<![CDATA[rss-Business & Economics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Business & Economics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Egypt’s economy witnesses notable improvement: S. Korea amb. ]]>
In his speech at the Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) workshop, held Wednesday to discuss enhancing cooperation in Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, he said that both countries will be celebrating 25 years of joint cooperation in all levels in 2020.

He added that ongoing economic discussions are taking place between both countries to enhance economic cooperation, especially in the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises sector.

IDSC hosted earlier a workshop titled “Egypt and Korea: Towards Enhancing Cooperation in Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises”, where officials from Egypt and Korea discussed the economic cooperation between both sides.

IDSC head Ziad Abdel Tawab said, commenting on the work shop, that Egypt is keen on supporting the sector of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, providing it with all needed resources.

He affirmed that the government sees that sector as one of the main pillars of inclusive growth and sustainable development, as it counters unemployment and provides a huge amount of jobs.

He noted that the government has been working on youth and women empowerment through applying effective national strategies. He assured that the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises sector witnessed huge development in Egypt.


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6/19/2019 6:22:36 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry finishes amendments to law of private sector’s participation]]>
The ministry added in a statement that the law is aimed at simplifying procedures, reducing the timetable for implementation and providing more flexible mechanisms for contracting to contribute to achieving sustainable development.

“The proposed draft was approved by the Council of Ministers and was referred to the State Council for review,” it noted.

Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it pointed out that the programs of participation with the private sector in the infrastructure, utilities and public services projects currently enjoy political support and cooperation among all concerned ministries to ensure the speed and accuracy of implementation and to contribute effectively to achieving the goals of sustainable development.

Ma’it added that the draft law aims to deepen partnership with the private sector by expanding the scope of work that it may undertake in infrastructure projects, utilities and public services.

“The proposed amendments allowed the private sector to operate existing projects by injecting the necessary funding for its rehabilitation, development and maintenance to ensure optimal utilization,” he said.

He added that the draft law includes the creation of a joint committee comprising representatives of the ministries of finance and planning and the Central Unit to participate with the private sector to study the infrastructure projects provided by the administrative bodies and select the projects that can be implemented in partnership with the private sector.

The draft law also includes the creation of new mechanisms for contracting projects with the private sector, in line with economic changes and the speed of completion of procedures, such as contracting projects submitted by the private sector, by direct agreement or by tender or limited bidding.

The draft law also included eleminating some of the stages of the pre-contracting procedures to be a pre-qualification stage for projects that require pre-qualification for those wishing to enter into contracts, in addition to reducing the period of grievances issued in the pre-contracting stage.
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6/19/2019 6:09:55 PM
<![CDATA[Trade exchange between Egypt, Romania expected to double by end of 2019: SIS]]>
The most significant Egyptian commodities exported to the Romanian market are fertilizers, medicines, cables, electrical conductors, vegetables and fruits, chemicals, and agricultural products. The imports, on the other hand, include woods, chemical products,parts of the railway cars, tractors, and metals especially iron and steel.

Romania ranks 40th among the countries investing in Egypt, the SIS said. The Romanian investments until 2017 amounted to $223.9 million, distributed over 60 diversified investment projects. Tourism projects get the lion's share, according to the SIS; Romanian investments includeeightbig tourist companies. Romania is also involved in 14 industrial companies and 24 service companies in Egypt.

European visit

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived on Wednesday in the Romanian capital Bucharest as part of his European tour that included Belarus.

SIS3

Sisi noted in a press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in Bucharest that they discussed cooperation in the fields of economy and tourism, affirming that their previous meetings have contributed to strengthening the bilateral relations.

Trade relations between Egypt and Romania surpassed $1 billion in 2018, Sisi said, adding that charter flights from Romania to Red Sea's Hurghada and South Sinai's SharmEl-Sheikh were doubled. ]]>
6/19/2019 5:26:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports to Tanzania rise 75% during 2018]]>
This percentage is the highest increase in the volume of Egyptian exports to Tanzania in more than 5 years, the office revealed.

According to the Office data, a number of new Egyptian exports to the Tanzanian market entered during 2018, including pest control rodents by $533,000, iron and steel by $506,000, prefabricated buildings worth $931,000, wires of cast iron and steel by $706,000.

The Commercial Representation Office in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, headed by Trade Secretary Mohammed Abdel Maged, arranged and organized a promotional mission to Tanzania for a number of Egyptian companies that are members of the Export Council for Engineering Industries during the period 16-20 June 2019, in cooperation with the Egyptian Exporters Association Expolink.

These efforts led to 87 work meetings for Egyptian companies with their Tanzanian counterparts.“The main commodities promoted by this mission include: household utensils, lighting lamps, kitchen equipment for the purpose of processing hotels, prefabricated walls, Agricultural harvesting, sorting machines, electric transformers and cooling systems for industrial use.”

The increase in the volume of Egyptian exports to Tanzania is a reflection of the close relations between the two countries, especially after the visit of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to Tanzania in response to the invitation of his Tanzanian counterpart in August 2017.
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6/19/2019 4:55:42 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies reports on raising metro ticket prices to EGP 17]]>
In a statement on Wednesday, the center said it contacted the Transport Ministry which categorically dismissed these reports, asserting that prices of metro tickets for the first and second lines remain unchanged with no increases being planned.

The ministry said that only the fares on the third metro line have increased from EGP 3-7 to EGP 5-10.

These are mere rumors aiming at fueling the anger of commuters using this vital facility, the ministry added.

The social dimension was taken into consideration while setting the new price list of the third metro line, the ministry said, adding that fare subscriptions for students, people with special needs and senior citizens remained the same with about 98 percent reduction.

Opening the new three stations falls within the framework of the State's preparations ahead of the 19 African Cup of Nations which will be hosted by Egypt as of Friday, June 21 and efforts meant to improve the quality of means of transportation in Cairo, according to the ministry.]]>
6/19/2019 4:49:47 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies forcing textile workers to retire early]]>
In a statement released Wednesday, the cabinet said it has contacted the Ministry of Public Business Sector, which has categorically dismissed these reports, stressing that early retirement is an option.

The ministry added that it is totally keen on the rights of workers, asserting that all reports about early retirement are rumors that aim to provoke the anger of spinning and weaving workers.

The ministry also urged all media outlets and social media users to verify the authenticity of any reports to avoid stirring up the public opinion. ]]>
6/19/2019 4:48:39 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Wednesday in red for 2nd session in row]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 declined 0.50 percent, or 70.68 points, to close at 14,132.18 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 decreased 0.65 percent, or 13.61 points, to close at 2,090.85 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 decreased 0.07 percent, or 0.4 points, to close at 603.85 points, and the broader index EGX 100 inched down 0.15 percent, or 2.37 point, to 1,541.76 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 3.59 billion, recording LE 753.34 billion, compared to LE 757.03 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 87.67 million shares, traded through 14,710 transactions, with a turnover of LE 535.02 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 8.96 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 7.92 million, and LE 1.04 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 13.12 million and LE 25.66 million, respectively, while Arab individuals were buyers at LE 4.26 million.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 5.2 million and LE 34.62 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 5.3 million.

Gharbia Islamic Housing Development, El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops and Nasr Company for Civil Works were top gainers of the session by 7.58 percent, 6.75 percent and 6.54 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arabia Investments Holding, El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing, and Sinai Cement were top losers of the session by 9.91 percent, 9.60 percent, and 7.77 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in red, as EGX30 declined 0.27 percent, EGX50 decreased 0.81 percent, EGX70 dropped 0.29 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.32 percent.
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6/19/2019 3:52:40 PM
<![CDATA[Alexandria discusses investing $5B in establishing petrochemical plants]]>
“We have succeeded in pumping huge investments in exploration and exploration for gas, and we have access to self-sufficiency.We are currently trying to achieve the added value of gas,” Qensua said.

During his speech at a business dinner organized by the Egyptian Businessmen Association on Tuesday evening, he saidto a delegation of 40 Saudi investors that Alexandria has completed the strategic plan, which includes real estate opportunities and medical cities both west and east of the governorate, as well as industrial opportunities from medium and large industries.

The governor of Alexandria praised the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in standing next to Egypt following the June 30 Revolution, which restored the spirit of the Egyptian state. He added that the countries of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE represent the pillar of stability of the Arab region in light of the current events.

Advisor to the Governor of Alexandria Esmail al-Adly presented the investment opportunities available in the governorate from residential, medical and tourism projects to the delegation of Saudi investors.

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6/19/2019 3:17:22 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi to inaugurate KIMA2 on June 30 offering 3.7K jobs]]>
Mostafanotedthat KIMA 2 is the largest chemical project in the Middle East with an area of 60 feddans; the project provides 3,700 jobs. Headded that he will inspect the project on Wednesday, June 19, to monitor the operation of the ammonia units, which started working, in preparation for the operation of the urea units next week.

Mostafa further clarified that the ammonia plant will produce about 1,220 tons per day, while the urea plant will produce about 1,570 tons of urea per day, with a total of 570,000 tons per year.

According to Mostafa, the project cost LE 11.6 billion, 62 percent of which came from bank funding and the rest was provided by contributors.

Previously, Mostafa pointed out that the project targets to achieve LE 400 million in the first year of operation, which will increase to reach about LE 1 billion annually with the development of the old part of the plant.

“We expect the factory to pay costs over 8 years, and contribute to the provision of jobs for engineers, technicians and chemists; workers have already been selected. As the project progresses, there will be more jobs for Aswan's people,” he noted.

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.

The Egyptian Chemical Industries, known as KIMA, is affiliated to the Chemical Industries Holding Company, producing nitrogenous fertilizers and chemicals, including hydrogen and ammonia.

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6/19/2019 3:13:39 PM
<![CDATA[Oil inches down as inventory data counters trade deal hopes]]>
Brent crude futures were down 46 cents at $61.68 a barrel by 1042 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 3 cents to $53.87 a barrel. On Tuesday, it had recorded its biggest daily rise since early January.

After weeks of swelling, U.S. crude stocks fell by 812,000 barrels last week to 482 million, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, a smaller fall than the 1.1 million barrel drop analysts had expected.

PVM said a price rally had run out of steam “as concerns over bulging U.S. oil stockpiles return to the fore.”

Estimates on U.S. crude stockpiles from the U.S. Energy Information Administration are due on Wednesday. [EIA/S]

U.S. President Donald Trump offered some support, by saying preparations were starting for him to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Talks between the United States and China broke down last month after Washington accused the Chinese of backing away from previously agreed commitments.

Interaction between the two sides has been limited since then. Trump has repeatedly threatened to slap more tariffs on Chinese goods.

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi also offered a boost, saying on Tuesday that the central bank would ease policy again if inflation failed to accelerate.

Elsewhere, tensions in the Middle East after last week’s tanker attacks remain high. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday’s attacks. Washington blamed Tehran, which has denied any role.

Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Iran having a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would approve the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies.

The United States is deploying about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East, saying it was a defensive move in response to what Washington says is concerns about a threat from Iran.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have agreed to meet on July 1, followed by a meeting with non-OPEC allies on July 2, after weeks of wrangling over dates.

OPEC and its allies will discuss whether to extend a deal on cutting 1.2 million barrels per day of production that runs out this month.]]>
6/19/2019 1:36:40 PM
<![CDATA[Seamless North Africa 2019 concludes events with Fintech competition ]]>
More than 1400 local and International participants have gathered in this important event, in addition to 150 prominent experts and speakers in the field of FinTech, e-payments and e-commerce.

The pitch-off competition held on the sidelines of the conference has witnessed remarkable presentations by local and international competing Fintech startups.

The winner would receive 50 thousand dollars in cash awarded by a sponsor of the Conference. Each competitor presented an innovative business model, before the panel of judges, which was composed of international and local experts, who would vote on the final winner.

Paynas won the competition for its business model that encompasses automated payroll payments with a Multi-Purpose electronic payment Card.

The winning startups will be invited to attend a meeting with the Central Bank of Egypt’s top management to explore means of support, in order to accelerate the launch of its application in the Egyptian market; this initiative comes within the framework of the Central Bank of Egypt's keenness to sponsor creative talents and foster them, which will be positively reflected on the services extended to citizens, and promotes Financial Inclusion.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt commended the outstanding level of the conference whether on the organizational side or the topics and discussions that were included. “The Conference is a step further towards Egypt’s transformation into a regional FinTech hub, and fosters joint collaboration with Arab and African countries and International and Regional Institutions. This will benefit regional economies and help improve the standard of living.”.

The startup awarded the third competition, sponsored by Emirates NBD-Egypt (ENBD), was also announced during today’s event, whereas five Startup companies, specialized in e-payment applications and cross-border transfers competed in this contest. The first day of the conference witnessed the announcement of winners of the competition sponsored by the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) in the field of Artificial Intelligence, while the second competition sponsored by Commercial International Bank (CIB) was in the field of digital financing.

As part of the Fintech cooperation agreement signed with the Central Bank of Singapore Mr. Muhanti, Chief Fintech Officer, announced the winners of Fintech Galaxy Competition, who will be participating in the Singapore Financial Technology Competition.

The opening speech of the second and final day of the Conference was delivered by H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Ismail Al Rabea, the Secretary General of the Council of Arab Economic Unity, followed by a speech by Dr. Ali Al-Khoury, Advisor to the Council of Arab Economic Unity and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Union for Digital Economy, followed by the expert’s panels.

The speakers discussed several key topics revolving around two main pillars: “FinTech”, and “E-commerce”.

Among the topics discussed were the future of banking with the evolution of technology and artificial intelligence; facing innovation challenges in digital banking services; the role of technology in shaping the future of financial services; achieving balance between risks and innovation in the banking sector; and the best methods of investment in financial technology.

For the second consecutive day, the exhibition held on the sidelines of the conference has witnessed a high turnout of participants and visitors. The exhibition shed light on the latest Fintech applications presented by 50 leading companies and institutions in the field of innovation and financial technology. ]]>
6/19/2019 1:27:24 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s non-oil exports hit $8.5B in 4 months]]>
The data showed that the non-oil exports in January and February of 2019 reached $4.104 billion, of which $3.143 billion were industrial exports and $961 million were food exports.

The export control data indicated that Egypt's total non-oil exports during March 2019 recorded $2.244 billion, while the exports amounted to $2.181 billion during April.

The main sectors that topped the exports included food industries, agricultural crops, textiles, ready-made garments, as well as medical and engineering industries, according to the revealed data.

The most important international groups receiving the Egyptian exports are the group of countries of the League of Arab States and the States of the European Union, followed by the United States of America and a group of African countries.

Previously, Head of the Egyptian Export Control Authority Esmail Gaber said that Egypt's non-petroleum exports increased by 10 percent to $24.826 billion, compared to $22.626 billion during 2017.
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6/19/2019 12:34:39 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt hits highest growth rate of 5.6% in 11 years]]>
The ministry said during the activities of the Union for the Mediterranean Business Forum to promote the business environment and trade in the Euro-Mediterranean region, that the high growth rates affect the situation of unemployment and lead to an increase in jobs, noting that the unemployment rate fell from 13.6 percent in 2014 to 8.1 percent in the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year.

It pointed out that the State's efforts included encouraging the private sector and seeking to develop the SMEs sector and encouraging the integration of the informal sector in the formal sector, pointing out that the State is working to achieve this through an integrated perspective covering all aspects and initiatives supporting the working environment for these projects, including the financing aspect.

Planning Ministry noted that the government is working on a new law for customs and another for small and medium enterprises, adding that there is an initiative of the Central Bank of Egypt worth LE 200 billion at a reduced interest rate of 6 percent to support small and medium industries.

It also referred to the provision of non-financial services, the expansion of the establishment of business incubators, the promotion of entrepreneurship, the provision of marketing, logistics and technological services and training to qualify human resources.
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6/19/2019 11:59:26 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports to India jump 41% during 2018]]>
The report revealed that by excluding petroleum exports and natural gas, Egypt's exports recorded$697 million in 2018, compared to $398.7 million in 2017, with an increase of $289.5 million or 75 percent.

Among the most important items of Egyptian exports, which achieved a big boom in 2018, are textiles of industrial fibers worth $81 million, and ammonium fertilizers recorded$73.6 million, compared to $6.3 million in 2017.

As for the Egyptian imports from India, the report noted that the imports marked an increase of 18.2 percent, saying that the main reasons for this increase are the hike in the value of imports of fuel from the refining operations from $195 million in 2017 to about $507 million in 2018, with an increase of $312 million. “This item represented 73 percent of the total Egyptian imports from India.”

According to the report, the Egyptian imports from India are also concentrated in intermediate commodities for Egypt's manufacturing and development processes such as fuel, blended yarns and pharmaceutical chemicals as well as strategic food commodities such as meat, dairy products and raw food oils.
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6/19/2019 11:56:44 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Mediterranean Union to implement more than 20 projects ]]>
Speaking at the EU-Mediterranean Business Forum to promote business and trade in the Euro-Mediterranean region, a ministry official said that these projects as regional projects aim at making a positive impact on a wide range of beneficiaries, with a focus on young people and women, such as projects of the Agadir Small and Medium Enterprises Program, Empowerment of Women and the Imbaba Urban Development Project.

He stressed that Egypt is always ready for regional and international cooperation, enhancing the Union's active role through cooperation between the South-South countries and also through the tripartite cooperation formula. “The Union is a distinctive route for regional cooperation within the MENA region.”

He pointed to the support of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) for the signatories to the Agadir Agreement through technical training and capacity building.

In 2004, Egypt signed Agadir Agreement which is a free trade agreement between four Arab countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. The agreement which came into force in 2007 helped enhance the trade exchange between the four countries.
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6/18/2019 5:06:32 PM
<![CDATA[Orascom Development sells 87% of its stake in Tamweel for LE360M]]>
Orascom Development clarified Tuesday that Ebtikar is a joint venture between MM Group for Industry and International Trade S.A.E and B Investments Holding S.A.E.

According to ODE’s statement, the share transfer has been executed after obtaining all necessary approvals and ODE will now start receiving the LE 313 million cash proceeds.

“The cash proceeds resulted from the sale is geared towards the company’s earlier communicated debt reduction plan, which entails further reducing the outstanding debt balance in 2019 and thus enhancing the balance sheet,” the statement read.

During the first quarter of 2019, Orascom Development recorded a 34 percent-increase in its consolidated profits, recording LE 111.33 million, compared to LE 83.08 million during the same quarter of 2018.

As per standalone results, the company turned into profitability by LE 27.48 million during the first quarter of 2019, compared to a loss of LE 45.95 million during the first quarter of 2018.

Orascom Development Egypt operates within the consumer services sector focusing on hotels, resorts and cruise lines with 52 subsidiaries operating across Northern Africa, Middle East and southern Europe.

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6/18/2019 5:01:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian organization selling pushes EGX into red]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 declined 0.27 percent, or 38.35 points, to close at 14,202.86 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 decreased 0.81 percent, or 17.29 points, to close at 2,104.46 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 decreased 0.29 percent, or 1.78 points, to close at 604.25 points, and the broader index EGX 100 inched down 0.32 percent, or 5.02 point, to 1,544.13 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 3.35 billion, recording LE 757.03 billion, compared to LE 760.38 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 80.04 million shares, traded through 13,164 transactions, with a turnover of LE 569.21 million.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 140.99 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 3.17 million, and LE 137.82 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 22.65 million and LE 927,247, respectively, while Arab individuals were sellers at LE 739,446.

Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 3.91 million and LE 136.9 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations sold at LE 163.64 million.

Upper Flour Mills, El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops and Misr Cement (Qena) were top gainers of the session by 5.72 percent, 3.20 percent and 3.14 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arabia Investments Holding, Delta Insurance, and Arab Real Estate Investment CO.-ALICO were top losers of the session by 8.15 percent, 5.39 percent, and 4.44 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session on mixed note, as EGX30 rose 0.22 percent, and EGX50 increased 0.04 percent, while EGX70 dr0pped 0.10 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.04 percent.
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6/18/2019 5:00:20 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt plans bond denominated either in yuan or yen or S.Korean won-official]]>
“We are looking at either a panda, samurai or Korean currency issuance,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of a Euromoney conference.

The chosen currency would depend on factors including levels of investor demand and the cost, he added ]]>
6/18/2019 4:23:38 PM
<![CDATA[Facebook reveals Libra cryptocurrency, with lofty goals]]>
Facebook has linked with 28 partners in a Geneva-based entity called the Libra Association, which will govern its new digital coin set to launch in the first half of 2020, according to marketing materials and interviews with executives.

Facebook has also created a subsidiary called Calibra, which will offer digital wallets to save, send and spend Libras. Calibra will be connected to Facebook’s messaging platforms Messenger and WhatsApp, which already boast more than a billion users.

The Menlo Park, California-based company has big aspirations for Libra, but consumer privacy concerns or regulatory barriers may present significant hurdles.

Facebook hopes it will not only power transactions between established consumers and businesses around the globe, but offer unbanked consumers access to financial services for the first time.

The name “Libra” was inspired by Roman weight measurements, the astrological sign for justice and the French word for freedom, said David Marcus, a former PayPal executive who heads the project for Facebook.

“Freedom, justice and money, which is exactly what we’re trying to do here,” he said.

Facebook also appears to be betting it can squeeze revenue out of its messaging services through transactions and payments, something that is already happening on Chinese social apps like WeChat.

The Libra announcement comes as Facebook is grappling with public backlash due to a series of scandals, and may face opposition from privacy advocates, consumer groups, regulators and lawmakers.

Some Facebook adversaries have called for the company to incur penalties, or be forcibly broken up, for mishandling user data, allowing troubling material to appear on its site and not preventing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election through a social media disinformation campaign.

It is not clear how lawmakers or regulators will react to Facebook making a push into financial services through the largely unregulated world of cryptocurrency.

In recent years, cryptocurrency investors have lost hundreds of millions of dollars through hacks, and the market has been plagued by accusations of money-laundering, illegal drug sales and terrorist financing.

Facebook has engaged with regulators in the United States and abroad about the planned cryptocurrency, company executives said. They would not specify which regulators or whether the company has applied for financial licenses anywhere.

Facebook hopes it can bring global regulators to the table by publicizing Libra, said Kevin Weil, who runs product for the initiative.

“It gives us a basis to go and have productive conversations with regulators around the world,” said Weil. “We’re eager to do that.”

MAJOR PARTNERS

Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, was created in 2008 as a way for pseudonymous users to transfer value online through encrypted digital ledgers. Early developers believed that the world needed an alternative to traditional currencies, which are controlled by governments and by central banks.

Since then, thousands of bitcoin alternatives have launched, and Facebook is just one of dozens of blue-chip companies dabbling with the underlying technology. But its status as a Silicon Valley behemoth that touches billions of people around the world has created significant buzz around Libra’s potential.

Partners in the project include household names like Mastercard Inc, Visa Inc, Spotify Technology SA, PayPal Holdings Inc, eBay Inc, Uber Technologies Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, as well as venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz.

They hope to have 100 members by Libra’s launch during the first half of 2020. Each member gets one vote on substantial decisions regarding the cryptocurrency network and firms must invest at least $10 million to join. Facebook does not plan to maintain a leadership role after 2019.

Though there are no banks among the inaugural members, there have been discussions with a number of lenders about joining, said Jorn Lambert, executive vice president for digital solutions at Mastercard. They are waiting to see how regulators and consumers respond to the project before deciding whether to join, he said.

The Libra Association plans to raise money through a private placement in the coming months, according to a statement from the association.

PRIVACY, REGULATORY CONCERNS

Although Libra-backers who spoke to Reuters or provided materials are hopeful about its prospects, some expressed awareness that consumer privacy concerns or regulatory barriers may prevent the project from succeeding.

Calibra will conduct compliance checks on customers who want to use Libra, using verification and anti-fraud processes that are common among banks, Facebook said.

The subsidiary will only share customer data with Facebook or external parties if it has consent, or in “limited cases” where it is necessary, Facebook said. That could include for law enforcement, public safety or general system functionality.

Transactions will cost individuals less than merchants, Facebook said, though executives declined to provide specifics. Each Libra will be backed by a basket of government-backed assets.

The company plans to refund customers who lose money because of fraud, Facebook said.

Sri Shivananda, Paypal’s chief technology officer said in an interview that the project is still in its “very, very early days,” and there were conversations in progress with regulators.

Mastercard’s Lambert characterized Libra similarly, noting much needed to happen before the launch.

If the project receives too much regulatory pushback, he said, “we might not launch.”

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6/18/2019 1:30:55 PM
<![CDATA[Korean SepraTek to help Egypt produce desalination membranes]]>
Abdel Moneim al-Tarras, head of the AOI, explained that the areas of cooperation with SepraTekinclude transferring technical expertise, localizing technology, and training cadres for the purpose of designing, developing and manufacturing membrane production lines and producing pressure vessels in desalination plants by reverse osmosis system.

Tarras noted that the South Korean company will train engineers and technicians on manufacturing, assembling, and testing of products in accordance with quality requirements.

He highlighted that the AOI aims at providing the needs of the Egyptian market, and exporting the surplus to the Arab and African markets. The AOI largely contributes to produce local products and works to increase local production in the coming years, he added.

During a meeting between Tarras and a South Korean delegation, the two sides discussed establishing a factory for manufacturing membranes for water desalination by January 2020.

Desalination is defined as removing salt and minerals from salt water to be suitable for drinking or irrigation at least. After President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi inaugurated Al-Yusr desalination plant in Red Sea's Hurghada, Egypt's production of desalination water increased to 250,000 cubic meters per day, according to state's Al-Ahram.

