<![CDATA[rss-Business & Economics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Business & Economics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Return of Mercedes ]]>
Egyptian Ambassador to Germany Badr Abdel Aty stated that Mercedes is mulling establishing a factory for automotive feeding industries in Egypt as part of its plan to expand investments in the country.

President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Egypt Thomas Zorn praised the attention the Egyptian government is giving the automotive industry, as well as its encouragement of international companies to operate in the Egyptian market. Zorn affirmed that the new policies adopted by the government have contributed to clarifying the vision of international automotive producers.

Earlier in January, a ministerial committee in charge of settling investment disputes resolved a dispute worth LE 700 million on the value of vehicles between the Customs Authority and a Mercedes Benz importer.
In his meeting with Member of the Divisional board and Head of the Production Department at Mercedes-Benz Markus Schäfer, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi raised the matter of establishing a partnership with the company to manufacture self-driving cars to be used in the cities that are currently under construction, particularly as the New Administrative Capital. The president added that he looked forward to cooperate in manufacturing different models of electric vehicles.

Secretary General of the Egyptian Automobile Manufacturers Association (EAMA) Khaled Said stated that Mercedes customers represent 7% of the local automotive market.

Chairman of the Industrial Committee in Parliament Farag Amer suggested that Mercedes’ decision would attract more investments, particularly to the SCzone.

Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish said in a press conference held in September 2017 that 96,000 square meters had been allocated for Mercedes Benz in SCzone to establish an assembly plant and an automotive feeding industries factory.

Mercedes Benz ranks 13th on the Forbes list of most valuable brands in 2018, with sales hitting $116.9 billion worldwide. The brand value is $34.4 billion, and the company hires 167,921 employees at current.

The company exited the Egyptian market in April 2015 and issued a statement pointing out that the the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was the main reason because tariffs were gradually decreasing until they hit zero.

Mercedes entered the Egyptian market in 1996 through a partnership that gave rise to The Egyptian German Automotive Company (EGA). The goal of the venture with Sami Saad Investments was to assemble Mercedes Benz vehicles in Egypt and export to other countries.

According to a statement by Mercedes Benz, the company secures 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country. The statement added that talks with the president covered infrastructure projects with the government. The company offered to provide its services pertinent to electric transportation, electric cars, and self-driving cars in the New Administrative Capital, and the smart cities under construction. The statement indicated that negotiations on those projects’ details are underway.

In December, Mercedes Benz had to cut the prices of its vehicles exported to China and manufactured in the United States due to the rise in tariffs. The decision is valid until March 21 and applicable to four models with discounts ranging between 36,000 yuan ($5,220) and 135,000 yuan ($19,286), according to Reuters.

Egypt is the third largest trade partner to Germany in the Middle East. In his meeting with the president in Cairo this month, the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier expressed his happiness for launching a project to establish the German International University for Applied Sciences in the New Capital. The university will encompass a coalition of top 10 German universities in the field.

The minister was chairing a delegation consisting of parliamentarians, and representatives of top German firms. Altmaier praised the growth of Egyptian-German economic and trade ties, particularly in the energy sector.
]]>
2/17/2019 5:51:43 PM
<![CDATA[EGX gains LE10.3B]]>
The market capital gained EGP 10.3 billion to reach EGP 837.8 billion amid transactions that hit EGP 1.5 billion.

The EGX 30 benchmark index increased 1.43 percent, recording 15,198.89 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading small and mid-cap enterprises (SMEs) rose 1.14 percent, closing at 720.55 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index also went up by 1.2 percent, settling at 1,820.26 points.]]>
2/17/2019 5:43:39 PM
<![CDATA[CBE governor launches ‘NilePreneurs’ initiative]]>
NilePreneurs deploys the latest technological applications to provide technical and administrative support. The initiative also aligns and coordinates with the ecosystem to support domestic products and increase their competitiveness.

The initiative is implemented by Nile University pursuant to a five-year-agreement with the CBE, in collaboration with the MSME Development Agency, the Ministry of Planning, the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, local banks, the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) (the educational arm of the CBE), and, local and international entities and donors.

The event was attended by Minister of Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aaty; Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala al-Saeed; Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy; parliamentary committee chairpersons; top management of the CBE and the banking sector; Nile University Board of Trustees; presidents of universities; representatives of major industrial institutions; and, different stakeholders supporting entrepreneurship, small enterprises and startups.

The launching included a tour in the headquarters of NilePreneurs and the inauguration of the first Business Development Services (BDS) Hub, a prototype that will be unified across participating (twelve) banks’ branches and MSME Development Agency’s locations.

The target is to establish 30 BDS hubs covering sixteen (16) governorates in 2019 In addition, NilePreneurs presented a number of incubators providing startups with the needed technical and administrative support to meet the diverse needs of the Egyptian market.

“NilePreneurs initiative serves the Egyptian economy and is in line with CBE mandate to support small and medium enterprises, entrepreneurship, innovation, automation, and technological advancement to increase the competitiveness of the domestic product consequently promoting exports and reducing imports,” Amer said.

3
Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer, Minister of Planning Hala al-Said (r) and President of Nile University Tarek Khalil in the launching of NilePreneurs on the campus of Nile University in Cairo, Egypt. 17 February 2019. Press Photo.


“CBE is sponsoring NilePreneurs with the aim of encouraging the banking sector to provide more non-financial services. Financing is no longer the main obstacle facing businesses and entrepreneurs. Yet, there are more challenges such as conducting feasibility studies, and designing and marketing products. NilePreneurs aims to address such challenges” Deputy Governor of the CBE Lobna Helal affirmed.

“The role of Nile University is not only limited to education and scientific research but also extends to promote and support innovation, entrepreneurship and technology, positively contributing to our society and the economy.. NilePreneurs initiative, implemented by the university, is a model to be replicated by other universities and research centers to maximize the benefits,” President of Nile University Tarek Khalil asserted.

Executive Director of “NilePreneurs” Heba Labib showcased the models of startups. That was followed by a documentary video on the initiative’s first vocational training center in Al Asmarat which is the first Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. It aims to improve labor skills and productivity.

The CBE seeks to turn NilePreneurs into a national initiative that adopts international best-practices and progressive scientific methodologies. The initiative provides the necessary technical equipment and engineering consultancy for innovators through the design house located at the Nile University to reach a prototype in accordance with the standard operating procedures for product development, through reverse engineering. Similar models to the design house are to be established in three other universities.

Two cooperation protocols were signed during the event. The first is by CBE and the Ministry of Youth mandating the establishment of points of presence in Youth Centers.

The the second is between NilePreneurs and Rowad 2030 project, implemented by the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform. The ministry will finance the “Micro Factory” program for small-sized products ranging from 50 to 100 units starting from the ideation phase to the final product’s.

4
Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer, President of Nile University Tarek Khalil in the launching of NilePreneurs on the campus of Nile University in Cairo, Egypt. 17 February 2019. Press Photo.

The event also hosted a panel discussion on digital agriculture featuring international experts. The agricultural sector heavily impacts inflation and is therefore among the top priorities of the CBE and NilePreneurs.

Currently, all policies, procedures, and action plans are being documented and will be availed to all educational and academic institutions, providing a guiding model to pave the way for the private sector to implement and replicate.
]]>
2/17/2019 5:26:33 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, ThyssenKrupp CEO review ongoing projects]]>
The president expressed his appreciation for the conglomerate’s operations in Egypt, particularly in the sector of fertilizers, and his eagerness to boost cooperation.

On his part, Kerkhoff stated the conglomerate’s keenness to develop its cooperation with Egypt in light of the improvement in the country’s economic conditions and promising investment opportunities.

The meeting discussed the conglomerate’s activities in Egypt, particularly the establishment of the azot fertilizers complex in Ain Sokhna in collaboration with the National Service Projects Organization (NSPO).


]]>
2/17/2019 3:32:51 PM
<![CDATA[Mercedes executives discuss plans with Egypt president ]]>
The president received Vice-President and Head of External Affairs at Daimler AG Eckart Von Klaeden, and Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars for Production and Supply Chain Management Markus Schäfer.

Both expressed their appreciation for the Egyptian government’s cooperation to ensure the resumption of the company’s assembly lines in Egypt. They said that the country is a big market that constitutes a doorway to other markets in the region and worldwide.

The meeting covered the company’s plans to resume assembling its vehicles in Egypt, and possible mechanisms to develop its activities to include electric cars, smart roads, transportation services in smart cities, and high-speed public transportation buses.

That is while increasing the percentage of the local component, boosting the value chain, achieving technology transfer, and expanding exports.



In 2015, Mercedes Benz announced it would shut off its assembly plants in Egypt citing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) as the reason because tariffs had been gradually decreasing until they were cancelled starting this year. However, the company announced in January it would resume manufacturing activities in Egypt. The plants will be established in SCzone.
]]>
2/17/2019 2:44:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian exports to 20 countries rise ]]>
Spain was the top country to raise its imports from Egypt to be $1.1 billion from $750.7 million with an increase worth $350.4 million, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

France increased Egyptian imports by $301.8 million to record $840.67 million from $538.3 million.

Egyptian exports to the the United States rose by $301.5 million to hit $1.5 billion from $1.2 billion.

The United Kingdom increased imports from Egypt by $221.5 million as they reached $1.2 billion from $1.02 billion.

Egyptian exports to Brazil rose by $128 million to record $229.9 million against $1010.8 million.

Greece increased Egyptian imports by $119 million to hit $387.2 million against $268.2 million.

Egyptian exports to Turkey rose by $85 million to hit 1.76 billion from $1.71 billion.

Germany increased imports from Egypt by $78.4 million million to record $610.5 from $532,06 million.

Egyptian exports to Kenya rose by $49.2 million to hit $316.2 million against $267 million.

Egyptian exports to Slovenia increased by $47.9 million to record $48.4 million from $48.4 million.

Ethiopia raised Egyptian imports by $44.4 million to record $151.1 million against $106.6 million.

Netherland increased imports from Egypt by $41.1 million to be $464.2 million against $423.1 million.

Egyptian exports to Poland rose by $24.4 million to be $114 million from $89.6 million.

Belgium raised Egyptian imports by $16.2 million to hit $22.8 million from $17.7 million.

Egyptian exports to Russia rose by $9.4 million to be $370 million against $360.6 million.

Finland increased Egyptian imports by $5.1 million to hit $22.8 million from $17.7 million.

Egyptian exports to Australia rose by $3.9 million to be $32.7 million from $28.7 million.

Bulgaria increased Egyptian imports by $3.2 million to record $66 million against $62.7 million.

Croatia raised imports from Egypt by $1.9 million as they reached $11.4 million instead of $9.4 million.

Czech Republic raised Egyptian imports by $1.3 million to be $82.5 million instead of $81.2 million.
]]>
2/17/2019 1:07:05 PM
<![CDATA[CBE bids for LE 17B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered on two installments; the first LE 8.5 billion with a 91-day term, while the second will be through 273-day notes at LE 8.5 billion.

T-bills are regularly issued each Sunday and Thursday, while T-bonds are offered on Mondays. The issuances are aimed to finance the budget deficit.

Egypt’s Ministry of Finance has announced earlier that it plans to auction LE 146 billion in debt instruments in February, which marked a decline in yields on T-bills and T-bonds. For the whole current fiscal year, the government is planning to issue LE 409.6 billion in T-bills and LE 101.6 billion T-bonds in.

During the first half of FY2018/19, the budget’s overall deficit dropped to 3.6 percent of GDP, down from 4.2 percent of GDP in the same period a year earlier, and compared to an average deficit of 5.3 percent over the past three years.]]>
2/17/2019 12:37:01 PM
<![CDATA[ECB rate move hinges on downturn's duration: Villeroy]]>
The ECB has said it aims to keep interest rates at current record lows at least through the summer, but its longstanding rate guidance is increasingly out of sync with market expectations as growth has slowed.

Asked in an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais whether recent data reduced chances for a hike after summer, Villeroy said the ECB would scrutinize the flow of economic data.

“The key question will be if the slowdown is temporary — with a bounce-back during this year — or more durable,” said Villeroy, who is head of the French central bank and seen as a frontrunner to succeed Mario Draghi as ECB President this year.

He added that there was a strong convergence of views within the ECB’s rate-setting Governing Council about the sequencing of its next policy steps and flexibility about the timing.

ECB policymakers will next meet on March 7, when the bank’s staff are expected to slash growth and inflation projections as the euro zone suffers its biggest slowdown in half a decade.

Villeroy said that resilient domestic demand in Germany, France and Spain was keeping the risk of recession at bay although the outlook was clouded by the threat of protectionism worldwide and Brexit in Europe.

Against that economic backdrop, he said the ECB would be “pragmatic” in its use of its three main policy tools: its stock of assets, interest rates and liquidity provisions.

On the last point, ECB board member Benoit Coeure said on Friday the ECB was discussing the idea of issuing new multi-year loans to banks that in some countries face a funding cliff-edge next year when previous loans must be repaid.

Banks in Italy and other southern European countries in particular could face funding problems as the ECB’s most recent Targeted Long-Term Refinancing Operation (TLTRO) nears its repayment date in 2020.

Villeroy said that liquidity tools should be used only if there is a monetary policy case and “cannot be designed for specific needs of some banks or some jurisdictions”.]]>
2/17/2019 11:53:38 AM
<![CDATA[China to lure foreign investment in state giants: regulator]]>
China began a new round of reforms in 2016 aimed at streamlining its lumbering SOEs by introducing private capital, curbing overcapacity, shutting down “zombie” subsidiaries and restructuring assets.

Private and foreign firms should “actively participate in reform and development of central enterprises, and jointly explore ways of deep cooperation including mixed-ownership”, Xiao Yaqing, chairman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC), said on the regulator’s website on Sunday.

China has been promoting “mixed-ownership” reforms aimed at introducing private capital and management methods into giant central government SOEs.

The SASAC will also support investment by state giants in private and foreign firms, Xiao said, without giving details.]]>
2/17/2019 11:49:59 AM
<![CDATA[Understanding Renewable Energy]]>
And with these ambitious industrialization and urbanization plans, the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has adopted a strategy since 2016 to increase the sector’s contribution to Egypt’s energy from the current 10% to 20% by 2022, boosting the country’s dependence on renewable energy. The breakdown would be 12% for wind energy, 2% for solar energy, and 6% for hydropower.

According to the authority, the most suitable areas for generating wind energy are the western Gulf of Suez, the eastern and western deserts of the Nile river, and some locations in Sinai.

In an effort to reach a total capacity of of 7 gigawatts from wind farms in the Gulf of Suez by 2022, several projects are already under way. Orascom – Engie – Toyota Tsusho consortium have commenced working on a 250-megawatt wind farm in the Gulf of Suez earlier this year at a $400 million cost. They have also inked a $650 million deal to build a 500-megawatt wind farm in the Gulf of Suez’s Ras Gharib. The farm would also save up to 420,000 tons of fuel annually, decreasing emissions of carbon dioxide by 1.1 tons. Another wind farm was inaugurated on July 24 in Gabal El Zeit, with a capacity of 580 megawatts and encompassing 300 turbines.

In a country that enjoys plenty of sunshine all year round, the state is heavily promoting investments in solar energy. Egypt has begun building the largest solar energy station in the world, encompassing 40 plants, in Benban, Aswan, with a capacity of 1,650 megawatts and a $4 billion cost. The first plant, “Infinity,” already started operating this year, with a capacity of 50 megawatts. A solar energy station will be built in Kom Ombo city in Aswan with a capacity of 26 megawatts and at a cost of $46.7 million. One more will be constructed in Hurghada with a capacity of 20 megawatts. Three others with a capacity of 50 megawatts each will be built as well, one in Zaafarana, Red Sea Governorate. Solar energy has also been used in some public institutions buildings across the country, as well as a number of residential buildings, largely through foreign aid financing.

Dissecting renewable energy systems

Renewable energy systems are either on-grid or off grid. The former means that the system is connected to the regular electricity network, the extra energy produced goes to the network and the system switches to regular electricity. In case of investors building and operating renewable energy plants, they get paid by the state. Domestic users installing PV (photovoltaics) panels, on the other hand, pay the difference between regular energy they consume and renewable energy they produce. While on-the-grid systems are easier and cheaper to install, they are not able to save energy and must be connected to the network to operate. Off-the-grid systems, however, are more expensive and complicated to install and are isolated from the regular networks, but they have batteries to store energy. Wael El-Nashar, president and CEO of Onera Systems, explains that an off-the-grid system is useful to provide electricity for cellular networks, billboards, street lighting, and remote residential areas. El Nashar elaborates that these systems contain batteries to save energy for the night, in the case of solar energy, or when there is no or weak wind.

Hatem El Roumy, CEO of Triple M for Renewable Energy, adds that the batteries’ lifespan is three to eight years. He suggests that, if the location allows, it is better to build a hybrid system where solar energy would be available in the morning, while wind energy would work overnight. That would improve the batteries’ life by feeding it with energy, up to 80%, so that it would not drop below 20% and risk damage.

Professor of physics at the American University in Cairo and Provost Ehab Abdel Rahman, however, says that batteries are quite costly which constitutes a disadvantage for the offgrid system.

Because on-the-grid systems cannot store energy and feed directly into the network, but are more affordable and simpler to install for the average consumer, they are more suitable for households, farms and office buildings as PV panels can just be installed on rooftops, El Nashar clarifies. He adds that they are beneficial in reducing the amount of electricity consumed from regular sources as well as lowering the consumer’s purchasing tranche.

Despite the initially high cost of installation, El-Nashar advises the gradual switch to renewable energy as it is more cost-efficient on the longer-term, and adds that a gradual switch may be more financially feasible for those who can’t afford the initial investment. In factories, for instance, solar energy would decrease operating costs dramatically, that the panels would cover their cost over five to six years.

Whereas solar panels have a lifespan of 25 years, same as wind turbines, they require less maintenance than turbines, and only need to be cleaned regularly. Turbines, on the other hand, cost 2% of their initial price in maintenance.

Alternative renewable energy

Renewable energy, however, does not come without its shortcomings. From lack of stability to wasted energy, even alternative energy sources need alternative technology.

El Roumy advises opting for on-the-grid turbines, as wind speed are not generally stable. Although Gabal El Zeit area is ideal for wind energy, the area lacks wind for 28 days annually. Generally speaking, the best locations in Egypt for generating wind energy are the Red Sea coast, and Western Minya.

Abdel Rahman explains that solar energy is not continuous, so the production is not stable. “Thus, the grid has to be smart enough not to be impacted negatively by the intermittency of the solar energy,” he says, adding that solar cells are made of rare earth elements which are finite.


Abdel Rahman explains that the alternative technology is concentrated solar power using heat engines. The maintenance of those includes looking after the engines and cleaning the mirrors. This technology is more durable because it uses glass and iron. By contrast, PV panels are subject to decreasing capacity by time and by excessive heat.

Solar energy plants efficiency are estimated at less than 20%, but Abdel Rahman explains that waste energy from the cells can be used to heat water by installing water pipes underneath. The heat comes from infrared radiation (IR) absorbed by solar cells, which just need visible range of solar radiation, but end up absorbing also IR and UV (ultraviolet radiation).

Wind energy has some advantages over solar energy as the turbines require just 20% of the space needed to install PV panels, and it produces more than double the energy produced by solar, El Roumy explains. In case of solar, one megawatt would cost $750,000 producing 5.5 megawatts per hour, and 6 kilowatts per hour would provide electricity for a house for 25 years. In case of wind, one megawatt would cost $1 million, producing 11.5 megawatts per hour.

Off-grid solar energy can also be used without batteries when using solar-powered pump in what is known as solar irrigation from dawn till sunset, El Roumy says.

All three experts praise the feed-in tariff law that was first promulgated in 2014, and amended in 2017 for its role in boosting the usage of renewable energy in the country. Abdel Rahman also suggests that lifting subsidies would help changing the people’s mindset to switch to renewable energy which is cheaper.

The AUC provost revealed that the university is working on developing thermoacoustic heat engines. When exposed to heat, the engines would produce acoustic waves causing magnet to move quickly through a coil of copper wire so that electrons move and electricity is produced. That is characterized by durability (30 years) and efficiency. However, a life cycle cost analysis is still underway.

Abdel Rahman concludes that Egypt has many calibers who can operate renewable energy plants, as well as many potential workers who can be trained to take on jobs in the field. Currently, however, the great majority of companies working in the solar energy sector assemble solar cells rather than produce them, in addition to providing maintenance services. ]]>
2/16/2019 6:07:00 PM
<![CDATA[OPEC squeezes oil output to 4-year low, Russia compliance low]]>
The Paris-based organisation said that OPEC crude output dropped by 0.93 million barrels per day (mbd) to 30.83 mbd in January.

OPEC members along with allies including Russia agreed in early December to trim production by 1.2 mbd from January 1, in a bid to eliminate a production glut and shore up prices.

The IEA said that compliance with the so-called Vienna Agreement was 86 percent by OPEC states, with Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait cutting by more than promised.

Compliance by non-OPEC participants was only 25 percent, however, it said.

According to IEA data Russia made only 18 percent of its pledged cut of 0.23 mbd.

Kazakhstan increased production, while Azerbaijan only cut 15 percent of what it had promised.

Previous pacts by OPEC and its partners including Russia, often called OPEC+, to cut back production have been marked by initial low compliance rates by certain countries.

Overall, global supply fell by 1.4 mbd to 99.7 mbd in January, according to the IEA, which said cuts imposed by authorities in the province of Alberta in Canada, which is not party to the Vienna Agreement, also contributed to the reduction.

World oil markets have been on a rollercoaster ride in recent months, with the OPEC+ group agreeing to cut back production again from January in order to reverse a slump in oil prices on abundant production and worries about slower global growth.

Just months earlier, they had relaxed production caps as prices shot higher on market worries about the impact of US sanctions on Iran.

Those fears dissipated after Washington eventually granted waivers allowing several countries to continue to import Iranian oil.

- Quality and quantity matter -

The IEA noted that new US sanctions announced in January on Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA have not so far caused market jitters.

"Oil prices have not increased alarmingly because the market is still working off the surpluses built up in the second half of 2018, when global supply is estimated to have exceeded demand by 1.3 mbd," said the IEA.

IEA figures show Venezuala's output dropping by roughly 30,000 barrels per day to 1.26 mbd.

While US crude production is expected to grow by an amount that exceeds Venezuela's current output, the IEA warned that quantity is not the only important issue.

Refineries are built to handle a certain quality of crude, and those which process so-called heavy crude from Venezuela, Canada or the Middle East cannot be easily converted to treat the light shale oil that is now being produced in greater quantities in the United States.

"So far, there are no signs that other producers, e.g. Saudi Arabia, are intending to push more barrels into the market to offset shortfalls" of heavier grades of crude, the IEA warned.

The IEA also raised its estimate for the increase in non-OPEC crude supply in 2019 to 1.8 mbd, which is 0.3 mbd higher than previously.]]>
2/16/2019 12:06:49 PM
<![CDATA[In pics: Sisi has luncheon with heads of German, Int’l companies]]>
1_(3)

The luncheon, at which President Sisi was the guest of honor, was attended by MSC Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger, and heads of Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Allianz SE, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Airbus, Siemens, Saab Group, and Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie (BDI), Radi added.

He also met with CEOs of a number of international companies of technology, financial service, investment funds, pharmaceuticals, and military, beside representatives of international research organizations, Radi continued.

2_(6)

President Sisi expressed country’s keenness to set new projects that meets the Egyptian market’s needs, particularly after Egypt opened new markets with the Africans the Europeans through free trade deals.

The president also shed light on the privileges of the new economic reforms, including unprecedented tax and financial incentives and national megaprojects in many fields.

On Thursday, President Sisi met with President and Chief Operating Officer of Rohde and Schwarz group Peter Riedel, discussing cooperating with the company in technology as it is one of the pioneering companies of information and communication technology.

The Munich-based company provides products of securing communication, monitoring and cyber security. Its service network covers more than 70 countries, according to the company’s official website.

5_(1)

President Sisi arrived in Germany on Thursday to participate in the 2019 Munich Security Conference (MSC 2019) due on Feb. 15-16. Being the chairperson of the African Union, Sisi is set to deliver a speech at the Conference on Saturday to be the first Arab president address this three-day gathering.]]>
2/15/2019 3:51:57 PM
<![CDATA[Eni beats expectations as quarterly profit jumps 55%]]>
Adjusted net profit was 1.459 billion euros ($1.65 billion), above an analyst consensus forecast provided by the company of 1.19 billion euros.

For the full year, the company said its average oil and gas production reached a record 1.851 million barrels per day, lifted by operations in Egypt, Indonesia and Kazakhstan as well as its entry into the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Since last March, Eni has clinched nine deals in the UAE.

“We achieved our highest ever level of production ... with a cash flow per barrel of $22.5, achieving our 2022 target four years early,” Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi said in a statement.

BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total have all reported higher profits driven by growth in oil and gas.

Eni, which saw a 40 percent rise in cash flow at replacement cost to 3.3 billion euros, confirmed it would pay a 2018 dividend of 0.83 euros per share]]>
2/15/2019 2:00:37 PM
<![CDATA[Deal or delay? Wall Street divided on Brexit]]>
Unless Prime Minister Theresa May can get a Brexit deal approved by the British parliament, then she will have to decide whether to delay Brexit or thrust the world's fifth largest economy into chaos by leaving without a deal.

Goldman Sachs said it sees a 50 percent probability of May getting a Brexit divorce deal ratified, adding that lawmakers would ultimately block a no-deal exit if needed.

Goldman said it saw the probability of a no-deal exit at 15 percent and the probability of no Brexit at around 35 percent.

"There does exist a majority in the House of Commons willing to avoid a 'no deal' Brexit (if called upon to do so), but there does not yet exist a majority in the House of Commons willing to support a second referendum (at least at this stage)," Goldman said in a note to clients on Friday.

"The prime minister will repeatedly try to defer the definitive parliamentary vote on her negotiated Brexit deal, and the intensification of tail risks will continue to play a role in incentivising the eventual ratification of that deal."

May suffered a defeat in parliament on her Brexit strategy on Thursday that undermined her pledge to EU leaders to get her divorce deal approved if they grant her concessions.

She has promised that if parliament has not approved a deal by Feb. 26, she will make a statement updating lawmakers on her progress on that day and lawmakers will have an opportunity on Feb. 27 to debate and vote on the way forward.

JPMorgan said it thought May would now seek an extension to the March 29 deadline.

"I don’t think it's inevitable, it's certainly possible. If there is going to be an extension, it needs to be with a purpose, it needs to be with a view to securing and ratifying an agreement," Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar told reporters.

"I don’t think anyone would like to see this stalemate or impasse or period of purgatory continue for months and months and months."

BREXIT MAZE

The divergent views from two of the most powerful Wall Street banks indicates just how hard investors are finding it to read the labyrinthine plots and counterplots of Brexit, the United Kingdom's most significant political and economic move since World War Two.

"Having chosen to afford the PM extra time this week, our expectation is that a majority of MPs (Members of Parliament) will finally be prepared to begin to take action to attempt to ensure that a "no deal" exit does not occur at that point," JPMorgan said.

"We continue to think it likely that, rather than allowing the vote and consequent ministerial resignations to occur, PM May will attempt to forestall by stating that she will seek an extension herself."

Most major banks got the 2016 referendum wrong.

The consensus then was that the United Kingdom would not vote to leave the EU. As results came in showing that it had, sterling had its biggest one-day fall since the era of free-floating exchange rates introduced in the early 1970s.

In private, though, many bankers are deeply worried about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.

"The more messy this gets the more worried I am that we are heading for no deal," said an executive at one investment bank in London who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"We still expect a last-minute deal, but the closer we get to exit day we become less sure," the banker said.

Berenberg, one of Europe's oldest banks, said it saw the chances of May getting a majority for her deal at just 10 percent. It sees a 30 percent chance of a hard Brexit and a 20 percent chance of no Brexit.]]>
2/15/2019 1:51:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Kazakhstan probe fostering trade relations]]>
The talks touched on increasing Kazakh exports to Egypt and resuming the supply of wheat and other agricultural products, the Kazakh Embassy in Egypt said in a statement Friday.

The two sides also tackled the possibility of establishing grain silos in one of Egypt’s free economic zones, in line with the deals signed during President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s latest visit to Astana.

During the meeting, Isagaliev revealed that a delegation of Kazakh businessmen, led by the first deputy of trade and industry minister, will pay a visit to Egypt on March 4-7.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian minister underscored the importance of expanding cooperation with Kazakhstan, describing the Asian country as an “energy hub”.]]>
2/15/2019 12:18:11 PM
<![CDATA[CBE cuts interest rates at 15.75%, 16.75% in February]]>
Egypt which targets to hit average interest rates on the government’s debt instrument of 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in FY2017/18 budget, kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time in 2018.

MPC kept the interest rates unchanged during the meeting of December, November, September, August, June and May of 2018, after lowering them twice earlier this year by 1 percent each time.

Unlike most investment banks and economic researches' expectations which went for keeping the rates unchanged during February as a step to have further reductions during the coming meetings to continue the easing cycle.

Analyst in Institutional Equity Sales at NAEEM Holding for Investment Mohamed Sameh explained to Egypt Today that CBE has two ways to decide whether to cut the interest rates or to keep them at the current rates, noting that these ways are foreign direct investment (FDI) and hot money.

As per hot money track, Sameh elaborated that CBE has to follow the advanced markets policy in interest rates which are going to raise their rates during the next period even if they have slowed it down recently, which pushes CBE to at least keep the rates.

He also noted that hot money can enter or exit the market anytime, so they would go for any movement in other markets, referring that about 40 percent exited the Egyptian market, declining from $21 billion to $11 billion.

Emerging markets were affected by an exit wave of foreign investments in government debt instruments during the second quarter of 2018 as the US dollar rose, raising fears from the economies of these markets, especially after the crises of Turkey and Argentina.

"To attract FDI, CBE has to lower the interest rates even if it could cause a shock, with the aim of sustaining development," Sameh said.

Unchanged Rates

Meanwhile, Fitch Solutions, Beltone Financial, EFG Hermes and Pharos anticipated that the Central Bank will keep the interest rates at the current levels during February's meeting.

Fitch Solutions foundation expected that the Egyptian Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will keep interest rates unchanged within the coming few months as the effects of subsidy cuts feed through to higher inflation.

Beltone Financial recapped its view that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will keep interest rates unchanged during February meeting and fiscal year 2018/2019, as the inflation outlook will remain hostage to the uncertain trajectory of volatile food prices.

For his part, Head of Hermes' research sector Ahmed Shams told MENA that the CBE is not likely to make any interest deductions during the first half of 2019 because of the developments in world markets.

Pharos also said that the current reading of January makes the possibility to cut the interest rates this month weak. “We see that the possibility of lowering interest rates is weak, and if the committee takes a decision to reduce the rates, the ratio will probably not exceed 0.5 percent.”

Opposite Opinion

SHUAA Securities Egypt reiterated its view that the monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) might cut interest rates by 1 percent on Thursday, Feb. 14, attributing this view to the consistency of the inflation rate with the disinflation path.

Inflation

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced on Feb. 10 that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018.

All the aforementioned economic researches and reports attributed the hike in the monthly inflation during January to food prices due to a pick-up in vegetables and grains prices in particular.

Pharos anticipated inflation rate to stabilize at 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent monthly and at 11.8 percent to 12.5 percent annually during the period of February to May 2019.

Beltone thought that the slight inch-up in inflation reading does not pose risks on our inflation outlook and therefore it reiterated its view that inflationary pressures will remain subdued over 1H19, particularly as the new low headline reading in December 2018 will accommodate inflation so as to remain within 14-15 percent throughout 2019.

Beltone’s also stated that its watch list includes: Foreign inflow in the fixed income in February to confirm the renewed investors’ appetite in the fixed income market, affirming limited pressures on the local currency; and the rate of depletion in banks’ NFAs, which started to ease in December 2018, defining the need to support the local currency.

CBE to discuss interest rates for 1st time in 2019

CAIRO - 14 February 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is going to discuss interest rates on Thursday, Feb. 14, for the first time in 2019, with most expectations going for unchanged rates during Thursday meeting.






]]>
2/14/2019 7:38:12 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price slightly down at Egypt's major banks]]>
At the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr and the Arab African International Bank, the dollar rate went down by one piaster recording EGP 17.51 for buying and EGP 17.61 for selling.

The same prices for buying and selling were also registered by the Commercial International Bank.

The dollar exchange rate upped by one piaster at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, recording EGP 17.58 for buying and EGP 17.68 for selling.

At Alexandria Bank, the rate was stable at EGP 17.55 for buying and EGP 17.65 for selling. ]]>
2/14/2019 6:10:23 PM
<![CDATA[AOI keen on backing State efforts to increase value added of Egyptian industry]]>
He said the organization is contributing to the national plan of local industrialization and all infrastructure projects to implement the State's strategic development plan.

El Taras gave the remarks during the signing of a contract between Helwan company, which is affiliated with the organization, and German company Vattenfall to supply, install and test a 1,600 mm polyethylene pipeline.

He expressed the organization's readiness to expand partnerships with global companies.

He reviewed existing cooperation between the organization and the German companies in the new and renewable energy domain, infrastructure, drainage water treatment, electric transport and electronics.

He stressed that the organization has vast potentials that qualify it to partner with global companies in carrying out joint projects.

The German official expressed his appreciation for enhancing cooperation with Egypt and Egypt's role in contributing to industrial development and technological progress.

He praised the technical expertise of the Arab Organization for Industrialization and its technological potentials. ]]>
2/14/2019 5:35:36 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian-Saudi Business Council to hold meeting on Feb 23]]>
Presidents of 100 major Saudi companies will attend the meeting which aims at devising a plan to promote trade and investment relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

President of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC) Ahmed el Wakeel said in a statement on Thursday that the meeting will tackle the mechanisms of activating the work plan to develop economic ties between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and shore up cooperation in joint projects in Africa.

Participants will discuss benefiting from the presidency of Egypt to the African Union especially in the fields of construction, infrastructure and agriculture, Wakeel said.

Cooperation will be activated between the small and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt and Saudi Arabia via linking between the chambers of commerce in both countries, he said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) Sami al Obaidi said Egypt and Saudi Arabia are working on achieving full integration between their industrial sectors.

A large delegation of the CSC will participate in the 4th Investment Forum in Cairo on March 2-4, Obaidi said.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Saleh Kamel said that Egypt is now more attractive for investments after the economic reforms it has recently introduced.

Abou Moussa put the number of Egyptian projects in Saudi Arabia at 1,300, with a total investment exceeding 2.5 billion dollars.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia will focus during the current stage on boosting cooperation between the Egyptian and Saudi companies in the field of manufacturing, he said. ]]>
2/14/2019 4:33:58 PM
<![CDATA[CI Capital records profit of LE 487.25M in 2018]]>
CI Capital's financial indicators revealed that revenues hiked to LE 2.5 billion in 2018, compared to LE 1.85 billion in 2017, and that total expenses reached LE 1.86 billion in 2018, up from LE 1.46 billion in the prior year.

As per standalone results, the company recorded net profit of LE 69.55 million, compared to LE 129.78 million during the prior year, with a decrease of 49.4 percent.

During the first nine months of 2018, CI Capital’s consolidated profits surged 139.5 percent, recording LE 346.06 million, taking into account minority rights, compared to LE 144.49 million during the same months of 2017.

The standalone results showed a 59 percent decline in the first nine months of 2018, reaching LE 35.25 million, compared to LE 86.42 million in the same months of 2017.

CI Capital is an investment bank in Egypt with market-leading investment banking, securities brokerage, asset management and research franchises.
]]>
2/14/2019 4:30:58 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows mixed performance amid Arab selling Thursday]]>
A total of 485 out 569 of lawmakers approved the amendments that suggested by one fifth of the parliament members early this month.

BREAKING: Egypt's Parliament approves constitutional amendments in principle

CAIRO - 14 February 2019: Egypt's House of Representatives passed on Thursday the newly-proposed amendments to the 2014 Constitution, which include extension of the presidential term from 4 years to six years. A total of 485 out 569 of lawmakers approved the amendments that suggested by one fifth of the parliament members early this month.




The benchmark EGX30 increased 0.24 percent, or 35.39 points, to close at 14,984.46 points.

Meanwhile, the equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.31 percent, or 7.53 points, to reach 2,411.36 points.

On an opposite direction, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 dropped 0.11 percent, or 0.78 points, to 712.42 points, and the broader index EGX100 declined 0.08 percent, or 1.38 points, to close at 1,798.76 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1.09 billion, recording LE 827.59 billion, compared to LE 826.5 billion in Wednesday's session.

The trading volume reached 215.44 million shares, traded through 29,632 transactions, with a turnover of LE 910.21 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 20.65 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE .4 million and LE 18.25 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at LE 11.17 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 11.61 million, and LE 936,837, respectively.

Foreign organizations bought at LE 19.18 million, while Egyptians and Arab organizations sold at LE 8.77 million, and LE 9.04, respectively.

El Arabia for Land Reclamation, Obour Land For Food Industries, and El-Nile Co. For Pharmaceuticals And Chemical Industries were top gainers of the session by 8.67 percent, 6.38 percent and 5.71 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, National Housing for Professional Syndicates, Alexandria Cement, and Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE were top losers of the session by 5.97 percent, 4.78 percent, and 3.23 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday's session in green for the second session in row, as EGX30 increased 0.14 percent, EGX50 hiked 0.23 percent, EGX70 rose 0.38 percent, and EGX50 inched up 0.31 percent.
]]>
2/14/2019 3:55:13 PM
<![CDATA[Qalaa to sell electricity of Benben Project to government in Feb.]]>
Qalaa expected in a statement to start selling its production to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Co. (EETC) during the current month, Feb.

The productive capacity of the project, which comes in partnership with Hassan Allam, amounts to 65 megawatts with investment costs of around LE 1.35 billion, according to the statement.

The statement read that the project is following the second phase of feed in tariff agreement and contributes in diversification of electric power sources and eliminates pollution.

Qalaa Holdings' subsidiary, Taqaa Arabia, owns 60 percent of the solar power project, while Hassan Allam holds 40 percent of the project.

Qalaa Holdings owns directly and indirectly 60.92 percent of Taqaa Arabia.
In August, Qalaa Holdings announced its first investment in generating solar energy through its subsidiary, Taqaa Arabia, in partnership with Hassan Allam Holdings through photovoltaic (PV) cells, at an investment cost of LE 1.35 billion.

Qalaa Holdings to invest in solar energy

CAIRO - 28August 2018: Qalaa Holdings announced Monday its first investment in generating solar energy through its subsidiary, Taqaa Arabia, in partnership with Hassan Allam Holdings through photovoltaic (PV) cells, at an investment cost of LE 1.35 billion.




Founded in 2004, Qalaa Holdings operates within the diversified financial sector focusing on asset management and custody banks. It has companies operating across North America, the Caribbean, Northern Africa and Eastern Africa.

Hassan Allam Company works in the field of engineering, procurement & construction, building materials and utilities.
]]>
2/14/2019 3:32:02 PM
<![CDATA[Unemployment rate drops to 8.9% in Q4 2018]]>
On a quarter on quarter basis, unemployment rate also dropped 1.1 percent from 10 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

The report revealed that the size of the workforce reached 28.027 million people (including 22.686 million males and 5.341 million females).

CAPMAS said that the number of jobless people reached 2.491 million (including 1.445 million males and 1.046 million females), representing 8.9 percent of the total workforce.
In the third quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate declined 1.9 percent, compared to the same quarter of 2017, and in the first quarter, it decreased 1.4 percent, compared to 12 percent in the same period of 2017.

Head of Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of Planning, Howaida Barakat, stated in September that Egypt's unemployment rate witnessed an unprecedented decline, recording 11.3 percent in 2017/2018. She added that this rate is expected to reach 8.4 percent in 2022.

Finance Ministry also said that the unemployment rate is anticipated to reach 7.1 percent in June 2022, down from 9.9 percent in June 2018.

Egypt’s budget seeks to lower the unemployment rate to 10.4 percent with an inflation rate of 13 percent.

