YT=RR stood at 2.327 percent in Asian trade, down from its U.S. close of 2.354 percent on Friday. [US/]

Yields briefly rose on Friday, with those on 2-year notes hitting a fresh nine-year peak, after U.S. housing starts surged 13.7 percent to their highest since October 2016.

Spot gold XAU= was down 0.2 percent at $1,291.54 an ounce, after it jumped to a one-month high on Friday as the dollar softened amid tax reform uncertainty. [GOL/]

Crude oil futures were mixed. Brent crude oil LCOc1 dipped 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $62.62 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 added 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $56.62 a barrel.

Oil rebounded more than 2 percent on Friday after falling for five straight session as a major U.S. crude pipeline was shut and traders anticipated an OPEC deal to extend curbs on production. [O/R]

But crude prices still fell for the first week in six, pressured by rising U.S. output data and doubts that Russia would support an extension of the OPEC output cut deal.]]>
11/20/2017 9:54:19 AM
<![CDATA[Pound flotation was inevitable: WB Vice President]]>
“There are still lots of measures needing to be applied. The infrastructure and health care are above all,” Mohieddin added.

He said there are many positive moves Egypt has made, particularly in the fields of infrastructure, building roads and healthcare, referring to the government’s effort to get rid of Hepatitis C virus.

“I myself felt improvements in my local city, Kafr Shokr; when I visited the city, I noticed important reforms,” the world figure added.

He affirmed that the Egyptian economy is much better than other economies of developing countries and it has a potential. He also called on the government to allow the private sector to have a higher chance.

Mohieddin called for “establishing sovereign funds” and allocating parts of the investment resources for these funds. He also urged for the significance of making citizens aware of the value of “saving”, as the saving rate in Egypt is lower than 8 percent, which is little when compared with global rates.

Addressing global megatrends and challenges, Mohieldin said that it is important to address demographic shifts to achieve economic development, highlighting that this is a reason why the World Bank Group adopted a 2030 agenda that focuses on finance, data and implementation, which is in line with the United Nations' sustainable development goals.]]>
11/19/2017 9:17:50 PM
<![CDATA[Business news wrap-up ]]>CAIRO – 19 November 2017: EGPC prepares to repay $500-750M to foreign firms by end of 2017

The Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC) prepares to settle part of the debt due by repaying between $500 million and $750 million to foreign oil and gas companies by the end of 2017.

ME’s infrastructure has high investment potential: World Bank VP



Mohieldin said that it is important to address demographic shifts to achieve economic development.

CBE approves raising mobile cash transfer limit in Egypt



The limit is now LE 50,000 ($2,834) per month and LE 10,000 per daily transaction.

Average yields rise on Egypt's 3- and 9-month T-bills



Yields on the 91-day bills rose to 18.625 percent, while yields on the 266-day bills rose to 18.015 percent.

KFAED funds 17.5M KWD to North Sinai development



The first 12.5-million-KWD agreement will finance connecting water networks in Al-Arish City.

Egypt's debt to Paris Club is $3.7B: CBE



Egypt will repay $700 million to Paris Club in January 2018, which is part of a bi-annual installment owed to the group.

World Bank is willing to support Egypt's plans: Director



Saeed has given presentations on a number of issues, such as developing the government's administrative apparatus.

Nasr, Romanian Minister review boosting cooperation



Investment Minister Sahar Nasr had talks on Sunday with Romanian Minister for Business Environment, Commerce and Entrepreneurship Ilan Laufer to boost cooperation between the two countries.


Dollar exchange rate slightly up at Egypt's major banks



The U.S. dollar exchange rate was relatively stable during morning transactions at major banks on Sunday.

CBE issues LE 13.75 B in T-bills Sunday



The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 6.75 billion and the second worth LE 7 billion.
]]>
11/19/2017 9:15:52 PM
<![CDATA[EGPC prepares to repay $500 - $750M to foreign firms by end of 2017]]>
EGPC managed to repay a $2.2 billion tranche of the debt to its foreign partners last June reducing the total due at $2.3 billion.

Egypt was facing a notable lack in foreign currency since the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, enforcing it to delay payments to oil and gas firms. In 2013, the total debt amounted to $6.3 billion.

However, the country’s economy is on the track of recovery after the government kicked off a successful program of economic reform, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla revealed last week during his speech in a press conference that his ministry was targeting decreasing the debt bill before the end of 2017.

Egypt has a string of international pioneering companies working in the oil and gas sector such as British Petroleum (BP) Egypt, Apache Egypt Companies and Enni Shell.
The foreign oil and gas companies in Egypt have strongly contributed in relieving the gas shortage crisis facing the country. Italian Enni’s exploration at Zohr field that is expect to produce 500 million cubic feet per day by the end of 2017.

Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla announced in October from Moscow during the 19th ministerial meeting of the exporting gas countries that Egypt will stop importing gas from abroad by the end of 2018.]]>
11/19/2017 6:36:44 PM
<![CDATA[House approves presidential decree on allocating AFDB stakes]]>
The dedication of the shares will be within the framework of transferring the ownership of the shares put up for subscription on September 30, 2016.

The approval, under House Speaker Ali Abdel Aaal, followed reports submitted by the joint committees of economic affairs, planning and budget as well as African affairs.]]>
11/19/2017 5:12:36 PM
<![CDATA[ME’s infrastructure has high investment potential: World Bank VP]]>
Speaking at a conference organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt (AmCham) on economic development under the name “Progress in a Changing World”, Mohieldin said that the refugee crisis is crippling global development.

"Refugee numbers are now 25 million people in different world countries... and developing countries are bearing the largest burden of the crisis," Mohieldin added.

Addressing global megatrends and challenges, Mohieldin said that it is important to address demographic shifts to achieve economic development, highlighting that this is a reason why the World Bank Group adopted a 2030 agenda that focuses on finance, data and implementation, which is in line with the United Nations' sustainable development goals.

Egypt’s portfolio with the World Bank Group stands at $8 billion, including $2 billion allocated for the private sector, according to previous official statements.

The World Bank has contributed a total of $4 billion to Egypt’s energy sector over the past three years and around $3 billion is for supporting economic reform plans, according to Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr.

Meanwhile, the rest is divided over $635 million in investments from the global private sector, with the participation of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), to build the largest solar complex in Aswan governorate.

Also, more than $200 million were given as financial guarantees for the same project from the WBG-affiliated Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. An additional $150 million were directly invested by the group in the oil and gas sector. ]]>
11/19/2017 5:10:45 PM
<![CDATA[Molla, SPE head probe bolstering cooperation]]>
Mulla reviewed new gas projects being implemented currently with a view to boosting Egypt's natural gas production, hence, attaining self-sufficiency, according to a statement issued by the Petroleum Ministry on Sunday.

SPE managing director Spady, for his part, highlighted the activities of his association to upgrade the global petroleum industry.

He pointed out to the keenness of the SPE on paying visits to petroleum departments at Egyptian universities to offer technical support through organizing conferences and workshops to train students.]]>
11/19/2017 5:00:30 PM
<![CDATA[PM, transport minister discuss railway moderation plan]]>
Ismail, who was speaking during a meeting with Transport Minister Hisham Arafat, reiterated also keenness to upgrade railway services and to make best use of capabilities and potentials.

The meeting reviewed a plan to be accomplished in 2022 to upgrade the railroad network at a total of EGP 50 billion. The scheme covers the infrastructure and trains including the electrification of railroad crossings to enhance safety and security.

As many as 200 new locomotives will be purchased and 81 old ones will be renovated as part of the plan, said Arafat, adding that 300 cargo carriages will be locally manufactured.

Some 1,300 passenger coaches are planned to be built, he said.

As for renovating railroad crossings, the minister said that 90 will be accomplished in 2018, bringing the total to around 365. ]]>
11/19/2017 4:52:24 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends negatively, market capitalization declines LE 3B]]>
Benchmark index EGX30 went down 0.76 percent to stand at 13,742 points. The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 1.09 percent to end at 754.73 points and the broader index EGX100 leveled down 0.95 percent to close at 1,715.46 points.

Market capitalization declined LE 3 billion to record LE 767.988 billion, down from LE 771.030 billion Thursday.

Foreign individuals and institutions as well as Egyptian organizations sold at LE 14.2 million, LE 9.4 million and LE 43 million. Meanwhile, Egyptian investors in addition to Arab individuals and institutions purchased at LE 35.3 million, LE 3.6 million and LE 9.4 million respectively.

Shares of 47 companies recorded increases, while 122 others saw declines. Meanwhile, shares of 22 firms remained unchanged.
]]>
11/19/2017 3:43:46 PM
<![CDATA[PM to open ASEA conf. in Cairo on Monday]]>
About 27 states will take part in the two-day event under the theme of "Africa Mapping the Future."

The get-together will address several key issues, topped by enhancing liquidity in African Stock Exchanges, financial technology - applications within the capital markets and streamlining regulations and enhancing governance practices by stock exchanges.
]]>
11/19/2017 3:23:14 PM
<![CDATA[CBE approves raising mobile cash transfer limit in Egypt]]>
Shehata said in a statement to local media that the limit is now LE 50,000 per month and LE 10,000 per the daily transaction.

In 2013, a new service was introduced into the market to allow mobile-phone users to execute money transfer and payment transactions via mobile through banking channels.

The service allows participants to transfer money through mobile-phones to other clients participating at the service, in addition to the possibility of raising their credits or making withdrawals through banking branches.

This service has marked a new phase for financial services in Egypt as it introduced secure solutions for money transfer. ]]>
11/19/2017 2:49:05 PM
<![CDATA[Average yields rise on Egypt's 3- and 9-month T-bills]]>
Yields on the 91-day bills rose to 18.625 percent from 18.470 percent at the last sale, while yields on the 266-day bills rose to 18.015 from 17.834 percent.

Appetite for Egypt’s domestic debt has grown since the central bank floated the pound currency a year ago. Since then, the CBE has raised key interest rates by 700 basis points. ]]>
11/19/2017 2:11:11 PM
<![CDATA[KFAED funds KWD 17.5M to North Sinai development]]>
The first KWD 12.5 million-agreement will finance connecting water networks in Al-Arish City, as part of the government's program to develop North Sinai, a statement from the Ministry of Investment said.

Meanwhile, the second KWD 5 million-deal will be used in the reclamation project of 400,000 feddans in the governorate to improve the development and social aspects in North Sinai.

The funding comes within a $900 million deal between Egypt and KFAED to finance development projects in the Sinai Peninsula over three years.

Targeting the improvement of living standards in the peninsula, the program will contribute in increasing the arable area, creating a residential complex and introducing job opportunities.

The KFAED has so far contributed $2.76 billion to Egypt for 44 development projects, in addition to 15 technical grants at the value of $52 million.
]]>
11/19/2017 1:24:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt is a very interesting market for Renaissance Capital: Head]]>
In an interview with Bloomberg, Friel explained that their vision of Egypt comes at a time when global investment banks are shifting their focus to Africa.

"Our strategy is unchanged... we have taken a long-term view on the Egyptian market and remain firmly convinced that this is a positive move for the firm,” he said.

Friel was also positive on the impact of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) $12 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) on Egypt’s capital markets.

In a report issued in August, RenCap said that oil and gas, commercial retail, real estate and consumers’ goods fields are the sectors with the highest investment potential in Egypt.

It said the United Kingdom, the United States and Belgium are the largest foreign investors, while the UAE represented the largest Gulf source of investment for Cairo.

Being the largest source of FDI, the UK invested a total amount of $4.8 billion over the first nine months in fiscal year 2016/17, shaping 55 percent of total investments and increasing 11 percent in a year-on-year level.

Renaissance Capital opened in 2017 its new office in Cairo as it sought to deepen investment ties in Egypt, the bank’s MENA chief executive Ahmed Badr told Reuters in April.

Renaissance Capital, which is focused on emerging and frontier markets, has sales and trading teams in London, Moscow, New York, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi and Dubai. ]]>
11/19/2017 12:57:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's debt to Paris Club is $3.7B: CBE ]]>
This figure is compared to $3.5 billion by the end of March 2017, out of $79 billion, which are the total value of Egypt's external debts, the report added.

Egypt will repay $700 million to Paris Club in January 2018, which is a part of a bi-annual installment owed to the group usually paid in January and July.

In a previous interview with Business Today Magazine in October, CBE governor Tarek Amer said that Egypt will pay $13 billion in debts over 2018, where he added that the CBE will keep Egypt's foreign reserves at the level of $36 billion.

Egypt’s foreign reserves hiked to $36.703 billion at the end of October from $36.535 billion at the end of September.

Foreign reserves in the CBE have been rising since the Egyptian government clinched a $12 billion three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November, restoring confidence in the Egyptian market.

Reserves were only $19.041 billion at the end of October 2016, just before Egypt floated its local currency in November, which was a milestone in the IMF-backed economic reform program that also included loosening capital controls, hiking taxes and slashing subsidies. ]]>
11/19/2017 12:32:55 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank is willing to support Egypt's plans: Director]]>
In a meeting with Minister of Planning Hala al-Saeed, Allam said that the international institution is looking forward to supporting Egypt's strategies.

During the meeting, Saeed has given presentations on a number of issues such as developing the government's administrative apparatus and improving skills of human resources.

The minister mentioned that she inaugurated two units inside the ministry for human resources and quality monitoring, "we have already received job applications for working in these units and we will conduct soon languages and computer skills tests," Saeed noted.

"Egypt aims to create an effective government apparatus that works professionally, transparently, justly and responsively, offering services at the best quality," the minister added.

The Egyptian government has been recently exerting efforts to reform the country’s administrative sector and train the youth and government employees through several programs. ]]>
11/19/2017 12:26:57 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr, Romanian Minister review boosting cooperation]]>
During the meeting, the minister said the Egyptian government offered all needed facilities to encourage pumping more Romanian investments into Egypt.

She expounded that the new investment law would encourage boosting Romanian investments in Egypt.

The two sides discussed the activation of four memorandums which was inked between the two countries during the July joint committee meeting.

The Romanian minister voiced hope to enhance cooperation with Egypt.

He underlined that a number of Romanian companies plan to boost investments in Egypt.]]>
11/19/2017 12:03:39 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate slightly up at Egypt's major banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate slightly went up to LE17.59 for buying and LE17.69 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt, the Arab African International Bank and Suez Canal Bank.

At Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire, the Bank of Alexandria and the National Bank of Greece, the dollar rate recorded LE17.58 for buying and LE17.68 for selling.

At the Commercial International Bank (CIB), the dollar rate raised to LE17.57 for buying and LE17.67 for selling.

The rate recorded at LE17.60 for buying and 17.70 for selling at Al Baraka Islamic Bank.

The dollar rate recorded LE17.61 for buying and 17.71 for selling at Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait.]]>
11/19/2017 12:01:04 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 13.75 B in T-bills Sunday]]>
Egypt’s central bank holds T-bills auctions every Sunday and Thursday.

The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 6.75 billion with a 91-day term and the second worth LE 7 billion with a 266-day term.

The budget deficit is expected to stand at LE 322 billion by the end of fiscal year 2017/18, to be filled by treasury bills and bonds issued by the CBE, and through Arab and foreign loans and grants.
]]>
11/19/2017 11:30:16 AM
<![CDATA[Fed's Williams joke shows how a novel policy could work, or fail]]>
“I am going to try, over the rest of my time at the Fed, to undo that damage by not showing any slides,” he said on Saturday at a separate conference at the University of California, Berkeley.

His joke elicited chuckles from the audience of scholars who had suffered through an immense number of equation-packed slides at the San Francisco Fed’s just-concluded conference.

By paying for that excess with a promise not to show any slides himself, Williams said, he hoped to ultimately bring the total number back in line with the original limit.

The approach neatly illustrates the logic behind a bold and nearly untried monetary policy idea that Williams has lately embraced.

The idea, known as price-level targeting, calls for a central bank to make up for bouts of low inflation by encouraging high inflation later on.

It differs from the Fed’s current approach of targeting inflation at 2 percent while taking a position of “let bygones be bygones” to past periods when it is above or below that level.

Williams, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke have in recent months championed price-level targeting as a way to give central banks more scope to combat a severe downturn when merely cutting interest rates is not enough.

If people believe the central bank will stick to this policy, they will try to spend what they can during a downturn, before their money’s value is eroded by future inflation. That spending will itself pull the economy from recession faster, shortening any future period of high inflation induced by the central bank.

If such a policy were put in place now, the Fed would need to allow inflation to run at 3 percent, about twice as high as it is today, for about the next five years.

But the idea that the Fed would subject Americans to such a paycheck-draining policy strains belief, critics say.

“I find that quite implausible,” former Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said earlier this week.

One economist at the Saturday conference said: “We’d probably bail on the policy halfway through.”

Williams completed his 15-minute talk there without showing a single slide. It remains to be seen whether he will stick to his policy in the 10 years before he reaches the Fed’s mandatory retirement age.]]>
11/19/2017 10:32:17 AM
<![CDATA[Driverless cars set for UK budget boost: finance ministry]]>
Hammond is under pressure to turn around the fortunes of Prime Minister Theresa May with Wednesday’s budget, but with Brexit weighing on the economy he has limited options.

Measures to drive technological improvements would chime with his desire to improve UK productivity, which is growing very slowly, and create high quality jobs.

The finance ministry said Hammond would announce regulatory changes to the driverless car industry so that developers could apply to test their vehicles on UK roads without a human operator for the first time. He wants fully self-driving cars to be on UK roads in as little as three years.

The ministry said a new 400 million pound ($530 million) Charging Infrastructure Investment Fund would also be created, improving access to finance for businesses to develop charge points across the UK. Also 100 million pounds would be provided in grants to help people buy battery-electric vehicles.

Other investments include 75 million pounds in the artificial intelligence industry, 160 million pounds for next-generation 5G mobile networks across the UK, 100 million pounds for an additional 8,000 computer science teachers and 76 million pounds to boost digital and construction skills.

On Saturday the finance ministry said the budget statement was expected to include a consultation on taxing and charging environmentally damaging single-use plastics. ]]>
11/19/2017 10:29:31 AM
<![CDATA[Brazil central banker says 'fine' with gradual U.S. rate hikes]]>
If we continue to see things normalize in a gradual way I think that will be fine,” Goldfajn said on Saturday in an interview with Reuters at the close of a conference at the University of California, Berkeley.

He added that he expects Jerome Powell, nominated by President Donald Trump to succeed Janet Yellen as Fed Chair in February, to continue to raise rates gradually, “and that will be good for emerging markets.”

“If we see things … less gradual and more intense, either coming from fiscal or any other factor that brings inflation to be higher than expected, then it will be a more bumpy road ahead,” Goldfajn said. “But the central scenario is that it will be gradual.”

Brazil has been cutting its target interest rate to bolster growth after its worst recession on record. On Saturday, Goldfajn reiterated the central bank’s expectation that it will do so again next month.

With Brazilian inflation now expected to undershoot the central bank’s 4-percent target for the first time in years, financial conditions are “favorable,” he said.

Still Goldfajn, says now is not the time for rest. Completing pension reform in Brazil, he said, is “crucial.”

“I think pension reform will be done, it could be done this year, next year,” he said. “That will be very important to somehow shield from any unexpected turbulence....The stronger the better, and the sooner the better.”

Goldfajn was sanguine about a recent rise in power costs that have lifted Brazil’s consumer prices, saying that they are more than offset by the downward pressure on inflation from food prices.]]>
11/19/2017 10:27:21 AM
<![CDATA['No fireworks' at NAFTA talks, but few signs of progress]]>
Officials from the United States, Canada and Mexico are meeting in Mexico City for the fifth of seven planned rounds to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, from which U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw.

Time is running short to seal a deal by the deadline of end-March 2018. Officials say next year’s Mexican presidential election means talks after that date will not be possible.

The U.S. administration has made demands that the other members say are unacceptable, such as a five-year “sunset” clause and tightening so-called rules of origin to boost the North American content of autos.

“It is very slow moving but there are no fireworks,” said a Canadian source with knowledge of the talks, adding there had “not been much conversation at all” on the more contentious U.S. proposals.

Within hours of the latest round of talks formally starting on Friday, Canada was complaining about inflexibility by the United States.

Officials have so far discussed other issues such as labor, gender, intellectual property, energy and telecommunications but it is too soon to say whether there will be any breakthroughs this round, added a source familiar with the talks.

“The work is moving forward,” Mexican deputy economy minister Juan Carlos Baker told reporters, adding that the three countries had prioritized technical work in Mexico City.

But he said negotiators were aware that much work lay ahead and “we have to double our efforts.”

“The atmosphere is good, the atmosphere is one of work,” Baker added.

The mood was calmer than the tense scenes during last month’s round in Arlington, Virginia, where tough U.S. demands were revealed. Still, the negotiations have passed the halfway point of an initial schedule with few clear signs of process.

Mexican officials hope chapters on telecommunications and e-commerce will be concluded by the end of business on Tuesday, but there has been no indication of this yet.

Although negotiators are scheduled to discuss rules of origin every day, the source said detailed talks on boosting North American content would not be held before the end of the round on Tuesday.

Canada and Mexico say the new rules of origin are unworkable and would damage the highly-integrated auto industry.

“I hope the United States understands there are things ... that Mexico won’t accept, and (I hope) the negotiating process becomes more rational,” Moises Kalach, head of the international negotiating arm of Mexico’s CCE business lobby, told Reuters.

On Friday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office revised its official objectives to conform to its current demands.

The move prompted U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, to remove a “hold” he had put in place to block confirmation of two Trump administration nominees for deputy USTR positions, a Wyden aide said.

Wyden had complained the trade office was keeping members of Congress “in the dark”.]]>
11/19/2017 10:25:44 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt allocates LE 7.2B investments to pre-university education]]>
The investments will be directed towards various purposes such as building and developing schools, increasing the number of the Egyptian Nile schools and developing sports and training camps, the minister added.

The plan also includes the establishment of 17 science centers in order to raise scientific awareness among children and youths.

Saeed has further referred to Egypt’s plan to expand the educational buildings, which includes setting up 1,550 new classrooms, 500 of them are for poor regions, and appointing 3,000 teachers in different fields.

Egypt has the largest overall education system in Africa and it has grown rapidly since the early 1990s. The Ministry of Education is tackling a number of issues, including moving from a highly centralized system to offering more autonomy to individual institutions, thereby increasing accountability.

Although significant progress has been made to increase human capital base through improved education system, the quality of education experience is low and unequally distributed. Egypt also has a shortage of skilled workforce. ]]>
11/18/2017 8:04:51 PM
<![CDATA[Business news wrap-up]]>Facts about MENA's largest fish farm in Kafr El-Sheikh
Headed by President Abdel- Fatah el-Sisi, Egypt celebrated Saturday the inauguration of the largest fish farm in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), located in Berket Ghalioun in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate.

Kabil mulls cooperation with India in SMEs, textile sectors


Egypt is keen to bolster the economic cooperation with India, particularly in the field of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said in a statement Saturday.

New production line for dates inaugurated in Matrouh


Governor of Marsa Matrouh governorate Alaa Abou-Zeid inaugurated on Saturday a new production line in one of the dates factories, at an investment of LE 5 million.

Egypt receives 1M German tourists in 11 months


Egypt received more than one million German tourists between January and November 2017, Egyptian tourism consultant in Germany Mohamed Abdel-Gabbar said Saturday.

Orascom Development plans to settle some of its debts in 2018


Should Orascom Development Egypt (ODE) be able to repay between LE 700 million and LE 1 billion of its debt in 2018, its financial situation will be much better, the company’s CEO Khaled Bichara Said on Saturday.

ATAF, National Authority for Railways to sign cooperation protocol


Social Solidarity Minister and Board Chairperson of the Addiction Treatment and Abuse Fund (ATAF) Ghada Wali is due to ink a protocol of cooperation on Sunday with the National Authority for Egypt Railways.

Red Sea governor, foreign delegation discuss investment opportunities


Red Sea Governor Major General Ahmed Abdullah convened with a foreign investment delegation representing American and British companies to discuss investment opportunities. ]]>
11/18/2017 7:50:49 PM
<![CDATA[RPT-Pro-trade U.S. Republicans get nervous that NAFTA talks could fail]]>
As a fifth round of talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement kicked off in Mexico on Friday, several Republicans interviewed by Reuters expressed concerns that tough U.S. demands, including a five-year sunset clause and a U.S.-specific content rule, will sink the talks and lead to the deal’s collapse.

Business groups have warned of dire economic consequences, including millions of jobs lost as Mexican and Canadian tariffs snap back to their early 1990s levels.

“I think the administration is playing a pretty dangerous game with this sunset provision,” said Representative Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican from eastern Pennsylvania.

He said putting NAFTA under threat of extinction every five years would make it difficult for companies in his district, ranging from chocolate giant Hershey Co to small family owned manufacturing firms, to invest in supply chains and manage global operations.

Hershey operates candy plants in Monterrey and Guadalajara, Mexico.

Some 74 House of Representatives members signed a letter this week opposing U.S. proposals on automotive rules of origin, which would require 50 percent U.S. content in NAFTA-built vehicles and 85 percent regional content.

They warned that this would “eliminate the competitive advantages” that NAFTA brings to U.S. automakers or lead to a collapse of the trade pact.

Representative Pete Sessions, a Texas Republican who has long been a supporter of free trade deals, said he disagreed with the Trump approach of “trying to beat someone” in the NAFTA talks. Texas is the largest U.S. exporting state with nearly half of its $231 billion in exports last year headed to Mexico and Canada, according to Commerce Department data.

“We need to offer Mexico a fair deal. If we want them to take our cattle, we need to take their avocados,” Sessions said.

Still, congressional apprehension about Trump’s stance is far from unanimous. The signers were largely Republicans, with no Democrats from auto-intensive states such as Michigan and Ohio signing.

DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT

Some pro-labor Democrats have actually expressed support for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s tough approach.

“Some of those demands are in tune,” said Representative Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the House Ways and Means trade subcommittee. “We don’t want to blow it up, Republicans don’t want to blow it up. But we want substantial changes in the labor, the environmental, the currency, on how you come to an agreement when there’s a dispute, and on problems of origin.”

Farm state Republicans are especially concerned that a collapse of NAFTA would lead to the loss of crucial export markets in Mexico and Canada for corn, beef and other products.

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said Lighthizer in a recent meeting agreed that a withdrawal from NAFTA would be hard on U.S. agriculture, which has largely benefited from the trade pact. U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico quintupled to about $41 billion in 2016 from about $9 billion in 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect, according to U.S. Commerce Department data.

Grassley said, however, that Lighthizer’s approach was “taking everybody to the brink on these talks.”

Other Republicans are taking a wait and see approach to the talks.

Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma said he was willing to give Trump “the benefit of the doubt” on NAFTA talks, adding that farmers and ranchers in his rural district were strong Trump supporters in the 2016 election.

“The president’s a practical fellow. When push comes to shove, he understands the base,” Lucas said. ]]>
11/18/2017 7:34:32 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt receives 1M German tourists in 11 months ]]>
He added that reservations for this winter season have surpassed 90 percent, compared to last year. Abdel-Gabbar said that there are 190 weekly trips from Germany to Egypt, which reflects the Germans’ desire to visit the country.