This came as Egypt will likely face great water shortages after the building of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in the Nile basin is completed, which will limit the amount of Nile water reaching Egypt. Egypt's annual share of Nile water is 55.5 billion cubic meters.]]>
6/18/2019 12:39:20 PM
<![CDATA[New online platform to receive citizens' feedback on e-payment services]]>
The ministry announced, in a statement on Tuesday, that the measure comes according to directives by Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait to ease up measures for the public regarding the new governmental E-payment service.

The ministry confirmed its keenness on providing all guarantees for the success of the new service through upgrading its efficiency for achieving the goals of financial inclusion.

The move comes in line with a State plan for shifting into the digital system according to 2030 vision, added the statement. ]]>
6/18/2019 12:23:43 PM
<![CDATA[PM: Govt keen on turning Egypt into financial technology hub]]>
Addressing Seamless North Africa 2019 conference, Madbouli said Egypt witnessed over the past five years an economic progress that was translated in the increase of growth rates, volume of cash reserves and stability of monetary and financial policies.

This economic progress was not only sensed by the government but by international financial institutions as well, he added.

He added that the government put into consideration social justice when carrying out economic reforms.

The government is convinced of the importance of financial technology and boosting innovation that's why the Central Bank of Egypt has been prompt to draft a an effective Fintech strategy, the premier said.

He said the conference comes as part of Egypt's efforts to achieve digital transformation and financial inclusion.

As the conference brings together a host of world experts in the domain of financial technology, Madbouli hoped it will come out with recommendations that benefit Egypt, North Africa and the Arab region to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.

Egypt is hosting Seamless North Africa conference for the second year in a row. Seamless is North Africa’s biggest, boldest and best event covering payments and financial services innovation.]]>
6/17/2019 6:21:01 PM
<![CDATA[CBE signs two MoUs with govt bodies on financial technology]]>
This came on the sidelines of the second edition of the FinTech Conference "Seamless North Africa 2019" inaugurated here today by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli and CBE Governor Tarek Amer.

The first MoU is meant to provide social protection, through the usage of the e-payment system, while the second agreement aims to create an attractive business environment for new companies working in the sector of financial technology.]]>
6/17/2019 6:18:35 PM
<![CDATA[IMF: Egypt's economic reform program world's most successful]]>
An offer by the IMF for a new economic program has been rejected by Egypt, the governor said in statements on the sidelines of the second fintech conference "Seamless North Africa 2019", which was inaugurate by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli earlier in the day.

Amer stressed that Egypt is in no need of further IMF reform programs, given economic achievements realized by the country.

The government weighs convenient future forms of cooperation with the IMF following the termination of the current program by mid-2019, the governor stated.

Meanwhile, Vice President of the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) Yehia Abul Fotouh said that dollar inflows to the bank stood at 53 billion dollars since the liberation of the dollar exchange rate in November 2016 till last May.]]>
6/17/2019 6:16:59 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet: Egyptian economy strong despite global trade war]]>
In a statement Monday, the cabinet said the Bloomberg agency depended on a set of facts, including the GDP growth rate, the performance of currency and increase of foreign currency reserve, local currency performance against international currencies, foreign exchange reserves and credit rating.

GDP growth in the third quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019 reached 5.6 percent, alongside a rise in net foreign exchange reserves by the end of May 2019 to $44.3 billion, with the current account deficit as a percentage of the GDP declined from 6.1 percent in 2016/2017 to 2.4 percent in 2017/2018, it said.

The statement pointed out that the Egyptian credit rating achieved its best level since 2011 after the agencies of Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s upgraded Egypt’s credit rating. ]]>
6/17/2019 6:15:49 PM
<![CDATA[CBE gov.: Some $200B injected into Egyptian banking sector]]>
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the second edition of the FinTech Conference "Seamless North Africa 2019", Amer said Egypt has no need of a new program with the IMF following the end of the current economic reform program in June.

He added that the government has developed ambitious plans to bolster the country's economic situation.

Current monetary policies adopted by the US have positively reflected on the performance of the national Egyptian economy, Amer noted.

The appreciation of the Egyptian Pound value was driven by an increase in foreign exchange earnings and a surge in foreign investments, as well as the significant improvement in the balance of payments, Amer said.

Around 30-40 percent of Banque du Caire shares will be floated at the Egyptian Exchange by the end of 2019, the CBE governor revealed.

Also, Amer talked about the levels of external debt, which he said are within the agreed boundary as per the economic reform program.

Nearly LE 17 billion have so far been allocated for financing small and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt, he said.]]>
6/17/2019 6:11:59 PM
<![CDATA[Industry Min.cancels local component manufacturing ratio in cars]]>
Under the new resolution, the local component manufacturing ratio in the automotive industry, set at 46 percent, will be abolished mid-year.

Resolution 371, which was repealed, regulated the method of determining the percentages of local component manufacturing in the automotive industry and the industries feeding it. The resolution stipulated that the percentage of domestic manufacturing in the automobile industry should not be less than 46 percent, and that the contribution of the assembly line in the local manufacturing rate of the car should be 28 percent.

This percentage shall be reduced by 1 percent per annum starting from the year following the date of implementation of this resolution.

The Ministry of Industry decided today to return to work in accordance with the decision of the minister of industry and mineral resources No. 136 for the year 1994, regarding the assessment of the contribution rate of assembly lines, as well as the return of the work of the minister of commerce No. 907/2005.

According to a government source, the decision to cancel the local component manufacturing rates was issued two months ago, but was officially approved by the minister of industry and trade after a meeting attended by officials of the Ministry of Investment, and Ministry Military Production.
]]>
6/17/2019 6:07:55 PM
<![CDATA[Online platform for employing disabled citizens launched ]]>
The platform entitled “Majidah.org” will link people with disabilities with employers, companies, training centers and institutions, a statement elaborated.

"The platform creates a full-fledged system for integrating people with disabilities into society by providing them with suitable job opportunities and training programs that will enable them to acquire skills appropriate to the needs of the labor market," the statement read.

According to the statement, this project is named after Magda Sami who is a social worker and an advocate for disabled peoples’ rights.

The statementadded that the project is an important step toward the full integration of all members of society into meaningful work.

"We are constantly working to develop the community and increase the pace of progress in Egypt by empowering people with disabilities and supporting the digitization of Egypt.

We are proud to participate in supporting a unique project which will have a positive impact," General Secretary of Vodafone Egypt Foundation Mahira Hassan said.

For his part, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Ebtessama FoundationAshraf Othman said that there are approximately 15 million people with disabilities in Egypt, noting that the project's main objective is to deliver training services and employment opportunities to as many of them as possible.

"Through Majidah.org we can now connect with employers, people with disabilities, relevant institutions and training centers to bridge the gap in the labor market, hoping to reach the largest number of participants in different provinces,” Othman added.
]]>
6/17/2019 4:25:47 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows mixed performance Monday]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 rose 0.22 percent, or 31.12 points, to close at 14,241.21 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 increased 0.04 percent, or 0.93 points, to close at 2,121.75 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX 70 decreased 0.10 percent, or 0.6 points, to close at 606.03 points, and the broader index EGX 100 inched down 0.04 percent, or 0.68 point, to 1,549.15 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 178.32 million, recording LE 760.38 billion, compared to LE 759.56 billion in Sunday's session.

The trading volume reached 105.2 million shares, traded through 17,719 transactions, with a turnover of LE 671.08 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 31.14 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 28.28 million, and LE 2.85 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 4.41 million, LE 3.5 million and LE 1.9 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 32.69 million and LE 6.37 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 29.24 million.

Egyptian Real Estate Group, Alexandria Flour Mills, and Sinai Cement were top gainers of the session by 5.95 percent, 5.67 percent and 5.64 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Rubex International for Plastic and Acrylic Manufacturing, El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing, and AJWA for Food Industries company Egypt were top losers of the session by 6.92 percent, 6.12 percent, and 4.52 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday's session with limited gains, as EGX30 rose 0.21 percent, and EGX50 stablized at 2,120.82 points, EGX70 hiked 0.18 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.19 percent.
]]>
6/17/2019 3:49:39 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's exports to US reach $2.5B in 2018]]>
According to the revealed data, Egypt's imports from US reached $5.05 billion during 2018, compared to $3.9 billion during the prior year, with an increase of 26.6 percent.
It revealed that Egypt's petroleum exports to US surged 329 percent in 2018, recording $822 million, compared to $191 million in 2019.

Meanwhile, the non-petroleum exports jumped 14.8 percent to reach $1.6 billion in 2018, up from $1.4 billion in 2017.

It also referred that exports of Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ) hit $877 million, marking an increase of 16.8 percent.

Egypt signed the Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) agreement with Israel and the United States in December 2004, allowing Egyptian products to enter American markets with no tariffs, provided that Israeli components represent 11.7 percent of these products.

In October 2017, Egypt signed a new agreement with Israel, including a modification of the QIZ deal, reducing the percentage of Israeli components in Egyptian products to 10.5 percent.
]]>
6/17/2019 1:49:34 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.75B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a 10-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a five-year term.

During June, the Ministry of Finance will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in June2022) worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) worth LE 1.75 billion, seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) for LE 1.5 billion, and ten -year bonds (maturing in May 2029) at LE 1.25 billion.

The ministry said it will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth 4.75 billion, three-year bonds (maturing in June 2022)worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) for LE 5.75 billion, and seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) at LE 5 billion.

The Finance Ministry announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.

As per T-bonds, the ministry will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth 4.75 billion, three-year bonds (maturing in June 2022)worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) for LE 5.75 billion, and seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) at LE 5 billion.

It will also auction 10-year t-bonds (maturing in November 2027) at a total value of LE 1.5 billion, and 10-year t-bonds (maturing in May 2029) at LE 2.75 billion.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during May's meeting.

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.




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 bonds four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.

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 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.

]]>
6/17/2019 12:19:18 PM
<![CDATA[Trade exchange bet. Egypt, China hits $13.8B in 2018]]>
The report, prepared by the Commercial Representative Office in Beijing headed by Minister of Trade Commissioner Mamdouh Salman, revealed that the Egyptian exports exceeded $1.8 billion, with an increase of 37.8 percent on a year-on-year basis.

It said that the economic and trade relations between Egypt and China have witnessed steady growth since the upgrading of the joint relations to the level of strategic partnership after the visit of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to China in 2014.

Salman stressed that the Egyptian Commercial Office in Beijing has set a plan to increase the volume of Egyptian exports and reduce the trade gap between the two countries and succeeded in introducing new commodity items in the Egyptian export system to the Chinese market to include citrus fruits, table grapes and beet feed.

He also noted that his office, in coordination with the parties in both countries, is set to sign a protocol in the near future to allow the export of fresh dates from Egypt to the Chinese market.

The Commercial Representative Office in Beijing has contributed to raising the volume of Chinese investments in Egypt, which according to Chinese data has been estimated at more than $7 billion for some 134 Chinese companies operating in Egypt in various fields and industrial sectors, including fiber glass, and food industry, as well as major projects including the new administrative capital and the economic zone of the Suez Canal, according to the report.
]]>
6/17/2019 11:08:05 AM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Sunday in green amid Egyptian purchases]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 rose 0.21 percent, or 29.56 points, to close at 14,210.09 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 stabilized at 2,120.82 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 hiked 0.18 percent, or 1.06 points, to close at 606.63 points, and the broader index EGX 100 inched up 0.19 percent, or 3 point, to 1,549.83 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 766.43 million, recording LE 760.56 billion, compared to LE 759.79 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 80.8 million shares, traded through 15,645 transactions, with a turnover of LE 486.67 million.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 61.38 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 10.6 million, and LE 50.78 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 15.6 million, and LE 3.94 million, respectively, while foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 3.5 million.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 14.54 million and LE 47.24 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations bought at LE 45.78 million.

Egyptian Real Estate Group, Development & Engineering Consultants, and El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing were top gainers of the session by 8.49 percent, 6.36 percent and 5.84 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development, Alexandria Pharmaceuticals, and El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops were top losers of the session by 4.38 percent, 3.93 percent, and 3.18 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s session on mixed note for the third consecutive session, as EGX30 rose 0.16 percent, and EGX50 increased 0.10 percent, while EGX70 dropped 0.14 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.06 percent.

]]>
6/16/2019 4:11:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's share of real estate’s exports in Middle East marks $500M]]>
Madbouli noted that this figure is very low in light of Egypt's potential and advantages.
"We started to exist in international exhibitions and we need to have a greater presence in the world markets,” he stated.

Prime Minister Madbouli called on real estate companies to move during the next phase to export their products to the external market, pointing out that Egypt deserves to be present in the global real estate market.

He stressed his government's keenness to support the real estate sector, activate cooperation with Arab and African countries, encourage and assist the export of real estate and the contracting industry, as it is an important part of the Egyptian economy.

He also pledged all governmental facilities in this regard, saying that the government will work on all the requests during the coming period, and will move as soon as possible in the light of all the legislative and administrative actions required of the State.

The forum which kicked off Sunday under the theme “Building Exports as a New Future for Investment” focuses on investment opportunities in the construction sector in the African continent, and the necessary measures to develop investments and achieve sustainable development.

It confers possible mechanisms to achieve integration among African states in the construction sector and to foster public-private partnership in Africa and the Middle East.

]]>
6/16/2019 3:30:06 PM
<![CDATA[ElSewedy Electric to acquire 4 companies in Greece for €55M]]>
The company elaborated in a statement that the companies are three wind and one hydro-electric energy companies.

It added that the agreement will be funded by a ring-fenced project finance facility from the National Bank of Greece (NBG), covering up to 75 percent of the value, with the ability to be paid in equity.

It also stated that the completion date is expected to be on or before June 28,2019, and is subject to the normal terms and conditions of completing similar transactions.

“The four companies have an aggregate capacity of 63.6 MV. These are the three wind parks Aioliki Kilindrias SA, Kallisti Energeiaki SA, and Aioliki Aderes SA, and one small hydro power planet Hydroelectriki Achaias SA,” the company's statement read.

The statement clarified that the assets generate enough energy to power approximately 34,000 homes with an equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint of 102,000 tons.

According to the statement, the assets benefit from a fixed tariff for all generated capacity under power purchase agreements (PPA) for tenors that varies between 12 years to 20 years. “The PPAs stipulate that the public utility off-taker “DAPEEP” (Diacheristics Ananeosimon Pigon Energias Kia Eggyiseon Proelefsis S.A.) guarantees the purchase of all the energy produced at the parks.”


The statement revealed that the parks are located in Ermioniiin Argolida, Tsouka in Arcadia, Kilkis in Macedonia and Achia, and the assets benefit from existing infrastructure and interconnections.

“The transaction is considered a remarkable milestone for the group, as it represents expansion into the Renewable Energy sector to include wind and hydro-electric energy under ElSewedy Electric 's umbrella. This is in addition to the geographical expansion in Europe,” President and CEO of ElSewedy Electric Ahmed ElSewedy said.

He added that this investment is the company’s second independent power producer(IPP) project in the EMEA region after Benban Solar Power plant in Egypt.
During the first quarter of 2019, the company’s profits declined 30.4 percent on a year-on-year basis, recording LE 955.51 million, compared to LE 1.431 billion in the same quarter of 2018.

Elsewedy Electric operates within the capital goods sector, focusing on electrical components and equipment. It has subsidiaries operating across Northern Africa, Eastern Africa, Middle East and Southern Europe.]]>
6/16/2019 2:10:25 PM
<![CDATA[44 vessels cross Suez Canal with 2,900,000 tons cargo]]>
The north-bound convoy included 28 vessels laden with 2,000,000 tons, while the south-bound convoy comprised 16 vessels carrying 900,000 tons, according to a statement by the Suez Canal Authority.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) targets revenues worth $6.1 billion in FY2019-2020 against $5.8 billion in the current fiscal year.

The net load estimated to be carried through the Canal during the fiscal year that will start on July 1 is 1,182 tons.

The number of ships that are expected to use the international waterway is 18,200 compared to 18,000 ships this year.
]]>
6/16/2019 12:40:00 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17.5B in T-bills Sunday]]>The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.7 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.7 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The ministry announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills (T-bills) in June with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 34 billion, LE 35 billion, LE 34 billion, and LE 37 billion, respectively.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion, with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion.

Finance Ministry to auction LE478.5B in T-bonds, bills in Q4

CAIRO - 28 March 2019:The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.



The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during May’s meeting.

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 Egyptian treasuries hit $15.8 billion during February 2019, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it.

Foreign investments in government treasuries record $15.8B in Feb.

CAIRO - 6 March 2019: Foreign investments in Egyptian treasuries hit $15.8 billion during February 2019, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it. Ma'it elaborated that this increased figure came as a result of the development of the Egyptian economy; in addition to the investors and financial institutions' trust in the Egyptian market and the continuous progress represented in the improvement of all financial indicators.




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.
]]>
6/16/2019 12:32:41 PM
<![CDATA[The Way Out of the Poverty Trap]]>
The poverty trap is a situation where the poor do not have access to capital be it education, healthcare, job opportunities or credit to escape poverty, and the cycle extends to future generations.

Based on human development measures, Egypt is one of the countries where certain social segments are caught in the poverty trap, often due to overpopulation. UNICEF estimates the poverty rate in Egypt to be at around 27.8% in 2015, this translates into tens of millions of children having no access to healthcare, clean drinking water and secondary education. The poverty line in 2015 was set at an income of below LE 482 monthly, but the figure is projected to rise to LE 800 to reflect the currency’s new value after the float, compared to an international rate of around LE 1,000. Moreover, the new, adjusted poverty rate is estimated at around 35%, according to economics professor Heba El Laithy. The rate in some areas are even higher; numbers in Upper Egypt reach 50%, according to official figures. A 2017 report by Egypt’s official statistics agency CAPMAS shows that 57.8% of the population live in rural areas, where poverty rates tends to be higher.

Poverty 2
Egyptians gather to buy subsidized sugar from a government truck after a sugar shortage in retail stores across the country in Cairo, Egypt, October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The first-ever Human Development Index (HDI) was published through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1990 by economist Mahbub ul Haq, founder of the human development concept in the 1970s. The index consists of three elements: education, health, and income. The first is measured by calculating the expected years of schooling for school-age children and the average years of schooling in the adult population. The second consists of life expectancy at birth. And, the last concerns the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita.

To address the poverty trap, the state needs to address all three fronts. As Rami Galal, an assistant professor of economics at the American University in Cairo, explains, “Overcoming poverty traps requires economic growth that benefits vulnerable groups in society.” On the supply side, the public sector can provide people with the necessary human capital investments in education and health, with a focus on targeting those worst off. On the demand side, the government can stimulate the economy and facilitate the expansion of businesses by investing in infrastructure like roads, power, water, and sanitation, Galal adds.

“Such policies can also target sectors or geographic areas that are the most deprived. In addition to these kinds of concrete policies, reforms should aim at improving public institutions to ensure the efficient and fair allocation of resources. These include improving public administration, the judicial system, and security,” Galal explains.

Education

Education is essential to avoid falling into the poverty trap, and is one means to get out of it. But overpopulation means classrooms are overcrowded and the quality of education suffers. Children also often drop out of school and become victims of child labor to help their families financially.

child labor
A child works in carpenter's workshop in Fayoum governorate- Hussein Tallal

The latest report by CAPMAS, released in September, indicates that 7.3% of Egyptians between the ages of 6 and 20 are either drop-outs or have never gone to school. The top three reasons are the person’s desire (37.2%), the family’s desire (18.9%), and financial issues (17.8%).

Lacking facilities, overcrowded schools and inadequate teaching methods, as well as family and financial pressure are often the major reasons behind a child’s desire to drop out of school. The top five governorates in the number of dropouts—Giza, Sohag, Aswan, Beheira, and Assiut—include three cities in Upper Egypt, where the poverty rate surpasses all other regions in the country. In fact, Sohag and Assiut have the highest poverty rate in the country, standing at 66%, according to a 2016 report by CAPMAS.

Overpopulation

CAPMAS revealed in March 2018 that the number of public schools had reached 45,279, serving 18.6 million students. That entails each school is attended by 411 students on average. In a press interview, Education Minister Tarek Shawky admitted that overpopulation is one of the obstacles facing educational development.

To address the overpopulation crisis, the Ministry of Social Solidarity launched a campaign called “Two Are Enough” targeting 1.148 million families enrolled in the monetary subsidies program Takafol wi Karama (Solidarity and Dignity). Their locale is in the governorates of Aswan, Luxor, Qena (Egypt’s third-poorest governorate), Assiut, Menya, Beni Sueif, Fayoum, Giza, and Beheira. Those nine governorates include the five with the highest number of drop-outs. The program aims to raise awareness about family planning and make contraception means available through NGOs.

“Targeting rural areas with population policy makes a great deal of sense, as they have higher birth rates than urban ones because humans are considered assets rather than liabilities. The impact would be solid,” associate professor of economics at AUC John W. Salevurakis clarifies. “The rich get richer and the poor get children,” former Assistant Secretary General of the UN World Food Conference and economics professor at AUC Adel Beshai says. He explains that Egyptians often bear more children because they believe it would make them more satisfied with their living conditions so they have children. Socially, the expectation is to have a boy, and many women bear multiple, consecutive pregnancies if their older children are girls.

Beshai argues that rural poverty does not have a significant negative impact on the economy. For instance, rural families who used to make their children work in the fields—perhaps harvesting some crops—do not represent a problem as they are able to survive on subsistence economy and be productive. “If these children cease working in the agrarian sector and drop out of school, there is a huge problem as they would be concentrated in the informal crafts sector in urban areas,” Beshai argues.

Instead, he suggests that a key solution for overpopulation is encouraging women only to get married later in life. “Social ideas and traditions pertinent to marriage age should be rectified. Getting married for young women is equivalent to earning a PhD in Egyptian social norms. That is catastrophic. Most of these marriages even end in divorce,” Beshai stresses.

So far, no clear strategy had been put in place to face the problem of dropping out and no concrete penalties have been implemented on parents who deprive their children of education, or have more kids than they can provide for. Salevurakis explains that policymakers in any country need to decide the optimal rate of population growth in order to simultaneously foster a matching rate of growth and development. He gave the example of China, which once implemented the one-child policy, and its more recent two-child policy.

“Such policy decisions may not just come against political and biological constraints, but also against social, cultural or religious constraints. It would be hard to implement such a policy in a country like Egypt,” Salevurakis says. “There are two ways to think about population. A large population can be an asset if it contributes to lower wages, and lower business cost attracting foreign investments. The other side to that coin is that such a population needs food, infrastructure, healthcare, and education. That fully offsets the benefits of having a substantial labor force.”

Developing rural areas as a solution

Egypt is an urbanized country that is characterized by rural-urban migration, low agricultural contribution to growth (11.7% of the GDP in 2017) and half or more of the poor population living in urban areas.

rural
A view of houses at the Village of Ikyad Dijwi in the Nile Delta of El Qanater El Khayreya city in Al Kalyubiya Governorate, Egypt, October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Lena Masri

The Harris-Todaro model suggests that expected income differentials between rural and urban areas influence the migration decision. The model set by economic scholars John R. Harris and Michael Todaro in the 1970s demonstrates that although rural dwellers migrate to urban areas looking for formal sector jobs, which often pay higher, the sector only hires a small portion of migrants, while the rest goes to the informal sector absorbing non-skilled and zero-skilled labor.

Many economic development scholars have emphasized the importance of rural development since formal jobs in the industrial sector are in limited supply, and because job creation and social services are less costly in rural areas. Also, highly efficient agriculture should be able to produce more than its own consumption, which is not the case in all developing countries.

As urbanization and industrialization are on the rise, and rural-urban migration would persist in emerging economies, developing the technical skills of citizens in rural areas would help them get jobs in different industries without them having the informal sector as the only option.

In Egypt, the Development and Agricultural Credit Bank provides loans for companies in the agrarian sector with an interest rate of 5%, recently lowering the required operating costs to LE 250,000 instead of LE 1 million. These measures aim to create job opportunities and fulfill increasing Egyptian market needs, especially of livestock, as well as to decrease imports. However, programs concerned with microfinance in the agricultural sector are few and far between.

For the poor to get richer, it is essential to focus on the agricultural sector, and rural dwellers in general, stemming migration to urban areas and focusing on creating adequate job opportunities.
]]>
6/15/2019 3:52:10 PM
<![CDATA[UAE foreign minister says Iran fingerprints clear on oil tanker attacks: Arabiya TV]]>
He also called for the international community to work together to protect shipping routes, Arabiya TV said. Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks.]]>
6/15/2019 3:03:46 PM
<![CDATA[Suez Canal targets revenues worth $6.1B in FY2019-2020]]>
The net load estimated to be carried through the Canal during the fiscal year that will start on July 1 is 1,182 tons. The number of ships that are expected to use the international waterway is 18,200 compared to 18,000 ships this year.

On the other hand, the authority contemplates attracting investments worth LE9.6 billion ($574 billion) in SCzone in the new fiscal year.

SCzone houses 167 enterprises: chairman

CAIRO - 1 June 2019: SCzone houses 167 enterprises, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish stated on Friday, according to Daily News Egypt. TEDA Chinese Industrial city received 13.5 square kilometers southern the canal in 2015. Chinese investors finished the infrastructure, and established 65 logistic entities and 33 industrial entities including Jushi, the largest fiberglass factory in the world.