Egypt 2030 Vision aims to reduce unemployment from the current percentage to 4 percent.

Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed previously said that Egypt aims to provide about 750,000 job opportunities in 2018/2019 by developing the absorptive capacity of the labor market to gradually provide 870,000 opportunities in 2021/2022.

In 2017, Egypt’s unemployment rate slipped to 11.8 percent, compared to 12.5 percent in 2016.

]]>
2/14/2019 3:21:12 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to achieve 20% renewable power in 2022: Lekela Power]]>
Antonopoulossigned the agreement with the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) for its 250MW wind farm project in the Gulf of Suez, near RasGhareb.
Antonopoulos stated that the agreement is a major milestone for delivering a 250MW wind farm to help achieve that goal.

"Across Africa, we are starting to see the positive impact renewable energy can have on communities and on enterprise. Egypt is a key part of our strategy to develop 1,300MW of clean energy across Africa which will drive economic and social prosperity for its communities," he added.

For his part, General Manager at Lekela Egypt Faisal Eissa commented, “We are excited to progress this project with the signing of the PPA. Egypt has favorable conditions to produce renewable energy and it is great to see that the government has ambitions to bring more clean energy onto the grid."

"Furthermore, we look forward to working with the local community to develop a community investment plan that will leave an impact that lasts even longer than the wind farm itself," Eissa added.

The project,located 30 kilometers north-west of RasGhareb,will increase Egypt’s wind energy capacity by 14 percent once constructed.

The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation announced that the project will produce more than 1000GWh a year, powering the equivalent of over 350,000 homes in Egypt.

"The total investment for the project is estimated at $325 million and leading development finance institutions have been mandated to provide financing. The Network Connection Agreement with EETC has been signed," according to Investment Ministry.
The project will be constructed on a turnkey EPC basis and an announcement regarding the EPC contractor will be made at a later date.

The financial close is expected to take place later this year, and the project is expected to be operational in 2021.

PM attends signing of cooperation protocol on setting up wind farm

CAIRO - 13 February 2019: Prime Minister MoustafaMadbouli witnessed on Wednesday the signing ceremony of a protocol of cooperation between the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and Lekela Power company on setting up a 250-megawatt wind power plant under the BOO system in the Gulf of Suez region.



]]>
2/14/2019 2:32:00 PM
<![CDATA[Arab unemployment rate to remain at 7.3% until 2020: ILO]]>
"Regional unemployment is projected to remain stable at 7.3 per cent until 2020, with unemployment in non-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries reaching double that of the GCC," said an ILO report on World Employment and Social Outlook (WESO).

According to the report, migrant workers account for 41 per cent of total regional employment, and in GCC countries more than half of all workers are migrants, on average.

The women’s unemployment rate, at 15.6 per cent, is three times that of men. Youth are also disproportionately affected and the youth unemployment rate is four times the adult rate.

New data gathered for the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019 (WESO) show that a majority of the 3.3 billion people employed globally in 2018 had inadequate economic security, material well-being and equality of opportunity.

Only 4.5 per cent of the region’s working age population is unemployed, with 60 per cent employed.

However, rather than indicating a well-functioning labour market, this is because many workers have no choice but to take poor quality work, lacking security, decent pay and social protection.

The labor force is projected to expand by more than 14 million per year, the organization added in its report that was published on its official website on Wednesday.

Economic growth rates until 2020 are expected to be too low to create enough quality jobs for this fast-growing labor force.]]>
2/14/2019 2:13:30 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to discuss interest rates for 1st time in 2019]]>
After cutting the rates six times during 2018, most investment banks and economic researches foresaw that CBE will keep the rates unchanged as a step to have further reductions during the coming meetings to continue the easing cycle.

Analyst in Institutional Equity Sales at NAEEM Holding for Investment Mohamed Sameh explained to Egypt Today that CBE has two ways to decide whether to cut the interest rates or to keep them at the current rates, noting that these ways are foreign direct investment (FDI) and hot money.

As per hot money track, Sameh elaborated that CBE has to follow the advanced markets policy in interest rates which are going to raise their rates during the next period even if they have slowed it down recently, which pushes CBE to at least keep the rates.

He also noted that hot money can enter or exit the market anytime, so they would go for any movement in other markets, referring that about 40 percent exited the Egyptian market, declining from $21 billion to $11 billion.

Emerging markets were affected by an exit wave of foreign investments in government debt instruments during the second quarter of 2018 as the US dollar rose, raising fears from the economies of these markets, especially after the crises of Turkey and Argentina.

"To attract FDI, CBE has to lower the interest rates even if it could cause a shock, with the aim of sustaining development," Sameh said.

Unchanged Rates

Meanwhile, Fitch Solutions, Beltone Financial, EFG Hermes and Pharos anticipated that the Central Bank will keep the interest rates at the current levels during February's meeting.

Fitch Solutions foundation expected that the Egyptian Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will keep interest rates unchanged within the coming few months as the effects of subsidy cuts feed through to higher inflation.

Beltone Financial recapped its view that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will keep interest rates unchanged during February meeting and fiscal year 2018/2019, as the inflation outlook will remain hostage to the uncertain trajectory of volatile food prices.

For his part, Head of Hermes' research sector Ahmed Shams told MENA that the CBE is not likely to make any interest deductions during the first half of 2019 because of the developments in world markets.

Pharos also said that the current reading of January makes the possibility to cut the interest rates this month weak. “We see that the possibility of lowering interest rates is weak, and if the committee takes a decision to reduce the rates, the ratio will probably not exceed 0.5 percent.”

Opposite Opinion

SHUAA Securities Egypt reiterated its view that the monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) might cut interest rates by 1 percent on Thursday, Feb. 14, attributing this view to the consistency of the inflation rate with the disinflation path.

Inflation

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced on Feb. 10 that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018.

All the aforementioned economic researches and reports attributed the hike in the monthly inflation during January to food prices due to a pick-up in vegetables and grains prices in particular.

Egypt's annual inflation reaches 12.2% in January

CAIRO - 10 February 2019: Egypt's annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018, state-statistics body said Sunday, Feb. 10. In December, Egypt's annual consumer price inflation recorded 11.1 percent, compared to 22.3 percent in the same month of 2017.




Pharos anticipated inflation rate to stabilize at 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent monthly and at 11.8 percent to 12.5 percent annually during the period of February to May 2019.

Beltone thought that the slight inch-up in inflation reading does not pose risks on our inflation outlook and therefore it reiterated its view that inflationary pressures will remain subdued over 1H19, particularly as the new low headline reading in December 2018 will accommodate inflation so as to remain within 14-15 percent throughout 2019.

Beltone’s also stated that its watch list includes: Foreign inflow in the fixed income in February to confirm the renewed investors’ appetite in the fixed income market, affirming limited pressures on the local currency; and the rate of depletion in banks’ NFAs, which started to ease in December 2018, defining the need to support the local currency.

CBE to continue easing cycle in 2019

Fitch Solutions expected that the CBE will decrease the interest rates in the second half as price pressures cool down, saying the pace of easing will likely be gradual amid more challenging external conditions and persistent risks of capital flight.

"We forecast the CBE’s overnight deposit and lending rates to end 2019 at 14.75 percent and 15.75 percent,respectively, implying a cumulative 200 basis points (bps) worth of cuts this year," Fitch Solutions said in a statement.

While Beltone left its expectations to the reading of inflation rates during the next two months for earlier interest rates cut in the first half of 2019.

“We reiterate our view that treasury yields will remain persistently elevated, above the pre-interest rates cut, disregarding interest rates policy direction for various other reasons,” it stated.

Moreover, EFG Hermes anticipated CBE to lower interest rates by 1 to 2 percent in 2019, with an average inflation rate to stabilize at 14 percent, which will boost the national economy and push forward investment rates.

The bank might mull a 1 or 2 percent cut of interest rates in the second half of 2019, EFG Hermes clarified, noting that foreigners' exit from treasury bills will not place any pressure on the central bank because their money was not used in financing the trade balance deficit.

Hermes pointed out that foreigners' investments in treasury bills surmounted $23 billion in the first quarter of 2018, but they had no big effect on the Egyptian economy. This means that when $11 billion of foreigners' investments in treasury bills exited at the end of the year, they also had no effect.

Hermes said Egypt's foreign cash reserves hit $45 billion in 2018, expecting the central bank to abandon its policy of increasing reserves in order to push forward investments.

Furthermore, Pharos Holding expected the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to cut interest rates by 1 percent during March meeting, elaborating that the dynamics of the local inflation rate and the foreign ownership of debt instruments enhance the chances of a rate cut in the first quarter of 2019.

“Cutting interest rates might form some pressure on the Egyptian pound, but with the current high price of exchange rate, the dollar will not exceed LE 18 as a result of this pressure and will not affect the inflation rate," it stated.

In previous research, Pharos expected the CBE to keep its overnight lending interest rate at 17.75 percent in 2H FY2018/19. “However, as the global monetary policy normalizes, we expect the CBE to gradually bring down its overnight lending interest rate to 15.75 percent in FY2019/20 and 13.75 percent in FY2020/21.”

Egypt which targets to hit average interest rates on the government’s debt instrument of 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in FY2017/18 budget, kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time in 2018.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.





]]>
2/14/2019 1:39:16 PM
<![CDATA[German flow of investments to Egypt skyrockets]]>
Woidke elaborated that the existence of Siemens, the German conglomerate company, in Egypt encourages other companies to invest in the country amid the great progress achieved in infrastructure and energy projects and prevailed stability.

The vice-president of the Landtag Brandenbrg stated that a German delegation, including a set of German companies and entrepreneurships, is set to visit Egypt February 22 to discuss possible investment opportunities and propose new ideas for investment such as recycling and industrial stone - a German technology set to be transferred to Egypt.

The industrial stone is a 5-millimeter stone made of sand. It is designed to be so firm to be used in constructing buildings and houses.

Regarding the German parties’ stance toward the political and economic changes in Egypt, Woidke stressed that the German view has positively changed and that the Democratic Party is the most cooperative German party with Egypt. Meanwhile, the Greens and the German Communist parties are not engaged in investments yet.

“Those two parties specifically have lots of clashes with the Germans themselves; they are trouble makers,” Woidke explained.

“Personally, I have joined the Christian Democratic Party headed by Angella Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, 25 years ago. I visit Egypt regularly. As long as the Egyptians accept the current leadership and its policy, the whole world has to respect their views and this is the democracy that we all call for,” the vice-president stated.

Woidke added that Egyptians understand the period they are going through, so they cooperate and unite in order to overcome all obstacles and achieve long-term progress and prosperity. "Thus, we all have to praise and support them."

“We exchange visits and meetings with the Egyptian officials, as fixed arrangements and appointments will strengthen our bilateral relationships,” Woidke further assured.

The vice-president of the Landtag Brandenburg lauded Egypt's role in combating terrorism and illegal immigration as well as in backing refugees, referring that his country embraces about 1 million Syrian refugees.
]]>
2/14/2019 11:35:27 AM
<![CDATA[Pharos expects CBE to lower interest rates in March]]>
The investment bank elaborated in a research that the dynamics of the local inflation rate and the foreign ownership of debt instruments enhance the chances of a rate cut in the first quarter of 2019.

Regarding February’s meeting, Pharos said that the current reading of January makes the possibility to cut the interest rates this month weak. “We see that the possibility of lowering interest rates is weak, and if the committee takes a decision to reduce the rates, the ratio will probably not exceed 0.5 percent.”

The research explained that the environment is ready to reduce interest rates during the first quarter of this year, in light of the increasing demands of foreigners on the Egyptian pound- denominated treasury bills, and the subsequent flows of US dollars in Egyptian banks, in addition to the high exchange rate of the Egyptian pound.

It added that with their forecasts that inflation rates during the period from February to May will be supportive as they are expected to reach annual rates from 11.8 percent to 12.5 percent in each of the next four months, the research foresaw a decline in interest rates during March.

“Cutting interest rates might form some pressure on the Egyptian pound, but with current high price of exchange rate, the dollar will not exceed LE 18 as a result of this pressure and will not affect the inflation rate.

As per January’s inflation rate, Pharos attributed the hike of the monthly rate to prices of vegetables and food grains which rose 3.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
The research anticipated inflation rate to stabilize at 0.3 percent to 0.6 percent monthly and at 11.8 percent to 12.5 percent annually during the period of February to May 2019.

It also referred to the recovery of foreign ownership of debt instruments during January 2019 to hit $12 billion, according to Finance Ministry data.

In previous research, Pharos expected the CBE to keep its overnight lending interest rate at 17.75 percent in 2H FY2018/19. “However, as the global monetary policy normalizes, we expect the CBE to gradually bring down its overnight lending interest rate to 15.75 percent in FY2019/20 and 13.75 percent in FY2020/21.”

Pharos sees Egypt on the recovery road

CAIRO - 10 January 2019: Pharos Holding expected Egypt to achieve a pickup in economic activity over the next five years on more sustainable dynamics as remittances improve, tourism recovers, oil and gas production rises, and foreign direct investments (FDI) increase.




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time in 2018.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.



]]>
2/14/2019 11:24:00 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.7 billion with a 182-day term and the second is worth LE 9.2 billion with a 364-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

During January, the Ministry of Finance announced that it would auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion in the first month of 2019.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Previously, Ministry of Finance announced financial treatments on treasury bills and bonds, Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury.

Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Foreign investments in T-bills hit LE210.2B by end of October

CAIRO - 28 November 2018: Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).




Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided by domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance to Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
2/14/2019 11:21:38 AM
<![CDATA[Fitch Solutions: Egypt's CBE to keep interest rate unchanged within coming months]]>
In a press release, the foundation expected that the CBE will decrease the interest rate in the second half as price pressures cool.

It said the pace of easing will likely be gradual amid more challenging external conditions and persistent risks of capital flight.

"We forecast the CBE’s overnight deposit and lending rates to end 2019 at 14.75% and 15.75% respectively, implying a cumulative 200 basis points (bps) worth of cuts this year," the statement said. ]]>
2/13/2019 7:39:07 PM
<![CDATA[Dana Gas to drill in what says could be Egypt's next mega gas field]]>
That data will be put to the test beginning in April or May, when it expects to start drilling an area that could hold 4-6 trillion cubic feet of gas, Dana Gas CEO Patrick Allman-Ward told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy forum on Tuesday.

“If the geology works out the way that we think it will, then in the success case it could be a 4-6 trillion cubic feet gas reserve,” Allman-Ward said

“And that’s just that one prospect,” he said of the area of a North Arish field located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea which is one of three Dana Gas has homed in on within its Block 6 after it was licensed to explore in 2014.

“All three together could be as much as 20 trillion cubic feet,” Allman-Ward said.

Such a reserve level would make it second only to Egypt’s Zohr field, a 30 trillion cubic feet find made by Eni in 2015 that made Egypt a major player in Mediterranean gas and which it is now hoping will become a regional re-export hub.

Allman-Ward said Dana’s investments are a modest $50-$100 million per year, but that it would invest as much as $5 billion to develop the three prospects in the best case scenario.

“The $5 billion is the high end estimate of what the total block development costs might be in the case of success in all three prospects....Development could start by 2023,” he said.

Allman-Ward said the find could be key in solidifying Egypt as a gas hub for regional trade, boosting its supplies even as Zohr’s reserves begin to decline and Egypt faces the prospect of being a net-importer as soon as 2023 without big new finds.]]>
2/13/2019 7:12:29 PM
<![CDATA[PM attends signing of cooperation protocol on setting up wind farm]]>
The inking ceremony was attended by Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker and Investment Minister Sahar Nasr along with British Ambassador in Cairo Geoffrey Adams.

The cooperation protocol was signed by Chairman of the EETC Sabah Mashaly and CEO of Lekela Power Chris Antonopoulos.

Shaker said that the costs of the project are estimated at about $325 million, adding that the power plant is expected to contribute to producing about 2 billion kilowatts of energy annually.

The project will be operated in June, 2022, he noted.

Such projects are expected to be among the largest direct foreign investments of the private sector in Egypt's electricity sector over the past few years, he pointed out.]]>
2/13/2019 7:11:19 PM
<![CDATA[Beltone anticipates CBE to keep interest rates unchanged in February ]]>
Beltone’s expectation came as the inflation outlook will remain hostage to the uncertain trajectory of volatile food prices.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced on Feb. 10 that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018.

Egypt's annual inflation reaches 12.2% in January

CAIRO - 10 February 2019: Egypt's annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018, state-statistics body said Sunday, Feb. 10. In December, Egypt's annual consumer price inflation recorded 11.1 percent, compared to 22.3 percent in the same month of 2017.




The report commented that monthly inflation started to gain momentum again, rising by 0.6 percent after two consecutive months of decline, yet still within the historical norms.

It also attributed the rise in January’s inflation rate to food prices due to a pick-up in vegetables and grains prices in particular.

“We believe the two upcoming inflation readings remain a key check in the list we have been monitoring for an earlier interest rates cut in 1H19,” Beltone stated in a report.

Beltone thought that the slight inch-up in inflation reading does not pose risks on our inflation outlook and therefore, it reiterated its view that inflationary pressures will remain subdued over 1H19, particularly as the new low headline reading in December 2018 will accommodate inflation so as to remain within 14-15 percent throughout 2019.

Beltone’s also stated that its watch list includes: Foreign inflow in the fixed income in February to confirm the renewed investors’ appetite in the fixed income market, affirming limited pressures on the local currency; and the rate of depletion in banks’ NFAs, which started to ease in December 2018, defining the need to support the local currency.

“We reiterate our view that treasury yields will remain persistently elevated, above the pre-interest rates cut, disregarding interest rates policy direction for various other reasons,” the report read.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time in 2018.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.



]]>
2/13/2019 6:24:50 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to cut interest rates in February's meeting: SHUAA Capital]]>
It attributed this view to the consistency of the inflation rate with the disinflation path.
“We note that the inflation increase recorded in January is mainly driven by vegetables volatility,” it noted.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced on Sunday that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018.

Egypt's annual inflation reaches 12.2% in January

CAIRO - 10 February 2019: Egypt's annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018, state-statistics body said Sunday, Feb. 10. In December, Egypt's annual consumer price inflation recorded 11.1 percent, compared to 22.3 percent in the same month of 2017.




SHUAA expected that vegetables are likely to witness volatility in the upcoming months’ readings, triggered by climate swings, especially in view of the adverse climate witnessed earlier in January.

“This is likely to affect vegetables’ prices up or down and, in turn, total inflation rates due to their high weight in the index,” it read.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time in 2018.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.





chart
]]>
2/13/2019 5:49:06 PM
<![CDATA[IMF official lauds Egyptian economic reform measures]]>
Azour is now visiting here with a mission of the IMF to get acquainted with the economic and social reform programs in Egypt.

He said that recent economic and legislative reform measures introduced by Egypt have made it a favorite destination for investments despite economic challenges facing the world economy.

At a meeting with Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, he added that the new investment law is one of the most important reform measures adopted by Egypt.

Nasr asserted that the government is keen on the participation of the private sector in national projects.

She said that her ministry is supporting small and medium-sized projects along with ventures by women and young people. ]]>
2/13/2019 4:43:26 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet approves bill on independence, regulation of FRA]]>
The bill falls within the framework of realizing financial and administrative independence of the authority.

Under the bill, the authority will present an annual report on its efforts and activities in addition to analysis of the non-banking capital markets and monitoring and regulatory measures.

The report will be presented to the president, the parliament speaker and the premier.

The bill regulates also the appointment of the authority's chairman and board members.]]>
2/13/2019 4:40:22 PM
<![CDATA[Arab, foreign purchases push EGX into green zone ]]>The benchmark EGX30 increased 0.14 percent, or 21.43 points, to close at 14,949.07 points.

Meanwhile, the equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.23 percent, or 5.4 points, to reach 2,403.83 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 hiked 0.38 percent, or 2.69 points, to 713.2 points, and the broader index EGX100 jumped 0.31 percent, or 5.64 points, to close at 1,800.14 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 2.21 billion, recording LE 826.5 billion, compared to LE 824.29 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 266.83 million shares, traded through 33,060 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.33 billion.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 93.89 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 85.1 million and LE 9.79 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 74.27 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 7.75 million, and LE 9.15 million, respectively.

Arab organizations bought at LE 77.35 million, while Egyptians and foreign organizations sold at LE 19.61 million, and LE 365,787, respectively.

Edita Food Industries S.A.E, Delta for Printing & Packaging, and El Nasr For Manufacturing Agricultural Crops were top gainers of the session by 8.57 percent, 8.02 percent and 6.58 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Misr Hotels, Modern Company for water proofing (Bitumode), and Modern Shorouk Printing & Packaging were top losers of the session by 10 percent, 8.67 percent, and 8.44 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Tuesday’s session in green, as EGX30 increased 0.97 percent, EGX50 hiked 0.55 percent, EGX70 rose 2.17 percent, and EGX50 inched up 1.96 percent.
]]>
2/13/2019 4:37:53 PM
<![CDATA[Molla discusses cooperation with int'l oil companies]]>
The meetings took place during EGYPS 2019 Expo, said a statement by his ministry.

Molla met with officials from the American multinational oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil, the Italian Edison firm, Mari Petroleum Company Limited of Pakistan and Baker Hughes, a GE company.

Molla also had talks with officials from Italian companies Saipem and Technip, the statement pointed out.

The talks took up investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector in Egypt and means of enhancing cooperation, added the statement.]]>
2/13/2019 4:01:00 PM
<![CDATA[Happy week for Egypt in Moody’s reports]]>
Moody’s presentation about Egypt stated that broad-based growth recovery, continued reform implementation, and emerging track record of resilience to capital market volatility inform the positive outlook.

moody's

It described the economy as large and diversified with robust growth potential, noting that growth is reverting to pre-crisis levels with activity improving in most sectors including tourism, natural gas, and manufacturing.

“Boost to external competitiveness after the devaluation supports economic strength,” it elaborated.

According to Moody’s, strong reform momentum with support from international lenders have helped reduce external vulnerabilities.

Despite the positive outlook, the rating agency reviewed key challenges that face Egypt’s economy including high borrowing costs and large financing needs over the next few years which drive Egypt’s significant exposure to interest rate shocks.

It added that the credit profile remains constrained by labor market challenges to absorb the rapidly expanding labor force as durable basis for social stability. “While domestic political stability improved, security risks remain elevated in certain areas.”

“Labor market dynamics are among long-term challenges impacting our political risk assessment,” Moody's further explained.

It also referred that improved institutional strength assessment captures economic and fiscal reform implementation drive. “We assess institutions in line with “low” median sovereign performance, taking into account the continued improvement in government effectiveness.”

Moreover, Moody’s saw that monetary policy is a key to anchoring inflation expectations and reducing borrowing costs over the medium term.

It added that the very weak public finances remain key credit constraint despite the declining debt ratio, noting that Egypt’s financing needs are very high, and debt affordability remains very weak.

As per FX reserves, it stated that they now cover 6.5 months of imports and sufficiently cover upcoming external maturities, adding that foreign participation in local currency market has been volatile, but manageable.

“Share of foreign currency debt has increased,” Moody's referred.

“Structural improvement in balance of payments reduces external vulnerability risk,” it said, clarifying that Egypt’s current account deficit is shrinking and will mainly be funded by FDI inflows.

Regarding Moody’s positive rating for Egypt’s banking System, the agency attributed its outlook to the accelerating state’s growth of 5.5 percent and 5.8 percent in Fiscal years of 2019 and 2020, respectively, driven by increased private and public investment, higher exports and recovering tourism.

“Banks’ high exposure to the Egyptian sovereign links their credit profiles with the government’s improving creditworthiness (B3, positive),” it added.

Moody’s expected banks to maintain ample local currency funding, high liquidity, and strong and stable profitability.

“We expect balance sheet growth of around 15 percent in 2019, propelled by brisk economic activity,” Moody's pointed out.

In August, Moody’s changed the outlook on the government of Egypt’s long –term issuer ratings to positive, a step followed by affirming the BS issuer ratings.
]]>
2/13/2019 2:11:39 PM
<![CDATA[Pay-As-You-Go Sustainable Energy]]>
Paying in advance of their energy consumption, many users hailed the new meters as efficient and secure, allowing them to avoid billing errors and operation costs. This gave the government the green light to experiment with smart, more developed digit-token meters, allowing users to monitor their consumption as power prices soar to historical highs.

Technician checking pre-paid meters in Egypt - Mohamed el-Hosary_Egypt Today
Technician checking pre-paid meters in Egypt - Mohamed el-Hosary/Egypt Today


As part of recently implemented austerity measures, Egypt announced new cuts to electricity subsidies last year, raising prices by an average of 26% from July. Old-fashioned power theft became a thing of the past, as experts hail the prepayment meter system code as preventive to stealing electricity from homes. “Both pre-paid and smart meters have multiple advantages, including accuracy in calculating power consumption, so users do not have to worry about incorrect readings, as human error factors are eliminated,” The Ministry of Electricity’s Spokesperson Ayman Hamza tells Business Today Egypt. Hamza went on to list further merits, like avoiding the damage of electric circuits at home in case of sudden high voltage supply.

The Ministry of Electricity has pushed ahead with increases to electricity prices for all consumption brackets, slashing subsidies off for only the seventh and last bracket. The move has attracted criticism from human rights organizations, who pointed to household electricity expenditure raising the burden of energy costs on the Egyptian population. “By monitoring their digital meters, users are now more cautious of their consumption not exceeding 1,000 kilowatts, which corresponds with the unsubsidized seventh bracket,” added Hamza.

The new meters can be recharged with up to LE 10,000, and the credit remaining after each month’s consumption is automatically moved to the next month. Hamza further added that the pre-paid meters could also be connected with solar panels, calculating the consumption via net metering that credits solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. For example, if a user generated 8 kilowatts of solar energy and consumed 100 kilowatts, the meters will only credit them for 92 kilowatts.

Are prepayment meters right for you?

Egyptians have been using the old, outdated domestic meters for decades. This system requires ministerial employees to take the meter readings at every house. However, readings have been criticized for inaccuracy, triggering the ministry’s efforts to issue bills that reflect citizens’ real consumption.

Now spending almost twice their household expenditure on electricity, users who switched to the pre-payment system tell Business Today Egypt how they managed to control their consumption with the new meters.

Abdel Latif, 55, lives in the small village of Shama in the Monufia governorate, located north of Egypt in the Nile Delta, where he has been using the pre-paid meters for the past three years. “These meters are the best thing that has been done by the electricity ministry in decades, as we were fed up seeing many people stealing electricity,” he says. Manipulating electricity readings is one of the shortcomings of the old system, where some users utilized tricks to reduce their bills like placing a strong magnet, causing the meter to malfunction, run backwards and stop reading the power consumed, without a sign of tampering.

Smart meters in Egypt - Mahmoud Fakhry_Egypt Today
Smart meters in Egypt - Mahmoud Fakhry/Egypt Today


With household appliances that include a refrigerator, a telephone, a television, a washing machine, fans and light bulbs, Abdel Latif recharges his meter with LE 100 ($5.59) for two months of consumption during wintertime; the same value is only sufficient for less than one month during the summer. “We run the fans constantly in the hot weather, which eats up the kilowatts,” Abdel Latif explain. Shama is inhabited by around 14,000 people. Abdel Latif said that he heard that almost 1,000 pre-paid meters were installed in houses there, with the meter cost at around LE 950 ($53). Resembling the new prepayment system to mobile recharge cards, Abdel Latif lauds the ease of the new system, “I can read the meter, which is available in the Arabic language, and recharge it from nearby centers or Fawry [an e-payment device available at booths].”

In Giza, Sayed Gamal, 32, recently bought a deep freezer to add to his household appliances’ consumption per month, leading to the reduction of the recharging value. “I recharge the card with LE 100, which used to cover 450 kilowatts of monthly consumption levels before we installed the deep freezer, after which the value only covers 200 kilowatts,” Gamal adds. Like many Egyptians, Gamal suffers from the impact of the high electricity bills on his expenditure. “The new meter is suitable for me, I pay what I consume, and do not worry at the end of the month of having high bills that do not reflect my consumption,” he says, comparing the two systems.

A step towards digital economy transformation

Egypt has announced a strategy of moving to a digital economy and electronic commerce, offering all services electronically by 2019. The strategy includes investing in 4G services, building smart cities and modernizing the telecom infrastructure. It also works to automate vital sectors like the education and the comprehensive health insurance system, as well as the Government Fiscal Management Information System (GFMIS), with the aim of increasing dependency on electronic systems in payments.

Former Advisor of Electricity minister Maher Aziz considered the shift to pre-paid and smart meters as “a step in the path towards a comprehensive digitalization,” saying, “Digitalization controls the electricity system, excludes human error and overcomes the weak sides of the old electricity system.”

Power Purchase Makeover

CAIRO - 20 January 2019: With a perishing energy crisis and hopes pinned on surplus production slated to make the country a major exporter, Egypt is announcing a makeover in power purchasing to guarantee better prices and quality after an unprecedented hike on subsidy cuts.



Avoiding the sudden cut of electricity due to late bill-paying, users get a red flashing light in their pre-paid meters when the credit goes down to LE 10, an indication to re-charge the meter. Expert Aziz, who is also a member of the London-based World Energy Council, explains that even if the credit zeroes, the meter continues running for a short grace period. With the listed advantages of the pre-payment system, ministry spokesperson Hamza said there is a remarkable turnout by citizens to shift to pre-paid meters, adding that the ministry provides an installment payment plan for users wishing to purchase new pay-as-you-go meters.]]>
2/13/2019 2:11:16 PM
<![CDATA[5Q INTERVIEW: Sustainability consultant discusses energy modelling, green buildings]]>
Looking to all directions, sustainable strategies are really setting the scene, with companies and governments working left and right to set these strategies with the aim of protecting themselves from turning tides.

At its most basic level, sustainability is defined as “the capacity to ensure.” In the world of business, sustainability means that your business model can withstand the test of time, meaning that a company or an industry is resilient and able to go the distance and thrive in different periods.

In fact, a 2011 survey by Management consulting company McKinsey & Company found that the move towards sustainability, which they had seen in 2010 to be driven by companies wanting to improve their reputation, is now inspired by a willingness to reduce energy use (63%) and waste (61%) from operations and respond to constraints and opportunities (46%). Meanwhile, 28% of respondents said their companies preferred sustainability to reach new customer or markets, and 18% said that sustainability is a way of achieving higher prices. As such, 57% say their companies have integrated sustainability into strategic planning.

In light of this move, Egypt Today spoke to Radwa Amin, Founder of Wahdj and Sustainability consultant, to speak about energy modelling, green buildings, and how Egypt can become environmentally-friendly at less cost.

ET: What is the impact of energy modelling on building materials?

Radwa Amin: By performing energy modelling, we can easily know the effect of our material selection onto the building energy consumption and use, consequently if we want to have lower energy consumption than the current results, then we should change our building material selection, to finally get to our energy use consumption target. Bottom line: It is a procedure that helps project team to select materials carefully for the sake of energy conservation.

ET: We are all heading towards being more environment-friendly, but why should buildings be green too?

Radwa Amin: Green building is an old concept, since ancient Egyptian, however I believe it was misused in the last two hundred years. Green buildings are simply the buildings that serve their occupants well, do not waste energy, relate to and conserve the environment which is built in, and built within the client’s required budget. Therefore, by applying this concept, Green Building is a crucial need as we are lacking energy and water resources, occupants suffer from sick building syndrome and their non-connectivity to nature while spending most of their lives inside buildings, and last but not least wasted budget, either in the initial stage of building the project (first cost) or, significantly in the stage of operation and maintenance (operation and maintenance annual cost).

ET: Green-mix concrete or green cement has lower carbon footprint per unit of concrete produced than normal cement, however, when we speak about building strength is of the essence. What kind of performance does green concrete have?

Radwa Amin: I believe that in Egypt, we can still go with conventional concrete instead of green concrete and yet build green buildings too. My opinion is based on that we need to establish proper R&D in Egypt prior spreading the use of green concrete, in order to have proper tracking to such new technology, and also to break green concrete usage barriers, such as the conventional construction business practice, and current building codes,

ET: What is the most important thing to look out for when deciding who should perform energy modelling?

Radwa Amin: I believe that when choosing a specialist to perform energy modelling, we need to search for the following qualities: Technical expertise for the subject matter, probable availability, community involvement, and personal integrity. This is because it means that the person will likely produce quality but fair results, and is likely a good communicator with the rest of the project team. Lastly, we have to consider someone's probable availability.

ET: How important is environmental sustainability to growth and economic sustainability?

Radwa Amin: Very important. If we maintained our natural resources such as water, different energy resources, land, and soil; therefore we would save our future economy and we are moving towards economic sustainability.
]]>
2/13/2019 12:36:54 PM
<![CDATA[Global markets greet sign of trade truce extension with glee]]>
As U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer prepared for talks in Beijing on Thursday and Friday to hammer out a trade deal, markets cheered the signal that there could be an extension to a tariff truce.

European shares followed Asia’s lead to rise across the board with the trade-sensitive German index jumping 0.8 percent and the pan-European STOXX 600 up 0.5 percent.

Chemicals, carmakers, and luxury goods saw the biggest gains as investors snatched stocks whose valuations have been hit by trade tariffs and a slowdown in China.

China’s blue-chip CSI 300 rose around 2 percent to a four-month high overnight, with IT shares leading gains.

Trump said on Tuesday that he could see letting the March 1 deadline for reaching a trade agreement with China “slide for a little while” if the two sides were close to a complete deal.

He added he is “not inclined” to delay raising tariffs.

Officials in Washington and Beijing had expressed hopes that a round of talks this week would bring them nearer to easing their seven-month trade war.

“There’s still a level of uncertainty there but at least the rhetoric does not show he is digging his heels in, so the market has quite rightly taken it as a positive,” said Justin Onuekwusi, fund manager at Legal & General Investment Management.

“But of course the key thing is he can change his mind.”

Investors remained concerned about underlying trends of slowing economic growth and weaker earnings. Analysts have slashed their 2019 earnings growth estimates for developed stocks from around 10 percent to 5 percent.

As investors went back into risky assets they sold safe-haven government bonds, driving yields up. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield hit a one-week high at 2.700 percent.

In Europe, Spanish 5-year bond yields hit a two-week high in early deals ahead of a possible snap election call.

Central banks were also offering support to risk assets.

The Federal Reserve will chart plans to stop letting its bond holdings roll off “at coming meetings,” Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Tuesday, signaling another major policy shift for the Fed after pausing interest rate hikes.

“Mester’s comments follow on quite clearly from what Powell said at the recent press conference, which was already quite a dovish shift which the market wasn’t expecting,” said Mohammed Kazmi, portfolio manager at UBP in Geneva.

“Everyone wants to catch this rally because they know at some point it will fade, there will have to be some sort of adjustment later this year because this is pretty much as dovish as [the Fed] can get without moving to a rate cut which would only come in a recession scenario,” he added.

Progress on another issue unnerving markets - the U.S. government shutdown - also provided a boost to risk appetite.

The Cboe Volatility Index, Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge,” dropped overnight to 14.95, its lowest level since October.

The U.S. dollar was on the defensive: its index against six major currencies inched up 0.1 percent to 96.836.

Emerging market stocks, which were hurt last year by a strong dollar, climbed 0.4 percent. BAML on Tuesday said investors saw emerging markets as the “most crowded” trade, for the first time ever.

Talk of slipping deadlines was rife not only in the trade war arena but also in Brexit.

Sterling inched up 0.1 percent against the dollar as investors awaited a Brexit debate in parliament later in the day, during which some previous amendments on Brexit extension would be discussed once again.

In commodities, oil prices surged after OPEC said it cut production sharply in January, and as U.S. sanctions hit Venezuela’s oil exports.

U.S. WTI crude oil futures were up 1.1 percent at $53.71 per barrel, while Brent crude futures rose 1.3 percent to $63.23.

London copper prices eyed their first session of gains in five as hopes of a trade deal soothed concerns over the economy in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.]]>
2/13/2019 12:13:41 PM
<![CDATA[Oil gets a boost from Saudi output pledge, declining U.S. inventories]]>
Brent crude futures rose 88 cents to $63.30 a barrel by 0950 GMT, while U.S. crude oil futures gained 66 cents to trade at $53.76 a barrel.

“The feel-good factor is back in play but oil bulls are by no means out of the woods yet,” PVM Oil Associates Stephen Brennock said.

“It is a well-known fact that the world economy is losing momentum amid a plethora of downside risks including lingering US-China trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainty.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Tuesday that it had cut its output by almost 800,000 bpd in January to 30.81 million bpd.

Most of that reduction has been thanks to Saudi Arabia. Energy minister Khalid al-Falih on Tuesday told the Financial Times production would fall below 10 million bpd in March, more than half a million bpd below the target it agreed to as part of a global deal to limit supply.

U.S. restrictions on Venezuela’s energy sector have crippled exports and threaten to remove some 330,000 bpd in supply from the market this year, according to Goldman Sachs.

The oil price has risen by 20 percent so far this year, yet most of that increase materialized in early January, before the imposition of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s energy sector.

The global oil market remains well supplied, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly market report on Wednesday and output would still likely outstrip demand this year, despite OPEC’s efforts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. [IEA/M]

“Oil prices have not increased alarmingly because the market is still working off the surpluses built up in the second half of 2018,” the IEA said.

“In quantity terms, in 2019, the U.S. alone will grow its crude oil production by more than Venezuela’s current output. In quality terms, it is more complicated. Quality matters.”

Venezuela has tried to find alternative customers, especially in Asia, but under U.S. pressure many buyers there are also shying away from dealing with PDVSA.

In the United States, crude inventories fell by 998,000 barrels in the latest week, trouncing forecasts for a rise of 2.7 million barrels, according to data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday.

U.S. crude output is expected to grow by 1.45 million bpd this year and by another 790,000 bpd next year to hit 13 million bpd in 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration.

The rapid growth in U.S. production, led by shale oil output, has led to an unwelcome build in inventories of crude and refined products, while refining margins for the gasoline it yields have collapsed around the world. ]]>
2/13/2019 12:11:45 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Germany sign $250 M agreement to back reform program]]>
The sum is the second tranche of a 500-million-dollar soft loan allocated by Germany to Egypt to back its socio-economic reforms.

The agreement was signed by Investment Minister Sahar Nasr and Head of the Africa/Middle East Directorate at the KFW Helmut Gauges.

In a statement, the Investment Ministry said the agreement will focus on backing Egypt's economic reform program and investments in human cadres in a bid to offer better services to Egyptian citizens.

The agreement comes as part of efforts to promote cooperation between Egypt and Germany. It also mirrors the confidence of Germany and international foundations in the social and economic reform program of Egypt.

Nasr invited German companies to pump more investments in the Egyptian market.

There are 1,215 German companies operating in the Egyptian market with investments totaling 7.1 billion dollars.

The minister lauded the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Germany that reached 2.1 billion euros.

German Ambassador in Cairo Julius Georg Luy, who attended the signing ceremony, expressed Germany's support of Egypt's bold reforms, saying its economic growth rate began to take an upward trend.

He lauded the improvement in the Egyptian economy, attributing it to the courageous steps taken by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to improve the business and investment climate.]]>
2/13/2019 11:50:38 AM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry banking delegation in talks over taxes on treasury bonds]]>
The parliament approved amending the last paragraph of Article 58 by separating the treasury bills and bonds in a separate revenue pot, without imposing new taxes on these treasury bills and bonds and maintaining the same tax rate of 32 percent mentioned in the amended article.

The amendments will be applicable once President Abdel Fattah El Sisi approved them, said Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk.

The meeting examined the best application of the legislative amendment in a way that will increase tax allocations without imposing new taxes, he added. ]]>
2/13/2019 11:48:39 AM
<![CDATA[Washington Post: Trump plans to ban some Chinese companies from US markets]]>
However, the ban would be a new blow to the expansionary plans of China’s telecoms giants, which account for the bulk of the country’s exports in this sector.