He stated that Egypt’s tourism office in Germany is intensifying its efforts to boost the number of German tourists coming to Egypt, adding that there is cooperation with tour operators in Germany to execute a promotional campaign that will help attract more German tourists.

The tourism sector has been struggling ever since the 25 January Revolution of 2011 and it was recently hit by the downing of a Russian airliner over Sinai in late 2015, which resulted in a Russian and UK travel ban to the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.

However, tourism has been picking up recently; especially that Egypt has now become a cheaper destination for many tourists around the world after floating the local currency.

Tourism revenues jumped 211.8 per cent year-on-year to $5.3 billion in the first nine months of 2017, compared to $1.7 billion the year before.

The number of tourists who visited Egypt in that time jumped 55.3 per cent to 5.9 million, with European visitors reaching 3.2 million, an 85 per cent increase from the previous year.

Hilton Worldwide announced last week that it aims to increase the number of hotel rooms it manages in Egypt by 40 percent by the end of 2022. ]]>
11/18/2017 7:30:50 PM
<![CDATA[National strategy drawn up to develop palm date sector: Min.]]>
The plan has been presented to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who ordered to form a panel to discuss providing a date meal for school students, Kabil said in a speech at the third festival of Egyptian dates in Siwa.

In the speech, delivered by assistant minister Hossam Khattab, Kabil hailed the gathering as a key step to develop the date sector in Egypt.

He asserted keenness on supporting industrial and exporting sectors as part of the ministry's plan to increase the contribution of the industrial sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Thanks to the attention paid by the state to the palm date sector, Egypt ranks first at the international level with a total contribution of 17.7 percent of the world production, said the minister.

The third festival is held under the auspices of President Sisi. It's organized by the Trade and Industry Ministry in cooperation with the Khalifa International Award for Date Palm, the United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The ambassadors of Vietnam, Ukraine and Cambodia were present]]>
11/18/2017 7:26:38 PM
<![CDATA[Facts about MENA's largest fish farm in Kafr El-Sheikh]]>
The project was first announced in 2014 with a three-phase plan. The idea of the project is to build a huge fish farm on 12,000 feddans using the latest advanced techniques in the field of fish farming.

The first phase of the project was completed on nearly 4,000 feddans, with expectations to cover up to 70 percent of Egypt’s domestic need of fish.

The project consists of a hatchery of fish and shrimp on an area of 17 feddans, with a production capacity of 20 million fish and two billion shrimp.

The project also includes 1,359 aquariums and 83 projects of popular Egyptian fish.
It is planned within the project’s framework that an ice factory will be built on an area of 450 square meters, with a production capacity of 40 tons of crushed ice a day, and 20 tons of ice blocks for freezing fish and shrimp.

A foam factory will also be constructed on an area of 1,200 square meters to produce fish and shrimp containers.

The project will help reduce fish imports by about 27 per cent and will provide at least 5,000 jobs for the residents of Kafr El-Sheikh as well as the neighboring governorates.
An industrial city will be built as part of the project that will include four main factories, a development and training center and a central laboratory to ensure high quality products.

The space on which drilling works take place amounts to 16 million square meters, which is six times the size of the Great Pyramid, while the iron rods required for construction works are estimated at 13,000 tons.

Ghalion products will be available by the beginning of 2018 as the shrimp farming cycle ends in December, while the fish farming cycle ends in January.]]>
11/18/2017 6:41:47 PM
<![CDATA[Honda recalling 900,000 minivans because seats may tip forward]]>
The Japanese automaker said the recall covered 2011-2017 Honda Odyssey minivans, all but 2,000 of which are in North America, and that it had 46 reports of minor injuries related to the issue. Honda said it was working on a recall fix to help ensure proper latching and, in the interim, had posted a detailed instruction sheet on how to ensure seats are properly latched.]]>
11/18/2017 6:23:14 PM
<![CDATA[EU cuts funding to Turkey in 2018 budget]]>
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had led calls for a cut to the funds, which are linked to Turkey's stalled bid to join the bloc, following mass-scale arrests in the country since the failed July 2016 coup.

MEPs and member states have agreed to reduce the "pre-ascension funds" by 105 million euros ($124 million) and froze an additional 70 million euros of previously announced spending.

In a statement, lawmakers said "they consider the deteriorating situation in relation to democracy, rule of law and human rights worrying".

Turkey has dismissed more than 140,000 officials since the coup attempt, and arrested another 50,000, including opposition politicians, academics, journalists, activists and EU citizens.

The German government has warned its citizens against travelling to Turkey as they risk "arbitrary" arrest.

"We have sent a clear message that the money that the EU provides cannot come without strings attached," said Romanian MEP Siegfried Muresan, the lead rapporteur for the budget.

Europe had pledged 4.45 billion euros in pre-accession spending for Turkey from 2014 to 2020, but only 360 million euros has been allocated so far.

Ankara's application to join the EU is effectively frozen, as several European leaders have criticised the hardline response to the thwarted bid to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year.

Overall, the 2018 budget calls for 160 billion euros of committed spending for ongoing programmes and 145 billion in payments expected for the year, increases of 1.3 percent and 7.8 percent from 2017.

The agreement still needs to be formally adopted by the EU Council, representing member states, and the European Parliament.]]>
11/18/2017 5:30:07 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Kingdom Holding plans to sell two hotels in Beirut - sources]]>
Two sources, one in the Gulf and another in Lebanon, told Reuters the sale had long been planned and was not linked to the detention this month of the firm’s chairman, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, in the Saudi government’s anti-corruption drive.

A third source said the hotel stakes were for sale but did not give further details.

The sources were speaking after the sale was reported in Lebanon’s The Daily Star newspaper, which valued the deal to sell its Four Seasons Hotel stake at more than $110 million.

The daily, also citing an unnamed source, had said a group of Lebanese and other Arab investors - but none from the Gulf - planned to complete the purchase of the Four Seasons Hotel in the centre of Beirut before the end of 2017.

Prince Alwaleed, a prominent Saudi investor, was one of several princes, ministers and former ministers detained in the government crackdown.

Blominvest, the investment arm of Blom Bank has been mandated to advise on the sale for both hotels, one of the sources said.

Kingdom Holding declined to comment on the report. It said shortly after the detention of its chairman that the firm was operating as usual.

Prince Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi King Salman and the grandson of the kingdom’s founder King Abdulaziz al-Saud, holds stakes in several big international firms including Citigroup , Twitter, ride-hailing firm Lyft and Time Warner .

He is also a grandson of Riad al-Solh, Lebanon’s first prime minister after its independence from France.]]>
11/18/2017 5:11:09 PM
<![CDATA[New production line for dates inaugurated in Matrouh ]]>
Head of the Trade Ministry's Industry Council for Technology and Innovation Hanan el-Hadary said that the new expansion will add three million tons to the factory’s production capacity per year.

Thirty percent of the produce, she said, will be exported to Germany, Jordan and Indonesia. Hadary added that the Trade Ministry is consistently seeking to support dates producers in Siwa in light of the new strategy launched by the ministry to develop the industry of dates production.

She said that the strategy aims to boost Egypt’s dates exports from 38,000 tons to 120,000 tons during the next five years, adding that the ministry is exerting efforts to boost dates exports, which are currently low in light of Egypt’s large production of dates.

Egypt is the largest country producing dates in the world, with a production of 1.4 million tons a year, representing 17.7 percent of the world’s production. The country exported 102,000 tons of dates at a value of $97 million to 68 countries during the period between 2015 and October 2017, according to Trade Minister Tarek Kabil.

Egypt has been giving the dates industry due concern as it is considered one of the promising sectors that can contribute significantly to economic growth and exports as well as creating jobs.

The third Egyptian Date Palm Festival in Siwa concludes today after running for four days.

The festival aims to shed light on the dates’ sector in Egypt and unify efforts of governmental institutions, research centers and international organizations to promote the sector and find solutions to the problems of producers and manufacturers of dates.

The festival is organized by the Trade Ministry's Industry Council for Technology and Innovation in collaboration with the Khalifa International Prize for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Other partners include the United Nations Economic Development Organization (UNIDO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Governorate of Marsa Matrouh.]]>
11/18/2017 4:38:29 PM
<![CDATA[ATAF, National Authority for Railways to sign cooperation protocol]]>
Under the protocol, early drug tests will be carried out for train drivers, assistants and other officials in charge of safety measures.

The procedure comes within the framework of efforts meant to maintain the safety of commuters.

Transportation Minister Hisham Arafat will attend the inking ceremony.]]>
11/18/2017 3:56:58 PM
<![CDATA[Kabil mulls cooperation with India in SMEs, textile sectors ]]>
The minister referred to particular sectors in which the two countries can cooperate such as auto feeding industries, textiles and leather industries.

This came during a meeting with Indian ambassador to Egypt Sanjay Bhattacharyya and a delegation of 50 Indian pioneering companies in machines manufacturing and technologies, which is currently visiting Cairo to participate in the “Mactech Expo” that is taking place from 16-19 November.

The delegation is headed by secretary of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Department in government of Tamil Nadu of India.

The ministry is working on building three big industry clusters in the textile field that will include more than 1,000 industry units, Kabil said.

He added that Egypt aims to benefit from the advanced capabilities of India in manufacturing machines used in textile industry for the new industrial units in Egypt.
Kabil said one of these projects is an industrial zone for leather manufacturing, the biggest of its kind in the Middle East and Africa, calling on the Indian business community to participate in manufacturing machines for this project.

According to the statement, the meeting discussed strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the field of SMEs.

The Indian companies were also invited to invest in Egypt and benefit from the bilateral, regional and international free trade agreement Egypt signed with other African, Arab and European markets as well as turkey and Mercosur bloc.

Trade exchange between Egypt and India jumped 11.8 percent to $1.421 billion in the period between January to May 2017, compared to $1.270 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Egypt’s exports to India in the same period reached $ 358 million, compared to $338 million last year, according to Kabil.

Top Egyptian exports to India are petroleum products, phosphate, raw cotton, glass products, marble, granite and oranges.

The minister added that India is contributing in projects in the Egyptian market, with a capital of $3 billion in the fields of textiles, energy and chemical industries.]]>
11/18/2017 3:30:53 PM
<![CDATA[Red Sea governor, foreign delegation discuss investment opportunities]]>
Governor Abdullah reviewed projects and investment opportunities in the governorate as well as its diversified tourism activities, a statement issued by the governorate said on Saturday.

He added that the Red Sea governorate possesses potentials to establish mega projects in all fields.

Meanwhile, members of the delegation expressed admiration of the governorate's promising investment opportunities.]]>
11/18/2017 3:07:48 PM
<![CDATA[Volkswagen to invest $27 billion in core brand until 2022]]>FRANKFURT– 18 November 2017: Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) will invest 22.8 billion euros ($26.9 billion) in its main car brand over the next five years, it said on Saturday, a day after it announced a spending program aimed at bolstering its position as a maker of electric cars.

Most of that sum, around 14 billion euros, will be spent in Germany, Volkswagen said, adding that one of the key measures included a 1 billion euro injection to transform the carmaker’s Zwickau plant into a pure e-mobility facility.

“The investment package which has now been adopted will give a decisive boost to the largest product and technology offensive in the history of the brand,” Herbert Diess, Chief Executive of the Volkswagen brand and a VW management board member, said.

Analysts see reviving the VW brand, which has long suffered from high staff and development costs, as crucial to the group’s ability to recover from a diesel emissions scandal that has gripped the carmaker. [nL8N1N51ST]

The investments unveiled on Saturday are part of Volkswagen’s 72 billion euro spending plan for the 2018-2022 period that was announced on Friday.]]>
11/18/2017 2:49:48 PM
<![CDATA[Orascom Development plans to settle some of its debts in 2018]]>
The company is owned by Egyptian businessman Samih Sawiris.

Bichara’s comments came after ODE announced that it achieved profits in the third quarter of 2017. It achieved LE 76 million ($ 4.3 million) in net profits, compared to LE 44.3 million in losses a year earlier.

Bichara said, in a press conference in Cairo, that the company’s loans and credit facilities amounted to LE 4 billion at end of September.

The company’s net profit during the first nine months of 2017 reached LE 193.7 million, compared to LE 150.3 million last year.

Bichara attributed the company’s profits to improved tourism occupancy rates in addition to a number of economic and sport events that took place in the Red Sea resort of el-Gouna over the last period.

Occupancy rates in the company’s hotels increased to 77 percent in the first nine months of 2017, from 56 percent in the corresponding period last year.

Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 211.8 percent to $5.3 billion in the first 9 months of 2017, with the number of tourists increasing by 55.3 percent.

Bichara added his company will complete the renovation of its 17 hotels in el-Gouna, saying that the company will increase the number of rooms in the Red Sea resort from the current 2,400.

Orascom Development Egypt, formerly Orascom Hotels and Development SAE, is an Egypt-based company engaged in the hotel and tourism development sector. The Company focuses on developing an area for tourism purpose

]]>
11/18/2017 2:16:37 PM
<![CDATA[Despite Amazon, brick stores are not dead yet]]>NEW YORK– 18 November 2017: Just in time for the Black Friday kick-off to holiday season shopping, stock market investors have been handed tools to bet on the decline of brick-and-mortar retail.

As of Friday, these tools were not yet for sale on Amazon.

An exchange-traded fund launched Thursday allows investors to bet on the decline of traditional retail and a second one doubles down by betting at the same time on the rise to supremacy of online sales.

The Decline of Retail Stores ETF and the Long Online Short Stores ETF are self-explanatory. The main index they track inversely, the equal-weighted Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store Index, is composed of 64 retailers including Barnes & Noble, Sears, Office Depot, Macy’s and Walmart, which have chains of physical stores as well as online presence.

They are not the only or the first planning for a decimation of the retail sector at the hands of Amazon and other online retailers. Research firm Bespoke introduced its Death by Amazon Index, currently with 54 components, in 2012.

The trend to online shopping is not new, but with online taking only a fraction of all retail sales, the ETFs expect to capitalize on the long-term trend.

“Online penetration is about 10 percent right now so there is a long way ahead for the strategy in our opinion,” said Michael Sapir, CEO of ProShare Advisors in Bethesda, Maryland.

“A minority of brick and mortar (retailers) will be able to make the transition and it is going to be expensive and painful.”

So far this year, the S&P 500 retail index is up 20 percent but only half of its 29 components have had a positive price return. Amazon, up over 50 percent this year at $1,129.88, has alone added $192 billion in market capitalization in 2017. The full index has gained roughly $230 billion.

Glen Kacher, whose Light Street Capital Management hedge fund was up 53 percent from January to October, said he is

“shorting almost every retailer,” betting their share prices

will fall.

Kacher said many big retailers have failed to adapt to changing customer preferences, lagging even some corner delis that now use technology that lets people buy their breakfast sandwiches and coffee in seconds with the tap of a finger.

“The retailing industry is going to be an apocalypse,” he said, without identifying which retailers will go down in flames. “Anyone working in the consumer retailing industry ... should be training for a new job.”

For a graphic on retailers' market value see (reut.rs/2zLFXiN)

CLICK AND MORTAR

Reports of the death of brick and mortar retail could be mildly exaggerated, however.

Retail and food service sales in the United States during the first three quarters of 2017 totaled $4.78 trillion, with the $484.4 billion in September a monthly record high, according to U.S. government data.

About 164 million Americans plan to shop in the coming Thanksgiving weekend, including on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Results from this week show the battle for consumers is far from lost at physical stores. Walmart, for instance, said third-quarter U.S. sales growth online and in-store was the strongest since 2009.

A combination of online presence and easy access for consumers known as ‘click and mortar’ will allow some names to survive by letting their customers browse all their options online while offering the convenience of a quick pickup of the product on their drive home.

Shares of Walmart touched a record high on Friday, as did those of Home Depot, which earlier in the week raised its full-year profit and sales forecasts.

They are one of two kinds of retailers that analysts said would be better able to weather the online retail storm. Size will matter, and with more than 5,000 U.S. stores at Walmart and over 2,200 Home Depots in North America, their distribution network will be a key lifeline.

“Walmart is transforming itself into a major competitor of Amazon,” said Chad Morganlander, portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors in Florham Park, New Jersey.

“Our belief is there will be some winners on brick and many online retailers will start looking more traditional.”

The other retailers seen surviving are those in search of a small niche that will allow them to keep margins growing, countering the trend of ever-smaller margins online.

“Unless you know exactly what you’re going to order and it is mass market, you don’t go to Amazon,” said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

“Holiday shopping means meaningful gifts. If you’re a good retailer you can take advantage of that.”]]>
11/18/2017 1:09:13 PM
<![CDATA[Verizon close to announcing digital streaming deal with NFL: Bloomberg]]>Reuters - 18 November 2017: Verizon Communications Inc, no. 1 U.S. wireless carrier, is close to a new deal with the National Football League for digital streaming rights, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

With the new agreement, Verizon will be able to give subscribers access to games on all devices, including big-screen TVs, and not just phones, according to the people, Bloomberg said. (bloom.bg/2zNqtua)

Verizon will lose exclusive rights to air games on mobile devices, Bloomberg quoted two people as saying. Verizon’s rights will include the NFL’s Thursday night games, among others, one of the people said, according to Bloomberg.

Financial details and the duration of Verizon’s contract with the NFL could not immediately be learned, Bloomberg said.

Neither NFL nor Verizon could immediately be reached for a comment by Reuters.]]>
11/18/2017 1:05:26 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. rejects Ford petition to delay recall of three million vehicles]]>WASHINGTON– 18 November 2017: The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Friday it was rejecting a petition by Ford Motor Co to delay recalling about 3 million vehicles with potentially defective air bag inflators to conduct additional testing.


The agency said it did not find the request by the second largest U.S. automaker “reasonable under the circumstances or supported by the testing and data it has collected to date.”

Takata inflators can explode with excessive force, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. At least 18 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide have been tied to the defect that led Takata Corp to file for bankruptcy protection in June and prompted at least 19 automakers to issue recalls.

NHTSA also rejected a similar petition filed by Mazda Motor Co (7261.T) covering about 6,000 vehicles. Mazda said in a statement it “takes our customers’ safety as a single-minded top priority and continues to work hand-in-hand with NHTSA.”

The public can comment on NHTSA’s decision until Dec. 18 on both Ford and Mazda’s petitions. Mazda said it would “provide further information once NHTSA issues its final determination.”

Ford did not immediately say if it planned to challenge the agency’s decision. “We will cooperate with the agency, as we always do,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Weigandt said in an email. The vehicles in question include the 2007-11 Ford Ranger, 2006-12 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, 2006-11 Mercury Milan, and 2007-10 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.

In July, NHTSA said new testing prompted Takata to declare inflators defective in Ford, Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) and Mazda vehicles in some driver-side air bags. Nissan agreed to a recall of 515,000 vehicles.

NHTSA agreed in 2016 to a request by General Motors Co (GM.N) to delay a recall of 2.5 million vehicles with Takata air bag inflators as the Detroit automaker conducts additional testing to determine if the vehicles need replacement inflators.

Separately, a report issued on Friday by an independent monitor of the Takata recalls said more than 10 million U.S. vehicles and 18.5 million faulty Takata air bag inflators remain unrepaired in the largest ever auto recall.

Takata has said it expects to have recalled 125 million vehicles worldwide by 2019.

The report said 43.1 million Takata airbag inflators were under recall in 31.5 million vehicles today, with scheduled expansion to about 65 million inflators by the end of 2018. Of those, 24.6 million inflators in 20 million vehicles have been repaired.

In 2019, another 4.1 million vehicles will be recalled to replace interim inflators.]]>
11/18/2017 1:03:26 PM
<![CDATA[Business jets risk U.S. pilot shortage on competition from airlines]]>
Competition is intensifying from airlines, which generally offer higher salaries and better benefits and are taking delivery of new aircraft at a fast pace, U.S.-based aviation consultant Rolland Vincent said. Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus SE (AIR.PA) left the Dubai Air Show this week with around 700 provisional orders for narrowbody commercial jets, potentially adding to already hefty backlogs.

It is expected that the world’s rapidly growing commercial aviation industry will need an additional 255,000 pilots by 2027, according to training specialist CAE Inc (CAE.TO).

U.S. legacy carriers are recruiting employees to fly new aircraft and replace retiring staff, with American Airlines (AAL.O) expected to hire 900 mainline pilots in 2018, up from just over 500 in 2017, said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots’ Association (APA), which represents American Airlines pilots.

“It’s really a buyers’ market and the buyer is the pilot now,” Tajer said in a telephone interview on Friday. “If you don’t pay pilots the market rate you’re going to lose them.”

By contrast, in Europe corporate jet operators did not lose many pilots this year to commercial aviation because carriers had an adequate supply of pilots after Air Berlin (AB1.DE) and Britain’s Monarch Airlines ceased operations, said Adam Twidell, chief executive of PrivateFly, a global private jet charter broker.

According to the 2017 pilot salary survey from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), a captain flying a midsized corporate plane like the Bombardier (BBDb.TO) Challenger 350 made about $130,000 on average. In 2017, an American Airlines captain flying the B737 or A320 narrowbody earned just over $268,000, according to an APA compensation document.

Don Haloburdo, vice president and general manager of flight services for business aircraft management and charter company Jet Aviation, a division of General Dynamics Corp (GD.N), said corporate pilots’ salaries rose 20 percent this year on an annual basis.

Haloburdo expects the higher salaries to slightly increase operating costs for business jet companies, but that could be absorbed. He does not think they would hurt sales since owners’ largest expense, fuel, is relatively low.

Although business jet sales are flat, Haloburdo expects demand for corporate pilots and maintenance technicians to pick up after 2018 as airlines boost recruiting efforts and popular new planes hit the market from Bombardier and Gulfstream, also a division of General Dynamics.

“When Bombardier starts delivering the Global 7000 in significant numbers, Gulfstream starts delivering their G500 and G600 in significant numbers, that’s where our industry is going to have a very significant challenge finding qualified crew members,” he said.

Most buyers of the Global 7000, which lists for about $73 million, already own corporate jets and have their own pilot crews, Bombardier Business Aircraft President David Coleal said in an interview.

But the new jets could attract less well-paid corporate pilots who work on contract and fly smaller aircraft.

It can already be difficult for companies without full time crews to schedule last-minute flights, said Warren Peck, president of Phoenix Rising Aviation, an Oklahoma-based maintenance and repair operation specializing in Dassault Aviation SA (AVMD.PA) Falcoln jets.

A former U.S. military pilot, Peck offers to fly at a discounted rate for his maintenance customers who cannot find a pilot.

“A lot of my customers, operators don’t have full-time, in-house pilots,” he said. “For them, it’s very helpful.”]]>
11/18/2017 12:54:29 PM
<![CDATA[Buyers circle suddenly attractive U.S. media companies]]>
In the last few weeks, several of the world’s biggest telecommunications and media companies have started circling Twenty First Century Fox Inc with an eye to buying a significant piece of Rupert Murdoch’s global media and entertainment empire.

Potential suitors include Comcast Corp, Verizon Communications Inc and Walt Disney Co. Meanwhile, Meredith Corp is considering a bid for Time Inc and Discovery Communications Inc is acquiring Scripps Networks Interactive Inc.

Viacom Inc shares rose 10 percent on Friday, suggesting it may also be a takeover target.

The sudden surge in merger and acquisition activity in media looks to be powered by relatively low asset prices, cheap financing and the prospect of tax cuts.

There are also longer-term forces at work: traditional media companies are struggling with more customers canceling pricy cable contracts while Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc are spending billions of dollars on making shows and movies.

More viewers now stream programming on smartphones or other devices, diverting the flow of advertising dollars away from traditional media companies.

“This is an industry that is going through incredible disruption. You can look at what Netflix is doing and how they’re building subscribers,” said AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson at a conference last week.

“Everybody’s reimagining and rethinking their business models,” said Stephenson, head of the wireless carrier which is itself in the process of buying media and entertainment company Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion.

If that deal overcomes U.S. antitrust objections and other transactions go ahead, it will make Comcast, the U.S. No. 1 cable provider and owner of NBCUniversal, look “relatively tiny in a landscape dominated by tech giants,” said BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield.

The House of Representatives took a major step on Thursday toward the biggest U.S. tax-code overhaul since the 1980s.

If corporate tax cuts become law, there may be a wave of merger and acquisition activity across all industries, media investor Mario Gabelli told Reuters earlier this week.

“You will have global lovemaking at an accelerated rate,” he said. “Companies are ready to grow... They just need to have what the rules of engagement are.”

At the same time, the debt financing markets have remained wide open for major transformational deals this year, though recent skirmishes in the junk-bond market have served as a reminder this may not last for long.

U.S. fund investors walloped high-yield funds with their biggest week of withdrawals since March, Lipper data showed on Thursday.

Still, most mega-deals look possible, especially if the combined company’s debt remains investment grade. Banks have been eager this month to open their wallets for what could be the biggest syndicated loan financing ever for an investment-grade acquisition, backing chipmaker Broadcom Ltd’s unsolicited $103 billion bid to buy Qualcomm Inc.

Assets that could be on the block look cheap. Shares of media companies have long traded at a discount to the wider market. Fox, for example, trades at around 13.9 times estimated earnings per share for the next year, in line with the wider media sector at 13.6. The broader S&P 500, meanwhile, trades at 18 times next year’s earnings.

Media firms’ generally high debt loads and the threat posed by technology companies elbowing their way into new markets have compressed those multiples.

Weak earnings have contributed to that. Fox’s profit per share is down about 50 percent from 2013, while Viacom’s is up only slightly. CBS’s net income has shrunk about 33 percent in that time, but earnings per share have risen thanks to stock buybacks.

The outcome of AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner is being keenly watched by potential acquirers. U.S. President Donald Trump is a frequent critic of Time Warner’s CNN and he vowed to block the deal when he was on the campaign trail last year.

The Justice Department is expected to sue AT&T to block the deal, but the wireless carrier has vowed to fight in court.

“Everyone will seek consolidation partners if AT&T succeeds,” said Gene Kimmelman, a veteran of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, and now president of the advocacy group Public Knowledge.

]]>
11/18/2017 12:50:35 PM
<![CDATA[Tesla's unfettered ambition will drain finances: analysts]]>
Musk unveiled one flashy strategy for generating cash during the launch event Thursday for the Semi truck, surprising the audience with a prototype of a new generation of the Tesla Roadster. Musk promised the Roadster will be the fastest production car available. The first 1,000 cars will cost $250,000 each, paid in full upfront, with later models starting at $200,000.

Those deposits would put $250 million into Tesla’s cash drawer today for a car that is likely to go into production in 2020.

Musk did not offer details about how Tesla would generate additional funds to deliver the semi truck and the roadster, and overcome production problems that have hobbled production of the company’s high-volume sedan, the Model 3.

Tesla spent $1.1 billion on its auto business in the third quarter, and expects expenses of $1 billion in the current one. It had about $3.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of Sept. 30.

At the current cash-burn rate, it would likely be down to about $1 billion in cash by the end of the first quarter.

“In essence, all last night’s event did was add to Elon Musk’s shopping list of things he needs to spend money on at a time when the company is having difficulty making its base vehicle (Model 3),” said Cowen analyst Jeffrey Osborne.

Despite such concerns, Tesla shares were up about 1.4 percent at mid-day. While the shares are up more than 40 percent this year, they have fallen 20 percent from record highs in mid-September.