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6/15/2019 1:47:54 PM
<![CDATA[No new taxes to be imposed on citizens: government]]>
“The Ministry [of Finance] has not issued any decisions in this regard,” the statement read, saying “Taxes could be imposed only by a legal text following an approval of the House of Representatives.”

“Such claims are rumors aimed at provoking the anger of citizens and damaging the state’s economic stability,” the statement added, without mentioning the sources of the ‘claimed rumors.”

However, the ministry has applied a three-pillar plan to increase its financial resources and the state revenues, mainly joining the unofficial businesses into the state’s sector, increasing the number of tax payers, and fighting the tax-evaders, the statement continued.

Egyptians are in an anticipation for upcoming increase of electricity prices and the final removal of subsidy on fuel prices due to be applied in July.

Since 2016, Egypt has 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.

The country floated its currency in November 2016 before it clinched a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF Executive Board approved in November 2016 a three-year extended fund facility (EFT) loan to Egypt worth $12 billion to support its economic reform program.

Recently, the Egyptian Tax Authority started dealing with the unified tax registration number, and replacing all tax file numbers with the unified tax registration number on June 1, 2019.

The authority clarified that the unified tax registration number is dealt with in all tax assessments, and for all types of taxes, whether income taxes, value added or other.

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6/14/2019 1:33:26 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's foreign trade volume hit $27B in 3 months]]>
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) added that Egypt's exports hit $7.4 billion, and imports reached $19.6 billion.

The bulletin revealed that the volume of Egypt's petroleum exports from total exports hit $1.063 billion and the volume of petroleum imports from total imports marked $2.2 billion.

"Exports to Arab countries during the three months of 2019 recorded $2.5 billion, and imports from Arab countries reached $3.024 billion," it read.

The bulletin noted that China, Saudi Arabia, America, Germany and Russia are the top five countries, from which Egypt imported by about $7.9 billion of total imports.

As per exports, Turkey, Spain, Saudi Arabia, America and Italy are the top five countries, to which Egypt exported by about $2.1 billion of total exports.

"Fuel and cotton were the highest exports' products by about $1.6 billion, while raw materials and durable goods were the top imports at about $3.6 billion," it showed.

In its monthly bulletin on foreign trade data, CAPMAS said that exports declined 3.9 percent to reach $2.58 billion in March 2019, compared to $2.68 billion during the same month of 2018.

CAPMAS announced earlier that Egypt’s trade deficit increased 10.1 percent during March 2019, recording $4.15 billion, compared to $3.77 billion in the same month of 2018.
]]>
6/14/2019 11:39:03 AM
<![CDATA[Over 600 U.S. companies urge Trump to resolve trade dispute with China: letter]]>
This letter is the latest of many sent to the Trump administration by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, the national campaign against tariffs supported by more than 150 trade groups representing agriculture, manufacturing, retail and tech industries.

But it is significant as U.S.-China trade tensions escalate and comes before a possible meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the June 28-29 G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Trump has said he wants to meet Xi there and will decide on whether to extend tariffs to almost all Chinese imports after that.

With less than three weeks to go before talks between Chinese and U.S. leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low. Sources have told Reuters there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake.

“We remain concerned about the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs,” the new letter sent on Thursday said. “Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China’s unfair trade practices. Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies ... not China.”

With less than three weeks to go before proposed talks between the Chinese and U.S. leaders, expectations for progress toward ending the trade war are low. Sources have told Reuters there has been little preparation for a meeting even as the health of the world economy is at stake.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Walmart, the largest U.S. private sector employer and the world’s largest retailer, has said tariffs will increase prices for U.S. consumers.

“Trade overall has been good for Americans, good for consumers ... and I realize it gets criticized at times,” Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon said last week. He urged the Trump administration focus on how trade helps a broad number of people in the country and “not just those it harms.”

Additional 25% tariffs on $300 billion in imports, on top of those already levied, would wipe out more than 2 million U.S. jobs, the letter said, citing estimates from international consultancy the Trade Partnership.

They would also add more than $2,000 in costs for the average American family of four and reduce the value of U.S. Gross Domestic Product by 1%, it said.

“An escalated trade war is not in the country’s best interest, and both sides will lose,” the letter said.

]]>
6/14/2019 11:20:28 AM
<![CDATA[Ample non-OPEC supplies and weak demand a bane to oil prices: watchdog]]>
The focus in oil markets in recent months and days has been on supply issues — from US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela to tanker attacks near the Strait of Hormuz — which has helped OPEC and its allies, which are often called OPEC+, in their efforts to prop up prices by cutting back output.

But the International Energy Agency said that now “the main focus is on oil demand as economic sentiment weakens.”

It cited data that world trade growth has fallen to its lowest level since the financial crisis a decade ago amidst the burgeoning US trade wars, which have already begun to have an impact on demand for oil.

In the first three months of this year global demand for oil rose only by a meagre 300,000 barrels per day, the lowest quarterly increase in nearly eight years.

While there were some idiosyncratic factors such as weather, the IEA said “the worsening trade outlook (was) a common theme across all regions.”

The IEA cut its forecast for oil demand growth this year for the second month straight and trimmed its second quarter forecast as well.

While in its first estimates for 2020 the IEA sees oil demand accelerating, this is more than matched by output gains from nations outside OPEC+.

It put the increase of non-OPEC supplies at 2.3 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2020 while global demand is seen as increasing by 1.4 mbd. In 2019, the 1.9 mbd increase in non-OPEC supplies is also expected to outweigh the 1.1 mbd increase in demand.

“A clear message from our first look at 2020 is that there is plenty of non-OPEC supply growth available to meet any likely level of demand...” said the IEA.

“This is welcome news for consumers and the wider health of the currently vulnerable global economy, as it will limit significant upward pressure on oil prices,” said the Paris-based institution that provides advice to oil-consuming nations.

The data comes as ministers from the OPEC+ nations are due to meet later this month to debate whether to continue their production restraints.

With the IEA saying its forecast “means the tightening of oil markets could prove short lived,” OPEC+ nations may have to consider stepping up their cuts to maintain leverage on prices.

While the IEA added the caveat that its outlook assumes no major geopolitical shock, it also noted that OPEC countries have ample spare production capacity thanks to the cuts they have implemented.

The IEA’s latest monthly report comes a day after attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which caused oil prices to briefly shoot more than four percent higher, in the second spate of incidents in a month in the strategic shipping lane.

With some 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz, a disruption to shipping could roil markets.

The attacks come amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington as the US has intensified sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

The IEA said that the US sanctions have not yet completely cut off Iranian oil exports, but they have fallen drastically.

Iran’s crude production fell 210,000 barrels to 2.4 mbd in May when exports plunged by 480,000 to 810,000 barrels per day as Washington pulled the last waivers for other nations to buy Iranian oil. That export level is less than a third of what it was exporting a year ago.

The IEA added it was becoming increasingly difficult to determine where Iranian oil was being shipped as Iran’s national oil company shut off satellite tracking systems on its ships.
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6/14/2019 11:17:54 AM
<![CDATA[Trade between Egypt, US hit $2.2B in 3 months: ECS]]>
During the first quarter of 2019, the deficit in trade balance between Egypt and the US declined by 0.5 percent from $802.8 million to $798.7 million.

Head of the Egyptian trade representation office in Washington Ahmed Adel Hosni said Egyptian exports to the US increased by 48.8 percent from $465.6 million to $692.9 million.

Non-petroleum exports, which make up 80.4 percent of total Egyptian exports to the US, increased by 39 percent from $400.4 million to $556.6 million.

Egypt's non-petroleum exports to the US include, among other things, textile, ready-to-wear clothes, iron and steel and aluminium products.]]>
6/13/2019 5:10:59 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt keen to regain its leading role to become a regional energy center]]>
Egypt implements the project through three main axes of work, whether internal, political, technical or commercial, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.

The ministry clarified that these include the issuance of legislation supporting investment in the fields of gas and oil, where the law was issued to regulate the activities of the gas market and the establishment of an independent regulatory system.

The ministry pointed out that Egypt has all the assets that qualify it for this role because of its strategic location between resource-rich countries and major consumers, in addition to the necessary infrastructure and facilities from gas liquefaction plants, refineries, storage depots, port berths, oil and gas pipeline network and Suez Canal.

During the ministry's participation in the meeting organized by the French Institute for International Relations on the role of Egypt in the region with regard to the natural gas industry, the ministry said that Egypt has taken effective steps to establish extensive regional cooperation with the natural gas producing countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region and establish partnership with the union in the energy field to optimize the exploitation of all current possibilities and to maximize the economic benefits of the discovered natural gas resources as well as the expected discoveries in the future.

It pointed out that the first forum of the countries of the East Mediterranean Gas, which includes the gas producing countries in this region, was established according to an Egyptian joint initiative with Cyprus and Greece, aiming to support cooperation through regular and continuous dialogue between producing and consuming countries and parties that transport gas.

The forum also targeted boosting coordination between the strategies of Member States to discuss the possibility of developing a sustainable regional gas market to exploit all potential sources of gas in the region and explore new routes for the transfer of natural gas to the world markets at a competitive price.

The ministry also revealed convening its first meeting in Cairo in mid-January.
]]>
6/13/2019 5:02:51 PM
<![CDATA['The Big 5 Construct Egypt' grows as report reveals $300 billion of planned projects]]>
• In 2018, Egypt has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the second largest single projects market in the region, recording more than $33bn of contract awards.

• Egypt has over $300bn of known planned and un-awarded projects, according to a report released by The Big 5 Construct Egypt and MEED Projects.

Egypt’s largest construction event, The Big 5 Construct Egypt, will return for its second edition to the Egyptian International Exhibition Centre (EIEC) in Cairo from 2 to 4 September 2019, announced organisers dmg events, a subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT). The event is held in partnership between dmg events and ACG-ITF, a leading organizer of the largest international exhibitions in Egypt.

In the backdrop of a successful launch in 2018, The Big 5 Construct Egypt will grow further spreading across 30,000 sqm and putting a stronger focus on infrastructure and construction to build the new Egypt.

“Egypt is in the midst of a construction boom,” says Roni El Haddad, Event Director of The Big 5 Construct Egypt, commenting on the Egyptian Construction Market Report the event has released in partnership with MEED Projects.

“In total, more than $20bn worth of real estate and civil infrastructure projects valued $50m or above have been awarded over the past two years alone,” El Haddad reveals.

According to the report, in fact, Egypt is the only country in the Middle East and North Africa region where overall spending on projects has grown during the past two years. The country has already surpassed Saudi Arabia as the second largest single projects market in the region, recording more than $33bn of contract awards in 2018.

2X0A4302 (2)

The future looks even more promising. “Egypt has well over $300bn of known planned and un-awarded projects, which gives it a project pipeline larger than any other regional market after Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” explains El Haddad. “Construction is by far the largest future market in the country, with more than $120bn worth of planned projects and growing. The time to invest in the Egyptian construction market is now.”

Strong economic performance, population growth and a construction-focused government, which is prioritising delivery of projects and industrialisation, are among the key ingredients to the sector’s expansion.

“These factors create the perfect ground for a sustainable construction boom for years, if not decades, to come,” El Haddad says.

Some of the major active construction projects in Egypt include the new Administrative Capital to the East of Cairo, the huge New Alamein City on the North Coast, the new Egyptian Grand Museum, a host of new hotel and tourism developments, and the expansion of the existing Cairo metro network.

In order to match the expanding requirements of the Egyptian construction and infrastructure sectors, The Big 5 Construct Egypt is launching new dedicated product sectors in 2019. The Windows, Doors & Facades, Concrete, Form Work & Scaffolding, Infrastructure Systems and Services, and HVAC-R Egypt will be introduced for the first time next to MEP Services, Construction Tools & Building Materials, Building Interiors, Finishes, Hardware & Accessories, and Construction Technologies & Innovations.
Also, more than 50 CPD certified educational seminars will be offered for free to professionals attending the event this year, with the aim of supporting the development of the Egyptian construction sector.

“We have identified eight themes for our 2019 education agenda, which will focus on Urban Planning, Architecture & Design, Building Envelope and Facades, HVACR & MEP, BIM & Project Management, Concrete, Infrastructure & Transport, and Women in Construction,” El Haddad explains. “Experts in these fields will share insights and best practices, providing attendees with the tools and knowledge needed to advance their careers and the whole industry.”

The Big 5 Construct Egypt is part of The Big 5, the largest portfolio of construction industry events in the Middle East, which includes the biggest construction exhibitions organized in leading markets such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and South Africa, among others.

The Big 5 Construct Egypt’s second edition in Egypt is bringing together more than 300 Egyptian and international exhibitors of construction products, materials and solutions, along with over 13,000 visiting industry professionals.

The event is supported by Quali Middle East Association (QMEA), as official Knowledge Support Partner.

2X0A3735

To know more about The Big 5 Construct Egypt (2-4 September, EIEC), visit www.thebig5constructegypt.com.
Download the full report on Egypt’s Construction Market at https://www.thebig5constructegypt.com/industry-report

About the Big 5 Construct Egypt

Organised by dmg events, The Big 5 Construct Egypt is the most influential and renowned construction industry event in Egypt.

Taking place on 2-4 September at the Egypt International Exhibition Center in Cairo, the event will offer 360-degree solutions for the Egyptian built environment, connecting industry experts, buyers and manufacturers of construction products from all over the world. With more than 300 exhibitors from over 30 countries, the event will also feature eight dedicated product sectors and a wide educational agenda comprising more than 50 CPD-certified workshops.

On its first edition in 2018, 200+ companies from 24 countries brought hundreds of innovative products to Egypt’s booming USD 335 billion construction market. Over 11,300 construction industry professionals attended the launch of the event, which also offered 44 CPD certified free-to-attend workshops.

DSC_9029 ]]>
6/13/2019 4:48:03 PM
<![CDATA[Africa loses $50B annually due to corruption, illegal flows]]>
The forum,which is held under the patronage of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Sharm El-Sheikh, highlighted several issues and important topics in the strategies of African countries and their efforts to confront corruption and illegal financial flows.

The Ministry of Planning, Follow-up and Administrative Reform stressed that the problem of corruption is of the utmost importance to the development priorities in the African continent, emphasizing the need for comprehensive treatment for the matter.

The ministry also expressed its happiness and pride in participating in the session "Sustainability of the African continent's resources to serve the objectives of sustainable development" as it is the first forum of its kind to be held on the African continent.

The ministry talked about the importance of anti-corruption efforts to achieve sustainable development.

It also pointed out that the national plans and strategies to achieve sustainable development in many countries of the continent, including Egypt,are based upon special axes fighting corruption, indicating that this reflects the centrality of anti-corruption efforts within the framework of the UN, regional and national strategies for sustainable development.

"Corruption negatively affects the revenues of public budgets of states, the economic efficiency of institutions and the efficiency and effectiveness of public administrative organizations as well as its impact on the investment environment in general," it stated.

According to the ministry, the African countries have stepped up their efforts in recent years to fight corruption and increase regional cooperation in this area, the ministry said, stressing the importance of activating mechanisms and legal and regulatory frameworks developed by the countries of the continent to combat corruption, including the African Union Convention against Corruption and the SADC Anti-Corruption Protocol, as well as ECOWAS Anti-Corruption Protocol.

On the Egyptian anti-corruption efforts to achieve sustainable development in accordance with the vision of Egypt 2030 and at the national level, the Planning Ministry pointed out that the Egyptian State attaches great importance to intensifying efforts to enhance the efficiency of institutions and fight corruption to achieve comprehensive and sustainable development.

The Egyptian government is currently carrying out a comprehensive plan for the reform and governance of the administrative system, the ministry said, stating that the plan aims at raising the efficiency of institutions, strengthening governance and combating corruption.

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6/13/2019 4:25:43 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Thursday on mixed note for 3rd session in row]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 rose 0.16 percent, or 22.42 points, to close at 14,180.53 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 increased 0.10 percent, or 2.02 points, to reach 2,120.78 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX 70 declined 0.14 percent, or 0.85 points, to close at 605.57 points, and the broader index EGX 100 inched down 0.06 percent, or 0.92 point, to 1,546.83 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 97.5 million, recording LE 759.79 billion, compared to LE 759.89 billion in Wednesday's session.

The trading volume reached 105.22 million shares, traded through 18,888 transactions, with a turnover of LE 559.74 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 46.79 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 14.34 million, and LE 32.79 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab, and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 6.09 million, LE 5.3 million and LE 3634,184, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 8.25, and LE 27.15 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 47.43 million.

Nozha International Hospital, Zahraa Maadi Investment & Development, and El Ahram Co. for Printing And Packing were top gainers of the session by 9.98 percent, 8.78 percent and 8.41 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Raya Contact Center, Alexandria New Medical Center, and El Kahera Housing were top losers of the session by 10.08 percent, 8.61 percent, and 6.84 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday's session on mixed note for the second consecutive session, as EGX30 dropped 0.34 percent, and EGX50 decreased 0.59 percent, while EGX70 hiked 0.12 percent, and EGX70 inched up 0.05 percent.
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6/13/2019 3:46:50 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt-UAE trade exchange continuously increasing: UAE min.]]>
Trade exchange between the two countries has been steadily increasing, the minister added in statements to MENA on the fringe of his participation in the 2019 SelectUSA Investment Summit, currently taking place here.

Minister Mansoori pointed out to the multiple major potential investment opportunities between the two countries, stressing that Egypt is currently witnessing political stability combined with a noticeable hike in the number of tourists visiting the country.

The Emirati people are always eager to make investments in Egypt, especially in projects that contribute to creating job opportunities and achieving economic growth, the minister noted.

He added that the UAE is working in cooperation with some countries and international blocs like the European Union, Japan and the US towards creating a strong industry in Egypt.

The medium and heavy industry sectors are envisaged to play a key role in attaining further economic growth in Egypt, Mansoori said, noting that the African market represents a promising opportunity for Egyptian products.

Meanwhile, UAE International Investors Council (UAEIIC) Secretary General Jamal Saif Al Jarwan described the Egyptian-UAE relations as profound and time-honored especially when it comes to investment and trade ties that have been maintained since the formation of the UAE in 1971.

He hailed Egypt's security stability that has vitally contributed to improving its investment environment.

The recently-adopted upgrades and amendments to Egypt's legal system, most notably the new investment law, represent key steps towards luring many investments from Europe and Arab countries, especially from the UAE to the Egyptian market, Jarwan noted.]]>
6/13/2019 1:42:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports to Africa rise $4.7B in 2018]]>
Director of the Department of African Countries and Organizations at the Commercial Representative Office Ahmed Fadel Badawi delivered a speech at the meeting of the Industry and Commerce Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, which dealt with the latest developments of the African Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the extent to which Egypt benefits from it economically and commercially.

The African Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force on May 30, 2019, after member states met the ratifications required for implementation, and completed the technical issues for practical application, which is expected to begin by January 2020.

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

Badwai’s speech also reviewed the benefits of the agreement to the Egyptian business community in terms of increasing the access of Egyptian exports to African markets, especially the markets of non-COMESA countries, and clarifying the great prospects for the Egyptian industrial investments in the continent, according to an official statement of the commercial representative office.

He pointed out the efforts exerted by the commercial representative offices in Africa to maintain Egyptian economic interests in the negotiations held in the African Union and in the multilateral meetings held within the framework of COMESA.

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.

Furthermore, the speech tackled the vision of the Egyptian commercial representation towards increasing the terms of trade with the African continent by organizing the missions of the businessmen who wish to export to the African market and providing them with the studies and data necessary for their success. This is in addition to the recruitment of buyer missions to Egypt and organizing the Egyptian participants in African exhibitions to maximize benefiting from them, arranging bilateral meetings between these companies and the importing companies in the African markets to ensure the achievement of the required results.

He further highlighted the state’s efforts to overcome obstacles that companies face, making some proposals to create new areas of cooperation between these companies and their African counterparts.

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6/13/2019 1:29:46 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18.5B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.5 billion with a 357-day term and the second is worth LE 9 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The ministry announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills (T-bills) in June with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 34 billion, LE 35 billion, LE 34 billion, and LE 37 billion, respectively.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion, t-bills come with matures of a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion.

Finance Ministry to auction LE478.5B in T-bonds, bills in Q4

CAIRO - 28 March 2019:The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during May meeting.

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, noting 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.

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6/13/2019 12:22:23 PM
<![CDATA[Alibaba files to list in Hong Kong as soon as third quarter: source]]>
The listing could raise as much as $20 billion, sources said last month, smaller than its record $25 billion float in New York five years ago.

At that time, founder Jack Ma expressed a desire to list in the Hong Kong but the tech firm’s management structure clashed with bourse rules. The stock exchange there has since changed its listing rules, primarily to attract China’s tech startups.

The latest deal would be the biggest follow-on share sale globally in seven years and give Alibaba ample funds for technology investment - a priority for China as economic growth flags and a trade spat with the United States intensifies.

Alibaba declined to comment on the deal when contacted by Reuters. The person with knowledge of the matter was not authorized to speak with media and so declined to be identified. News of the filing was first reported by Bloomberg.

Investment banks China International Capital Corp Ltd and Credit Suisse Group AG are leading the deal. The banks did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. No other banks have been formally mandated as yet.

The filing comes amid growing political unrest in Hong Kong this week that raised concerns over the potential impact on the city’s financial market and businesses.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the southern Chinese territory this week over a planned extradition agreement with mainland China.

Logistics real estate developer ESR Cayman Ltd on Thursday pulled what would have been the largest Hong Kong listing so far this year due to weak demand, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

One person with direct knowledge of the matter said earlier the deal was more likely to be $10 billion to $15 billion.

At $20 billion, the deal would be the sixth-biggest follow-on share sale ever, Refinitiv data showed.

Since its U.S. listing, Alibaba has nearly doubled in size to become the largest-listed Chinese company with a market value of more than $400 billion.

Listing in Hong Kong would give mainland Chinese investors their first direct access to one of the country’s biggest success stories, via the stock connect trading link between Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen.]]>
6/13/2019 12:11:55 PM
<![CDATA[Is bitcoin growing up? Regulated futures boom as investors seek a safer ride]]>
As the cryptocurrency has surged in value bigger investors, from trading firms to hedge funds, have increasingly turned to exchanges regulated in traditional financial centers. They are buying bitcoin futures to gain exposure to the asset while avoiding the hacks and heists that plague the industry.

The crypto market, associated by many with the dark web, money laundering and the Wild West, is beginning to be discussed by financiers in the same breath as derivatives, hedging instruments and compliance.

Investors plowed record levels of money into bitcoin futures at regulated exchanges in the United States and Britain last month, hungry for a piece of the action but seeking the kind of protection that will satisfy their compliance officers.

Between March and May, bitcoin more than doubled in price, an ascent peppered by double-digit price swings reminiscent of its 2017 bubble, which was driven by smaller retail investors.

During that period, Chicago-based CME Group Inc’s average daily volumes of futures contracts climbed over seven-fold to a record $508 million in May. The number of open interest contracts - those that haven’t been settled - also hit a record.

CME said bitcoin’s price gains, and the subsequent increase in volatility, attracted new investors seeking to hedge risk.

Crypto Facilities, a London-registered platform bought this year for over $100 million by major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, said bitcoin futures daily trading volumes jumped over three-fold from March to a record $84 million in May.

In a sign of the growing mainstream market, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE), plans to offer bitcoin futures in the coming months through a new crypto-trading platform, Bakkt.

“It’s logical they (institutional investors) would want to be moving in this direction, especially considering their size and how much more there is at stake,” said Joel Kruger, currency strategist at LMAX Exchange Group.

HEDGING INSTRUMENT

Futures - financial contracts that lock buyers and sellers into trading an asset at a set date and price - are seen as key components of any mature market, as they boost market liquidity and allow investors to bet on the direction of prices.

“It’s a useful hedging instrument,” said Daniel Matuszewski, head of trading at Goldman Sachs-backed crypto firm Circle. “Futures are much easier to trade, much easier to use for hedging, much easier to get leverage on.”

Playing out in the spiking demand is the emergence of a twin-track global bitcoin futures market - on “onshore” exchanges like CME and “offshore” exchanges, which are more lightly regulated and still command the bulk of the multi-billion-dollar daily market.

Onshore exchanges - those regulated in established financial centers - are usually subject to strict checks on governance, technology and client vetting. They demand a high degree of transparency.

Offshore platforms, in contrast, are typically registered in jurisdictions with less onerous rules. They tend to accept business from investors who can sign up with few checks on their identity or the provenance of their funds.

Larger investors, bound by strict compliance rules, are heading to regulated platforms in financial hubs like CME, according to industry players. Traders with more tolerance for risk - including retail investors from north Asia and companies earning money in cryptocurrency, from miners to gaming firms - use of offshore exchanges.

“Offshore exchanges aren’t really exchanges - they are more like private markets,” said Vladimir Jelisavcic of trading firm Cherokee Acquisition in New York.

‘STARS HAVE ALIGNED’

Offshore exchanges have offered bitcoin futures since as early as 2011. One of the biggest, Seychelles-registered BitMEX, said it now accounts for over 65% of global cryptocurrency derivatives trading. Trading volumes were $4.3 billion in May, it said.

BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes said, however, that larger investors were being increasingly drawn to onshore exchanges like CME.

“It’s the perfect product (for bigger investors) - it’s U.S.-dollar based, they never have to touch actual bitcoin, it’s financially settled,” he said.

The launch by CME and rival Cboe Global Markets in December 2017 marked the first time mainstream exchanges offered cryptocurrency derivatives.