Currently, the US imports a relatively small amount of telecoms equipment from China that could be used in wireless networks.

Granular data is not available, but according to the latest available figures from China Customs, the US imported US$38.9 billion of telecoms equipment in total in 2016, 19 per cent of China’s total telecoms exports.

According to a 2017 report by a Beijing-based research institute affiliated with real estate developer China Fortune Land Development, most of China’s telecom equipment exported to the United States are wireless base stations and core network equipment.

These accounted for 10 per cent of China’s total exports of telecoms equipment, the study found.

Analysts have suggested that with US restrictions on Chinese companies in the sector, this is likely to have fallen since 2017.

In August, Trump banned US government agencies from buying equipment-made by Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecoms and technology giant.]]>
2/13/2019 11:46:48 AM
<![CDATA[Remittances from Egyptian expats rise to $25.5B in 2018]]>
During the first 11 months of 2018, remittances of expatriates hit $23.3 billion, compared to $22.1 billion in January-November period of 2017, with an increase of 5.7 percent.

Remittances from Egyptian expats record $23.3B in 1st 11 months of 2018

CAIRO - 29 January 2018: Remittances from Egyptian expatriates rose 5.7 percent during the first 11 months of 2018, reaching $23.3 billion, compared to $22.1 billion in the same months of 2017, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said.




In December, remittances of expatriates jumped $210.2 million on a month-on-month basis, to hit $2.2 billion, compared to $1.9 billion in November 2018.

CBE announced earlier that remittances from Egyptian expatriates rose 1.5 percent during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, reaching $5.9 billion, compared to $5.8 billion in the same quarter of 2017/2018.

Moreover, remittances from Egyptian expatriates increased by about $4.6 billion (21.1 percent) during fiscal year 2017/2018.

Remittances from Egyptian expatriates increased to $26.4 billion since floating the Egyptian pound in November 2016 and until November 2017, compared to $22.3 billion in the same period of the previous year, data showed.

Remittances are one of Egypt’s main foreign currency sources, which have been on the rise since Egypt floated its local currency in November 2016.
]]>
2/12/2019 5:48:39 PM
<![CDATA[Petroleum minister witnesses signing several MoUs during EGYPS 2019]]>
The first MoU was signed between the Egyptian Petroleum Company and Petronas of Malaysia to exploit the surplus capacity at the oil complex in al-Ameriya through the establishment of a new company to market the quality of the new oil, which will be produced by a common brand for use in the local market and export.

The Petroleum Ministry clarified that joint cooperation will also be established in the field of transfer and exchange of experiences to benefit from the research centers of the two companies. This comes within the strategy of the Ministry of Petroleum to develop its services and produce new types of oils commensurate with modern engines.

The minister also witnessed the signing of a MoU between the ministry and Apache Egypt to support the Young and Medium Leadership Development Program by developing and implementing a rapid training program for successful employees in the Petroleum Sector Development and Modernization Program, preparing them for future leadership.

“These include practical training for the transfer of necessary expertise and training programs through Apache employees and through experts, within the framework of the program of rehabilitation of young and medium leaders in the oil sector,” the ministry stated.

The ministry also signed a MoU with the American Chamber of Commerce to support Apache Egypt to prepare and implement a program aiming to train and qualify middle leaders in the petroleum sector to refine their expertise and develop their skills; the program will start by providing training programs for 50 trainees chosen by the ministry.

The program covers effective work systems, innovation and skills, team empowerment, achieving best performance, and how to manage change and implement strategies.
“The program is the first of its kind to be launched by the ministry and the chamber in the framework of their joint cooperation,” the ministry stated.

Moreover, Molla witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Schlumberger and the Egyptian Drilling Company to support the partnership between the two sides in the use of modern technologies, raising the efficiency of the oil sector, increasing the production rates and preparing new models for submission to the new companies that will enter the Egyptian market.

On the same note, ENPI and SAP signed a cooperation agreement to implement an integrated asset and resource management system for refining and marketing companies of the Petroleum Authority and to establish integrated information systems.

The systems are set to ensure the flow of information between the authority, the holding companies and the subsidiaries under the Seventh Development and Modernization Program.

The agreement also stipulated the construction of a technical support center within the petroleum sector to serve the sector companies and select distinguished cadres from the sector to manage it.

EGYPS 2019 brings together Egyptian and North African government representatives, key project owners, NOCs and IOCs, international service providers as well as engineering, procurement & construction companies, in addition to EPC contractors, consultants and financiers to address the evolving opportunities in the Egyptian and North African energy arena.
]]>
2/12/2019 5:47:20 PM
<![CDATA[EGX flags in green Tuesday, market cap. gains LE6B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 increased 0.97 percent, or 142.82 points, to close at 14,927.64 points.

Meanwhile, the equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.55 percent, or 13.09 points, to reach 2,398.43 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 hiked 2.17 percent, or 15.12 points, to 710.51 points, and the broader index EGX100 jumped 1.96 percent, or 34.51 points, to close at 1,794.5 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 6.03 billion, recording LE 824.28 billion, compared to LE 818.29 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 218.8 million shares, traded through 28,997 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.18 billion.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 47.72 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 27.21 million and LE 20.51 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 75.38 million, LE 11.06 million, and LE 1.06 million, respectively.

Foreign organizations sold at LE 46.12 million, while Egyptians and foreign organizations bought at LE 102.59 million, and LE 31.57 million, respectively.

Paint & Chemicals Industries (Pachin), Arabian Cement Company, and Prime Holding were top gainers of the session by 9.72 percent, 7.09 percent and 6.36 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Nozha International Hospital, Alexandria Pharmaceuticals, and Arab Cotton Ginning were top losers of the session by 9.79 percent, 3.75 percent, and 2.85 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session on mixed note, as EGX30 increased 0.14 percent, EGX70 hiked 0.19 percent, EGX100 rose 0.19 percent, while EGX50 dropped 0.08 percent.
]]>
2/12/2019 5:22:01 PM
<![CDATA[Shell aims to increase LNG exports from Egypt: executive]]>
The company shipped 12 LNG cargoes from the Idku plant last year and is “hoping for more” this year, Hanter told reporters in Cairo, adding that the West Delta Deep Marine field Phase 9B project should be completed by the end of this year.

Shell was among companies that on Tuesday won new exploration rights in Egypt. It secured five of 12 concessions offered in a bidding round, according to results announced by Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla.

“The blocks we won today complement the picture for us,” Gasser said, explaining that it targeted blocks near the company’s existing infrastructure to help it to monetise volumes more quickly.

“We are equally focused on onshore and offshore going forward,” Gasser added.

He said current output at the Idku gas liquefaction plant is about 200-300 million cubic feet per day, which is not enough to run both trains at the facility.

An LNG train cools natural gas into liquid form to allow its transportation on tanker vessels to destinations not linked by pipelines.

Idku has capacity of about 1.2 billion cubic feet/day, Gasser said.]]>
2/12/2019 4:44:02 PM
<![CDATA[Planning min.: UAE is biggest investment partner to Egypt]]>
The minister's remarks were made during an expanded meeting with members of the board of Sharjah Chamber of Trade and Commerce in the presence of Chairman Abdullah al Owais on the fringe of the 7th session of the World Government Summit held in Dubai, according to a statement by the Ministry of Planning released on Tuesday.

The two sides discussed cooperation in a set of fields, including Sharjah award for economic excellency and in light of Egypt's launching an award for the governmental excellency.

The talks also covered Sharjah chamber's efforts to encourage business leadership, added the statement.

The minister also said Egypt's sovereign fund will float a number of state assets for investment by the UAE side, highlighting a rise in the volume of Egyptian exports to Sharjah.]]>
2/12/2019 4:41:00 PM
<![CDATA[IMF: Egypt has big opportunity to make progress in financial inclusiveness field]]>
Addressing a seminar held by the American University in Cairo (AUC) on Tuesday on the occasion of launching a report on "Financial Inclusiveness For Small- and Medium-Scale Projects, Azour said one of the best solutions for increasing financial inclusiveness for small- and medium-scale projects and individuals is the financial technology.

Arab region countries could benefit from a more organized and bigger financial technology in view of the large number of youths and immigrants in the region, he added.

Azour also said small and medium-sized projects could absorb half of the workforce of the region, noting that such projects in Egypt include 75 percent of the total workforce, 50 percent of whom are dealing with banks.]]>
2/12/2019 4:38:33 PM
<![CDATA[Aphrodite gas field attracting big investors: Petroleum Min.]]>
The minister went on to speak of the agreement signed between Egypt and Cyprus, pointing out that it has increased investor attraction towards the country that is well on its way to becoming a regional energy hub.

“The Governmental agreement signed between Egypt and Cyprus was indeed very important as an umbrella to encourage investors. It highly emphasizes the two governments’ support and commitment of this cross-border project,” he said, adding, “As a result, we have witnessed great interest from the IOCs, down streamers and financial institutions. Discussions are now taking place to accelerate the process after completing the constitutional and legal procedures at each country. This shall then be followed by a commercial agreement for the project.”

The minister explained that Egypt works very hard on enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation with international players, and that the country is focused on improving its image on a global level, especially given the fact that the region is seen as a conflict zone for a significant amount of time. “It is about time now that we start sending a different message to the world and build trust that this is a safe and secure environment for investment. This image will benefit all of us and open lots of opportunities in many fields; not just in the Gas industry.”

He continued, “We are constantly enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation with all the relevant partners; an obvious example is the Egyptian – Cypriot - Greek cooperation going on the highest level. It’s now time to extend an umbrella to include all these cooperation efforts and to set a mechanism for a structured policy dialogue to build a shared vision and set the scene for a stable regional gas market; one that can optimally utilize the current and future infrastructure to reduce cost and keep competitive edge, minimize risk, and encourage the quick monetization of the regional reserves and attract more investments in the gas industry in East Med.

Egypt signed an agreement with Cyprus to connect Aphrodite gas field to its liquefaction plants for re-exportation.

The agreement is considered a general framework to establish a direct sea gas line between both countries, according to spokesman of the Petroleum Ministry Hamdy Abdel Aziz.

The agreement was signed between Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla, and Minister of Energy, Industry, Tourism and Trade of Cyprus Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, in the presence of Ambassador of Egypt to Cyprus Mai Taha Khalil, and a representative of the European Commission for Energy that regulates the general framework of the agreement between the two countries.

Both countries were planning to link Aphrodite field with Egypt's liquefaction plants in Idku and Damietta after President Abdel Fatah al Sisi visited Cyprus, and discussed the construction of a pipeline to deliver gas to Egypt from Cyprus’s Aphrodite field in November.

Molla said that the Egyptian-Cypriot agreement is not only for the implementation of a sea pipeline, but will also contribute positively to the supply of gas to the European Union.

In April, Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a strategic cooperation in Energy with the European Union, stipulating to update the energy sector cooperation between both sides and implementing a clean energy transition.

He referred to the agreement as one of the main axes to support the economic relationships between both countries and an important step to maximize the benefits of Cypriot gas discoveries.

Petroleum Minister Molla emphasized the importance of the Egyptian role in the future of gas in the Middle East region with its strategic location, strong infrastructure and mega gas discoveries.

Egypt is moving towards self-sufficiency in gas and becoming the Middle East’s energy hub, with expectations to stop importing liquefied gas in 2018, after the production of its giant gas field, Zohr, began in December 2017.

The Italian energy company Eni discovered in 2015 Zohr gas field in the Shorouk concession with around 850 billion cubic meters of gas.

Egypt’s gas production currently stands at 5.5 billion cubic feet a day.

Meanwhile, Egypt signed a deal in 2013 with Cyprus, allowing both states to explore oil and gas in their economic zones.

In 2017, Cyprus and Egypt agreed to start discussions on an agreement to build a gas pipe from a Cypriot natural gas field to Egypt, followed by signing an agreement between Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Molla and Cyprus' Minister of Energy Lakkotrypis to transport gas from Cyprus to Egypt via a maritime pipeline.

Additional Reporting: Egypt Today Staff
]]>
2/12/2019 4:25:49 PM
<![CDATA[Minimum investment in Petroleum Authority, EGAS bids amounts to $750M]]>
Molla also announced that Shell Egypt NV Company won five sectors of EGAS biddings.
The minister also announced the win of Petroleum and Ieoc Production BV companies in the auction which included 11 sectors in all areas of the General Petroleum Corporation, with five sectors being in the Western Desert, two sectors in the Nile Valley, three sectors in the Gulf of Suez and one sector in the Eastern Desert.

On Monday, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli opened - on behalf of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - the Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS 2019).

EGYPS 2019 brings together Egyptian and North African government representatives, key project owners, NOCs and IOCs, International Service Providers, Engineering, Procurement & Construction Companies, EPC contractors, consultants and financiers to address the evolving opportunities in the Egyptian and North African energy arena.

]]>
2/12/2019 4:13:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt works on contract to attract more investment in oil sector]]>
He added that the contract will provide investors with incentives to explore for fossil fuels in undeveloped areas.

“We are improving the cost-recovery process to be faster, less bureaucratic and more efficient,” he noted, saying that the government will launch a new bid round in the Red Sea this quarter.

Previously, Molla said that Egypt aims at attracting investments of $10 billion in the petroleum sector during the current year.

Molla added that the first international tender for natural gas exploration in the Red Sea will be floated very soon, pointing out that Egypt's gas production amounts to around 6,400 million cubic feet per day.

Egypt seeks $10B investments in petroleum sector

CAIRO - 6 February 2019: Egypt aims at attracting investments of $10 billion in the petroleum sector during the current year, Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla told news-channel. Molla added that the first international tender for natural gas exploration in the Red Sea will be floated very soon, pointing out that Egypt's gas production amounts to around 6,400 million cubic feet per day.




]]>
2/12/2019 4:11:51 PM
<![CDATA[EGX becomes funding member of AELP initiative]]>
AELP is an electronic project linking between African exchanges to promote intra-continent investments.

EGX elaborated on its website that this step came to strengthen investments between African Stock Exchanges.

Besides the Egyptian Exchange, AELP initiative includes African Exchange of Nigeria, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Casablanca, Mauritius and BRVM which are the umbrella exchange for Togo, Senegal, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Benin and Niger.

Chairman of EGX Mohamed Farid participated last week in the first two sessions of the 51st meeting of the African Stock Exchanges Federation and the second meeting of the members of the project of linking the African stock exchanges.

Farid said that the initiative aims to increase and enhance inter-securities investments among the African stock exchanges by working on building an electronic platform for all related parties, especially brokerage firms, to simplify trading between different markets within the initiative.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) supports the initiative, which is working on plans to develop African capital markets to play its part in financing the expansion of companies in various economic activities, thus creating jobs that contribute to improving living conditions and further building these markets' capacity as trading and investment markets that allow investors to transfer ownership in a transparent and flexible manner.

He added that the Egyptian Stock Exchange's accession as a founding member of the African Stock Exchange Initiative comes at a time of great importance, as Egypt seeks to regain its leading role in Africa through its chairmanship of the African Union at its current session. Furthermore, Egypt aims at exchanging experiences and opening up to Africa and the world to improve the capabilities of these exchanges.

"We need to strengthen communication with all institutions to provide a suitable environment for presenting the latest developments in the economic scene, exchanging views and visions to be the linkage between capital flows and investment opportunities in Egypt," Farid added.

EGX ended Monday’s session on mixed performance, and market capitalization lost LE 586.28 million, amid foreign selling.
]]>
2/12/2019 4:05:30 PM
<![CDATA[GEN president talks about Egypt’s entrepreneurial ecosystem ]]>
GEN is an organization that provides a platform for programs and initiatives to help new firms start and scale within one global entrepreneurial ecosystem. GEN is headquartered in Washington but operates in 170 countries where it works to foster healthier local ecosystems.

Tell me a brief about GEN's First Campus in the MENA region, mainly about its target and main activities.

GEN’s first campus in the MENA region, GEN@Bloomfields, in partnership with Tatweer Misr, will help strengthen connections among ecosystem stakeholders and facilitate access to resources for young entrepreneurs, including technology labs with state-of-the-art workstations, workshop rooms, co-working spaces and much more. Entrepreneurs will have access to a diverse team of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors and funders all under one roof to nurture and support them at every stage of their journey. This includes GEN bringing best-in-class programs, communities and support from our network to Egypt’s next generation of entrepreneurs.

What is the main target of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)?

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a celebration of innovators who dream big and launch startups that bring ideas to life. Since its launch in 2008, millions of people across 170 countries celebrate GEW each November through local, national and global events and activities. From large-scale startup competitions and workshops to small, community discussions – GEW reaches new audiences and connects participants to a network that can help them take the next step, no matter where they are on their entrepreneurial journey. Global Entrepreneurship Week is a mission to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit – it’s a way for us to inspire more people to consider the path of entrepreneurship at some point in their life.

When did GEN launch its first Global Entrepreneurship Week in Egypt? And how has GEW been developed throughout these years?

Egypt was one of the first countries around the world to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week. Since it launched in 2008, it has grown from a few activities that first year to more than 100 events, competitions and workshops. We started with a spark of an idea, beginning with 77 countries in 2008, and then more than doubling that number by 2018. What initially started as a campaign to promote youth entrepreneurship has matured over the years to now engaging startup community leaders, policymakers, researchers, investors and other startup champions.

I’d like to know more about Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC).

The Global Entrepreneurship Congress gathers together thousands of ecosystem builders, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers and others from more than 170 countries to explore effective interventions to help founders start and scale new ventures around the world. It was first hosted at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City and since has been to Dubai, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Liverpool, Milan, Medellin, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and Shanghai. The next Congress, scheduled for April 2019, will be hosted in Bahrain where we expect one of the highlights to be a ministerial meeting, gathering government officials and policy experts to review innovative new approaches to shaping public policy to advance new firm formation.

What’s your opinion about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Middle East and in Egypt specifically?

The ecosystem in Egypt is rapidly evolving and has seen significant growth in the past few years following the 2011 revolution, which opened doors for many young people to start thinking about ways to innovate, create and control their destinies – unleashing their entrepreneurial potential. We have also seen similar enthusiasm for startups in the region more generally. This is why GEN has been so excited to open a hub in Cairo, at the very heart of where we are seeing some of the most encouraging progress. Because it is entrepreneurs and their companies who will work to help create new jobs moving forward, and it is entrepreneurs who will make available goods and services found elsewhere that are not yet available here.

Do you think that Egypt offers a healthy ecosystem for entrepreneurs?

With a large youth population, low wage costs and numerous niche markets yet to be saturated, Egypt is an ideal place to offer young entrepreneurs a suitable environment to experiment and develop their ideas. Tatweer Misr has, from its inception, been dedicated to building the educational capacity of Egypt in order to fuel the creation of the most dynamic workforce possible. We see this collaboration between Tatweer and GEN as a natural extension of this goal.

Do you think that the government is well engaged in the ecosystem or is there a gap between entrepreneurs and decision makers?

At GEN, one of our core beliefs is that to develop the best environment for entrepreneurship to flourish, with minimal barriers for founders and investors, all key stakeholders need to sit at the same table – from policymakers and entrepreneurs to investors and ecosystem builders. We see that potential and that commitment in Egypt. While the startup ecosystem is relatively nascent, there has been increasing engagement by the Investment Ministry, as well as other stakeholders, since the inception of the government’s economic reform plan. Dr. Sahar Nasr is smart and highly respected globally for her deep understanding of the needs of entrepreneurs and I think Egypt should be proud of having government leaders like her fighting to build the ecosystem.

There is a tendency among most Middle Eastern entrepreneurs to go for tech startups which are based on application or website. What do you think about that?

A lot of the startups that we have seen emerge in Egypt and the region over the past few years have been directly in response to specific issues people are facing in their daily lives – such as food delivery and transportation – and thus technology and the use of apps has been crucial to solving the challenges of consumers in a very direct way. However, we are also seeing the continued evolution of startups that are not app-based and seek to solve challenges that are tougher – especially as technology has opened the doors to everyone who sees a way of doing something better or cheaper – even if it means disrupting dated businesses and business models. By the time GEN@Bloomfields opens, I think you will see an army of entrepreneurs disrupting semi-regulated industries across the MENA economies, which is why we are planning ahead for the next generation of entrepreneurs in energy, transportation, health care, and other related industries to ripe for new innovators and ways of serving consumers.

Most Middle Eastern entrepreneurs depend on raising funds to get to survive for the first period. What’s your opinion?

At the outset, entrepreneurs should focus on the iterative process of experimenting with ideas not raising money. If the result of the experiment gets increasingly promising, they can start to shift time onto raising money. Starting a company is not about getting income or a job, but taking a risk with your time and comfort to birth the new.Icounsel startups to focus in the first couple of years on mentorship, finding people with unique knowledge of the industry they hope to join – or disrupt. They should be focused on getting access to a peer network to pull from on demand when they need it and finding pathways to new markets – not raising money.

A healthy local ecosystem that GEN hopes to contribute to enables these things to happen free to the entrepreneurs. GEN@Bloomfields will aim to help mature this capacity and streamline the funding process for companies.

What do you think are the main challenges that entrepreneurs face in the Middle East and Egypt in particular?

While many entrepreneurs will point to the need for more access to capital, I see the need for increasing the density of the ecosystem, strengthening connections and collaboration while increasing the skills of the workforce. Initiatives like GEN@Bloomfields facilitate cooperation between startups and can provide the space and community needed to overcome many of the obstacles being faced.

As part of the mission to enrich the communities in which they work, GEN, along with our partner Tatweer Misr, is also committed to ensuring the next generation is equipped with the knowledge necessary to be job creators instead of job seekers. This is important to the work we foresee GEN@Bloomfields fulfilling. By uniting all the players in the ecosystem, we can help bridge gaps in the ecosystem, provide potential new markets to startups and most importantly secure better access to knowledge, networks and training. When I last visited Cairo, I took some time off to look at the Pyramids. It was thousands of years after Egyptian innovators figured out massive scientific and logistical challenges that nations like America were born. Innovation is in the blood of Egyptians and we are keen to ensure the region recognizes this and is confident like we are about the region’s future.

Do you think that media plays a role in supporting the ecosystem? To what extent does media pay attention to entrepreneurs?

The media has a much more vital role in fostering the ecosystem than anyone realizes. First, simply showing the public how entrepreneurship generates employment, feeds the economy and encourages self-reliance in society is very valuable. Second, so many view entrepreneurship narrowly as just business. The media can show how founders are more creative than simply “business people” and how new generations of Egyptians should view it not just as an opportunity to do well but an opportunity to do good by creating opportunities for all. The media can show how inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems are by telling the stories of more diverse founders to inspire others to follow. If we want to see an increase in groups who are underrepresented in the ecosystem – we must spotlight current success stories and highlight those trailblazers. We need the media to keep educating the public and shining attention on new initiatives and startup innovations in the region.

Do you think that the Middle Eastern community is ready to accept Financial Technology (fintech), Bitcoins and blockchains?

While fintech is relatively new to the region it is also new to the world. Vital to success in any country will be whether regulators are innovating with entrepreneurs or not and it is a level playing field in that regard for all nations. Fintech will be increasingly embraced and I suspect more blockchain applications to be integrated with time and education and if policymakers can keep ahead of innovators in the region in terms of regulations and legal frameworks that enable not block progress.

Can you offer advice for Egyptian entrepreneurs?

To entrepreneurs, you are much more important than just creating business or wealth, you are contributing to the society, you are learning about new value for society, you are creating jobs for people, and you are leashing innovation, so don’t embrace to entrepreneurship as a business, think of it as you are doing an experiment, you are conducting an experiment that you will learn from. So to all entrepreneurs, it is a spiritual exercise as you are pioneering something. ]]>
2/12/2019 1:39:52 PM
<![CDATA[Leviathan Zohr gas field sees peak production in 2019]]>
Egypt’s gas consumption reached its highest level in fiscal year 2016/17 with 41.5 million tons equivalent per year. Similarly, officials have revealed that, with a $1.8 billion investment from British Petroleum (BP), the country’s gas output is expected to reach peak production in 2019.

In a mere few years and with a gas consumption that reached its highest of 41.5 million tons equivalent per year during fiscal year 2016/2017, according to the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform, Egypt is expected to put an answer to an article penned by Gal Luft from the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security in 2012, titled, “Energy Self-sufficiency: A Realistic Goal or a Pipe Dream?” It is a realistic goal; at least, this is the answer to Egypt’s case. Luft had once proposed that energy self-sufficiency is “neither reliable nor affordable,” however, Egyptian efforts suggest otherwise.

Gas and oil trajectory

Post-2011, Egypt’s decreasing gas production level led to a gap between supply and demand, whereby demand was significantly greater than supply. As a result, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) announced a multi-stage liberalization of the natural gas market through Gas Market Law No. 196 for 2017. This meant that private companies could now use national gas grids to import, ship, store, transfer, market and disperse natural gas to Egyptian users, and that the natural gas market would be completely liberalized by 2022. In exchange for allowing private companies to operate on state-owned grids, Egypt collected tariffs from companies. Importantly, in February 2018, the law was followed by the declaration of executive regulations designed to implement it.

This law, coupled with the six-fold growth of the Leviathan Zohr offshore gas field, and the cooperation between Egypt and Mediterranean countries and the European Union (EU) also through joint agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoU), has put Egypt on track to becoming the gas and oil regional hub, enabling it to become a trading centre point, according to Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla.

“Egypt is qualified to be a regional hub for energy due to its liquefying plants, pipeline grids, Warehousing, transportation, trading of petroleum and gas products and ports overlooking the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and refineries,” stated El-Molla during Al-Ahram’s Energy conference, explaining that the ministry is working within the bigger 2030 Agenda to ensure energy security and increasing the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP), modernize and promote sustainable habits for the sector, and reduce the environmental footprint of the sector, according to Egypt Vision 2030.

This, as Fitch Solutions had predicted at the end of 2017, led to increased production in gas in 2018, leading Egypt to end the importing of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in September, upon receiving the last shipment, according to the Oxford Business Group. Despite Fitch Solutions being right about their prediction, they argue, “Whilst LNG cargoes will decrease over 2018 onwards as domestic gas production ramps up, we note that seasonal demand dynamics will ensure LNG imports continue at smaller volumes over the next five years.” However, their argument seems to be flawed, as they have also falsely estimated production levels for Zohr gas field during 2018, with Zohr gas field produce jumping to two billion standard cubic feet per day (scfd) in September, from January’s 350 million scfd. It is expected that 2019 will see Zohr produce 3 billion scfd.

However, Zohr is not the only gas field in Egypt; West Nile Delta (WND), Greater Nooros Area, Atoll Phase 1, and WDDM – Burullus Phase 9B are all important gas fields that add to the national gas production. Looking at the country as a whole, Egypt’s total gas production, came to 6.6 billion scfd in September, compared to 2017’s average of 5.1 billion scfd and 2016’s 4.4 billion scfd, according to the Petroleum Ministry, meaning that between 2018 and 2017, there was a 29.4% year-on-year increase.

West Nile Delta (WND) gas field, which yields the second highest amount of natural gas, according to a June 2018 report by The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, is expected to develop to 5 trillion cubic feet with a maximum production level of about 1.5 billion cubic feet per day, according to British Petroleum (BP). Moreover, the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies states, “The Taurus and Libra fields started producing gas in May 2017 and the Giza, Fayoum and Raven fields are expected to come on-stream by the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019.” These fields are all part of the West Nile Delta WND gas field.

Turning to the remaining three gas fields, Greater Nooros Area, Atoll Phase 1 and WDDM – Burullus Phase 9B, produce one billion, 350 million and 450 million cubic feet per day, according to BP and a 2018 Interfax report.

2019: A year of prosperity

After significantly increasing the total gas output by 29.4% in 2018, it is expected the by 2020, the total gas output will jump by 100%, according to the Petroleum Minister; Egypt is also expected to resume exporting energy by the end of 2019. In a meeting with Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan early December 2018, General Manager of Eni’s IEOC Fabio Cavanna said, “Egypt will move from the group of countries importing natural gas to be an exporter by the end of 2019.”

To ensure that Egypt is able to reach its potential and meet local demand and then some, Cavaana and Saafan are looking to sign a cooperation protocol, in coordination with the Petroleum Ministry, to offer young professionals a high-tech training opportunity. The training will also cover safety while on site and will look to produce young professional calibres.

Commenting on the training, Cavanna said, “This training will create young cadres who can take responsibility at the highest level, as they will be trained in major international companies, such as Italy’s Eni.” Meanwhile, Saafan explained, “This comes within the framework of the Ministry of Manpower’s current [efforts] to [hold] training programs involving the latest scientific methods with major international companies, specifically in the field of petroleum services.”

In addition, this year looks to be the year when Egypt looks outwards towards neighbouring countries that could be energy allies. Egypt’s strategic geographical location makes it an optimum partner to countries from Italy to Saudi Arabia, to Sudan. During the 2018 Med Dialogues in Rome, Italy, El-Molla explained that Egypt is looking to approach Italy, or “Europe’s energy gateway,” as he called it, to increase its work with the EU.

“At the start of this year [2018] we signed a memorandum of understanding on energy with the European Union that will make Egypt a considerable energy supplier in alternative to existing suppliers,” stated El-Molla, continuing, “With the untapped potential natural gas we have in the Mediterranean”, nearby countries “need to use Egyptian infrastructure,” adding that they wish to cooperate on energy. Egypt is also looking to cooperate more with Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Furthermore, Egypt is looking to increase its gas exports to Jordon to 100 mcf/d early on in 2019, according to the Jordanian Minister of Energy Hala Zawati, who said, “Egypt has been exporting amounts of gas to Jordon since September and it will raise the amount to 100 million cubic feet per day by January.” Supporting this, El-Molla stated in March 2018 that Egypt will resume exporting gas to Jordan as of early 2019 after four years.

On the foreign front, Egypt is also looking to attract $10 billion worth of new investments during the fiscal year 2018-2019, stated the Petroleum Minister in a statement in November 2018, adding that increasing investments is essential to ensure the continuity of the oil and gas sector’s growth and development. Investments, according to the minister, will be aimed at increasing production and exploration efforts. Given the positive investment climate that looms over Egypt, the minister expects that it is very possible to draw this amount in a short amount of time.

Having once been citizens of an exporter of gas and oil, it came to a blow to Egyptians when their homeland started importing them; however, the recent surge in production has left many happy and looking forward towards a brighter future. Overall, it seems like 2019 will be a prosperous year for the industry.
]]>
2/12/2019 12:36:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, UAE discuss establishing factory to get rid of medical waste]]>
This came during a meeting of Egyptian Minister of Military Production Mohamed Saeed el Assar with Board Chairman of Emirates Industrial Converting Factory (EICO) Bader Faris Al Hilali, EICO Executive Manager Abullah Badr el Hilali and Board Chairman of the UAE company of Wasaya Nasser el Nuaimi.

The meeting took up a proposal to establish a factory to get rid of medical wastes.

This comes within the framework of the keenness of the state to take urgent steps to implement a plan to recycle waste to contribute to improving the health and living conditions of the Egyptian people.

During the meeting, Assar reviewed the manufacturing and technological potentials of the military production units and the highly-trained labor and experts in recycling.

Meanwhile, board chairman of the EICO expressed the desire of the company to form partnerships to establish a factory to get rid of medical wastes using the latest equipment.]]>
2/12/2019 11:43:08 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Aramco and Egypt’s SUMED sign oil deals]]>
The companies also signed a second deal to supply fuel oil storage capacity of 165,000 cubic meters in the Red Sea port of Ain Sokhna, a statement by the Petroleum Ministry said.

That deal may include re-exporting and supplying fuel oil to power plants in Saudi Arabia, meeting the needs of the Egyptian market and providing fuel to ships in the region, according to the statement.

The deals were signed on the sidelines of an energy forum in Cairo.]]>
2/12/2019 11:40:08 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to see gas boost from BP fields, Zohr as Cairo returns to export market]]>
Egypt hopes to leverage its strategic location and well-developed infrastructure to become a key international trading and distribution centre for gas, a potentially remarkable turnaround for a country that spent about $3 billion on annual liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports as recently as 2016.

It has made a series of big discoveries in recent years, including Zohr, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, helping to draw back investors that had pulled away after a 2011 uprising led to mounting debt payments.

“What we have achieved in only three years has started to attract the attention of everybody — everybody in oil and gas industry, financial organizations ... everyone is looking to Egypt with interest,” Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla told an energy forum in Cairo.

Egypt is now hoping to tap long underutilised liquefaction plants, where gas is turned into LNG, to export supplies across the Mediterranean along with that of its neighbours, like Israel, which said it would pipe gas to Egypt later this year.

Egypt imported its final natural gas shipment last September, and said it will begin exporting to Jordan this year, though the exact level of shipments and timeline is still unclear.

Its domestic production level stands at about 6.6 billion cubic feet per day.

‘DEEP COMMITMENT TO EGYPT’
BP said in September it will spend about $1.8 billion this year getting several fields online, making Egypt its largest investment destination worldwide for a second year running.

“For the last two years in a row we’ve invested more money in Egypt than in any other country,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said at the conference. “So this is a deep, deep commitment to Egypt.”

Total production at BP’s West Nile Development will soar to nearly 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) after the project’s third field, Raven, comes online. About 700 million cubic feet per day will come online by April from the first two, Giza and Fayoum, Molla said.

The country’s top gas asset, Zohr, discovered by Eni in 2015, will near peak production of about 3 bcfd from 2.1 billion currently by the end of 2019, Molla said, further boosting potential export capacity.

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said the French oil major is considering developing downstream petrochemicals in Egypt after having acquired a stake in Idku, one of its two liquefaction plants.

Eni, which owns a stake in the country’s other liquefied natural gas plant in Damietta along with Spain’s Gas Natural has said the long idle plant should restore operations this year.

“There is no date, however there is a strong interest for all involved parties in having Damietta restart as soon as possible,” said Eni Chief Midstream Gas and Power Office Massimo Mantovani.

Molla said results of two exploration tenders held last year for 27 blocks would be announced during the three-day forum, and that it had seen “high turnout” from international companies.

He said about 80 percent of arrears to international oil companies had been paid, but did not specify the amount left. In July they stood at $1.2 billion. ]]>
2/12/2019 10:58:52 AM
<![CDATA[Oil up on OPEC output cuts and as sanctions against Venezuela, Iran bite]]>
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $52.69 per barrel at 0751 GMT, up 28 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close.

The ongoing closure of parts of the Keystone pipeline that brings Canadian oil into the United States also helped prop up WTI, traders said.

International Brent crude futures were up 38 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $61.89 per barrel.

Analysts said markets are tightening amid voluntary production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and because of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran.

But some said supply-side risks were not receiving enough focus.

“We believe that oil is not pricing in supply-side risks lately as markets are currently focused on U.S.-China trade talks, ignoring the risks currently in place from the loss of Venezuelan barrels,” U.S. bank J.P. Morgan said in a weekly note.

Should U.S.-China talks to end trade disputes between the two nations have a positive outcome, the bank said oil markets would “switch attention from macro concerns impacting future demand growth to physical tightness and geopolitical risks impacting immediate supply”.

With OPEC engaged in supply management and the Middle East entangled in conflicts while production outside the group surges, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said OPEC’s global market share would fall as its outright output drops to 29 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024 from 31.9 million bpd in 2018.

Growing U.S. supply and a potential economic slowdown this year could also cap oil markets.

“The worries of oversupply stemming from the U.S. will likely remain a dominant theme as we approach the warmer months,” said Edward Moya, market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA.

Traders are bracing for increasing supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for benchmark U.S. crude futures, as refinery outages could create a supply backlog that will add to inventories that are already at the highest in more than a year.

U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said the surge in U.S. crude oil production, which tends to be light in quality and which rose by more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) last year to a record 11.9 million bpd, had resulted in overproduction of gasoline.

“Light crudes naturally yield more gasoline, and together with relatively modest demand-growth, this has driven gasoline stocks sharply higher and crack spreads sharply lower in recent months,” Morgan Stanley said.

Refining profits for gasoline have plunged since mid-2018, going negative in Asia and Europe, amid tepid demand growth and a surge in supply.

As a result, Morgan Stanley said “low refining margins and weaker economic data means oil prices can rally only so much (and) we continue to see modest upside for Brent to $65 per barrel in the second-half (of 2019)”.

Bank of America also warned of “a significant slowing in growth globally”, adding that it expected Brent and WTI to average $70 per barrel and $59 per barrel respectively in 2019, and $65 per barrel and $60 per barrel in 2020.]]>
2/12/2019 10:56:33 AM
<![CDATA[Stocks buoyed by deal to avert U.S. government shutdown]]>
Market sentiment also got a boost on news U.S. lawmakers had reached a tentative deal on border security funding that could help avert another partial government shutdown due to start on Saturday. Congressional aides, however, said it did not contain the $5.7 billion President Donald Trump wants for a border wall.

S&P 500 e-mini futures were up nearly 0.5 percent.

Spreadbetters expected European stocks to track Asia and open higher, with Britain’s FTSE gaining 0.25 percent and Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC each adding 0.5 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.3 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.35 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI climbed 0.6 percent and Australian shares were up 0.3 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei advanced 2.6 percent after a market holiday on Monday, lifted by a weaker yen.

U.S. and Chinese officials expressed hopes the new round of talks, which began in Beijing on Monday, would bring them closer to easing their months-long trade war.

Beijing and Washington are trying to hammer out a deal before a March 1 deadline, without which U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

“There will be no winner in a trade war. So at some point they will likely strike a deal,” said Mutsumi Kagawa, chief global strategist at Rakuten Securities in Tokyo.

The trade dispute has already started to impact global growth, hitting businesses confidence, factory activity and disrupting supply chains. The worry is that a protracted Sino-U.S. tariff row could severely hurt corporate earnings globally.

Analysts are now expecting U.S. corporate earnings for the current quarter to drop 0.2 percent from last year, which would be the first contraction since the second quarter of 2016.

In the currency market, the dollar held firm, having gained for eight straight sessions against a basket of six major currencies until Monday, its longest rally in two years.

Although the Federal Reserve’s dovish turn dented the dollar earlier this year, some analysts noted the U.S. currency still has the highest yield among major peers and that the Fed continues to shrink its balance sheet.

“We see the dollar’s strength essentially stemming from the Fed’s balance sheet reduction,” said Makoto Noji, chief currency and foreign bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

Growing evidence of a loss of momentum in the global economy has also lifted the U.S. currency, most recently led by the European Commission’s downgrade of growth in Europe, making the dollar a better investment option by default.

The dollar index rose to its highest in almost three months, at 97.123, on Monday. It last stood at 97.055.

In contrast, the euro dropped to as low as $1.1267, its weakest in 2-1/2 months, and last traded at $1.1277.

The dollar popped up to a six-week high of 110.65 yen.

Oil prices ticked up after falls on Monday as traders weighed support from OPEC-led supply restraint and a slowdown in the global economy.

U.S. crude futures traded at $52.68 per barrel, up 0.5 percent. Brent crude rose 0.6 percent to $61.89 per barrel.]]>
2/12/2019 10:54:28 AM
<![CDATA[East Libyan forces say they have full control of El Sharara oilfield]]>
"Peacefully with no resistance LNA (Libyan National Army) has full control over Sharara oilfield with all its facilities," he tweeted, adding that the facility was now being secured.
]]>
2/11/2019 9:34:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Germany to sign $250M deal as 2nd tranche of KFW loan]]>
The loan is provided by the German Development Bank (KFW) Egyptian Investment an International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr, Head of the Africa/Middle East Directorate at the KFW Helmut Gauges and German Ambassador in Cairo Julius Georg Luy, will be present at the deal's signing ceremony.

In a statement released by the German Embassy on Monday, the ambassador said he is happy to see an upward trend in Egypt's economic growth, asserting that Berlin has supported Cairo since the announcement of bold economic reforms in the country.

The disbursement of the loan's second installment is a strong evidence that Germany fulfills its promises and strongly stands by Egypt, the ambassador added.

Economic reforms adopted by Egypt, especially in the area of monetary policy and subsidy system, have contributed to achieving a significant stability in its macroeconomic performance, the German diplomat noted.