Shares in heavy truck diesel engine maker Cummins Inc (CMI.N) fell 4.7 percent, and shares in Class-8 truck makers Paccar Inc (PCAR.O) and Navistar International Corp (NAV.N) also fell.

Tesla this month pushed back its target for volume production on the Model 3 sedan - widely seen as crucial to the company’s long-term future - by about three months to fix production bottlenecks.

Osborne said Tesla’s cumulative capex announcements now exceed $15 billion to $20 billion over the next few years.

Some analysts fear the trucks will be an expensive distraction for the company, which has never posted an annual profit and is in self-described “manufacturing hell” related to the $35,000 Model 3 sedan.

Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois estimated that Tesla would need to raise $2.5 billion to $3 billion to keep production running smoothly.

“Longer term, we continue to think the capital intensity of the business model will keep returns below best-in-class auto(makers),” Houchois said in a research note.

Tesla’s last debt sale in August was well-received in a hot bond market, allowing the company to increase the offering to $1.8 billion from $1.5 billion. But the bond has underperformed in the secondary market, suggesting it could be more challenging for Tesla to tap the high-yield debt market again so soon.

“They are losing $1.5 billion a quarter and the bond is unsecured so it is not of interest to me,” said Jim Brilliant, chief investment officer at Century Management.]]>
11/18/2017 12:44:57 PM
<![CDATA[Oil rises over 2 percent, but shows first weekly fall in six]]>
Prices, however, fell for the first week in six, pressured by rising U.S. output data and doubts that Russia would support an extension of the OPEC output cut deal. Prices rebounded after Thursday’s comments by Saudi Arabia’s energy minister signaled a willingness to extend output cuts when OPEC meets on Nov. 30.

“Obviously, the comments gave us guarantee that the extension is going to happen and was a driving story overnight,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

“Globally, we’re coming against the backdrop of tightness in distillate inventories and strong global refinery demand. Those catalysts will continue to drive us higher.”
Brent crude oil LCOc1 rose $1.36, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $62.72 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 ended $1.41, or 2.6 percent, at $56.55 a barrel.

For the week, Brent was down 1.3 percent and WTI fell 0.3 percent.

TransCanada Corp’s (TRP.TO) 590,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Keystone pipeline remained shut after a leak in South Dakota on Thursday.

Traders said the shut-in would add to bullish sentiment due to fewer barrels going into Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point of the WTI contract. The WTI prompt spread CLc1-CLc2 narrowed by as much as 7 cents in the day.

Meanwhile, money managers raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions this week, with short positions at their lowest level since March.

Prices fell this week as fears of oversupply remained after U.S. government data showed oil output C-OUT-T-EIA touching a record 9.65 million bpd last week. The International Energy Agency also said that the United States would account for 80 percent of the global increase in oil production over the next decade.

“Market participants are closely watching the rising oil-production profile in the U.S., which will remain the predominant bearish factor,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy’s Global Gas Analytics in London.

U.S. energy companies kept the oil rig count unchanged this week, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. Some analysts expect a gradual decline in the fourth quarter. [RIG/U]

Signs of rising U.S. output have dampened the impact of output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and several other producers.

Earlier this week, Russia’s Rosneft said an exit from the supply curb deal was a serious challenge, though added that it was committed to a deal.



]]>
11/18/2017 12:40:01 PM
<![CDATA[23 ships arrive at, leave Port Said harbors]]>
In a statement, the authority said three container ships and a cargo vessel sailed into West Port Said Harbor, while five container ships and two cargo vessels left the port.

The statement added that East Port Said Harbor received two container ships, while four others left the port.]]>
11/17/2017 8:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Israel's oil shares decline as Egypt halts gas import in 2018 ]]>
Al-Mulla said during an interview with Bloomberg that Egypt will stop importing liquefied natural gas in 2018 and may eventually export gas after it starts producing gas this year at the giant Eni SpA-operated Zohr field, which is located off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Zohr’s output will mostly supply the domestic market, and the nation’s two existing gas-liquefaction facilities are large enough to process any available surplus into LNG for international sale in 2019, Al-Mulla said Tuesday in an interview in Abu Dhabi.

If Zohr and other gas fields generate enough supplies, Egypt may consider adding a third LNG-exporting terminal, he said. Israeli gas stocks dropped on the news.

Zohr is the largest natural gas field found in the Mediterranean and was discovered in 2015 by Italy’s Eni. The field has an area of 100 square meters at a depth of 1,450 meters.

Investing around $10 billion in the project, Eni is estimating total output of the field to be approximately 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The field will start production through three phases. The first phase will see an output of one billion cubic feet per day. When all seven fields are complete by 2019, this amount will increase to 2.7 billion cubic feet per day.

The field is expected to secure Egypt’s domestic needs of gas after it has become a net importer of gas following a cut in production after the January revolution. ]]>
11/17/2017 7:34:23 PM
<![CDATA[Britain to pay 400 mln pound debt to Iran soon]]>
"An outstanding debt owed by the U.K. to Tehran will be transferred to the Central Bank of Iran in the coming days. The payment ... has nothing to do with Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's case," Hamid Baeedinejad wrote on his Telegram channel.

Zaghari-Retcliff was detained in April 2016 in Tehran by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards as she tried to leave Iran after a visit with her two-year-old daughter.

She was sentenced to five years in prison after an Iranian court convicted her of plotting to overthrow the clerical establishment. She denies the charges. Iran doesn’t recognize dual citizenship for its nationals.

Britain's Foreign Office was not immediately available to comment on the Iranian ambassador's comments.

On Thursday, British Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman denied there was any link between the debt and the charity worker's case. Tehran also dismissed the Telegraph report.

The Telegraph newspaper reported on Thursday that Britain was working on a plan to pay Iran the debt, as part of efforts to secure the release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is a charity organisation that is independent of Thomson Reuters. It operates independently of Reuters News.

Britain owes the money after Iran's Shah paid up front for 1,750 Chieftain tanks and other vehicles, almost none of which were eventually delivered after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 toppled the U.S.-backed leader.

In 2009, the International Chamber of Commerce ordered Britain to repay Iran £450 million ($592 million) for the tanks that were never delivered, but UN and EU sanctions levied against Iran prevented the repayment.

Under a deal between Iran and six major powers in 2015, most sanctions on Iran were lifted last year, in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear programme.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said that a range of issues would be discussed with Britain during a visit to Tehran this month by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Iranian media reported on Thursday.

]]>
11/17/2017 7:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Dwindling British fortunes to be laid bare]]>
Finance minister Philip Hammond will deliver Britain's budget for 2018 on Wednesday, likely the last full spending and tax plan before the terms of Brexit are hammered out with the economy set for a difficult year as its EU withdrawal approaches.

Under pressure for bold action after a disastrous election in June highlighted voters' weariness with years of austerity, Hammond has almost no scope for sizeable tax cuts or a big increase in investment, unless he tears up his budget rules aiming to turn the deficit into a surplus by the mid-2020s.

Coming hot on the heels of the first increase in UK interest rates for over 10 years, Britain's budget forecasters have said they will "significantly" cut their outlook for productivity growth, complicating an already delicate task.

"The Chancellor is in an unenviable position heading into the budget," Mark Gregory, chief UK economist at accountancy firm EY, wrote in a note.

"Given the major uncertainties facing the economy centred on Brexit, the Chancellor is reportedly concerned that investor confidence in the UK could be seriously damaged if he abandons the fiscal framework adopted only a year ago."

"However if he maintains his fiscal stance, the UK economy will be facing both monetary and fiscal tightening at the same time as growth slows — a potentially unappetising cocktail."

Such a predicament means any 'giveaways' in areas such as house-building and public sector pay will have to be balanced by 'takeaways', according to economists at Oxford Economics, who predict a fiscally-neutral set of measures.

EURO ZONE MOMENTUM

While economists polled by Reuters this week predicted that British economic growth will remain tepid over the coming few years, and could even be worse than currently forecast, the euro zone is exhibiting increasingly better fortunes.

Polling over the same period suggested the euro zone economy will mark its best year in a decade and maintain solid growth well into 2018, with respondees noting that the risk was that their forecasts might not be optimistic enough.

Annual growth forecast to average 2.2 this year and 1.9 percent next year across the 19-member currency bloc compared with UK growth of 1.5 percent in 2017 and 1.3 percent in 2018.

Just three years ago, Britain's economy was growing at an annual rate of 2.9 percent, more than twice that of the euro zone.

Top investors attending the Reuters 2018 Global Investment Outlook Summit this week were also enthused by strong European growth and tightening of the Franco-German axis at the heart of the euro zone.

That differing momentum is likely to be highlighted the day after Hammond's budget with the release of flash surveys of private business activity in France, Germany and the euro zone as a whole.

The euro zone's composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) eased off slightly to 56.0 from 56.7 in October but remained in line with its third quarter average and new orders rose.

"The overall PMI level is likely to remain high, and these projected outcomes would be consistent with Q4 GDP growth of around 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter after 0.6 percent quarter-on-quarter in Q3," analysts at Nomura said.

PMIs for Japan and the United States follow on Friday. Few expect U.S. Thanksgiving holiday week data or Wednesday's minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting to halt a third interest rate hike in 2017 next month.

"We don't expect any significant news from the minutes of the November 1 FOMC (Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee) meeting," RBC Capital Markets economists wrote in a note.

"Which is fortunate because most market participants will be busy baking pumpkin pies."]]>
11/17/2017 6:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's decision to ban rice exports will increase stock]]>
In statements to MENA, he asserted that rice is one of the country's strategic commodities, of which the local market's needs have to be fulfilled.

On Wednesday, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali el Moselhi held a meeting with Shehata along with rice suppliers, during which they agreed to continue supplying rice at EGP 6,100 per ton, to be then sold to consumers at EGP 6.50 per kilo. ]]>
11/17/2017 4:30:46 PM
<![CDATA[Damietta Port receives 12 vessels in 24 hours]]>
Two container vessels and six cargo ships have left the harbor, according to the statement.

Up to nine vessels docked at the anchorage area waiting for their entry procedures to be completed, the statement noted.

Also, two trains loaded with 2,637 tons of wheat and 122 vehicles carrying 6,027 tons of wheat left the port, the statement read.

The port's grain silo is currently containing 151,751 tons of wheat along with 27,134 tons at the private sector's stores, the statement added]]>
11/17/2017 3:27:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt welcomes any Arab, foreign investor - Nasr]]>
Nasr made the remarks on the sidelines of several meetings she held, along with Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish, with representatives of UAE’s authorities and companies during their visit to Abu Dhabi.

During their visit, the Egypt-UAE high joint committee convened for the first time after a 7-year halt, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation said in a Friday statement.]]>
11/17/2017 1:36:59 PM
<![CDATA[Asian shares gain, Mueller report hits dollar]]>
“The noose is tightening, approaching the inner circle,” said Marshall Gittler, Cyprus-based chief strategist at ACLS Global.

“What with all of the problems the administration is having pushing its agenda through Congress, this added distraction certainly does not help,” he said. “If the administration is occupied with legal problems, it would be unable to help with the reconciliation process in pushing the tax reform bill through.”

Futures portended mostly solid openings for markets in Europe, with European stock futures STXEc1 and DAX futures FDXc1 each up 0.1 percent, and CAC futures FCEc1 marginally higher. FTSE futures FFIc1 were down 0.1 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.6 percent in late afternoon trade. But it was down 0.1 percent for the week.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 gained 0.2 percent, extending its recovery from a near three-week intraday low hit on Thursday. But it was down 1.3 percent for the week, snapping its nine-week gaining streak.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a broad package of tax cuts sought by Trump, passing its first, if smallest, hurdle and providing a catalyst for fresh buying in risk assets.

The tax debate now moves to the U.S. Senate, where that chamber’s separate plan has already encountered resistance from some Republicans. No decisive Senate action is expected until after next week’s Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 23.

Wall Street’s main indexes rose sharply on Thursday, boosted by strong gains in Wal-Mart (WMT.N) and Cisco (CSCO.O) following their earnings.

The S&P 500 .SPX advanced 0.82 percent to turn positive for the week, a day after hitting a three-week low, while the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.3 percent to a closing record high of 6,793.29.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s stock markets .MIWD00000PUS stemmed its five-day losing streak and posted its biggest daily gain in two months, of 0.80 percent, on Thursday.

Junk bond prices rebounded sharply, with iShares High Yield Bond ETF (HYG) gaining almost one percent to recoup more than half of its losses since the start of the month.

“The markets had been wary of a fall in credit products during the last few days but it seems we just had a healthy correction. As the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are still pumping liquidity, the world’s asset markets will be supported,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

The positive mood on Wall Street helped to lift the yield on two-year U.S. notes US2YT=RR to a nine-year high, with a Fed rate hike in December seen almost as a done deal.

Fed funds rates futures are now pricing in about a 90 percent chance of another rate hike by June next year, the highest level in recent months and up from about 50 percent just over a month ago.

The U.S. dollar, however, lost momentum and fell broadly following the media report Mueller issued a subpoena to more than a dozen officials in the Trump administration.

The dollar skidded 0.4 percent to 112.57 yen JPY=, hitting its lowest level in almost a month. It was down 0.9 percent for the week against its Japanese counterpart.

The euro EUR= gained 0.3 percent to $1.1808, edging back towards its one-month peak of $1.1862 touched on Wednesday and up 1.2 percent for the week.

In Asian foreign exchange trading, countries with current account surpluses saw their currencies gains.

The Korean won KRW= rose to its highest level in over a year, gaining more than 2 percent this week, while the Thai baht THB= hit a two-year high and the Malaysia ringgit MYR= a one-year high. [EMRG/FX]

Bitcoin BTC=BTSP hit a record high of $7,997, quickly recovering from its 30-percent plunge last week.

Oil prices were on track for weekly losses, slipping from two-year highs hit last week on signs that U.S. supply is rising and could potentially undermine OPEC’s efforts to tighten the market. [O/R]

U.S. light crude CLc1 stood at $55.35 a barrel, up 21 cents or 0.4 percent on the day but still within its trading range in the past couple of days. It was down 2.5 percent on the week.

Brent futures LCOc1 hit a two-week low of $61.08 a barrel and last stood at $61.24, down 12 cents or 0.2 percent on the day. It was down 3.6 percent for the week.]]>
11/17/2017 12:51:46 PM
<![CDATA[Oil set for first weekly fall in six on oversupply]]>
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $61.86 a barrel by 1000 GMT. U.S. light crude was at $55.90 a barrel, up 76 cents.

Friday’s slight uptick belied a downturn seen in recent days, with prices set to fall between 2 and 4 percent for the week as a whole.

“After five days of continuous losses, an upside correction is always on the cards. Such a jump, however will not mean a change of heart,” said Tamas Varga, analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

An agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers such as Russia to limit oil production has propped up prices in recent months, with the deal expected to be extended at the group’s next meeting on Nov. 30.

But fears of hesitation on Russia’s part weighed on prices on Friday.

“Russian support for a formalized extension of production cuts at the (next) OPEC meeting appears questionable, even if only to defer the decision to 1Q18,” U.S. investment bank Jefferies said.

Saudi Arabia has signaled a willingness to extend the curbs, which are due to expire in March 2018, with energy minister Khalid al-Falih saying on Thursday that targets to reduce global oil surplus would not be reached in time.

“We need to recognize that by the end of March we’re not going to be at the level we want to be which is the five-year average, that means an extension of some sort,” al-Falih said, referring to inventory levels in the developed world.

OPEC’s main obstacle in tightening the market is the United States, where crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA hit a record of 9.65 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, meaning U.S. output has risen by almost 15 percent since their most recent low in mid-2016.

“Let’s assume that U.S. oil production continues its upward trajectory. They could very well be at 10 million bpd by the end of 2017,” said Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services (FIS) in Dubai.]]>
11/17/2017 12:50:27 PM
<![CDATA[Volkswagen board discusses 70 billion euro spending plan: source]]>
The board is expected to sign off on the capital and development spending targets on Friday, the person said. The investments will likely be made in the 2018-2022 period, said another person briefed on the discussions.

Volkswagen, which is struggling to cut jobs and spending at the core autos division and turn the page on its “dieselgate” scandal, declined to comment on the size of the planned budget.

The world’s largest automaker has said it will invest more than 20 billion euros in electric mobility by 2030, including costs to develop more than 80 new electrified models by 2025 and upgrade factories.

At the previous budget round a year ago, VW pledged to cut overall spending on factories, equipment and technology to 6 percent of automotive sales by 2020 from 6.9 percent in 2015.

Until it admitted two years ago to cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests, VW had been slow to embrace electric cars and self-driving technology.

But the emissions fraud has prompted a strategic shift to zero-emission and self-driving technology with VW now pledging to offer an electric version of each of its 300 group models by 2030.

The billions of dollars of costs VW is facing for its emissions trickery and the electric-car offensive has revived tensions at the heart of the VW group between profits and jobs, and between central control and autonomy for its 12 brands.

Company sources told Reuters last month that VW managers and unions were seeking to curb competition from lower-cost stablemate Skoda, move some of its production to Germany and make the Czech brand pay more for shared technology.

Executives and labor leaders have also been haggling over decisions on where to build electric cars and pool related resources, complicated by the influence of Lower Saxony, VW’s home state and No. 2 shareholder where six of the carmaker’s 10 German plants are located.

VW said on Thursday it plans to spend 10 billion euros by 2025 to develop and produce all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in China to comply with tightening pollution rules in its largest market.]]>
11/17/2017 12:48:48 PM
<![CDATA[Some EU countries want Brexit talks to move to trade - Davis]]>
The European Union has said sufficient progress needs to be made on the divorce terms of Britain’s departure from the European Union before the two sides can open talks on the future relationship.

“Of course they are saying that (more money is needed before progress) but the other thing that is also clear is that many of them do want to move on. It’s very important to them,” Davis told BBC radio.

“Countries like Denmark, countries like Holland, countries like Italy and Spain, countries like Poland can see the big, big benefits in the future deal that we are talking about,” he said.

“Germany and France... are the most powerful players on the continent of Europe. Of course they are. What they believe is very influential, sometimes decisively so. But it’s a whole of Europe decision.”]]>
11/17/2017 12:47:27 PM
<![CDATA[Cheap ECB cash still key for euro zone economy: Draghi]]>
Draghi said the ECB was becoming increasingly confident that the euro zone’s economic recovery would continue but sluggish growth in wages meant monetary policy needed to remain easy.

“A key motor of the recovery remains the very favorable financing conditions facing firms and households, which are in turn heavily contingent on our policy measures,” Draghi said.

The ECB is on course to buy 2.55 trillion euros worth of bonds after deciding last month to continue buying bonds until September, or beyond if needed.

It also pledged to keep its interest rates at their current, record low levels “well past” the end of its bond buys.

Draghi said this pledge made continued bond purchases key for pushing market expectations for the first rate hike further into the future, helping to keep rates low.

“Asset purchases matter also for the signals they entail about the path of future policy rates: the so-called ‘signaling effect’,” Draghi told a banking conference.

“The signaling effect of asset purchases has therefore naturally increased in prominence relative to the duration effect.”

Through its “negative deposit rate” ECB has been charging banks since 2014 for parking idle cash at the central bank, attracting criticism from a sector already complaining about low profits and rising capital demands.

But Draghi said ECB research found “little evidence” that its policy was harming banks and any future damage would be offset by its favorable effect on the economy.

He also tackled accusations, particularly from Germany, that the ECB’s ultra-easy policy was fuelling a new credit bubble and said the recovery was instead “feeding on itself”.

“The recovery ... has not come against the backdrop of re-leveraging in any economic sector,” he said.

“We see more signs that growth is ‘feeding on itself’, i.e. spending multipliers and endogenous propagation are again supporting activity,” he added.]]>
11/17/2017 12:45:59 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar dips to four-week low versus yen on report Trump]]>
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team issued the subpoena last month for documents containing specified Russian keywords from more than a dozen officials, according to the report in the Wall Street Journal.

The report overshadowed any support for the dollar from the approval of a tax-reform bill in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, which had been a key focus for markets. The greenback slipped more than half a percent to as low as 112.395 yen JPY=, its weakest since Oct. 19.

The bill - which would bring about the biggest U.S. tax-code overhaul since the 1980s - will now move to the Senate, where a tax-writing panel finished debating and approved a bill late Thursday evening.

“Global markets haven’t batted an eyelid to the House Republicans passing their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act through, not least because the spotlight has been stolen by (the Mueller) reports,” said ING currency strategist Viraj Patel, in London.

“It’s difficult to see anything but the dollar losing out in an environment where policy and political uncertainty remain elevated,” he said, adding that the true test for the tax bill would come in the Senate, where the Republicans have only a very thin lead.

Against a basket of six major currencies .DXY, the dollar was down 0.3 percent at 93.700.

The index had edged up overnight to pull away from a four-week trough of 93.402 set on Wednesday, with Wall Street shares higher after sagging through much of the week, causing a 4 basis points jump in the long-term Treasury yield to shore up the dollar.

“While the comeback in equities has stopped the recent decline in Treasury yields, focus remains on U.S. tax reforms,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior forex strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

“Yields cannot rise much further when it is unclear whether tax reforms can go through this year. Dollar/yen can test the 114.00 handle but lacks momentum for a sustained surge under such conditions.”

The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1794 EUR=.

Bitcoin hit another all-time high just shy of $8,000 BTC=BTSP, with analysts saying a software upgrade that had been suspended but might now take place later on Friday was behind the move higher.]]>
11/17/2017 12:44:07 PM
<![CDATA[CBE expectedly maintains interest rates]]>
The bank put the overnight deposit rate at 18.75 percent and the overnight lending rate at 19.75 percent.

In a Reuters poll conducted last week, nine out of 10 economists said they the CBE to keep interest rates on hold for the third MPC meeting in row.

Egypt’s annual inflation dropped in October to 31.8 percent year-on-year, compared to 32.9 percent year-on-year in September, the official statistics agency announced last week.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s core inflation fell to 30.53 percent year-on-year in October, from 33.26 percent in September, according to data published by the CBE.
]]>
11/16/2017 9:30:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit: Entrepreneurs to lead the economy ]]>
The summit is under the auspices of the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation.

20171116_091316

The summit witnessed speeches by Canada’s Ambassador to Egypt Jess Dutton, Governor of Red Sea Ahmed Abdullah, Vice President of Middle East Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (MCSBE) Ahmed Osman, CEO of Tatweer Masr Ahmed Shalaby and President of the Arab Academy for Science and Technology (AAST) Ismail Abdel Ghafar.

20171116_095828 Governor of Red Sea, General Ahmed Abdullah

The governor of the Red Sea welcomed the attendees and thanked Canada for supporting young Egyptian entrepreneurs by being a key partner in EES. Abdullah then followed by presenting some investment opportunities in the Red Sea governorate.


Moreover, a video-recorded message of Peter Jan Rooji, ILO Cairo director, was presented where he mentioned that this summit's theme is “A whole world of opportunity;”adding that more opportunities will be generated to create better jobs for young Egyptians.

He added that such events gather entrepreneurs, employers, workers, academia and policy makers in order to share experiences and find creative ways to support their country’s economy with innovative solutions for the challenges it faces.

20171116_103919 Ambassador of Canada in Egypt, Mr.Jess Dutton

Dutton said that the world celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) this week, where millions of youth are joining the growing movement of entrepreneurs. He expressed his pleasure that entrepreneurs are at the core of Egypt's calendar and that Canada is a key supporter for the sector. He added that EES provides an opportunity to allow an exchange of knowledge between experts and practitioners.

20171116_104848 CEO of Tatweer Masr, Mr.Ahmed Shalaby


CEO of Tatweer Masr, Ahmed Shalaby, announced that they are working to establish the first entrepreneurial college town community in Egypt, which will include a campus for international universities, who will provide education for different majors but with a core principal of entrepreneurship, to create a new generation of job creators instead of job seekers.

He also added that this project will be an attraction point for students from all over the world who are interested in entrepreneurship.

The Vice President of Middle East Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (MCSBE), Ahmed Osman, said that MCSBE believes in group work. “We consider ourselves as a platform to support various initiatives.”

He added that the idea of EES started two years ago and they did not expect it to be a major hub for experts, educators and entrepreneurs from different parts of the world.

Osman thanked the ILO, Canadian government, Red Sea governor, and the Minister of International Cooperation for supporting the summit every year. He also thanked all the partners who allowed EES to be an international forum for entrepreneurship like German aid (GIZ) and USAID who are supporting the Nawah competition for young Egyptian entrepreneurs.

The Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit is held at Hurghada city from November 15 to 18.]]>
11/16/2017 9:07:40 PM
<![CDATA[Red Sea governor presents investment opportunities at EES]]>
He started his speech with a brief introduction about the governorate stating that the Red Sea is considered Egypt’s eastern gate, linking Asia and Africa and that the Red Sea Governorate consists of a 1008-kilometer stretch of Egyptian coastline.

He stressed that Hurghada International Airport now receives 13.5 million visitors a year instead of the 5.5 million previously projected, thanks to a new terminal, which opened in 2014.

He added that the population of his governorate is 399,000 including 202,000 youths with an 8-percent unemployment rate.

Abdullah mentioned that the government has a vision for investment opportunities, and they are inviting investors to take advantage of the Red Sea Governorate’s numerous resources. He hopes this vision will provide more job opportunities for Egyptian youth, as the governorate receives roughly 100,000 workers from all over Egypt annually.

Abdullah said the governorate has a vision for future projects that they hope to implement in the near future.
More projects were suggested by the governor, including establishing a new university for science and technology, industrial projects, an international tourism center, zoo and an international conference center.

He said that they are willing to establish a new city centered around the gold industry, as the governorate is rich in the mineral.

Finally, he said that the governorate has 22,000 relics from Roman ruins, now housed in warehouses in Qena governorate. With this wealth of antiquities, they are prepared to establish another branch of the Egyptian Museum.

EES is held in Hurghada from November 15 to 18. The summit offers a meeting point for entrepreneurs, businesses, educators, and policymakers to discuss how to overcome new challenges facing business today. ]]>
11/16/2017 6:35:33 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to put interest rates on hold despite inflation ease: Economists]]>
The expectation came as annual inflation rates are still higher than 30 percent. “We believe rates will keep [their] current high levels until the base effect helps drag inflation rates down,” Esraa Ahmed, an economist at Mubasher Trade, said.

In a research note published on Thursday, Mubasher foresaw the annual inflation rate declining to 24-25 percent by the end of November.

In a Reuters poll conducted last week, nine out of 10 economists said they expect the CBE to keep interest rates on hold for the third MPC meeting in a row.

Egypt’s annual inflation dropped in October to 31.8 percent year-on-year, compared to 32.9 percent year-on-year in September, the official statistics agency announced last week.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s core inflation fell to 30.53 percent year-on-year in October, from 33.26 percent in September, according to data published by the CBE.

“We believe the monetary authority is still in need for a high level of foreign purchases of local debt instruments,” Mubasher said. Egypt’s Balance of Payments is still supported by the capital account’s portfolio investments.

As the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to hike interest rates, Egypt will try to leave interest rates high “as long as possible lest foreign investors turn bearish on Egyptian debt instruments,” Mubasher added.