They initially faced tepid demand. Cboe said in March, when bitcoin languished below $4,000, that it planned to discontinue its futures, with the final contracts expiring this month.

For their part, CME’s futures have typically seen thin liquidity and high barriers to entry for smaller investors, said Ricky Li of crypto trader Altonomy in New York.

The growing gap in the market for futures from onshore exchanges is stimulating growing competition and attracting new entrants, such as ICE.

Sui Chung, head of cryptocurrency pricing products at Crypto Facilities, said compliance-wary institutional investors had been assessing the various futures products offered by regulated exchanges for some time, as they awaited a spike in prices to allow them to enter the market.

“This is the first time those stars have aligned,” he said.]]>
6/13/2019 12:07:27 PM
<![CDATA[Oil surges after Gulf tanker attacks, stocks claw higher]]>
Brent surged as much 4 percent after reports of the attacks added to the already-heightened tensions between Iran and the United States.

The area is near the Strait of Hormuz through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes from Middle East producers.

Europe’s oil producers moved higher in the region’s stock markets. Shares were also lifted by some stellar gains in the telecoms sector as Germany dished out licenses for its new 5G mobile network to some new entrants.

“Whenever you have an incident in the Arabian Gulf a little bit of nervousness always starts to kick in about that particular artery getting clogged up,” CMC Markets senior analyst Michael Hewson said.

Given that oil was at 5-month lows yesterday, people are taking precautions that it might escalate into something further.

“But personally I think it will be much like in the past where you get a spike higher but ultimately it doesn’t change the underlying supply and demand dynamics,” Hewson said.

Asia had been a different story. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng had dropped sharply for a second day as public tensions continued there about a bill which would allow extradition to China.

Doubts were growing too about any improvement in what U.S. President Donald Trump called ‘testy’ trade relations with China before this month’s G20 summit and some market anxiety emerged that Federal Reserve rate cut speculation may have been overdone.

Investors will be looking to what Fed policymakers will say after their next policy meeting on June 18-19, with Fed Funds rate futures pricing in a 25-basis-point rate cut for the subsequent policy review on July 30-31.

That is completely at odds with the Fed’s projection three months ago, when policy makers saw gradual rate hikes in coming years.

“The U.S. real economy has not worsened that much. But given market expectations, the Fed will have no choice but to cut rates,” said Kozo Koide, chief economist at Asset Management One.

RATE EXPECTATIONS

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield dipped to 2.103 percent, near Friday’s 2.053 percent, its lowest level since September 2017, while Germany borrowing costs sank back toward all-time lows in Europe.

Bond yields also fell in Asia. Long-dated Japanese government bond yields hit their lowest levels since August 2016, with 20-year yield down 2.5 basis points at 0.220 percent, before they rose back on a weak 30-year bond auction.

In Australia, long known for its high-yield currency, rates fell to record lows, with three-year yield now slipping below 1 percent after jobs data pointed to another interest rate cut in July to follow one last week.

In the currency market, the yen gained 0.2 percent to 108.32 to the dollar as risk sentiment soured while the Australian dollar dropped 0.25 percent to $0.6910.

The euro stood little changed at $1.1293, having taken a hit on Wednesday after Trump said he was considering sanctions over Russia’s Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project and warned Germany against being dependent on Russia for energy.

The pound stayed subdued after British lawmakers defeated an attempt led by the opposition Labour Party to try to block a no-deal Brexit by seizing control of the parliamentary agenda from the government.

Sterling fetched $1.2670, not far from this week’s low of $1.2653.

“The risk aversion and falling stock markets are supporting the yen as usual,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager for State Street Bank and Trust. “The Australian dollar’s underperformance is also a booster for the yen.”]]>
6/13/2019 12:04:50 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt hosts 'Seamless North Africa 2019' to discuss latest trends in Financial Technology]]>
The conference is held in collaboration with the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the League of Arab States, and is co-organized by the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI).

Partakers will represent influencing and well recognized entities, institutions, banks and international companies, that cover multiple sectors of banking, finance and e-commerce, aiming to discuss and evaluate the role played by new technologies and strategies to cater for improved services to citizens and consumers across the Arab world.

Ms. Lobna Helal, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, affirmed that “hosting the conference for the second year in a row reflects the tremendous success achieved by SEAMLESS 2018 in its first edition, emphasizing that "The Central Bank of Egypt’s hosting of the Conference stems from the premise of its pioneering role to communicate with society and address the challenges facing the expansion of innovative financial products and services. The role played by the Central Bank is no longer limited to the regulatory and organizational aspects, but has extended to support and incentivize the society to be less cash dependent and to sustain the transition towards financial inclusion, Under the umbrella of the National Payments Council, which is privileged with the chairmanship of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. "

Eng. Ayman Hussein, Sub-Governor of the Central Bank for the Payment Systems and Information Technology Sector, has stated that “The conference has attained escalating importance derived from the leading role played by FinTech in providing, efficient, effective and affordable financial and banking services to meet the diverse timely and logistical needs of customers, thus creating an enabling environment and improving accessibility to the general public, appointing financial technology as a key pillar of financial inclusion and a fundamental supporter of economic growth, accordingly, achieving benefits on the individual and state levels”.

The conference will discuss the challenges that face Egypt’s emerging FinTech eco-system, in the areas of microfinance, microcredit, cross-border payments, remittances, data analysis, artificial intelligence for retail banking, cybersecurity and the SME credit score.

He also mentioned that the conference supports innovation in FinTech, whereas it will feature a pitch off competition for Fintech startups, whereas candidates will compete for a grant of USD 50,000 in cash awarded by an international sponsoring company. Competitors will present their new business model or innovative Fintech solution in front of a panel, composed of leading Egyptian and international experts.

Dr. Rasha Negm, General manager Fintech & innovation has added that “The conference will incorporate several panel discussions, interviews, presentations and workshops revolving around the latest trends and innovations in financial technology. An exhibition of more than 50 leading technology and innovative solution providers will be held on the sidelines of the conference, which avails an opportunity to learn about the latest innovations in the Fintech field”.
]]>
6/12/2019 5:51:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt starts dealing with unified tax registration number in June]]>
The authority clarified that the unified tax registration number is dealt with in all tax assessments, and for all types of taxes, whether income taxes, value added or other, noting that this decision comes in light of the implementation of decision No. 729 of 2018 on the modernization of tax data. The decision was issued by Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it.

The decision puts the tax registration number in place of the words "tax file" or "taxpayer file number" wherever it appears in a list or decision. It also cancels the reference to the tax file number or the taxpayer's file number in any correspondence, whether issued or received by the Tax Authority, and refers only to the registration number of the taxpayer or the taxpayer.

For his part, Head of the Egyptian Tax Authority, Abdel Azim Hussein, said that the unification of the tax number of each taxpayer under the name of "tax registration number" is necessary in facilitating for financiers, especially within the overall system of automation of the Tax Authority and the development of its performance.

He added that all financiers in Egypt deal with several tax figures and multiple files, which is where the Tax Authority has made intensive efforts to facilitate and solve problems that arise,within the framework of the state's tendency to automate and standardize procedures and deal through one number.]]>
6/12/2019 3:59:48 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Japan discuss executing 1st phase of 4th metro line]]>
“The two sides agreed to continue to intensify meetings in the coming days to accelerate taking the executive steps of the project,” the ministry added in a statement.

This came during a joint meeting held by Transport Minister Kamel Al-Wazir and Investment Minister Sahar Nasr with a delegation from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) headed by Takima Sakamoto, director of the agency for the Middle East and Europe.

The minister of transport emphasized the importance of the implementation of the metro projects as one of the main solutions to reduce the liquidity of traffic and facilitate the mobility of individuals, especially with the great attention paid by the Egyptian government to develop, maximize and organize mass transportation.

He pointed out that the project is of great importance in meeting the transportation requirements of high density areas in the Pyramid, Faisal, and Omrania areas in Giza.

For her part, Nasr said that the ministry is working to encourage investors to launch investment projects in line with the strategy of developing the transport system and in light of the great improvement in the Egyptian economy and the promising investment climate.Nasr also stressed the importance of implementing the fourth line of the metro.

Meanwhile, the joint committee of the two ministries met to discuss the promotion of investment in transport, and investments in railway, road and bridge projects.

In April, a source at the National Authority for Tunnels told Egypt Today that the institution studies inviting tenders among Egyptian companies to construct the first phase of the fourth metro line stretching from 6 of October City to Giza Square passing through Al-Haram Street.

A tender lodged among Japanese companies was cancelled as only one offer was submitted. The offer was made by a Japanese consortium and the costs indicated surpassed the project’s estimated budget. Also, a technical offer to execute the second sector of the same phase was rejected.

]]>
6/12/2019 3:57:46 PM
<![CDATA[Strategic sugar reserve enough for 8 months: Supply min.]]>
During his meeting with the Higher Committee of Sugar, He added that the average sugar consumption ranges between 230,000 to 240,000 tons per month.

Moselhi called sugar companies to estimate the gap between the expected domestic production and consumption in the coming period in order to take necessary measures to import the remaining quantity.

According to official data issued earlier by the Ministry of Supply, Egypt's consumption of sugar is 3.2 million tons, of which 2.3 million tons are domestically produced.

In October, Head of Sugar Division at the Federation of Industries Hassan Fendi said that Egypt’s need of sugar increases annually by 50,000 tons because of the population.

Fendi clarified that this demand requires the establishment of a complete sugar industry line every 3 years to produce 150,000 tons annually to fill the current and future gap.

The government imports about 800,000 to 1 million tons of sugar per year to support the deficit in local production. Sugar production from reeds stands at about 1 million tons annually, while its production from beets reached 1.2 million tons and the rest is imported from abroad.

]]>
6/12/2019 3:52:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt provides 248 opportunities worth $20B to deepen local industrialization]]>
He added in a statement that the program provided 248 investment opportunities during 6 months with a market value of $20 billion.

Taha clarified during his participation at the Industrial Development Conference in Peru that Egypt's vision for 2030 and the ministry's 2020 strategy is based on the axes of developing small and medium enterprises, developing industrial zones and promoting entrepreneurship to increase industrial growth rates.

Said emphasized the importance of industrial zones and their role in accelerating the pace of economic growth and creating more job opportunities. He pointed out that the Egyptian government is currently implementing 13 industrial complexes within the plan of achieving comprehensive industrial development.

Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar said in January that 13 industrial complexes with 4,300 industrial units will be completed in 12 governorates during 2019, adding that after the completion of these complexes, the total complexes established by the ministry will hit 17 complexes out of a total of 22 complexes the ministry aims to construct in light of the strategy set by the ministry until 2020.

The minister pointed out that Upper Egypt allocates nine of the 13 complexes, which confirms the government's keenness to achieve development in the governorates of Upper Egypt, which suffered during the past period.
]]>
6/12/2019 3:51:14 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s trade deficit hit $4.15B in March]]>
In its monthly bulletin on foreign trade data, CAPMAS said that exports declined 3.9 percent to reach $2.58 billion in March 2019, compared to $2.68 billion during the same month of 2018.

The bulletin attributed the increase of exports to the drop in the exports of ready-made clothes by 0.4 percent, crude oil by 7.3 percent, fresh orange by 55.4 percent, and potatoes by 1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, exports of some other commodities saw an increase in March such as petroleum products which decreased by 201.5 percent, plastic by 45.5 percent, fertilizers by 2.7 percent and dairy products by 2.7 percent.

As per imports, the bulletin showed an increase of 4.3 percent to hit $6.73 billion in March of the current year, compared to $6.45 billion in March 2018.

CAPMAS ascribed this increase to the rise in imports of plastic by 14.3 percent, organic and non-organic chemicals by 29.8 percent, wheat by 18.7 percent and meat by 5 percent.

On the other hand, imports of other commodities showed a drop such as petroleum products by 3.1 percent, raw materials of iron or steel by 8.1 percent, motor vehicles by 5.1 percent, pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical preparations by 1.3 percent.

In February, Egypt’s trade deficit dipped 2.7 percent, recording $3.63 billion, compared to $3.72 billion in the same month of 2018.]]>
6/12/2019 3:49:53 PM
<![CDATA[EGX continues its mixed performance amid foreign selling Wednesday]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 dipped 0.34 percent, or 48.07 points, to close at 14,158.11 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 decreased 0.59 percent, or 12.52 points, to reach 2,118.76 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX 70 climbed 0.12 percent, or 0.71 points, to close at 606.42 points, and the broader index EGX 100 inched up 0.05 percent, or 0.84 point, to 1,547.75 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 2.17 billion, recording LE 759.89 billion, compared to LE 762.07 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 135.45 million shares, traded through 17,258 transactions, with a turnover of LE 680.03 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 52.11 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 48.41 million, and LE 3.7 million, respectively.

Foreign individuals were net sellers at 1.38 million, while Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 43.74 million, and LE 3.71 million, respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 9,391, and LE 50.73 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations bought at LE 4.67 million.

Misr National Steel - Ataqa, El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing, and El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops were top gainers of the session by 9.27 percent, 7.29 percent and 4.79 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, National Housing for Professional Syndicates, General Company for Land Reclamation, Development & Reconstruction, and El Shams Housing & Urbanization were top losers of the session by 9.90 percent, 9.30 percent, and 7.45 percent, respectively.

EGX ended mid-week session on mixed note, as EGX30 rose 0.40 percent, EGX70 increased 0.16 percent, and EGX100 hiked 0.15 percent, while EGX50 inched down 0.33 percent.
]]>
6/12/2019 3:48:30 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host "Seamless North Africa" conf. Monday]]>
This is the second time Egypt hosts the event, according to the CBE statement.

The CBE plays a leading role in dealing with challenges that hinder the expansion of new financial products and services, said Lobna Hilal, deputy governor of the bank.

"Seamless North Africa" will be held under the auspices of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and will bring together different players, such as financial institutions, startups and venture capital.

It is meant to assess new techniques and strategies in order to offer better services to citizens and consumers in the Arab world.]]>
6/12/2019 2:37:50 PM
<![CDATA[Omran: FRA becomes member of FC4S Network]]>
In a statement on Wednesday, Omran said that joining the FC4S Network will enable the non-banking financial sector in Egypt to achieve its first steps to set up a regional financial center for sustainable development solutions in Cairo.

The FC4S Network is the global platform for financial center action on green and sustainable finance.

The FC4S Network is structured as a partnership between financial centers and the United Nations Environment Program, which acts as its Convenor and Secretariat. ]]>
6/12/2019 1:11:23 PM
<![CDATA[5th Euromed finance conf. to be launched on Sunday]]>
In a statement on Wednesday, Ahmed el Wakil, the President of the General Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, said the meeting will discuss mechanisms available for the private sector to promote trade, industry and services in the South Mediterranean region.

This event is backed by EBSOMED (Enhancing Business Support Organizations), he noted.

He added it also aims at helping Business Support Organizations (BSOs) in Europe's Southern Neighborhood Countries to play more active role in developing the private sector, SMEs and entrepreneurs, beefing up exports, luring investments and creating new jobs.

EBSOMED is a project co-financed by the European Union and coordinated by BUSINESSMED (Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises) as part of a consortium of six partners. More than thirty organizations from 26 countries are also affiliated to the project.

In the framework of EBSOMED, the German Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GACIC) organizes, in collaboration with the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME), the Workshop "Donor Funding, Banking and Novel Financial Instruments in the MEDA-Region", to be held in Cairo, Egypt, on June 16-17.

The EBSOMED workshop will capitalize on the achievement of the activity, acting as a regional coordinator for international projects development, linking potential partners from the region.]]>
6/12/2019 11:40:14 AM
<![CDATA[ICT sector achieves average growth of 15% in 9 months]]>
During the annual conference TECH INVEST 3, it was revealed that the ministry’s plan aims to build a strong base of young Egyptian trainees at the highest professional level and to support the strategy of artificial intelligence, Block Chain and cyber security.

The plan targets facing the current challenges through using information technology, affirming that Egypt is able to become at the forefront of the world in the field of information technology by building a broad base of capabilities and skills.

The Ministry of Communications is building eight complexes of creativity in eight different provinces, and it began to establish a digital academy providing 1000 hours of lectures by a number of specialized experts.

This came during the inauguration of the annual conference TECH INVEST 3 on Tuesday held by the General Division of the Digital Economy and Technology of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce, under the patronage of Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat.

The slogan of the annual conference is "Investing in Egypt's future digital economy”.

'TECH INVEST 3' to be held on June 11

CAIRO - 4 June 2019: The General Division of the Digital Economy and Technology of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce will hold its annual conference TECH INVEST 3 on Tuesday, June 11, under the patronage of Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat.



]]>
6/11/2019 4:59:24 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar prices stable at major Egyptian banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at LE 16.71 for buying and LE 17.81 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr.

The rate stood at LE 16.67 for buying and LE 16.77 for selling at Commercial International Bank (CIB).

It recorded LE 16.67 for buying and LE 16.77 for selling at Bank of Alexandria.

At the Arab African International Bank, the dollar exchange rate drew back by two piasters recording LE 16.68 for buying and LE 16.78 for selling.

The dollar price stood at LE 16.68 for buying and LE 16.78 for selling at the National Bank of Greece.]]>
6/11/2019 4:57:54 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows mixed performance Tuesday]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 rose 0.40 percent, or 57.3 points, to close at 14,206.18 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 inched up 0.16 percent, or 0.96 points, to close at 605.71 points, and the broader index EGX 100 hiked 0.15 percent, or 2.38 point, to 1,546.91 points.

On the other hand, the equally weighted index EGX 50 decreased 0.33 percent, or 7.16 points, to reach 2,131.28 points.


Market capitalization gained LE 888.5 million, recording LE 762.07 billion, compared to LE 761.18 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 162.59 million shares, traded through 21,039 transactions, with a turnover of LE 791.72 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 69.05 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 20.11 million, and LE 48.94 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at 54.47 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 15.43 million, and LE 748,694, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 74.58 million, and LE 33.51 million, respectively, while foreign organizations bought at LE 69.79 million.

El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, Electro Cable Egypt, and Alexandria Spinning & Weaving (SPINALEX) were top gainers of the session by 7.25 percent, 6.83 percent and 5.58 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad), B Investments Holding, and Sinai Cement were top losers of the session by 8.10 percent, 6.22 percent, and 5.33 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in green, as EGX30 rose 1.71 percent, EGX 50 increased 2.02 percent, and EGX70 hiked 0.59 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.78 percent.
]]>
6/11/2019 4:06:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to receive tenders for constructing 1st dry port in July]]>
Earlier, Finance Ministry announced that three consortiums of international companies from Germany, Singapore, India, the UAE and Egypt competed to win the contract for the construction of a dry port, with investments expected to exceed $100 million.
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.

3 consortiums compete to establish dry port worth $100M in Egypt

CAIRO - 10 February 2019: Three consortiums of international companies from Germany, Singapore, India, the UAE and Egypt competed to win the contract for the construction of a dry port, with investments expected to exceed $100 million, according to Ministry of Finance. The dry port is set to serve the Industrial Zone in 6th of October City.



]]>
6/11/2019 3:54:05 PM
<![CDATA[Palm Hills’ profits hit LE141.16M in Q1 2019]]>
The indicators also showed that revenues declined to LE 958.082 million, down from LE 1.46 billion during the compared quarter.

As per standalone results, the company’s profit dropped 35.48 percent to LE 26.481 million, compared to LE 41.272 million during 2018’s first quarter.

In 2018, the company accomplished profits of LE 906.86 million, compared to LE 936.47 million in 2017 including minority rights.

Palm Hills operates within the Real Estate sector focusing on Real Estate Development. It has subsidiaries operating across United Kingdom, Singapore, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
]]>
6/11/2019 2:36:45 PM
<![CDATA[‘Builders of Egypt’ adopts building exports as theme ]]>
The forum will confer possible mechanisms to achieve integration among African states in the construction sector and to foster public-private partnership in Africa and the Middle East. The forum will also discuss potential marketing strategies that would promote Egypt’s leading construction experience. That is in addition to the role that can be played by Egypt in rebuilding Libya and Iraq.

The forum is organized by the Egyptian Federation for Construction and Building Contractors having 30,000 member companies, and the Egyptian Export Council for Real Estate. For the first time, 14 chairpersons of African and Arab construction federations will participate in the forum.

The forum will display available opportunities for Egyptian construction companies in Africa and the Arab World as well as the success stories of some Egyptian contractors in those markets. The forum will also discuss the possible support by banks to get such opportunities. Equally, the forum will address the challenges faced by Egyptian contractors and that impede them from acquiring a remarkable share of rebuilding opportunities in Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen.

There are 100 industries that depend on the construction sector where 15 percent of Egyptian labor works, and which contributes to GDP growth by 12 percent. The government will display its plan to accomplish national projects in partnership with the private sector within the 2030 vision.



]]>
6/11/2019 2:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Orascom Investment records loss of LE 79M in Q1 2019]]>
The company’s indicators show that the operating profits hit LE 17 million during 2019’s quarter, compared to a loss of LE 40.69 million during the compared period.

As per standalone results, Orascom recorded a loss of LE 129.57 million, compared to LE 33.96 million during the first quarter of 2018.

In April, the board of directors of Orascom Investment Holding Company (OIH) proposed an increase in the company's capital to LE 6.25 billion after approval of the acquisition of Nile Sugar Company.

On Thursday, OIH’s board of directors ratified the approval of the independent financial advisor’s report (BDO Financial Consultants), which has set the fair value of the share capital of Nile Sugar Company SAE at LE 2.84 per share with a total value of LE 3.76 billion.

It almost doubled its consolidated profits during 2018, recording gains of LE 865.59 million, compared to LE 453.13 million including minority rights during 2017, with an increase of 91 percent.

OIH’s current capital is worth LE 2.2 billion, distributed over 5.24 billion shares. Orascom Investment Holding works in the fields of GSM, media, cables and mobile communications in Egypt, North Korea and Lebanon.

]]>
6/11/2019 1:40:54 PM
<![CDATA[UfM official lauds Egypt investment program]]>
Talking figures, the program has helped achieve big growth in Egypt, Maaninou said in statements to MENA Tuesday.

He said Egypt plays an important role in the region, noting that its successful economic program has qualified the country to host the first edition of the UfM business forum, slated for next Tuesday.

Effective parties of the public and private sectors will meet during the forum in Cairo to outline a number of economic programs, including one on trade, Maaninou noted.

He added that the forum will also focus on an Arab trade agreement by Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine and Lebanon, meant to establish a trade exchange zone among those countries.

European countries have achieved 70 percent of economic integration, while the southern Mediterranean region is still far from this rate, the UfM official said.]]>
6/11/2019 11:45:10 AM
<![CDATA[Vodafone Egypt fined LE 10M for service cut before Eid al-fitr]]>
NTRA said in a statement that this is the first time that a fine was imposed on a company for the service cut.

"From now on, the NTRA will not hesitate to take all necessary measures to ensure the quality and quality of telecommunications services provided to citizens," the statement said.

Vodafone Egypt sent text messages to users informing them that it will compensate them for interruption of service, through free minutes or the Internet.

The company attributed the disruption of the communication service and the Internet to technical problems.

Head of Legal and Foreign Affairs at Vodafone Egypt Ayman Essam said that the company received a letter from NTRA regarding the signing of a fine of LE 10 million due to the interruption of telecommunications services before the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Essam added that the company will study the legal basis on which NTRA was based on the signing of the fine and the extent of its legality, pointing out that the company will determine the next steps in light of that study.

Earlier, Vodafone had demanded new frequencies to improve the quality of service, and the TRA is planning to provide frequencies for all mobile operators, according to earlier statements by the head of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Mustafa Abdel Wahid.

At the end of 2017, mobile operators signed a list of quality-of-service sanctions that included financial sanctions.

Vodafone operates within the telecommunication services sector focusing on wireless telecommunication services. It has 2 subsidiaries operating across Egypt, working on internet software & services.
]]>
6/11/2019 11:40:13 AM
<![CDATA[Fitch launches 1st int’l credit academy, certification in Egypt]]>
The institution said in a statement that it takes pride in transferring its knowledge and solutions to the Egyptian financial sector to further enhance the advancement of financial professionals.

The launch of the first-time international Academy and certification will be offered locally through providing two credit academies in Egypt starting June 2019 and for eight consecutive weeks full-time, as the two academies are geared towards training credit and risk financial professionals in order to better manage credit portfolios for big companies and SMEs with global excellence.

Egypt is one of the world’s most promising emerging markets, evident through the recent economic development that resulted from the implementation of its economic reform program, and the Egyptian government’s ambitious plans and commitment to foster youth development and career enhancement for Egyptian professionals, the note said.

“We’re excited to launch these Academies to mark the start of Fitch Group’s strong presence in the Egyptian market and Africa,” said Andreas Karaiskos, Chief Executive Officer, Fitch Learning.

“The Egyptian market is offering investors an attractive variety of investment opportunities, and it is important for us that our young professionals not only understand the singularity of operating in this emerging market, but can address the complexities of operating in a global market and be able to navigate through the complex financial and economic challenges,” said Dalia Khorshid, Chairwoman and CEO of MASAR.

As one of the largest providers of Financial Services training worldwide within established financial hubs, including London, New York, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong, Fitch Learning is already recognized as the lead expert, offering a wide range of courses, workshops and certificates for financial professionals, specifically created to deepen knowledge, develop skills and enhance conduct across fast paced financial markets globally.