Also, he stressed the necessity of introducing deep structural reforms and the creation of a suitable business atmosphere for the private sector and foreign investments in the coming period.

]]>
2/11/2019 4:27:21 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to hit 7% growth rate in 2021/22: Finance Ministry]]>
The ministry emphasized keenness on achieving the inclusive growth which will be reflected on all social brackets and will absorb all entries to the workforce annually, according to the bi-yearly report of fiscal year 2018/2019.

According to the report, the unemployment rate is anticipated to reach 7.1 percent in June 2022, down from 9.9 percent in June 2018.

The report also estimated the average crude oil price during fiscal year 2019/2020 to be $67 per barrel.

According to the Finance Ministry’s statement, the state’s fuel subsidies hit LE 30.17 billion during July to December 2018, compared to LE 26.65 billion during the same period of the prior year.

As per the currency, the primary expectation of the dollar in 2018/2019 is at LE 18/dollar, with an average interest of 18.6 percent on government treasury bills and bonds.

Meanwhile, financial objectives on the medium-term aim at reducing budget deficit to 5.8 percent in 2020/2021 and to record a public debt of 93.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by June 2021, noting that this requires achieving a surplus of 2 percent annually starting from 2018/2019.

The report further referred that the targeted volume of GDP by the end of fiscal year 2019/2020 is LE6.18 trillion, up from the estimated volume of LE 5.25 trillion in 2018/2019.

Also, the ministry affirmed adding new mechanisms in managing the public debt, including: issuing zero-bonds, diversiting sources of foreign funding, and developing long and medium-strategies to manage public debt to reach sustainable levels.

]]>
2/11/2019 4:12:17 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday on mixed note, market cap. loses LE 528.28B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 inched up 0.14 percent, or 20.88 points, to close at 14,784.82 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.19 percent, or 1.34 points, to 695.39 points, and the broader index EGX100 hiked 0.19 percent, or 3.41 points, to close at 1,759.99 points.

On the other hand, the equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 0.08 percent, or 1.91 points, to reach 2,385.34 points.


Market capitalization lost LE 586.28 million, recording LE 818.25 billion, compared to LE 817.84 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 171.47 million shares, traded through 27,964 transactions, with a turnover of LE 927.96 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 48.97 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 12.88 million and LE 36.08 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 14.67 million, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 59.26 million, and LE 2.25 million, respectively.

Arab organizations sold at LE 50.76 million, while Egyptians and foreign organizations bought at LE 46.38 million, and LE 51.22 million, respectively.

Prime Holding, El Arabia for Land Reclamation, and Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation were top gainers of the session by 8.20 percent, 7.76 percent and 6.99 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Saudi Egyptian Investment & Finance, Egyptian International Tourism Projects, and Alexandria Flour Mills were top losers of the session by 9.09 percent, 7.87 percent, and 5.59 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s session in green, as EGX30 increased 0.07 percent, EGX50 hiked 0.50 percent, EGX70 rose 0.29 percent, and EGX100 jumped 0.29 percent.
]]>
2/11/2019 3:49:40 PM
<![CDATA[BP fields to boost Egypt's gas output as Cairo returns to export market]]>
Egypt is hoping to leverage its strategic location and well-developed infrastructure to become a key international trading and distribution centre for gas.

It has made a series of big discoveries in recent years, including Zohr, the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, but also needs to meet rapidly increasing domestic demand.
BP said on Monday that output from the West Nile Development would reach almost 1.4 billion cubic feet per day this year after a third field, Raven, comes online..

Egypt’s daily gas production is currently around 6.6 billion cubic and it has said it will begin exporting gas to Jordan this year.

Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said results of two major exploration tenders for oil and gas announced last year for 27 blocks would be announced during a three-day energy forum in Cairo.

Speaking at the event, Molla said the tenders had seen “high turnout” from international companies without specifying which.

Egypt has worked to pay off once mounting debts to oil companies order to bring back major players that left in the years after its 2011 uprising, when payments were delayed.

Molla said that about 80 percent of arrears had been paid, but did not specify the amount left. He said in July they stood at $1.2 billion and Egypt was committed to settling them by the end of 2019.
]]>
2/11/2019 3:18:52 PM
<![CDATA[CBE: Free Zones exports hit dlrs 2.170 bn in three months]]>
Exports of commodities reached dlrs 6.785 billion compared with dlrs 5.839 billion during the same quarter of the previous fiscal year, recording an increase of 16.2 percent, according to a CBE statement

Foreign dealings of the Free Zones recorded a quarterly surplus of dlrs 971 million during the first quarter of the fiscal year compared with a deficit of dlrs 173 million of the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Fuel and mineral oils exports reached dlrs 2.888 billion (including dlrs 1.305 of crude petroleum and dlrs 1.504 billion of petroleum products), added the statement.]]>
2/11/2019 3:00:09 PM
<![CDATA[Maait: Egypt has rich experience in enhancing transparency]]>
Addressing a joint session of finance ministers, governors of Arab banks of the World Bank and Arab Bank member states, Maait said Egypt exerts great efforts to enhance transparency, financial disclosure and engaging citizens in formulating priorities of financial policies.

During the session, held as part of meetings of the Arab Monetary Fund in Dubai, he expounded Egypt's experiment in governance, transparency and combating corruption as well as reform at all economic and social levels.

Enhancing transparency efforts include initiatives adopted by the government to improve financial control and promote governance of state-owned corporations, he added.]]>
2/11/2019 2:58:31 PM
<![CDATA[Acceptable price of oil comes between $60, $70/barrel: Molla]]>
"If prices of crude increase significantly, we will start to see inflation and an exaggeration in the slowdown in consumption from the other side. If we see prices go down below a certain price, then we will see a slowdown in investments," the minister said.

"So, actually, the fair equation is to have a balanced price between the producers and the consumers, whereby each party is happy, continuing the growth of the global economy,” he added.

Molla further stated that oil markets were "somehow close" to a price that can keep both parties happy because although oil prices have fallen from peaks of around $114 a barrel in mid-2014, production costs have also fallen with technological advances.

"With the advancement of technology, new ways of producing oil have added new volumes to the market and this technology means you're reducing the cost per barrel, and what might have been accepted a few years ago back when we were talking about $100, or $90 or $80 a barrel oil wouldn't be accepted now."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance estimated the average crude oil price during fiscal year 2019/2020 to be $67 per barrel.

According to the Finance Ministry’s statement, the state’s fuel subsidies hit LE 30.17 billion during July to December 2018, compared to LE 26.65 billion during the same period of the prior year.

Working to become a regional hub of energy, Egypt aims at attracting investments of $10 billion in the petroleum sector during the current year.

With gas production amounting to around 6.4 billion cubic feet per day, Egypt achieved self-sufficiency of gas by the end of September 2018.
]]>
2/11/2019 2:36:55 PM
<![CDATA[Prime Minister opens EGYPS 2019]]>CAIRO, 11 Feb 2019: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli opened - on behalf of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi - the Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS 2019).

A number of Arab and African petroleum ministers participate in the event alongside the heads of major regional and international petroleum companies and organizations.

The three-day gathering will address for the first time digitalization in the energy domain.

EGYPS 2019 brings together Egyptian and North African government representatives, key project owners, NOCs and IOCs, International Service Providers & Engineering, Procurement & Construction Companies, EPC contractors, consultants and financiers to address the evolving opportunities in the Egyptian and North African energy arena.

The event, held under the patronage of President Sisi, will help identify Egypt's future project requirements, the country's short and long term plans, strategic priorities and master plans and gain insights into the wider North African oil and gas sector
]]>
2/11/2019 12:34:07 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.2B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a five-year term and the second worth LE 500 billion with a 10-year term.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that it would auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.



During December's meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Egypt has lately conducted modifications on the bonds market started by modifying the treasury bills and bonds treatments, and followed by allowing companies to offer short-term bonds.

During December, The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued a decree allowing companies to offer and issue short-term bonds.

According to the decree, these companies included joint stock companies and shareholding companies, as well as companies authorized to engage in a non-bank financial activity after getting the authority's approval, with banks subject to the Central Bank's approval.

FRA determines rules, procedures for short-term bonds' issuance

CAIRO - 18 December 2018: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued decree No. 172 of 2018 concerning the rules and procedures for issuing and offering short-term bonds. The authority determined, through the decision, which companies are entitled to issue and offer short-term bonds.




Meanwhile, Egypt conducted financial treatments of treasury bills and bonds' taxes. Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills’ taxes is that it is one of the rights of the treasury.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




Earlier in 2018, Egypt canceled bids for treasury bills four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged for the fifth time this year during November meeting, setting the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Egypt targets an average interest rate on the government debt instrument of 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in 2017/2018 budget.

Foreign investors’ investments in the Egyptian government debt instruments recorded $23.1 billion by the end of March 2018, up from about $20 billion in December.

Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided from domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance for Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.]]>
2/11/2019 12:29:28 PM
<![CDATA[World stocks gain as investors eye trade talks, Brexit]]>
European markets took their cue from a 1 percent bounce in Chinese shares, which resumed trading after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rebounded from one-week lows, helped by some deal-making and gains in mining and banking shares. [.EU]

Worries about a slowdown in global growth, an ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute and U.S. politics have been foremost in investors’ minds. Safe-haven bonds and the dollar have gained amid the prolonged uncertainty.

Stocks have had a good year so far notwithstanding, with MSCI’S All-Country World Index up nearly 10 percent since the start of the year. The index was nearly 0.2 percent higher on Monday.

The dollar reached its highest in six weeks against a basket of currencies, rising for an eighth consecutive day as investors piled into the world’s most liquid currency. [FRX/]
The chief focus for investors for the week seemed to be the resumption of trade talks between the U.S. and China, along with Brexit.

“There will be important events this week connected to two of the key global uncertainties: high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China in Beijing and UK-EU talks in Brussels. But neither looks set to produce a breakthrough, prolonging the uncertainty,” Societe Generale told clients in a note.

China struck an upbeat note as talks resumed, but it also expressed anger at a U.S. Navy mission through the disputed South China Sea, casting a shadow over the prospect for improved Beijing-Washington ties.

The two sides are trying to come up with a deal before a March 1 deadline, when U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are scheduled to increase to 25 percent from 10 percent.

In fixed income, fears of economic slowdown in Europe and plunging inflation expectations dominated morning trade on Monday. Germany’s 10-year government bond yield remained close to 0.10 percent. [GVD/EUR]

Last week, the European Commission downgraded euro zone growth forecasts for this year. Adding to worries, a collapse in talks between U.S. Democrat and Republican lawmakers over the weekend raised fears of another government shutdown.

“Trade talks and shut-down (worries) are really weighing on markets,” said Sebastian Fellechner, rates strategist at DZ Bank. “We don’t see any major movements because of the general and global uncertainty.”

The yield on Germany’s 10-year Bund, considered the risk-free benchmark for the region, fell as low as 0.77 percent on Friday, its lowest since October 2016, reflecting concern in bond markets about economic conditions.

The rising threat to growth means equity markets will partly depend on earnings from major U.S. companies for clues about the health of consumer shares. These include Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo Inc, Walmart Inc, Home Depot Inc, Macy’s Inc and Gap Inc .

Analysts now expect first-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies to decline 0.1 percent from a year earlier. That would be the first such quarterly profit decline since 2016, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

In Asia, China’s blue-chip index surged 1.6 percent. Shanghai’s SSE Composite climbed 1.2 percent.

Australian stocks recouped some losses to end 0.2 percent lower. South Korea’s KOSPI index was up 0.2 percent. Indonesian and Indian benchmarks were in the red.

That left MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slightly higher after it fell from a four-month high on Friday. Trading volumes were generally light, with Japan on public holiday.

Elsewhere, the euro was barely changed at $1.1322 after five straight days of losses took it to more than two-week lows. Sterling fell to $1.2895 after UK GDP data for the fourth quarter was released.

Britain’s economy slowed as expected in the final three months of last year, pushing growth in 2018 to its weakest in six years as Brexit worries hammered investment.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has rejected the idea of a customs union with the European Union, ending hopes she would shift her Brexit policy to win over the opposition Labour Party.

May will promise lawmakers a second opportunity to influence the Brexit talks later in the month in a bid to stave off any rebellion from within her own party by those who fear Britain could end up leaving without a deal.

The Australian dollar inched up from Friday’s one-month lows, although sentiment was still cautious after the country’s central bank opened the door to a possible rate cut.

Oil prices slipped on concern about slowing global demand and a pick-up in U.S. drilling activity.

U.S. crude was 0.6 percent lower at $52.42 per barrel. Brent was flat $62.12.

]]>
2/11/2019 12:28:21 PM
<![CDATA[Oil prices steady, OPEC cuts countered by slow progress in trade talks]]>
Benchmark Brent oil was little changed, up 3 cents at $62.13 a barrel at 0945 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slipped 27 cent to $52.45.

“Oil prices are still trying to figure out what lead to follow. On the one hand, there is the OPEC+ cut story, now coupled with increasing issues around Venezuelan supply”, Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said.

“At the same time, it has to be argued that a lot of the economic data that has been released over the last few days has really not been too encouraging, and U.S.-Chinese trade talks are also seemingly not progressing very fast.”

Energy firms in the United States last week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks, a weekly report by Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Companies added seven oil rigs in the week to Feb. 8, bringing the total to 854, pointing to a further rise in U.S. crude production, which already stands at a record 11.9 million bpd.

WTI prices were also weighed down by the closure of a 120,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) at Phillips 66’s Wood River, Illinois, refinery following a fire on Sunday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, have reined in output to prevent a supply glut.

The deal, effective from January, aims to cut 1.2 million bpd until the end of June, in a move producers and many analysts expect to help balance supply and demand in 2019.

OPEC and its allies meet on April 17 and 18 in Vienna to review the agreement.

U.S. sanctions on Venezuela, along with older sanctions on fellow OPEC member Iran, have also prevented crude prices from falling further.

But economic concerns still weigh on crude prices.

Trade talks between Washington and Beijing resume this week with a delegation of U.S.

officials traveling to China for the next round of negotiations. The United States has threatened to increase tariffs already imposed on goods from China on March 1 if the trade talks do not produce an agreement.

]]>
2/11/2019 12:24:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual core inflation reaches 8.6% in January: CBE]]>
In December, the core inflation increased to 8.3 percent from 7.94 percent in November.
CBE added that the monthly rate of core inflation hit 0.4 percent in January compared to 0 percent in December.

Core inflation discounts or strips out certain categories that are considered more volatile.
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier on Sunday that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018.

Egypt's annual inflation reaches 12.2% in January

CAIRO - 10 February 2019: Egypt's annual consumer price inflation declined to 12.2 percent in January 2019, compared to 17 percent in January 2018, state-statistics body said Sunday, Feb. 10. In December, Egypt's annual consumer price inflation recorded 11.1 percent, compared to 22.3 percent in the same month of 2017.



Inflation surged in Egypt since the floatation of the Egyptian pound in November 2016, reaching a record high level in July due to energy subsidy cuts that have been gradually easing since July.

Egypt targets an inflation rate of 13 percent in its fiscal year 2018/2019 budget.

]]>
2/11/2019 11:54:45 AM
<![CDATA[How can Egypt benefit economically from African Union presidency?]]>
The summit is held under the theme “The year of refugees, returnees, and international displaced persons - towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa.”

Egypt has focused on its relationship with the African countries, holding several conferences to pave the way to better African relationships, including Africa 2018, Food Africa 2018 and first African Intra-Trade Fair. Now, a question pops up about how can Egypt benefit from its presidency of the AU?

Officials and experts told Egypt Today that Egypt’s presidency of the AU can benefit its economy as the federation contains 55 country members where the state can market its investment opportunities as well as its products and goods.

In the same context, Chairman of the African Trade Commission Mohamed Kassem said that Egypt's presidency of the African Union could be economically exploited optimally, especially since the federation includes 55 countries.

“Egypt has good economic relations, although it has decreased somewhat over the past years. The union will restore Egypt's political and economic role in Africa,” Kassem noted.

He added to Egypt Today that Egypt is associated with Africa with joint trade agreements and can benefit from the process of integration in the free trade area of the continent in addition to the other agreements, pointing out that there is a golden opportunity in the Egyptian presence in a number of larger countries.

It also provides access of goods manufactured in Egypt to all African countries during the next phase, according to Kassem.

The chairman of the Committee on Trade with Africa stressed that the raw materials needed by the local industry could be imported from the African continent, but to increase Egypt's exports, it cannot be based solely on trade agreements. We need to develop our products, so that we can actually benefit and increase exports in the next stage.

Economics professor Ahmed Abdel-Hafez stressed that following the events of January 25, Egypt's economic role has declined and the role of the Chinese and Indian companies has become greater. However, the current period is witnessing the return of Egyptian economic influence in Africa.

“The launching of major projects by Egyptian hands in some African countries and the joint investments between Egypt and African countries will increase during Egypt's presidency of the African Union,” Abdel Hafez referred.

He added that the figures announced for trade with Africa are very weak and do not reflect the historical relations with the continent's countries, especially since Egypt can export dozens of products to African countries. He also highlighted the possibility of exploiting the raw resources in African countries, clarifying that the African countries have the necessary wood for Egyptian furniture, as well as raw materials for other industries.

“The volume of trade with African countries hit $3.4 billion in 2017 and $4.2 billion in 2018,” Minister of Trade Amr Nassar previously stated.

Meanwhile, Member of the Export Council of Agricultural Crops Khalid Shaker emphasized the importance of addressing the need to exploit trade agreements with Africa.

“There are agreements to facilitate the trade movement such as the COMESA agreement; these make the African market open to Egyptian products, which are distinguished and have competitive prices compared to prices of Indian and Chinese products, as well as products that enter without customs through trade agreements.

Egypt should expand in the coming period in establishing joint exhibitions and promotional missions,” Shaker said.

COMESA is a free trade area that was founded in 1994 and its headquarters is in the Zambian capital Lusaka. COMESA comprises Kenya, Sudan, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Malawi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Libya, Uganda, Seychelles, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Somalia, and Tunisia.

Member of the General Division of Exporters of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce Hossam Alwan stressed on the need to set an urgent plan to increase Egyptian exports to the African market to increase trade cooperation during Egypt's presidency of the union.

He pointed to the importance of developing sectorial strategies for most-demanded products in the African market by the Export Development Authority.

The Export Development Authority prepared a plan to increase exports to the African market, which included the needs and requirements of the African market of non-petroleum products, which recorded $334 billion, according to the statistics of 2015. The plan included launching trade missions and participating in missions and 35 external exhibitions in 2019.

Moreover, Head of the Insulating Materials Division of the Federation of Industries, Kamal el-Desouki, affirmed that it is necessary to establish logistics centers in Africa so that we can provide them with the present commodities and return strongly to this market. He pointed out that the activation of the free trade agreement with African economic blocs will support the trend of increasing Egyptian exports to the continent as well as increasing the volume of joint investments.

In 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi announced that Egypt will establish an investment risks guarantee fund to encourage Egyptian investors to start investments in Africa and take advantage of the huge opportunities in the continent.

Also, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli said that Egypt aims to double the volume of intra-trade with the African countries in five years to reach $10 billion, from the current $5 billion.

“Egypt is the gateway to Africa and the meeting point of the civilizations of the ancient and modern world,” Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said earlier.

On March 21, 2018, Egypt joined 43 other African countries in signing the African Continental Free trade Area (CFTA) agreement in Kigali.

The agreement aims to ease the trade exchange between the countries that signed it according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement. In addition, it will remove barriers and tariffs among the African countries, bringing together 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than $2 trillion.

CFTA is considered the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization (WTO) was established as it was signed by 43 countries.

Additional Reporting Eslam Said

]]>
2/11/2019 11:50:09 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeks more energy resources: oil minister]]>
The program includes acceleration of new discoveries into production, el-Molla told a meeting of two state owned oil firms.

It also seeks improvement of production at the existing oil and gas fields, added the minister.

The meeting was held to approve the 2019/20 budget of Qarun Petroleum Company and Khalda Petroleum Company. ]]>
2/10/2019 1:59:24 PM
<![CDATA[3 consortiums compete to establish dry port worth $100M in Egypt]]>
The dry port is set to serve the Industrial Zone in 6th of October City.
The ministry elaborated that its Central Unit for Participation with the Private Sector received requests to buy the specifications of the dry port project from three consortiums.

These consortiums are an alliance led by Conkor (India), which includes Hassan Allam Group and PSA (Singapore); an alliance led by DP World in cooperation with the Holding Company for Land and Marine Transport; and an alliance led by Al-Sewedy Electronics Group, which includes Shankar Egypt (Germany) and 3A International.

The Finance Ministry pointed out that the Central Unit for Participation has completed all procedures for launching the dry port project from the Ports and Dry Ports Authority of the Ministry of Transport; the dry port will be set up in partnership with the private sector PPP.

“All three consortiums are already eligible to participate in the project, which will be established on an area of 1,000 feddans in October as a port for the customs clearance of containers handled through the ports of Alexandria and Dekheila, contributing to the alleviation of stacking containers in Alexandria and Dekheila ports and to serving the industrial area of the city. The new port will also create a lot of job opportunities at the new dry port and the planned logistics center serving it,” the ministry stated.

The ministry also noted that the contract for the implementation and operation of this project, which will be owned by the state, extends for up to 30 years.

Technical and financial bids are expected to be submitted during May, followed by the evaluation, awarding and announcement of the winning bidder, according to the ministry.

The official statement of the ministry revealed that the dry port project is part of the Ministry of Transport's efforts to develop land, sea and rail transport systems, which serve the movement of people and goods, as the transport network is one of the main tools for economic growth.
]]>
2/10/2019 1:12:14 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.5 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that it would auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Previously, Ministry of Finance announced financial treatments on treasury bills and bonds, Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury.
Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Foreign investments in T-bills hit LE210.2B by end of October

CAIRO - 28 November 2018: Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).




Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided by domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance to Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
2/10/2019 1:10:18 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual inflation reaches 12.2% in January]]>
In December, Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation recorded 11.1 percent, compared to 22.3 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 0.8 percent in January, recording 298.8 points, compared to 296.5 points in December 2018, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said.

CAPMAS attributed the hike in inflation on a monthly basis to the increase of some commodities' prices as vegetables prices' rose by 3.9 percent, and Cereals and bread by 1.8 percent.

At the urban level, the annual inflation rate for January 2019 reached 12.7 percent, compared to 12 percent in December 2018.

On a month-to-month basis, the urban inflation rate fell after the general consumer price index reached 290.7 points, compared to 296.5 points in December 2018, with a decrease of 0.6 percent.

As per the rural level, the annual inflation rate hit 11.6 percent, compared to 10.2 percent in December, while on the monthly level, the rate recorded 308.5 points, compared to 305.6 points, with an increase of 0.9 percent.

In the period from January to December 2018, the inflation rate hit 14.1 percent.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected Egypt’s inflation to decline to 20.9 percent in 2018, compared to 23.5 percent in 2017, anticipating it to reach 14 percent in 2019 and 7 percent in 2023.

Inflation surged in Egypt since the floatation of the Egyptian pound in November 2016, reaching a high record level in July due to energy subsidy cuts, and gradually easing since July.

a
]]>
2/10/2019 12:41:12 PM
<![CDATA[Standard Chartered names Egypt among world’s top 10 economies by 2030]]>
The bank forecast that Egypt will be ranked 7th among the world's top 10 economies by 2030 with gross domestic product hitting about $8.2 trillion, compared with 2017, when the country was ranked the 11th with GDP of about $1.2 trillion, the center said on its Facebook page.

The figure was estimated using purchasing power parity exchange rates. ]]>
2/9/2019 1:01:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt receives €18m grant from EU to finance 6 projects: minister]]>
The minister’s remarks came at the conclusion of the Joint Monitoring Committee Meetings of the CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Program, hosted by Egypt for the first time.

The six projects are to be implemented by Egypt’s chambers of commerce, the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, the Arab Academy, the Japanese University and partners from Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia, she noted.

Nasr added that the projects help develop regional cooperation in the fields of textile industries, tourism, small and medium enterprises, environment as well as new and renewable energy, among others.]]>
2/9/2019 12:09:24 PM
<![CDATA[U.S. considers withdrawal of zero tariffs for India - sources]]>
A move to withdraw the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) from India, the world’s largest beneficiary of a scheme that has been in force since the 1970s, would be the strongest punitive action since President Donald Trump took office in 2017 vowing to reduce the U.S. deficit with large economies.

Trump has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has courted foreign investment as part of his Make-in-India campaign to turn India into a manufacturing hub and deliver jobs to the millions of youth entering the workforce.

Trump, for his part, has pushed for U.S. manufacturing to return home as part of his Make America Great Again campaign.

The trigger for the latest downturn in trade ties was India’s new rules on e-commerce that restrict the way Amazon.com Inc and Walmart-backed Flipkart do business in a rapidly growing online market set to touch $200 billion by 2027.

That, coming on top of a drive to force global card payments companies such as Mastercard and Visa to move their data to India and the imposition of higher tariffs on electronic products and smartphones, left a broader trade package the two sides were working on through last year in tatters.

The GSP was tied to the trade package and since that deal had slipped further away, the United States was considering withdrawing or scaling back the preferential arrangement, two sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) was completing a review of India’s status as a GSP beneficiary and an announcement was expected over the next two weeks, the sources said.

"(The two sides) were trying to sort out the trade package, but were not able to actually finish the deal. In the meantime these other things, data localisation and e-commerce, have come along," one of the sources said. "In a sense its like someone has rained on the parade."

India and the United States have developed close political and security ties. But bilateral trade, which stood at $126 billion in 2017, is widely seen to be performing at nearly a quarter of its potential.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is due in New Delhi next week where he is expected to raise concerns about the e-commerce policy and data localisation, officials said.

VARIOUS NEW POLICIES

New Indian rules announced in December for the e-commerce sector banned companies such as Amazon and Flipkart from striking exclusive deals with sellers, restricted their ability to offer discounts and barred them from selling products via vendors in which they have an equity interest.

The move disrupted product listings on Amazon's India website and forced it to change its business structures. Amazon and Walmart, as well as the U.S. government, had lobbied against the move, Reuters reported earlier.

The new rules, coming ahead of a general election, were seen as a bid by Modi to placate small traders, who had for years complained about business practices of large e-commerce players.

They form a key voter base for Modi who is facing a tightening election in the next few months.

The idea of the policy was to foster healthy competition and promote India’s e-commerce, an Indian government official involved in trade issues said, defending the curbs on the big firms.

But companies disagree and decry such sudden policy changes.

"These types of actions can really put a negative view on India as an investment destination," one of the sources said.

India last year also announced proposals to force foreign companies to store more of their user data locally, in a bid to better conduct legal investigations. U.S. lobby groups had voiced concerns about those proposals too, saying they made it difficult for companies to do business in the country.

POSSIBLE INDIA SETBACK

If the United States eliminates duty-free access for about 2,000 Indian product lines, it will mostly hurt small businesses such as jewellery, said one of the sources. The number of goods qualifying for preferential treatment could be reduced, or the whole programme could be withdrawn.

There was no response to a request for comment from the USTR or the U.S. Embassy. India's trade ministry also did not answer questions emailed to them about trade differences with the United States.

But an Indian government official briefed on the trade discussions said the trade package under which the two sides were negotiating better access to each other's farm and dairy markets was unlikely until the elections in India this spring.

Talks on U.S. demands to relax India's decision to cap prices of medical devices made in the United States had also got stuck, the official said.

"The list of grievances is getting bigger, now with e-commerce added in," he said.

India fears Trump may demand a free trade agreement if both sides fail to reach a compromise on the trade package. Such a pact would mean zero tariffs for U.S. goods arriving in India, further threatening local industry.]]>
2/8/2019 1:23:53 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, US discuss prospects of cooperation in gas, petroleum fields]]>
The meeting touched on the activities of US firms working in Egypt in the fields of searching for petroleum and gas, engineering designs and constructions, among others, the Ministry of Petroleum said in a statement Friday.

The two sides also discussed new petroleum projects being carried out in Egypt in the fields of refining and petrochemicals in addition to investment opportunities available for US companies to take part in such projects.]]>
2/8/2019 11:55:30 AM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt not to sell stake in Vodafone in current year]]>CAIRO – 8 February 2019: Telecom Egypt doesn’t have any intention to sell its stake in Vodafone Egypt during the current year, an official at Telecom Egypt Company said.

“We don’t have any intention to exit from Vodafone in the medium term,” the official told Egypt Today.
He attributed continuing the company's investment in Vodafone to achieving good returns from it.
Investment Bank Beltone Financial expected earlier Telecom Egypt to sell its stake in Vodafone, which allocates 45 percent of Vodafone shares.

Beltone also said that exiting from Vodafone will help Telecom Egypt not to repeat its investment in the Egyptian mobile sector.

In 2018, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Telecom Egypt Ahmed el-Beheiry said that his company will keep its stake in Vodafone but the executive representatives at Vodafone’s Board of Directors are being changed.

He added that Telecom Egypt's share of the retained earnings of Vodafone Egypt will reach LE 6.25 billion by the end of the first half of 2018.

Telecom Egypt operates within the telecommunication services sector focusing on integrated telecommunication services. It has 17 subsidiaries operating across British Islands, Western Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East. Telecom Egypt is based in 6th of October, Egypt.

Vodafone operates within the telecommunication services sector focusing on wireless telecommunication services. It has two subsidiaries operating across Egypt, working on internet software & services. Vodafone is based in 6th of October, Egypt and was established in May 1998.

Additional Reporting by Heba al-Said
]]>
2/8/2019 11:42:34 AM
<![CDATA[PM reviews 2018/22 strategy for development of non-banking financial sector]]>
This came during his visit to the Financial Regulatory Authority in the Smart Village where he met with members of the authority board.

The four-year strategy aims at developing Egypt’s non-banking financial services sector in order to improve its indicators on the international economic charts, especially in the Doing Business Report released by the World Bank.

The plan, now in its second year, includes carrying out structural and legislative reforms to boost the industry and improve its contribution to economic growth.

Mohamed Omarn, head of the authority, said he briefed the prime minister on the accomplishments realized by the authority in 2018 and the changes that occurred in the non-banking sector after the application of the strategy, according to a statement by the FRA.

He welcomed the government's approval of a bill regulating consumer finance activities. The bill will govern retail financing and consumer credit.

He also reviewed the authority's efforts in the financial inclusion domain.]]>
2/7/2019 4:49:30 PM
<![CDATA[PM visits Egyptian Exchange]]>
It also seeks to raise the financial awareness level of the society on the basics of investment through the Stock Exchange, he said at a meeting here on Thursday with the Egyptian Exchange Board Members.

Stock Exchange Board Chairman Mohamed Farid welcomed the prime minister and said today's visit reflects the government's interest in the money market and in raising the trading volume at the stock exchange.

They discussed the latest performance reports concerning the Egyptian Exchange and proposals to boost the potentials of the money market to support the economic and social development plans and raise the competitiveness of the Egyptian Exchange at the regional level.]]>
2/7/2019 4:46:57 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies cancelling periodical bonus for civil servants]]>
The center said it contacted the Finance Ministry that dismissed the reports as groundless.

The ministry denied plans to cancel the annual raise.

These are rumors meant to disrupt public order, it said.

It made clear that under article 37 of the new Civil Service Law, state workers are granted a seven percent annual raise based on their basic salaries.

The Ministry urged all media outlets and social networking websites to verify the authenticity of any report they publish to avoid disturbing public opinion. ]]>
2/7/2019 4:45:16 PM
<![CDATA[EGX adds LE4.29B to market cap. amid Egyptian purchases]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 0.09 percent, or 12.91 points, to close at 14,753.68 points.

On the other hand, the equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.51 percent, or 11.98 points, to reach 2,375.39 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.39 percent, or 2.7 points, to 692.04 points, and the broader index EGX100 hiked 0.35 percent, or 6.11 points, to close at 1,751.44 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 4.29 billion, recording LE 817.41 billion, compared to LE 813.13 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 233.27 million shares, traded through 31,233 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.09 billion.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 98.83 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 11.92 million and LE 86.91 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at LE 8.92 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 5.1 million, and LE 1.1 million, respectively.

Egyptian organizations bought at LE 89.91 million, while Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 6.8 million, and LE 85.81 million, respectively.

Nozha International Hospital, Abou Kir Fertilizers, and Alexandria Flour Mills were top gainers of the session by 9.20 percent, 8.08 percent and 7.75 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, El Arabia Engineering Industries, Dice Sport & Casual Wear, and Wadi Memphis Pharmaceuticals were top losers of the session by 5.53 percent, 4.75 percent, and 4.19 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session on mixed notes, as EGX30 rose 0.23 percent, EGX50 increased 0.28 percent, while EGX70 dropped 0.03 percent, and EGX100 declined 0.02 percent.
]]>
2/7/2019 3:28:53 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to auction $1B in 1-year dollar T-bills on Monday]]>
The auction will be settled on Feb. 12.

Egypt last sold $854 million in dollar-denominated bills at an average yield of 3.797 percent at a similar auction on Jan 6.]]>
2/7/2019 2:54:11 PM
<![CDATA[CBE denies "Let it Rust" campaign spares treasury $12B ]]>
"Let It Rust" is a social-media campaign protesting high car prices. The campaign went viral in early January as consumers continued to wait for a decrease in automotive prices following the full elimination of custom tariffs on European cars as part of an Egyptian-EU agreement.

The center said it contacted the central bank that dismissed these reports as groundless.

These are mere rumors meant to undermine national economy, the bank said.

The bank made clear that a decision to fully lift customs duties on imported European vehicles has came into effect as of January 2019 in accordance with a partnership agreement signed between Egypt and the EU.

The bank urged all media outlets and social networking websites to verify the authenticity of any report they publish to avoid disturbing public opinion. ]]>
2/7/2019 2:38:39 PM
<![CDATA[Gov't, LuLu Group International sign $500M deal]]>
Under the agreement, the LuLu Group International will inject investments of $500 million to establish four branches of Lulu Hypermarkets in the areas of New Cairo, the 6th of October and Obour.

The move comes in line with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's directives to regulate markets and provide food commodities at low prices.

For his part, Head of the Internal Trade Development Authority Ibrahim Ashmawi said the political leadership pays great attention to promoting foreign investments, through its keenness to remove all obstacles to investors.

As for the deal, Ashmawi added that the prime minister has ordered offering all necessary facilitation for establishing the four branches of Lulu Hypermarkets.

The first Lulu Hypermarket branch in Egypt was inaugurated in 2016, he said, pointing out that the retail chain plans to pump further LE15 billion to establish new outlets across the country.

For his part, Chairman of LuLu Group Yussuf Ali said the group's decision to construct four Hypermarkets will contribute to securing 40,000 direct and indirect jobs.

The four Hypermarkets, to be built in two years, are expected to flourish the retail sector in Egypt, by providing food commodities at low and competitive prices, Ali added. ]]>
2/7/2019 2:22:19 PM
<![CDATA[Transport min, Siemens delegation probe upgrading Banha-Port Said railway line]]>
The railway system will be provided with advanced technology for signalling, level-crossings and communications and the number of wagons and passengers on this route will be increased. The existing mechanical interlocking systems will be replaced by modern, state-of-the-art centrally controlled electronic systems, a statement by the Transport Ministry said.

The modernization is part of a plan to upgrade Egypt’s rail system to increase safety levels and raise the railway’s maximum speed.

The upgrade also falls within the government's interest in enhancing the movement of goods via railways to reduce traffic on roads and increase revenues of the Railway Authority by increasing the freight volume on routes.

Siemens will provide the electronic interlocking systems, point mechanisms, level-crossing technology and communication technology for the routes, which include 21 stations.

The meeting was attended by the Ministry of Transport and Railway Authority top leaderships]]>
2/7/2019 1:55:45 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s trade deficit records $3.78B in November ]]>
In October, Egypt marked a trade deficit of $4.56 billion, compared to $3.5 billion in the same month of 2017, with an increase of 30.2 percent.

Egypt's trade deficit hits $4.56B in October

CAIRO - 9 January 2019: Egypt's trade deficit rose 30.2 percent during October 2018, recording $4.56 billion, compared to $3.5 billion in the same month of 2017, according to the state statistics agency CAPMAS. In September, Egypt marked a trade deficit of $3 billion, compared to $3.35 billion in the same month of 2017, with an increase of 8 percent.




In its monthly bulletin on foreign trade data, CAPMAS said that exports hiked 1.9 percent to reach $2.33 billion in November 2018, compared to $2.29 billion during the month of 2017.

The bulletin attributed the increase of exports to the rise in the exports of crude oil by 16.8 percent, ready-made garments by 16.5 percent, and fertilizers by 19 percent.

Meanwhile, exports of some other commodities saw a decrease in November such as pasta and other food preparation which decreased by 12.3 percent, dairy products (by 6.8 percent), and furniture (by 22.9 percent).

As per imports, the bulletin showed an increase of 6.1 percent to hit $6.11 billion in November of the current year, compared to $5.76 billion in November 2017.

CAPMAS ascribed this hike to the increase in imports of raw materials of iron and steel products by 8.2 percent, Cars by 31.6 percent, wheat by 65.7 percent, and plastic by 12.5 percent.

On the other hand, imports of other commodities showed a decline such as wood and articles thereof by 11.3 percent, corn by 15.8 percent, petroleum products by 61.2 percent, and refined oils by 45.2 percent.

Egypt has been witnessing a drop in imports after it floated its currency in late 2016, making Egyptian goods in foreign markets attractively cheaper while doubling the cost of importing.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) stated previously that Egypt’s exports marked an increase of $1.2 billion during the third quarter of 2017/2018, hitting $6.75 billion, compared to $5.55 billion in the same quarter of 2016/2017.
]]>
2/7/2019 1:32:13 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.7 billion with a 182-day term and the second is worth LE 9.2 billion with a 357-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Ministry of Finance announced that it would auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Previously, Ministry of Finance announced financial treatments on treasury bills and bonds, Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury.

Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Foreign investments in T-bills hit LE210.2B by end of October

CAIRO - 28 November 2018: Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).




Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided by domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance to Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
2/7/2019 12:11:48 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s Plastic Currency]]>
Britain, which is currently issuing plastic £5 and £10 notes with plans to print plastic £20 notes in 2020 and £50 notes by the summer of 2019, is not the only country to use plastic in the production of its currency. More than 30 countries are now using plastic currencies, including Canada, Fiji, Vietnam, Mauritius, New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Romania, Brunei, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Cape Verde, Chile, Gambia, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Tobago.


quartz
British Plastic Currency


Plastic currencies are produced from polymer, and was first used as currency-making material in Australia in 1988. In 1968, Australia began researching for a scientific solution to combat forgeries of the new decimal currency after it issued its $10 notes in 1966. The state spent 10 years in trials to overcome technical problems. In 1996, Securency International was formed as a joint venture between the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and Innovia Films to market the technology.

“By 1998, all Australian banknotes were is- sued in plastic and by 2009 Securency was exporting to 25 countries, with more than 3 billion polymer notes in circulation,” notes CSIROpedia.

The Bank of England claims polymer is cleaner and more durable than other currency-comprising materials, and it allows the addition of extra security features. Polymer reportedly about 2.5 times longer than paper notes, although they take longer to biodegrade.

The environmental impact of the lifecycle of banknotes worth €3 billion produced in 2003 is equivalent to the environmental impact of driving a car around the world in 9,235 times, according to a study conducted by the Bank of Canada in 2016.

The study revealed that at the end of the lifecycle of paper money, it is usually torn and transported to the landfill. The polymer sheets extracted from the circulation are chopped into granules and used to manufacture every- day plastics, such as garden furniture.

After countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change, Ping Wang, the Communications Officer at the IMF’s Communications Department, said in the organization’s Finance and Development Journal that many countries are considering the environmental impact of their currencies, as well as the durability and security factors.

imf
Source: Finance and Development Journal of IMF


The United Nations Climate Change agenda announced that the main aim of The Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to climate change by keeping the global temperature increases this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The aim is also to pursue efforts limiting the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and increasing countries’ abilities to deal with the impacts of climate change, making finance flows consistent with a low GHG emissions and climate-resilient pathway.