London-based research firm Capital Economics said in a report last week that the current rate is not enough for the Central Bank to cut interest rates in its meeting. “We expect the first rate cut to come in December,” Jason Tuvey, the firm’s Middle East economist, said in a note.

Capital Economics believe the first rate cut will come in the MPC’s meeting on December 28 at 100 basis points to hit 17.75 percent.

Economic analyst at Pharos Holding Ramy Oraby shares similar views. He says that the CBE is more likely now to consider cutting interest rates; “not necessarily in the next MPC meeting, but in the upcoming meetings.”

“The CBE usually doesn’t look for a certain level of inflation to reduce interest rates, but it looks at the overall economic trend,” Oraby said. ]]>
11/16/2017 4:35:21 PM
<![CDATA[Average yields rise on Egypt's 6-month, one-year T-bills]]>
The yield on the 182-day bill rose to 18.534 percent from 18.498 percent at the last similar auction, and the yield on the 357-day bill rose to 17.825 percent from 17.724 percent. ]]>
11/16/2017 4:01:49 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends in red on foreign sales]]>
Benchmark index EGX30 went down 1.27 percent to stand at 13,847 points. The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.69 percent to end at 768.03 points and the broader index EGX100 leveled down 0.78 percent to close at 1,731 points.

Market capitalization declined LE 4.49 billion to record LE 771.030 billion compared to LE 775.527 billion in Wednesday.

The market was affected by sell-offs of foreign investors as they were net sellers at LE 103 million, meanwhile, Egyptian and Arab investors purchased at LE 66.47 million and LE 37.365 million respectively.



]]>
11/16/2017 3:25:44 PM
<![CDATA[Trade Ministry launches a plan to boost dates production ]]>
The strategy targets increasing Egypt’s financial gains from the industry from $40 million in 2016 to $180 million after the completion of the strategy by 2021.

It would also make use of dates and palms residues to maximize the added value; especially that Egypt is the largest country producing dates in the world, with a production of 1.4 million tons a year, representing 17.7 percent of the world’s production. The plan further aims to create new jobs.

The strategy includes a plan to execute 16 projects to develop and support the added value chain of dates. The first project was financed by LE 7 million, In addition executing 25 workshops to train 2,000 farmers. Egypt’s trade exports increased by 10 percent in the first half of 2017, from a year earlier. Exports stood at 22,000 tons, amounting to $19.5 million.

On Thursday, the Marsa Matrouh Governorate has decided to offer the state-owned Siwa dates factory to investors on usufruct basis for 10 years, with an Emirati private sector company accepting the offer at an investment of some LE 30 million.

The factory produces various types of dates for the local market and export purposes. It was built at a cost of LE 40 million, while its machinery cost LE 20 million. This comes in tandem with the third Egyptian Date Palm Festival in the Siwa, which kicked off yesterday and will run until November 18.

The festival aims to shed light on the dates’ sector in Egypt and unify efforts of governmental institutions, research centers and international organizations to promote the sector and find solutions to the problems of producers and manufacturers of dates.
The festival is organized by the Trade Ministry's Industry Council for Technology and Innovation in collaboration with the Khalifa International Prize for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation, under the auspices of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Other partners include the United Nations Economic Development Organization (UNIDO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Governorate of Marsa Matrouh. In October, Minister of Trade Tarek Kabil and his Emirati counterpart Mubarak al-Ganainy signed three memoranda of understanding (MoUs) that targets growing, producing and storing dates in several Egyptian governorates. ]]>
11/16/2017 3:16:16 PM
<![CDATA[Norway's $1 trillion wealth fund proposes to drop oil, gas stocks from index]]>
If accepted by the finance ministry and adopted by parliament, the fund would over time divest billions of dollars from oil and gas stocks, which now represent 6 percent - or around $37 billion - of the fund's benchmark equity index.

The proposal came in a letter sent by the central bank to the finance ministry and signed by its governor, Oeystein Olsen, and the chief executive of the fund, Yngve Slyngsad, Deputy Central Bank Governor Egil Matsen said in an interview.

It aims to reduce the exposure of the fund - and therefore the Norwegian government - to oil price fluctuations.

"Our advice is to simply remove the oil and gas sector, as it is defined in the FTSE reference index, from the fund's reference index," Matsen said.

"That would mean all companies that the FTSE has classified with the sector, should be removed from our reference index."

The fund is the world's largest sovereign wealth fund. It invests Norway's revenues from oil and gas production for future generations in stocks, bonds and real estate abroad.

It is among the largest investors in a wide range of oil companies, holding stakes at the end of 2016 of 2.3 percent in Royal Dutch Shell, 1.7 percent of BP, 0.9 percent of Chevron and 0.8 percent of Exxon Mobil .

It also held 1.7 percent of Italy's Eni, 1.6 percent of France's Total and 0.9 percent of Sweden's Lundin Petroleum, among others.

At the end of the third quarter, Royal Dutch Shell was the fund's third-biggest equity investment overall, worth around $5.34 billion and exceeded only by its ownership in Apple and Nestle.

"It clearly stands out, perhaps not surprisingly, but not obviously, that indeed there is a substantial difference ... in return between the oil and gas sector and the broad stock market in periods when the oil price changes substantially," Matsen said.

"Oil price exposure of the government's wealth position can be reduced by not having the fund invested in oil and gas stocks."

The fund could still invest in the sector if other parts of the fund's mandate are fulfilled by having some investments in some of the companies, Matsen said.

"But clearly the direction is that ... if the ministry and the politicians think it is good advice and they say yes to it, clearly the investments in the oil and gas sector will decrease over time," he added.

Oil and gas stocks would be replaced by investments in other companies.

"The straight answer is that all other sectors would be weighted up in proportion ... (under) our current mandate," said Matsen.

At the end of 2016, the fund's equity investments were split between investments in the financial sector (23.3 percent), industrial companies (14.1 percent), consumer goods (13.7 percent), consumer services (10.3 percent), healthcare (10.2 percent), technology (9,5 percent), oil and gas (6.4 percent), basic materials (5.6 percent), telecoms (3.2 percent) and utilities (3.1 percent).

The timing of the coming divestments is as yet unclear. The proposal has to be reviewed by the Finance Ministry, which in turn needs to decide whether to propose it to parliament.

At the earliest, the ministry's first opportunity could come in the spring, with a vote in parliament in June.

In addition to its holdings via the fund, Norway has exposure to oil and gas via large untapped offshore hydrocarbon reserves, as well as its 67 percent stake in the national oil company, Statoil.

The fund has grown so large that even though the Norwegian state is taking less than 3 percent of the fund's value every year for its fiscal budget in recent years, oil spending now accounts for one in five crowns spent by the state.]]>
11/16/2017 3:14:21 PM
<![CDATA[Mastercard mulls participation in Egypt’s national projects ]]>
In a meeting with Prime Minister Sherif Ismail at the premises of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), Banga praised the efforts exerted by the government to expand in using technological systems and applications, according to a cabinet statement.

Held for the purpose of discussing prospects of cooperation in electronic payment systems, the meeting was attended by Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer and ministers of communication, education and transport.

"Egypt is interested in expanding dependence on electronic payments to achieve high economic outcome, facilitate access to government services for citizens and upgrade dealings of state institutions," Ismail said.

The meeting also tackled using digital payment in services’ sectors such as health, education, transport and communication, especially in the New Administrative Capital.]]>
11/16/2017 2:11:50 PM
<![CDATA[PM accepts Deputy Planning Minister resignation ]]>
Maghraby attended a conference titled “Investment Opportunities: Growth and Employment” last week, where she spoke about Egypt’s plan reduce unemployment from 12 percent to four percent and double the investment rate from 16 to 30 percent within Egypt 2030 Vision.
]]>
11/16/2017 2:06:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt-UAE joint ministerial meeting kicks off in Abu Dhabi]]>
At the onset of the meeting, Nasr and her accompanying delegation voiced happiness over their visit to UAE, noting that this meeting is a historical one for both countries which could enhance cooperation ties between the two sides.

Nasr called on the UAE and its business community to increase its investments in Egypt in view of the recent incentives and guarantees given to investors.

She said the Ministry has recently worked hard on developing service centers for investors to provide them with more facilities and reduce the time needed to issue their work licenses.

The minister also asserted that Egypt has achieved a big jump in implementing a local economic reform program along with taking measures to secure social protection programs for the most needy citizens.

She also said the Ministry is working hard to accomplish the investment map in coordination with other ministries concerned to shed light on the investment opportunities available in the Suez Canal Corridor, New Alamein, Upper Egypt and other fields such as tourism, industry, agriculture and housing.

At the start of the meeting, al Hashimy welcomed Nasr and her delegation, stressing that the joint co-ordination and co-operation between the two countries in all regional and international issues have reached a prominent level, due to the unified visions and aspirations and common fate of the leadership of both countries.

This advanced level of co-ordination is based on the solid foundations of understanding and agreement between the two countries in order to face their challenges, most notably combating terrorism and extremism, which pose a direct threat to both nations and their people, she added.

Al Hashimy renewed the commitment of the UAE to strongly and firmly stand with Egypt’s government and people in standing up to brutal terrorism, which strives to undermine its security and national unity and support all the steps and decisions it takes in this regard.

She expressed her trust in Egypt’s ability based on its will, history, and wise leadership to destroy the challenge of terrorism. She also stressed the UAE’s pride in Egypt’s central role as an ally and a partner on all levels in fighting terrorism and extremism. She pointed out Egypt’s political, strategic and historic weight, which represents a main support point in the region.

Al Hashimy mentioned that the strength of the relations between the two countries reflected positively on all aspects, including the economy, commerce and investment. She further praised the exceptional growth witnessed by the non-oil commercial exchange between both countries during the past six years, as it reached nearly dlrs 4.8 billion in the year 2016 with a cumulative annual growth rate exceeding 13 percent.

Al Hashimy pointed out the noticeable growth in the size of UAE investments in Egypt. The UAE is one of the biggest countries internationally in terms of direct foreign investment in Egypt, with a total value of nearly dlrs 6 billion. She said that such economic accomplishments between the two countries open wider horizons for more bilateral co-operation in all fields related to tourism and business.

She said the UAE attaches great importance to developing relations with Egypt in development fields, adding that Egypt had topped UAE aid recipient countries for four years in a row.

She also noted that apart from political and economic fields, close cooperation between the two countries also covers other areas of mutual interest and the exchange of visits by leaderships of the two countries. She expressed hope that this coordination will continue to serve the common interests, to help overcome regional and international challenges and to increase the two countries' contribution to the development, security and stability of the region.]]>
11/16/2017 1:28:56 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi approves Kuwaiti grant to finance solar stations]]>
The projects include the establishment of solar power stations and a factory for solar energy panels production.

The two projects were signed by the International Cooperation Ministry and the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development.

The decree was published in the Gazette out Thursday.]]>
11/16/2017 1:22:24 PM
<![CDATA[GASC issues inter. tender to buy 42.5k tons of cooking oil]]>
An official in the Ministry of Supply told Egypt Today that around 30,000 tons will be soybean oil, while more than 10,000 tons will be sunflower oil.

“We will choose the best offer so as the supplying process can start at the beginning of January to continue until January 15,” the source said.

In July, GASC signed agreements to buy 61,000 tons of cooking oil as part of the government's efforts to meet the needs of strategic commodities.

In late June, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced that the government will increase the subsidies on ration cards from LE 21 to LE 50 ($1.1 - $2.7) per individual, as part of a series of decisions that target boosting the social safety net.

The decision would raise allocations of food subsidies in the fiscal year of 2017/18 budget to LE 85 billion from LE 47 billion in the fiscal year of 2016/2017.]]>
11/16/2017 1:19:28 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi approves French grant to back first aid project in Egypt]]>
The grant agreement was signed between the French agency and the Egyptian government on March 27, 2017 and it was later approved by the House of Representatives.

The decree was published in the Gazette out Thursday.]]>
11/16/2017 1:15:05 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Italy trade ups 13.9% in 1H, investment reaches $2.7B]]>
During a meeting with new ambassador of Italy in Cairo, Giampaolo Cantini, Kabil noted that Egyptian exports to Rome jumped 25 percent to amass €995 million in 1H 2017, compared to €796 million, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Stating that bilateral trade recorded €3.7 billion in 2016, Kabil announced that Italy is investing $2.7 billion in 1,015 projects in the fields of industry, tourism, agriculture, construction, communication technology and financial services.

The pairs discussed in the meeting methods of increasing economic trade and investment relations.

Kabil announced that he will visit Rome in the upcoming period, heading a delegation of Egyptian businessmen to promote investment opportunities in Egypt in light of newly-introduced measures to facilitate business deals.

“The visit will mainly focus on promoting automotive, textile and leather sectors,” he said.

Head of the Egyptian-Italian Business Council Khaled Abu Bakr also attended the meeting, announcing that a delegation of Italian businessmen will visit Egypt in early 2018.]]>
11/16/2017 1:13:26 PM
<![CDATA[EFG Hermes’ net profit quadruples to LE 237M in Q3]]>
EFG Hermes’ revenues recorded a 184 percent year-on-year increase to stand at LE 834 million, attributed to diversification of the company's products and the company’s expansion, a Thursday statement from the company said.

The investment banking division contributed LE 21 million in Q3, marking a 58 percent increase “owed to closing a number of advisory mandates during the quarter,” EFG Hermes said.

“Withstanding the inherent seasonality during the third quarter due to a slow summer season and a number of holidays, our strategy to diversify our product base and expand into newer markets continues to create significant value for our shareholders,” CEO of EFG Hermes Karim Awad said.

Both the private equity and asset management divisions registered a year-on-year growth of 161 percent, as the asset management divisions posted LE 89 million in revenues in that quarter and private equity contributed LE 33 million to the total value.]]>
11/16/2017 12:26:01 PM
<![CDATA[Elsewedy Electric sign MoU with Military Production Ministry]]>
The two entities agreed to cooperate in manufacturing, supplying, installing and testing of electric networks in cities and industrial complexes, Minister of Military Production Mohamed al-Assar said in a ministry statement.

“The cooperation will also be in street lighting projects, manufacturing land and fiber optics cable, substations and power transformers,” he said in the statement.

Elsewedy Electric’s profits soared 111 percent year-on-year in the third quarter (Q3) of fiscal year (FY) 2016/17, the company announced Wednesday.

The profits registered LE 1.56 billion ($88.4 million) in Q3, compared to LE 746.6 million in the same period in 2016.

Elsewedy Electric’s revenues were LE 11.4 billion in Q3, significantly up from LE 4.8 billion in Q3 2016.

Elsewedy Electric is the leading wires, cables and integrated energy solution provider in the Middle East and Africa.]]>
11/16/2017 12:13:26 PM
<![CDATA[Slovakia seeks to increase trade cooperation with Egypt]]>
Addressing an evening reception held at the Slovak Embassy in Cairo on Wednesday night, the well-placed official said his country supports economic reform measures recently taken by the Egyptian government.

Trade and economic cooperation between Cairo and Bratislava is expected to increase in the coming period despite current hardships resulting from the floating of the Egyptian pound in November 2016, he noted.

The official added that his country's main exports include automobiles, spare parts , household appliances, iron and steel, electronics and mineral oil. ]]>
11/16/2017 11:29:42 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate stable at Egypt's major banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate stood at EGP 17.58 for buying and EGP 17.68 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire, the Bank of Alexandria and the National Bank of Greece.

At the Commercial International Bank (CIB), the dollar rate recorded EGP 17.56 for buying and EGP 17.66 for selling.

The rate stood at EGP 17.59 for buying and 17.69 for selling at the Arab African International Bank and Al Baraka Islamic Bank.

The dollar rate backed to EGP 17.60 for buying and 17.70 for selling at Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait.]]>
11/16/2017 11:09:03 AM
<![CDATA[UK gov't, companies agree on need for Brexit transition - Carney]]>
"The government recognises, parliamentarians, businesses, people across the country, people in Europe recognise as well that it is in everyone's interest to have at a minimum a transition period to the new relationship," Carney told ITV television.

Carney said there was also recognition of the need for "as comprehensive and open a trading and investment partnership between the UK and the EU 27 at the end of that transition."]]>
11/16/2017 10:55:35 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar on back foot as tax deal doubts, weak stocks and junk bonds weigh]]>
The dollar index .DXY stood at 93.891, after having fallen to as low as 93.402 on Wednesday, its weakest in almost four weeks, a severe correction from the uptrend that began in early September on hopes of a tax cut deal.

A U.S. Senate Republican tax plan drew fire from two Republican lawmakers on Wednesday in a possible sign of trouble for the sweeping measure, given the party can afford to lose no more than two votes to pass the legislation.

“For the moment, the U.S. tax cuts will be the main theme of the markets. I would expect negotiation to drag on beyond the year-end but by the first quarter of next year, there will be a deal,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

U.S. stocks and junk bonds, which had also rallied on hopes of tax cuts and the prospects of a solid U.S. economic growth, extended their losses, further dampening dollar sentiment.

U.S. S&P 500 .SPX fell to a three-week low while the yield on junk bonds rose to their highest in 7 1/2 months.

“The markets that have benefited from buying by investors looking for yield enhancement are now crumbling while safe-haven assets are being bought. The sensitivity to risk seems to have been heightened,” said Kazushige Kaida, head of foreign exchange at State Street Bank.

Any boost to the currency from positive U.S. consumer inflation and retail sales data was not strong enough to ease those concerns.

Annual core inflation accelerated to 1.8 percent in October after having stayed at 1.7 percent USCPFY=ECI in the preceding five months. Retail sales increased 0.2 percent.

Both beat market expectations slightly and further firmed up the case for a December rate hike by the Federal Reserve. But beyond this year, U.S. interest rate futures were pricing in a slightly smaller chance of a rate hike early in 2018 than before Wednesday’s data.

With the dollar facing headwinds, the euro traded at $1.1778 EUR=, down slightly on the day but up almost 1 percent so far on the week, after having risen to as high as $1.1862 on Wednesday, its best level in over one month.

The dollar dipped to 112.47 yen on Wednesday and fetched 113.04 yen JPY= in late Asian trade.

The Australian dollar bounced from near five-month lows on Thursday as a mostly upbeat local employment report triggered a round of short-covering.

The Aussie traded at $0.7594, almost flat on the day, after having plumbed a low of $0.7567 AUD=D4, a trough last seen in late June.

Against the yen, the Aussie hit a three-month low of 85.52 yen AUDJPY=R, having posted its largest daily loss since mid-August the day before.

The New Zealand dollar edged down to $0.6857 NZD=D4, near its 5 1/2-month low of $0.6818 touched last month.]]>
11/16/2017 10:48:02 AM
<![CDATA[SoftBank to invest up to $25 billion in Saudi Arabia: Bloomberg]]>
SoftBank plans to deploy up to $15 billion in the new high-tech city of NEOM, with the SoftBank Vision Fund planning an investment of as much as $10 billion in state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co 5110.SE, Bloomberg reported. bloom.bg/2hBlMwL

With Saudi Arabia’s main sovereign wealth fund one of the largest investors in the Vision Fund, the investments would see funds being funneled back to the country, whose authorities have launched an anti-corruption crackdown on the kingdom’s political and business elite.

Besides SoftBank and the Saudi wealth fund, investors in Vision Fund include the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, Apple (AAPL.O) and Foxconn (2317.TW).

A SoftBank spokesman declined on Thursday to comment on the Bloomberg report.

Vision Fund had announced in May it raised over $93 billion from investors to fund ventures in areas including artificial intelligence and robotics.

Saudi Arabia has previously announced plans to sell a large minority stake in Saudi Electricity to the Vision Fund but the figures have not been made public.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Reuters in an interview in October that the $500 billion mega-city of NEOM will be floated on financial markets alongside oil giant Saudi Aramco as part of the kingdom’s drive to diversify away from oil.

Saudi authorities this month have arrested prominent royals, officials and businessmen in the corruption crackdown. Prince Mohammed, who has risen from obscurity three years ago, is seen as tightening his grip on power with the anti-corruption campaign.]]>
11/16/2017 10:44:08 AM
<![CDATA[Oil edges up as expected extension of OPEC cuts counters rising U.S. supplies]]>
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $62.06 per barrel at 0742 GMT, up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.39 a barrel, 6 cents up from their last settlement.

“Oil shrugged off an unexpected rise in the U.S. crude inventory data ... Both contracts eked out small gains,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

Traders said this was due to efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to withhold oil production to tighten the market and prop up prices.

The deal is due to expire in March 2018, but OPEC will meet on Nov. 30 to discuss policy, and it is expected to agree an extension of the cuts.

"OPEC, led by Saudi ... will look to support the market, especially until the sale of Aramco is complete. If sanctions against Iran are executed, it will drive the price significantly higher," said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers in Sydney. (tmsnrt.rs/2yLlKWC)

Despite Thursday’s gains, Brent and WTI have lost around 4 percent in value since hitting 2015 highs last week, pulled down in part by rising crude availability in the United States.

U.S. crude inventories C-STK-T-EIA rose for a second week in a row, building by 1.9 million barrels in the week to Nov. 10 to 459 million barrels, the government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

That compared to analyst expectations in a Reuters poll for a decrease of 2.2 million barrels.

U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA hit a record of 9.65 million barrels per day (bpd), meaning output has risen by almost 15 percent since their most recent low in mid-2016. (tmsnrt.rs/2iX0PJF)]]>
11/16/2017 10:38:02 AM
<![CDATA[Government borrows LE 13.75B in T-bills Thursday]]>
Egypt’s central bank holds T-bills auctions every Sunday and Thursday.

The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 6.75 billion with a 182-day term and the second worth LE 7 billion with a 357-day term.

The budget deficit is expected to stand at LE 322 billion by the end of fiscal year 2017/18, to be filled by treasury bills and bonds issued by the CBE, and through Arab and foreign loans and grants.
]]>
11/16/2017 10:16:19 AM
<![CDATA[Asia shares gain despite Wall St weakness, dollar edges higher]]>
"European equity traders will likely inherit a positive market," Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst at London Capital Group, said in a note.

Futures portended solid openings for European bourses, with European stock futures up 0.3 percent, Dax futures up 0.4 percent, and FTSE futures and CAC futures each up 0.3 percent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.7 percent.

Australian stocks added 0.2 percent, with sentiment helped by data showing the country's jobless rate dipped to 5.4 percent in October, its lowest since early 2013.

Japan's Nikkei reversed early losses and surged 1.5 percent as investors hunted for bargains after a six-day losing streak

EMini futures for the S&P 500 added 0.3 percent after major indexes dropped on Wall Street overnight, with the S&P 500 energy sector suffering a four-day decline of 4 percent, its weakest such period in 14 months.

Investor concern over the progress of a massive U.S. tax reform plan showed no sign of abating as two Republican lawmakers on Wednesday criticised the Senate's latest proposal.

"If we look at what the markets are focusing on, it's still very much the tax cut debates in the U.S., and how much progress there's going to be on this front," said Mitul Kotecha, head of Asia macro strategy for Barclays in Singapore.

"Clearly, there's some way to go before any deal is on the table, and I think markets perhaps may have reassessed some bullish expectations, and hence some of the dollar weakness yesterday, and probably the fact that the dollar has been unable to make up much lost ground today," Kotecha said.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was slightly higher on the day at 93.828. The euro was steady at $1.1791, retreating from a one-month top of $1.1860 on Wednesday.

Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar gained 0.2 percent to 113.04 yen after it sunk as deep as 112.47 overnight. But it remained well shy of its eight-month high of 114.735 hit last week as Japanese stocks pushed to multi-decade highs.

Doubts that the latest round of talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement would make much headway in the face of tough U.S. demands saw Mexico's peso sink to an eight-month low on Wednesday, though it steadied in Asian trade.

Mostly upbeat economic news added to expectations that the Federal Reserve would not only hike in December, which is now almost fully priced in, but multiple times next year as well.

Core U.S. inflation edged higher and retail sales beat forecasts in a positive sign for growth.

The rate outlook could push the two-year Treasury yields up further from its nine-year peaks, after the yield curve hit its flattest in a decade.

Investors also suspect this tightening will slow the U.S. economy and stop inflation ever getting to the Fed's 2 percent target, pulling down longer-term yields. As a result the gap between two- and 10-year yield has shrunk to its thinnest premium since late 2007.

"Whether it is the flattest yield curve in a decade, and what that has historically signalled for future growth, the recent troubles in high-yielding credit or lingering geopolitical tensions, it is not entirely clear what has markets spooked," ANZ analysts wrote in a note.

In commodity markets, gold edged down 0.1 percent to $1,277.29 an ounce. It reached $1,289.09 overnight, its highest since Oct. 20.

Oil prices gained despite pressure after the U.S. government reported an unexpected increase in crude and gasoline stockpiles. They had lost ground to this week's International Energy Agency (IEA) outlook for slower growth in global crude demand.

U.S. crude added 5 cents to $55.38 a barrel. Brent crude futures were 15 cents higher at $62.02.]]>
11/16/2017 9:54:51 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt Entrepreneurship Summit kicks off Thursday ]]>
EES focuses on innovation, professional development and networking. It will also feature a number of guest speakers in the business field, such as Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Red Sea Governor Ahmed Abdullah, and Ahmed Osman, vice president of the Middle East Council for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (MCSBE).

EES will discuss a lot of different topics, like trends in entrepreneurial practice in Egypt, entrepreneurial mindset in the Arab region and how to provide 600 million jobs needed in the next 15 years.

The summit is under the patronage of the International Labor Organization and the Egyptian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation. More partners are also involved in the event, such as the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), Middle East Council for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (MCSBE), Arab Academy for Science and Technology (AAST), Nawah, Global Entrepreneurship Week and Tatwer Masr.]]>
11/16/2017 8:53:20 AM
<![CDATA[ILO to hold entrepreneurship summit in Hurghada on Thursday.]]>
Held as part of the celebration of the global entrepreneurship week, the summit will be held under the auspices of the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry on Nov 16-18.

Director of the ILO Cairo Office Peter Van Rooij said the aim of such a summit was reviewing the efforts of entrepreneurship in Egypt, identifying the development potentials and the needs for supporting the micro, small, and medium projects, in addition to encouraging the innovation in various sectors.

The summit's agenda includes discussing the entrepreneurship in the Arab world, financing the small projects and the educational projects that focus on entrepreneurship, especially those targeting empowering women in rural communities. It will also address the vocational training and the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, Rooij said.]]>
11/16/2017 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Cairo hosts Electricx Fair in December]]>
Called Electricx, it is a three-day event being held on December 3-5 at the Cairo International Convention Center.

This event showcases the latest equipment and services in the transmission and distribution, lighting and renewable sectors.

It will bring together stakeholders and suppliers from the power generation, transmission, distribution industries under one roof.

Several initiatives in cooperation with Ministries of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Military Production, and Local Development will be launched during the event.]]>
11/16/2017 12:40:00 AM
<![CDATA[PM reviews ongoing energy projects]]>
The meeting reviewed the current status of a number of ongoing energy projects in light of the state's plan to diversify energy resources and to depend more on the clean and renewable energy in line with Egypt's vision 2030.