The learning solutions it provides encompass expert faculty, e-learning, coaching and blended candidate assessments, which collectively combine to improve individual contribution and also deliver positive business outcomes]]>
6/11/2019 11:36:18 AM
<![CDATA[European shares gain on Trump tariff relief, carmakers shine]]>
The pan-European STOXX 600 climbed 0.62 percent, on course for a sixth day of gains in the last seven, with Frankfurt’s DAX racing up 1.2 percent as German investors returned from a one-day holiday.

There, BMW, Daimler and VW - seen as sensitive to trade tariffs - all gained between 1.8 percent-2 percent, mirroring a 1.9 percent gain for the auto sector.

Investors have breathed easier this week after the United States and Mexico reached a deal on Friday to avert tariffs threatened by U.S. President Donald Trump if steps were not taken to curb the flow of mostly Central American migrants.

That eased - for now at least - fears that the United States would find itself in a trade war with another of its largest commercial partners, adding to the dispute with China.

Trump said on Monday he may impose more tariffs on Chinese imports if he cannot make progress in talks with President Xi Jingping at a Group of 20 summit in Japan later this month.

Market participants said that investors would have to wait until the G20 summit, scheduled for June 28-29, for clear signs of how the spat would play out.

In the meantime, stocks are likely to be buoyed by expectations of a cut in rates by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Markets have priced in a cut by July.

“It looks like we will have to wait to see at the end of the month, to see what the next move will be,” said David Madden, an analyst at CMC Markets. “In that time, if nothing is said, stocks could press on higher – the belief that the Fed will all of a sudden become dovish is really driving markets.”

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, advanced 0.24%. Wall Street futures were also seen opening higher, with S&P500 mini futures up 0.26%.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.9%, with Shanghai’s bourse climbing 2% after China tweaked policy on major investment projects in an attempt to support its slowing economy.

Bourses in Australia, South Korea and Japan also gained.

FED EXPECTATIONS

The dollar held steady above a 2-1/2 month low against a basket of currencies, with rising expectations for a Fed rate cut tempered by a reluctance to close positions before the G20.

The dollar index nudged down 0.03 percent to 96.747 after advancing 0.2 percent on Monday.

“The markets are pricing in a 25-basis-point rate cut in July,” said Peter Schaffrik, head of European rates strategy at RBC Capital Markets, adding that expectations of looser policy would likely continue.

“When you see the narrative that the market is painting, that it is all down to the negative implications from the trade war and the reduction of global trade,” he said. “It’s difficult to see how any one data point will change the entire picture.”

Amid the cautious optimism, a rally in longer-dated euro zone government bonds stalled as the pick-up in risk sentiment globally sparked a sell-off in the bloc.

Germany’s 10-year bond yield, seen as a benchmark for government debt, was up 3 basis points at minus 0.23 percent- still a smidgeon away from last week’s record lows.

Thirty-year bond yields in Germany and France were up as much as 8 basis points in early trade.

In commodities, oil prices rose, bolstered by firmer financial markets and expectations that producer group OPEC and its allies will keep withholding supply. Brent crude futures were at $62.67 at 0741 GMT, up 0.4 percent.]]>
6/11/2019 11:31:45 AM
<![CDATA[Renault/Fiat case 'not closed', says French transport minister]]>
Asked if talks between the two companies were over, Elisabeth Borne told BFM TV: “I think it is not closed.”

Borne’s comments follow similar remarks by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who also said he felt a merger between France’s Renault and Italian-American Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) remained a “good opportunity.”

French budget minister Gerald Darmanin said last week as well that he hoped the door had not closed on a deal.

Last week, FCA pulled out of $35 billion merger talks with Renault, with both companies blaming the French government.

France has a 15 percent stake in Renault and the collapse of the talks deprived the companies of an opportunity to create the world’s third-biggest carmaker with 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in promised annual synergies.

FCA and Renault are still looking for ways to resuscitate their merger plan and win the approval of Renault’s alliance partner Nissan, sources close to the companies have told Reuters.]]>
6/11/2019 11:28:39 AM
<![CDATA[Top Japanese chip gear firm to honor U.S. blacklist of Chinese firms: executive]]>
The decision shows how Washington’s effort to bar sales of technology to Chinese firms, including Huawei Technologies, is ensnaring non-American firms that are not obliged to follow U.S. law.

China, which is locked in a crippling trade war with the United States, is pushing to build its semiconductor industry to reduce its reliance on U.S., Japanese and European suppliers for chip-making machinery.

“We would not do businesses with Chinese clients with whom Applied Materials and Lam Research are barred from doing businesses,” the executive said, referring to the top U.S. chip equipment firms.

“It’s crucial for us that the U.S. government and industry see us as a fair company,” he said, citing Tokyo Electron’s long U.S. partnership since the 1960s, when it started off as an importer of U.S. equipment.

He did not want to be named given the sensitivity of the matter. Applied Materials and Lam Research declined to comment.

Another major Japanese chip equipment supplier is also considering halting shipments to blacklisted Chinese firms, a person familiar with the matter said.

“The issue is beyond something we can decide on our own,” said the person, who also declined to be identified.

Executives at other equipment suppliers said they were communicating closely with the Japanese industry ministry.

“We haven’t received any specific instructions from the ministry,” one of the executives said. “We are aware that we could be in deep trouble if we take advantage of the U.S. export ban to expand businesses with China.”

DIFFICULT TO REPLACE U.S. RIVALS

The Tokyo Electron executive did not specify the names of the Chinese clients, but state-backed memory chipmaker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co is currently on a list of entities that cannot buy technology goods from U.S. firms.

Fujian Jinhua did not respond to an emailed request for comment. A handful of other Chinese companies and research institutions are on a ‘red list’ that U.S. companies have been advised to avoid.

Huawei’s chip arm, HiSilicon, is a so-called fabless company focusing on chip design and thus is not normally a buyer of chip-manufacturing gear. But Huawei also faces major risks from non-U.S. suppliers adhering to the U.S. blacklist.

British chip designer ARM, owned by Japan’s SoftBank, has halted relations with Huawei, potentially crippling the Chinese company’s ability to make new chips for its future smartphones.

But Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, global leader in chip production and maker of many Huawei chips, has said it would continue to be a supplier to Huawei.

U.S. law specifies that any product comprising 25% or more U.S. content is subject to the U.S. export control restrictions.

But the Japanese chip equipment executives did not cite that as a reason for cutting off supplies to some Chinese companies.

“It’s not impossible for Japanese companies like Tokyo Electron to replace their U.S. rivals and complete production lines for China,” an executive at a U.S. chipmaker said. “But in reality, that’s very difficult considering a U.S. backlash.”

CHINA CHIP TECHNOLOGY LAGS

Five Japanese companies rank among the world’s top 10 chip equipment firms. The highly specialized chip equipment industry is relatively small, but the gear is strategically critical for all semiconductor manufacturers.

Making chips involves numerous processes that require different types of equipment. Each market segment is typically dominated by just a few players.

Tokyo Electron controls nearly 90% of the market for microchip coaters and developers. It competes directly with Applied Materials and Lam Research in some segments.

Beijing has been investing heavily to grow domestic chip equipment suppliers as part of an effort to achieve its goal of producing 70% of the semiconductors it uses by 2025.

But industry sources say technologies at those suppliers are still far behind, leaving China dependent on imported equipment.

Today, only 16% of the semiconductors used in China are produced in-country, half of which are made by Chinese firms, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank.

But aggressive investments by local chipmakers and foreign players like Samsung Electronics made China the world’s No.2 market for chip equipment last year.

Many chip equipment manufacturers are forecasting substantial profit drops this year as the China-U.S. trade war dampens demand for chips and chip equipment globally.]]>
6/11/2019 11:27:29 AM
<![CDATA[China says will respond if U.S. escalates trade tension]]>
Trump has repeatedly said he is getting ready to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Osaka summit at the end of June, but China has not confirmed it.

Trump said last week he would decide after the meeting of the leaders of the world’s largest economies whether to carry out a threat to impose tariffs on at least $300 billion in Chinese goods.

On Monday, Trump said he was ready to impose another round of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports if he cannot make progress in trade talks with Xi in Osaka.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang again would not be drawn on confirming a Xi-Trump meeting at G20, saying information would be released once it was available to the ministry.

“China does not want to fight a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting a trade war,” he said, adding China’s door was open to talks based on equality.

“If the United States only wants to escalate trade frictions, we will resolutely respond and fight to the end.”

Tensions between Washington and Beijing rose sharply in May after the Trump administration accused China of having reneged on promises to make structural economic changes during months of trade talks.

The United States is seeking sweeping changes, including an end to forced technology transfers and theft of U.S. trade secrets. It also wants curbs on subsidies for Chinese state-owned enterprises and better access for U.S. firms in Chinese markets.

On May 10, Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods up to 25% and took steps to levy duties on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with tariff hikes on a revised list of $60 billion in U.S. goods.

The U.S. government has also angered China by putting Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a blacklist that effectively bans U.S. companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker.

Investors worry China will retaliate by putting U.S. companies on a blacklist or banning exports to the United States of rare earth metals, which are used in products such as memory chips, rechargeable batteries and cell phones.]]>
6/11/2019 11:24:42 AM
<![CDATA[Export opportunities to Italy exceeds €8M in 5 months]]>
Antar added Monday that the Milan Office held fruitful meetings with Italian companies to find out their import needs of different products in light of the competitive advantage and export importance of Egypt.

In a press release, Antar said that the efforts resulted in the success of the office in providing 12 export opportunities (seeds, fennel, basil, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sucrose powder, glucose-phosphate powder, and dextrin powder).

He said that the efforts of the Milan office come within the framework of the Egyptian Commercial Representation Authority and its foreign offices to implement the approved Egyptian export development plan.

Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar said earlier that Egypt’s exports to Italy hit $1.24 billion during the first eight months of 2018, compared to $986 million during the same months of 2017.

Nassar added that Egypt’s imports from the Italian market dropped to $2.96 billion, compared to $3.64 billion in the period of January to August 2017.
]]>
6/10/2019 5:34:00 PM
<![CDATA[EGX flags in green for 2nd session in row, market cap. gains LE 10.2B]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 rose 1.71 percent, or 237.22 points, to close at 14,148.88 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 increased 2.02 percent, or 42.44 points, to reach 2,138.44 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 inched up 0.59 percent, or 3.55 points, to close at 604.75 points, and the broader index EGX 100 hiked 0.78 percent, or 11.99 point, to 1,544.53 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 10.19 billion, recording LE 761.18 billion, compared to LE 750.98 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 174.01 million shares, traded through 25,437 transactions, with a turnover of LE 932.73 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 34.27 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 25.58 million, and LE 8.68 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at 24.37 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 12.08 million, and LE 1.26 million, respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 3.39 million, and LE 35.53 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations bought at LE 49.96 million.

El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing, Samad Misr -EGYFERT, and Egypt Aluminum were top gainers of the session by 8.96 percent, 8.75 percent and 7.74 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Alexandria Cement, Obour Land for Food Industries, and Paint & Chemicals Industries (Pachin) were top losers of the session by 9.48 percent, 5.64 percent, and 5.61 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s session in green, as EGX30 rose 0.90 percent, EGX 50 increased 1.62 percent, and EGX70 hiked 0.64 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.73 percent.

]]>
6/10/2019 5:29:58 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual core inflation falls to 7.8% in April: CBE]]>
Core inflation discounts or strips out certain categories that are considered more volatile.
CBE said in a statement on its website on Monday that the core inflation recorded a monthly rate of 1.2 percent in May 2019, compared to 0.4 percent in April 2019.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier Monday that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation rose to 13.2 percent in May 2019, compared to 11.5 percent in May 2018.

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.


]]>
6/10/2019 5:28:37 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports to Ghana hike to $96.5M in 2018]]>
Prepared by the Egyptian Commercial representative office in Accra, the report referred that Egypt’s imports from Ghana also rose 27.5 percent in 2018 to $15.1 million, up from $11.8 million in 2017.

The report further noted that trade volume between both countries recorded about $108.3 million.

The most important Egyptian products exported to Ghana - which witnessed a marked increase in 2018 - included electricity meters recording $15.9 million, compared to $6.3 million in 2017; the flavor and aroma in the food industry amounting to $11.8 million, compared to $7.2 million in 2017.

Clinker used in the cement industry was exported for the first time this year at a value of $6.7 million, compared to $ 2 million in 2017; calcium carbonate worth $3 million was exported , compared to $2.4 million in 2017, and iron and steel products worth $4.5 million were exported, compared to $ 1.1 million in 2017.

According to the report, 99 percent of Egypt's imports from Ghana are primary products serving the Egyptian industry, namely cocoa and wood.
]]>
6/10/2019 3:32:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt on track to achieve comprehensive financial, economic reforms: Standard Chartered]]>
In a recent report, Standard Chartered said the Egyptian government in its reform program, in cooperation with IMF, is lowering its debts by 16 percent points, to hits 86.3 percent by June 2019, down from 103.5 percent in 2017.

Inflows from tourism sector and remittances sent by the Egyptian living abroad have given a hand in narrowing the current account deficit, it stated.

The report expected more narrowing in the current account as the rise in gas exports started to pay-off, adding the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE)'s adopted monetary policy has led to a slowdown in the inflation.

It estimated inflation to reach 11.1 percent by the end of the running financial year by June 2020, which could help the CBE in lowering the interest rate.

The report advised the global institutions and investors to increase the weight of their investment portfolios in the Egyptian market, which is expected to outperform other emerging market peers.]]>
6/10/2019 1:26:42 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian non-oil private sector contracts to 48.2 in May: PMI]]>
A report issued by IHS Markit, Emirates NBD Research, said that the private sector has continued to bear the brunt of ongoing reform economic efforts in Egypt, and will likely remain under pressure over the summer period.

“While easing price growth in recent months – CPI inflation fell to 13.0 percent y/y in April – has offered some respite, upcoming subsidy reforms and a renewed pause in the CBE’s cutting cycle mean that conditions remain difficult for private firms,” it added.

“The dip back below 50 was driven by both output and new orders, both of which saw moderate declines compared to the previous month, following expansions in April. New export orders contracted at a quicker pace, with respondents citing deterioration in tourism activity,” MENA Economist Emirates NBD Daniel Marc Richards stated.

Richards added in a report that firms continued to discount in a bid to shore up demand, with output prices declining for the second month in a row.

“Although the pace of growth in purchase costs has slowed in line with inflation, it will likely accelerate in the coming months as new subsidy reforms push up energy and fuel tariffs,” he added, noting that this will continue to squeeze firms’ margins, and is reflected in a drawdown in inventories and a fall in employment, which declined at the fastest rate since October 2017.

“We maintain our outlook that conditions will improve although private Egyptian companies will remain under pressure over the summer months,” he stated.

The report also read that stronger GDP growth should bolster demand, and some of the more difficult economic reforms are behind them. Survey respondents share our view, with 38 percent anticipating an increase in activity over the year.

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.
]]>
6/10/2019 1:21:20 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual inflation hits 13.2% in May]]>
In April, Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation fell to 12.5 percent.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 1 percent in May, recording 311.1 points, compared to 308.1 points in April, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said.

CAPMAS attributed the hike in inflation on a monthly basis to the increase of food and drinks commodities' prices by 1.3 percent, as fruits prices' rose by 18.1 percent; meat and chicken by 3.6 percent; cereals and bread by 0.7 percent; and fish and sea food by 1.2 percent, as well as the hike of ready-made clothes by 1.3 percent, ready-meals by 1.3 percent, and organized tours by 0.8 percent.

At the urban level, the annual inflation rate for May 2019 reached 14.1 percent, up from 13 percent in April.

Egypt is currently witnessing an inflationary season, started with Ramadan, and including Islamic feasts and the beginning of the new fiscal year with subsidy cuts, with expected hike in inflation during May and June.

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.

Egypt targets an inflation rate of 13 percent in its fiscal year 2018/2019 budget.
]]>
6/10/2019 12:11:32 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet media center underlines positive change in foreign media coverage of Egypt economy]]>
News agencies, such as Bloomberg, Reuters, and Financial Times, have been pointing to tangible growth following economic reforms adopted by Cairo, the media center Sunday on its official social media page.

In 2013, Bloomberg posted a negative outlook of the Egyptian economy, based on an unstable currency market at the time. It had also cited a record low of foreign currency reserves that reached 13.6 billion dollars. Bloomberg had also touched upon a far recovery of the tourism sector following the January 25 Revolution in 2011. An unemployment rate of 12.5 percent was also highlighted by Bloomberg in 2013.

In 2019, Bloomberg said the Egyptian pound is among the best in terms of performance in emerging markets. It now points to a rebounding travel sector, an increase in foreign currency reserves to 44 billion dollars and a decline in unemployment rates to 8.9 percent.

Reuters outlook was also negative in 2013 due to the diesel oil crisis that spiraled back then across Egypt, not to mention its worst ever energy problem.

Back then Reuters blamed it all on what it called over-subsidy at a time public debt was also soaring.

Reuters now adopts a more positive forecast for the Egyptian economy, the center said, noting that it chose to focus on a budget surplus that was achieved for the first time in 15 years in 2018.

It now touches upon Egypt's attempts to become a regional hub of gas trading following a decision to stop importing liquefied gas.

Financial Times had, likewise, adopted a negative approach when handling reports from Egypt mainly due to a decline in the Gross Domestic Product that started in the wake of the January 25 Revolution and continued in the country through July 2013.

It had also pointed to slow navigation movement along the Suez Canal, which it called an important source of national income.

This has changed in 2019, with Financial Times shedding more light on economic reform measures in Egypt, such as the flotation of the Egyptian pound, which are now bearing fruit.

It now points to a decline in the inflation rate to 13.3 percent and expects a drop in budget deficit to 8.4 percent in 2018-2019. ]]>
6/9/2019 6:18:04 PM
<![CDATA[Customs revenues on vehicles in Port Said exceed LE 255M in May]]>
The total value of the vehicles and spare parts shipments, cleared from the customs, was estimated at LE 658.69 million, the statement added.]]>
6/9/2019 6:16:47 PM
<![CDATA[Suez Canal breaks records, transfers LE 74B to state treasury]]>
The figure is historically the highest, the ministry added in a statement.

It does not include operating and maintenance expenses, financing investment plans, expansions and many projects serving the national economy, the statement read.

The total revenues have recorded a remarkable increase, reaching LE 104.2 billion in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, compared to LE 74.2 billion two years ago, with a growth rate of 40.4 percent.]]>
6/9/2019 6:14:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to implement 2nd phase of g’ovt IPO in September]]>
“The government is committed holdings its first IPO under the program in September even if there’s turbulence in the market,” he added.

Public Enterprises Minister did not name the first company to be offered but according to previous statement to Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla, it would be oil and gas contractor Enppi, Enterprise stated.

Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla told local media earlier that Egypt is expected to float a stake of Oil Company Engineering for Petroleum and Process Industries (ENPPI) on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) in the first half of 2019, or before the Holy month of Ramadan.

According to Enterprise, the ministry had planned to IPO four or five state companies at a rate of about one per month starting from September.

Tawfik noted that share sales by already-listed companies will still hinge on market conditions.

“Alexandria Containers & Cargo Holding and Abu Qir Fertilizers are both set to make offerings, and the timing will come down to recommendations from the investment banks quarterbacking the sales. No dates have been penciled,” the minister added.

The minister stated that he will hold a meeting with investment banks advising on the share sales during the week to decide on the next step in these share sales.

By the end of February, Egypt floated a stake of Eastern Company on EGX, and the public and private offerings on the course were completed Wednesday, March 6, with a total value of LE 1.72 billion.

In 2018, Egypt delayed 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 had been floated, they would have failed to be covered at proper valuation.

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 part of the economic reform 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.


]]>
6/9/2019 6:10:17 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar prices stable at major Egyptian banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at EGP 16.73 for buying and EGP 17.83 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr.

The rate stood at EGP 16.69 for buying and EGP 16.79 for selling at Commercial International Bank (CIB).

It recorded EGP 16.70 for buying and EGP 16.80 for selling at Bank of Alexandria.

At the Arab African International Bank, the dollar exchange rate settled at EGP 16.73 for buying and EGP 16.83 for selling.

The dollar price stood at EGP 16.71 for buying and EGP 16.81 for selling at the National Bank of Greece.]]>
6/9/2019 5:11:52 PM
<![CDATA[EGX enters green zone during 1st trading session after Eid holiday]]>
EGX and the Central Bank of Egypt announced having a three-day holiday in celebration of Eid al-Fitr “Festival of Breaking Muslims’ Fast”. Eid al-Fitr holiday started on Tuesday June 4, 2019, till Thursday June 6, 2019, according to both entities. “Trading resumed effective on Sunday June 9, 2019.”

The benchmark EGX 30 rose 0.90 percent, or 123.86 points, to close at 13,911.66 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 increased 1.62 percent, or 33.34 points, to reach 2,096 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 inched up 0.64 percent, or 3.85 points, to close at 601.2 points, and the broader index EGX 100 hiked 0.73 percent, or 11.13 point, to 1,532.54 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 5.86 billion, recording LE 750.98 billion, compared to LE 745.12 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 96.07 million shares, traded through 15,930 transactions, with a turnover of LE 947.97 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 16.34 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 10.24 million, and LE 6.1 million, respectively.

Foreign individuals were net sellers at 817,835, while Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 32.8 million, and LE 5.86 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations sold at LE 22.57 million, and LE 15.53 million, respectively, while Arab organizations bought at LE 247,404.

Sinai Cement, Delta Construction & Rebuilding, and Electro Cable Egypt were top gainers of the session by 7.98 percent, 7.94 percent and 7.22 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development, Belton Financial Holding and Natural Gas & Mining Project (Egypt Gas) were top losers of the session by 2.64 percent, 2.37 percent, and 2.10 percent, respectively.

EGX witnessed a semi-collective rise during last trading session before holiday on Monday, as EGX30 rose 0.71 percent, EGX 50 increased 0.74 percent, and EGX 100 hiked 0.11 percent, while EGX 70 inched down 0.01 percent.
]]>
6/9/2019 3:45:16 PM
<![CDATA[Things to know about Nuweiba Free Zone]]>
• In March, South Sinai governor Khaled Fouda announced that the government agreed to establish a free-zone in Nuweiba city, and the decree was issued by the Cabinet on April 15.

• The area of the free zone is 226.5 faddens, about 951,000 square meters.

• Estimated cost of the zone is about LE 970 million.

• The zone will be implemented within two and a half years as soon as implementation procedures begin.

• It will include about 150 projects in different industrial sectors.

• It targets achieving new investments of $1.1 billion.

• Nuweiba Free Zone will provide around 14,000 job opportunities.

• The zone’s expected annual exports are about $650 million after full operation.

]]>
6/9/2019 1:58:03 PM
<![CDATA[LE 1.6B... net foreign sales on EGX since beginning of year]]>
EGX clarified that Arab investors have been net buyers by LE 90.3 million after excluding deals in listed stocks during this year since started.

The data revealed that Egyptians represented 67 percent of the value traded in listed stocks after excluding deals, Foreigners accounted for 23.7 percent, while Arabs captured 9.3 percent since the beginning of the year.

As per the first week of June which witnessed two sessions only due to Eid al-Fitr holiday, Foreigners were net sellers, with a net of LE 28.3 million, and Arabs were net sellers, with a net of LE 9.7 million, after excluding deals in listed stocks.

Egyptians represented 60.7 percent of the value traded in listed stocks after excluding deals during the week. Foreigners accounted for 34.7 percent, while Arabs captured 4.5 percent.

Eid al-Fitr holiday started on Tuesday, June 4 and ended on Thursday, June 6, 2019. “Trading resumed on Sunday, June 9, 2019.”

Moreover, Total market capitalization reached LE 745.1 billion at end of the week, representing an increase of 0.01 percent over the period, according to revealed data.
]]>
6/9/2019 1:56:15 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 8.25 billion with a 182-day term and the second is worth LE 8.75 billion with a 364-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The ministry announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills (T-bills) in June with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 34 billion, LE 35 billion, LE 34 billion, and LE 37 billion, respectively.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion, t-bills come with matures of a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion.

Finance Ministry to auction LE478.5B in T-bonds, bills in Q4

CAIRO - 28 March 2019:The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during May meeting.

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, noting 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.

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6/9/2019 12:06:06 PM
<![CDATA[G20 finance chiefs cite 'intensified' trade row, but don't call for its resolution]]>
After rocky negotiations that nearly aborted the issuance of a communique, finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in southern Japan, affirmed language issued in Buenos Aires last December that offered tepid support for a rules-based multilateral trading system.

“Global growth appears to be stabilizing, and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020,” the G20 finance leaders said in a communique issued as the meetings in Fukuoka closed.

“However, growth remains low and risks remain tilted to the downside. Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified. We will continue to address these risks, and stand ready to take further action,” the communique said.

It also said that G20 finance leaders had agreed to compile common rules by 2020 to close loopholes used by global tech giants such as Facebook and Google to reduce their corporate taxes.

The communique also contained pledges to increase debt transparency on the part of both borrowers and creditors and to make infrastructure development more sustainable, an initiative launched in the wake of complaints that China’s massive Belt and Road infrastructure drive was saddling poor countries with debt they can’t repay.

But the final communique language excluded a proposed clause to “recognize the pressing need to resolve trade tensions” from a previous draft that was debated on Saturday.