To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate mobilization and financial resources, a new technology framework and enhanced capacity building is to be implemented, thus supporting action by developing countries and vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. It also provides an enhanced transparency framework for action and support.

“In all categories and phases, polymer outperforms paper. For example, the study found, a polymer bill promises a 32 percent reduction in global warming potential and a 30 percent reduction in primary energy demand compared with paper. Most important, polymer notes last more than twice as long as paper notes—and higher denominations, which are handled less frequently, last even longer,” Wang added in his article entitled The Future of Plastic.

Wang clarified that fewer polymer notes have to be manufactured and distributed over the life of a series. “And polymer notes weigh less than paper ones, so even their transportation and distribution are easier on the environment.” He added that plastic film notes offer additional security features, along with longevity and energy efficiency.

As per the Egyptian Currency, the CBE will begin printing categories of plastic money, gradually, starting with the LE 10 category to test market acceptance on the long term.

Experts expect that a transition to plastic currency will reflect a new economic image for Egypt, and tell Egypt Today that it will positively reflect on the Egyptian economy.

“Printing the new currency from the new administrative capital gives a message that Egypt will start a new economic era bringing prosperity and economic welfare to all Egyptians in 2020,” Economic Expert Shimaa Emara explains. “This currency has a lot of benefits like long life several times than paper one, its printing cost is less than the paper one and it is considerably difficult to fake.”

Emara notes that many countries have been using plastic currency for decades, like Spain, France and the UK.

Senior economist at League of Arab States Mahmoud Fath-Allah agrees with Emara, saying that the decision of issuing plastic banknotes in Egypt is a very good choice economically.

Fath-Allah tells Egypt Today that Egypt is one of the high monetizing countries strongly depending on cash transactions, so the level of daily cash circulation is very high. “Cost wise, regular paper banknotes costs a lot because it needs to be replaced after short period of time, that’s why the issuance of coins was intended to reduce the rate of erosion even if the cost of making coins is high.”

On the other hand, Senior Economist at SHUAA Capital Esraa Ahmed believes that manufacturing plastic currency is a good move to- wards more efficient money issuance system, but no major economic impact will take place. “Switching from manufacturing the Egyptian pound using copper, steel and other materials to using polymer banknotes is a matter of efficiency rather than an ‘economic’ move, and they are widely used worldwide [Canada, Vietnam, New Zealand and others use Polymer banknotes, and other countries will join them soon.] It is all about more efficient coins, as they are more durable and less costly when it comes to issuance feasibility and the material used. Using conventional copper and other relatively expensive materials proved inefficient, especially after the high level of cumulative inflation that caused the value of the coin material to exceed the value of its denomination,” Ahmed says.


plastic (1)
Australian Plastic Currency


The origin of the Egyptian Pound

Wang’s article argues, “Money has been made from a variety of materials over the years—from leather in China during the Han Dynasty, to shells, precious metals, cotton paper, and most recently, plastic. The materials reflect the social and political climate of the time as well as available technologies and re- sources.”

Egypt used gold and silver coins until 1834, when the Egyptian pound appeared. Before 1834, there was no specific monetary unit that represented the basis of the monetary system, and only a small number of currencies were seized.

The Egyptian pound was established as a currency to be dealt with in paper form for the first time after its formation and circulation in 1834. On April 3, 1899, the National Bank of Egypt issued banknotes for the first time in Egypt, with a design of a Camel and the name of NBE on its back.


currency
Egypt's Currency


Since the issuance of the Egyptian pound, its design had been changed several times, as in 1930 when it changed from its previous orange color to blue and brown with a picture of the Sphinx on its front and a mosque on its back. In 1950, the pound was redesigned to have an image of King Farouk l in the front and with a picture of the Isis temple in Aswan on the back, but it did not last long until a new version appeared in May 1952, returning to the old face under King Fouad while retaining Isis Temple on the other side.

The shape of the pound was developed in 1968 to carry an image of the Sultan Qaytbay Mosque on one side and the Temple of Abu Simbel on the other side. Eleven years later, in 1979, it became the currently known paper but with changes in color and decorations of Qaytbay Mosque on the front while the other side carries a different image from the Temple of Abu Simbel.

In a new transformation of the pound, the Egyptian government converted the paper pound to a metal pound in 2006.

]]>
2/7/2019 11:49:09 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeks $10B investments in petroleum sector]]>
Molla added that the first international tender for natural gas exploration in the Red Sea will be floated very soon, pointing out that Egypt's gas production amounts to around 6,400 million cubic feet per day.

He stated that Egypt is studying previous gas export contracts that would not affect the local market including a Lebanese one.

On Jan. 31, Molla discussed with his Lebanese counterpart Cesar Abi Khalil ways of boosting bilateral cooperation in the petroleum and gas domains. The Lebanese minister expressed his country's desire that Egypt would resume pumping natural gas to Lebanon as part of the 2009 contract signed between the two sides.

Egypt, Lebanon in talks over petroleum, gas cooperation

2019-01-31 11:31:49 GMT CAIRO: 31 January 2019: Petroleum Minister Tarek el Molla discussed on Thursday with his Lebanese counterpart Cesar Abi Khalil ways of boosting bilateral cooperation in the petroleum and gas domains. In a statement, Molla reiterated distinguished relations binding Egypt with Lebanon, expressing Egypt's readiness to offer all forms of assistance to Lebanon in the petroleum and gas domains.




Molla said earlier that in the period from 2014 to 2018, Egypt signed 63 petroleum agreements with investments of $14 billion.

Molla reviewed achievements in the sector, saying that the ministry implemented the biggest two projects for collecting geophysical data in areas of the Red Sea and Upper Egypt.

He added that debts to foreign oil partners slumped to less than one third, recording $1.2 billion by the end of June 2018, which is the lowest amount since 2010.

Petroleum minister reviews sector achievements in 4 years

CAIRO - 11 December 2018: In the period from 2014 to 2018, Egypt signed 63 petroleum agreements with investments of $14 billion, Minister of Petroleum Tarek el- Molla said. Molla reviewed achievements in the sector, saying that the ministry implemented the biggest two projects for collecting geophysical data in areas of the Red Sea and Upper Egypt.




Molla clarified that 24 projects were implemented to develop gas fields, most importantly projects of Zohr, Atoll, Noras and North Alexandria, adding that these projects contributed to the hike of natural gas production by 60 percent, compared to the average production in 2015/2016.

Egypt achieved self-sufficiency of gas by the end of September 2018.

The minister also referred to the rise of the refinery laboratories' efficiency and the expansion of infrastructure projects, maximizing the added value of petrol and gas through petrochemical industries, as three projects with investments of $4 billion were executed to increase petrochemical industries.

]]>
2/6/2019 5:46:03 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows mixed performance Wednesday, market cap. gains LE1B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.23 percent, or 33.48 points, to close at 14,766.59 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.28 percent, or 6.65 points, to reach 2,363.41 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.03 percent, or 0.19 points, to 689.34 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.02 percent, or 0.33 points, to close at 1,745.33 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1.02 billion, recording LE 813.13 billion, compared to LE 812.10 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 273.36 million shares, traded through 32,683 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.25 billion.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 91.5 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 21.71 million and LE 69.79 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at LE 35.82 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 3.32 million, and LE 1.6 million, respectively.

Egyptian organizations sold at LE 127.32 million, while Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 25.03 million, and LE 71.39 million, respectively.

Nozha International Hospital, Paint & Chemicals Industries (Pachin), and Natural Gas & Mining Project (Egypt Gas) were top gainers of the session by 7.17 percent, 5.10 percent and 4.84 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Cairo Educational Services, El Arabia Engineering Industries, and Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation were top losers of the session by 12 percent, 4.01 percent, and 3.94 percent, respectively.
]]>
2/6/2019 5:41:06 PM
<![CDATA[IMF praises Egypt’s economy after allowing 5th loan tranche]]>CAIRO – 6 February 2019: International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised Egypt’s economic indicators after it completed its fourth review of Egypt’s economic reform program on Feb. 4.


The review allowed Egypt to receive its fifth tranche of a $12 billion loan, raising its total endorsement to around $10 billion.


First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of IMF David Lipton said that Egypt’s macroeconomic outlook is still favorable, supported by strong policy implementation. He also saw that the robust growth and narrowing of the current account deficit reflect a rebound in tourism and strong remittances, while unemployment has declined to its lowest level since 2011.


“The public-debt-to-GDP ratio declined markedly last year and is projected to decline further over the medium term due to the authorities’ fiscal consolidation efforts and high nominal GDP growth,” Lipton stated.


According to Lipton, Egypt has successfully weathered recent capital outflows, but it needs to implement consistent policy to further strengthen policy buffers by containing inflation, enhancing exchange rate flexibility, and reducing public debt.


Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’ it stated Sunday that the ministry has succeeded in reducing the debt ratio of budget instruments (domestic and foreign) to domestic product to reach 97 percent of GDP in June 2018 instead of 108 percent of GDP in June 2017 and 103 percent in June 2016.


Lipton attributed this need to the new challenges posed by the external environment as global financial conditions have tightened.


Lipton referred to the state’s monetary policy which aims to achieve a single-digit inflation rate on the medium term. He endorsed the raise in the headline inflation recently to temporary increases in food and energy prices, “but a restrictive monetary policy stance has helped to reverse the increase and keep core inflation well anchored.”


The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier that the annual inflation rate declined to 11.1 percent in December 2018, compared to 22.3 percent in December 2017.


“The authorities have taken important steps to deepen the foreign exchange market and allow greater exchange rate flexibility ; these steps include eliminating the repatriation mechanism,” Lipton said.


In November, the Central Bank of Egypt ended working with foreign repatriation mechanism which came in force on Dec. 5. The central bank set up the mechanism in March 2013 to ensure that foreign investors receive foreign exchange when they have a desire to exit domestic securities, both government bonds and treasury bills, or listed equities, to encourage them to return to Egypt.


Egypt’s aim to achieve a primary surplus of 2 percent of GDP during current year appears to be on track, according to Lipton, who stated that the authorities remain committed to reaching cost recovery for most fuel products by mid-2019 and implementing automatic fuel price indexation, which together are critical to encourage more efficient energy use. Combined with revenue enhancing reforms, this will help create fiscal space for high-priority spending on health and education.


Ma’it said that that Egypt achieved an increase in the value of the primary surplus in the public budget before the deduction of the interest of public debt to LE 21 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year 2018/2019, which represents about 0.4 percent, compared to a primary deficit of LE 14 billion (0.3 percent of GDP) during the same period last year.


“The authorities’ structural reform agenda aims to support inclusive growth by addressing long-standing constraints to private sector development,” he stated.


Lipton elaborated that this agenda includes reforms to improve competition policy, public procurement, management of SOEs, and land allocation. “Sustained implementation of these reforms is essential to reduce opportunities for rent seeking and to support strong and inclusive medium-term growth and job creation.”


In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance for Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.


Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
2/6/2019 3:26:42 PM
<![CDATA[CBE: Egypt's trade with world hits $23.4bn]]>
A report issued by the CBE said that the value of Egypt's imports during this period reached 16.6 billion dollars while exports reached 6.8 billion dollars.

The value of Egypt's trade with the world countries in the same period last year reached 20.58 billion dollars, added the report.

China came first on the list of trade partners as joint trade exchange reached 1.6 billion dollars including 1.5 billion dollars of imports.

The US ranked second at a value of about 1.5 billion dollars, of which 867 million dollars is the value of imports and 652 million dollars is the value of exports.

Saudi Arabia ranked third at a trade value hitting 1.48 billion dollars including 1.2 billion dollars of imports, said the report.

The UAE ranked fourth while Italy came in the first rank followed by Germany, the UK and Switzerland, added the report.]]>
2/6/2019 3:23:18 PM
<![CDATA[Figures to know about Egypt’s economic indicators in H1 2018/19]]>CAIRO – 6 February 2019: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it announced Tuesday the economic indicators and figures of the first half of fiscal year of 2018/2019, noting that these figures matched the government’s target and ensured trust in the Egyptian economy.


Egypt Today reviews the most significant indicators that the minister stated, which are:


• Egypt achieved a primary surplus of LE 21 billion during the first half (July – December) of 2018/2019.


• The budget deficit recorded 3.6 percent during the first six months of 2018/2019.


• The government paid around LE 207 billion as interest and debt burdens in the first half of the year.


• The average interest of government debt instrument hit 19.5 percent on bills and 18.5 percent on bonds.


• The volume of foreigners' subscription to domestic debt instruments by the end of January reached LE 13.1 billion.


• Egypt’s growth rate marked 5.4 percent during July to December period of the fiscal year.


• There is an 85-percent increase in the value of development fees achieved during the first half.


• LE 7 billion are the yields of the law of ending disputes and delay fines.


• Tax revenues reached LE 304 billion, with an increase of 22.2 percent, compared to the same period of the prior fiscal year.


• Foreign investments in domestic bonds and bills achieved $900 million during January.


• Proceeds of public revenues rose 28.4 percent during the period from July to December 2018, while the rate of growth of public expenditure grew by 17.7 percent.


• Government investments witnessed an unprecedented increase during H1 of the current FY reaching 64 percent to record LE 56 billion.


• Foreign reserves recorded about $42.6 billion at the end of December.


• There is a 21-percent- increase in the financial allocations to the education sector.



Finance minister reviews Egypt's economic indicators in H1 2018/19

CAIRO - 5 February 2019: Egypt's financial indicators will continue to improve, Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'itannounced, confirming that the Egyptian economy is on the right path. The minister referred to the success of the comprehensive economic reform program which is implemented by the Egyptian governmentand enjoys the full and continuous support of the political leadership and the great support of the Egyptian people.



]]>
2/6/2019 3:21:19 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling stuck near two-week low after possible Brexit delay report]]>
The pound has previously rallied on signs that the March 29 date for Britain to leave the European Union could be pushed back with traders betting it would reduce the chances of a disorderly no-deal Brexit.

The Telegraph newspaper reported late on Tuesday that the delay would postpone Brexit to May 24.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will travel to Brussels on Thursday to tell EU leaders they must accept changes to the post-Brexit Irish border arrangements or face the prospect of a disorderly no-deal exit.

In early European trade sterling was up 0.1 percent at $1.2954, not far off a two-week low of $1.2923. It was down 0.3 percent against the euro at 87.9 pence.

The pound slumped to a two-week low on Tuesday after a survey suggested the British economy was flat-lining. That bucked a trend of the currency largely ignoring economic data and instead swinging wildly on news about the Brexit talks.

The currency has been supported in recent weeks by belief that a last-minute agreement will avert a no-deal Brexit.

But jitters returned after the Jan. 29 vote in parliament which asked May to persuade the EU to accept changes to the Brexit agreement.

“I can understand that speculative market participants are ready to bet on the GBP recovery. However, that should not prevent the market from reflecting the changing likelihood of a ‘no deal’ proportionately in the GBP exchange rates,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Germany.

“I do not consider GBP weakness during this time to be sufficiently priced in.”

Sterling has broken convincingly below the 200-day moving average against the resurgent dollar, an important technical level that prompted more investors to join the sell-off.

Market strategists point to $1.2901, the 100 day moving average for the pound, as the next critical level for the British currency.

With another parliament vote due in mid-February, derivatives markets are painting a cautious outlook for the pound with shorter-dated risk reversals indicating a greater bias for sterling puts over calls.

Little clarity is expected on interest rates from a Bank of England meeting on Thursday. Rates last went up in August 2018. The next move will probably hinge on how Brexit plays out.

Sterling will gain between 2 and 5 percent if Britain parts ways with the EU with a deal in place but will slump between 5 and 10 percent in the event of a chaotic Brexit, a Reuters poll found on Wednesday.

In one month’s time a pound will be worth $1.31 and in a year it will be almost 8 percent stronger at $1.40, according to the poll.]]>
2/6/2019 1:15:11 PM
<![CDATA[Oil falls 1 percent as supply concerns fade]]>
U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.5 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday. The government’s official supply report is due later on Wednesday.

Benchmark Brent crude had slipped 62 cents to $61.36 a barrel by 1000 GMT, after rallying about 15 percent in January. U.S. crude was down 48 cents at $53.18.

SPONSORED

“A bumper January for oil bulls is turning into a gloomy February as the supportive glow of Venezuela’s deepening turmoil starts to fade,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

He said the API figures showing rising stocks “do little to silence the U.S. glut alarm bells.”

The U.S. announced sanctions on Venezuela’s state oil company last week, a move that could curb supplies but the development has yet to push prices up steeply..

“It would seem that the market is really not too worried yet about the potential loss of Venezuelan barrels,” analysts at JBC Energy wrote.

“This is either because the market assumes that the size of the impact will not be large, or at least it will be of short enough duration,” they wrote.

Concern about weaker global economic growth and the trade dispute between the United States and China have also weighed on sentiment. Oil fell on Tuesday after a survey showed euro zone business expansion nearly stalled in January.

U.S. President Donald Trump said in his State of the Union address that a trade deal with China was possible. Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of talks next week.

Supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, have been supporting prices.

The producers’ alliance, known as OPEC+, began cutting production from last month to avert a new supply glut. OPEC has delivered almost three-quarters of its pledged cutback already, a Reuters survey showed.]]>
2/6/2019 1:13:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Germany discuss cooperation in producing solar powered water pumps]]>
Attending also were representatives for the ministry of irrigation and the national service projects agency.

The meeting took up the possibility of signing a contract between the Ministry of Military Production and the German company on transferring technology of manufacturing solar powered water pumps. ]]>
2/6/2019 12:50:05 PM
<![CDATA[IMF: Egypt successfully weathered recent capital outflows]]>
Lipton, in a press release a copy of which MENA obtained, said the macroeconomic outlook remains favorable, supported by strong policy implementation.

The IMF board approved on Monday a $2bn loan payment to Egypt, the latest in the country's three-year aid program. The latest installment brings the total paid to Cairo to about $10bn since the loan deal was signed in November 2016.

Lipton said robust growth and a narrowing of the current account deficit reflect a rebound in tourism and strong remittances, while unemployment has declined to its lowest level since 2011.

The public-debt-to-GDP ratio declined markedly last year and is projected to decline further over the medium term due to the authorities’ fiscal consolidation efforts and high nominal GDP growth.

“While the outlook remains favorable, a more difficult external environment poses new challenges as global financial conditions have tightened", he said.

“Monetary policy remains anchored by the medium-term objective of bringing inflation to single digits." he said.

The recent pick-up in headline inflation reflected temporary increases in food and energy prices, but a restrictive monetary policy stance has helped to reverse the increase and keep core inflation well anchored.

The Egyptian authorities have taken important steps to deepen the foreign exchange market and allow greater exchange rate flexibility, citing the elimination of the repatriation mechanism.

“This year’s primary surplus target of 2 percent of GDP appears on track, which would achieve a cumulative fiscal adjustment of 5.5 percent of GDP in three years," Lipton said.

The authorities remain committed to reaching cost recovery for most fuel products by mid-2019 and implementing automatic fuel price indexation, which together are critical to encourage more efficient energy use, and combined with revenue enhancing reforms will help create fiscal space for high-priority spending on health and education.]]>
2/6/2019 11:30:06 AM
<![CDATA[14 firms request lands in 1.5 million feddans project ]]>
The companies belong to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Cyprus, Greece, and Spain. Their representatives visited the lands that were allocated to them to make the decision of closing the deal right away or asking to change.

The company will deliver 900,000 feddans in four main zones to investors within the next few months. Those zones are Farafra, Western Minya, Maghara southern Alamein, and Toshky. The lands will be delivered after operating facilities and paving roads.

Stretching over 600,000 feddans, the lands to be delivered in the areas of Maghara southern Alamein and Western Minya represent 60 percent of the total lands that have been offered over the past four years.

The remaining areas to be offered in tenders will vary between 250,000 and 300,000 feddans in Farafra and Toshky. Those will be available for both direct ownership and leasing. The prices in tenders will be set with regard to the place, type of land, and water used.

Deals of 550,000 feddans have been closed, and the company mulls adding new areas.
]]>
2/5/2019 3:42:00 PM
<![CDATA[Finance minister reviews Egypt’s economic indicators in H1 2018/19]]>
The minister referred to the success of the comprehensive economic reform program which is implemented by the Egyptian governmentand enjoys the full and continuous support of the political leadership and the great support of the Egyptian people.

He added that the program is also considerably supported bythe country’s key partners such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the G-7 and the European Union.

He said in a press conference held Tuesday at the Ministry of Finance that the most important indicator is the increase in the value of the primary surplus in the public budget - before the deduction of the interest of public debt to LE 21 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year 2018/2019, which represents about 0.4 percent, compared toa primary deficit of LE 14 billion (0.3 percent of GDP) during the same period last year.

He added that this boom in the volume of the primary surplus also contributed to a significant improvement in the control of the overall deficit rates of the budget to fall to 3.6 percent of GDP for the first half of the current fiscal year, compared to 4.2 percent of GDP during the same period in the last fiscal year and compared toan average deficit of 5.3 percent over the past three years.

According to the minister, the improvement in the surplus of the public budget is based on thesurge in the proceeds of public revenues, which rose by 28.4 percent during the period from July to December 2018, exceeding the rate of growth of public expenditure, which grew by 17.7 percent.

Ma’it attributed revenue growth to the continuous improvement of tax revenues which increased by 22.2 percent, where a number of items of tax revenues increased significantly in the proceeds such as the yields of real estate tax which rose by 102 percent, the yields of taxes on free professions (by 47 percent) and the salary tax (by 37 percent). Also, yields of taxes on corporate profits hiked by 26.2 percent and the value of VAT on goods and services increased by 21 percent.

The minister of finance elaborated that the increase in the expenditure is due to the continuous improvement of the structure of public expenditure through increased investment spending, maintenance allocations and purchases of goods and services and the shift from commodity subsidies to better targeted and more efficient cash subsidies.

“Government investments witnessed an unprecedented increase during the H1 of the current FY reaching 64 percent to record LE 56 billion, of which LE 39.5 billion were investments financed by the public treasury with 41 percent growth, and provisions for the purchase of goods and services increased by 62 percent, which reflects the great interest of the political leadership and the government to meet the basic needs of citizens and increase spending on human development, maintenance and infrastructure development in all governorates,” Ma’it stated.

He also referred to the 21-percent- increase in the financial allocations to the education sector due to the increase in public expenditure on the purchase of goods, services and public investments by 28 percent and 70 percent respectively.Ma'it also highlighted the 27-percent increase in financial allocations to the health sector.

“These high and unprecedented rates of public spending emphasize the government's keenness to develop and improve the human element, in addition to the government's interest in raising the efficiency of education and health services, paying attention to all elements of the educational and health systems and not only the wage component,” he pointed out.

The minister stressed that all these positive indicators of the performance of the public budget will contribute to the continuous reduction of the debt ratio of budget tothe GDP, which has already declined from 108 percent in June 2017 to about 98 percent in June 2018 and aims to reduce to 93 percent of GDP by the end of June.

He said the indicators of the performance of the Egyptian economy continues to perform strongly as the economic growth rate continued to rise to record in H1 of the current FY 5.5 percent, the highest growth rate achieved by the state since 2008 and the highest growth rate achieved by one of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

The government succeeded in raising the growth rate to 5.3 percent in 2017/2018,compared to a growth rate of 2.3 percent in the period from 2011 to 2014, supported by strong performance and a positive contribution of investments and exports, which is reflected by the drop in unemployment rates to less than 10 percent in June 2018, the lowest since 2010.

Ma’it added that the strength of the Egyptian economy is also confirmed by the rise of foreign reserves to a great extent to achieve about $42.6 billion at the end of December, which coincided with the decline in annual and monthly inflation rates recently.

The minister of finance affirmed the commitment of the government and the Ministry of Finance to continue implementing the program of economic and social reform, as most of the financial measures targeted at the current budget were approved at the beginning of the current fiscal year 2018/2019.

Topping these measures are the continued implementation of measures to rationalize energy subsidies (oil and electricity materials), approval of amendments to the development fee law and increasingthe tax on tobacco and cigarettes.

“In July, the government announced the implementation of a package of comprehensive social measures, including increased wages and pensions, and a revision of the tax exemption limit to reduce the negative impact of reform measures on the neediest groups,” he said.

The minister also referred to the feedback of international economic agencies about the Egyptian economy, pointing to the agreement of the executive board of the IMFto give Egypt the fifth installment of its $12 billion loan ($2 billion) by the end of the current week, in addition to the statement of IMF’s Managing Director Christine Lagarde, commending Egyptian authorities for reforms that have put the country’s budget deficit on a declining trajectory, and that have helped reduce theunemployment rate to 10 percent, the lowest since 2011.

The finance minister added that this success was also reflected in the reports of the credit rating institutions, which last year raised the rating of Egypt. For example, Standard & Poor's raised the credit rating from B- to B while Fitch and Moody's raised the outlook for the Egyptian economy from stable to positive, which confirms and increases the possibility of raising the credit rating of Egypt in 2019.

“This improvement in the rating of the development institutions of the Egyptian economy is reinforced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's announcement this week to raise Egypt's rating in the country risk index from grade 6 to grade 5, which means that Egypt has become, according to the estimates of the organization, more attractive for international investments,” Ma’it stated.]]>
2/5/2019 2:50:12 PM
<![CDATA[CIB records profits of LE 9.58B in 2018]]>
The financial indicators revealed that net income jumped to LE 18.14 billion, from LE 12.5 billion in the prior year.

As per standalone results, the bank marked a profit of LE 9.55 billion in 2018, compared to LE 7.55 billion in 2017, with an increase 26.55 percent.

The bank recorded consolidated profits of LE 7.02 billion during the first nine months of 2018, compared to LE 5.67 billion during the same months of 2017, including minority rights, with an increase of 23.75 percent.

During the first half of 2018, the bank’s consolidated profits hiked 23.4 percent, recording LE 4.42 billion, compared to LE 3.58 billion during the same period of 2017.

The Commercial International Bank - Egypt (CIB) is a public company, listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since February 1995.

Founded in 1975, CIB operates within the banks sector focusing on diversified banks. It has 24 subsidiaries operating across Egypt and the United Kingdom.]]>
2/5/2019 2:46:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian non-oil private sector records 48.5 in January: PMI]]>
“Despite the poor headline reading in the Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index for Egypt’s non-oil private sector in January, there were nevertheless some promising data in the sub-components that could presage an improvement in the Egyptian economy in the coming months,” Emirates NBD research commented.

“Egypt’s recovery over the past two years has so far largely been driven by external rebalancing and public investment, while the private sector has remained under pressure, in part as a result of ongoing reforms,” it added.

The research said that 2018 was on average (49.5) the strongest year in the PMI since 2014, with anticipation of a continued strengthening in the private sector this year.

Both output and new orders components dropped during January, and respondents attributed this decrease to adverse weather conditions and generally poor market conditions.

“External demand was also weak, as export orders experienced a fall for the fifth month in a row and business optimism among respondents fell to the lowest level since October 2016.”

These factors caused 76 percent of respondents to expect no change in conditions during current year, while only 3 percent expected a decline in conditions.

The research also stated that global instability was also a concern for respondents, adding that optimism has declined fairly steadily from its recent peak at the close of 2017.

Meanwhile, input prices declined to a series low in January, led by a marked slowdown in purchase costs.

The research attributed this drop to the beginning of a recovery from the inflationary pressure caused by cutting subsidies last July. The decline of input prices enabled firms to cut output prices, which posted a sub-50.0 reading for the first time.

“This should contribute to an ongoing decline in CPI inflation, which fell to 12 percent in December, and potentially pave the way for the central bank to begin loosening monetary policy, which would give a much-needed boost to the private sector,” it noted.

In December, Egypt’s Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector rose to 49.6, compared to 49.2 in November.

The survey, sponsored by Emirates NBD and produced by IHS Markit, contains data collected from a monthly survey on business conditions in the Egyptian private sector.

Egyptian non-oil private sector hikes to 49.6 in December: PMI

CAIRO - 10 January 2019: Egypt's Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector rose to 49.6 in December, compared to 49.2 in November. Emirates NBD research clarified that Egypt is closing the year on a positive note.



]]>
2/5/2019 2:42:57 PM
<![CDATA[Oil edges up as market eyes tighter supply]]>
But disappointing U.S. factory data weighed on the market, which on Monday saw U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude reach 2019 highs, as concern about the global economy persisted.

WTI futures were at $54.65 per barrel at 0810 GMT, up 9 cents or 0.16 percent. They touched their highest level in more than two months at $55.75 the previous day.

International Brent crude futures were at $62.56 a barrel, up 5 cents or 0.08 percent.

Analysts said U.S. sanctions on Venezuela had focused market attention on tighter global supplies.

“Fresh U.S. sanctions on the country could see 0.5-1 percent of global supply curtailed,” said Vivek Dhar, mining and energy analyst at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The sanctions will sharply limit oil transactions between Venezuela and other countries and are similar to but slightly less extensive than those imposed on Iran last year, experts said on Friday after looking at details posted by the Treasury Department.

A flotilla loaded with about 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest U.S. sanctions and others whose buyers are weighing whom to pay, according to traders, shippers and Refinitiv Eikon data.

Meanwhile, oil supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries fell in January by the largest amount in two years, a Reuters survey found.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies over-delivered on the group’s supply-cutting pact while Iran, Libya and Venezuela registered involuntary declines.

Russia is fully complying with its pledge to cut oil production gradually, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday, adding that production fell by 47,000 barrels per day in January from October.

Weighing on oil markets, U.S. government data showed new orders for U.S.-made goods unexpectedly fell in November, with sharp declines in demand for machinery and electrical equipment.

The global economic outlook and prospects for growth in fuel demand have been clouded by poor economic data in China and U.S.-China trade tensions.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week said he would meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in coming weeks to try to settle the two countries’ dispute.]]>
2/5/2019 11:21:38 AM
<![CDATA[Asian stocks extend gains on firm Wall Street; dollar steady]]>
European shares were expected to open higher, with financial spread-betters seeing Britain’s FTSE, France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX to tick up between 0.3 and 0.5 percent each.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.5 percent and hovered near its four-month high marked on Friday.

Japan’s Nikkei average marked its highest level in seven weeks at one point but finished the day down 0.2 percent.

Australian shares jumped 2 percent, with long-battered financials surging on short-covering after a special government-appointed inquiry excoriated Australia’s financial sector for misconduct but left the structure of the country’s powerful banks in place.

Elsewhere in Asia, trade was light, with markets in greater China, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia all closed for the Lunar New Year.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained on Monday, with technology and industrials becoming the biggest winners as investors braced for another big week of fourth-quarter corporate earnings reports. [.N]

The Cboe Volatility Index, Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge,” dropped to 15.60, its lowest level in four months, on Monday.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe reached a two-month high. It has risen more than 13 percent from its near two-year low in late December, helped by the Fed’s change of tack.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has signalled its three-year tightening drive may be coming to an end amid a suddenly cloudy outlook for the U.S. economy due to global growth concerns and the U.S.-China trade dispute.

The Fed said in a statement that Powell had told President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin late on Monday that “the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information.”

Data announced on Friday showed U.S. job growth surged in January while a key gauge of U.S. manufacturing sector showed surprising resilience after December’s shocking fall, allaying fears the U.S. economy might be losing momentum quickly.

Hiroshi Nakamura, senior manager of investment planning at Mitsui Life Insurance, said financial markets’ positive reaction to the U.S. data is diminishing with time, but hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal “will continue to support markets until the two sides come to formal decisions”.

The dollar held on to recent gains against its major peers as investors continued to lap-up Friday’s strong payrolls number and a manufacturing survey.

The dollar’s index against six major currencies was little changed at 95.847, having gained 0.27 percent in the previous day.

The euro was also steady at $1.1431, off three-week high of $1.15405 set on Thursday.

The greenback stood flat at 109.91 yen, having risen to 110.165 overnight, its highest level in five weeks.

The British pound barely moved and was at $1.3040.

On Monday, sterling quickly erased brief gains following a newspaper report that goods shipped to Britain from the European Union could be waved through without checks in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

The Australian dollar gained 0.5 percent to $0.7260, erasing earlier losses, after the Reserve Bank of Australia left policy unchanged at its first meeting this year but sounded less dovish than the markets had wagered on.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Aussie fell as much as 0.5 percent after a slump in retail sales reinforced concerns about slowing growth in Australia.

Traders’ focus quickly shifted to U.S. President Donald Trump’s delayed State of the Union address, due at 2100 ET Tuesday/0200 GMT Wednesday, as well as U.S. ISM’s non-manufacturing figures, also due later in the day.

“If President Trump persists in his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in the upcoming address, it would cap the dollar’s rally,” said Kengo Suzuki, chief FX strategist at Mizuho Securities.

Trump told a White House event over the weekend that he might declare an emergency because it did not appear Democrats in Congress were moving toward a deal to provide wall money. Such a step likely would prompt a court challenge from Democrats.

In commodity markets, oil prices inched up, buoyed by expectations of tightening global supply amid U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and production cuts led by OPEC.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.5 percent to $54.82 a barrel, after hitting a 2-1/2-month high of $55.75 in the previous session, while Brent crude futures were last up 0.3 percent at $62.73.

Gold prices held near one-week lows hit in the previous session, pressured by a firmer dollar and as investor appetite for riskier assets picked up.
]]>
2/5/2019 11:19:20 AM
<![CDATA[Trump expected to name David Malpass to head World Bank]]>
The nomination of Malpass would put a Trump loyalist and a skeptic of multilateral institutions in line to lead the World Bank, which committed nearly $64 billion to developing countries in the year ended June 30, 2018.

Politico, which first reported the decision, said it would be announced on Wednesday, citing unidentified administration officials.

Spokespersons for the White House and the U.S. Treasury declined comment.

A European diplomatic source said the Trump administration had notified several capitals of the Malpass nomination, adding that European shareholders of the bank were not likely to block it.

Malpass, or any other U.S. nominee, would still need to win approval from the World Bank’s 12-member executive board. While the United States holds a controlling 16 percent share of board voting power and has traditionally chosen the World Bank’s leader, challengers could emerge.

If approved, Malpass, the U.S. Treasury’s top diplomat as undersecretary for international affairs, would replace physician and former university president Jim Yong Kim in the role. Kim, first nominated by former U.S. president Barack Obama in 2012, stepped down on Feb. 1 to join private equity fund Global Infrastructure Partners, more than three years before his term ended, amid differences with the Trump administration over climate change and development resources.

‘GRADUATING’ CHINA

The nomination signals that the Trump administration wants a firmer grip on the institution.

Malpass in 2017 criticized the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral institutions for growing larger, more “intrusive” and “entrenched.”

Over the past two years, Malpass has also pushed for the World Bank to halt lending to China, which he says is too wealthy for such aid, especially when Beijing has subjected some developing countries including Sri Lanka and Pakistan to crushing debt loads with its “Belt and Road” infrastructure development program.

China is the World Bank’s third largest shareholder after Japan, with about a 4.5 percent share of voting power.

Last year, Malpass helped negotiate a package of World Bank lending reforms tied to a $13 billion capital increase that aimed to limit the bank’s lending and focus resources more on poorer countries.

The reforms seek to “graduate” more middle-income countries to private-sector lending and limit World Bank staff salary growth.

CHALLENGE UNCLEAR

One World Bank board source said that there was little appetite among member countries to mount a challenge to a U.S. candidate seen as qualified and reasonable, but it was unclear yet whether enough viewed Malpass as fitting that description.

Justin Sandefur, a senior fellow with the Center for Global Development, said the choice showed that the Trump administration was trying to undermine a key global institution and urged other countries to nominate alternative candidates.

“They have a choice. It’s a simple majority vote, the U.S. has no veto in this election and there are many better candidates,” Sandefur said in an emailed statement.

The World Bank will accept nominations from Thursday through March 14 and up to three candidates could advance to a board vote.

Malpass, 62, was an economic adviser to Trump during his 2016 election campaign. He served as chief economist at investment bank Bear Stearns and Co prior to its 2008 collapse and served at the Treasury and State Departments under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.]]>
2/5/2019 11:04:30 AM
<![CDATA[IMF agrees to give Egypt fifth installment of $12b loan]]>
Officials told Egypt Today that Egypt would receive the last installment of the loan in either June or July after the annual spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, scheduled to be held in April in Washington.

The officials pointed out that the fifth installment of the IMF loan will be added to the foreign-exchange reserves of the Central Bank of Egypt in order to narrow Egypt’s budget deficit.
]]>
2/4/2019 8:23:59 PM
<![CDATA[Joint protocol between Egypt and Germany]]>
The protocol was signed by Egypt's Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar and Germany's Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.

“The protocol aims to strengthen mutual trade and economic ties between the two countries through boosting economic cooperation and sustainable development and upgrading mutual work,” Nassar stated.

The protocol stipulates arranging fixed meetings between the German ambassador in Cairo and the Egyptian deputy minister of economy and industry to discuss ways to solve chronic problems, boost economic projects and investment, provide more job opportunities, achieve mutual development and find quick solutions for the German companies’ obstacles to facilitate their investment.

“Small and medium-sized projects are the base of both the Egyptian and German economies, where the two countries aim to establish more low-budget projects to encourage youth to start their own projects,” the Egyptian minister said.

Also, the protocol stated the significance of research and creativity in supporting prosperity of both countries within the framework of the program of Innovation and Creativity of Small and Medium-Sized Projects.

It is worth mentioning that the German government is keen on facilitating the participation of German companies in trade exhibitions in Egypt, being the leading country in Africa in the field.

Regarding the energy issue, the German minister assured that Egypt is a prominent partner to Germany in the region and that Egypt's production of natural gas is expected to increase in the coming period.

Egypt is working to renew the natural gas and liquefied natural gas infrastructure and Germany targets diverting its energy sources, which makes it a win-win situation to both countries.

Hence, mutual cooperation in the field of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in North Africa and Europe becomes a must; through establishing leading projects aim at improving efficiency of energy industry.

Holding mutual committee of renewable energy, energy efficiency and protecting government will enhance cooperation in energy field.

“Tourism is the ultimate way to achieve economic development, where Egypt is considered a tourist attraction to Germans; it also provides limitless job opportunities," the Egyptian minister said
]]>
2/4/2019 5:15:59 PM
<![CDATA[Electricity Ministry sets vision of new electricity prices]]>
Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker revealed that the joint team from the ministry and EgyptERA commenced to work on a group of visions to restructure the prices of electricity within the plan of lifting subsidies which started five years ago, to be completed in fiscal year 2021/2022.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that included the introduction of taxes, such as the value-added tax (VAT), and cutting energy subsidies, with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

Shaker noted that the visions will be presented to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli to endorse the new prices which will be applied on July's bill.

The minister affirmed that there won’t be any raise in prices until July 2019.

According to Shaker, the government puts low-income citizens into consideration when setting the prices. “Low-income citizens consume little electricity, so they will enjoy an exchangeable subsidy even after cutting the subsidy in full in 2022.”

The prices of electricity which are currently applied and came in force on July 1, 2018 are as follows:

Housing use:

First bracket: From 0 to 50 kilowatts = (22 piasters up from 13).
Second bracket: From 51 kilowatts to 100 = (30 piasters up from 22).
Third bracket: From 0 to 200 kilowatts = (36 piasters up from 27).
Fourth bracket: From 201 to 350 kilowatts = (70 piasters up from 55).
Fifth bracket: From 351 kilowatts to 650 = (90 piasters up from 75).
Sixth bracket: From 651 to 1000 kilowatts = (135 piasters up from 125).
Seventh bracket: From 0 to more than 1000 kilowatts = (145 piasters up from 135).

Commercial use:

From 0 to 100 kilowatts = (55 piasters up from 45).
From 0 to 250 kilowatts = (100 piasters up from 84).
From 601 to 1000 kilowatts = (115 up from of 135).
From 0 to over 1000 kilowatts = (150 piasters up from 140).