The agenda of the meeting also included the national plan to upgrade the electricity and energy sector as well as to provide it with its gas requirements.]]>
11/15/2017 7:48:12 PM
<![CDATA[Business news wrap-up]]>Egypt’s unemployment drops to 11.9% in Q3 of 2017
Egypt’s unemployment rate fell to 11.9 percent in the third quarter of 2017 from 12.6 percent in the same quarter of 2016, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said Wednesday.

Nasr discusses potential investments with UAE’s Habtoor


During her visit to the group’s premises in the UAE, Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr discussed increasing Emirati investments in Egypt in the next period, a statement from the Ministry of Investment read.


Egypt to launch handicrafts industry strategy


Egypt will launch a 2018-2020 national strategy for developing handicrafts and cultural industry before the end of this year, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Tarek Kabil announced Wednesday.

EBRD considers expanding Egypt offices to Upper Egypt, SCZone


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) is studying expanding its offices in Egypt to Upper Egypt and the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), EBRD’s Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region Janet Heckman said.

Hilton to manage 7 new hotels in Egypt


The Hilton chain, which operates 17 hotels in Egypt, will manage new seven hotels in the country in the coming few years and until 2022, Mohab Ghali, Vice President of Operations for Egypt and North Africa, said Wednesday.

Egypt’s textile exports increase 3% in 10 months


Exports of the Textile Export Council increased three percent in the period between January to October 2017 to stand at $673 million, compared with $651 million a year earlier, the council said on Wednesday.

Qatar’s Ezdan Holding cuts 15% of its workforce: Bloomberg


Qatar’s Ezdan Holding Group QSC has cut its workforce by almost 15 percent, as the gulf country’s largest publicly traded real estate developer restructures its operations, Bloomberg news agency reported.

Egypt ruling to reinstate ergot ban renews import uncertainty


Egypt’s agriculture ministry is awaiting instructions from the cabinet after a court ruling reinstating a ban on wheat imports containing the common ergot fungus, it said on Wednesday, renewing uncertainty over the policy. ]]>
11/15/2017 7:08:50 PM
<![CDATA[GM CEO promises profitable electric vehicles by 2021]]>
The No. 1 U.S. automaker is developing an all-new electric vehicle platform that will accommodate multiple sizes and segments, to be sold by different GM brands in the United States and China, Barra said, adding new details to what was known about GM’s aggressive electrification strategy.

“We are committed to a future electric vehicle portfolio that will be profitable,” Barra said at the Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York.

GM plans to introduce three new electric vehicles by 2020, including two crossovers, that will share basic components with the Chevrolet Bolt, Barra said.

The company aims to cut the cost of its lithium-ion batteries to less than $100 per kilowatt-hour from $145 per kilowatt-hour by 2021, which would bring the overall cost of electric vehicles much closer to comparable gasoline-engine models.

GM said the new batteries would hold more energy and charge quicker. The company is aiming to boost electric vehicle range to more than 300 miles (483 km) with the new batteries. The current Bolt is rated at 238 miles between charges.

Barra said GM will have the ability to manufacture high volumes of the new batteries at plants in the United States and China. She said GM projects sales of 1 million electric vehicles a year by 2026. So far, the company has sold about 17,000 Bolts.

GM’s new electric vehicle platform in 2021 will serve as a base for at least nine derivatives, ranging from a compact crossover to a large seven-passenger luxury sports utility vehicle and a large commercial van. It will also provide the underpinning for a shared autonomous vehicle (AV) that GM plans to put into commercial service in 2021.

Barra described GM as “the only fully integrated developer of AVs with true scale capability.”

GM’s shares were down 0.6 percent to $42.73 in late-morning trade.]]>
11/15/2017 6:47:11 PM
<![CDATA[Qatar’s Ezdan Holding cuts 15% of its workforce: Bloomberg ]]>
The company cut 220 jobs, mainly pertaining to maintenance staff and some management

International Rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) cut its long-term corporate credit rating on Ezdan to junk, downgrading it to BB from BBB-, with a negative outlook.

S&P cited a weakening of the company’s financial-risk profile because of deterioration in the country’s operating environment as a result of the boycott imposed by four Arab states on Qatar.

Valued at 21.2 billion riyals ($5.5 billion), Ezdan is controlled by its founder, a Qatari royal, and related entities, and only has about six percent of its shares available for trading by outside investors, according to Bloomberg. ]]>
11/15/2017 6:38:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s textile exports increase 3% in 10 months]]>
Turkey came first among the countries importing textile from Egypt, acquiring $230.27 million of exports, followed by Italy ($132.98 million), Saudi Arabia ($26.79 million) and Tunisia ($21.85 million), the council’s chairman Hassan Eshra said.

Egypt’s textile exports to Germany and Portugal, meanwhile, reached $16.89 million and $13.19 million respectively.

On the recent "Destination Africa" exhibition for readymade clothes that was recently held in Cairo, Eshra said that the exhibition was a “success”, where Egyptian companies held bilateral meetings with international buyers, boosting Egypt’s exports.

He added that his council will start a series of meetings with the event’s organizers soon to prepare for the exhibition’s upcoming edition, saying that the council aims to increase the number of exhibitors from Egypt and Africa by 50 percent.

It also aims to invite a big number of buyers from across the world. In light of the Trade Ministry’s plan to support textile industries, Eshra said that a delegation of foreign companies, which are interested in investing in Egypt, has visited the textile industries city in Minya governorate, vowing to inject investments in Minya in 2019. ]]>
11/15/2017 6:01:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to launch handicrafts industry strategy ]]>
“The strategy will focus on training workers, marketing products in external markets and connecting technicians with local supply chains,” Kabil said.

Kabil made the statements during the second international conference for handicrafts, which kicked off Wednesday.

This strategy will come as part of the development strategy of the industrial sector, the minister added.

Egypt is adopting a 2020 industrial development strategy, which targets increasing the contribution of the sector in the gross domestic product (GDP) from 17 percent to 21 percent.

For that aim, Kabil launched in October the industrial investment map, which includes details about available opportunities in the industrial sector, aiming to reduce imports eventually, and it will be regularly updated with the latest developments in the sector.

The map included 4,136 opportunities in eight sectors. Around 1,260 opportunities are in the engineering industries, 860 in the chemical industries, 640 in the food industries, 600 in the textile sector, 395 in the mining sector, 180 in the pharmaceuticals sector, 122 in the metal industries and 56 in the leather industries.

In order to prepare this map, the Ministry of Industry paid field visits to more than 100 industrial zones across Egypt to collect data about them, identify their production volume and production capacity. ]]>
11/15/2017 5:12:04 PM
<![CDATA[SODIC profits hike 52.9% in third quarter of 2017 ]]>
The profits valued at LE 166.2 million ($9,423,018.70), compared to LE 108.7 million in Q3 of 2016, SODIC announced in a statement to the Egyptian Exchange.

SODIC’s revenues stood at LE 583.8 million, compared to LE 531.5 million in Q3 of 2016.

The company achieved LE 341.5 million profits in the first half of 2017 compared to LE 157.78 million in the previous year.

Total revenues went up to LE 1.17 billion in H1 of 2017 from LE 624 million in H1 of 2016 and hit LE 469 million in Q2 of 2017, increasing from LE 436.7 million in the same period in 2016. ]]>
11/15/2017 4:43:40 PM
<![CDATA[Hilton to manage 7 new hotels in Egypt]]>
He said on the sidelines of an investment conference that Hilton targets to increase 2,500 hotel rooms to its current capacity of 6,300 by 2022, increasing them by 40 percent.

Two of the new planned hotels in Egypt will be in the Red Sea resort of Ain Sokhna, Ghali said .

He said that Hilton’s estimates show that the average of hotels’ occupation rates in Egypt increased by 20-25 percent this year, compared to a year earlier. Forty percent of this increase is attributed to Egyptians and domestic tourism, Ghali said.

He added that his hotel expects occupancy rates to increase further in 2018, saying that next year will be better than 2017.

Egypt has been striving to revive the tourism sector, a main foreign currency earner that has been battered by years of instability.

Tourism has been picking up recently; especially that Egypt has now become a cheaper destination for many tourists around the world after floating the local currency.

Tourism revenues jumped 211.8 per cent year-on-year to $5.3 billion in the first nine months of 2017, compared to $1.7 billion the year before.

The number of tourists who visited Egypt in that time jumped 55.3 per cent to 5.9 million, with European visitors reaching 3.2 million, an 85 per cent increase from the previous year.

However, the figures are still below the peak level of 2010 when 14 million tourists visited the country, generating $12.5 billion in revenues.]]>
11/15/2017 3:58:26 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD considers expanding Egypt offices to Upper Egypt, SCZone]]>
Speaking to Egypt Today Tuesday, Heckman said that this decision came after the bank had opened its first office outside Cairo, in Alexandria, in September.

“This was the first office of an international financial institution outside the capital,” Heckman added.

A high-level delegation of the EBRD and the bank’s governors in other Arab countries were in Egypt on Tuesday, as the EBRD Business Forum for the SEMED area took place in Cairo.

On the sidelines of the forum, the EBRD signed eight agreements worth $325 million to Egypt’s banks to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs), trade and women's projects.

EBRD’s investment portfolio in Egypt is expected to skyrocket to €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) by the year’s end, which is more than double last year’s figure.

Since the beginning of 2017, the EBRD has invested around €1.3 billion in Egypt in different sectors, of which 30 percent were allocated for public sector entities in areas such as transport, renewable energy, waste water, and energy efficiency.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving investments by the Bank since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested €2.7 billion in 52 projects in the country.

The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services. The EBRD has also provided technical assistance to more than 600 SMEs in the country so far.]]>
11/15/2017 3:51:37 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends in mixed note, benchmark down 0.7% ]]>
The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.04 percent to end at 768.33 points and the broader index EGX100 leveled down 0.05 percent to close at 1,745.6 points.
Market capitalization declined LE 3.17 billion to record LE 775.527 billion, compared to LE 778.703 billion in the last session Tuesday.

Around 72 percent of transactions were dominated by Egyptians, 19.4 percent by Arabs and 7.19 percent by foreigners.

Shares of 35 companies recorded increases, while 126 others saw declines. Meanwhile, shares of 31 firms remained unchanged.
]]>
11/15/2017 3:49:15 PM
<![CDATA[Elsewedy Electric profits skyrocket in Q3 to LE 1.5B]]>
In a statement to the Egyptian Exchange, the profits registered LE 1.56 billion ($88.4 million) in Q3, compared to LE 746.6 million in the same period in 2016.

Elsewedy Electric’s revenues were LE 11.4 billion in Q3, significantly up from LE 4.8 billion in Q3 2016.

With regards to the first half of 2017, Elsewedy Electric’s revenues hiked 97 percent to LE 20.65 billion, while net profits increased 84.6 percent to LE 3 billion from LE 1.6 billion in the same period last year.

Elsewedy Electric is the leading wires and cables and integrated energy solution provider in the Middle East and Africa. ]]>
11/15/2017 3:42:55 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr discusses potential investments with UAE’s Habtoor ]]>
During her visit to the group’s premises in the UAE, Nasr discussed increasing Emirati investments in Egypt in the next period, a statement from the Ministry of Investment read.

Habtoor said he is studying new projects in Egypt, inviting Nasr to visit one of the UAE’s biggest development projects; Al-Habtoor City, which lies at the heart of Dubai.

Habtoor has always been giving attention to Egypt. In December 2015, the billionaire offered to build a mixed-use development project in Cairo, similar to Al-Habtoor City in Dubai, with a total value of $8.5 billion in investment.

In May 2017, Habtoor was also reported to have purchased a huge palace in Heliopolis, which was reported to might have been the start of a new project in Cairo’s district.

Proving his interest in Egypt, Habtoor posted in September a video on his Instagram account, of himself with his friends during their vacation in one of Egypt’s North Coast resorts.

The UAE national is a renowned businessman who ranks #335 on the list of the world’s richest 500 people on Forbes.com, with a net worth of $2.3 billion. ]]>
11/15/2017 2:47:17 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s unemployment drops to 11.9% in Q3 of 2017]]>
The CAPMAS report said that despite the drop was slight compared to the second quarter of 2017, the third quarter has seen an influx of fresh graduates into the labor market.

The study showed that some of these graduates have joined the workforce during the third quarter, pushing unemployment rate down.

It revealed that the work force compromises 29,472 million people, with an increase of one percent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017, compared to the second quarter. The unemployed, meanwhile, stand at 11.9 percent of the total work force, with 3,513 million jobless people.

The unemployed increased by 0.5 percent in Q3 of 2017, compared to the second quarter, but they dropped 3.5 percent compared to Q3 of 2016. Unemployment among men reached 8.2 percent in the third quarter versus 24.4 percent among women.

Meanwhile, the third quarter saw a 1.1 percent increase in the number of the employed, compared with the second quarter and a 3.1 percent hike compared with the same quarter a year earlier. Total number of employees stands at 25,959 million.

The Egyptian government has been exerting efforts recently to reduce unemployment rates. It aims to reduce unemployment from the current 12 percent to four percent within Egypt 2030 Vision.

During their second review of Egypt’s reform program that was concluded last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission said that reducing unemployment, specifically among Egypt’s youth, and integrating more women into the labor force are key to Egypt’s economic liftoff and are the strongest and most sustainable form of social protection.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pledged to reduce unemployment to 10 percent over the next few years. ]]>
11/15/2017 2:06:04 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate stable at Egypt's banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate stood at LE17.58 for buying and LE17.68 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire, the Bank of Alexandria and the National Bank of Greece.

At the Commercial International Bank (CIB), the dollar rate recorded LE17.56 for buying and LE17.66 for selling.

The rate stood at LE17.59 for buying and 17.69 for selling at the Arab African International Bank, Al Baraka Islamic Bank, Suez Canal Bank and the United Bank.

The dollar rate reached LE17.61 for buying and 17.71 for selling at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank and Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait. ]]>
11/15/2017 1:11:55 PM
<![CDATA[Global forex code bans 'last look' trading tactic]]>
The Global Foreign Exchange Committee said on Wednesday it had concluded that traders should not undertake trading activity that uses information from a customer’s trading request during the “last look” window.

“Last look” refers to the ability of dealers to reject a trade at the last minute. Critics say traders could potentially abuse this by using the market intelligence gained to influence other trades.

The committee said the decision would be reflected in a revised version of its code that was launched in May in response to banks being fined billions of dollars for rigging currency benchmarks.

The committee said it had also agreed to clarify conditions under which certain trading arrangements could be distinguished from “last look”.

“The GFXC has made a number of decisions that will help to strengthen and embed the Code across the global market,” the committee’s chair, Chris Salmon, said in a statement.

Salmon, who is executive director for markets at the Bank of England, said in September the code may need tweaking.
]]>
11/15/2017 1:04:21 PM
<![CDATA[Euro races past the $1.18 line as inflows intensify]]>
With the euro zone’s annual economic growth rate outstripping that of the United states in the third quarter, led by Germany, markets are increasingly optimistic about the region’s outlook.

“The dollar is getting hit against the euro and the yen and the strong data out of Europe is definitely a factor with some investors bailing out of the long dollar trade,” said Alvin Tan, an FX strategist at Societe Generale in London.

The single currency punched through a key technical level of $1.1734 on Tuesday and extended gains on Wednesday to rise 0.2 percent at $1.1824 against the dollar.

Over the last few sessions, unhedged purchases of European stocks have picked up noticeably after declining in October.

Despite the rise, some investors remain sceptical about the outlook for the currency, with a Bank of America Merrill Lynch fund manager survey for November pointing out that the percentage of investors saying the euro is overvalued has grown to 12 percent from 4 percent in the previous month.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was the big mover of the Asian session, skidding 0.6 percent against its U.S. counterpart to $0.7587, brushing its lowest levels since July.

Data showed Australian wages rose only 0.5 percent in the third quarter and 2.0 percent for the year, falling short of 0.7 percent and 2.2 percent respectively and challenging the Reserve Bank of Australia’s view that wages would pick up.

The dollar fell for a second session as falling U.S. stocks and declining U.S. yields weighed on the greenback.

“Risk sentiment has soured somewhat in the last week or so, as the U.S. equity rally has run out of steam,” said Ray Attrill, Sydney-based global co-head of forex strategy at National Australia Bank.

The dollar index fell 0.3 percent to 93.558 on Wednesday as investors awaited U.S. consumer inflation data for October, due later on Wednesday, that is expected to show a marginal increase in consumer prices.]]>
11/15/2017 12:57:39 PM
<![CDATA[Apple to help India develop anti-spam app after face-off with regulator]]>
The U.S. tech giant has been locked in a tussle with India’s telecoms regulator for more than a year. Officials complained Apple dragged its feet on advising the government how to develop an app that would allow iPhone users to report unsolicited marketing texts or calls as spam.

The government app was launched on Google’s Android platform last year, but an industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said Apple pushed back on requests for an iOS version due to concerns that a government app with access to call and text logs could compromise its customers’ privacy.

Facing public criticism from the regulator, Apple executives flew to New Delhi last month and told officials the company would help develop the app, but only with limited capabilities, according to a government official aware of the matter.

Apple’s executives have told India that its current iOS platform might not allow for some of the government’s requests, such as making call logs available within the app that would allow users to report them as spam, the official said.

“They (Apple) will help develop an app which, to an extent, can solve the requirements,” said the official.

An Apple spokesman confirmed that the new iOS features to combat spam text messages would help the government build the app, but did not comment on the app’s potential inability to access call logs for reporting spam, as the Android version does.

The spokesman said Apple had not changed its stance on privacy.

Apple’s stand-off with the regulator comes at a time when it is seeking greater access in India, the world’s third-largest smartphone market. The company has been lobbying the government for tax breaks to expand its phone assembly operations in the country, where it reported doubling its revenue versus the previous year for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

Balancing growth and market share with protecting customer privacy has become a defining challenge for global tech companies such as Apple, which regularly clash with governments over allowing access to content on their devices, especially for law enforcement needs.

“This has now become more of an ego tussle between Apple and the regulator,” said Neil Shah of Hong Kong-based technology research firm Counterpoint Research. He added that Apple was unlikely to agree to any requests specific to India because of the precedent that would set.

The chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) R.S. Sharma said he was unhappy with Apple for not responding swiftly to the government’s requests.

“We’ve told them they are harming their consumers,” Sharma told Reuters in an interview. “I hope good sense prevails upon them.”

Apple did not comment on TRAI’s criticism, but said that it had taken time to develop a privacy-friendly solution.

APP TUSSLE, PRIVACY WOES

Pesky marketing calls and unsolicited commercial text messages have become a big problem in India.

Despite mobile users having the option to register themselves under a so-called “do not disturb” service to block marketers, businesses have gamed the system by using multiple phone numbers for promotions.

TRAI’s anti-spam mobile application, also called Do Not Disturb, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times from the Google Android app section.

Before the app launches, it asks the user to allow it access to contacts and view text messages. Users can then start reporting numbers as spam.

A spokesman for Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, did not directly comment on the app, but said: “We believe in openness and in the ability of users to make purchasing and downloading choices without top-down enforcement or censorship. Users are prompted with requests for permissions that they can choose to accept or decline.”

Apple, however, has been worried.

“The app can peep into logs, Apple had conveyed that their (privacy) policy does not allow this,” said the industry source familiar with the matter.

TRAI said the app does not raise any privacy concerns.

MEETINGS, E-MAILS

Apple has flown in several overseas-based executives to resolve the dispute with the Indian regulator, including its senior director for global privacy, and former Google executive, Jane Horvath.

At least seven meetings have been held between the two sides and dozens of emails exchanged since last year, according to government officials and documents reviewed by Reuters.

In August this year, months after the talks began, Apple wrote to TRAI saying that a technical meeting would help them establish “what is possible and not possible”.

The TRAI pushed back.

“The whole exercise in organizing the proposed meeting would be a waste of resources ... please share concrete solutions that have a likelihood of addressing the issues we have been discussing over the past one year,” the regulator wrote in September.

Later that month, Apple again approached the TRAI saying it had identified potential solutions but they would require additional discussions with the regulator’s technical staff.

Horvath and other Apple executives met TRAI officials in October and conveyed they would help them develop the first version of the app with limited features.

“They (Apple) are adopting dilatory tactics,” said Sharma, the TRAI chief. “They’ve had meetings, meetings and meetings.”]]>
11/15/2017 12:52:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ruling to reinstate ergot ban renews import uncertainty]]>
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer, stunned grain markets last year when it began imposing a zero tolerance level on ergot, leading suppliers to boycott state tenders until it adopted a 0.05 percent tolerance level, a common international standard.

Tuesday’s court ruling cancelled that decree, according to a lawyer that raised the case.

The agriculture ministry, which heads an quarantine service that has argued that even traces of ergot can harm plant and animal health, said any policy adjustment was up to the cabinet.

“The ruling was against a decision that was issued by the cabinet so we have to await directions from there to know whether it will affect our process,” Hamid Abdel Dayem, spokesman for the ministry told Reuters. “Until then it is business as usual,” he said.

Dayim said the court ruling, if applied, would be retroactive, suggesting it could affect cargoes that have already been contracted for under the old specifications that allowed for up to 0.05 percent.

If implemented, the court order would restore a strict import rule that suppliers have said is impossible to guarantee and which has them led them to add hefty premiums to their tender bids to account for the added risk of cargo rejection.

The flow of wheat in Egypt is politically sensitive because it is used by the government to supply a sprawling bread subsidy programme relied on by tens of millions of Egyptians at a time of economic austerity.]]>
11/15/2017 12:47:30 PM
<![CDATA[Fed should signal tolerance for higher U.S. inflation, Evans says]]>
“When I look at the downward drift in multiple expectations measures, I find it tougher to confidently buy into the idea that inflation today is just temporarily low once again,” Evans said in remarks prepared for delivery to the UBS European Conference in London.

To prevent low inflation expectations becoming entrenched, he said, “our public commentary needs to acknowledge a much greater chance of inflation running at 2-1/2 percent in the coming years than I believe we have communicated in the past.”

Evans, a voter this year on Fed policy, did not say in his prepared remarks whether he would support an interest-rate hike in December, as many of his colleagues have said they would, and as markets overwhelmingly expect.

But his comments suggest he has become increasingly frustrated with falling inflation, despite an economy he said is headed for “continued solid growth” in 2018.

Evans warned Wednesday that unless the Fed addresses falling inflation expectations, “we could be in for the kind of trouble that Bank of Japan has faced for so long.”

Inflation by the Fed’s preferred measure, core personal consumption expenditures (PCE), was just 1.3 percent in September, even though the unemployment rate, at 4.1 percent, suggests the U.S. economy is at full employment.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said she believes that as the labor market tightens, inflation will rise back toward 2 percent. Evans is not so sure.

“With each low monthly reading, it gets harder and harder for me to feel comfortable with the idea that the step-down last spring was simply transitory,” Evans said. “There is a big strategic risk in failing to get core PCE inflation symmetrically around 2 percent before this economic cycle ends.”

Regional Fed presidents like Evans have varying degrees of influence on the direction of Fed policy.

Central banks can't fight rise in asset prices explicitly: Fed's Evans

In 2010, Evans tried and failed to win support at the Fed for a new strategy of monetary policy known as price-level targeting that at the time he thought could have lifted troublingly low inflation.

In 2012, though, the Fed included a promise to keep rates near zero until unemployment or inflation reached certain thresholds, an idea Evans had publicly championed for a year before it became policy.]]>
11/15/2017 12:46:04 PM
<![CDATA[Nestle reorganizes infant nutrition business]]>
The Swiss company said from Jan. 1 the unit would be managed regionally, not globally.

Nestle said it would create a “strategic business unit” to keep a global nutrition strategy that will manage global functions such as innovation, quality management, compliance and global manufacturing capacity.

A nutrition business head will then be appointed for each of its three regions to implement that strategy in local markets.

“The new organization will allow Nestle’s infant nutrition business to deliver accelerated organic growth and realize further efficiency gains,” Nestle said.

“The more agile and efficient structure will enable Nestle to respond faster to rapidly changing local consumer preferences, evolving regulation, and customer and channel demand for tailor-made solutions.”

Nestle is also the world’s biggest infant formula maker, and the leader in the key Chinese market.

The company also announced two management departures.

Stefan Catsicas, its chief technology officer, is leaving “to pursue entrepreneurial and venture capital activities outside Nestle”. He will be replaced by Stefan Palzer at the start of the year.

Stefan Palzer has been head of the Nestle Research Center since 2016.

Heiko Schipper, deputy executive vice president in charge of Nestle Nutrition, is also leaving at the end of the year, going to Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE) as head of its consumer health business.]]>
11/15/2017 12:39:25 PM
<![CDATA[Airbus in record 430 plane deal with budget airline backer Franke]]>
The preliminary deal, worth up to $50 billion, is designed to supply four airlines in which Franke’s Indigo Partners has stakes: Frontier Airlines, Mexico’s Volaris, Chilean carrier JetSmart and Hungary’s Wizz Air (WIZZ.L).

The 80-year old Franke signed the agreement at the Dubai Airshow amid a flurry of dealmaking, as airlines take advantage of a recent slowdown in demand for new aircraft to negotiate competitive prices from leading manufacturers.

Budget airline flydubai on Wednesday committed to buying 175 Boeing (BA.N) 737 Max jets, worth around $21 billion at list prices.

Airbus said it expected to finalize its agreement with Franke in the coming weeks.

The two deals again underscore how budget carriers are rewriting the rule book by combining bargain fares augmented by optional services and upgrades for which passengers pay additional fees.

The Franke deal also marks a dramatic swan-song for Airbus sales chief John Leahy, who is due to retire in the coming months after holding the job since 1994.

The 67-year-old Leahy has overseen the sale of jets worth $1.7 trillion at list prices and helped engineer a rise in Airbus’s market share to a par with arch rival Boeing from just 18 percent.

This year, however, Airbus’s share of the two giants’ combined order tally has dropped to 35 percent as a rejuvenated Boeing management made advances in Singapore and elsewhere.

Airbus wins biggest jet order from Indigo Partners

Separately, the prospect of a deal to keep Airbus’s A380 superjumbo in production beyond the end of the decade remained in suspense, with main customer Emirates seeking guarantees on keeping production lines open.

“I think both sides will take stock and see if something can be agreed later this year,” an industry source told Reuters.]]>
11/15/2017 12:35:20 PM
<![CDATA[Asian stocks skid as oil woes sap sentiment, euro stands tall]]>
Spreadbetters tipped opening losses for Britain’s FTSE of 0.1 percent, a 0.25 percent decline for Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC is seen down 0.15 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.6 percent.

China’s Shanghai index was down 0.55 percent, Australian stocks dropped 0.6 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI shed 0.4 percent. Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.5 percent.

“The decline by U.S. equities led by energy shares is having a knock-on effect, dampening sentiment in sectors related to energy and industry,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management in Tokyo.

“Broadly speaking equities had enjoyed an almost uninterrupted run for the past few months, so we are seeing a bit of a correction finally emerging.”

Lifted by steady economic growth, supportive monetary policies and solid corporate earnings, global equities have rallied hard, with those in the United States, Germany and South Korea scaling record heights recently, while Japan’s Nikkei climbed a 26-year peak.

BofA Merrill Lynch’s November fund manager survey found that a record high 16 percent of respondents are taking above normal levels of risk in their investment.