The deletion, which G20 sources said came at the insistence of the United States, shows a desire by Washington to avoid encumbrances as it increases tariffs on Chinese goods. The statement also contains no admissions that the deepening U.S.-China trade conflict was hurting global growth.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she “emphasized that the first priority should be to resolve the current trade tensions” while working to modernize international trading rules.

The IMF warned earlier this week that while growth was still expected to improve this year and next, the U.S.-China tariff war could lop 0.5 percent from global GDP output in 2020, about the size of G20 member South Africa’s economy.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday he did not see any impact on U.S. growth from the trade conflict, and that the government would take steps to protect consumers from higher tariffs.

The Buenos Aires G20 summit in December 2018 launched a five-month trade truce between the United States and China to allow for negotiations to end their deepening trade war. But those talks hit an impasse last month, prompting both sides to impose higher tariffs on each other’s goods as the conflict nears the end of its first year.

TRUMP-XI SUMMIT

The widening fallout from the U.S.-China trade war has tested the resolve of the group to show a united front as investors worry if policymakers can avert a global recession.

The bickering over trade language has dashed hopes of Japan, which chairs this year’s G20 meetings, to keep trade issues low on the list of agendas at the finance leaders’ meeting.

Mnuchin said U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet at a June 28-29 G20 summit in Osaka.

Mnuchin described the planned meeting as having parallels to the two presidents’ Dec. 1 meeting in Buenos Aires, when Trump was poised to hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Trump took that step in May and will be ready to impose similar 25% tariffs on a remaining $300 billion list of Chinese goods around the time of the Osaka summit.

At the Buenos Aires meeting, the G20 leaders described international trade and investment as “important engines of growth, productivity, innovation, job creation and development. We recognize the contribution that the multilateral trading system has made to that end.”

The leaders in that communique called for reform of the World Trade Organization rules that were falling short of objectives with “room for improvement,” pledging to review progress at the Japan summit.]]>
6/9/2019 11:52:57 AM
<![CDATA[Suez Canal breaks records, transfers EGP 74 bln to state treasury]]>
The figure is historically the highest, the ministry added in a statement.

It does not include operating and maintenance expenses, financing investment plans, expansions and many projects serving the national economy, the statement read.

The total revenues have recorded a remarkable increase, reaching EGP 104.2 billion in the 2018/2019 fiscal year, compared to EGP 74.2 billion two years ago, with a growth rate of 40.4 percent.]]>
6/9/2019 10:28:48 AM
<![CDATA[Imports drop by 21.4% in 2 months ]]>
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) revealed that the 14 countries are Russia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Kenya, Brazil, Argentina, and New Zealand.

Imports from Russia dropped by 36.9 percent to record $556.5 million against $882.4 million. The value of the decline is $325.8 million. Imports from Russia include wheat and food products.

Imports from Argentina dropped by 75.7 percent to record $50.4 million against $207.7 million. The value of the decline is $157.3 million. Imports from Argentina include cooking oils and corn.

Imports from Spain dropped by 22.4 percent to record $333.2 million against $429.6 million. The value of the decline is $96.3 percent. Imports from Spain include cattle.

Imports from Brazil dropped by 15.4 percent to record $414.7 million against $490.4 million. The value of the decline is $75.7 million. Imports from Brazil include frozen meats, cattle, and dairy products.

Imports from Bulgaria dropped by 66.6 percent to record $27.1 million against $81.2 million. The value of the decline is $54.1 million. Imports from Bulgaria include copper, minerals, and wheat.

Imports from Romania dropped by 42.5 percent to record 113.5 million against $395.7 million. The value of the decline is $48.3 million. Imports from Romania include wheat, corn, wood, tractors and spare parts, automotive spare parts, cranes, equipment, gear, chemicals, petrochemicals, and steam boilers.

Imports from Kenya dropped by 39.1 percent to record $40.7 million against $66.9 million. The value of the decline is $26.2 million. Imports from Kenya include dairy products, eggs, honey, fruits, nuts, coffee, tea, spices, tobacco, plastics, paper, vegetable textile fibers, and copper.

Imports from Czech Republic dropped by 28.9 percent to record $62.2 million against $87.6 million. The value of the decline is $25.4 million.

Imports from Italy dropped by 4.9 percent to record $475.7 million against $500.3 million. The value of the decline is $24.6 million. Imports from Italy include iron, white goods, electronics, and machinery.

Imports from Ukraine dropped by 5.5 percent to record $395.7 million against $419.2 million. The value of the decline is $23.4 million. Imports from Ukraine include grains, cooking oils, tobacco, and oil seeds.

Imports from New Zealand dropped by 28.4 percent to record $40.9 million against $57.3 million. The value of the decline is $16.3 million.

Imports from Cyprus dropped by 84.6 percent to record $2.6 million against $17.6 million. The value of the decline is $14.9 million. Imports from Cyprus include petroleum products, copper coils, cosmetics, and inputs of cattle feed production.

Imports from Germany dropped by 1.7 percent to record $688 million against $700.4 million. The value of the decline is $12.3 million. Imports from Germany include vehicles, railcars, bikes, machinery, spare parts, white goods, electronics, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.

Imports from Belgium dropped by 2.9 percent to record $168.3 million against $173.4 million. The value of the decline is $5 million. Imports from Belgium include medicine, baby formula, industrial equipment, and machinery.
]]>
6/8/2019 1:30:59 PM
<![CDATA[Moroccan min.: We are interested in setting up joint projects with Egypt]]>
In statements to MENA on Friday, Elalamy expressed his interest in establishing joint projects and investments with Egypt in the economic and trade domains.

The minister hailed the two countries' potentials and developed industries and projects, noting that despite their deeply-rooted relationship the level of bilateral economic cooperation is still not up to expectations.

He pointed out that the Conference on Technology, Innovation, and Society (CYFY Africa 2019), that kicked off in Tangiers today, CyFy Africa 2019 brings together ministers, journalists, ethicists, civil society, as well as technology leaders and entrepreneurs to curate Africa-centred conversations around data, innovation, gender, norms and new media. Elaborating, he said that CyFy will be informed by African experiences and contexts — capturing the continent’s success with emerging technologies and charting a course for the region’s digital future. ]]>
6/8/2019 11:54:09 AM
<![CDATA[55 companies want to invest in RIZ: Russian minister ]]>
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum taking place on June 6 - 8.

As reported by Al Mal newspaper, Manturov stated that Russian investments in RIZ infrastructure are worth $190 million. On the other hand, the project is estimated to attract investments worth $7 billion and create 150,000 job opportunities.

The Russian minister affirmed his country’s eagerness to strengthen economic ties with Egypt which can be a doorway for Russian products to both Arab and African states.

Both ministers displayed the progress achieved on the outcomes of the 11th round of the Egyptian-Russian joint committee for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation that was held last May in Moscow.

Those outcomes consist of signing an agreement to build and operate RIZ, and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to upgrade the infrastructure necessary for dairy, bread, and grain industries in Egypt.

The trade exchange between both countries recorded $7.66 billion in 2018. Egyptian exports to Russia rose by 4.1 percent to hit $526.4 million against $505.6 million in the year before. The rise is driven by agricultural goods and industrial goods embodied in pharmaceuticals, food products, and chemicals.

RIZ stretches over 5.25 million square meters and will be built over three phases. The first will be finished by 2021, according to TASS.
]]>
6/8/2019 11:47:59 AM
<![CDATA[Foreign Policy Magazine becomes Muslim Brotherhood platform, disregards World Bank report about Egypt economy]]>CAIRO – 8 June 2019: On Thursday, Foreign Policy Magazine Published an article for a senior Muslim Brotherhood member and ex-minister of investment, Yehia Hamed, in which he argued that the Egyptian economy is collapsing.


However, most of the international reports produced by organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated otherwise.


But the question here is about whether Foreign Policy Magazine team knows anything about the Egyptian economy that make them able to judge whether a contributor is spreading lies or telling the truth about a country as big as Egypt.


The following is part of a published document by the World Bank, which indicated that the 2016 reform program implemented by the Egyptian government has put the economy on the right track;



Egypt’s Reforms and Key Macroeconomic Developments:


Egypt’s economic reform program has played a key role in improving the country’s macroeconomic situation. The currency was floated in November 2016, addressing its overvaluation and the resulting shortage in foreign exchange.


Fiscal consolidation measures simultaneously boosted government revenues and reined in public expenditures through sustained energy subsidy reform and control of the public‐sector wage bill.


Together with these macroeconomic reforms, the government of Egypt has made important strides in improving the business environment through a modern and comprehensive investment law, a new industrial licensing law, and a progressive insolvency law. These have helped lay the groundwork for more dynamic private sector participation in the economy in response to improved macroeconomic conditions.


The government’s reform program is widely endorsed, including through the World Bank’s programmatic development policy financing (DPF) engagement in the amount of US$4.15 billion and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) three‐year US$12 billion Extended Fund Facility, approved in November 2016.


Policies supported by the IMF program have aimed to correct external imbalances, restore competitiveness, reduce the budget deficit and place public debt on a declining path, boost growth, and create jobs while protecting vulnerable groups. Total disbursements under the Facility amount to about US$10 billion.


Egypt’s economic reforms are showing early signs of success. In FY18, real gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 5.3 percent, compared to an average of 4.3 percent in the three years before. This pickup in growth has been driven by public investments, private consumption, and exports of goods and services, while the private sector response has remained muted.


Although inflation has begun to ease over the past 18 months, slowing from a record 33 percent in mid‐2017 to 12.7 percent in January 2019, it remains high by historical standards. The positive impact of macroeconomic and policy reforms has markedly improved Egypt’s external position. The current account deficit narrowed to 2.4 percent of GDP in FY18, down from 6.0 percent in the previous year, driven primarily by strong remittances and the recovery in tourism. A resurgence of portfolio and international financial institution inflows has supported the capital and financial account.


Important fiscal reforms on both the expenditure and revenue sides have prompted a gradual decline in the fiscal deficit, but the public debt ratio remains elevated. Over the past three years, the overall fiscal deficit narrowed by three percentage points to 9.7 percent of GDP in FY18, while the deficit in the primary balance improved by 3.6 percentage points—and turned positive for the first time in more than 15 years—during the same period.


The new value‐added tax (VAT) regime, introduced in September 2016, boosted tax revenues, while energy subsidy reforms and measures to rein in the wage bill reduced expenditures as a share of GDP.


Still, the debt ratio remains high at 98.7 percent of GDP in FY18. Though the debt ratio is expected to continue on a downward path, significant risks remain in terms of size, composition, contingent liabilities, and policy reversal. The large debt ratio has translated into significant interest payments that have increased gradually to almost 10 percent of GDP, absorbing 70 percent of tax revenues.


Despite impressive fiscal gains overall, important challenges remain in sustaining and further increasing revenues, managing fiscal risks, and containing new spending pressures. The tax‐to‐GDP ratio, at under 15 percent, remains low among middle‐income countries worldwide. To sustain and improve revenues, further examination of tax expenditures will be required and tax administration reforms will be needed.


The fiscal risk management function has been stepped up, with new policies on sovereign guarantees, calculations of contingent liabilities, and transparency of state‐owned enterprises’ (SOE) financial statements; capacity to manage these new functions will need to be developed.


A draft public financial management strategy was developed in 2016, but implementation has been partial. Notably, an internal audit function has been introduced. Several public financial management reforms, such as integrated (capital and recurrent) budgeting linked to strategic priorities and updates to the integrated financial management information system, have not been policy priorities recently but remain important to the future reform agenda, particularly if new spending pressures are to be managed.


Source: World Bank document, "PERFORMANCE AND LEARNING REVIEW OF THE COUNTRY PARTNERSHIP FRAMEWORK", April 3, 2019.


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6/8/2019 3:55:23 AM
<![CDATA[What the Egyptian government did to restore the make local currency stronger? ]]>CAIRO – 8 June 2019:It was highly predicted that the Egyptian pound is to rebound and offset some of its post flotation losses against the dollar during 2019, especially after the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Governor Tarek Amer said in late January that the FX market is expected to witness more volatility compared to the relatively stagnant rates since mid-2017.

However, the recent unexpected aggressive appreciation of the local currency against the greenback, breaking the psychologically critical barrier of LE17.00/USD,raises several questions on the key drivers of this movement, the possibility of a CBE intervention in the market to prop up the pound, and the future of the local currency.
After losing nearly 50% of its value against the greenback after the flotation of the local currency in 2016, the pound has been almost steadily rising at an average of LE 17.6 per dollar before appreciating sharply since the beginning of 2019, breaching the LE17/USD mark in May.

It seems that the government did not anticipate this surge as the draft budget for FY2019/2020 assumes an average exchange rate of LE 17.46 per the dollar. In the document, the Finance Ministry uses the average official exchange rate announced by the CBE during a two- week period from March 1 to March 15 to price of the budget items in next fiscal year.

One of the key factors for a stronger pound was the CBE’s decision to terminate its repatriation mechanism in December 2018, a step towards higher liberalization in the interbank and FX market.

The move was highly recommended by the IMF to boost exchange rate flexibility and deepen the interbank market. The repatriation mechanism aimed to reassure foreign investors they could get their dollars out of Egypt at any point.
Pharos Holding’s head of research Radwa el-Sweifysays, “This liberal move is one of the key reasons behind the volatility in the FX rate.” Around $2.4 billion was invested in Egypt’s Treasury bills (T-bills) in January 2019, according to the CBE data.

“This was not absorbed by the CBE, and this has driven the pound up, as foreign investors’ dollar injections into the market found their way solely into the banking system, thanks to the repatriation mechanism’s termination,” says Shuaa Securities’ senior economist Esraa Ahmed. The repatriation mechanism is an intervention tool that allows inflows and outflows to take place only through the interbank.

On escalating speculation that the CBE is backing the pound through state-owned banks, Ahmed tells Business Today Egypt, “The local currency was almost stable during the emerging markets’ turmoil during the past year… It only depreciated around 1%, creating a perception in the market that the CBE may be propping up the EGP one way or another…but we believe that the CBE has been intervening since mid-2017 to mid-2018, not to defend the pound, but to defend its competitiveness by keeping it cheap and stable enough to spur foreign inflows.”

Is the pickup sustainable?

While the pound’s appreciation was welcomed by some experts, who note the significance of tourism recovery and foreign inflows in Egypt treasuries as well as remittances from Egyptians living abroad, other are concerned about the sustainability of such a “rapid and sharp appreciation.” Shuaa’s Ahmed cited the fast appreciation to “temporary reasons,” adding that the movement of the pound in the short-term will be mostly linked to foreign holdings in Egyptian treasuries. Total foreign cash flows to Egypt have registered $24.765 billion from January to the present, reflecting investor confidence in the Egyptian economy, Reuters reported on May 16.

Boosted by foreign cash flows from several sources, the dollar exchange rate dropped more than 5% since January 2019. In April, the CBE governor said that foreign cash flows from different sources hit $130 billion since the float in November 2016.
However, Ahmed believes that the dollar will rebound to the high end of the LE 17 level, citing an anticipated pressure on the currency due to an inflationary wave ahead of the Eid season, which will be followed by a new round of energy subsidy cuts.

According to CBE data, Egypt’s foreign reserves recorded $44.218 billion by the end of April 2019, sufficient to cover eight months of commodity imports, while the global average is three months of commodity imports.

Banks operating in the Egyptian market determine the exchange rate according to the mechanism of supply and demand.

The medium and long-term outlook

Some analysts suggest that Egypt’s currency will not see a big dip in the foreseeable future, given several positive macroeconomic indicators, the anticipated inflation path and current account performance. “We do not see sharp depreciation in the medium-term,” says Shuaa’s Ahmed, citing significant improvements in the country’s external balances, compared to the pre-flotation situation. “Add to that how the pound is currently undervalued and the economy has not yet reached its potential in terms of exports and tourism.” Meanwhile, Ahmed warns of the “chronic issue of growing non-oil imports, especially that the bulk of imports cannot be tamed without hurting production activities.” However, she affirms that the positive outlook is also supported by “well-built reserves, with no worrisome short-term liabilities.”

On the competitiveness of Egypt treasuries, Ahmed concludes: “Egypt is expected to maintain a high appetite for debt instruments, securing decent inflows into the banking system as long the current global stance stays intact in the medium term.”

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6/8/2019 3:38:25 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host 1st UfM Business Forum on June 18]]>



The UfM, in cooperation with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and ASCAME will hold the Forum in Cairo under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Forum will shed light on the economic integration and the development of the Mediterranean area, according to the Forum official website.

Environmentally, UfM Deputy Secretary General for Water and Environment, Miguel García-Herraiz praised Egypt's efforts in the field of pollution control and environmental conservation through mega-development projects in renewable energy, smart new cities, lake development and modern agriculture based on advanced technologies.

Herraiz's comments came on the sideline of the Union for the Mediterranean celebrations on the June 5, focusing on combating all sources of air pollution, which is one of the most serious environmental threats worldwide.

He also praised the solar project in Banban village of Aswan Governorate, which won the annual prize for the best projects of the World Bank this year, noting that it is the largest solar city in the world with investments up to $2 billion.

He highlighted Egypt's approach to building many new smart cities, including the new administrative capital, expecting that these projects become a model for smart cities in the Mediterranean region and the world to serve the programs of clean and eco-friendly urban development.

The Deputy Secretary-General for Environment and Water also praised Egypt's efforts in the development of Egyptian lakes and the elimination of infringements on them to eliminate all sources of pollution.

He pointed out that the development of Egyptian lakes will achieve many goals of the development of local communities, provide more employment opportunities, improve health conditions around these lakes, increase the efficiency of fisheries, and will utilize industry, agriculture and tourism in general.

He added that the Mediterranean region offers tremendous potential for sustainable and eco-friendly development. Herraiz stressed that the Union for the Mediterranean supported all efforts to implement the regional agendas on environment, water, energy efficiency, low-carbon energy sources (gas), and renewable energies.


]]>
6/7/2019 3:47:13 PM
<![CDATA[Trump to decide on $300 billion China tariffs after G20 meeting]]>
Relations between the United States and China have deteriorated since Trump in early May accused Beijing of reneging on commitments to change its ways of doing business with the rest of the world.

Since then the two sides have acted against each other’s companies and exchanged harsh words on the diplomatic front, an escalation that has rattled global markets and wiped out more than $1.5 trillion in investments worldwide.

Trump raised tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods and ordered his trade representative to prepare tariffs on another $300 billion, effectively covering almost all Chinese exports to the United States.

The G20 summit, in Japan on June 28-29, marks the first opportunity for Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet since the last G20 summit in Buenos Aires in late 2018. Trump said a decision on the $300 billion will follow that meeting.

“I will make that decision in the next two weeks after the G20. I will be meeting with President Xi and we’ll see what happens, we’re probably planning it sometime after G20,” Trump said in France on Thursday.

A meeting of the two leaders has yet to be announced. Their trade negotiating teams have not met since May 10.

The two countries have been at odds since July 2018 over a host of U.S. demands that the Asian powerhouse adopt policy changes that would better protect American intellectual property and make China’s market more accessible to U.S. companies.

“Our talks with China, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens... I could go up another at least $300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” Trump told reporters in Ireland before leaving for France for D-Day commemorations.

In Beijing, China’s Commerce Ministry struck a defiant tone.

“If the United States wilfully decides to escalate tensions, we’ll fight to the end,” ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular news briefing.

“China does not want to fight a trade war, but also is not afraid of one. If the United States wilfully decides to escalate trade tensions, we’ll adopt necessary countermeasures and resolutely safeguard the interests of China and its people.”

The Commerce Ministry also issued a report on how the United States has benefited from years of economic and trade cooperation with China, saying U.S. claims that China has taken advantage in bilateral trade were groundless.

Adding to concerns China may target U.S. companies in the trade war, the ministry last week said it was drafting a list of “unreliable entities” that had harmed Chinese firms’ interests.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to meet People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang this weekend at a gathering of G20 finance leaders in Japan, the first face-to-face discussion between key negotiators in nearly a month.

The International Monetary Fund warned on Thursday that the dispute with China poses a threat to the global economy and criticized the Trump administration’s wider efforts to overhaul global trade relationships by raising tariffs.

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6/7/2019 11:35:42 AM
<![CDATA[St. Petersburg Int'l Economic Forum kicks off in Russia]]>
The tree-day forum brings together representatives of major international companies and organisations in addition to high-profile politicians, heads of government and ministers.

The SPIEF, which has become one of the leading global platforms to discuss global economic issues, is expected to see the participation of 12,000 participants from 140 countries,

More than 90 events will be held during the forum in addition to the Russian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Forum which will be held on its fringe.]]>
6/6/2019 11:17:11 AM
<![CDATA[Coin machine installed in main post office]]>
The Ministry of Finance revealed it is coordinating with the Metro Operation Agency to introduce coin machines in other stations so that citizens would not have to stand in long queues and wait for change while purchasing tickets.

Coordination is also taking place with the Post Authority to make such machines available in post offices across the country, particularly in rural and remote areas. The machines change banknotes worth LE10 and LE20. The capacity of the recently installed machine is double that of the first one.

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6/5/2019 1:58:19 PM
<![CDATA[Micro, small enterprises’ loans hit LE1.5B in Q1 2019]]>
Gamea added that about 62,000 small and micro projects were funded, providing nearly 97,000 jobs during the period from January to March 2019.

She added that the agency contributes in the marketing of products, providing training for young people to work on a project or idea of a project, and how to extract documents and contribute to the preparation of feasibility studies, in addition to providing training on ways to manage projects and providing consultations for the development of projects.

Gamea announced earlier that the World Bank funds small and medium enterprises by about$1 billion, of which $200 million were granted to the Ministry of Investment.

Previously, Gamea revealed that the agency injected LE 45.8 billion in funds during the period from January 1992 to January 31, 2019, noting that the total loans of small and micro enterprises with a total funding of LE39.6 billion, financed 3 million projects and provided about 4.8 million jobs, where the proportion of women hit 51 percent in all the projects.]]>
6/5/2019 11:42:46 AM
<![CDATA[Indonesian business delegation to visit Egypt on Sept. 15-16]]>

The delegation of the Indonesian Local Business Associate includes businesspersons from different sectors like garments, handicraft, accessories, food and beverage (F&B), coffee, and spices, said Commercial Attache at the Indonesian Embassy in Cairo Irman Adi Purwanto.


He added that the trade volume between Indonesia and Egypt in January-March 2019 reached $341.25 million, compared to $285.75 in the same period of the previous year, with an increase of 19.42 percent.


WhatsApp_Image_2019-05-28_at_1.04.36_AM_(1)
Indonesian Ambassador to Egypt Helmy Fawzy, embassy diplomats, and a number of Egyptian journalists pose for a photo in an Iftar party in Cairo - Press photo

“We are now focusing first to realize the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) between Indonesia and Egypt. We have submitted a draft and are waiting for a response from the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Egypt,” he said.


He continued that following the formation of the JTC, the signature of two agreements- Preferential Trade agreement (PTA) and Free Trade Agreement (FTA)- will be much easier to realize.


On November 1, 2018, Indonesian Minister of Trade and Industry Enggartiasto Lukita stated that his country will sign with Egypt the PTA and FTA deals to increase the trade volume between the two countries by at least 300 percent. Lukita’s comment came on the sidelines of the 33rd Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) 2018 at the Indonesian Convention Exhibition in BSD City in Banten.


“Future cooperative plans between Indonesia and Egypt shall further increase through participation in several exhibitions, business missions, bilateral meetings for trade and investment, joint promotion on trade - tourism - investment, and other prospective cooperation,” said Mr. Purwanto.


WhatsApp_Image_2019-05-28_at_12.31.04_AM
Indonesian Ambassador to Egypt Helmy Fawzy, embassy diplomats, and a number of Egyptian journalists pose for a photo in an Iftar party in Cairo - Press photo

During the Iftar, Ambassador Helmy Fawzy said that Indonesia is the biggest importer of dates from Egypt. “The biggest exportation [share] comes from Egypt, particularly in the annual festival of dates in Egypt’s Siwa as Indonesia imports 60 percent of it.”


The investment portfolio of Egyptian date exports reach $17 million, the ambassador said, adding that $11 million out of this figure comes from Indonesia.


“In the past, it was rare to find dates on Indonesian tables during Ramadan, but now, every house serves dates,” he said, stressing that Indonesian people prefer Rotab dates.


“Egypt is a brotherly country and most Indonesians consider it their second home. Over the past two years, we have seen quite a significant increase in the number of Indonesian students who study in Egypt,” Ambassador Helmy said, adding that last year, 2,000 new Indonesian students arrived in Egypt.


Politically, he said that Indonesia has received several congratulations cables about the initial results of Indonesian general elections and the winning of President Joko Widodo for a second term, Fawzy said. “Recently the embassy received a congratulations letter from the Arab League,” he said.


The election is one of the most significant election processes. And a large number of Indonesian people support the premilitary election results, he continued.
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6/5/2019 11:28:11 AM
<![CDATA[Rise of Egypt's forex reserves indicates strong economy: MPs]]>
Foreign exchange reserves is defined as the foreign-currency deposits which the national central banks and monetary authorities hold. Egypt’s foreign reserves rose by about $106 million, recording $44.218 billion by the end of April 2019, compared to $44.112 billion by the end of March 2019, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Many parliament members said that this increase restores much confidence in the Egyptian economy and encourages investments, as it represents an evidence of strong economy and a successful national reform plan.

Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee member Mahmoud al-Saeedi said that the rise of foreign exchange reserves is a positive indicator of the success of the economic reform carried out by the Egyptian state. He also pointed out to the fall of the US dollar against the Egyptian pound as well as the flow of foreign currency.