Trade Exchange bet. Egypt, Germany hits €5.81B in 2017

CAIRO - 21 June 2018: Trade Exchange between Egypt and Germany rose 5 percent in 2017, reaching €5.81 billion, compared to €5.57 billion in 2016, according to Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Amr Nassar. The minister clarified that the current German investments in Egypt amount to $641 million through 1080 projects in the fields of industry, services, agriculture, construction, communications, information technology and finance.



]]>
2/4/2019 5:12:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Germany sign document on promoting economic partnership]]>
The document was signed by Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar and German Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Thomas Bareiß here on Monday during the 5th meeting of the joint economic committee.

The document states promoting cooperation between the two nations in the fields of industry, trade policies and investment through exchanging information pertaining to investment with the aim of increasing German investments in Egypt and making use of Germany's expertise, Nassar said.

Under the document, the two sides will also upgrade investments at the Suez Canal Corridor and in vocational training and technical education, improving the atmosphere of investment, logistics, establishing harbors and running industrial zones, Nassar added.

They also agreed on the need to develop cooperation on customs, training, rules of origin, information technology, market control mechanisms, foodstuffs and agriculture, he added.

The two sides will also promote cooperation in botanical crops research, animal production, protection of plants and research related to agricultural engineering, food technology, veterinary health, soil, water and the environment, he said.

The document included cooperation in energy and low carbon emissions through collaboration in renewable energy fields, environment protection, climate change and energy-related infrastructure, as well as oil and gas exploration, petroleum refining, petrochemicals and mineral resources, he said.

Cooperation also covers the environment particularly environment and climate policies and bio-diversity as well as transportation and its infrastructure, railway engineering, logistics centers and technical training on maintenance of railways and other means of transportation, he said.

Developing tourism is also included in the document through urging travel agencies in both countries to boost cooperation in this fields, he added.

The minister asserted the importance of enhancing joint action between Egypt and Germany at the economic, trade and investment levels not only at the bilateral level but also in third markets especially the African one, he said.

The joint committee meeting covered the fields of industry, trade policies, investment, energy, transportation, infrastructure and tourism, he pointed out.]]>
2/4/2019 5:04:49 PM
<![CDATA[IAEA boss praises Egypt's measures to carry out Dabaa nuclear project]]>
In a meeting on Monday with Minister of Electricity and renewable energy Mohamed Shaker, Amano, currently visiting Egypt to discuss cooperation between Egypt and IAEA, also praised discussions he had with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on cooperation between the two sides in the nuclear energy domain.

For his part, Shaker said that Egypt would continue efforts to carry out its peaceful nuclear program to meet the growing development, economic and industrial needs in cooperation with Russia, the strategic partnership for Egypt in this program.

He said that Egypt appreciates the role tasked by IAEA in transferring peaceful nuclear technology and contributing to technological, economic and scientific development rates in IAEA member states.

The minister pointed out that Egypt spares no effort to provide nuclear research centers for training Arab and African cadres in the nuclear domains.

Minister Shaker reviewed cooperation between Egypt and IAEA in stages of establishing the Dabaa nuclear station to generate 4.8 gigawatts and praised IAEA effort to focus on the use of isotope for medical care. ]]>
2/4/2019 4:58:56 PM
<![CDATA[Investment min.: German investments in Egypt worth $7.1 billion]]>
She detailed that such investments are in the fields of information technology, communication, agricultural services, manufacturing, petrochemicals, engineering and car industries, among others.

The minister made her statements on the sidelines of the activities of the Egyptian-German business forum, organized by the German-Arab Chamber Of Industry and Commerce and attended by Trade Minister Amr Nassar, Minister of Petroleum Tariq El Molla and German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.

Nasr urged the German companies to make further investments, asserting the importance of the Egypt-Germany strategic partnership.

She pointed out that Egypt, under President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, places high priority on investing in human capital, citing great progress made in implementing the plan of economic development.

El Molla affirmed the importance of fostering cooperation and strategic partnership between Egypt and Germany and expressed hope for more partnerships and signing of more agreements to strengthen economic relations between the two countries in the oil, gas and petrochemical domains.]]>
2/4/2019 4:57:01 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday on mixed note , market cap. gains LE 1.6B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.86 percent, or 122.25 points, to close at 14,366.06 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.09 percent, or 2.11 points, to reach 2,309.1 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.12 percent, or 0.85 points, to 686.13 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.03 percent, or 0.46 points, to close at 1,732.08 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1.66 billion, recording LE 797.71 billion, compared to LE 796.05 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 247.63 million shares, traded through 31,303 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.03 billion.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 73.46 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 11.53 million and LE 61.93 million, respectively.

Foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 1.08 million, while Egyptian and Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 30.96 million, and LE 7.47 million, respectively.

Egyptian organizations bought at LE 104.42 million, while Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 4.06 million, and LE 63.02 million, respectively.

Atlas for Investment and Food Industries, Arab Cotton Ginning, and Zahraa Maadi Investment & Development were top gainers of the session by 7.06 percent, 5.16 percent and 5.02 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad), El Arabia Engineering Industries, and Edita Food Industries S.A.E were top losers of the session by 5.48 percent, 5.01 percent, and 4.90 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday in green, as EGX30 hiked 0.83 percent, EGX50 rose 0.90 percent, EGX70 increased 0.46 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.56 percent.
]]>
2/4/2019 4:06:15 PM
<![CDATA[ITIDA: Egypt's IT exports hit $3.67B]]>
During a meeting with a delegation of representatives of German companies and Parliament (Bundestag) members, Rashad said last year witnessed an increasing interest by German companies to expand and establish joint services centers in Egypt in a number of various technology fields, citing Software Quality Systems AG (SQS) consultancy company which signed an agreement with ITIDA to export technology services through the company's global services center in Egypt.

She said she is looking forward to enhancing cooperation and exchanging expertise between German technology companies and their Egyptian counterparts.

ITIDA is totally ready to offer all support to attract more German IT companies to invest in Egypt particularly those that depend on high added value services, she stressed.

The meeting covered available investment opportunities in the communication and IT sector in Egypt and ways to promote cooperation between the two sides, asserting that Egypt enjoys numerous competitive advantages which makes it an attractive market to investment and business.

The German delegation's visit to ITIDA is part of an official visit by German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier to Egypt.]]>
2/4/2019 3:51:14 PM
<![CDATA[Strategic partnership with Germany in oil, gas domain: Molla]]>
Inaugurating the fifth Egyptian-German businessmen forum in Cairo on Monday, the minister expressed hope for more partnerships and signing of more agreements contributing to strengthening economic relations between the two countries in the oil, gas and petrochemical domains.

The inauguration ceremony, which was attended by German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar, coincided with a visit to Egypt by a delegation representing major German companies.

Molla pointed out to cooperation between Egypt and the European Union in the field of energy and Egypt's efforts to become a regional gas hub.

The minister said the oil sector adopts an ambitious strategy in line with Egypt 2030 vision which aims at guaranteeing energy security, making the optimal use of natural resources and meeting the local market needs of energy, praising the integrated reforms the country has adopted to stimulate investments and encourage world oil companies to work in Egypt.

Minister Molla said the past four years witnessed unprecedented positive results in the gas domain topped by putting four gas projects on the production map and signing 63 agreements for oil and gas exploration.]]>
2/4/2019 3:49:23 PM
<![CDATA[FEDCOC urges German businessmen to increase investments in Egypt]]>
This came in statements he gave on the sidelines of the activities of the Egyptian-German business forum, organized by the German-Egyptian chamber of commerce in Cairo and attended by Trade Minister Amr Nassar, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr and German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.

The German side are welcome to invest in many fields including information technology, communication, agricultural services, manufacturing, petrochemicals, engineering and car industries, Wakil said.

Egypt is working on creating an investment-attractive atmosphere on the basis of modernizing business regulations and legislation and restructuring the economy comprehensively, he added.

Egypt is an attractive destination for foreign investments for it is enjoying a political and economic stability and is working in line with the free market mechanisms, Wakil added. ]]>
2/4/2019 3:39:51 PM
<![CDATA[Trade exchange bet. Egypt, Germany reaches $4.7B in 2018]]>
Nassar elaborated that Egypt’s exports to Germany hiked 11.2 percent, to reach $663 million which contributed to fix the gap of the trade balance between both countries.

This came during the minister’s inauguration of Egypt-Germany business forum with German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier.

In 2017, Trade exchange between Egypt and Germany rose 5 percent, reaching €5.81 billion, compared to €5.57 billion in 2016, Nassar said earlier, with total Egyptian investments in Germany recording $35.5 million in the fields of finance, medicine, furniture, appliances, medical supplies, tourism and trade.

Trade Exchange bet. Egypt, Germany hits €5.81B in 2017

CAIRO - 21 June 2018: Trade Exchange between Egypt and Germany rose 5 percent in 2017, reaching €5.81 billion, compared to €5.57 billion in 2016, according to Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Amr Nassar. The minister clarified that the current German investments in Egypt amount to $641 million through 1080 projects in the fields of industry, services, agriculture, construction, communications, information technology and finance.




During the inauguration, the minister called on the German business community to invest in the textile city in Sadat city, where Egypt plans to establish the biggest city for manufacturing textile and clothes in the country. The city will be established on an area of 3.1 million square meters, with a capacity of 592 factories.

He further encouraged them to invest in the Suez Canal Economic Zone through establishing mutual projects with value-added to both parties, stressing the ministry's keenness to provide German companies with all the support to facilitate their investments in Egypt.

German investments recorded around $641 million until the end of September, the minister noted, clarifying that this figure is not appropriate for the available investment opportunities and the capabilities of the German companies.

“Egypt is keen to benefit from the advanced German technology and expertise in the fields of industry, automation, and digital transformation, which will contribute to the development of the Egyptian industry and increase its competitiveness,” Nassar said.

He referred to the formation of a joint technical team to work on executing the memorandum of understanding signed by Siemens Company in October in Berlin.

Nassar pointed out the possibility of cooperation between the Egyptian and German sides in the field of exhibitions and conferences, where it was coordinated with the Dusseldorf Exhibition Authority to organize the Pack Process Middle East exhibition in Cairo during December.

The minister said that the Egyptian version of Interpack exhibition in Germany will target the African market. The exhibition was announced during the Africa Summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh last December.

“The Frankfurt Exhibition Authority also studied the possibility of organizing an Egyptian edition of the Heimtextil exhibition for home furnishings,” he stated.

For his part, Altmaier reflected his country’s keenness on boosting the economic relationship with Egypt during the coming period, emphasizing the importance of the cooperation between both governments regarding various regional and international issues.

He highlighted the big opportunities for cooperation between both countries, especially in the fields of education, technology, small and medium enterprises, energy and constructions.

The German minister affirmed he trusts the Egyptian government’s efforts to remove obstacles and challenges that face the German companies operating in Egypt, which will contribute to enhancing the economic and trade partnership.

On Sunday, Altmaier announced that German investments in Egypt hit $7.1 billion by 1215 companies doing businesses in the country.

The German companies are investing in sectors such as petroleum, chemicals, vehicle manufacturing, communication, steel, and others.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi received a German delegation, including representatives of the biggest German companies and a number of bundestag “German Parliament” members.
]]>
2/4/2019 3:29:20 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian, Tunisian bourses activate MoU to enhance money market]]>
The memo aims at enhancing bilateral cooperation in the money market domain.

Head of the Egyptian bourse Mohamed Farid said the memo comes as part of the Egyptian bourse' keenness on exchanging expertise with regional bourses and strengthening the role of the money market in boosting economic and social development plans.

Over the past two days, the Egyptian bourse received a delegation representing Tunisian money market officials for talks on promoting bilateral cooperation.]]>
2/4/2019 2:21:21 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.7B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a seven-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a three-year term.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that it would auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




During December's meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Egypt has lately conducted modifications on the bonds market started by modifying the treasury bills and bonds treatments, and followed by allowing companies to offer short-term bonds.

During December, The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued a decree allowing companies to offer and issue short-term bonds.

According to the decree, these companies included joint stock companies and shareholding companies, as well as companies authorized to engage in a non-bank financial activity after getting the authority's approval, with banks subject to the Central Bank's approval.

FRA determines rules, procedures for short-term bonds' issuance

CAIRO - 18 December 2018: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued decree No. 172 of 2018 concerning the rules and procedures for issuing and offering short-term bonds. The authority determined, through the decision, which companies are entitled to issue and offer short-term bonds.




Meanwhile, Egypt conducted financial treatments of treasury bills and bonds' taxes. Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills’ taxes is that it is one of the rights of the treasury.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




Earlier in 2018, Egypt canceled bids for treasury bills four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged for the fifth time this year during November meeting, setting the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Egypt targets an average interest rate on the government debt instrument of 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in 2017/2018 budget.

Foreign investors’ investments in the Egyptian government debt instruments recorded $23.1 billion by the end of March 2018, up from about $20 billion in December.

Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided from domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance for Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
2/4/2019 12:57:20 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ranks 5th among countries attracting investments]]>
This upgrade will boost the flow of investments from European countries to participate in major national projects. Such great progress comes in line with the achievements lead by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi such as facilitating the procedures and measures of establishing projects.

"Egypt is a leading country that our organization cooperates with due to its reform program," Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, stated.

This came during a meeting between Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Nasr and Gurria at the Financial Forum for Sustainable Development in Paris.

The coming period will witness setting a cooperative strategy between Egypt and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to set cooperative priorities that meet the needs of the Egyptian people and the government's Program proposed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.


]]>
2/4/2019 12:48:00 PM
<![CDATA[Debts of Qatar, Turkey paid in full: CBE]]>
Helal added that there are deposits for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE and that the CBE does not borrow usually, but some donors asked to put their deposits in the bank.

She also stressed that the debt indicators are not alarming as some believe, pointing out at the same time that debt should remain under control, indicating that the size of the external debt reached about $93 billion in December 2018.

This came during the Committee on Economic Affairs' meeting, which is currently being held to discuss a request to clarify the inflation of the state's debts internally and externally, resulting in huge burdens on the generations to come.

“A total of 75 percent of long-term debt comes mostly from donors such as the World Bank and the African Bank,” she stated, clarifying that "debt is not short-term and Egypt is committed to repaying the principal and interest on fixed dates and never fails to do so."

Helal pointed out that there are loans that went to development projects, which is considered a direct investment in the form of loans, pointing out that the average rate of interest is about 3.4 percent.

"The figure is large, of course, and according to the guidance of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, a committee was formed headed by the minister of planning, with the Central Bank as a member, for the analysis of figures and the limit of borrowing for the next period,” she added.

Helal explained that the commission is about to complete its first report to be submitted to the Council of Ministers.
]]>
2/4/2019 12:44:47 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar snaps two-week losing streak as hedge funds grow bullish]]>
With much of Asia out on holidays this week, the dollar also took heart from the recently concluded trade talks between China and the United States with the dollar set for its biggest two-day rising streak against the yuan in a year.

A U.S. Labor Department report on Friday showed nonfarm payrolls jumped by a 304,000 jobs last month, exceeding forecasts and the largest gain since February 2018. ISM manufacturing activity numbers for January were also better than expected, pointing to underlying strength in the world’s biggest economy. and

“The main change in market expectations between the close on Thursday and the close on Friday was less chance of a rate cut, not more chance of a rate hike,” said Marshall Gittler, chief strategist at ACLS Global in a note.

Against a basket of its rivals, the dollar edged 0.1 percent higher at 95.70 after posting two consecutive weeks of declines.

Dollar sentiment has undergone a U-turn in recent days with weak European data and expanding stimulus in China boosting appetite for the greenback, despite indications from the U.S. Federal Reserve that interest rate increases may be over for now.

The latest positioning data showed speculators lifted their net long bets on the U.S. dollar to their highest since December 2015, according to calculations by Reuters and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was at 2.70 percent, rebounding from a four-week low of 2.619 percent earlier last week. Rising U.S. yields also boosted the greenback.

In broader moves, currency markets stayed in tight ranges in early Asian trade, with the euro trading flat at $1.1455.

China’s financial markets are closed all week for the Lunar New Year holiday. Other Asian markets are also closed for parts of the week, keeping wider market activity subdued.

Sterling was broadly flat at $1.3073 in early Asian trade with traders expecting the pound to remain volatile as Brexit uncertainty remained high.

The Bank of England is scheduled to meet later this week and widely expected to keep interest rates steady.]]>
2/4/2019 12:33:19 PM
<![CDATA[Oil hits 2019 high above $63 on Venezuela sanctions, OPEC]]>
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies began a new round of supply cuts in January. These curbs, led by Saudi Arabia, have been compounded by involuntary losses that the Venezuelan sanctions could deepen.

Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, hit $63.40 a barrel, the highest since Dec. 7, and was up 49 cents at $63.24 as of 0918 GMT.

U.S. crude CLc1 hit a 2019 high of $55.68 and was later up 9 cents at $55.35.

“You have the sanctions on Venezuela, on top of the reduced supply from Saudi Arabia,” said Olivier Jakob, oil analyst at Petromatrix. “There’s no sign of overhang in the crude oil markets.”

OPEC supply fell in January by the largest amount in two years, a Reuters survey last week found. That offset limited compliance so far by non-OPEC Russia.

The U.S. sanctions on Venezuela will limit oil transactions between Venezuela and other countries and are similar to those imposed on Iran last year, some analysts said after examining details announced by the government.

Underlining the lack of excess supply, Jakob cited a rapidly clearing West African crude market and the structure of Brent crude futures, in which the first-month contract is trading near the price of the second month.

While OPEC and its allies are cutting output, the United States is expanding supply. Nonetheless, figures on Friday showed a drop in the number of U.S. oil rigs to their lowest in eight months, lending prices some support.

“The collapse in oil prices late last year has resulted in more cautious spending by U.S. oil explorers,” Vivek Dhar, commodities analyst for Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said in a report on Monday.

The main drag on prices has been concern about a possible slowdown in demand this year due to a weaker outlook for economic growth and developments such as the U.S.-China trade dispute.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week said he would meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in the coming weeks to try to settle the dispute, and there are hopes that the two sides will come to an agreement.]]>
2/4/2019 12:31:00 PM
<![CDATA[World stocks subdued, dollar firm as U.S. job's bounce fades]]>
The pan-European STOXX 600 slipped 0.1 percent in early trading with Paris’s CAC and Frankfurt’s DAX both falling around 0.2-0.3 percent.

MSCI’s All Country World Index, which tracks stock markets in 47 countries, traded within a whisker of Friday’s two-month high after Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended a half day of trade up 0.2 percent while Australian shares and Japan’s Nikkei ended half a percent higher.

London’s FTSE rose 0.2 percent to a two-month high after sterling softened against the dollar.

Trade was subdued with many of the region’s markets closed for the Lunar New Year. China’s financial markets are closed all week, while those in South Korea are shut until Thursday.

“The tone we took away from the end of last week and the dovish tilt from the Federal Reserve is positive for risk assets,” Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets in London.

“The benign outlook for monetary policy should support risk assets but the elephants in the room are Brexit, trade talks and political instability in Europe,” Hewson said, adding he expected Tuesday’s services PMI data to confirm a darkening picture for Europe.

U.S. stock market futures also pointed to a more muted start to the week: S&P 500 and Nasdaq e-mini futures both traded a touch softer.

On Wall Street on Friday, optimism from a surge in January U.S. job growth was offset by a disappointing outlook from Amazon.com Inc battering retail stocks. The Dow rose 0.26 percent while the Nasdaq shed 0.25 percent.

Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls jumped by a stronger-than-forecast 304,000 jobs in January - the largest gain since February 2018. That report, along with better-than-expected January ISM manufacturing activity numbers, pointed to underlying strength in the world’s biggest economy.

However, global equity markets performed strongly last week after the Federal Reserve pledged to be patient with further interest rate hikes, signaling a potential end to its tightening cycle.

Meanwhile in FX markets, the dollar index extended gains for a third straight day, strengthening 0.1 percent against a basket of currencies.

Against the yen, the dollar climbed a third of a percent to 109.89 yen while euro was slightly lower at $1.1447 after getting pulled back from Friday’s high of $1.1488 on Friday.

But analysts were watching closely how long the momentum in the dollar could last.

“Overall, the emergence of stronger than expected U.S. economic data should help to ease downside risks for the US dollar in the near-term following the recent dovish shift in Fed policy,” Lee Hardman at MUFG Bank wrote in a note to clients.

“However, it is unlikely to prove sufficient to trigger a sustained turn around for the U.S. dollar.”

On the day, China’s yuan suffered some of the biggest losses against the dollar, weakening 0.4 percent in offshore trading. The latest falls took the losses of the yuan over the past two days to more than 1 percent - falls last seen in August last year when a broader selloff hammered emerging market assets.

The tumble came despite data showing that China’s sprawling services sector maintained a solid pace of expansion in January albeit at a slower pace, offering continued support for the world’s second-largest economy as manufacturing cools.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was at 2.702 percent after climbing nearly 6 basis points on Friday to pull away from a four-week low of 2.619 percent hit earlier last week.

In the commodity market, spot gold fell more than half a percent to $1,310.88, moving away from a more than 9-month high of $1,326.30 reached last week.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. crude oil futures rose 0.3 percent to $55.43 a barrel while Brent crude futures added 0.7 percent to $63.19.[O/R]

On Friday, WTI futures had rallied 2.7 percent on the upbeat U.S. job report, signs that Washington’s sanctions on Venezuelan exports have helped tighten supply and data showing U.S. drillers cut the number of oil rigs.]]>
2/4/2019 12:27:12 PM
<![CDATA[Experimental operations start at KIMA 2 ]]>
“The ammonia production units will start operating in February, followed by the operation of urea units and the official opening of the plant in March,” Deputy Chairman of Chemical Industries Holding Company Waleed el-Rashidy said.

Rashidy added that the plant cost more than LE 11 billion, and that it is one of the largest industrial projects established under the rule of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

He pointed out that Kima is one of the major factories producing ammonia, where about 1200 tons of ammonia as well as 1575 tons of urea are produced by the plant.

In April, Rashidy announced that around 85 percent of state-owned Egyptian Chemical Industries’ KIMA 2 project has been finished.

85% of KIMA 2 project achieved: Chemical Holding

CAIRO - 11 April 2018: Around 85 percent of state-owned Egyptian Chemical Industries' KIMA 2 project has been finished, according to Deputy Chairman of Chemical Industries Holding Company Waleed el-Rashidy. Rashidy said that KIMA 2 is expected to be finished by the end of 2018, with a cost of LE 11.6 billion.




KIMA 2 is a facility for fertilizer manufacturing that is being built at the existing site of the company's Aswan fertilizer complex at a cost of LE 11.6 billion.

Production from the facility is expected to reach 1,200 tons of ammonia and 1,600 tons of urea per day.

The Egyptian Chemical Industries, known as KIMA, is affiliated to the Chemical Industries Holding Company, producing nitrogenous fertilizers and chemicals, including hydrogen and ammonia.

KIMA has been listed on the Egyptian Exchange since August 1995 and operates within the materials sector, focusing on diversified chemicals.

It has two subsidiaries in Egypt working on agricultural products and diversified chemicals. KIMA is based in Aswan and was established in January 1956.

Additional Reporting: Abdel Halim Salem
]]>
2/4/2019 11:23:44 AM
<![CDATA[Debt-reduction strategy targets growth rate exceeding 6% in 4 years]]>
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier that the annual inflation rate declined to 11.1 percent in December 2018, compared to 22.3 percent in December 2017.

Meanwhile, Planning Minister Hala el Saeed said that Egypt’s economic growth rate hiked during the second quarter of fiscal year of 2018/2019 to record the highest rate in a decade, amounting to 5.5 percent, compared to 5.3 percent during the same quarter of previous fiscal year 2017/2018.

"The strategy aims to reach 30 percent of the external debt of GDP in 2022," he said, adding that a committee headed by the prime minister will be formed to distribute the figure to finance, the central bank and business sector companies.

The deputy minister of finance said that the external debt payments this year recorded $10.5 billion, to reach $10.3 billion next year, confirming that these are the figures announced by the Central Bank of Egypt in a certain period and can increase in the case of external borrowing.

He pointed out that there is great coordination between the Ministry Financial and the central bank, noting at the same time that sometimes there are different objectives depending on the economic conditions.

“The external debt has witnessed a significant decline during the last period, reaching about $91.7 billion in June 2018, or about 37 percent of GDP, compared to 41 percent of GDP during last fiscal year 2017/2018,” he elaborated.

Kojak clarified that the volume of external debt is measured in proportion to GDP and not the volume of debt itself, pointing out that the global indicators set the safe borders of external debt at 30 to 50 percent of GDP, and thus the size of the current external debt lies within the safe borders.

"The government has been forced to expand external borrowing over the past period to cross the transitional phase of economic reform, counteract the effects of exchange rate liberalization, increase interest rates and provide foreign currency," Kojak said.

"However, the country was keen to have these loans on concessional terms with little interest and long-terms, especially that the short-term debt has a large risk on the public budget, and by the end of this stage, the central bank began the process of reducing its debt since the beginning of the year, which reached about $27 billion in June 2018,” the deputy finance minister said.

Finance Minister Mohamed Mait stated Sunday that the ministry has succeeded in reducing the debt ratio of budget instruments (domestic and foreign) to domestic product to reach 97 percent of GDP in June 2018 instead of 108 percent of GDP in June 2017 and 103 percent in June 2016.

The minister attributed the success of the debt reduction plan mainly to the first surplus in 15 years of LE 4 billion in 2017/2018 and an economic growth rate of 5.2 percent.
“Although moving towards achieving high growth rates and reducing public debt rates, the Ministry of Finance aims to reduce the ratio of debt to GDP to 93 percent in June 2019 and then to 88 percent in June 2020, to reach 80 percent in June 2022 in light of targeting an annual first surplus of 2 percent of GDP and achieving annual growth rates of more than 6 percent in the medium term,” he pointed out.

The minister off revealed that there is another trend to reduce external debt, pointing out that the ratio of the external debt of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the GDP fell to 36.8 percent in June 2018, compared to 41.1 percent in June 2017.

“The target is to reach about 34 percent of the GDP in June 2019, which means that Egypt's external indebtedness has started to fall within the safe range, according to IMF estimates of 30-50 percent of GDP,” Ma’it elaborated.
]]>
2/4/2019 10:49:55 AM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry sets plan to reduce public debt to 80% in 2022]]>
Ma’it added that the strategy was presented to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi last November to be adopted and published by the president before the end of March 2019 to ensure the sustainability and low proportion of debt to output as a target.

He stated that the ministry succeeded in reducing the debt ratio of budget instruments (domestic and foreign) to domestic product to reach 97 percent of GDP in June 2018 instead of 108 percent of GDP in June 2017 and 103 percent in June 2016.

The minister attributed the success of the debt reduction plan mainly to the first surplus of LE 4 billion in 2017/2018 for the first time in 15 years and an economic growth rate of 5.2 percent.

“Although moving towards achieving high growth rates and reducing public debt rates, the Ministry of Finance aims to reduce the ratio of debt to GDP to 93 percent in June 2019 and then to 88 percent in June 2020, to reach 80 percent in June 2022 in light of targeting an annual first surplus of 2 percent of GDP and achieving annual growth rates of more than 6 percent in the medium term,” he pointed out.

The minister of finance revealed that there is another trend to reduce external debt, pointing out that the ratio of the external debt of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the GDP fell to 36.8 percent in June 2018, compared to 41.1 percent in June 2017.

“The target is to reach about 34 percent of the GDP in June 2019, which means that Egypt's external indebtedness has started to fall within the safe range, according to IMF estimates of 30-50 percent of GDP,” Ma’it elaborated.

For his part, Deputy Minister of Finance for Financial Policies Ahmed Kojak referred to one of the main and direct objectives of the economic and financial reform program being implemented successfully by the Egyptian government which is to reduce the indebtedness of the GDP and get those rates to 80 percent as low as June 2022, that is an assured and good rate of debt according to global estimates.

He added that these debt targets will ensure the sustainability of government debt, reduce the debt service bill and provide additional financial allocations to finance productive economic activities such as government investments, improving infrastructure and financing some productive projects.

“The available financial space can also be used to increase government funding for targeted social protection programs or improve public services,” he noted.

He explained that the Ministry of Finance succeeded in long-term borrowing from international markets and using a part of these funds to repay the short-term foreign debt, which is in the treasury bills denominated in dollars and foreign currencies exported to local banks.

Moreover, he noted that the ministry succeeded in reducing the outstanding balance of dollar during 2018 by $3.25 billion as the balance reached about $14 billion by the end of December 2018, which was reflected positively on indicators of measuring domestic indebtedness by prolonging the life of debt and reducing the vulnerability of indebtedness to exchange rate fluctuations and the risk of refinancing these short-term debts.

Ministry of Finance implemented a number of measures and proposals during the past months, as shown in the following points, to reduce the increase in debt service bill and to improve and prolong the structure of government debt:

1. The introduction of new financing tools for investors in the local market and the issuance of zero coupon bonds for periods of 1.5 -2 years, which helped to extend the date of payment of debt service for the following years with an item allowing the Ministry of Finance to recover those bonds after three months in case interest rates dropped in the domestic market.

2. These issuances will increase the life of the tradable domestic debt portfolio, which has been praised by the international financial institutions, especially the Euro-Claire Bank, with which the Ministry of Finance is currently working to link the government securities market and facilitate foreign investors' access to the Egyptian market, especially Central banks and international financial institutions, because of the euro-zone's availability of multi-currency and the risk of compromising those institutions.

3. The expansion of the ministry's long-term issuances will also facilitate the inclusion of government securities in the JP Morgan Index, which will stimulate and increase the demand side of passive investment investors when building their portfolios.

4. The Ministry of Finance successfully conducted a non-promotional tour of the most important financial centers in East Asia during the period October 2018 to January 2019, including: China, Korea, Singapore and Japan. They are set to visit the Gulf States in February 2019 and Korea again at the end of February 2019; in addition to China and Hong Kong during March 2019.

These measures have contributed to reducing the estimates of the debt bill for 2018/2019 by LE 30 billion (representing 0.6 percent of GDP and about 6 percent of the targeted interest bill), Which increases the fiscal ability to achieve the budget targets, despite the large raise in the average interest rates on domestic bills and bonds compared to the assumptions made when preparing the budget in March.
]]>
2/4/2019 10:45:15 AM
<![CDATA[EGX adds LE 2.6B to market cap. Sunday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.83 percent, or 117.13 points, to close at 14,243.81 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.90 percent, or 20.64 points, to reach 2,306.99 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.46 percent, or 3.14 points, to 686.98 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.56 percent, or 9.68 points, to close at 1,732.54 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 2.64 billion, recording LE 796.05 billion, compared to LE 793.41 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 356.2 million shares, traded through 32,514 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.12 billion.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 34.69 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 11.09 million and LE 23.6 million, respectively.

Foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 4.1 million, while Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 37.19 million, and LE 29.86 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 2.49 million, LE 40.95 million and LE 19.5 million, respectively.

Atlas for Investment and Food Industries, Egyptian International Tourism Projects, and Egyptian Starch & Glucose were top gainers of the session by 11.30 percent, 9.92 percent and 9.59 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Qatar National Bank Alahly, B Investments Holding, and Edita Food Industries S.A.E were top losers of the session by 5.42 percent, 4.99 percent, and 4.07 percent, respectively.
EGX ended Thursday on mixed performance, as EGX30 hiked 0.24 percent, EGX50 rose 0.48 percent, while EGX70 dropped to levels of 683.84 points, and EGX100 inched down 0.35 percent.
]]>
2/4/2019 10:41:08 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.5 billion with a 273-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




On Thursday, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Previously, Ministry of Finance announced financial treatments on treasury bills and bonds, Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury.

Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Foreign investments in T-bills hit LE210.2B by end of October

CAIRO - 28 November 2018: Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).




Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided by domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance to Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
2/3/2019 11:43:49 AM
<![CDATA[Luxury goods imports hit $545.9 million]]>
The ministry classified those goods into 10 groups. The value of imports within each group is as follows: $258.9 million for cigarettes, tobacco and rolling papers; $187.6 million for hair and skin care products; $54.4 million for personal care products and air fresheners, $18.4 million for underwear and sleepwear; $14.8 million for vodka, whiskey, brandy, wine, and other alcohols; $6.4 million for instant soups, seasonings, ketchup, mayonnaise, and tomato paste; $2.6 million for matchsticks and lighters; $2 million for dental care products; $428,395 for wigs, artificial eyebrows, and eyelashes; and, $343,156 for shisha products.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported that imports of luxury goods recorded in the first eight months of 2017 more than $452.8 million.

The breakdown is $120.8 million for insecticides; $104.8 million for soap and detergents; $100.8 million for pet food, $57.5 million for shoes and soles; $36.4 million for kids toys; and, $32.5 million for Chinese clay.

In December 2016, a presidential decree increased the tariffs on 364 types of goods between 10 and 60 percent.
]]>
2/2/2019 6:26:40 PM
<![CDATA[6 oil refining projects worth $9B of investments being conducted]]>
These projects come as part of ongoing efforts to develop the Egyptian oil refining sector, el Molla said during his inspection of a project being carried out by the Egyptian Refining Company in Mosturod district of Cairo.

The new Egyptian Refining Company’s project, which costs 1.3 billion dollars, is meant to meet the local market's needs of oil and high-octane gasoline, the minister added.]]>
2/2/2019 4:07:47 PM
<![CDATA[Bulgarian Minster lauds Egyptian economic reform program]]>
He added, at a meeting with Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, that the recent positive economic developments in Egypt will encourage Bulgarian companies to invest in Egypt.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the joint committee meetings in Sofia, said a statement issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Investment.

Nasr expressed hope for enhancing economic relations with Bulgaria and increasing mutual investments.

The two sides took up forming a joint investment council and reviewed investment opportunities in the two countries. ]]>
2/2/2019 1:21:40 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank urges new Lebanese govt to reform power sector]]>
The government was finally formed late on Thursday and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said Lebanon needed "bold reforms". It has suffered years of low growth and has one of the world's biggest public debts compared to the size of its economy.

Foreign donors have promised to invest billions of dollars in Lebanon's weak infrastructure to help get its economy moving, but will not release most of the money without steps to curb the deficit.

Hariri's government should prioritise reforms that Lebanon committed to at a Paris conference last year where donors pledged support, said Philippe Lazzarini, the U.N. resident coordinator in Lebanon.

"Making progress on the fight against corruption and reforming the electricity sector will be essential to restore confidence, revitalise the economy and promote growth, stability and employment in the long term," he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday France would "accompany Lebanon on a path of economic and social reforms", especially through implementing the investment programme agreed at the Paris conference.

Saroj Kumar Jha, the World Bank regional director for Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Iran, said electricity was "the area where we want to move in very quickly", with the bank bringing concessional funding to help reforms.

Lebanon's power stations use expensive heavy fuel, and state utility Electricite du Liban (EDL) cannot afford to provide 24-hour power, leaving consumers to rely on costly private generators.

In November, parliament had to approve over $400 million in extra-budgetary spending on fuel to avoid blackouts, adding to Lebanon's spiralling debt.

INVESTMENT PLEDGES

The sector's problems put off investors and create "tremendous fiscal pressure on the government", which sinks large sums in subsidising state-supplied power, Jha said.

"I would strongly recommend they prioritise the energy sector engagement," he added, saying he believed there was consensus on this within the new coalition government.

However, London-based Capital Markets senior emerging markets analyst Jason Tuvey said he was sceptical the new government could enact major reforms to free the pledged aid.

"Its not clear whether they can actually agree on these measures, so there will be some aid that will continue to be locked up," he said.

Jha wants Lebanon to move ahead with a plan to "corporatise" state power utility EDL and to cut state subsidies of power, while providing a safety net to poorer consumers.

The government also needs to ensure it can attract investors for the process of switching from heavy fuel to cheaper gas, and work on its creaking transmission and distribution, Jha said.

Lebanon hopes to develop its own gas reserves and is exploring offshore, but in the meantime it wants to use imported liquefied natural gas to fuel new power plants and has issued a tender for temporary import facilities.

At the Paris investment conference, Hariri's last government proposed two independent power projects, each with capacity of 500-600 megawatts and needing investment of about $600 million.]]>
2/1/2019 4:03:00 PM
<![CDATA[LE3 million revenues from 2019 Diyarna Expo for handicrafts]]>
The exhibition, which was launched under President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s auspices, attracted 12 visitors so far, she added.

Most sold handicrafts were carpets and traditional food, said head of Central Department for Development at the Ministry Amany Ghoneim.

The exhibition will last until February 5. On a 5,000 meter squared-land, a total of 500 exhibitors display their products, said Wali in remarks to reporters two weeks ago. The exhibition held at Egypt International Exhibition Center (EIEC) in Nasr City, eastern Cairo.

On October 31, 2017, the 10th festival for handcrafts was held by the Ministry of Culture, featuring a unique selection of oriental heritage handcrafts and products.
]]>
2/1/2019 2:22:07 PM
<![CDATA[Establishing Russian Industrial Zone in Egypt comes into force]]>
The decree was published in the official gazette Al-Waqa'i' al-Misriyya on Jan. 23, 2019. As per the Egyptian constitution, any presidential decree shall be published in the official gazette to come into force.

Since February 2015, Egypt and Russia have been negotiating $7 billion worth of Russian investments in the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) project in the East Port Said region.

RIZ would be established on an area of 5.25 million square meters and will be built over three phases, according to a statement issued by the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

The project will be conducted on three phases, the first phase involves 1 million square meters, will be carried out by a Russian developer who will also work on attracting Russian investors and companies throughout 2018 and 2019. This phase will create 7,300 jobs in the construction field.

The second phase will develop 1.6 million square meters and will be finished by 2022, creating 10,000 jobs, while the third phase will develop 2.65 million square meters and generate 17,000 jobs.

The three phases are expected to be finished by 2031, when Russian companies will start operations, providing some 35,000 direct and indirect jobs, the statement said.

All you need to know about the Russian Industrial Zone

CAIRO - 7 February 2018: Egypt and Russia have been negotiating $7 billion worth of Russian investments in the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) project in the East Port Said region since February 2015, with the final agreement expected to be signed in March.



]]>
2/1/2019 12:08:33 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry auctions T-bills worth LE 18bn]]>
In an online statement, the ministry said it sold 182-day T-bills worth LE 8.750 billion with an average yield of 18.362 percent, adding it accepted bids at rates between 18.501 percent and 18.1 bpercent.

It further said that it sold 364-day T-bills valued at LE 9.250 billion with an average yield of 18.133 percent, adding it accepted bids at rates between 18.169 percent and 17.8 percent.]]>
1/31/2019 7:13:21 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's bourse launches new index]]>
The index will measure market capital based on the percentage of free-floated shares and the weight of each company within the index.

The step comes as part of bourse's plans to develop its indices to meet the demands of all effective partners in the Egyptian money market.

The new index sets a 15 percent maximum weight for each company during quarterly review.

The move aims at banning the control of limited number of companies on the index movements.

With the new index taking into effect, EGX20 Capped will be no more effective. ]]>
1/31/2019 7:10:46 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt achieves highest growth rate in 10 years: Min.]]>
The minister also compared the achieved rate to the global economic rate which recorded 3.5 percent and referred to the targeted growth rate of the current year which is 5.6 percent.

The minister said that the economic reform program won the praise of many countries, pointing to the completion of a large part of the program.

“Egypt is now collecting positive results in all indicators,” she stated.

The government’s program aims to achieve the objectives of Egypt’s vision 2030 which is based on achieving social justice, real development, sustainability and a better life for all citizens, noting that the current results reflect the efforts of the state to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

Saeed said earlier that Egypt has achieved a growth rate of 5.3 percent by the end of 2018, recording the highest economic growth rate in 10 years.

The World Bank (WB) forecasts that Egypt's economic growth will accelerate to 5.6 percent in the fiscal year 2018/19, and on an annual basis to 5.7 percent in 2019, as investment is supported by reforms that strengthen the business climate and as private consumption picks up.
]]>
1/31/2019 6:54:20 PM
<![CDATA[KSA, UAE to issue common digital currency]]>
Such a step boosts mutual trade and development of the economies of the two countries.