“Icarus is flying ever closer to the sun,” said Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch.

All three major U.S. stock indexes dipped on Tuesday as an extended drop in crude oil prices hit energy shares and as General Electric plunged for a second straight day.

The euro stood little changed at $1.1787 after rising 1.1 percent overnight to a 2-1/2-week high of $1.1805 as data showed Germany’s economy shifted into a higher gear in the third quarter.

Pressured by the euro’s surge, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies lost about 0.7 percent overnight. It last stood flat at 93.870..

The greenback was 0.2 percent lower at 113.230 yen after pulling back from a high of 113.910 the previous day.

The yen as well as Japan’s equity and bond markets showed little reaction to Wednesday’s GDP data. Japan’s economy grew for the seventh straight quarter during the July-September period, although this was tempered somewhat as private consumption declined for the first time since the last quarter of 2015.

The immediate focus for the dollar, and a potential catalyst, was data on U.S. consumer prices due later in the global day.

Financial markets, which are betting the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates in December, will be looking for clues to gauge how many more rate increases could be in store next year.

Crude oil prices stretched losses, weighed by forecasts for rising U.S. crude output and a gloomier outlook for global demand growth in a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

U.S. crude futures were down 1.1 percent at $55.07 per barrel and on track for their fourth day of losses. Brent lost 1.3 percent to $61.42 per barrel.

With oil prices having slid steadily from 28-month highs scaled last week, commodity currencies came under pressure.

The Canadian dollar stood at C$1.2740 per dollar after weakening to a one-week low of C$1.2773 overnight.

The Australian dollar faced additional headwinds after Wednesday’s data showed the country’s wages did not rise as much as expected last quarter.

The Aussie fell about 0.7 percent to a four-month trough of $0.7576.

Shanghai nickel and zinc tumbled alongside steel, extending losses from the previous session, with the commodities still reeling after the previous day’s indicators pointed to slowing industrial production growth in China.

On Tuesday, a batch of data from China - Australia’s biggest export market - showed the economy cooled further last month, with industrial output, fixed asset investment and retail sales missing expectations.]]>
11/15/2017 12:28:12 PM
<![CDATA[Oil prices slide after IEA casts doubt over demand outlook]]>
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $61.61 per barrel at 0745 GMT, down 60 cents, or 1 percent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.14 per barrel, down 56 cents, or 1 percent.

The price falls mean that crude prices are now down by around 5 percent since hitting 2015 highs last week, ending a 40-percent rally between June and early November.

“Crude prices dropped dramatically after the IEA forecast a gloomy outlook for the near future ... The drop was arguably exacerbated by a global selloff in other commodities,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Tuesday cut its oil demand growth forecast by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) for this year and next, to an estimated 1.5 million bpd in 2017 and 1.3 million bpd in 2018.

“The oil market faces a difficult challenge in 1Q18 with supply expected to exceed demand by 600,000 bpd followed by another, smaller, surplus of 200,000 bpd in 2Q18,” the agency said.

The demand slowdown could mean world oil consumption may not, as many expect, breach 100 million bpd next year, while supplies are likely to exceed that level.

The IEA report countered the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which just a day earlier said 2018 would see a strong rise in oil demand.

Vijayakar said a reported increase in U.S. crude inventories was also weighing on prices.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 6.5 million barrels in the week to Nov. 10 to 461.8 million.

U.S. government inventory data is due later on Wednesday.

On the supply side, rising U.S. output also pressured prices.

U.S. oil production C-OUT-T-EIA has already increased by more than 14 percent since mid-2016 to 9.62 million bpd and is expected to grow further.

The IEA said non-OPEC production will add 1.4 million bpd of additional production in 2018.

The IEA’s outlook pressures OPEC to keep restraining output in order to defend crude prices, which its members rely on for revenue.

OPEC and some non-OPEC producers including Russia have been withholding production this year to end years of oversupply.

The deal expires in March 2018 but OPEC will meet on Nov. 30 to discuss policy, and it is expected to agree an extension of the cuts.

“Anything less than a full nine-month extension delivered at the Nov. 30 meeting could precipitate a sell-off,” U.S. bank Citi said.]]>
11/15/2017 12:23:48 PM
<![CDATA[Airbus in $40bn deal to sell 430 A320s to US firm: source]]>
The order includes A320neos and A321neos, the source said. Airbus declined to comment.

The deal is expected to be officially announced later Wednesday at the Dubai Air Show, they added. The aviation giant is expected to hold a press conference around 1000 GMT.

The order, believed to be the biggest ever for Airbus, will more than double the value of the airline's sales for the year.

The airline had announced orders for 288 planes as of the end of October.
It will also allow Airbus to overtake Boeing, with a total of 718 orders against its American rival's 605.

Indigo Partners is a US investment firm founded by Bill Franke that specialises in the lease of planes to low-cost airlines.

The A320neo and A321neo jets feature new generation engines that use 15 percent less fuel compared to their peers.

The deal marks a major coup for Airbus's Chief Operating Officer John Leahy, who is expected to leave the group soon at the end of a career in which he oversaw the sale of nearly 15,000 planes.]]>
11/15/2017 12:05:47 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's unemployment rate falls to 11.9 pct in Q3 2017: CAPMAS]]>
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has pledged to reduce joblessness to 10 percent over the next few years, a target that will require higher levels of economic growth.]]>
11/15/2017 11:42:37 AM
<![CDATA[Canada launches NAFTA challenge against U.S. lumber duties]]>
Canada is pursuing the challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement's Chapter 19 dispute settlement mechanism, which the United States wants to remove as part of talks to modernize the three-nation trade pact.

"We will forcefully defend Canada’s softwood lumber industry, including through litigation‎, which we are launching today," Canada's foreign ministry said in a statement. It called Washington's Nov. 2 decision to impose final duties on Canadian lumber exports as "unfair, unwarranted, and deeply troubling."

The U.S. Commerce Department accuses Canada of unfairly subsidizing and dumping softwood lumber, which is commonly used in the construction of homes. Canada denies it is dumping the lumber.

The decision to impose tariffs follows failed talks to end the decades-long lumber dispute between the two countries.]]>
11/15/2017 4:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[EgyptAir signs $1.1bln deal to buy 12 jets from Bombardier]]>
In a statement on Tuesday, EgyptAir said it will be able, under the agreement, to buy additional 12 planes from Bombardier during the period from 2020 till 2026.

Musallam appreciated the new partnership with Bombardier, saying that it comes as part of the Egyptian's airline efforts to expand its fleet.

Cromer said his incorporation seeks to sell 450 airplanes to Middle East countries during the coming 20 years. ]]>
11/15/2017 2:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Mauritania sign fishing agreement]]>
CEO of Dakahlia Poultry Co. Akmal el Hakk signed the deal from Egypt side, and Mohamed Ould al Khattari, CEO of Al Khattari company signed the deal from Mauritania side.

The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of the Mauritania's Livestock Investment Forum held in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian embassy in Cairo said in a statement.]]>
11/14/2017 10:01:39 PM
<![CDATA[Britain pledges protection for bankers from EU migration curbs]]>
Responding to industry concerns that it will be harder to recruit European staff after Britain leaves the European Union, Davis said the government's new immigration policy will aim to allow highly skilled workers to move around the continent.

For example, Davis told a conference of bankers in London, a bank should be able to temporarily move an employee to an office in Germany or a lawyer visit a client in Paris.

He said the government will introduce a new immigration bill next year setting out those plans in more detail.

Banks have expressed concern that a crackdown on immigration may hamper their ability to find staff with the right skills.

"Ensuring that the financial services sector can attract the talent it needs to thrive is also vital as we leave the EU," Davis said. "We want to ensure that our new partnership with the EU protects the mobility of workers and professionals."

The City of London, home to global foreign exchange, bonds and fund management operations and to more banks than any other financial centre, faces upheaval as firms decide whether to shift jobs to continental Europe to keep serving customers there after Britain leaves the EU in 2019.

"Its clear that Government understands the sector’s concerns surrounding Brexit, and we welcome that," City of London policy chair Catherine McGuinness said in a statement, adding "But we now need to see these words turned into action".

Davis said the government wants a trade pact with the EU in financial services that will ensure financial stability, consumer protection and honour the global regulatory rules adopted in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis.

Davis said he was "confident that in conversations about the future partnership we want with the EU, we will be able to achieve these objectives, together, and provide clarity and certainty to businesses working across Europe."]]>
11/14/2017 7:35:34 PM
<![CDATA[Damietta Port receives 8 vessels in 24 hours]]>
Three container vessels and three cargo ships have left the harbor.

Up to 18 vessels are anchored in the harbor platforms, in addition to 12 others docked at the anchorage area waiting for their entry procedures to be completed, the statement added.

Also, two trains loaded with 1,334 tons of wheat and 72 vehicles carrying 3,560 tons of wheat left the port, the statement read.

The port's grain silo is currently containing 158,996 tons of wheat along with 38,291 tons at the private sector's stores, according to the statement.]]>
11/14/2017 7:34:41 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD’s investments in Egypt to double to €1.5B by year-end ]]>
“Since the beginning of 2017, the EBRD has invested around €1.3 billion in Egypt in different sectors, of which 30 percent [were allocated] for public sector entities in areas [such as] transport, renewable energy, waste water, energy efficiency,” Heckman said in an interview on the sidelines of the EBRD regional business form held in Cairo Tuesday.

However, most of the EBRD work is in the private sector and “we are also doing a lot of work with the manufacturing and services’ sector this year,” she added.

“Egypt will be one of the top two countries of investment this year among all the countries where the EBRD is operating,” Heckman said.

Praising the economic reform program initiated last year, the EBRD senior official said: “The reform policies of the government over the past 18 months – cutting subsidies, floating the pound, issuing the New Investment Law, the Bankruptcy Law, and introducing the value added tax – these all helped investments which will definitely boost sustainable growth and creating jobs.”

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving investments by the Bank since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested €2.7 billion in 52 projects in the country.

The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services. The EBRD has also provided technical assistance to more than 600 SMEs in the country so far. ]]>
11/14/2017 4:40:46 PM
<![CDATA[Mediterrania Capital offers €15 to Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia SMEs]]>
Working with the EBRD, Mediterrania Capital will be able to make equity and quasi-equity investments in SMEs in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia to boost their competitiveness.

“The EBRD’s values of building market economies through businesses that are competitive, green, inclusive, resilient and well-governed are fully aligned with our goals as a private equity firm that seeks to deliver high returns to our investors and partners while helping SMEs grow and set the right foundations for the future,” CEO of Mediterrania Capital Albert Alsina said.

Mediterrania Capital will target core industries such as education, healthcare, finance, retail, telecommunications as well as transport and logistics, Alsina added.

Mediterrania Capital has invested in 17 companies in North Africa, which currently account for €1 billion in annual revenues and 7,000 employees combined.

The company plans to open a new office in Cairo under the management of EBRD’s senior country advisor for Egypt Khaled Saba said.]]>
11/14/2017 3:41:26 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD promotes Egypt's international trade with $10M loan to ABK-Egypt]]>
The EBRD’s TFP supports foreign trade to, from and within the Bank’s countries of operations, including Egypt, the international lender said in a statement following the signing.

Through the facility, the EBRD provides guarantees in favor of international commercial banks covering the commercial payment risk of the transactions undertaken by ABK-Egypt which is now one of the 11 issuing banks under the TFP in Egypt.

Also, the EBRD will also offer additional limits and longer tenors for guarantee transactions that are predicted to be used mainly for the import of machinery and equipment.

Commenting on the signing of the trade facility, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are very pleased to welcome ABK-Egypt to our Trade Facilitation Programme, which will allow the bank to better meet the trade finance needs of its clients and enhance trade, thus contributing to the country’s overall economic growth.”

Khaled El Salawy, CEO and Managing Director of ABK-Egypt, said: “Capitalizing on our vast experience in trade finance and our large network of global correspondent banks, this cooperation with the EBRD will allow ABK-Egypt to further expand its trade finance operations to new untapped areas.

Such valuable partnerships support the bank in pursuing its proactive strategy to provide innovative trade finance solutions that meet our clients’ needs and help them grow their business.”

Running since 1999, the EBRD’s TFP currently includes over 100 partner banks in 28 countries where the bank invests and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.

Since 2012 to date, Egypt which is a founding member of the EBRD, has been receiving investments worth €3 billion in 66 projects in the country.

The EBRD’s investments focus on financial sector, agribusiness, and manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services.]]>
11/14/2017 3:09:30 PM
<![CDATA[QNB AlAHLI obtains $20M from EBRD for women entrepreneurs]]>
Through this loan, QNB AlAHLI will provide business advice, training and support for women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses, as part of the EBRD’s new Egypt Women in Business program.

QNB ALAHLI and other local banks will have access to EBRD’s technical cooperation program to develop a better understanding and financial services tailored to the needs of women-led SMEs.

“We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with EBRD aiming for the same goals and priorities in helping women entrepreneurs and further supporting the women in the Egyptian labour market and encouraging them to participate in the ownership, management and development of various projects and help them to find the tools necessary to meet the challenges of the labour market,” Chairman of QNB ALAHLI Mohamed El Dib said.
]]>
11/14/2017 3:00:06 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD boosts trade in Egypt with $20M facility to EGBANK]]>
The trade finance line will allow EGBANK to issue guarantees in favor of international commercial banks, covering the commercial payment risk of the transactions undertaken by EGBANK, the international lender said in a statement following the signing.

As per the deal, the EBRD will also provide cash financing for pre-export and post-import financing.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti, said: “We are very pleased to team up with EGBANK and welcome it to our Trade Facilitation Programme."

Chakrabarti added that this facility will bolster cross-border trade in the country, reaching out to Egyptian exporters and importers, in addition to contributing to overall economic growth.

EGBANK CEO and Managing Director, Nidal Assar, said: “We are honored and appreciative of the cooperation with the EBRD that aims to foster our trade finance business; fulfilling the needs of our clients and giving us the opportunity to expand our investments in major lucrative markets.”

This trade finance facility, will accompany technical capacity building to EGBANK including advisory services, e-learning programmes, and interactive workshops to transfer know-how and share best practices in trade finance.

Since 2012 to date, Egypt which is a founding member of the EBRD, has been receiving investments worth €3 billion in 66 projects in the country.

The EBRD’s investments focus on financial sector, agribusiness, and manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services.]]>
11/14/2017 2:53:39 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD, EIB directs $30M to green economy in Egypt through ALEXBANK]]>
Under the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), the EBRD is financing $15 million to the program, while the EIB is completing at a later stage the rest of the package. On the other hand, ALEXBANK can lend private companies working in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The new agreement is deemed the third deal under the GEFF, which is supported by a €23.3 million grant offered by the European Union Neighborhood Investment Facility.

“Comprehensive technical assistance will provide support to ALEXBANK in the design of business development tools and the successful implementation of the energy-efficiency and small-scale renewable energy facility,” EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said.

The €23-million in grants provided by the EU are to help dismantle barriers that the private sector faces and that prevent financial institutions, strategic investors and project managers from operating actively and efficiently in financing, EU Ambassador to Egypt Ivan Surkoš said.

“Through this initiative we aim to help save energy and reduce harmful emissions in line with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach and with ALEXBANK’s strategy to favour sustainable and environmentally friendly development of the Egyptian economy,” CEO of ALEXBANK Dante Campioni said.]]>
11/14/2017 2:33:47 PM
<![CDATA[ $75M from EBRD to Banque Misr to finance Egyptian SMEs]]>
SMEs account for over 90 percent of enterprises in Egypt and contribute to the majority of total employment in the country.

The EBRD credit line to Banque Misr will enable Egypt's second largest public bank to increase its funding for SMEs by reaching out to new clients and regions outside the Greater Cairo region and Alexandria, the international lender said in a statement after the signing.

Sir Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD’s president, said: “We are very pleased to partner with Banque Misr, a key strategic player in helping to develop the SME sector in Egypt."
"Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and increasing the availability of finance for this sector will contribute towards making the country’s economy more competitive and resilient,” he added.

Mohamed El Etreby, chairman of Banque Misr, said: “The cooperation between Banque Misr and the EBRD will support our strong objective to sustain the development of Egyptian SMEs, providing them with the financial resources to expand their businesses.

Developing SMEs is key for the country as it provides much-needed job opportunities and contributes to the country’s overall economic growth.”

As per the agreement, the EBRD will provide a technical assistance package to support Banque Misr to strengthen its skillsets and competitiveness in SME lending.
Since 2012 to date, Egypt which is a founding member of the EBRD, has been receiving investments worth €3 billion in 66 projects in the country.

The EBRD’s investments focus on financial sector, agribusiness, and manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services.]]>
11/14/2017 2:06:35 PM
<![CDATA[58,000 tons of Russian wheat arrive at Safaga port]]>
In a statement, Youssef noted that the port also received three ships, carrying 287 passengers, 119 trucks and five cars.Meanwhile, 'Clibber New York' vessel with 10,000 tons of Quartz on board, and two ships carrying 188 passengers, 68 trucks and 16 cars left the port, Youssef added.

Nuweiba Port received a ship carrying 168 passengers, nine coolers and three trucks while two ships left it with 55 passengers, 26 coolers and 29 trucks on board, Youssef further said
]]>
11/14/2017 1:47:15 PM
<![CDATA[MSMEDA to launch online platform for SMEs]]>
Speaking at the opening session of Global Entrepreneurs Week Forum, Gamea said that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) create 75 percent of job opportunities in Egypt.

On April 24, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail issued a decree to merge the SFD with the MSMEDA to become one entity, working to upgrade and develop the SMEs sector by offering financial and non-financial services.

The agency will also be coordinating with all SMEs entities and initiatives to make sure these calls are implemented.

In a previous interview, Gamea told Egypt Today that MSMEDA will launch new training programs that will develop skills of project founders. There are four programs certified by the International Labour Organization (ILO).
]]>
11/14/2017 1:45:48 PM
<![CDATA[PM, Denmark's A.P. Moller CEO discuss investment in Egypt]]>
During the meeting, Fejfer said his company seeks to boost cooperation with Egypt in the coming period, noting that Egypt is among the 10 countries in which the company will beef up its investments in the coming period.

He underlined his company's readiness to participate in carrying out infrastructure projects in the transport and energy sectors.

For his part, Ismail said that the government gave top priority to create a conducive climate for investment in all fields in the country.

The company could invest in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, the Golden Triangle project and power projects, including new and renewable energy sources, Ismail added.]]>
11/14/2017 1:43:58 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD lends Arab African International Bank $30M to boost Egypt SMEs]]>
The SME credit line will help AAIB to further expand its SME lending and will contribute to increased access to finance for small businesses in Egypt, the lender said in a statement after the signing.

Expressing his pleasure to support Egypt's SMEs, EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti, said "supporting private SMEs in Egypt is one of our main priorities as they play a key role in economic growth."

While SMEs shape around 90 percent of all firms in Egypt and provide the majority of jobs, their access to finance remains a challenge.

“We are very pleased to expand our SME financing in Egypt via AAIB, with whom we are partnering for the first time," he added.

There is a consensus that supporting SMEs is a priority for Egypt’s socio-economic growth, yet there is also an urgent need to understand and meet the specific requirements of this segment, Hassan Abdalla, vice president and managing director of AAIB, said.

“The new SME funding facility extended to the Arab African International Bank by the EBRD will create powerful synergies and will enable AAIB to support SMEs with the same customized solutions that have distinguished our support for corporate clients over half a century," Abdalla added.

Since 2012 to date, Egypt which is a founding member of the EBRD, has been receiving investments worth €3 billion in 66 projects in the country.

The EBRD’s investments focus on financial sector, agribusiness, and manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services.]]>
11/14/2017 1:40:16 PM
<![CDATA[German economy expands 0.8% in third quarter]]>
Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 0.8 percent between July and September compared with the previous quarter, adjusted for seasonal swings, the statistics office Destatis said in a statement."German economic growth continues at a high rate," it said.

The preliminary figure beat expectations, as analysts surveyed by Factset had forecast 0.6 percent growth. "Exports were stronger than imports in the third quarter. As a result, net exports had a positive impact on the GDP compared to the previous quarter," according to Destatis.

Government and consumer spending "remained rather stable" in the third quarter, it added, while noting that investments had increased, particularly "in machinery and equipment".

Destatis also revised upwards its first-quarter figure, saying the German economy accelerated by 0.9 percent in the first three months of 2017 instead of the earlier reported 0.7 percent.

Second-quarter growth was confirmed at 0.6 percent. The German government last month sharply upgraded its full-year growth forecast to 2.0 percent, up from 1.5 percent previously. For 2018, it is pencilling in growth of 1.9 percent.

Europe's largest economy has in recent years been powered by strong domestic demand, boosted by record low unemployment, low inflation and low energy prices.

But the economy ministry expects domestic consumption to slow down in coming years, while buoyant foreign demand for "made in Germany" goods is once again expected to become the main driver of growth. Exports are forecast to rise by 3.5 percent this year and 4.0 percent in 2018, according to the ministry.]]>
11/14/2017 1:32:26 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate stable at Egypt's banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate stood at LE17.58 for buying and LE17.68 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire and the Bank of Alexandria.

At the Commercial International Bank (CIB) the dollar rate recorded LE17.56 for buying and LE17.66 for selling, while at the Arab African International Bank, it recorded LE17.59 for buying and LE17.69 for selling.

At the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, it recorded LE17.61 for buying and LE17.71 for selling.

]]>
11/14/2017 12:51:51 PM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt profits hit LE 3.547B in nine months]]>
The company posted consolidated net profits of LE3.547 billion, versus net profits of LE3.181 billion in the same period a year ago.

Moreover, it posted net revenues amounting to LE13.261 billion during the same period compared with LE9.657 billion during the same period a year ago, recording a 37 percent increase.
]]>
11/14/2017 12:49:57 PM
<![CDATA[UK’s Aggreko committed to providing solutions to oil, gas fields]]>
Speaking to Egypt Today on the sidelines of their presentation at the British Embassy in Cairo, Marzouk said this project would cost $1.5 million per year and it will use the gas in operating power plants.

Aggreko’s presentation was attended by British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson, chairman of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) Abed Ezz El-Regal and chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).

Commenting on that, Casson said that UK investors are always looking for new ways to support the Egyptian economy and reaffirm its commitment to be Egypt’s number one partner.

Aggreko has a project to use flare gas that comes from oil and gas projects, which will later help decrease depending on diesel.

This project increases cooperation between Egypt and the UK, “as it represents that the UK is committed to providing needed technologies to strategic sectors especially in the oil and gas sector,” Casson said. He further noted that the project represents more investment, creates more job opporunities and more exports.

“Oil and gas is a growth sector for Egypt and is deemed an industrial sector that we have supported for many decades…we will showcase capabilities in diesel and gas-generated power,” area general manager of Aggreko said.

Reviewing Egyptian-British economic relationship, Casson said that the UK has increased its focus on Egypt over the past few months, most notably through joint business delegations.]]>
11/14/2017 12:47:21 PM
<![CDATA[Amazon to sell China cloud services unit in $300 million deal]]>
Sinnet, which began operating the Amazon services in August 2016, said in a filing late on Monday the pending purchase would help the unit “comply with local laws and regulations and further improve service quality and security.” Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday morning.

Chinese regulators are tightening rules on foreign data and cloud services, including new surveillance measures and increased scrutiny of cross-border data transfers. In August Sinnet told customers it would begin shutting down VPNs and other services on its networks that allow users to circumvent China’s Great Firewall, citing direct instructions from the government.

The changes are linked to new national cyber laws that came into effect in 2017, which make network providers liable for content deemed dangerous or offensive to “socialist values”. In 2013 Amazon’s web services business signed agreements with provincial governments in China, and has previously worked with some of China’s largest tech firms including Xiaomi Inc, Qihoo 360 Technology Co Ltd and Kingsoft Corp Ltd.

Cloud services have become a crowded and competitive field in China in recent years, with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s cloud unit opening over a dozen overseas data centers since 2016.]]>
11/14/2017 10:43:37 AM
<![CDATA[Asia stocks subdued as China data disappoints]]>
China’s retail sales rose 10 percent on the year in October, while industrial output grew 6.2 percent. Both came in under market forecasts and briefly hit the Australian dollar, which is often used as a liquid proxy for China wagers.

The immediate damage was limited in stocks with the blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 off 0.4 percent and EMini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 down 0.1 percent.MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dipped 0.17 percent after two sessions of declines, while Australia fell 0.9 percent.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 managed to recoup 0.4 percent after four sessions of losses, but spreadbetters pointed to softer starts for the main European bourses.Investors were waiting for any signs of compromise on U.S. tax policy after U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday unveiled a plan that would cut corporate taxes a year later than a rival House of Representatives’ bill.

Also on the menu are no fewer than 13 central bank speakers, including the heads of the U.S., European, British and Japanese central banks.On Wall Street, a sharp drop in General Electric shares was offset by gains in high dividend-paying sectors including consumer staples and utilities.

The Dow .DJI rose 0.07 percent, while the S&P 500 .SPX added 0.10 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC 0.1 percent.General Electric (GE.N) slashed its dividend by 50 percent and cut its profit forecast while unveiling a plan that narrowed its focus on aviation, power and healthcare.

Currency markets were mostly quiet, with the dollar barely changed against a basket of counterparts at 94.488 .DXY. The euro EUR= was up a slim 0.05 percent at $1.1671. Sterling hovered at $1.3117 GBP=, having fallen as far as $1.3063 on Monday amid concerns British Prime Minister Theresa May was losing her grip on power.

May’s blueprint for Britain’s departure from the EU faces a crucial test starting on Tuesday, when lawmakers try to win concessions on legislation to sever ties.The dollar was steady at 113.67 yen JPY= after bouncing from 113.25 support overnight.

EYING THE YIELD CURVE

A rise in U.S. bond yields has generally made it more attractive to buy dollars with money borrowed in low-rate currencies like the yen and Swiss franc.Figures out on Monday from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed the speculative net short position in the Japanese yen had blown out to the largest since January 2014 and in the Swiss franc to the biggest since December 2016.

Yields on Treasury two-year notes US2YT=RR hit a fresh nine-year high on Monday, shrinking the spread to 10-year debt to near its smallest since 2007. The trend in part reflects market wagers the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plans to raise rates in December and two or three times next year will prove all too successful in restraining inflation by ultimately slowing the economy.

Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, noted that a glance at history suggested a flatter, and particularly an inverted, yield curve was “compelling as an early warning sign” of recession.

However, history also showed that the average amount of time it took the curve to go from flat to inverted was 18 months and the average time to go from inverted to recession was 18 months. “So even if we take the inverted curve as gospel, it suggests the expansion still has multiple years in it,” said Porcelli.

In commodity markets, gold XAU= was steady at $1,276.50 an ounce. The metal has stayed broadly within $15 an ounce of its 100-day moving average, currently at $1,277 an ounce, for most of the last month. Oil prices held in a tight range as support from Middle East tensions and record long bets by fund managers balanced rising U.S. production. U.S. crude CLc1 was off 14 cents at $56.62, while Brent crude futures LCOc1 eased 21 cents to $62.95 a barrel.]]>
11/14/2017 10:39:51 AM
<![CDATA[SoftBank says considering investment in Uber but no final agreement reached]]>
“If conditions on share price and a minimum of shares are not satisfactory for the SoftBank Group side, there is a possibility the SoftBank Group may not make an investment,” it said in a statement.