The rise of foreign exchange reserves also confirms the increase in exports and the decrease in imports, Saeedi added.

MP Sami Ramadan highlighted that the economic reform program has significantly reduced inflation, unemployment rate, and increased production.

MP Hala Abu al-Saad said that such increase in forex reserves can be used to meet the initial needs of the state. She expressed hope of a further increase in the foreign reserves which she says would contribute to supporting the economic sectors in Egypt.

The current average of foreign reserves covers about eight months of Egypt's commodity imports, which is higher than the global average of about three months of commodity imports.

Foreign currencies in Egypt’s foreign reserves include the U.S. dollar, euro, Australian dollar, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan. ]]>
6/5/2019 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to build 1st polybutadiene rubber factory in Africa]]>
Polybutadiene rubber is used in the production of tires and conveyors belts needed in factories and cars. It can also be used in construction works.

The Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives Company (ETHYDCO) was inaugurated in 2016. In 2018, the company produced 381,000 tons of polyethylene, and 19,000 tons of butadiene and its derivatives. ETHYDCO exported a portion of its products to 56 countries around the world including new markets in Western Africa and the Nile Basin.
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6/4/2019 5:38:54 PM
<![CDATA[BP to sell oil assets in Egypt to Dragon Oil]]>
The deal is subject to the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources’ approval.

The agreement, whose financial details are not being disclosed, stipulates that Dragon Oil will purchase producing and exploration concessions, including BP’s interest in the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO).

According to BP, the deal is expected to be completed during the second half of 2019 and is part of BP’s plan to divest more than $10 billion of assets globally over the next two years.

Dragon Oil is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC).

“Egypt is a core growth and investment region for BP. In the past four years, we have invested around $12 billion in Egypt – more than anywhere else in our portfolio – and we plan another $3 billion investment over the next two years. We look forward to continuing to broaden our business here, working closely with the government of Egypt as we develop the country’s abundant resources,” BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said.

“We continue to bring on new developments and deliver important gas supplies for the country. We remain on track to triple our 2016 net production from Egypt by 2020. As we grow our business here, we also keep our portfolio under review. We believe Dragon Oil is well-placed to operate these mature assets, delivering further value for Egypt,” Regional President of BP North Africa Hesham Mekawi said.

In February, BP announced first gas production from the second stage of its West Nile Delta development offshore Egypt. The project, which produces gas from the Giza and Fayoum fields, was developed as a deep-water, long-distance tie-back to an existing onshore plant.

Previously, BP and UAE-based Mubadala Investment Co signed an agreement to buy stakes in the Nour deep water gas concession off the northern coast of Sinai. Upon this agreement, BP bought 25 percent and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala bought 20 percent of the Nour concession from Italian energy company Eni.

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6/4/2019 5:36:28 PM
<![CDATA[5 sectors to drive estimated GDP growth of 5.6% in FY2019-20]]>
In the expected GDP growth, manufacturing will account for LE984.9 billion; wholesale and retail will allocate LE814.6 billion; petroleum production will be worth LE773.7 billion; agriculture, forestry, and fisheries will be worth LE676.3 billion; and real estate purchases will be worth LE441.2 billion.

Egypt issues 2019/20 preliminary budget

CAIRO - 1 April 2019: The Ministry of Finance issued the 2019/2020 preliminary budget draft and the Parliament will receive the draft at least 90 days before the start of the fiscal year on July 1 to have it signed into law by the end of June.




In April, the World Bank estimated that Egypt will achieve a growth rate of 5.5 percent in 2019, marking the second highest growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa region behind Djibouti, which tops the forecasts by 7 percent.

Egypt's economic outlook in World Bank's report

CAIRO - 10 April 2019: The World Bank issued earlier in April a report about the economic outlook for the Middle East and North Africa region including Egypt.




In a report about the economic outlook for the MENA region, the bank foresaw Egypt’s growth rate to hit 5.8 percent in 2020 and increase to 6 percent in 2021.

Moody's expectations of Egyptian economy's indicators in 2019/20

CAIRO - 29 April 2019: Earlier in April, Moody's Rating Agency published its expectations for the indicators of the Egyptian economy during fiscal year 2019/2020, days after the Ministry of Finance issued the next year's preliminary budget draft. Egypt Today reviews the expectations of the rating agency.




The value of GDP growth in the first half of the current fiscal year is 5.4 percent against 5.2 percent in the first half of the last fiscal year. The figure for the third quarter of the fiscal year is 5.6 percent from 5.4 percent. The anticipated growth rate for the fourth quarter is 5.8 percent.

In the second quarter of FY2017-2018, the GDP recorded LE383.3 billion with an increase worth LE 240 billion up from LE143.3 billion. The highest contribution to the growth came from the construction sector which achieved revenues of LE 59.8 billion, increasing by 8.9 percent from LE 54.9 billion.

The hospitality and culinary sectors grew to record revenues worth LE26.8 billion from LE23.6 billion. The revenues of the manufacturing sector hit LE164.8 billion, increasing by LE4.1 billion. The agricultural sector achieved LE91.8 billion of revenues, compared to LE88.7 billion with an increase of 3.5 percent. The service sector revenues hit LE 43.9 billion against LE 42.4 billion.

In FY 2017-2018, the GDP grew by 5.4 percent. The state targets to achieve a GDP growth worth 8 percent by FY2021-2022. The medium-term development plan (FY2018-2019 - FY2021-2022), approved by the House of Representatives in 2018, maintains that there are four main sectors contributing to growth.

Those are petroleum production, manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade sectors. They were estimated to represent 67 percent of the growth achieved in FY2018-2019. The plan forecast that all those sectors will keep leading growth except for petroleum production.

The share of manufacturing is estimated to grow to 23 percent from 20 percent. The share of construction is expected to grow 21.7 percent against 19.6 percent. The share of wholesale and retail trade is estimated to hit 13.2 percent compared to 10.4 percent.
]]>
6/4/2019 4:46:18 PM
<![CDATA[Fund provides LE27M for 3,511 enterprises in FY2018-2019]]>
The fund was due to offer loans worth only LE15 million, which are made available through the state's budget. However, LE12 million were secured through the beneficiaries’ payback. In the upcoming FY2019-2020, LE30 million will be allocated for the fund to finance enterprises that are expected to offer 4,000 jobs.

The ministry revealed that the fund is preparing a guide book for potential beneficiaries explaining the required documents, the steps, and regular project models. The fund also organizes for beneficiaries marketing and management workshops that vary in accordance with the type of projects. ]]>
6/4/2019 3:20:29 PM
<![CDATA[Helios Investment Partners and Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund acquire majority stake in Misr Hytech]]>
Founded in 1993, Misr Hytech develops and produces hybrid seeds of white corn, yellow corn, grain and fodder sorghum, sweet corn, and vegetables in Egypt. The Company provides farmers with high performing seeds that are adapted to the Egyptian market, leveraging its well-known brand, “Hytech”.

Misr Hytech’s products contribute to addressing Egypt’s fast-growing demand for food and animal feed,whilst improving food security by enhancing domestic farming productivity. The Company is headquartered in Cairo, with local R&D and state-of-the-art seed cleaning and processing facilities.

Misr Hytech has a strong portfolio of proprietary germplasm across key crops in Africa and the Middle East, which will be used to support the Company’s expansion across the continent. Corn is a core crop in Egypt and one of the most widely consumed across Africa, used for both animal feed and human consumption. White corn is uniquely prominent in Africa, Mexico, and Central America with few companies owning strong white corn breeding materials.

Sorghum is also a strategic crop in Africa and an increasingly important crop in the Middle East and Asian markets such as India; its resilience and drought-tolerant properties enable the grain to grow in difficult environments, making it an important crop for use in the food, fodder, and brewing industries.

Alykhan Nathoo, Partner at Helios, commented: “Misr Hytech’s management team has built an outstanding seeds business with a long track record and a market-leading position in Egypt. Misr Hytech is a scarce asset in Africa with growing end markets and strong structural tailwinds. We are very excited to partner with, and back, what we believe is a first-rate management team to achieve the next phase of growth for the Company in Egypt and other markets in Africa and the Middle East.”

James Harmon, Chairman of EAEF, added: “We are very excited about the great potential of this investment in contributing to the betterment of the Egyptian agricultural landscape.

The achievement of the previous shareholders and excellent management team has strategically positioned Misr Hytech as a leader and pioneer in the Egyptian corn and sorghum market. We are very optimistic about the next growth stage both locally and regionally and are very much looking forward to continuing the Company’s success.”

Dr. Suri Sehgal, founder of Misr Hytech, added: “Misr Hytech, with its strong base in Egypt, is uniquely positioned to establish itself as a leading seed company in the emerging seed markets of Africa. It has the germplasm, the trained people, and contacts of Helios to expand on the African continent.”

Raman Sehgal, Chief Executive Officer and shareholder of Misr Hytech, added: “Hytech has built a strong track record as a consistent quality seed company in Egypt, and the team is looking forward to repeat success in the region by leveraging the synergetic opportunity that has become available with new investors opening many avenues to expand the business in the near future. Team Hytech is committed to deliver its best products to farmers to uplift their livelihood.”

Norton Rose Fulbright and Matouk Bassiouny acted as primary legal advisors to Helios and EAEF, and DLA Piper acted as Helios and EAEF’s intellectual property legal advisor.

Nyemaster Law Firm and Al Tamimi & Company acted as legal advisors to the selling shareholders,and Gulfstone Capital acted as financial advisor to the selling shareholders.

About Helios Investment Partners

Established in 2004, Helios Investment Partners is the leading Africa-focused private investment firm,led and managed by a predominantly African team and based in London, Lagos and Nairobi. Managing funds totaling $3.6 billion, the firm’s portfolio companies operate in over 40 countries in all regions of the continent. Helios has built a record that spans creating start-ups to providing expanding companies with growth capital and expertise, building African market leaders in core economic sectors and driving strong returns via portfolio operations.

The firm’s unique combination of deep knowledge of the African operating environment, a singular commitment to the continent and a proven capability to manage complexity, is reflected in its position as a partner of choice.

About the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund

The Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund is a United States government-funded private entity. Since the inception of the Enterprise Fund Program, over US$ 1.1 billion has been invested directly alongside US$6.9 billion invested by private parallel funds.

With a capital of US$300 million, EAEF is committed to promoting financial inclusion, job creation, and increasing foreign and domestic investment in Egypt for long-term sustainable economic development.

EAEF’s primary mission is to stimulate the Egyptian private sector by providing access to finance,human capital, modern technologies as well as best business practices, while achieving financial
profitability.

The fund is led by a board of directors that is primarily comprised of American, Egyptian-American and Egyptian nationals.

The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program,providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

This press release about an EAEF investment is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Further details on EAEF can be found at http://www.eaefund.org.

About Lorax Capital Partners Incorporated in 2015, Lorax Capital Partners (LCP) is an Egypt-focused private equity firm currently managing EAEF’s funds and was responsible for its investments in: Fawry for Banking and Payment Technology Services, the leading electronic payments platform in Egypt; Sarwa Capital, a pioneer in consumer finance, leasing and secularization in Egypt; Orchidia Pharmaceutical Industries, the leading
Egyptian ophthalmic generic medicine manufacturer and Advanced Education for the Establishment,Management, and Ownership of Educational Facilities S.A.E. “NIS Schools” is one of the largest blended learning and technology-focused private school platforms in Egypt.

LCP is very well positioned to serve as a ‘bridge’ between Egypt, on the one hand, and global investors who are looking to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns while contributing to the economic development of the country.

LCP’s management team led by Mr. Ashraf Zaki has an unmatched track record in sourcing, executing,and managing transactions in Egypt with combined value of over USD 46 billion.
]]>
6/4/2019 2:10:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s foreign reserves increases to $44.27B by end of May]]>
The current average of foreign reserves covers about eight months of Egypt's commodity imports, which is higher than the global average of about three months of commodity imports.

Foreign currencies in Egypt’s foreign reserves include the U.S. dollar, euro, Australian dollar, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan.

The main function of the foreign exchange reserve, including its gold and various international currencies, is to provide commodities, repay the installments on interest rates of external debt, and to cope with economic crises.

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.

The country floated its currency in November 2016 before it clinched a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF Executive Board approved in November 2016 a three-year extended fund facility (EFT) loan to Egypt worth $12 billion to support its economic reform program.

]]>
6/4/2019 1:52:25 PM
<![CDATA[Non-petroleum exports in April hit $2.181B]]>
Food exports are worth $555 million. The value of food product exports recorded $350 million, compared to $261 million in April 2018. The value of agricultural products exports hit $267, against $240 million in the same month in 2018.

Garment exports rose to be $137 million from $131 million in April 2018. Medical exports increased to $40 million from $36 million. Exports of literary works and arts doubled to hit $2 million.

The value of exports to Arab League member states is the highest with $770 million followed by exports worth $606 million to EU countries. The values of exports to the United States and non-Arab African countries are $246 million and $99 million, respectively. Exports to the rest of the world’s countries amounted to$461 million.
]]>
6/4/2019 11:54:48 AM
<![CDATA[‘TECH INVEST 3’ to be held on June 11]]>
The slogan of the annual conference is "Investing in Egypt's future digital economy”.
Participants of the conference includePresident of the General Federation of Chambers of Commerce Ahmed Al Wakil, Acting CEO of ITIDA Halaal Gohari, and MCIT's leaders and senior officials, in addition to a number of senior officials of the Central Bank of Egypt, the banking sector, the SME development agency, international financial institutions and investors in the information technology sector. That is in addition to heads of the chambers of commerce of the State,finance and business pioneers in Egypt, 300 technology companies and more than 700 technology companies invited from different governorates.

Chairman of the General Division of Digital Economy and member of the Board of Directors of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce Khalil Hassan Khalil said that the division is keen to organize this annual event , as it is of great importance to the ICT sector in general and to the companies in the Division in particular.

The conference discusses a number of important issues that are currently receiving the attention of the State, including digital transformation, e-commerce and cash technology, participatory economics, digital media and digital health.

During the event, Tawteen initiative will be launched to automate 400,000 retailers in the retail sector, integrating them into the digital economy, financial inclusion and digital payments, and providing easy financing through partners from national banks.

It will also discuss the following topics: Egypt is a focal point for attracting investment in technology for Africa and the Middle East, Cash technology for financial inclusion, digital Transformation of the Trade System (Tawteen Initiative), go global's future, Future of blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, future of digital logistics, future of jobs under digital transformation, and the stages of financing technology companies, as well as developing technological companies to keep pace with digital transformation.

Moreover, it will hold a competition to select the top 10 Egyptian startups to participate as exhibitors in the Egyptian pavilion at the world's largest technology event CES 2020 scheduled to be held in January in Las Vegas.
]]>
6/4/2019 11:50:36 AM
<![CDATA[CBE, EGX announces Eid al-Fitr holiday]]>
Eid al-Fitr holiday will start on Tuesday, June 4 and will end on Thursday, June 6, 2019, according to both entities. “Trading will be resumed on Sunday, June 9, 2019.”

Meanwhile, EGX’s trading session during the month of Ramadan of listed securities (Main Market) and Small & Medium Enterprises Stock Exchange (NILEX) were held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and were preceded by a discovery session at 9:30 a.m. While working hours for banks were from 9.30 a.m to 1.30 p.m.

In April, EGX and CBE witnessed several official holidays including Thursday, April 25, in celebration of Sinai Liberation Day, Sunday, April 28, on the occasion of Easter, Monday, April 29, in celebration of Sham Ennesim, and Wednesday, May 1, which marks Labor Day.

]]>
6/3/2019 5:29:59 PM
<![CDATA[Italian investments in Egypt reach $4B ]]>
This includes investments in infrastructure, gas, petroleum, financial services, logistics, chemicals, petrochemicals, new and renewable energy and ready-made garments.

Trade exchange between the two countries reached $3.993 billion for the period from January to July 2018, of which $1.235 billion are Egyptian exports, compared to imports of $2.758 billion. Italy is one of the top five countries from which Egypt imports.

According to the statistical data contained in the latest publications of foreign trade of Egypt issued by the Statistics Authority, Italy accounted for 6.2 percent of Egypt's total imports during seven months of this year.

The most important imported Italian goods were machinery and articles of iron, plastics and articles electrical appliances.

]]>
6/3/2019 5:25:56 PM
<![CDATA[EGX adds LE 3.2B to market cap. in last session before holiday]]>
EGX and the Central Bank of Egypt announced having a three-day holiday in celebration of Eid al-Fitr “Festival of Breaking Muslims’ Fast”.

Eid al-Fitr holiday will start on Tuesday June 4, 2019, till Thursday June 6, 2019, according to both entities. “Trading will be resumed effective on Sunday June 9, 2019.”

The benchmark EGX 30 rose 0.71 percent, or 97.08 points, to close at 13,787.8 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 increased 0.74 percent, or 15.1 points, to reach 2,062.66 points, and the broader index EGX 100 hiked 0.11 percent, or 1.67 point, to 1,521.41 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX 70 inched down 0.01 percent, or 0.06 points, to close at 597.35 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 3.2 billion, recording LE 745.12 billion, compared to LE 741.92 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 60.33 million shares, traded through 10,864 transactions, with a turnover of LE 302.55 million.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 18.67 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 4.61 million, and LE 14.06 million, respectively.

Foreign individuals were net sellers at 760,130, while Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 859,257, and LE 620,682 respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 5.23 million, and LE 13.3 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations bought at LE 17.81 million.

Modern Company for water proofing (Bitumode), Delta Insurance, and El Ahli Investment and Development were top gainers of the session by 5.53 percent, 4.79 percent and 4.71 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Sinai Cement, Engineering Industries (ICON), and Abou Kir Fertilizers were top losers of the session by 7.39 percent, 3.83 percent, and 3.66 percent, respectively.
]]>
6/3/2019 2:42:12 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt-Spain trade volume reaches €642.9M in Q1 2019]]>
A fresh report issued by the commercial service in Madrid Sunday added that Egypt's commodity exports increased 10 percent in the first three months of 2019 to reach €185.8 million compared to €169 million in the same period in 2018.

Cairo's non-petroleum exports to Madrid made a great leap over the past three years, recording €730 million in 2018 compared to €377 million in 2015 with an increase of 94 percent.
]]>
6/3/2019 11:34:45 AM
<![CDATA[SoftBank's service to help power self-driving buses, farm machinery]]>
The service, which will begin trials in Japan next month before expanding nationwide in November, aims to provide centimeter-level positioning to the autonomous tech that is beginning to be introduced across a range of industries, SoftBank said.

Japan’s newly launched constellation of Michibiki satellites has been offering high-precision location data since last November, and SoftBank’s service will be an early attempt at building a commercial business with it.

Despite the government backing, Japan is seen as lagging other countries in areas such as autonomous driving and the use of drones in part because of onerous legal restrictions.

Kajima Corp, one of Japan’s big four construction firms, will trial the service with construction site monitoring drones. SoftBank’s own SB Drive, which is developing self-driving tech for buses, will also run trials.

SoftBank is expanding its backing for the nascent field of autonomous driving on multiple fronts including Monet, a self-driving car venture set up with Toyota Motor.

SoftBank’s parent SoftBank Group Corp’s portfolio companies control 90% of the world’s ride-hailing industry and it has taken stakes in self-driving units at Uber Technologies and General Motors Co.

Those investments come despite disappointment with speed of development in the self-driving industry, which has failed to deliver on earlier bold promises of commercial autonomous cars.]]>
6/3/2019 11:29:31 AM
<![CDATA[Oil prices plunge further on trade war fears]]>
Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of OPEC, sought to stem the price slide with assurances that the group of oil producers together with Russia would continue managing global crude supplies to avoid a surplus.

Front-month Brent crude futures were at $60.96 at 0844 GMT, down $1.03 or 1.7% below Friday’s close. Prices had dropped by more than 3% on Friday, with May recording the biggest monthly loss in six months.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.98 per barrel, down 52 cents, or 1%.

Global markets have reeled in recent weeks over concerns that the global economy could stall amid rising trade tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies and biggest energy consumers.

Fears over trade were further stoked when U.S. President Donald Trump announced punitive tariffs against Mexico, a key oil supplier to the United States.

“Traders are increasingly pricing in a prolonged trade war hitting the global economy,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at futures brokerage London Capital Group.

In a typical market move during times of uncertainty, gold rose to its highest level in over two months on Monday as investors pulled out of risky assets like oil and parked money in perceived safe havens like the precious metal.

SUPPLY ASSURANCES
Brent crude oil prices have dropped almost 20% from their 2018 peak as global supplies tightened due to output curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia, as well as a drop in Iranian exports due to U.S. sanctions and Venezuelan production.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s top exporter, pumped 9.65 million barrels of oil per day (bpd), cutting deeper than its production target under a global pact to reduce oil supply, a Saudi oil industry source said on Monday.

The Saudi output target under the OPEC-led pact is 10.3 million bpd.

“Supply side fundamentals don’t matter at the moment as market participants are entirely focused on demand concerns,” said Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch in the Reuters Global Oil Forum.

U.S. drillers this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in four weeks. Weekly production last stood at a record 12.3 million bpd.]]>
6/3/2019 11:28:01 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate declines at major banks]]>
At the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr the dollar rate went down by two piasters recording EGP 16.75 for buying and EGP 16.85 for selling.

At the Commercial International Bank the dollar rate retreated four piasters registering EGP 16.70 for buying and EGP 16.80 for selling.

The price was EGP 16.73 for buying and EGP 16.83 for selling at the Arab African International Bank and EGP 16.71 for buying and EGP 16.81 for selling at the National Bank of Greece.]]>
6/2/2019 2:50:05 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry to auction LE 146.5B in T-bonds, bills in June]]>
The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 34 billion, LE 35 billion, LE 34 billion, and LE 37 billion, respectively.

Moreover, the ministry said it will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in June2022) worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) worth LE 1.75 billion, seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) for LE 1.5 billion, and ten -year bonds (maturing in May 2029) at LE 1.25 billion.

The Finance Ministry announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.

The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion, respectively.

As per T-bonds, the ministry will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth 4.75 billion, three-year bonds (maturing in June 2022)worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) for LE 5.75 billion, and seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) at LE 5 billion.

It will also auction 10-year t-bonds (maturing in November 2027) at a total value of LE 1.5 billion, and 10-year t-bonds (maturing in May 2029) at LE 2.75 billion.

During May, The Finance Ministry auctioned treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 148 billion.

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.
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6/2/2019 11:08:41 AM
<![CDATA[The Exchange Rate Treasure Trove]]>
A stronger industrial sector that fulfills market needs would decrease our dependence on imports without enforcing import barriers, as well as decreasing deficits in the balance of payments (BOP).

Economic expert Hany Tawfik argues that since currency value is determined by its purchasing power, a currency’s performance would improve as production increases and pushes prices down.

“If our savings are much less than what is needed for investments, if our consumption is higher than our production, and if our imports are much higher than our exports, our currency value would be low and the annual inflation rate would increase,” Tawfik says. “To avoid such situations, we need increases in investments, production and exports. China’s savings rate is 45% of income per annum, that is why it has a lot of investments.”

But it is also important to remember that currency value does not necessarily represent the economic performance of countries, nor does it reflect true supply-demand dynamics locally and internationally. The currencies of Japan, a developed, high-income country, and middle-income superpowers such as China, Russia, India and Brazil are each equivalent to below $1 in worth. Politics also play a major role in determining a currency’s value. For instance, the value of the US dollar is linked to both its economic performance as well as to oil prices, due to petrodollars, or revenues received from the sale of oil.

Hani Tawfik
FILE - Economic Expert Hany Tawfik

Well into the second year since the float, Tawfik argues that the decision was essential to remain competitive in the global market and reflect the currency’s true market price. “Egypt has not fully floated the currency; the Central Bank of Egypt can still play a role in determining the exchange rate,” Tawfik stresses, explaining that the reserves grew due to “hot money” as foreigners would convert their dollars into Egyptian pounds to benefit from high interest rates, only to later convert their money back into dollars at a possibly lower rate. “That is why fixing the exchange rate is very dangerous,” he adds.

“Keeping our exchange rate low on purpose made importing cheaper than manufacturing locally,” Tawfik argues. He adds that someone in the textile business, for instance, would import products from China rather than manufacture them because they were cheaper, given the old lower-than-value exchange rate. After the flotation, however, the situation was reversed, as manufacturing became a more cost-effective option for many. Some, for instance, have opted to recycle plastic in toy-making instead of importing the raw material.

The next step toward growth

“Egypt has stabilized and normalized the economy. Some countries never make it to sustainable growth from stabilization,” First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund David Lipton said at a lecture at the American University in Cairo in May 2018. He added that for Egypt’s economy to grow, the next step would be to “formalize in the informal sector and open for trade.” Lipton also argued that it is important for Egypt’s private sector to grow and create jobs at a scale that matches population growth. To achieve that, Lipton suggested creating opportunities for business formulation and growth, and increasing competition. Businesses should cater to the local market as well as global competition to continuously improve. He stipulated that a business should work toward accomplishing growth, as opposed to just profit maximization.

David Lipton
First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund David Lipton attends a discussion “Are we Safer? The Case for Updating Bagehot” during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Increasing the value-added tax to cover subsidies causes a rise in prices on the short term, Lipton argued. However, it is beneficial on the long run, if coupled with lifting subsidies as VAT reduces tax evasion and can be a channel to development. “Energy subsidies make up between 8-9% of GDP,” Lipton added.