The Saudi Agency Press reported that the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the UAE Central Bank issued a joint statement, explaining the aims of issuing a common digital currency to be used in both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

According to the published data, the aim of offering the common digital currency is to have a new additional mean for the central exchange systems between both countries, and paving the way for banks to deal directly with each others.

Other reasons for this decision are exploring experimental projects conducted by some central banks which aim to go deeper beyond the dimensions of block chains and distributed ledger used in digital currency.

It added that UAE Central Monterey Authority had the same tendency to apply this new strategy in Emirates. Hence, instead of issuing the same project independently; the two projects will be integrated.

The two countries have central systems that deal with banking transference and national operations developed over time; yet still some aspect of international transference need to be up-dated where issuing common digital currency will serve this aim.

Moreover, it could be an additional system for cash payment settlements system; incase it halts for any reasons.

Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority and Emirates Central Bank seek to get benefits of its experimental projects nationally and internationally. The two countries aim not only to apply this modern technology but also to up-date and develop it.

Regarding the applied mechanism; statement stated that the main focus will round about quality methods and limiting it for certain banks in every country. During experiment; economical aspects and legal acquirements will be conducted.

Executive Committee of the Saudi-UAE Coordination Council held its first meeting in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on January 17 where prominent initiatives were announced within the frame of “Khalwa Al Azm” strategy; to achieve mutual integral vision and subjects of mutual concerns.

]]>
1/31/2019 5:39:39 PM
<![CDATA[Zohr gas field produces 12.2 bcm in 2018:Rosneft]]>
Rosneft, which owns a 30 percent stake of the Shorouk concession where Zohr gas field exists, added that the production increased almost four times during the second half of 2018 compared tothe result of the first half of 2018, which amounted to 3.1 bcm of gas.

Eni, through its subsidiary IEOC, currently holds a 50 percent stake, while the other partners are Rosneft with 30 percent, and BP and Mubadala Petroleum with 10 percent.

“During 2018, the treatment capacity of the Zohr project was being continually increased from 11.3 million cmd (400 million cfd) to the current 56.6 million cmd of gas (2 billion cfd), which was planned previously according to the development plan and Gas Sales Agreement,” the statement noted, elaborating that the development of the field is going ahead of schedule.

The company estimated the gas output to hit the designed capacity of76 million cmd (2.7 billion cfd).

Eni discovered Egypt's giant Zohr gas field in 2015. In December 2017, the company delivered the first gas production from the field estimated at 30 trillion cubic feet, which makes it the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean region.

Zohr gas field in numbers

CAIRO - 31 January 2018: The Zohr gas field is an offshore natural gas field located in the Egyptian sector of the Mediterranean Sea. Egypt Today provides a summary of the most important numbers of the Zohr Gas Field: 1.




]]>
1/31/2019 3:57:56 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends the week on mixed performance, market cap. gains LE1.5B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.24 percent, or 33.28 points, to close at 14,126.68 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.48 percent, or 13.7 points, to reach 2,286.35 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased at levels of 683.84 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.35 percent, or 6.13 points, to close at 1,722.86 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1.53 billion, recording LE 793.41 billion, compared to LE 791.88 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 386.97 million shares, traded through 35,926 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.86 billion.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 125.57 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 112.34 million and LE 13.23 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 27.06 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 10.29 million, and LE 1.32 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 139.4 million and LE 2.94 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 126.88 million.

The Arab Dairy Products Co. Arab Dairy - Panda, Cairo Oils & Soap, and Dice Sport & Casual Wear were top gainers of the session by 9.86 percent, 9.41 percent and 9.19 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arab Aluminum, Paint & Chemicals Industries (Pachin), and Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation were top losers of the session by 7.88 percent, 5.34 percent, and 3.41 percent, respectively.
]]>
1/31/2019 3:51:02 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Lebanon in talks over petroleum, gas cooperation]]>

CAIRO: 31 January 2019: Petroleum Minister Tarek el Molla discussed on Thursday with his Lebanese counterpart Cesar Abi Khalil ways of boosting bilateral cooperation in the petroleum and gas domains.

In a statement, Molla reiterated distinguished relations binding Egypt with Lebanon, expressing Egypt's readiness to offer all forms of assistance to Lebanon in the petroleum and gas domains.

Molla said talks tackled regional cooperation in the natural gas domain and Egypt's role in the eastern Mediterranean gas forum, that was held in January.

Talks also tackled the possibility of training Lebanese cadres in Egyptian training centers.

The Lebanese minister expressed his country's desire that Egypt would resume pumping natural gas to Lebanon as part of the 2009 contract signed between the two sides.]]>
1/31/2019 3:25:22 PM
<![CDATA[Friendly Fed fires world stocks to best January on record]]>
The Fed said it would pause its 3-year interest rate rise campaign while assessing the weakening of the economy.

Crucially, it also said that the rundown of its balance sheet - or the stockpile of bonds it has accumulated over the past 10 years of quantitative easing - could slow too.

That ticked all the boxes for financial markets, and saw Europe’s bulls push London, Frankfurt and Paris up 0.7 to 1 percent after Wall Street and then Asia had both charged overnight.

Added together it lifted the $4 trillion MSCI world stocks index, which tracks 47 countries, up 0.5 percent and for the 20th day out of the last 23.

For January it is up more than 7.2 percent which is its best January since the index began in 1988 and the best performance in any month since December 2015.

“The rally really does lift all boats,” said Pictet emerging market portfolio manager Guido Chamorro.

The gains were matched in bond markets. Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields, which tend to set the bar for global borrowing costs, had dived significantly and Europe’s big move saw Italian 2-year yields hit their lowest since May.

But was all pain for the dollar. It was struggling near a three-week trough against its major peers and emerging market currencies rose almost in unison having been steamrollered by the greenback last year.

“Risk assets are dancing in the streets and the dollar’s down in the dumps,” Societe Generale strategist Kit Juckes said.

“We may yet get a (Fed) rate hike in June, but if what matters is where policy’s heading in the medium term, the FX market would overlook that and sell the dollar anyway.”

U.S. stocks were also expected to open higher later after the Fed’s boost had dovetailed with reassuring tech earnings on Wednesday, and with Amazon due to report later.

Apple shares had jumped almost 7 percent after it soothed its China worries. Facebook shares then leapt 11 percent after hours after it had reported better-than-expected profits following a year of high profile data scandals.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares then rose to its highest since October helped by a 1 percent jump on Japan’s Nikkei which shrugged off the normal headwind of a higher yen.

The main emerging market index skipped to a more than 8 percent January gain while the Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.3 percent despite data showing China’s factory activity contracted for a second straight month.

RE-EMERGING MARKETS

With the Fed decision out of the way, investors focused their attention on a pivotal round of high-level U.S.-China trade talks aimed at easing a months-long tariff war.

The two-day talks which began in Washington on Wednesday are expected to be tense, with little indication so far that Beijing is willing to address core U.S. demands to budge on trade practices and fully protect American intellectual property rights.

The Fed hits pause on rate hikes
If the two sides cannot reach a deal soon, Washington has threatened to more than double tariffs on Chinese goods on March 2.

In the commodity markets, oil prices rose for a third day, pushed up by lower imports into the United States amid OPEC efforts to tighten the market, and as Venezuela struggles to keep up its crude exports after Washington imposed sanctions on the nation.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.47 per barrel, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement. Brent was up 36 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $62.01 per barrel.

Back in the currency markets, the pound was a shade higher at $1.3127, while gold held near an eight-month high of $1,323 an ounce hit in the previous session as its buyers also cheered the weak dollar.

“The Fed dropped a commitment to gradual rate hikes from its policy statement ... U.S dollar’s plunge alongside treasury bond yields have burnished the relative appeal of gold,” said Ilya Spivak, senior currency strategist with DailyFx.]]>
1/31/2019 1:01:23 PM
<![CDATA[Ghosn still in 'very difficult' conditions in Japan cell: lawyer]]>
Leborgne added he hoped to be able to see Ghosn soon, and that as far as he was aware, Ghosn had not been able to meet any family members. He also expressed hopes Ghosn may still be able to be released on bail.

Ghosn has been held in custody in Japan since last November, after being arrested on charges of financial misconduct, which he denies.

Ghosn, who spearheaded a turnaround at Nissan turnaround two decades ago, had pushed for a deeper tie-up between Nissan and Renault, including possibly a full merger, despite strong reservations at the Japanese corporation.

His arrest has clouded the outlook for closer ties between Nissan and Renault, along with Mitsubishi Motors Corp, the third member of the automaking alliance.]]>
1/31/2019 12:58:14 PM
<![CDATA[EGX downtrend in 2018]]>
Through the year, the benchmark EGX30 dropped 13.21 percent, or 1,983.37, to end the year at 13,035.77 points compared to 15,019.14 at the end of 2017. The value of trading on the EGX30 recorded LE 188 billion through 43 billion shares.

In 2017, the EGX30 rose by 21.66 percent or 2,674.25 points, reaching 15,019 points.
The small and mid-cap index EGX70 slumped during the year by 16.16 percent, or 133.8 points, reaching 693.83 points, compared to 827.66 points by the end of last year, and the broader index EGX100 also lessened during January-to-December 2018 period by 12.4 percent, or 244.55 points, to close at 1,727.21 points, down from 1971.76 at the end of the prior year.

Analysts told Egypt Today that this downtrend came due to several economic decisions and actions which took place in Egypt and globally; the decline in the value of the local currency, the delay of IPOs planned for government institutions, the trade war between the United States U.S and China, and the crisis of Emerging Markets (EM).

Analyst in Institutional Equity Sales at NAEEM Holding for Investment Mohamed Sameh attributes the downtrend of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) in 2018 to several reasons, including expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise the interest rates several times during 2019 and thereby further pressure the highly indebted emerging markets. Their debt service cost in such economies is expected to rise as advanced economies normalize monetary policy.

Sameh added that this action coincided with the trade war between U.S. and China, which is the biggest in the Emerging Market, clarifying that this war caused a flop in the Chinese market and became one of the reasons behind the out- flows from all emerging markets.

Escalating trade protectionism, heightened geopolitical tensions and the uptick in oil prices at that time built fears concerning achieving the target path for the budget deficit and headline inflation rate, which was announced at 13 percent (±3 percent), he notes.

SHUAA Securities Egypt attributed the ups and downs of EGX in 2018 to three main forces.These forces are analysts’ earnings estimates as measured by forward earnings-per-share (EPS) for the index components, re-rating/de-rating as measured by a higher/lower forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio which is also partially affected by earnings estimates, and dividend yield (DY).


45731-Shuaa-1


Associate Vice President of Equity Research at Beltone Financial Ali Afifi explains that the EGX witnessed an overrated hike after the flotation, which was followed by an overrated decline witnessed in 2018. Afifi added that the increase of interest rates in surrounding countries caused investor outflows from the Egyptian market.

In November 2016, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program imposing taxes and cutting energy subsidies. These moves aimed to trim the budget deficit after the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $12 billion loan as financial assistance to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Emerging markets were affected by an exit wave of foreign investments in government debt instruments during the second quarter of 2018 as the US dollar rose in value, raising fears in comparable emerging markets, particularly the more turbulent Turkey and Argentina.

In Argentina, the currency was devalued by 70 percent with 60 percent interest rates, turning the country into an attractive investment destination, and the Turkish lira lost more than 40 percent of its value since the beginning of 2018.

Foreign investments in Egyptian treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) at the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September. The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) revealed that foreign investments in T-bills in local currency declined for the seventh month in a row, losing around $1.4 billion in October, as it reached its lowest levels since June 2017.

As a result of the crisis hitting emerging markets, the outflows of foreign investments in T- bills reached around $9.8 billion during April to October 2018, as the investments hit LE 380.3 billion ($21.5 billion) in March.

“Investors seek appropriate return for their risk appetite,” Sameh stated, explaining that turmoil surrounding some emerging markets pushed the investor to assign a higher risk premium to emerging markets to compensate growing risk.

Egypt targets average interest rates on the government’s debt instrument reaching 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in FY2017/18 budget.

During its December meeting, the CBE’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates on hold for the sixth time in 2018, setting the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively.

IPOs

The EGX witnessed four initial offerings during the recently ending year amounting to LE 5.2 billion, marking an increase of 25 percent, compared to 2017. The private offerings of these hit LE 4.68 billion, compared to LE 3.39 billion in previous year. Moreover, public offerings recorded LE 0.53 billion in 2018, compared to LE 0.57 billion in 2017.

Meanwhile, Egypt delayed the listing shares of state-owned companies on the Egyptian Exchange, such as the 4.5 percent stake of Eastern Company slated for October. The government attributed the delay to volatility in the global market, noting that if the shares were floated, it would have failed to be covered at proper valuation.

Analysts agree that this delay contributed to the drop EGX witnessed. The delay in offering the program’s scheduled shares was also reportedly one of the reasons behind the decline of EGX.

Associate Vice President of Equity Research at Beltone Financial Afifi says the effect of the IPOs’ delay was not big because share prices had already downed. He also stated that the percent- age of the free float is not enough.

Sameh argues that the perfect timing for the offering was missed, stating that the price of Eastern Company fell to around LE 15 from LE 25, while the government plans to offer it at LE 21; as a listed company, its pricing is easily affected.

“The IPO program is an opportunity for investors waiting for this opportunity,” Analyst-Institutional Equity Sales at NAEEM Holding for Investment," Sameh says.

In 2016, Egypt announced the launch of the government’s IPO program offering shares over three to five years in several state-owned companies in fields such as petroleum, services, chemicals and real estate. As a part of the economic re- form program, the government targets offering 15-30 percent of stakes in state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX) to increase funding to Egyptian companies, maximize the benefit from state assets, and attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

Market Capitalization

Market Capitalization of the EGX lost LE 75.2 billion during 2018, recording LE 749.7 billion by the end of the year compared to LE 824.91 billion in the beginning of 2018.

Sameh said that increasing market capitalization through IPOs will encourage investors to invest in the market and will expand the investor database, explaining that market capitalization comprises between 16 percent to 18 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), representing one of the lowest rates globally and in emerging markets,noting that it should be nearer to 40 percent. According to Sameh, increasing market capitalization will help market liquidity and trading volumes, which will encourage them to easily enter market as liquidity and market depth is a critical point for foreigner flows. “Foreign funds would like to use the mini-ticket technique to get in and out of the market without any troubles,” he says.

The trading volume throughout the year reached 60.8 million shares, trading through 6.3 billion transactions, with a turnover of LE 358.5 billion.

Arab and Foreign Investors

Foreign Investors were net buyers during 2018 at LE 5.78 billion, compared to LE 9.55 billion in the prior year, according to annual data from the EGX. Meanwhile, quarterly data revealed that Arab investors have been net sellers at LE 838.41 million since the beginning of the year, while non-Arab foreign investors have been net buyers at LE 7.218 billion.

While low oil prices are good for the state budget, according to Sameh, the EGX will have an inverse effect as trading of Arab investors and organizations are affected by these prices. He clarified that declining oil prices would push Arabs to sell off in other markets and invest in theirs.

“Foreign investors once acquire an annual share amounting 20-35 percent of the total traded value in the EGX, this lasted from 2007 through to December 11, 2018. The decline of this segment has already affected the performance of the EGX and inevitably will still have an important impact on the performance of the EGX in the upcoming period,” an article on Mubasher Trade argues.

Expectations of 2019

In 2019, Sameh expected EGX to witness a horizontal trend, in contrast with the previous downtrend, until the successful offering of the IPOs that would increase market capitalization and encourage investors to invest on the EGX.

The expectation that the US will tighten monetary policy this year cast doubt that the CBE can continue easing monetary policy cycle, he added.

Mubasher Trade also anticipated that tightening monetary policy in the US and the expected tightening of monetary policy in the Euro area starting 2019 should have a negative impact on the emerging markets, particularly those with high external debt. “But any severe correction in the equity markets of developed economies may suspend current movements of tightening monetary policy.”

“However, it is possible for the Egyptian equity market to have positive performance in the years ahead (strengthened by the forecasted high GDP growth rate and the forecasted lower interest rate) despite any crash or correction movements that may hit equity markets in advanced economies within the upcoming period, particularly the in US stock market. Also, sometimes any correction movement in advanced economies’ equity markets may encourage investors to inject their money in emerging countries particularly those with a high GDP growth rate and very cheap equities compared to peers,” Mubasher further notes.

Sameh also feels that oil prices are expected to slump for some time as a result of easing global growth, especially in emerging markets amid the surge in the US treasury yield.

He argues that the market is more aligned with the global trend, stating that bearish markets are positively correlated with each other more so than in the bullish market.
On another note, Afifi forecasts the EGX witnessing an improvement through 2019 as it executes the state IPOs program.

Egypt’s self-sufficiency in natural gas reflects positively on the oil and gas sector, Afifi notes, arguing that these positive results will reach the industrial sector as most factories and plants depend on gas.

Egypt achieved self-sufficiency in gas at the end of September 2018 after adding 1.6 million cubic feet to its production from the latest gas discoveries, including West Delta’s Taurus and Libra fields, as well as the Atoll and Zohr gas fields.
]]>
1/31/2019 12:32:57 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.7 billion with a 182-day term and the second is worth LE 9.2 billion with a 364-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.


The Ministry of Finance announced earlier this week that it will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




On Thursday, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Previously, Ministry of Finance announced financial treatments on treasury bills and bonds, Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury.

Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Foreign investments in T-bills hit LE210.2B by end of October

CAIRO - 28 November 2018: Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).




Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided by domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance to Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
1/31/2019 12:08:31 PM
<![CDATA[Germany, France, Britain to launch mechanism for trade with Iran]]>
The EU has been preparing the system, in effect a clearing house that avoids monetary transfers in dollars between the EU and Iran for months although it is unlikely to become operational for several months due to technical details.

German broadcaster NDR reported that the European Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) would be named INSTEX-Instrument In Support Of Trade Exchanges.

The idea is for the SPV to help preserve the economic benefits for Iran derived from the curbs it placed on its nuclear program under a 2015 deal with world powers.

Europe has been keen to show good faith towards Iran since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year.

The entity is not likely to revive trade with Iran to begin with as its focus will primarily be food, medicine and humanitarian, with transactions small. It will not be used for oil-related transactions that have been hit hard by U.S. sanctions.

"It won't change things dramatically, but it's an important political message to Iran to show that we are determined to save the JCPOA and also the United States to show we defend our interests despite their extraterritorial sanctions," one European diplomat said.

However, relations between Tehran and the EU have worsened, and the EU this month imposed its first sanctions on Iran since the 2015 deal in reaction to Iran's ballistic missile tests and assassination plots on European soil.

In a symbolic move, the EU added two Iranian individuals and an Iranian intelligence unit to the bloc's terrorist list.

EU member states are also finalizing a joint statement on Iran to outline concerns about Tehran's regional policies and ballistic missile program, but also to show their desire to maintain the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

France and Germany had taken joint responsibility for the SPV. A German banker would head up the vehicle, which would be based in France. France, Britain and Germany will be shareholders and they hope other states will join. ]]>
1/31/2019 10:59:08 AM
<![CDATA[PetroChina to drop PDVSA as partner in refinery project - sources]]>
The company's decision adds to state-owned PDVSA's woes after the United States imposed sanctions on the company on Jan. 28 to undermine the rule of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

However, dropping the company was not a reaction to the U.S. sanctions but follows the deteriorating financial status of PDVSA over the past few years, said two of the sources, both executives with China National Petroleum Corp, the parent of PetroChina.

"There will be no role of PDVSA as an equity partner. At least we don't see that possibility in the near future given the situation the country has been through in recent years," said one of the executives, asking to remain unidentified because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The move illustrates the fading relationship between Venezuela and China, which has given $50 billion to the South American country in the form of loans-for-oil agreements. China, the world's largest oil importer, is now the second-biggest buyer of Venezuelan crude in Asia, taking in 16.63 million tonnes, or about 332,000 barrels per day (bpd), in 2018.

That relationship began to fray in 2015 when Venezuela requested a change in the payment terms on the debt to ease the impact of its falling crude output and declining oil prices. Instead of handing out large fresh loans, Beijing has shifted to small investments or granting extensions in the grace periods for the outstanding loans.

The sanctions were imposed at the same time the United States and other nations have backed opposition leader Juan Guaido as legitimate ruler instead of President Nicolas Maduro. During Maduro's rule, oil production has plunged while millions have left amid hyperinflation and as consumer goods have vanished from market shelves.

PDVSA was originally a 40 percent equity partner in the refinery project, located the city of Jieyang in the southern province of Guangdong. PetroChina and PDVSA received environmental approval for the project in 2011.

Initial plans were for the refinery to process 400,000 bpd of strictly Venezuelan crude oil. The plans have now been expanded to focus on petrochemical production including a 1.2-million-tonnes-per-year ethylene plant and a 2.6-million tpy aromatics plant. The plant is expected to be operational by late 2021, Caixin reported on Dec. 5.

Under the revised plan, the refinery will not be restricted to Venezuelan oil but could process other so-called heavy crude grades that could come from Middle Eastern producers such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, said the third official, a PetroChina trading executive.

An e-mail response from PetroChina's public relations company Hill+Knowlton Strategies only stated "China-Venezuela Guangdong Petrochemical Co Ltd is a joint venture company approved by the state," referring to the formal name for the company set up by Petrochina and PDVSA to develop the refinery.

PDVSA and the Venezuelan Ministry of Petroleum did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.]]>
1/31/2019 10:56:01 AM
<![CDATA[Foreign investments return to government debt instruments]]>
The inflow of foreign investments accelerated since the beginning of the year to peak this week with an average participation of about 30 percent in T-bills, and about 55 percent in five- and 10-T-bonds tender, according to the ministry.

“100 percent of the five-year T-bond issue on Monday, Jan. 28, was for foreign investment institutions, indicating how confident foreign investors are in the performance of the Egyptian economy,” it stated.

This coincides with the tribute of IMF Director Christine Lagarde to the Egyptian economic reform program, which is a testament to the confidence of foreign investors as well as the stability of the market.

The ministry's announcement came one day after the Egyptian pound first rose against the dollar in more than two years. EFG-Hermes said that the currency has become more sensitive to money inflows after the central bank ended the currency repatriation mechanism for foreigners late 2018, rising 1.5 percent to 17.6287 against the dollar, according to Bloomberg-compiled prices.

Bloomberg News Agency commented on this announcement, saying that foreign investors got back to achieving the highest returns in Egypt, after buying 30 percent of local currency treasury bills and more than half of the long-term bonds offered by the government this week.

The news agency added that after withdrawing about $10 billion from Egypt during global sales in 2018, foreign investors returned to the highest returns in an emerging market after Argentina, according to the Bloomberg Barclays Index.

]]>
1/30/2019 1:16:37 PM
<![CDATA[Euro zone bond markets steady as investors trust in orderly Brexit]]>
Bond investors paused for breath following the vote, and ahead of key euro zone data, the Federal Open Markets Committee press conference, and the resumption of trade talks between China and the U.S., all due later on Wednesday.

British lawmakers on Tuesday instructed Prime Minister Theresa May to reopen a Brexit treaty with the European Union to replace a controversial Irish border arrangement - and promptly received a flat rejection from Brussels.

At the same time, parliament rejected a proposal to stop a potentially chaotic "no-deal" exit by making May ask Brussels for a delay if she cannot get a deal past lawmakers.

The euro zone bond market has grown a little immune to Brexit noise, said Christoph Rieger, rates strategist at Commerzbank.

"Given the UK amendments and what (European Council President Donald) Tusk said, this combination increases the risk of a disorderly Brexit. The market is reluctant to price this scenario," Rieger said. "The market still maintains its faith that reason will prevail. This morning, it looks quite a fantasy to come up with such a scenario."

Investors bought German Bunds in the run-up to Tuesday's vote. German 10-year Bund yields were last trading at 0.192 percent, close to levels traded late on Tuesday.

British 10-year government bond yields fell 1.4 basis points to 1.255 percent in early trade.

But even as Goldman Sachs, as well as others, saw the chance of a no-deal Brexit increasing, euro zone bond yields were largely unchanged.,.

Investors are also focused on upcoming euro zone data and the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

"We expect that the meeting will be an opportunity for (Fed chief Jerome) Powell to drive home the Fed's pause message," wrote Mizuho strategists in a note.

Commerzbank Rieger said he expected some balance sheet discussion following reports by the Wall Street Journal that the Fed is considering stopping the balance sheet run down early.

Ahead of German inflation and retail sales data, data showed France's economy performed a little better than expected in the fourth quarter, increasing 0.3 percent.

Stronger growth data may put European Central Bank rate hikes back on the agenda.

Elsewhere, Italian government bond yields were largely unchanged despite reports that deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini is facing pressure to force an early election as senior League figures are frustrated by dealing with its coalition partner, the 5-Star Movement.

Italy's 10-year bond yield gap over Germany briefly touched its tightest level in a month at 240 basis points, before rising to 244 basis points.

Greek 10-year government bond yields extended falls after Tuesday's strong bond sale to their lowest since August at 3.958 percent. Greece sold a five-year government bond via syndication on Tuesday, with demand of over 10 billion euros. ]]>
1/30/2019 12:37:21 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling slide boosts Britain's FTSE 100 after parliament votes on Brexit]]>
The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 added 0.7 percent by 0842 GMT, building on its more than 1 percent rally on Tuesday ahead of the vote, while the FTSE 250, which is more domestically focused, was down 0.1 percent.

Global miners Rio Tinto, BHP Group, Anglo American, Glencore were the best FTSE 100 performers, rising between 1.9 and 3 percent, buoyed by a sharp rise in metal prices.

The main index is often boosted by a weaker domestic currency because its multinational companies earn a big portion of their revenue abroad in foreign currency.

Dollar earners British American Tobacco, GlaxoSmithKline, Diageo all rose.

That helped the FTSE 100 outperform European peers where caution dominated ahead of U.S.-China trade talks and the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy guidance .

Britain's parliament rejected a proposal to give parliament a path to prevent a potentially chaotic "no-deal" exit, but accepted two amendments - one seeking to replace the Irish backstop with alternative arrangements, and another rejecting the notion of a "no-deal" Brexit.

Following the vote, Goldman Sachs nudged up its estimated probability of a "no-deal" Brexit to 15 percent from 10 percent.

M&A drove some big moves in the small-cap area.

Ophir Energy jumped 6.5 percent to a six-month high after agreeing to be bought out by Indonesian oil and gas group Medco for a sweetened bid of 390.6 million pounds ($511.30 million) in cash.

Video advertising firm Taptica International surged 15 percent after saying it was in advanced talks to take over rival RhythmOne in an all-share deal. RhythmOne was about flat in early deals.

Wizz Air slid 2 percent after its third-quarter report, with a trader putting the fall down to a lack of upgrades to outlook.

Crest Nicholson also lost 2.3 percent after the Times reported https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/crest-nicholson-forced-to-halt-building-project-gmzd88prg that the housebuilder has put a 400 million pounds housing development in Hove on hold because of Brexit uncertainties.

IQE, which makes semiconductor wafers for chips used in Apple products, got a 4.4 percent boost from the iPhone maker's largely upbeat quarterly results overnight.]]>
1/30/2019 10:57:09 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, France sign 4 agreements in ICT field]]>
The declaration was signed between the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the French Ministry of Economy and Finance.

As perthe declaration, experience and visits will be exchanged between the bodies involved in the field of IT incubators in both countries; in addition both countries willcooperate in building the capabilities of entrepreneurs.

This cameas part ofFrench President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Egypt to sign a number of cooperation agreements between the two countries within the framework of the "Economic Forum for Investment" organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in cooperation with the French Chamber of Commerce.

The minister stressed the importance of enhancing joint cooperation between Egypt and France in the field of communications and information technology through exchanging of experiences and increasing the volume of investments of French companies operating in the ICT sector in Egypt, which can contribute to the capacity building and rehabilitation of young cadres, providing them with theskills required for the labor market,and supporting areas of technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and Orange Egypt Telecom signed a joint cooperation agreement in order to expand the company's operations in Upper Egypt by opening a contact center in the new technology area of Assiut, and training of 1,000 trainees of Egyptian cadres and appointinga minimum of 60 percent of the total number of trainees annually during the term of the Convention, which is up to 3 years.

The agreement also stipulates Orange's commitment to training 50 young developers annually under Orange's summer internship program. This training is accredited by the company and includes a number of state-of-the-art ICT applications and programs such as: Smart Cities, Cyber Security, and others.

The agreement also refers to Orange's launch of Fab Lab's manufacturing plant in new BeniSuef technology zone at a later stage as part of its future expansion plan in Upper Egypt.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ITIDA and Valeo Egypt was also signed. The MoU, which extends for three years, stresses the two parties' cooperation in building the capacities of young cadres by providing training and job opportunities for graduates of their training programs tomeet the company's needs,enablingit to expand its business in Egypt and promote the culture of innovation and knowledge in Egypt through the implementation of projects in the field of research, development and patent registration in order to benefit from artificial intelligence techniques in electronic car systems.

The fourth agreement was signed between ITIDA and TelePerformance to qualify skills in the ICT industry.

The agreement aims at expanding the company's operations in Egypt and increasing the number of employees in the company's center in Egypt to work in the field of exporting call centers, customer service and technical support services to Europe, America and the Middle East by providing 1,700 new jobs within two yearsand the provision of relevant training programs to raise the capacity and qualification of young people to join the industry.

]]>
1/29/2019 6:51:48 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday on mixed note, market cap. gains LE 2.5B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.47 percent, or 65.18 points, to close at 13,976.52 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.48 percent, or 10.76 points, to reach 2,243.88 points,

Meanwhile, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 stabilized at levels of 685.9 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.14 percent, or 2.38 points, to close at 1,724.82 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 2.5 billion, recording LE 785.61 billion, compared to LE 783.10 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 218.56 million shares, traded through 29,755 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.14 billion.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 147.75 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 142.18 million and LE 5.56 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 39.83 million, LE 15.38 million and LE 817,719, respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 9.8 million and LE 148.56 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations sold LE 102.35 million.

Sues Canal Company for Technology Settling, El Arabia Engineering Industries, and Dice Sport & Casual Wear were top gainers of the session by 9.96 percent, 9.75 percent and 8.58 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Obour Land for Food Industries, Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation, and Orascom Construction PLC were top losers of the session by 5.16 percent, 4.71 percent, and 4.51 percent, respectively.


]]>
1/29/2019 6:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Remittances from Egyptian expats record $23.3B in 1st 11 months of 2018]]>
During the first 10 months of 2018, remittances of expatriates hit $21.4 billion, compared to $19.8 billion in January-October period of 2017, with an increase of 8 percent.

Remittances from Egyptian expats record $21.4 in 1st 10 months of 2018

CAIRO - 22 December 2018: Remittances from Egyptian expatriates rose 8 percent during the first 10 months of 2018, reaching $21.4 billion, compared to $19.8 billion in the same months of 2017, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said.



CBE announced earlier that remittances from Egyptian expatriates rose 1.5 percent during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, reaching $5.9 billion, compared to $5.8 billion in the same quarter of 2017/2018.

Moreover, remittances from Egyptian expatriates increased by about $4.6 billion (21.1 percent) during fiscal year 2017/2018.

Remittances from Egyptian expatriates increased to $26.4 billion since floating the Egyptian pound in November 2016 and until November 2017, compared to $22.3 billion in the same period of the previous year, data showed.

Remittances are one of Egypt’s main foreign currency sources, which have been on the rise since Egypt floated its local currency in November 2016.

]]>
1/29/2019 1:33:25 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling huddles near 2-1/2 month highs on Brexit nerves]]>
The UK parliament will debate and vote later in the day on Prime Minister Theresa May’s response to the overwhelming rejection of her Brexit plan earlier this month.

But the main focus is on amendments which have been put forward by other lawmakers, especially one that provides for postponing the March 29 Brexit deadline should a divorce deal with the European Union not be approved by parliament by Feb 26.

That amendment is seen as the most likely to pass if the opposition Labour Party does back it as many have indicated. Goldman Sachs said that amendment is the most likely to pass in a note on Monday.

However, sterling which recently scaled 2-1/2 month highs against the dollar at $1.3218 on optimism that no-deal Brexit would be avoided, has retreated from those levels and stood at $1.3171, up 0.11 percent on the day.

Against the euro it was flat at 86.88 pence, holding well off 10-month highs around 86.18 pence hit on Friday.

If the amendment passes, “the pound could strengthen further lifting cable towards the $1.3300-level,” analysts at MUFG told clients, adding that failure to pass it could lead to the currency slumping all the way back to $1.3050.

Senior Conservative lawmaker Graham Brady has put forward another amendment, calling for the Irish backstop arrangement envisioned by May’s Brexit divorce deal to be removed and replaced with “alternative arrangements”. This is not expected to pass.

Implied sterling-dollar volatility has also risen in the run-up to Tuesday night’s vote, with one-month volatility at a one-week high at 11.12 vol.

Analysts at CBA warned that sterling’s fate hinged near-term on support from Labour lawmakers, adding that “without explicit Labour support, the Cooper‑Boles amendment may struggle to win a Parliamentary majority even if it is helped by pro‑Remain Conservative MPs.”]]>
1/29/2019 12:36:21 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt-France trade exchange hit €2.2 billion in 2018 - minister]]>
The total Egyptian exports to the French market amounted to 560 million euros, with an increase of 7.3 percent compared to the same period of 2017, the minister told the opening ceremony of the Egyptian-French Business Forum.

French imports to the Egyptian market hit 1.6 billion euros in the same period, he added.

Nassar hailed the current visit paid by French President Emmanuel Macron to Cairo that marks a significant shift in the course of the two countries' economic relations.

The Egyptian-French Business Forum is held at an important stage in light of Egypt's wide economic development, which contributed to increasing investment opportunities in all sectors, he added.

The Egyptian and French governments, alongside business communities of both countries are making great efforts to promote joint economic and trade relations, the minister said.

The visit of a French business delegation to Cairo offers an important opportunity to explore more areas of joint cooperation in the Egyptian market, as the Egyptian government is already looking for more economic partnerships and cooperation projects between the two countries' business communities aiming to attract more investments and transferring expertise to the local market, he added.

The ministry will spare no effort to support French businessmen in exploiting investment opportunities in the Egyptian market, Nassar added.]]>
1/29/2019 12:33:54 PM
<![CDATA[Volume of trade exchange between China, Egypt hit $13.8B in 2018]]>
Last year, Chinese exports to Egypt amounted to $11.99 billion with a 26.4 percent annual increase while Egypt's exports to China reached $1.83 billion with a 36.8 percent annual increase, the administration added.]]>
1/29/2019 12:00:25 PM
<![CDATA[Bourse gains LE 3.7 bln]]>
The market capital gained about LE 3.7 billion to reach LE 783.1 billion amid transactions that hit LE 1.3 billion.

The EGX 30 benchmark increased by 0.68 percent, closing at 13,911.34 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading small and mid-cap enterprises (SMEs) went up by 0.22 percent, reaching 685.93 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index was also up 0.16 percent, recording 1,727.2 points. ]]>
1/28/2019 5:39:27 PM
<![CDATA[Emirates NBD recognized as the best bank in Egypt for 2018]]>
The Banker Africa confirmed that Emirates NBD - Egypt deserved being named The Best Bank in Egypt for 2018 for their excellence in providing innovative and creative banking services in the Egyptian market, and for succeeding in providing remarkable digital services, which lead to the winning of 4 awards from The Banker Africa.

In addition to that, Emirates NBD - Egypt has been awarded “The Best Mobile Banking App - Egypt 2018” by the renowned International Finance magazine, which specializes in monitoring and following the most important economic and banking institutions around the world. Emirates NBD - Egypt was presented this award for introducing a breakthrough in mobile banking services.

Emirates NBD - Egypt has also launched an electronic signature service to sign and send documents using “Digi-Sign” technology as part of the bank’s focus on diversifying the services provided to its customers and its desire to provide the best solutions and digital products. This comes as a result of the bank’s recognition of the value of time, convenience and efficiency needed by business customers. Emirates NBD – Egypt is considered the first bank to launch digital signature services which provides the highest standards of safety for business accounts.

Emirates NBD – Egypt is recognized for being a pioneer in providing innovative banking and digital services to the market. The bank has greatly elevated the concept of mobile banking and already owns one third of the accounts of e-wallet users in Egypt which represents 3 million electronic wallet users.

Commenting on the bank’s success in winning these awards, Mohamed Berro, Chief Operating Officer at Emirates NBD – Egypt, said, “The bank is always striving to provide everything new and innovative to meet the needs of its customers.” He also noted that he was very pleased to receive these awards from such large international institutions, which demonstrates the excellence of Emirates NBD – Egypt. He also pointed out that “The bank received the Best Bank in Egypt award from The Banker Africa after winning four other awards in the field of innovation, retail banking for individuals, internet services and digital banking products that Emirates NBD has pioneered in the Egyptian market”.


CEO Mohamed Berro
CEO Mohamed Berro


Berro also stated that “The Bank’s success in winning Best Mobile Banking App in Egypt from the International Finance Magazine is due to the bank’s excellence in providing mobile banking services. This comes from the bank’s introduction of Smart Touch technology as an alternative to the secret number in dealing with mobile applications”.

Berro finally said “Emirates NBD is distinguished in providing e-wallet services through mobile phones, bringing the number of customers benefiting from the bank to about three million customers, which represents one third of the number of users of electronic wallets in the Egyptian market”.
]]>
1/28/2019 4:47:55 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies issuing EGP 500 banknote]]>
In a statement Monday, the center said it contacted CBE which, in turn, affirmed that no banknotes of such categories had been issued and there is no intention to issue it in the future.

It appealed to media outlets and social media users to be accurate and objective in dealing with such reports which would negatively affect the country's economic conditions
]]>
1/28/2019 3:30:10 PM
<![CDATA[Trade Exchange between Egypt, France hit $2.13B in 10 months]]>
According to data released by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistic (CAPMAS), Egypt's exports to France jumped 56.2 percent, recording $766.12 million during January-October period of 2018, compared to $490.43 million in the same period of 2017.

The most significant exported products from Egypt to France are chemical products, fertilizers, plastics and readymade clothes.

Egypt's imports from France reached $1.36 billion during the ten months of 2018, compared to $1.26 billion during the same months of 2017 with an increase of 8 percent.
In 2017, trade exchange between both countries increased 21.8 percent compared to 2016, the Ministry of Trade announced earlier, noting that Egypt's exports to France rose 36.4 percent compared to the prior year.

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife arrived in Egypt on Sunday for a three-day visit.

This visit can be used to increase axes of joint cooperation between both countries, President of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce Ahmed el-Wakil said.

Wakil referred to four fields to increase the economic cooperation between Egypt and France, which are: electricity, new and renewable energy, and infrastructure.

He also noted that companies in both states can cooperate in fields of transportation and joint training, adding that projects at the Suez Canal Zone can provide investment opportunities for French investors during the coming period.

]]>
1/28/2019 12:53:53 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar prices hit 2-year low against Egyptian pound]]>
USD/EGP retreated 22 piasters on Sunday to hit 17.63 for buying and LE 17.75 for selling in most banks, including the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Commercial International Bank (CIB), Arab African International Bank, Emirates National Bank of Dubai (ENBD), and Credit Agricole Egypt amid oversupply in USD.

Speaking to MENA, bankers and economists said the measures which have been taken by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to ease the foreign inflows and outflows into the Egyptian market started paying off.

The market started reaping the fruit of terminating the forex transfer mechanism in December. ]]>
1/28/2019 12:01:58 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.2B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a five-year term and the second worth LE 500 million with a 10-year term.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




During December's meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Egypt has lately conducted modifications on the bonds market started by modifying the treasury bills and bonds treatments, and followed by allowing companies to offer short-term bonds.

During December, The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued a decree allowing companies to offer and issue short-term bonds.

According to the decree, these companies included joint stock companies and shareholding companies, as well as companies authorized to engage in a non-bank financial activity after getting the authority's approval, with banks subject to the Central Bank's approval.