Uber said this week that a planned deal with SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group was moving forward. The investment could be worth up to $10 billion, two people familiar with the matter have said..

SoftBank and Dragoneer are leading a consortium that plans to invest $1 billion to $1.25 billion in Uber, the mostly highly valued venture-backed company in the world, along with a purchase of up to 17 percent of existing shares in a secondary transaction.

Progress in the negotiations came after venture capital firm Benchmark, an early investor with a board seat in the ride-services company, and former Chief Executive Travis Kalanick struck a peace deal, reaching agreement over terms of the planned SoftBank (9984.T) investment.

The Japanese tech and telecoms firm has become a prolific investor in ride sharing firms such as China’s Didi and India’s Ola as it works to achieve SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son’s vision of a future driven by artificial intelligence and interconnected devices.
]]>
11/14/2017 10:36:12 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling steadies before Brexit debate, U.S. yields prop up dollar]]>
The Brexit bill will be debated on Tuesday and Wednesday, with as many as 40 of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative lawmakers prepared to support a no-confidence motion against her, according to the Sunday Times newspaper.

Also in focus, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and Bank of England head Mark Carney will form a panel on central bank communication at the ECB-hosted conference in Frankfurt later on Tuesday.

“Major currencies have consolidated in ranges today, but something could emerge at the ECB conference later in the day,” said Keiko Ninomiya, senior FX market analyst at SMBC Trust Bank in Tokyo. The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was steady on the day at 94.486.

Against its Japanese counterpart, the dollar inched slightly higher to 113.66 yen, but remained below its eight-month high of 114.735 hit last week. “The dollar is getting support from U.S. yields, but I am actually surprised that it did not go higher, so perhaps the correlation between yields and the dollar is breaking down,” said Masashi Murata, currency strategist for Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.

“But with the Fed expected to hike rates in December, the dollar could go higher” in the coming weeks, he said. The yield on two-year U.S. Treasury notes scaled a nine-year peak on Monday, as the yield curve resumed its flattening and investors priced in a 25-basis-point interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month. [US/]

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.407 percent from its U.S. close on Monday of 2.400 percent. It was at 2.304 percent as early as Nov. 8. The euro inched up 0.1 percent to $1.1672, holding well above last week’s a 3-1/2-month low of $1.1553.

The New Zealand dollar was the biggest mover in the Asian session, skidding 0.6 percent to $0.6863 and on track for its fourth session of losses. It moved back toward its Oct. 27 low of $0.6818, which matched a low logged in May.

The kiwi had risen as high as $0.6980 last week, as the Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised its inflation forecasts in response to the fall in the currency and to the Labour government’s plans for more spending. The latest median projection of 48 analysts called for the kiwi to stand at $0.7000 in one month, down from $0.7200 in the previous poll.

The Australian dollar rose 0.1 percent to $0.7632, managing to mostly shrug off downbeat Chinese economic data after the latest survey of businesses from NAB showed the best conditions in two decades, with sales and profits surging in October.

The Aussie is sensitive to Chinese data as it is often used as a proxy for that country because of Australia’s major trade exposure. China’s retail sales rose 10 percent on the year in October, while industrial output grew 6.2 percent, both missing expectations as the government extended a crackdown on debt risks and factory pollution.]]>
11/14/2017 10:32:35 AM
<![CDATA[German economy powers on as trade, investments drive third quarter growth]]>
Seasonally adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.8 percent on the quarter, stronger than the consensus forecast of in a Reuters poll of 0.6 percent, which was also the second quarter growth rate.

“The upswing continues and it’s broad-based,” Sal. Oppenheim economist Ulrike Kastens said, noting that companies were also contributing to the expansion by stepping up investments. The German economy grew by 2.3 percent on the year in the third quarter, unadjusted data showed. This was in line with a consensus forecast.

Adjusted for calendar affects, the yearly growth rate rose to 2.8 percent in the July-September period from 2.3 percent in the previous quarter, the office said. This was the strongest reading since the beginning of 2014.

The Federal Statistics Office also revised up the quarterly growth rate for the first quarter to 0.9 percent from 0.7 percent. “This makes an upward revision for overall growth estimates likely,” DekaBank analyst Andreas Scheuerle said. The Office said positive impulses for growth in the third quarter came mainly from net foreign trade as exports increased more strongly than imports.

“While state and household consumption remained roughly on the previous quarter’s level, gross capital investments contributed to overall growth,” the office said. “Especially investments in equipment rose on the quarter.”

BOOST FOR MERKEL

The figures will make welcome reading for Chancellor Angela Merkel as her conservative bloc tries to forge a three-way coalition government with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) and the left-leaning Greens, an alliance untested on a national level.

“As firms are now investing more, this will also increase productivity,” DZ BanK analyst Michael Holstein said. “This can also lead to stronger pay hikes - the upswing is entering a new phase.” But the upswing in Europe’s biggest economy has yet to start pushing up inflation on a sustained basis.

EU-harmonised consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent in October from the previous month, separate data from the Statistics Office showed. The annual inflation rate fell to 1.5 percent from 1.8 percent in September, dropping further below the European Central Bank’s target of nearly 2 percent despite its unprecedented monetary stimulus program.]]>
11/14/2017 10:24:51 AM
<![CDATA[Financing Climate Protection]]>
Convened under the presidency of Fiji, the conference is an international opportunity for governments to assess progress in implementing the convention and, more broadly, dealing with climate change. It is also an important occasion for international financial institutions to present their efforts in support of climate action worldwide.

Business Today speaks with Jesper Persson, the head of Trust Funds and Blending at the EIB, to shed some light on the EIB’s technical assistance to climate action related projects ahead of the COP23.

The EIB has been actively present during past Conferences of the Parties (COPs); what is the bank’s role in climate action?

The EIB is the largest multilateral provider of climate finance worldwide and commits a high percentage of its lending portfolio to climaterelated projects. In 2016, the bank provided over €19.5 billion to help mitigate climate change and adapt to its impact.

The EIB climate finance included providing crucial financing and sharing technical experience and environmental expertise for projects both, across Europe and around the world; in Africa, Asia, Latin America and in Europe’s eastern neighbors. The objective of the bank’s operations in the Neighbourhood countries, where we operate under the European Union’s External Lending Mandate 2014-2020, is to support the economic growth of the region and improve their economic resilience by investing in the socioeconomic infrastructure and supporting private sector development. Climate action is a key priority for the European Union’s long term lending institution. In 2016, the bank provided finance of €1.6 billion in the region, of which 27% went to climate action projects.

Do you think the Mediterranean region needs climate-action projects?

Climate change is already severely impacting the region. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2014 report predicts that this is likely to worsen—most of the MENA region is expected to become hotter and drier. Increasing temperatures and reduced or more erratic precipitation will increase evapotranspiration and the occurrence of droughts, an effect that is already materializing in the western part of North Africa.

There is a high probability that by 2025, 80 to 100 million people will be exposed to water shortages as climate change puts more pressure on already over exploited surface and groundwater resources. Other climate related hazards, such as prolonged heat waves, will affect well being and health conditions, particularly in densely populated urban areas. The region is also expected to be hit by more severe and frequent extreme events, including intense precipitation and flooding, with potentially serious impacts in terms of economic losses and human fatalities.

The effects of water scarcity and other hazards on food security will also result in lower economic indicators and human welfare. Increasing resilience to climate change by investing in adaptation and strengthening adaptive capacities at all levels is therefore a key priority, both for the Mediterranean countries’ governments and for their international partners. Mediterranean countries can also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, both in the region and in neighboring areas. By harnessing their significant and largely untapped renewable energy sources, like solar energy, Mediterranean countries can increase the use of renewables both locally and in adjacent regions. This will have positive economic returns, particularly if it goes hand in hand with strengthened integration of national and regional energy markets, energy subsidy reforms and increased efforts in energy efficiency.

The EIB financed many projects in the renewable energy sector, including the Gulf of Suez wind farm in Egypt, Ouarzazate solar energy complex in Morocco and Tafila wind farm in Jordan.

Do you do project generation through technical assistance?

The bank has been a leading international finance institution in the EU’s Southern Partners for more than 30 years. Our technical advisory and financial support for Mediterranean Partner countries has been intensified through the use of the Facility for Euro Mediterranean Investment and Partnership Trust Fund as a key instrument within the region. Successful cooperation between the EIB and partner countries in the MENA region is based on well established relationships with host governments, the bank’s due diligence and safe-guarding procedures.

In the field of climate change, the EIB is managing CAMENA, a climate action envelope managed by the EIB within the FEMIP Trust Fund. In addition, the EIB has recently received the first pledge to the Luxembourg EIB Climate Finance Platform. a trust fund aiming to mobilize and support invest- ment by the private sector in international climate finance, focusing on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The first pledge to the LCFP was made by Luxembourg and amounts to €30 million.

Can you elaborate more on CAMENA?

The purpose of CAMENA is to help Mediterranean Partner Countries to fight climate change by providing grants targeted at specific climate initiatives, that includes identifying, catalyzing and preparing climate action investment projects, which could subsequently benefit from EIB financing; funding actions to improve the enabling environment in relation to climate investments among public and private institutions within the Mediterranean Partner Countries Grant support; and technical assistance. The CAMENA envelope was created on the initiative and with the support of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), which contributed GBP 15 million for a four-year period (2015-2018).

Why is technical assistance important?

Technical assistance is important because it prepares and complements other EIB’s function of lending. It supports climate risk and vulnerability assessments, feasibility studies, environmental and social impact assessment studies and targeted capacity-building activities.

Where does it operate? What are the priority sectors?

CAMENA projects in Algeria, Egypt, Gaza/West Bank, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia are eligible for support. Cross-border or regional projects are also welcome. It covers a wide range of sectors, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport, solid waste, sustain- able urban development, forestry and land use, adaptation activities in all sectors.

How does it work?

Public authorities and other project promoters can submit a proposal for a CAMENA project within the remit of the FEMIP Trust Fund. The EIB’s management committee approves FEMIP Trust Fund operations, including those to be financed from the CAMENA envelope prior to their submission to the FEMIP Trust Fund Assembly of Donors for a financing decision. Operations are developed by the EIB, using either in-house expertise or external consultants.

Tell us about the operations you have financed.

So far, CAMENA has provided grant support for five operations with a total value of around €1.8 million; among these operations is the Alexandria West Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Extension and Upgrade in Egypt. Its main objective of this operation is to prepare a technical, economic, financial, environmental and social feasibility study for upgrading and extending the Alexandria West WWTP to serve the needs of the plant’s catchment areas up to the year 2050.

The overall goal of the project of which this contract will be a part is to contribute toward an efficient and sustainable water resources management in Egypt as well as to the Egyptian climate protection efforts. The project will contribute to the environmental sound disposal and utilization of effluent and sludge, as well as energetically optimized and environmentally sound sludge treatment.

On a regional scale, this project will support the depollution of Lake Maryut and the Mediterranean Sea and provide an additional source of water, thus improving the economic situation for fishery, agriculture and forestry and tourism in the area. Also, this project will improve the health and environmental situation of people living in Alexandria.

Can you elaborate on the Alexandria operation?

The proposed technical assistance consists of the elaboration of a feasibility study for the capacity and type of treatment extension of the Alexandria WWTP. More specifically, the technical, economic, financial, social and environmental feasibility of the following measures will need to be determined: Rehabilitation of the existing plant facilities where required; increase of the design capacity of the WWTP; upgrade of the current primary waste- water treatment to secondary wastewater treatment; upgrade of the current sludge dewatering treatment to sludge digestion with energy generation. This will include advice on social and governance issues which need to be addressed to ensure its sustainability. It will also advise on the climate change adaptation and mitigation aspects of the investment while ensuring the investments are
resilient.

The planned extension of the WWTP with sludge digesters and the subsequent generation of electricity from the bio-gas should reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by producing electricity necessary for the operation of the WWTP. This will reduce the net energy consumption of the upgraded WWTP and reduce the impact on climate change. The reuse of treated wastewater can provide an additional source of water to a water scarce country, e.g. for agriculture or forestry (commercially or as protection against the Saharan dust), and thus mitigate the impact climate change has on the area.

Who will benefit from the operation and who is the promoter?

The promoter is the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities. The assignment is managed by the project management unit within the ministry, supported by the Construction Authority for Water and Wastewater, in cooperation with the Alexandria Sanitary Drainage Company. ASDC is the final beneficiary of the project.]]>
11/14/2017 8:10:00 AM
<![CDATA[Minister says investment environment in Egypt “promising”]]>
Arafat made the remarks in a meeting with Danish Ambassador to Egypt Susanne Shine and a delegation of the Danish IB Mueller Capital Company.

Addressing the Danish officials on the investment opportunities in Egypt, the minister stressed that there are great ones in the transport sector.

The ministry is keen on renewing the infrastructure of the current railway networks, Arafat told the Danish officials.

Shine, for her part, hailed the measures adopted by the Egyptian government to the investment environment in Egypt as well as the significant development in the Egyptian transport sector.]]>
11/13/2017 5:40:39 PM
<![CDATA[Bahrain pipeline re-opens after 'vandalism': Aramco]]>
"Operations in the pipeline between the Dhahran pumping station and the Bapco refinery, in the Kingdom of Bahrain, have resumed," the official Saudi SPA news agency quoted the oil giant as saying.

Saudi Aramco linked the fire to "vandalism".

Bahrain blamed a "terrorist" act for Saturday's fire near the capital Manama, and Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa accused Iran of responsibility.-

A spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry rejected the accusation.

Bahrain, a Shiite-majority kingdom ruled by a Sunni dynasty, has seen sporadic violence since the repression in 2011 of a protest movement demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Authorities have increasingly tightened their grip on dissent, jailing hundreds of protesters and stripping a string of high-profile activists and clerics of citizenship.

The government denies it discriminates against Shiites and accuses neighbouring Iran, the predominant Shiite power and main rival of regional powerbroker Saudi Arabia, of stirring up tensions.

Tehran refutes the accusation.

Bahrain relies on its Abu Safa field, which it shares with neighbouring Saudi Arabia, for much of its oil, pumped in via a 230,000-barrel-per-day pipeline.

The kingdom is a key ally of the United States and home to Washington's Fifth Fleet.]]>
11/13/2017 5:26:56 PM
<![CDATA[Average yields on Egypt's 3- and 7-year T-bonds rise]]>
The average yield on the three-year bonds rose to 15.874 percent on Monday from 15.578 percent at the last auction, on Oct. 30. The average seven-year bond yield rose to 15.955 percent from 15.600 percent.

Appetite for Egypt’s domestic debt has increased since November 2016, when the central bank floated the pound currency. Since then, Egypt has raised key interest rates by 700 basis points. ]]>
11/13/2017 4:34:19 PM
<![CDATA[Interia launches LE 20B new phase of Jefaira]]>
In a press conference, the company announced that the project will stretch over 1,300 acres, creating 3,000 direct job opportunities and 20,000 indirect jobs during the construction phase.

Jefaira will construct 10 residential neighborhoods as Inertia expects around 25-30 percent of the project to be year-long inhabited.

Established in 2009, Egyptian leading real estate company Inertia Holding Group overcame current market economic challenges and commences developing its projects in unconventional and new parts of the country, offering their consumers a practical affordable end-product.

Following the delivery of over eight projects across the country, the company seeks to expand its portfolio of project as it plans to further focus on the local market, meeting the requirements of increasing demands.

Chairman at Inertia Holding Group Hussein Rifai told Business Today Magazine in a previous interview that they are working on a medical complex that will be delivered in 2019, located in 6th of October behind Dar El Fouad Hospital that is also part of a mix-development project set to include commercial and office units.

Other projects include a mixed-use development in Joulz, which comprises of four residential phases containing commercial units, retail, offices, and medical unit.

]]>
11/13/2017 4:10:11 PM
<![CDATA[EGX indices decline Monday on foreign sales]]>
Benchmark index EGX30 inched down 1.03 percent to stand at 14,123 points. The small and mid-cap index EGX70 declined percent to end at 767.7 points and the broader index EGX100 also leveled down 0.88 percent to close at 1,743.7 points.

Market capitalization slumped LE 7 billion to record LE 779.114 billion, compared to LE 786.159 billion in the last session Thursday.

Egyptian and foreign institutions sold at LE 6.3 million and LE 51.5 million respectively, while Arab, foreign and Egyptian individuals as well as Arab institutions were net buyers at LE 23.7 million, LE 14.2 million, LE 11.4 million and LE 8.3 million respectively.

Shares of 35 companies recorded increases, while 126 others saw declines. Meanwhile, shares of 31 firms remained unchanged.
]]>
11/13/2017 3:29:56 PM
<![CDATA[TMG to launch New Admin units in 3 months]]>
Speaking at an economic conference organized by Akhbar Al Youm Establishment, Moustafa said that his company is studying increasing its land plots in the New Administrative Capital.

TMG obtained land plots in the mega project offered by the government developers and investors earlier this year along with the Arab Contractors and Concord for Engineering and Contracting Company.

Moustafa also stressed that he has not undertaken several projects with Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal or his company Kingdom Holding Company.

In August, Al-Waleed bin Talal pledged new investments in the hotel sector in Egypt as he announced a cooperation deal with TMG, which carries a total investment volume that exceeds $800 million that will be injected into the hotel sector.

TMG achieved a 72-percent leap in net profit in nine months, registering LE 1.06 billion ($60 million). The company said that the figure is compared to LE 616.4 million posted in the first nine months of 2016.

Business tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa was reappointed CEO of TMG in June, after spending 17 years in prison, 15 of which were due to charges of inciting the murder of his lover, Lebanese signer Suzanne Tamim in 2008. ]]>
11/13/2017 3:11:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt sells €692.9M in euro-denominated T-bills auction: CBE]]>
The average yield for the bills, which mature on Nov. 13 2018, was 1.499 percent.

Appetite for Egypt’s domestic debt has grown since the central bank floated the pound currency in November 2016 as part of a deal for a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. ]]>
11/13/2017 3:11:32 PM
<![CDATA[Molla presents Egypt energy strategy in ADIPEC 2017]]>
Molla attended the Ministerial Panel: Creating energy opportunity through foresight, vision, inspiration and innovation, during which he reviewed Egypt's energy strategy, challenges and available opportunities.

Molla pointed out that the strategy depends on several axes that aim to minimize the gap between production and consumption.

Egypt's strategy includes luring new investments in the research and development fields, as well as upgrading infrastructure of petroleum and gas in addition to diversification of energy resources so as to make Egypt a regional hub for gas and row oil trading, Molla noted.

He also stressed that the Egyptian government is concerned about developing the youths' abilities within the framework of the sector's strategy for developing human resources.

tags:]]>
11/13/2017 3:09:56 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt needs more housing units to cope with population increase]]>
Speaking at an economic conference organized by Akhbar Al Youm Establishment, Madbouly noted that the government is working to build 13 new cities, in addition to 25 new cities built over the past few years.

"It is not possible to live on only 7 percent of Egypt's space when we are 100 million citizens," Madbouly added.

Egypt needs 30 million extra residential units by 2052 to accommodate the population increase, Minister of Local Development Hisham El Sherif said.

Sherif noted that Egypt is shifting towards decentralization, as it introduces more vital services in governorates.

"We don't need dominant market players, we need around 20 real estate development countries," Sherif added.

Madbouly furthered that the housing sector has employed 3-4 million over the past three years. "This sector is linked to 90 other industries," Madbouly said.

The housing sector was able to receive the big numbers of workers, who returned back from other Arab countries after the economic turbulence in the region.

Speaking at the same conference, chairman of Talaat Moustafa Group, Hisham Talaat Moustafa, asked for a 2-percent tax on companies working in the real estate sector.

"This tax can later be put in a sovereign fund to support low-income people and finance the budget deficit," Moustafa said; expecting the tax to collect over LE 35 billion.]]>
11/13/2017 2:24:01 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian delegation visits Germany for automotive sector]]>
The delegation targets meeting a number of players in the car assembling industry, in addition to market players such as Volkswagen, BMW, Siemens and MAN, "with the aim of increasing their supplies to Egypt and transferring their latest technologies;" the council said in a Monday statement.

A number of 10 companies are taking part in the mission, putting certain topics on their agenda such as manufacturing car components in Egypt, the New Investment Law, the competitive advantage of the country's industrial sector and export opportunities to countries that Egypt signed free trade agreements with.

In an interview with Business Today Magazine this month, CEO of GACIC Andreas Hergenroether said the delegation will discuss feeding industries of the automotive and railway sectors.

Germany is a key economic partner to Egypt as over 1,000 German companies are operating in Egypt and the trade exchange volume between the two countries reached €5.56 billion ($6.4 billion) in 2016, while German investments in Egypt recorded €619 million in the same year.]]>
11/13/2017 11:58:22 AM
<![CDATA[US dollar exchange rate back at major banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate recorded LE17.56 for buying and LE17.66 for selling at the Commercial International Bank.

The rate recorded at LE17.58 for buying and 17.68 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt, Banque du Caire and Bank of Alexandria.

The dollar also recorded LE17.59 for buying and LE17.69 for selling at the Egyptian Gulf Bank, Banque Misr, United Bank and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

]]>
11/13/2017 11:25:36 AM
<![CDATA[Aramco plans to spend $300 billion over 10 years in upstream oil and gas: CEO]]>
Speaking at the ADIPEC energy conference in Abu Dhabi, Nasser said: “This is mainly upstream, onshore, offshore and joint ventures in the kingdom and out of the kingdom.”

He also said a decision would hopefully be made soon on the location for the listing of shares in the oil giant.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said last month that Aramco’s initial public offering, part of an ambitious plan to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil, was on track to go ahead in 2018.]]>
11/13/2017 11:18:54 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi still under pressure, GFH volatile in Dubai]]>
The Saudi index was 0.5 percent lower after 20 minutes of trade. Repeatedly since the start of last week, selling by individual investors spooked by the investigation has pushed the market lower during much of the day before buying by state-linked funds, which are apparently mounting a market support operation, cut losses towards the close.

The most heavily traded stock, real estate developer Dar Al Arkan, gained a further 2.1 percent after surging in the previous two days following strong quarterly earnings.

Alujain sank 6.0 percent in unusually heavy volume as it resumed trading after being suspended since August because of a delay in reporting earnings. It said third-quarter net profit fell to 36.1 million riyals ($9.6 million) from 36.8 million riyals.

In Dubai, the index was flat. GFH was 3.5 percent higher at 1.49 dirhams after swinging between 1.35 and 1.51 dirhams in heavy trade.

The company said it had exited real estate portfolios in Bahrain and the United States worth $180 million, would invest in the education sector, and planned to acquire a financial institution in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council by year-end.

Emaar Properties was up 0.9 percent at 7.95 dirhams, well off an early high of 8.05 dirhams, after posting a 32 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 1.51 billion dirhams ($411.2 million), beating SICO Bahrain’s forecast of 1.36 billion dirhams.

Abu Dhabi’s Dana Gas dropped 2.7 percent after reporting a leap in third-quarter net profit to 375 million dirhams from 47 million a year ago thanks to higher hydrocarbon prices.

A British High Court judge may issue a ruling as soon as this week on the company’s effort to avoid redeeming about $700 million of Islamic bonds that matured in October, on the grounds that the sukuk are no longer legally valid.]]>
11/13/2017 11:10:09 AM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 2.5B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 1.5 billion with a three-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a seven-year term.

The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 22 billion in November, in efforts to finance the budget.

It said it would auction three-year bonds, maturing in October 2020, at the value of LE 3 billion and five-year bonds, maturing in October 2022, at the value of LE 2.5 billion.

The Ministry will also issue seven-year bonds (maturing in December 2024) at LE 2 billion and 10-year bonds (maturing in May 2027) at LE 2 billion.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 370 billion, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.
]]>
11/13/2017 10:59:57 AM
<![CDATA[Wall Street bonuses may jump 10 percent this year: report]]>
Bankers who advise companies on issuing stock or bonds could see an even bigger pay jump, as much as 20 percent, compensation firm Johnson Associates Inc said on Sunday.

A reduced emphasis on financial regulation under U.S. President Donald Trump has boosted shares of banks to peak levels on hopes higher interest rates, lower taxes and faster economic growth under the Trump administration would lift profits.

The KBW Nasdaq Bank Index, which measures the largest U.S. banks, has risen 34 percent since the election, compared with the benchmark S&P 500 index’s 24 percent gain over the same period.

But looser banking regulations haven’t translated yet into better trading results amid low market volatility and tepid client activity. Wall Street firms’ bond trading revenue has fallen for about seven years amid new rules on trading and capital.

Banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley, that once relied heavily on trading, are now leaning more heavily on businesses like private equity and wealth management.

As a result, fixed income traders are likely to see their bonuses fall as much as 10 percent, the report said.

“The profit engine of fixed income continues to sputter,” Johnson Associates managing director Alan Johnson said in an interview. “There are a lot of people who don’t think that business is coming back.”]]>
11/13/2017 10:30:01 AM
<![CDATA[Pound retreats as trouble mounts for May, dollar crawls higher]]>
The dollar received a lift against its major peers as U.S. yields spiked and as the pound stumbled, although the main investor focus was still on a planned U.S. tax overhaul.

Sterling was last down 0.55 percent at $1.3120, pulling away from an eight-day peak of $1.3229 scaled on Friday on better-than-expected data on British industry.

“There were some headlines released over the weekend that were negative for prime minister May, and the market began the week by digesting the reports and then sending the pound lower,” said Kyosuke Suzuki, director of forex at Societe Generale in Tokyo.

The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that 40 members of parliament from British May’s Conservative Party have agreed to sign a letter of no-confidence in her.

That is eight short of the number needed to trigger a party leadership contest, the mechanism through which May could be forced from office and replaced by another Conservative.

Also, Brexit minister David Davis said on Sunday that Britain will not offer a figure or a formula for how much it believes it owes the European Union, highlighting the lack of progress plaguing the divorce negotiations.

Against the yen, the pound was last down 0.45 percent at 149.12 yen.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was 0.15 percent higher at 94.533, following a 6 basis points rise by long-term U.S. Treasury yields on Friday.

The index had ended the previous week on a loss of 0.6 percent amid investor disappointment that a proposed U.S. corporate tax cut could be delayed until 2019 instead of being implemented in 2018.

“The sharp rise by Treasury yields certainly is not hurting the dollar. But the yield rise appears mostly technical in nature - the recent flattening trend is being unwound - so the positive impact on the dollar is limited,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

Bond traders had favoured longer-dated Treasuries over shorter-dated issues the past two weeks on concerns about the tax overhaul and a diminished likelihood of an introduction of a Treasury bond that matures beyond 30 years. [US/]

As a result, the spread between the two-year and 10-year Treasury yields reached its lowest since 2007 last week, before rising slightly.

“In my view, the U.S. tax reform talks are proceeding roughly according to schedule. It cannot get much worse, and this is a supportive factor for the dollar,” Yamamoto at Mizuho Securities said.

The greenback was up 0.1 percent at 113.660 yen. The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.1653.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar lost 0.05 percent to $0.7655 to edge back towards a 3-1/2-month low of $0.7625 marked at the end of October. The currency has come under pressure with its yield buffer over the greenback shrinking to its narrowest since 2001.

The market has pushed out the prospect of a rate hike in Australia, while almost fully pricing in a U.S. rise for December and at least one more next year. [AUD/]

The New Zealand dollar shed 0.15 percent to $0.6923.]]>
11/13/2017 10:17:04 AM
<![CDATA[GE to focus on three key units, exit most other operations: WSJ]]>
The report also says the plan stops short of a breakup or more radical restructuring of the 125-year-old company, but Flannery will look to exit most of its other operations. on.wsj.com/2jnKS2F

The Boston-based company also plans to shed its majority stake in Baker Hughes (BHGE.N), which became a separate public company in July after merging with GE’s oil and gas operations, the report said.

GE could not be reached for comment outside regular business hours.

GE was reported to be laying off sales staff and other employees in its software division, according to sources, last week, ahead of Flannery’s expected announcement on Monday of a plan to slash costs and jettison units in an effort to improve the company’s profits.]]>
11/13/2017 10:13:54 AM
<![CDATA[Asia shares slip on U.S. tax uncertainty, sterling falls on doubts over May]]>
European shares are expected to be largely unchanged. Spread betters expect France's CAC .FCHI and Germany's DAX .GDAXI to open almost flat, while Britain's FTSE .FTSE is seen rising 0.3 percent from Friday's six-week low.

Tokyo's benchmark Nikkei .N225 dropped 0.9 percent, bringing down MSCI's Asia-Pacific Index .MIAP00000PUS 0.5 percent. Excluding Japan, shares in the region .MIAPJ0000PUS were down just 0.1 percent, with mainland Chinese shares .CSI rising as much as 0.6 percent to two-year highs.

The S&P 500 index .SPX had ended its eight-week winning streak By Friday's Wall Street close as investors took their profits after U.S. Senate Republicans had unveiled a new tax plan that differed from the House of Representatives' version.

There are few signs of a compromise yet, with the head of the House of Representatives’ tax-writing committee opposing a proposal from Senate Republicans that would hike taxes for some middle class Americans.

“All eyes are on what the Senate and the House of Representatives will do on their tax bills,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, chief strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“That there is debate is not surprising at all. Still, it is an uphill moment for markets,” he said.

In the currency market, the dollar was also shackled by the uncertainty over the fate of the tax cut plans.

The euro EUR= traded at $1.1647, down slightly after showing its first weekly gain in four weeks last week.

The dollar fetched 113.42 yen JPY=, more than a full yen below its near seven-month high of 114.735 yen touched a week ago.

The British pound GBP=D4 came under renewed pressure, slipping 0.5 percent to $1.3120 after the Times newspaper reported on Sunday that 40 Conservative lawmakers had agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in May.

Most emerging market currencies were stable though the South African rand was the exception, falling to one-year low of 14.44 per dollar on fears its credit rating would be downgraded.

Elsewhere, bitcoin fell to as low as $5,555 BTC=BTSP on Sunday, logging a weekly fall of 22 percent, its biggest since early July as some traders dumped it for a clone called Bitcoin Cash.

The digital currency bounced back 6 percent on Monday to trade at $6,255, still down more than 21 percent from its record high of $7,888 touched on Wednesday.

Oil prices held firm, propped up by concerns about the political instability in Saudi Arabia.

The news of a pipeline explosion in Bahrain, which Bahraini authorities said was caused by “terrorist” sabotage, are fanning worries about mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and its Sunni allies and Shiite Iran.

Brent futures LCOc1 traded at $63.50 per barrel, flat on the day and not far from their two-year peak of $64.65 set last week.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 were also flat at $56.75.

Traders were also keeping a wary eye on Venezuela, as the cash-strapped OPEC nation will hold a keenly-awaited meeting with investors to discuss renegotiating $60 billion in foreign debt on Monday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday the country would never default on its debt and its bonds had rallied on Friday on optimism ahead of the meeting.

“Fundamentally there still remains risk of default and if it runs out of money, its oil operations will be halted. If that happens, there could be an impact on oil prices, given its sizable oil output,” said Tatsufumi Okoshi, senior commodity economist at Nomura Securities.]]>
11/13/2017 10:09:54 AM
<![CDATA[Rise in international oil prices challenges Egypt's budget]]>
In that case, the Egyptian government would be prompted to increase its allocations for petroleum subsidies as it calculated the international Brent prices in the current state budget at $55 per barrel. Based on this price, subsidies were put at LE 110 billion in fiscal year 2017/2018.

Minister of Finance Amr el-Garhy said in a televised interview Saturday that the government is closely monitoring the international market to see at which rate oil prices tend to stabilize.

Garhy explained that the rise in prices is affected by news that members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will extend their agreement to cut production until the end of 2018 during the next OPEC meeting on November 30.
"Also the tensions between Iraqi and Kursish armed forces have affected West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent prices," Garhy added. WTI is a grade of crude oil used as a benchmark in oil pricing.

The impact, however, might not be big as Egypt receives monthly shipments of refined petroleum products from Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco, petroleum expert and former chairman of Khalda Petroleum Company Ibrahim Zahran told Egypt Today.
"As long as the payment of these shipments is not on a monthly basis, the impact of international oil prices will not be significant for Egypt," Zahran said.

In April 2016, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with 700,000 tons of petroleum products a month for five years, which will be paid by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) to Aramco and will be eventually returned by Egypt in installments.

The shipments were halted in October 2016 for some six months, until Saudi Arabia announced last March that shipments will resume.

This is not the first time international oil prices put Egypt in a difficult situation. Last fiscal year, the unexpected rise in Brent prices had put the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum in a tight situation. It had to request additional allocations from the Ministry of Finance in order to meet its needs.

In fiscal year 2016/2017 budget, fuel subsidies were set at LE 35 billion based on the then Brent prices of $40 per barrel. But with that price increasing to above $50, the Petroleum Ministry exceeded its allocations, spending between LE 75-80 billion on the subsidies.

The deficit was exacerbated by the flotation of the Egyptian pound in November 2016, doubling the U.S. dollar exchange rate from LE 8.88 per dollar to the current average rate of LE 17.60.

Egypt's government is targeting to boost its daily production of crude oil and condensates to 36 million tons. ]]>
11/13/2017 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Bringing Back German Investments]]>
Looking to restore macroeconomic stabil- ity and attract as much foreign direct investments (FDI) as possible to boost employment and sustainable economic
growth, the Egyptian government initiated an am- bitious economic reform program last year. The plan may have had negative impacts on the aver- age citizen’s purchasing power, but it has man- aged to increase Egyptian exports to Germany by 20% in the first seven months of 2017, Andreas Hergenroether, CEO of the German-Arab Cham- ber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC), tells Business Today.

Foreign investors are watching the situation in Egypt closely, and some have already returned to the market. Others are eyeing opportunities to pump their investments as the foreign currency shortage and repatriation issues are almost over, thanks to the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) deci- sion to free-float the pound.

With over 1,000 German companies operating in Egypt, a trade exchange volume between the two countries reaching €5.56 billion in 2016 and German investments in Egypt reaching €619 mil- lion, the country has been a key economic partner.

Hergenroether discusses how the GACIC has an optimistic outlook on Egypt, and German inves- tors interest in Egypt.

How do you assess the performance of the Egyp- tian economy right now and the future outlook over the next three fiscal years?

We evaluate the situation and the reforms very positively. The foreign exchange reserves have almost doubled during the past 12 months. The challenges that foreign companies were facing regarding the transfer of their profits have almost been resolved. We have also seen prospects for GDP growth. The latest data by the World Bank and other international organizations are quite positive; We share this opinion. We see that the process of in dustrialization and mega projects is going well. We see significant growth in the petro- chemicals sector and huge potential for German companies as partners in the field of plant tech- nology machinery, mechanical engineering and chemical engineering.

Our exports to Egypt grew by about 34% in 2016, reaching around €4.5 billion, and we still have growth in the first six months of 2017 to a rate of approximately 16%. So, after the flotation of the Egyptian pound, many foreign companies were very concerned and thought it would defi- nitely have a negative impact on bilateral trade. However, for the German side, it was not the case. We have a total market share in Egypt of about 9%. Germany is the second-largest supplier to Egypt after China. In certain aspects, includ- ing plant technology, machinery, medical devices and some other industrial disciplines, Germany remains number one. This shows that for bigger projects financed by public companies or large private companies, the Egyptian industry is relying on sustainable solutions, long-term solutions, life- time cycle cost, and energy-efficiency.

Another positive step from the Egyptian govern- ment was to put in practice an energy law that obliges companies using more than 500 kilowatts to employ an energy-efficiency manager. We have spoken to many different ministries and institu- tions to know what can be offered from the Ger- man side to the partner regarding the develop- ment of sustainable technology. This is not only renewable, but we have an initiative here for many years and huge events to promote partnerships and cooperation in the field of photovoltaics. This also includes energy-efficiency methods.

The energy growth rate is also significant. We are talking about 7-8% per annum. Currently the situation is going very well. The power plants implemented by Siemens will provide electricity to 45 million people. In fact, we also have to think about the future and how the gas that has been discovered in the Zohr gas field would then be utilized, not only for energy purposes, but also for industrial development.

The master plan of the ministry of petroleum is attractive for foreign companies, especially for German companies that have been leaders when it comes to clean technology and sustainable solu- tions.

How has the trade volume improved between both countries since the flotation?

Since the flotation, Egyptian exports to Ger- many increased by 20% during the first seven

months of the current year as per German sta- tistics. This year, we expect the volume to stand at €1.8 billion, and I think the future will offer further potential as the flotation made Egyptian products more competitive. Besides, for many years we have conducted initiatives here to sup- port Egyptian companies regarding their products in the German market and international markets in general.

There is a big gap in the trade balance between trade volumes in the two countries; are there any efforts toward a more balanced bilateral trade?

The total trade volume in the first seven months of 2017 amounted to €3.611 billion, rep- resenting 13.5% growth. The volume last year was €5 billion. There is a positive trade balance of €3.3 billion in favor of Germany.

When it comes to the German economy, this is a very normal situation. As you know, the German economy is the global champion after China. We have an export volume of €1.21 trillion annually. This is really a large amount, and we have a very positive trade balance with many countries world- wide, with few exceptions.

What is the volume of German investments, and what are the prospects for attracting more inves- tors?

For the fiscal year 2015/16, it was about €203 million, according to the CBE. According to the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), there are 1,048 German companies of- ficially registered as investors; 25% of those are in industry in general. There are also 328 operating in the field of services and 200 in the field of tour-ism.
Not many German companies are in Egypt’s energy sector. We have companies like Siemens, for example, and then we have a couple of smaller companies in the field of renewable energy, but they have not yet started production. We hope in the future to have more German companies that would be interested in investing in the Egyptian market.

How do you assess the size of German invest- ments in Egypt?

I think Egypt in general is quite interesting for investors because it is a large market, and it is the largest market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Egypt also belongs to the top 10 countries signing bilateral free trade agree- ment, and this also should be an incentive to invest more, in addition to the economic reforms that have been already initiated.

It was also a good move to put in place the new investment law, and we are awaiting its executive regulations to put it into action. There was also a tax reform, which was positive. On the administra- tive level, reforms have been realized, and a one- stop-shop has been created.

However, there is an obstacle that is prevalent not only in Egypt, but in other countries as well: bureaucracy. But even in Germany, we face this issue. The legal framework of Egypt has been de- veloped very positively, and if you see the Ease of Doing Business report of the World Bank, you will notice that there are 10 categories that analyze the steps to establish new businesses. Egypt was ranked 39th worldwide and the first in the MENA region,so the technical steps to set up new companies are relatively very easy and attractive.

I think what is really important is communica- tion abroad. There is a lot of competition from other countries, especially here in the region. Everybody is saying, “I am the hub, I am offering you the best conditions.” Therefore, it is vital to be very visible in Europe in general, and Germany in particular, to recreate this positive image and to transport it in a more sustainable way. This would assure foreign companies that there is a new legal framework and that they can rely on it.

What are your suggestions to promote a positive image to bring in more foreign investors? Should we depend on the chambers of commerce?

This is what we are already doing. When Ger- man Chancellor Angela Merkel was here in Cairo, we organized the official business forum for the visit. Moreover, when President Abdel Fattah al- Sisi was in Germany we also organized with the German Ministry of Economy the business forum that took place. We can do much more for the future.

We see here a change. Regarding the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, I think it is doing a really good job, and it should be set as an example because the Minister of In- vestment Sahar Nasr and her deputies are very active and have become well known abroad. This is something that should be continued. Besides, the initiative the ministry has developed for the promotion of innovation and startups (Fekretak Initiative) is unique in the region, and I think it is very important today to take the decision topromote the future generation of businesses and innovation.

From the German experience, how can we pro- mote SMEs?
This is a very difficult topic to be addressed. Of course, on the one hand, you really need consul- tancy. The German Chamber of Commerce has 79 offices in Germany and several branches in the regions where the companies are consulted about how to establish financial planning and how to conduct a risk analysis. This is all on the level of the chamber of commerce, and all chambers are cooperating very closely.
The German Bank of Development is support- ing SMEs gain access to financing. This is an im- portant subject. There are several credit lines that have been established in Egypt to support SMEs, but the banks executing them are reluctant. Also, there are other foreign initiatives to support Egyp- tian SMEs, including an initiative from Germany.

Is the chamber planning to send trade delegations or door-knocking missions from Berlin to Cairo or vice versa?

We had a German delegation from October 8-12 for renewable energy, and we will have another delegation for energy efficiency. Another trip was held in October to Bavaria in the field of water- waste management, in addition to a huge partici- pation in the Anuga Food Fair annual exhibition. Also, we will have other Egyptian delegations visit- ing Germany in mid November for feeder indus- tries of the automotive and railway sectors, as well as a delegation of around 30 handicraft Egyptian companies that will be exhibiting their products in Germany during the second week of November.

We have perceived Germany as very strong in the automotive sector in the Egyptian economy, with big investors like Mercedes and BMW. Are there any new agreements or investments in this field?

We have several assembling plants here in Egypt. There is a BMW assembling plant, as well as one for Opel and Mercedes. Trucks still have an assembling plant in the Egyptian market, as does MAN Truck and Bus.

What is the most important economic reform or legislative measure that should be taken to improve the investment climate and attract more investors?

I think the most important reforms have been already done. I think now it boils down to the task of reassuring foreign companies and foreign po- tential investors that the reforms will be continued and developed. It is also imperative to give them guarantees regarding sustainability and reliability in the future on the framework that has been set up.]]>
11/13/2017 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's Suez Canal revenues rise in October: Mamish]]>
Mamish added during his economic conference that the development projects of the Suez Canal is the hope and future of Egypt and the idea of developing the canal aims to add values, complementary industries, create logistic zones and axes ports in Port Said.
We seek to solve all problems that may face investors and provide all possible facilities to support new investments, added Mamish.

Head of the Suez Canal Authority signed six contracts with Egyptian and foreign investors to develop northern and southern sides of the economic zone of the Suez Canal on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum (WYF) taking place in Sharmel-Sheikh.

He asserted that the development project of the Suez Canal will benefit both the Egyptian and global economy as it shall offer nearly one million job opportunities for Egyptian youth, praising the effective role played by the Egyptian Ministry Of Investment And International Cooperation in attracting new investors.

“The signed agreements are the fruits gained from several foreign tours in Europe and Asia to attract investors to the Suez Canal economic zone,” said Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.

Last October, Mamish revealed that the canal revenues hit $4.345 billion in January-October 2017, compared to $4.2 billion during the same period a year earlier.

In the second quarter of 2017, Arab countries injected $300.8 million worth of investment in Egypt, with the United Arab Emirates coming on top, with $161.1 million, followed by Saudi Arabia at $37.7 million.
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11/12/2017 11:10:06 PM
<![CDATA[Business news wrap-up]]>Deficit in trade balance records $3.3B in August

The deficit in the trade balance registered $3.31 billion in August, which is 26.7 percent less than the $4.52 billion recorded in August 2016, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said Sunday.

Banque Misr to open offices in Kenya, South Korea in 2018



Egypt's second largest state-owned bank Banque Misr is planning to open two offices in South Korea and Kenya in 2017, the bank’s Deputy Chairman Akef Maghraby said Sunday.

CI Capital partners with Saudi's Al Rajhi for expansion



Local investment bank CI Capital signed an agreement Sunday with Saudi-based Al Rajhi Capital (ARC) to provide the former access to the Saudi equity capital market.

EGX ends in red, market capitalization slides LE 2.3B



The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) closed negatively Sunday as all indices went down. Benchmark index EGX30 inched down 0.55 percent to stand at 14,270 points.

Agriculture contributes 11.7% to Egypt’s GDP in 18 months



A government report revealed that the agriculture sector contributed about 11.7 percent to the country’s GDP, recording LE 219.7 billion.

Dollar exchange rate stable at Egypt banks



The US dollar exchange rate was relatively stable during morning transactions at major banks on Sunday. The dollar exchange rate stood at LE17.60 for buying and LE17.70 for selling.

LPG cylinders production increased to 1.2M per day: Butagasco



State-owned Egyptian Company for Gas Transferring and Deliverance (Butagasco) increased its production to 1.2 million liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders per day, preparing for the increased demand anticipated in winter.

GDP of oil sector reaches EGP 303.5B in 18 months



A report submitted to Parliament Saturday showed the distribution of the gross domestic product (GDP) across economic sectors in Egypt from March 2016 to September 2017. ]]>
11/12/2017 7:24:07 PM
<![CDATA[As Saudi Arabia limits U.S. crude shipments, Iraq steps in]]>NEW YORK– 12 November 2017: Saudi Arabia’s efforts to reduce a worldwide crude supply glut by cutting shipments to the United States means others are now filling in, most notably Iraq, in a trend that is set to accelerate in coming months.

Over the summer, normally one of the busiest periods for crude shipments, U.S. imports of crude from Iraq rose by 41 percent from a year ago, while similar shipments from Saudi Arabia have dropped by 22 percent.

That trend has continued, with ClipperData showing Iraqi shipments to the nation’s largest refinery in October surpassed Saudi Arabia’s for the first time in more than 30 years.

It shows how Saudi Arabia’s leading role in reducing world supply has also cost it market share in the world’s largest oil consumer, as its share of U.S. imports has fallen to the lowest level since 1985. Imports have increased from OPEC members Iraq and Nigeria, along with Canada, and refiners are relying more on rising U.S. shale production.

“For every barrel (the Saudis) don’t produce they’re losing market share,” said Sandy Fielden, director of research, commodities and energy at Morningstar. “Refiners go to an alternate in that situation and obviously the Iraqis took advantage.”

Saudi Arabia cut shipments to the United States beginning in June, as part of the ongoing effort by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut supply. OPEC, along with non-member nations including Russia, agreed in late 2016 to cut world output by 1.8 million barrels a day. Representatives of OPEC countries will meet at the end of the month to consider extending cuts.

Between June and August of this year, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data, Iraq exported an average of 600,000 barrels of oil daily to the United States, compared with 426,600 bpd a year ago. Saudi Arabia’s shipments dropped to an average of 850,000 a day from 1.09 million bpd last year, according to U.S. energy data. At its peak in 1991, Saudi Arabia supplied the United States with 29 percent of its crude.

Shipments from Iraq to Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur, Texas refinery are up by almost 35 percent in the six months through October, according to Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.

The Texas refinery, the largest in the United States and owned by Saudi Aramco, did not respond to a request for comment.

“For October, we’ve seen that Iraqi crude deliveries have surpassed Saudi deliveries for the first time since 1985,” Smith said. Official U.S. data on refiner-level imports currently only extends through August.

Those cuts to U.S. supply are set to accelerate; on Thursday, the Saudi Arabian energy ministry told Reuters that December crude exports to the United States will be more than 10 percent lower than November levels.

Reduced supply has helped raised crude prices, with Brent crossing $64 a barrel last week, a two-and-a-half-year high.

While Saudi Arabia has decreased exports to the U.S. Gulf 16 percent, exports to the West Coast fell just 8 percent from last summer, as the Saudis face competition from producers in Latin America.

Saudi Arabia “cut imports to Motiva, while they cut less to the others,” said Fareed Mohamedi, chief economist at Maryland-based Rapidan Energy Group. “They’re willing to sacrifice to themselves, but their refinery went out to buy other crude which also helped tighten up the market.”

Even if Saudi imports remained at that summer average of 850,000 barrels a day, that would equal just 11 percent of overall U.S. crude imports, the lowest percentage since 1985, according to EIA data.

In addition, U.S. production has risen by 430,000 bpd this year through August, EIA data shows. Fielden said while the shale threat means OPEC will extend production cuts, the shipping figures suggest disagreement on supply to the United States.

“This example between Iraq and Saudi is, I think, destined to be an ongoing situation,” he said.

“In a situation where some of the members of OPEC are not exactly best friends, that complicates amicable agreements about market share.”]]>
11/12/2017 7:19:50 PM
<![CDATA[Gulf shares mostly weak on geopolitics, Saudi corruption inquiry]]>
Geopolitical worries increased at the weekend after Bahrain linked an explosion at its main oil pipeline on Friday to Iran. There is now considerable concern about the possibility of aggressive Saudi action against Iranian interests in the region.

Meanwhile, wealthy Saudi individuals have been selling stocks in Riyadh and around the region - some of them hoping to move money out of the Gulf - since the anti-graft investigation was revealed at the start of last week.

The Saudi index fell as much as 1.5 percent during the day but closed only 0.3 percent lower after state-linked funds once again bought stocks in late trade, a deliberate operation to support the market and prevent a crash, asset managers said. National Commercial Bank, a key stock held by the Public Investment Fund, rose 1.3 percent.

But total volume, while active, was at its lowest level since the investigation was announced, suggesting the funds were no longer having to work as hard to support the market.

Among stocks linked to people who have been detained in the probe, Kingdom Holding rebounded 5.8 percent, although it remained 16 percent below its level before chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was arrested.

Al Tayyar Travel, whose founder was detained, sank a further 5.0 percent in heavy trade, bringing its losses to 24 percent.

Real estate developer Dar Al Arkan surged 7.0 percent and was the most heavily traded stock. On Thursday, it had jumped its 10 percent daily limit after reporting third-quarter net profit almost doubled from a year ago to 209.6 million riyals ($55.9 million), as sales more than doubled.

MedGulf rose 2.2 percent after reporting a flat third-quarter profit before zakat; for the second quarter, it had posted a net loss that widened from a year earlier.

Dubai’s index climbed 0.4 percent. Falling stocks outnumbered rising ones by 17 to 13, but Emaar Properties added 1.0 percent before it reported quarterly earnings.

After the close, Emaar posted a 32 percent rise in third-quarter net profit to 1.51 billion dirhams ($411.2 million), beating SICO Bahrain’s forecast of 1.36 billion dirhams.

Amusement park operator DXB Entertainments fell 2.6 percent after reporting its third-quarter loss more than doubled from a year earlier to 284.1 million dirhams ($77.4 million).

Qatar’s index edged down 0.1 percent as Qatar National Cement tumbled 5.9 percent to 58.23 riyals, its lowest level since 2010, falling below technical support at 60 riyals, which had been tested and held since June.
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11/12/2017 4:57:06 PM
<![CDATA[Average yields rise on Egypt's 3- and 9-month T-bills]]>
Yields on the 91-day bills rose to 18.470 from 18.387 percent at the last sale, while yields on the 273-day bills rose to 17.834 from 17.714 percent.

Appetite for Egypt’s domestic debt has grown since the central bank floated the pound currency a year ago. Since then, the CBE has raised key interest rates by 700 basis points. ]]>
11/12/2017 4:50:21 PM
<![CDATA[Banque Misr to open offices in Kenya, South Korea in 2018]]>
In an official statement, Maghraby said that the two countries were chosen for having increased bilateral trade with Egypt.

In August, Maghraby announced that Banque Misr was studying opening offices in India and Tanzania in 2018. The branches will likely be in India’s capital New Delhi and Tanzania’s capital Dodoma, he said.

The new offices come as part of the bank’s expansion plan in Asian and African countries, with the aim of increasing Egypt’s bilateral trade with them.
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11/12/2017 3:33:04 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends in red, market capitalization slides LE 2.3B]]>
Benchmark index EGX30 inched down 0.55 percent to stand at 14,270 points. The small and mid-cap index EGX70 declined percent to end at 777.8 points and the broader index EGX100 also leveled down 0.81 percent to close at 1,759.21 points.

Market capitalization slipped LE 2.3 billion to record LE 786.159 billion compared to LE 788.516 billion in the last session Thursday.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals in addition to foreign institutions were net sellers at LE 12.7 million, LE 21.8 million, LE 2.2 million and LE 21.2 million. While Egyptian and Arab institutions purchased at LE 46.9 million and LE 10.9 million.

Shares of 45 companies recorded increases, while 120 others saw declines. Meanwhile, shares of 26 firms remained unchanged.
]]>
11/12/2017 3:32:08 PM
<![CDATA[Emirates orders 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners for $15.1 bn]]>
Emirates is already the world's largest client for Boeing's 777, with 165 jets and another 164 on firm order.

Sheikh Ahmed said the deal raises total outstanding orders from US aerospace giant Boeing, the global competitor of Europe's Airbus Industries, to as high as $90 billion.

Delivery of the Dreamliners is scheduled to start in 2022, he said on the first day of the Dubai Airshow.

Emirates, the largest carrier in the Middle East, is also the world's biggest client for Airbus 380 superjumbo jets with 100 planes. It has firm orders for another 46 jets.

"We have reached a conclusion that the Boeing 787-10 jets are the best choice for us," Sheikh Ahmed said.

"Emirates' orders today will be delivered from 2022, taking the airline well into the 2030s," he said in a statement.

"Some of these will be replacements so that we maintain a young and efficient fleet, and others will power our future network growth.

"We see the 787 as a great complement to our 777 and A380 fleet, providing us with more flexibility to serve a range of destinations as we develop our global route network."

Boeing welcomed the deal.

"We are excited that Emirates has selected the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to power its fleet expansion and future growth," said Kevin McAllister, head of the company's commercial aviation division.

"Emirates' endorsement of the 787 Dreamliner extends our long-standing partnership and will sustain many jobs in the United States."

Later, McAllister signed an agreement to sell Azerbaijan Airlines five Boeing 787-8 for a list price of around $1 billion. The carrier already has two 787-8 jets.

The announcement of the Boeing deal with Emirates came amid speculations the Dubai national carrier was also planning to announce another to buy more Airbus 380 superjumbo jets.

That deal may still ago ahead after the hammering out of final details, a source within the industry said.

On Thursday, Emirates said its half year net profit rebounded strongly from a slump last year due to cost saving measures and favourable exchange rates.

The airline posted a net profit of $452 million in the period from April to September, up 111 percent on the same period last year.

That was more than the $340 million net income for the whole of the last fiscal year to March 31.

The rise in earnings was driven by "capacity optimisation and efficiency initiatives across the company, steady business growth, and a more favourable foreign exchange situation compared to the same period last year," the airline said.]]>
11/12/2017 3:09:02 PM