FRA determines rules, procedures for short-term bonds' issuance

CAIRO - 18 December 2018: The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued decree No. 172 of 2018 concerning the rules and procedures for issuing and offering short-term bonds. The authority determined, through the decision, which companies are entitled to issue and offer short-term bonds.




Meanwhile, Egypt conducted financial treatments of treasury bills and bonds' taxes. Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills’ taxes is that it is one of the rights of the treasury.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




Earlier in 2018, Egypt canceled bids for treasury bills four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged for the fifth time this year during November meeting, setting the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively.

For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Egypt targets an average interest rate on the government debt instrument of 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in 2017/2018 budget.

Foreign investors’ investments in the Egyptian government debt instruments recorded $23.1 billion by the end of March 2018, up from about $20 billion in December.

Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided from domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance for Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
1/28/2019 11:56:47 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt picks banks to manage international bond issues]]>
Egypt has decided that Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, HSBC and Citi Bank will manage the dollar-denominated bond issue, the ministry said in a statement.

BNP Paribas, Natixis, Alex Bank and Standard Chartered will manage the euro-denominated bond issue.]]>
1/28/2019 11:53:35 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar up as investors brace for volatile markets; Fed meeting]]>
Investors are focused on Wednesday’s Fed meeting when policymakers are expected to signal a pause in their tightening cycle and to acknowledge growing risks to the U.S. economy.

That will likely weigh on the greenback, which has fallen 1 percent since late December, after enjoying a boost from the Fed’s four rate increases in 2018.

On Monday, however, the dollar was buoyed by safe-haven buying as traders anxiously await news from U.S.-China talks on Tuesday and Wednesday to see if the world’s largest economies can reach a compromise on trade.

“Unless there is a breakdown in negotiations, we suspect the cautiously risk positive environment can continue - which should favour higher-yielding under-valued emerging market currencies against the dollar,” said Chris Turner, head of foreign exchange strategy at ING in London.

The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers was marginally higher at 95.896, after falling 0.8 percent on Friday.

A deal last week to reopen the U.S. government for now after a prolonged shutdown reduced investor demand for the safety of the greenback.

“The general direction for the dollar is still down and markets will be taking cues from the FOMC this week,” said Sim Moh Siong, currency strategist at Bank of Singapore.

“The Fed will most likely keep rates steady this year given the state of economic growth outside the U.S.”

The dollar fell 0.1 percent versus the offshore yuan to 6.7406. The rally in the yuan also fuelled a bounce in the Australian dollar, which gained 0.18 percent versus the dollar to $0.7195.

Traders are bearish on the dollar for 2019.

The euro was marginally weaker on Monday at $1.14.

The single currency managed to cling on to a 0.4 percent gain made last week despite the European Central Bank downgrading its growth forecasts for the near term.

Growth data out of Europe’s economic powerhouses such as Germany and France has been weaker-than-expected and analysts expect the ECB to remain dovish for an extended period.

Traders believe Europe’s slowdown and a dovish ECB are priced into the euro, which has traded in a $1.12-$1.16 range over the last three months.

Sterling drifted lower on Monday after posting its biggest weekly rise in more than 15 months last week as investors consolidated positions before a series of votes in the British parliament on Tuesday that will aim to break a Brexit deadlock.

Analysts expect sterling to remain volatile. Britain is set to leave the European Union on March 29, but the country’s members of parliament remain far from agreeing a divorce deal.]]>
1/28/2019 11:51:00 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling slips before key Brexit votes in parliament this week]]>
Lawmakers earlier this month rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU withdrawal agreement, which included a nearly two-year transition period to help minimize economic disruption. That defeat set up a series of votes in parliament on Tuesday through which lawmakers and the government will try to find a way forward.

The British currency edged a quarter of a percent lower to $1.3162 in early trading. Against the euro, it drifted 0.1 percent lower at 86.57 pence.

Growing optimism on the outlook for the pound fuelled a rally last week, sending the currency up 2.5 percent against the dollar last week, its biggest weekly gain since mid-September.]]>
1/28/2019 11:49:43 AM
<![CDATA[Oil falls on increased U.S. rig count, China industrial slowdown]]>
International Brent crude oil futures were at $60.74 a barrel at 0804 GMT, down 90 cents, or 1.46 percent.

U.S. crude oil futures were at $52.84 per barrel, down 85 cents, or 1.58 percent, from their last settlement.

High U.S. crude oil production, which rose to a record 11.9 million barrels per day (bpd) late last year, has been weighing on oil markets, traders said.

In a sign output could rise further, U.S. energy firms last week raised the number of rigs looking for new oil for the first time in 2019 to 862, an addition of 10 rigs, Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its weekly report on Friday.

Beyond oil supply, a key question for this year will be the magnitude of demand growth.

Oil consumption has been increasing steadily, and it will likely average above 100 million bpd for the first time ever in 2019, driven largely by a boom in China.

A global economic slowdown, however, amid a trade dispute between Washington and Beijing is weighing on fuel demand-growth expectations.

Earnings at China’s industrial firms shrank for a second straight month in December on sluggish factory activity, piling more pressure on the world’s second-largest economy, which reported its slowest pace of growth for last year since 1990.

“Persistent weakness seen in Chinese economic data has raised downside risks ... of lower crude oil imports by Beijing in 2019,” said Benjamin Lu of Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.

China is trying to stem the slowdown with aggressive fiscal stimulus measures.

But there are concerns that these measures may not have the desired effect as China’s economy is already laden with massive debt and some of the bigger government spending measures may be of little real use.

The increased U.S. supply - the United States is now the world’s largest oil producer - and the economic slowdown are weighing on the oil price outlook.

“We expect U.S. crude oil prices to range between $50-$60 per barrel in 2019 and about $10 more per barrel for Brent,” Tortoise Capital Advisors said in its 2019 oil market outlook.

Tortoise added, though, that oil prices would be supported above $50 per barrel as it was “very clear that Saudi Arabia will no longer be willing to accept these lower oil prices.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), de-facto led by Saudi Arabia, started supply cuts late last year to tighten markets and buoy prices.]]>
1/28/2019 11:48:00 AM
<![CDATA[Aramco amps up in South Korea with $1.6B bet on refiner Hyundai Oilbank]]>
Saudi Aramco is already the biggest shareholder in South Korea’s No.3 refiner, S-Oil Corp, with a 63.41 percent stake, and the latest deal should help Aramco boost crude oil sales to Hyundai Oilbank, the South’s smallest refiner by capacity.

Saudi Aramco’s chief executive told Reuters in November that it planned to expand its market share in Asia - including China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia - and Africa.

Saudi Aramco plans to pay 1.8 trillion won for a stake of up to 19.9 percent of Hyundai Oilbank from Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings, which now owns 91.13 percent of Hyundai Oilbank.

“Saudi Aramco seems to be boosting investments in downstream projects ahead of an initial public offering,” said Lee Dong-wook, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in early January that the state oil giant will be listed by 2021.

Saudi Arabia is the top crude oil supplier to South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest importer.

In 2018, South Korea imported 323.17 million barrels of crude from the kingdom, or 885,408 barrels per day (bpd), according to data from Korea National Oil Corp.

Aramco, the world’s largest crude producer, plans to increase investment in refining and petrochemicals in a bid to cut its reliance on crude as demand for oil slows.

Hyundai Oilbank has a total of 650,000 barrels per day of refining capacity in the southwestern city of Daesan and also aims to expand its petrochemical business.

In May last year, it announced plans to build a 2.7 trillion won petrochemical plant with South Korea’s Lotte Chemical.

“RECONSIDER” HYUNDAI OILBANK IPO

The firm’s holding company, which also includes shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries, said it would use the funds from the Oilbank deal to invest in new businesses and improve its financial structure, including cutting its debt-to-equity ratio.

Saudi Aramco plans to value Hyundai Oilbank at 10 trillion won, or 36,000 won per share, Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said in a statement.

A person familiar with the matter said the company plans to offer a discount of 10 percent to Saudi Aramco in a block deal that will require board approval from both firms next month.

Shares of the parent company ended up 3.8 percent after rising as much 6.6 percent. Shares of the country’s shipbuilders rallied across the board after Qatar said it plans to order 60 new LNG carriers from unidentified firms, speaking at a summit with South Korea.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings said it planned to “reconsider” the stock market listing of the refinery arm after completing the stake sale, possibly this year.

Hyundai Oilbank, which had aimed to list on South Korea’s stock exchange in 2018, delayed the plan until this year due to regulatory scrutiny of its balance sheet.

The company said on Monday that its operating profit skidded 42 percent to 661 billion won last year, hurt by falling refining margins. S-Oil also saw its operating profit halve to 680 billion won in 2018.

Hyundai Heavy is part of a joint venture with Saudi Aramco and others to build a shipyard on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast.]]>
1/28/2019 11:46:41 AM
<![CDATA[Asia shares pare gains as focus turns to crucial Sino-U.S. trade talks]]>
European shares are expected to dip at their open, with spread-betters looking to a fall of 0.3 percent in London’s FTSE and a 0.4 percent drop in Frankfurt’s DAX and Paris’s CAC.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 were last down 0.4 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was almost flat, pulling back after hitting its highest since Oct. 4 early in the session.

China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost almost 0.2 percent while South Korea’s KOSPI was largely flat.

Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.6 percent lower while Australian financial markets were shut for their ‘Australia Day’ holiday.

Facing mounting pressure, U.S. President Donald Trump agreed on Friday to temporarily end a 35-day-old partial U.S. government shutdown without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded from Congress for a border wall.

In response Wall Street rallied broadly on Friday as investors were relieved to see an end to one of the longest U.S. government shutdown in history.

The shutdown had left the markets anxious as it came at a time of heightened worries over slowing global growth, signs of stress in corporate earnings and a still unresolved Sino-U.S. trade war.

Attention now shifts to Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s visit the United States on Jan. 30-31 for the next round of trade negotiations with Washington.

The high-level talks in Washington will include discussions about China’s currency practices, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. He has criticized the yuan’s weakness in the past, but in recent days, positive sentiment toward the talks has lifted the yuan’s value against the dollar.

“Although coming to an agreement is still tricky, both sides have little incentive to escalate tensions,” said Tai Hui, Hong Kong-based chief market strategist for Asia Pacific at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, in a note.

“Markets will at least expect an extension of the truce in tariff increases beyond early March, while more difficult issues are still being worked on by both sides.”

Besides the underlying anxiety on trade, the temporary nature of the U.S. government’s reopening - Trump has threatened to resume the shutdown on Feb. 15 if his demands aren’t met - remained a source of concern.

“As things stand this morning, we have only 18 days left before we get another government shutdown, or a Wall. That should keep things interesting for markets,” wrote strategists at Rabobank.

MAY’S “PLAN B”, FED MEETING

In the currency market, the pound hovered not far off a three-month high of $1.3218 set on Friday on the back of optimism that Britain can avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Britain is set to leave the European Union on March 29, but the country’s members of parliament remain far from agreeing a divorce deal and longer term prospects for sterling remained far from clear.

The immediate focus was on Tuesday, when the British parliament will debate and vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit “plan B”.

The euro was also on the front foot against the sagging dollar, which was on the defensive as the Federal Reserve convenes its first policy meeting of 2019 where it is expected to leave interest rates unchanged after raising them five times in as many quarters in December.

The attention will be on the policy outlook as the Fed has signaled a slower pace of rate increases this year with markets speculating it might pause its tightening cycle soon.

The single currency was a shade higher at $1.1410 after gaining 0.9 percent on Friday, paring the losses from earlier last week on dovish-sounding comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

Against the Japanese yen, the greenback slipped 0.2 percent to 109.31 yen, extending mild losses at the end of last week.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes edged down to 2.740 percent compared with its U.S. close of 2.751 percent on Friday.

In commodity markets, U.S. crude oil futures were off 61 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $53.08 per barrel, with a rise in U.S. rig count stopping a two-day winning run.

Brent crude futures were last down 63 cents, or 1 percent, at $61.01 a barrel.

Oil prices rose toward the end of last week as political turmoil in Venezuela threatened to tighten crude supply, with the United States signaling it may impose sanctions on exports from the South American nation.

Gold was slightly higher. Spot gold was traded at $1,302.20 per ounce, hovering just below a more than 7-month high of $1,304.40 reached earlier in the session.]]>
1/28/2019 11:45:17 AM
<![CDATA[$1.5 trillion U.S. tax cut has no major impact on business capex plans: survey]]>
The National Association of Business Economics’ (NABE) quarterly business conditions poll published on Monday found that while some companies reported accelerating investments because of lower corporate taxes, 84 percent of respondents said they had not changed plans. That compares to 81 percent in the previous survey published in October.

The White House had predicted that the massive fiscal stimulus package, marked by the reduction in the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, would boost business spending and job growth. The tax cuts came into effect in January 2018.

“A large majority of respondents, 84 percent, indicate that one year after its passage, the corporate tax reform has not caused their firms to change hiring or investment plans,” said NABE President Kevin Swift.

The lower tax rates, however, had an impact in the goods producing sector, with 50 percent of respondents from that sector reporting increased investments at their companies, and 20 percent saying they redirected hiring and investments to the United States from abroad.

The NABE survey also suggested a further slowdown in business spending after moderating sharply in the third quarter of 2018. The survey’s measure of capital spending fell in January to its lowest level since July 2017. Expectations for capital spending for the next three months also weakened.

“Fewer firms increased capital spending compared to the October survey responses, but the cutback appeared to be concentrated more in structures than in information and communication technology investments,” said Swift, who is also chief economist at the American Chemistry Council.

According to the survey, employment growth improved modestly in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the third quarter. Just over a third of respondents reported rising employment at their firms over the past three months, up from 31 percent in the October survey. The survey’s forward-looking measure of employment slipped to 25 in January from 29 in October.

]]>
1/28/2019 10:24:21 AM
<![CDATA[140 Egyptian companies to partake in Gulfood 2019 in Feb.]]>
The companies, which will display their high-quality products in Egypt's 1300-sq. meter-area pavilion, are major in the field of food industries and harvests in Egypt, Berzi said in statements on Sunday.

Egypt is celebrating the passage of 20 years since it first participated in this international event, director of the exhibitions department in the council Heba Soheil said.

Gulfood is the world’s largest annual food, beverage and hospitality exhibition which attracts F&B professionals from all over the world to Dubai – a hub for international trade and commerce.
]]>
1/28/2019 10:18:30 AM
<![CDATA[Electricity min.: Electricity output quadrupled since 2014]]>
During a meeting of the parliamentary committee for Arab affairs on Sunday, Shaker said in 2014 the country's power production capacity stood at 9,800 megawatts but now it has reached roughly 38,500 megawatts.

The Minister also said that the implementation of plans for lifting the Finance Ministry's subsidy to the Electricity Ministry has been delayed five years.

He noted that the ministry asked the Finance Ministry to pump LE37 billion into its budget in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, but the Finance Ministry approved injecting only LE16 billion.

Despite the shortage in the budget, the Electricity Ministry will continue to offer 60 to 65 percent subsidy to people for electricity services, he said.

He pointed out that February will mark the end of the first stage of upping the capacity of power stations linked to Sudan from 100 megawatts to 300 megawatts.

He noted that lawmakers call for upping these stations' capacity to 700 megawatts, but this would cost Egypt LE4.5 billion and Sudan LE4 billion.

Thanks to Egypt's distinguished geographic location, it will be a power linkage center through connecting its electricity grid with Africa, Europe and Asia, he said. ]]>
1/27/2019 2:48:40 PM
<![CDATA[Italian agency highlights rise in Egypt’s gas production]]>
It affirmed that Egypt will become a main source of energy to Europe soon.

"The goal can be achieved with the development of all gas fields in the coming period and this will be an" unprecedented "share of the country,” Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla said, according to the agency.

He added that this is the result of the success of the ministerial strategy supported by strong political and economic stability.

The European Union expressed its support for Egypt to become a regional gas center, using gas liquefaction plants in Edco and Damietta to export gas to European markets.
Molla said on Saturday that Egypt’s production of natural gas will reach about 8 billion cubic feet per day in 2019/2020.

Egypt's daily gas output to reach 8B cubic feet in FY 2019/2020: minister

CAIRO, Jan 26 (MENA) - Egypt's production of natural gas will reach about 8 billion cubic feet per day in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tareq el Mulla said on Saturday.




The minister announced in 2018 that Egypt has achieved self-sufficiency in natural gas production.

Egypt stopped importing liquefied gas in September after adding 1.6 million cubic feet to its production from its latest gas discoveries, including West Delta’s Taurus and Libra fields, as well as the Atoll and Zohr gas fields.
]]>
1/27/2019 2:15:03 PM
<![CDATA[Philips Lighting has plans to expand in Egyptian market, says CEO]]>
Rondolat’s remarks were made during his meeting with Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, which concluded its activities Friday in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Rondolat noted that Philips Lighting targets a 15 percent market share in Egypt within the coming three years, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement Saturday.

The meeting touched on the company's future plans to increase its investments in the Egyptian market in addition to means of boosting its exports of Egypt-manufactured products to regional and African markets.]]>
1/27/2019 1:54:03 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt bourse gains over 13 EGP bln in morning trading]]>
The market capital won more than EGP 13 billion to reach EGP 778.3 billion.

The EGX 30 benchmark index went up 2.26 percent to reach 13,811.8 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading small and mid cap enterprises (SME) was up by 0.4 percent to reach 675.21 points.]]>
1/27/2019 12:58:05 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.5 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 181.5 billion during January.

Finance Ministry to auction EGP 181.5 bln T-bills, bonds in January

CAIRO - 2 January 2019: The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of EGP 181.5 billion during January. In a statement released Tuesday, the ministry said 91-day and 182-day T-bills worth EGP 42.5 and 43.75 billion, respectively, will be auctioned in January.




On Thursday, The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time this year.

CBE keeps interest rates at 16.75%, 17.75% in December

CAIRO - 27 December 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December's meeting for the sixth time this year.




Previously, Ministry of Finance announced financial treatments on treasury bills and bonds, Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it revealed that the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury.

Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.

Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.

CAIRO-2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it revealed the reason behind the financial treatments of T-bills' taxes, saying that it's one of the rights of the treasury. Ma'it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn't collected before.




For the current fiscal year, the budget deficit is estimated to record LE 438.59 billion, or 8.4 percent, planned by the ministry to be financed through treasury bills and bonds and through international and Arab loans.

Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Foreign investments in T-bills hit LE210.2B by end of October

CAIRO - 28 November 2018: Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).




Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided by domestic debt instrument and the rest will come from foreign financing through the issuance of bonds and the IMF loan.

In November 2016, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a $12 billion loan as a financial assistance to Egypt to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
1/27/2019 12:04:58 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi approves framework deal with China]]>
The agreement, signed in Beijing on September 2, 2015, aims at promoting economic development and cooperation in the field of productive energy.

The agreement also seeks to foster cooperation between Cairo and Beijing in the areas of trade and innovation.

The decree no. 229/2016 was published in the official gazette on Saturday. ]]>
1/27/2019 12:03:03 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's daily gas output to reach 8B cubic feet in FY 2019/2020: minister]]>
This output will be achieved after implementing all development projects of Egypt’s gas fields, Mulla told a meeting of the general assembly of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) to review the company’s planned budget for the coming fiscal year.

The minister noted that these unprecedented amounts come as a direct result of the petroleum ministry’s successful strategy that is backed by Egypt’s current political and economic stability, the Ministry of Petroleum said in a statement.

Mulla also asserted the continuity of the petroleum sector’s efforts to implement a strategy to attract more foreign investments in the field. ]]>
1/26/2019 11:58:51 AM
<![CDATA[IMF's Lagarde says will recommend approval of next Egypt loan tranche]]>WASHINGTON, 25 January 2019: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Friday that she will recommend that the Fund’s executive board approve a fourth review of Egypt’s $12 billion loan program, a move expected to unlock a $2 billion disbursement.

Lagarde said in a statement that the board will meet in coming weeks to discuss the review. She commended Egyptian authorities for reforms that have put the country’s budget deficit on a declining trajectory, and that have helped to reduce its unemployment rate to 10 percent, the lowest since 2011.
]]>
1/25/2019 7:19:46 PM
<![CDATA[Vodafone holds off deploying Huawei in core network due to security row]]>
The United States and some allies, including Australia and New Zealand, have banned Huawei from 5G networks because of alleged ties to the Chinese government, while the firm has denied that its technology could be used by Beijing for spying.

Vodafone's Chief Executive Nick Read said on Friday after reporting third-quarter results that the debate was playing out at a "too simplistic level", adding that Huawei was an important player in an equipment market which it dominates along with Ericsson Sweden's Ericsson and Nokia.

"We have decided to pause further Huawei in our core whilst we engage with the various agencies and governments and Huawei just to finalise the situation, of which I feel Huawei is really open and working hard," Read said.

Poland is set to exclude Huawei from 5G after it arrested a Huawei executive earlier this month on spying allegations. Huawei fired the man, who has denied wrongdoing.

Europe's mobile industry would face higher costs and delays to faster networks if authorities imposed a blanket ban on Huawei equipment, particularly the radio technology deployed on mobile towers, Vodafone's Read said.

Operators in Europe such as BT and Orange, have already removed Huawei's equipment or taken steps to limit its future use.

Read said Huawei's equipment was used in Vodafone's core - which he described as the intelligent part of the network - in Spain and some other smaller markets.

European governments and security agencies had not pressurised Vodafone into taking the step, but the "noise level" had increased, and the debate now needed more facts, Read said, adding that governments in Africa and the Middle East, where Vodafone also uses Huawei, had not raised concerns.

A spokesman for Huawei, which become the world's biggest telecoms equipment maker earlier this decade despite being shut out of the U.S. market, said it had been a long-term strategic partner to Vodafone since 2007.

"Huawei is focused on supporting Vodafone's 5G network rollouts, of which the core is a small proportion. We are grateful to Vodafone for its support of Huawei and we will endeavour to live up to the trust placed in us," he said.

However, Read said that Vodafone had already agreed terms with a range of 5G suppliers, so moving away from Huawei in parts of the roll-out would not incur additional costs.

TOUGH END TO YEAR

Shares in Vodafone fell after it reported a deterioration in its key revenue measure in the third quarter, down 40 basis points quarter-on-quarter to 0.1 percent, reflecting price competition in Spain and Italy and a slowdown in South Africa.

Analysts had expected growth of 0.3 percent and the stock fell to its lowest level since July 2010 after the update, trading down 2.9 percent at 140 pence at 1245 GMT.

Vodafone said, however, that competition in the Spanish and Italian markets had moderated through the quarter and it improved its level of churn, or the number of customers leaving, by two percentage points year-on-year.

The company's Chief Financial Officer Margherita Della Valle said the performance improvements would start to show in the top line after the current quarter.

"We expect as we enter into the next fiscal year to start seeing the benefits in terms of revenue growth," she said.

Analysts at UBS said Vodafone performed well in net adds and churn across Europe, but they expected fourth quarter service revenue to drop to –0.5 percent, driven by weakness in Spain and tougher comparatives in Britain.

"This is disappointing relative to prior comments that service revenues would be similar to the +0.5 percent seen in Q2," they said.

Vodafone's reiterated its guidance for this year of around 3 percent growth in underlying adjusted core earnings, with free cash flow before spectrum costs of about 5.4 billion euros.]]>
1/25/2019 4:24:12 PM
<![CDATA[India's Modi crafts populist measures ahead of elections]]>
Two opinion polls on Thursday suggested that a coalition led by Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) could emerge as the largest group in the election, while falling short of a majority.

That could push Modi to adopt more populist measures likely to be a drain on the economy, although his government is already at risk of breaching its fiscal deficit goals.

Here are some of the steps taken or being considered, some of which may feature in the Feb. 1 interim budget, government sources said, with their costs likely to fall on the next government.

HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

On Jan. 10, India announced a change in national sales tax rules to exempt an additional two million small businesses.

From April, businesses with annual sales of up to 4 million rupees ($56,700) will be exempt from the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a concession now limited to firms with turnover of up to 2 million rupees a year.

The government is also considering offering cheap loans and free accident insurance coverage to small businesses, Reuters reported this week.

HELP FOR FARMERS

Direct fund transfers and interest-free loans for farmers are among the relief measures being considered. Such loans, from state-owned banks that will be compensated by the government, could cost 120 billion rupees a year, government sources said.

An option in place of the interest-free loans could be to give farmers sums ranging from 2,000 rupees to 4,000 rupees for every hectare of land owned, at an estimated cost of more than a trillion rupees.

The government's least favored option is farm loan waivers, such as those rolled out by the main opposition Congress party after it defeated the BJP in key farmland states in last year's state elections.

JOB RESERVATION

India aims to spend millions of dollars to boost educational places to meet a 10 percent quota recently promised to the less well-off among upper-caste Hindus and people from other religions. It already sets aside job and education quotas for its lowest social classes.

ONIONS

In December, India doubled to 10 percent its export incentives for onion farmers, after prices of the key staple plunged. The programme offers credit to be used to pay taxes.

E-COMMERCE RULES

India wants to ban from Feb. 1 sales by e-commerce companies, such as Amazon.com and the Walmart -owned Flipkart Group, of products from firms in which they hold equity.

The move followed complaints by retailers and traders that big firms exploit control of inventory from affiliates and pacts on exclusive sales, thus promoting undercutting.

TAX CUTS

On Dec. 22, India slashed its sales tax for more than 20 items, from televisions to movie tickets.

The government is also considering raising the ceiling for payment of personal tax, the BJP said.]]>
1/25/2019 10:44:11 AM
<![CDATA[DAVOS-Big Oil is more talk than action on renewables - Iberdrola]]>
Major oil and gas firms have been venturing into renewable power under pressure from climate-change policy, collectively spending around 1 percent of their 2018 budgets on clean energy, according to a recent study by research firm CDP.

However, Iberdrola Chief Executive Ignacio Galan, who has led the Spanish utility for 17 years, shrugged when asked in a Reuters interview if Big Oil represented a competitive threat.

"It's good that they have moved in this direction but they make more noise than the reality," he said on Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Galan said returns on oil investment still far exceeded those typical of wind and solar projects and he doubted major oil companies would make a meaningful shift until that changed.

"They like to be enthusiastic but if they had to make a choice between a wonderful oil well and a good wind farm, I feel their heart will move in the traditional direction."

Galan also brushed off U.S. President Donald Trump's policy shift in favour of coal, pointing out that Iberdrola would spend 40 percent of its 32 billion euros ($37 billion) investment budget in the United States over the next four years.

"The White House is saying that they would like to promote coal but, as far as I know, no new coal mine has been opened and many have been shut down," Galan said.

He said U.S. states were more influential than Washington in terms of energy investment, and that several were looking to develop America's first offshore wind farms, from Massachusetts down to North Carolina and New York across to California.

"The states are more and more committed to moving to renewables and the same is true of the cities and towns," he said, adding that falling generation costs of renewable energy was a big driver of the U.S. adoption of wind and solar power.

Iberdrola also continues to ramp up investment in Europe and in its other priority emerging markets of Mexico and Brazil, and is dipping its toes in South Africa where it is looking to invest in onshore wind power and solar.

Galan said it wanted to invest hundreds of millions of euros in South Africa over the next few years, and use it as a gateway to Africa, but Iberdrola first needed to iron out permit and authorisation issues with the government there.

Galan, who tilted Iberdrola towards wind power when most renewable energy was largely unviable without state subsidies, said the group had effectively reached its goal already of shutting down all its coal-fired power generation.

The 68-year-old, who wears green ties and makes his executive team do the same, said the two remaining coal-fired generators, both in Spain, were now mothballed.

"It's done," he said. "Those plants are officially open but they are not producing."

(1 = 0.8821 euros) ]]>
1/24/2019 3:48:15 PM
<![CDATA[Molla: New int'l companies to pump investments in Red Sea in 2019]]>
This came at a general assembly meeting of South Valley Egyptian Holding Company for Petroleum (Ganope) to endorse the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019/2020.

In a statement on Thursday, the minister said that Egypt has started exploring oil and gas in Red Sea following the signing of the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border demarcation agreement.

Ganope’s chairperson Mohamed Abdel Azim said new companies will drill nine exploratory wells in the second half of FY 2018/2019 and the FY 2019/2020 with the view to reaching an average production rate of about 25,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Earlier, the petroleum Minister said that a seismic survey for 10,000 km in the Red Sea region was completed ahead of the launch of a global bid for oil and gas exploration in the Red Sea.

The bid will be put forth after obtaining the results of the Geophysical Data Collection Project in the Red Sea.

The project is carried out in cooperation with South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (GANOPE) and the Norwegian geophysical company TGS and Texas-based Schlumberger.

In July, the Petroleum Ministry, represented by GANOPE, signed an agreement with Schlumberger and TGS to provide the government with geo-science data for exploring and producing oil and gas.

The unexplored offshore Egyptian Red Sea area is made up of large, untested structures and well-established hydrocarbon systems, which offer exceptional growth opportunities for oil companies," CEO of TGS Kristian Johansen said earlier.

According to the company, the First 2D data volumes will be available Q3 2018 and the Final data volumes for prestack time-migrated (PSTM) data and prestack depth-migrated (PSDM) data will be available in Q4 2018 and Q1 2019 respectively. ]]>
1/24/2019 1:16:58 PM
<![CDATA[EU to finance 71.5 million euro projects in Sohag]]>
In a statement, board chairman and the managing director of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater in Sohag Mohamed Badri said drinking water projects will be financed by 23.2 million euros while 48.3 million euros will be spent on drainage projects.

After making a contract with a consultancy office to study proposed projects and their cost, a final list of the projects was approved mid January, he added.

The projects will take 30 months to see daylight starting from the day work was initiated, he said.]]>
1/24/2019 12:58:39 PM
<![CDATA[Tax revenues represent 72% to %75 of state's treasury]]>
This came during a conference entitled “Digitalization of Tax Reporting and 2019 Policy Development” held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.

According the development of the Authority, Hussein stated during his speech that development process includes five axes which are simplifying taxes, digitalizing the resources, taxes legislations, and developing the infrastructure, besides developing Human Resources.

He elaborated that the goal of digitalization of taxes’ declaration is to inclose the tax community and the informal economy whether related to the electronic bills or taxes reporting.

Regarding new tax law, Hussein said that the new tax law is about to be finalized, noting that this law simplifies the tax regulations.

“After that latest problems of the last trial of digitalization showed up during that last period, the coming season of tax declarations will be limited to Money companies and not for individual companies,” Chairman of Tax Authority said.

He noted that the previous faced problem was from the executed company or from the network itself.

Hussein clarified the value added taxes reporting will be presented during January.

For his part, Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Tax Authority Reda Abdel Kader said that the aim of the digitalization is to facilitate the service for the tax community.

Revenues of Egypt’s 2018/2019 budget are projected to reach a total of LE 989.2 billion, and taxes and tariff yields allocate to contribute LE 770.3 billion to the new budget’s revenues.]]>
1/23/2019 7:54:48 PM
<![CDATA[SODIC’s merger offer with MNHD is over ]]>
In a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), MNHD attributed the decline of negotiations to disagreement on the terms of the swap transaction.

SODIC announced in October 2018 that its mandatory tender offer to MNHD would be implemented through a stock swap deal. One share of SODIC would be exchanged for two shares of MNHD.

In April, MNHD said that its board was considering a possible merger or acquisition with SODIC.

Earlier, the board of directors of Nasr City Housing and Development Company decided to appoint Zaki Hashem & Partners as legal advisor to SODIC's deal, which intends to make a compulsory purchase offer through direct exchange of shares (share swap only).

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) agreed earlier this month to extend the deadline for the Sixth October Development and Investment Company (SODIC) to submit a compulsory purchase offer to Nasr City for Housing and Development, after SODIC offered an extending request on January 10.

Madinet Nasr Housing operates within the real estate sector focusing on diversified real estate Activities. It has four subsidiaries operating across Egypt, working on education services, construction and engineering, real estate development and multi-Utilities.

Meanwhile, SODIC operates within the real estate sector focusing on real estate Development. It has 27 subsidiaries operating across Egypt and Syria. SODIC is based in Giza, Egypt and was established in May 1996.

MNHD’s capital is LE 1.2 billion, distributed over 1.2 billion shares, with a nominal value of LE 1 per share, while SODIC’s capital is LE 1.37 billion, distributed over 342.3 million shares at a nominal value of LE 4 per share.
]]>
1/23/2019 4:40:09 PM
<![CDATA[Talaat Moustafa “The Top Real Estate Developer in Egypt in 2018”]]>
Omar Abdel Rahman, Chief Marketing Officer, received the honoring award on behalf of TMG during the glamorous honoring ceremony “Egypt Summit for the Best”, announcing the “top 100” firms operating in the Egyptian market.

a

It worth mentioning that rating criteria were determined this year through analysis of the data and financial indicators for all the registered firms in the Egyptian stock exchange market, in which firms had been classified according to revenues, net profit, and their market value relative weights, over a specific period of time, to encourage investors and businessmen to increase their investments in the local market, and ensure the implementation of comprehensive development projects.

The “top 100” companies’ classification was a result of a poll conducted by Amwal Al Ghadeconomic institution in collaboration with Shuaa Securities, Egypt, a subsidiary of Shuaa Capital.
]]>
1/23/2019 2:29:31 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr: Egypt realized leap in infrastructure projects, legislative reforms]]>
Making the remarks during a high-level round table meeting held on the fringe of the Davos Forum, she referred to the issuance of the investment law in addition to amendments to legislation to encourage investment.

She noted that the ministry is keen on luring investments and encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises.

According to a press release by the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry, the round table discussion tackled a report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which was issued on Monday.

The report said that although the Global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows fell by 19 per cent, in 2018, to an estimated $1.2 trillion, African FDI flows were up 6%, though growth was concentrated only in a few countries such as Egypt and South Africa.

In 2018, Europe’s foreign investment inflows amounted to $100 billion – an unprecedented 73% decline – and a value last seen in the 1990s. The United States also saw its inflows dip to $226 billion, a decline of 18%.

UNCTAD report showed that FDI to developing economies increased by 3% to $694 billion in 2018. Developing nations accounted for half of the top 10 host economies for FDI inflows.

Of the developing economies, Asia and Africa benefited the most, with flows increasing to developing countries in Asia by 5%, the report said.

East and South-East Asia, where inflows were up 2% and 11% respectively, took the lion’s share of foreign investment, accounting for one-third of global FDI in 2018 and almost all growth in FDI to developed economies.

Greenfield announcements in developing economies rose by 47% reaching an estimated $539 billion and linked to Asian growth prospects. ]]>
1/23/2019 1:01:13 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar near three-week high as central banks eyed]]>
With Tokyo sounding a cautious note on the outlook for global growth, attention shifted to the European Central Bank, which meets on Thursday. Markets expect it to acknowledge growing threats to the euro zone economy.

The caution from senior policymakers comes as economic data from China to Europe shown signs of a slowdown. Traders reacted by unwinding some of their bearish dollar bets, especially against the euro.

“The ECB will likely join its global peers in striking a cautious view on growth and that should keep the dollar supported, especially with bearish expectations on the greenback such a consensus trade,” said Lee Hardman, a currency analyst at MUFG in London.

Against a basket of other currencies, the dollar was trading at 96.32, near the 96.484 hit in the previous session.

As expected, the Bank of Japan kept monetary policy unchanged. But it lowered its inflation forecast, as a larger-than-expected drop in December exports underlined the need for support for the trade-reliant economy.

On Monday, the International Monetary Fund cut its 2019 and 2020 global growth forecasts, citing a bigger-than-expected slowdown in China and the euro zone. Failure to resolve trade tensions could further destabilise the global economy, the IMF said.

European shares stumble after weak Chinese GDP data
The euro was steady at $1.1367. Sterling edged up to $1.2961 after gaining 0.5 percent in the previous session.

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed agreement on terms for leaving the European Union was rejected by parliament last week in the biggest defeat in modern British history. Since then, lawmakers have been trying to resolve the crisis. No option has the majority support of parliament.

“The market is now completely discounting the prospect of a hard Brexit, though the political risk still remains in play and volatility is sure to ratchet higher if no clear path is visible to the market,” said Kathy Lien, managing director of currency strategy at BK Asset Management.]]>
1/23/2019 12:56:51 PM
<![CDATA[Volvo recalls over 200,000 cars to fix fuel leak issue]]>
The group said its probe had identified that some vehicles may have small cracks inside one of the fuel lines in the engine compartment, which along with a pressurized fuel system may over time lead to fuel leakage in the engine compartment.

About 219,000 cars of 11 different models produced in 2015 and 2016 had been affected, the Swedish company said, with the highest number of impacted cars in Sweden, the UK and Germany. The Swedish recall was first reported by daily Aftonbladet.

Volvo sold 503,127 cars in 2015 and 534,332 cars in 2016.

“There are no reports alleging injuries or damages related to this issue. Volvo preventatively recalls the cars to avert any possible future problems,” Volvo said in its statement.

The company’s fortunes have been revived since Geely bought it in 2010 and its popular new premium models now compete with larger rivals Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE). It sold a record 642,253 cars in 2018.

However, a prolonged U.S.-China trade war has inflated raw materials costs and resulted in a slowdown in Chinese demand for cars. That has forced Volvo to spend to retool its global factories to limit the negative tariff impact and led it to postpone its plans to go public indefinitely.

British billionaire Dyson moves vacuum giant to Singapore
This month, Geely Automobile (0175.HK), the main listed unit of the Geely empire which owns Volvo, forecast flat sales this year, as China’s most successful carmaker struggles with slowing economic growth and more cautious consumers.

A Volvo spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday on the cost of the latest recall.

The company made its largest recall ever in 2004, when it called back 460,000 cars to fix wiring in an electronic control module for the cars’ main cooling fan.]]>
1/23/2019 12:55:29 PM
<![CDATA[Oil Minister: Establishing high-octane gasoline complex in Assiut at dlrs 450 mn]]>
The minister was accompanied by Assiut Governor Gamal Nour Eldin.

The fuel complex project, which also comprises a storage and shipping depot for various oil products, is being carried out by Assiut Oil Refining Company (ASORC), a subsidiary of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) which was established in October 1984 to meet upper Egypt's needs of petroleum products.

In a statement released by the Oil Ministry, the minister explained that the visit comes as part of a series of field tours he conducts to check on progress in the implementation of fuel production projects on the ground.

The minister's tour started by inspecting the complex's construction works which are carried out by Enppi and Petrojet companies at a total investment cost of dlrs 450 million and an estimated production capacity of 660,000 tons annually.

Meanwhile, Head of ASORC Mahmoud el Shabouri said the project aims at maximizing the use of petroleum naphtha to be turned into high-heating value gasoline of various types (80,92,95) as well as producing amounts of butane to meet the growing needs of Upper Egypt governorates and reduce the risks of transporting oil products from the northern parts of the country to the South.

Mulla also explained that the Oil Ministry is currently working on an integrated plan to renovate the infrastructure of storage and handling of oil products, adding that the storage facility's investments are to hit EGP 120 million and its units are to be operated electronically in accordance with the highest international safety standards.

The minister made it clear that the Oil Ministry's plans comply with the state's strategy of digital transformation.]]>
1/23/2019 12:51:35 PM
<![CDATA[IMF hails progress in implementing Egyptian economic reform program]]>
During a meeting Wednesday with Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and the ministers of investments and tourism on the fringe of the Davos Forum, Lipton said the IMF highly appreciates the efforts being exerted by Egypt to build a strong economy.

Madbouli said President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is keen on maintaining cooperation with the IMF in view of giving a stronger impetus to the progress realized in the Egyptian economy.

The premier stressed that the government is keen on proceeding with the economic reform program.]]>
1/23/2019 11:14:21 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to receive fifth installment of IMF loan in January: Amer]]>
Egypt has received four installments ($8 billion) of its $12 billion IMF loan to adhere to an agreement signed in November 2016. “We’re agreed on everything, agreed with the mission on Egypt’s performance during this phase,” Amer told Bloomberg, adding that reforms had become part of the culture. “The reform program is on schedule and we are committed to completing it successfully.”
]]>
1/22/2019 10:23:58 PM