Lipton added that although the recent monetary policy aims to lower inflation rates, printing paper currency drives inflation up. Tawfik indicates that the current GDP growth is a consequence of printing money and paying construction companies to build new cities, as opposed to being driven by production. “That is a malignant growth, coupled with an increase in debts. There is growth due to the hike in loans, but no development,” he argues. Tawfik elaborated that building infrastructure is important, but lacks sustainability since in parallel, there must be a focus on building new factories and helping stumbling ones.

For foreign direct investment to grow, Tawfik argues that corruption needs to be addressed. He adds that he believes Zohr gas shouldn’t be exported, but rather used for local energy needs, especially factories.

Tawfik and Lipton also argue that it is necessary to match production to the local market’s needs before focusing on exporting. “If we export, the purchasing power would increase. [Our] margins, on the global scale, are very low and the competition [on the international arena] is heated compared to the domestic market; thus, producers would mainly target the domestic market, and then export.”

Developing corporate Egypt would lead to a trickle-down effect in terms of income, Tawfik says. By the same token, Lipton noted that Egypt should get rid of impediments facing technological development as the world is going in that direction “at a very fast pace.” He gave the example of Mexico, which underwent a boost in the telecommunications segment by 60%, and suggested that Egypt focus on the same sector as well.

On the other hand, Lipton shed light on the importance of developing social safety networks, setting policies guaranteeing equal income distribution, and securing women’s economic rights. Tawfik similarly stresses developing education, healthcare and providing monetary subsidies to those who deserve it, but adds that a family shouldn’t receive subsidies for their third child to limit population growth. The funding for such reforms and initiatives can be made available by addressing tax evasion, which has reached LE 400- 500 billion per year, Tawfik adds. He highlights that resolving this may take 10 years as it is tied to financial inclusion; it is then easier to regulate electronic payments, as opposed to cash. As Lipton noted, taxes represent only 13% of Egypt’s GDP, while the rest comes from government revenues, such as those from the Suez Canal.

Lastly, for the economy to take further steps to move from stabilization to growth, Tawfik argues that structural adjustment to Egypt’s huge administrative body are key. At the moment, Egypt has the highest ratio of one public employee for every 10 citizens; in China, for instance, the rate is one for every 300. Until all these reforms are implemented, “the middle class will continue to suffer for a while,” Tawfik concludes.

The article was published in Business Today Egypt July 2018 issue
]]>
6/1/2019 4:36:31 PM
<![CDATA[SCzone houses 167 enterprises: chairman ]]>
TEDA Chinese Industrial city received 13.5 square kilometers southern the canal in 2015. Chinese investors finished the infrastructure, and established 65 logistic entities and 33 industrial entities including Jushi, the largest fiberglass factory in the world.

The size of Chinese investments in the zone is $1 billion, and there is a deal signed for a new factory worth $800 million, Vice-chairman of the SCzone Mahfouz Marzouk told CGTN in a TV interview last year.

Egypt’s Suez Canal is expected to become a pivotal part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as it will be the only maritime connection between Africa and Asia on the one hand and Europe on the other hand.

Why Egypt is significant to Belt and Road Initiative

CAIRO - 27 April 2019: Egypt's Suez Canal is expected to become a pivotal part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as it will be the only maritime connection between Africa and Asia on the one hand and Europe on the other hand.




In February, Mamish announced reaching an agreement with the Russian Export Center to establish a company that operates and administers the Russian Industrial Zone (RIZ) in Port Said before April.

The project is worth $7 billion and expected to provide 35,000 job opportunities. It stretches over 5.25 million square meters and will be built over three phases. The first will be finished by 2021, according to TASS.

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.




The Suez Canal chairman 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.

Earlier this year, the company announced resuming assembling vehicles in Egypt in collaboration with a local partner after it had exited the market in April 2015 stating GATT as the reason.

Return of Mercedes

CAIRO - 17 February 2019: Mercedes Benz has decided to resume assembling vehicles in Egypt in collaboration with a local partner. The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Small Industries will form a technical task force to follow up on the project's execution.




In February, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr called on Samsung to establish a regional center in Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) and benefit from the incentives that the investment law provides. She described SCZone as the hugest investment zone in Egypt which has the biggest tax incentive of 50 percent.

A month later, Nasr and Romanian counterpart signed a cooperation protocol to probe investment opportunities by the Romanian business council at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).
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6/1/2019 4:21:12 PM
<![CDATA[China to investigate whether FedEx harmed client interests: Xinhua]]>
The U.S. package delivery company recently did not deliver to the right addressees and addresses in China, Xinhua, which did not give details, said.

Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei said this week it was reviewing its relationship with FedEx which it alleged had diverted two parcels destined for Huawei addresses in Asia to the United States and had attempted to reroute two others.

FedEx China did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.]]>
6/1/2019 2:28:56 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi discusses with Saudi CP boosting economic, investment ties]]>
This came on the fringe of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) ordinary summit on Friday night, according to presidential spokesman Bassam Radi, who said that they also discussed the promising investment opportunities in Egypt and some regional files in addition to the present situation in the Gulf region and the Syrian, Yemeni and Libyan problems.

Both sides agreed on the importance of continued intensive bilateral coordination and consultations at the current critical juncture in the region’s history and in light of the pressing and constantly changing conditions in the region so as to shore up the unity of the Arab and Islamic nations in face of the numerous challenges besetting them, the spokesman noted.

He pointed out that the Saudi crown prince asserted to Sisi the kingdom’s interest in beefing up cooperation, lauding Egypt’s efforts that contributed to the success of the emergency Arab summit and the ordinary OIC summit over the past two days.]]>
6/1/2019 10:27:59 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's bourse loses LE 63.7 billion in May]]>
The market capital hit EGP 745 billion in May, compared with EGP 808.7 billion reported last month, recording a decline of 7.9 percent.

According to the bourse monthly report, issued on Friday, all indices showed a collective decline.

The EGX 30 benchmark index went down by 7.7 percent, reaching 13,771.31 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading small and mid-cap enterprises (SMEs) dropped by 7.85 percent to register 597.4 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index decreased by 8.17 percent, standing at 1,521.84 points. (]]>
5/31/2019 2:17:48 PM
<![CDATA[Taxes, fees on cars adds LE 4.6B to Egypt’s revenues in 9 months]]>
Egypt is expected to collect LE 5.65 billion as revenues from taxes and fees on cars during the current fiscal year which started in July 2018 and will end in June 2019.

According to the revealed data, Egypt recorded revenues of LE 598.68 billion during the first nine months of fiscal year 2018/2019, compared to LE 497.81 billion during the same of period of the prior fiscal year.

The data revealed that tax revenues reached LE 468.4 billion by the end of March, representing 78.2 percent of total revenues, compared to LE 403.2 billion during the same period in 2017/2018.

During the first nine months, tax revenues hit LE 130.27 billion, compared to LE 94.6 billion during the same months of the previous year.

Egypt’s revenues from periodic taxes on property during the nine months hiked 60.8 percent on YoY, recording LE 3.7 billion, compared to LE 2.3 billion during the compared period.

Egypt’s revenues from selling goods and services increased 61.2 percent during the first nine months on a year on year basis.


]]>
5/30/2019 4:37:15 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt collects LE 38.32B from selling goods, services in 9 months]]>
Yields of selling goods and services marked an amount of LE 38.32 billion during July-March period of 2018/2019, compared to LE 23.77 billion during the same period of 2017/2018.

According to the revealed data, Egypt recorded revenues of LE 598.68 billion during the first nine months of fiscal year 2018/2019, compared to LE 497.81 billion during the same of period of the prior fiscal year.

The data revealed that tax revenues reached LE 468.4 billion by the end of March, representing 78.2 percent of total revenues, compared to LE 403.2 billion during the same period in 2017/2018.

During the first nine months, tax revenues hit LE 130.27 billion, compared to LE 94.6 billion during the same months of the previous year.

Egypt’s revenues from periodic taxes on property during the nine months hiked 60.8 percent on YoY, recording LE 3.7 billion, compared to LE 2.3 billion during the compared period.

]]>
5/30/2019 4:31:56 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s revenues reach LE 598.68B in 9 months]]>
The ministry revealed that tax revenues reached LE 468.4 billion by the end of March, representing 78.2 percent of total revenues, compared to LE 403.2 billion during the same period in 2017/2018.

During the first nine months, tax revenues hit LE 130.27 billion, compared to LE 94.6 billion during the same months of previous year.

Egypt’s revenues from periodic taxes on property during the nine months hiked 60.8 percent on YoY, recording LE 3.7 billion, compared to LE 2.3 billion during the compared period.

Building taxes allocated the lion's share of periodic taxes on property with LE 3.63 million, compared to LE 2.1 billion during the same months of the prior year.

On the other hand, lands tax revenues declined to LE 73 million by the end of March, down from to LE 129 million during the compared period.

Egypt expects to collect LE 5.48 billion in periodic taxes on property during the current fiscal year.

]]>
5/30/2019 4:30:20 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate declines at major banks]]>
At the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr the dollar rate went down by three piasters recording EGP 16.77 for buying and EGP 16.87 for selling.

At the Commercial International Bank and Bank of Alexandria the dollar rate retreated three piasters registering EGP 16.74 for buying and EGP 16.84 for selling.

The price was EGP 16.76 for buying and EGP 16.86 for selling at the Arab African International Bank and EGP 16.78 for buying and EGP 16.88 for selling at the National Bank of Greece.]]>
5/30/2019 4:19:22 PM
<![CDATA[China-Egypt bilateral trade records $4.18B in 4 months]]>
It added that China's exports to Egypt recorded$3.73 billion in the January-April 2019 period, with an increase of 13.2 percent on a year-on-year basis , while China's imports from Egypt hit$458 million in the same period, down 23.4 percent on YoY.

The volume of bilateral trade during April reached $1.029 billion,$939.6 million out of which came asexports from China to Egypt and $89.5 million as Chinese imports from Egypt.

In April, Economic and Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Cairo Han Ping told MENA that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China jumped to $13.87 billion in 2018, compared to $10.8 billion in 2017. Han added that Egypt's exports to China increased last year to hit $ 1.8 billion.

Han asserted that his country had pumped investments worth $ 7 billion in 2018inseveral infrastructure and energy projects.
]]>
5/30/2019 3:32:05 PM
<![CDATA[Net Saudi Investments in Egypt hit $125.5M in Q2 2018/19]]>
State statistic agency said that Egypt’s exports to Saudi Arabia increased 14.4 percent to $276.7 million, during the first two months of 2019, compared to $241.9 million during the same monthsof 2019.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) added that Egypt’s imports from Saudi Arabia recorded $933.4 million during January and February 2019, with a decrease of 9.5 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Trade exchange between both countries hit $1.2 billion during the two months, compared to $1.3 billion, with a decline of 7.7 percent, according to CAPMAS.

Saudi Minister of Trade and Investment Majed bin Abdullah al-Qasabi said earlier that trade exchange between Egypt and Saudi Arabia hit $7.3 billion.

Qasabi referred that Saudi direct investments in Egypt exceeded $3.4 billion, adding thatthe number of Saudi companies in Egypt reached 5,000.

According to Egypt's bulletin issued by the state’s statistic body for the period from January to August 2018, Egypt's imports from Saudi Arabia amounted to $3.781 billion, ranking the second country Egypt imports from after China with$6.244 billion.

As per the exports, Egypt’s exports to Saudi Arabia recorded $929.5 million during January-to-Augustperiod, bringing the trade exchange between the two states to $4.7 billion during the eight months.
]]>
5/30/2019 2:50:03 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Thursday in red, market cap. loses LE 8.77B]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 dipped 1.45 percent, or 202.82 points, to close at 13,771.31 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 decreased 2 percent, or 42.25 points, to reach 2,067.46 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 declined 0.91 percent, or 5.5 points, to close at 597.4 points, and the broader index EGX 100 dropped 1.01 percent, or 15.46 point, to 1,521.84 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 8.77 billion, recording LE 745.01 billion, compared to LE 753.78 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 109.22 million shares, traded through 13,506 transactions, with a turnover of LE 443.9 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 31.6 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 28.68 million, and LE 2.92 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at 25.65 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 81,471, and LE 1.52 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 3.03 million, and LE 3 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 30.08 million.

Arabian Food Industries DOMTY, Modern Company for water proofing (Bitumode), and GMC Group for industrial Commercial & Financial Investment were top gainers of the session by 6.56 percent, 6.51 percent and 4.03 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Samad Misr -EGYFERT, Egypt for Poultry, and Mena Touristic & Real Estate Investment were top losers of the session by 8.27 percent, 5.21 percent, and 5.20 percent, respectively.

On Wednesday, EGX ended trading in red, as EGX30 declined 0.38 percent, EGX70 dropped 0.17 percent and EGX100 dipped 0.28 percent.
]]>
5/30/2019 2:26:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Japan inaugurate refurbished Cairo North Power station]]>
1
Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker and Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noke inaugurated Tuesday the refurbished Cairo North Power Station - Press photo

During the inauguration ceremony, both sides signed a new agreement to renovate more power plants in Egypt, including Sedi Krir and El-Atf power plants. The agreement aims to maintain power supply by restoring the targeted capacity of thermal power plants via modernizing equipment, and providing spare parts.

2
Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker and Japanese Ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noke inaugurated Tuesday the refurbished Cairo North Power Station - Press photo

This renovation projects are expected to contribute to the economic and social development efforts in the country, in addition to alleviating the effects of the climate change in Egypt.

The ceremony was attended by Yoshifumi Omura, Chief Representative of JICA Egypt Office, and Tarek Abdel Hamdi, the Head of Cairo Electricity Production Company.]]>
5/30/2019 2:12:26 PM
<![CDATA[Min. of tourism participates in conference of sustainable development]]>
The conference is considered a platform for decision makers and ministers of tourism worldwide to discuss proposed ideas and development opportunities to invest more in tourism.

Upgrading the tourism sector is the fifth axis of Egypt's reform program that aims to develop the private sector and keep up with modernity and innovation.

Mashat stressed the deep relations between Egypt and Serbia, assuring Egypt’s keenness to boost relations with Belgrade on all fronts. Additionally, the Serbian president’s visit to Egypt in March reflects the deep relations between the two countries
.
It is worth mentioning that Egypt announced launching the Bulgarian-Egyptian Business Council.
]]>
5/30/2019 1:30:03 PM
<![CDATA[CDC Group to appoint representative in Egypt]]>
CDC is the first development finance institution to be granted such approval to offer supplementary capital to the Egyptian banking sector.

CDC currently engages in discussion with a number of Egyptian banks to facilitate mutual cooperation and expand the lending rate especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. As per the CBE’s approval, the CDC abides by a $200 million offering to the Egyptian banks.

For his part, CEO of CDC Group Nick O'Donohoe lauded and welcomed the partnership with CBE, assuring that such a step supports the Egyptian banking sector generally and the private sector particularly.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises is a cornerstone of job creation and economic growth, giving us a chance to play a great role in offering a healthy banking sector in Egypt,” O’ Donohoe said in a statement.

O’ Donohoe further ensured CDC’s focus on the economic growth. He also announced appointing a representative in Egypt to prove CDC's desire to build a longstanding partnership with Egypt and increase investment.

In 2018, CDC announced investing up to $4.5 billion in Africa until 2022. O’Donohoe assured that their cooperation witnessed a massive progress and huge economic growth throughout more than 15 years of investments in Egypt.

Now, CDC has more than 20 companies in Egypt, offering 9000 job opportunities, and adding more than $115 million a year to the Egyptian income.

For his part, British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox assured his desire to expand investments in Egypt and highlighted CDC's first investments in solar energy and current engagement in cooperation with Egyptian banks.

“Cooperation on all fronts with Egypt reflects the kingdom’s keenness to stay beside the brotherly country improving its economy,” Fox stated.
In November 2017, CDC offered a $97 million loan to El Noba Solar Energy Project of 800 megabits as a part of a larger loan to help Egypt reach its goals of clean energy and job creation.

El Noba’s project is a part of Benban station in Aswan, the first solar power plant and the largest solar city in the world.

In 2016, CDC offered $15 million to the medium-sized companies’ fund; it is a national investment fund, a step to promote low budget projects.

Recently, CDC has worked on financing commercial banks, micro-financial institutions, insurance companies, and other financial services. It is a stockholder in I & M Limited Bank in Kenya and Habib Bank in Pakistan.

In 2018, CDC submitted $ 100 million to African Export and Import Bank in Cairo to promote trade across the African continent.

]]>
5/30/2019 12:46:56 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18.5B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9 billion with a 182-day term and the second is worth LE 9.5 billion with a 357-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The ministry announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills (T-bills) in May with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 34.25 billion, LE 35.25 billion, LE 34.25 billion, and LE 37.25 billion, respectively.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion, t-bills come with matures of a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion.

Finance Ministry to auction LE478.5B in T-bonds, bills in Q4

CAIRO - 28 March 2019:The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.




The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during May meeting.

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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.
]]>
5/30/2019 12:26:37 PM
<![CDATA[China willing to meet reasonable rare earth demand from other countries]]>
That would be unacceptable, Gao Feng, spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry, said at a weekly media briefing on Thursday, without identifying any country.

President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths plant last week had sparked speculation that China would use its dominant position as an exporter of rare earths to the United States as leverage in the trade war.

Rare earths are a group of 17 chemical elements used in everything from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment.]]>
5/30/2019 12:12:11 PM
<![CDATA[Brexit nerves set pound on track for biggest monthly drop in a year]]>
May’s imminent departure deepens the Brexit crisis as a new leader, who should be in place by the end of July, is likely to want a more decisive split with the bloc, raising the chances of a confrontation with the EU and potentially a snap parliamentary election.

While nearly a dozen candidates are vying for the top job, Boris Johnson, the bookmakers’ favourite, has said Britain should leave the EU on Oct. 31, the current deadline, with or without a deal.

“The risk of a no deal and no Brexit have both increased and that’s why volatility remains low,” said Colin Asher, a senior economist at Mizuho.

“The problem is both extremes have become likely and you don’t want to bet the farm on either.”

More than half the banks canvassed by Reuters have increased their probabilities of a no-deal Brexit - though parliament’s resolute opposition to Britain crashing out without a trade deal means that probability is still seen as low.

Against the dollar, the pound was broadly steady at $1.2629, not far away from a four-month low of $1.2605 hit last week. Versus the euro, the pound was at 88.15 pence.

On a monthly basis, the pound was on track for its biggest monthly drop since June 2018, according to Refinitiv data.

Gauges of expected swings in the pound over the coming months remained firm with six-month implied volatility rising to its highest levels since April 2019.

Britain’s finance minister on Thursday warned those in his party vying for the role of prime minister that a no-deal Brexit would threaten the United Kingdom’s cohesion and that they should tone down irresponsible spending pledges.]]>
5/30/2019 12:01:47 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar set for fourth consecutive monthly rise on trade tensions]]>
While U.S. money markets are pricing in roughly two rate cuts by January 2020 and the bond yield curve inverted further overnight, signaling rising recessionary risks for the world’s biggest economy, demand for dollars show no signs of abating.

“The strength in the dollar is surprising given that markets are now expecting multiple rate cuts by 2020,” Commerzbank FX strategist Ulrich Leuchtmann said.

Against a basket of its rivals, the dollar was generally firm at 98.22, with gains more pronounced against rivals such as the euro and the pound. It was on track to rise for a fourth consecutive month.

Risk appetite was broadly cautious despite some early gains in European stocks, with bond yields firmly entrenched in recession warning territory.

A senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday provoking trade disputes was “naked economic terrorism”, ramping up the rhetoric against the United States amid a bitter trade war shows no signs of ending soon.

The spread between three month U.S. Treasury bills and 10-year bond yields has inverted to its lowest level since August 2017. An inverted yield curve is traditionally seen as a harbinger of recession by financial markets.

Elsewhere in the foreign exchange market, the dollar was steady at 109.59 yen, about 0.5% above a more than three-month low of 109.02 yen touched on May 13.

Analysts said the yen, another safe-haven asset backed by Japan’s status as the world’s biggest creditor nation, remained relatively weak due to domestic investors’ demand for dollars.

“As there’s persistent yen-selling and dollar-buying from Japanese investors when the rate approaches the 109.10 yen per dollar level, it’s not easy for the yen to rise above the 109 level,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities.]]>
5/30/2019 11:56:15 AM
<![CDATA[Oil rises on declining U.S. crude stocks, but trade war worries linger]]>
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $69.85 per barrel at 0700 GMT, up 40 cents, or 0.6%, from their last close. Brent fell nearly 1% in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 48 cents, or 0.8%, at $59.29 a barrel.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 5.3 million barrels in the week to May 24 to 474.4 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Wednesday.[API/S]

Official data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due on Thursday at 1500 GMT. [EIA/S]

Outside the United States, oil prices remain supported by output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers as well as falling supplies from Iran.

Iranian May crude exports dropped to less than half of April levels at around 400,000 barrels per day (bpd), tanker data showed and two industry sources said, after the United States tightened sanctions on Tehran’s main source of income.

Many analysts expect the OPEC-led supply cuts to be extended in a meeting to be held either late June or early July as OPEC’s de-facto leader Saudi Arabia wants to prevent oil prices falling back to levels seen in late 2018 when Brent slumped to $50 per barrel.

Since OPEC and its allies started withholding supply in January, oil prices have risen by about 30 percent.

DEMAND SLOWDOWN

Preventing prices from rising further are concerns that the trade dispute between the United States and China will trigger a global economic downturn and a slowdown in fuel consumption.

“An escalating U.S.-China trade war represents a risk to oil markets,” Bernstein Energy said in a note on Thursday.

“The IEA has lowered their demand estimate for 2019 to 100.4 million barrels per day (1.3% year-on-year) and we see the possibility of further negative demand revisions ahead,” Bernstein said. “Under a full-blown trade war scenario, demand growth could be cut in half to 0.7% (year-on-year).”

Because of weakening demand, Bernstein said “any upside is capped” in oil markets despite relatively tight supply.

In China, refined fuel consumption dropped 2.4% in April from a year earlier, to 27.06 million tonnes, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Thursday.]]>
5/30/2019 11:54:25 AM
<![CDATA[Global stocks steady, yields bounce, metals melt again]]>
The end the most turbulent month of the year so far was approaching and amid ongoing and fierce U.S-China trade tensions investors seemed content to square up some positions.

European stocks nudged 0.2%-0.5% higher having lost a third of the 15% gain they had been carrying into May, the major currencies paused, while German Bund yields climbed for the first time in four days having hit record lows.

Money markets are now pricing in roughly two U.S. rate cuts by the start of next year and the European Central Bank is set to turn on its money taps again next month as trade worries weigh on the global economy.

“We oppose a trade war but are not afraid of a trade war,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said on Thursday in Beijing, when asked about the tensions with the United States.

“This kind of deliberately provoking trade disputes is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic bullying,”

His comments followed reports from Chinese newspapers that Beijing could use rare earths to strike back at Washington after U.S. President Donald Trump remarked he was “not yet ready” to make a deal with China over trade.

In contrast to Europe’s early gains, the tense mood saw Shanghai Composite Index fall 0.7% overnight, tech stocks sink 1.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lose 0.4%.

Japan’s Nikkei went down 0.5% too and Australian stocks shed 0.85% as miners there mourned what is set to be the worst month for copper prices since 2016 having slumped over 9%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had slipped to a fresh four-month low before finding a bit of traction to edge up 0.1% into the close.

“The equity markets are in the midst of pricing in a long-term trade war, with participants shaping their portfolios in anticipation of a protracted conflict,” said Soichiro Monji, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“The upcoming G20 summit could provide the markets with relief, as the United States and China could use the event to begin negotiating again over trade,” he added, referring to the June 28-29 gathering of leaders in Japan.

GREENBACK WITH ENVY

Notwithstanding the fractional tick-up in Treasury yields, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was steady at 98.085 and in reach of a two-year peak of 98.371 set last week.

The greenback was little changed at 109.660 yen after bouncing back from a two-week low of 109.150 and the euro steadied at $1.1132 following three successive days of losses.

“The strength in the dollar is surprising given that markets are now expecting multiple rate cuts by 2020,” Commerzbank FX strategist Ulrich Leuchtmann said.

Oil prices rose modestly after an industry report showed a decline in U.S. crude inventories that exceeded analyst expectations. [O/R]

The rise followed volatile trading on Wednesday, when oil prices fell to near three-month lows at one point as trade war fears gripped the commodity markets.

U.S. crude futures were up 0.66% at $59.20 per barrel after brushing $56.88 the previous day, their lowest since March 12. Brent crude added 0.37% to $69.71 per barrel.

Trade worries have weighed on oil but supply constraints linked to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ output cuts and political tensions in the Middle East have offered some support.]]>
5/30/2019 11:52:31 AM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry approves LE 4.5B urgent allocations in April]]>
Allocations included LE 4 billion for the General Authority for Supply Commodities for the monthly financial support for subsidy card items, bread points and differences in the cost of manufacturing bread in April.

The ministry added that LE 98.5 million were allocated as a contribution from the treasury in the capital of the Holding Company for Cotton, Spinning and Weaving to provide the necessary liquidity for the disbursement of employees' entitlements in April 2019.

It also allocated LE 391.6 million for the National Media Authority to meet its financial obligations towards its employees, while an amount of LE 2.57 million has been allocated to the Supreme Council of Culture for employees’ salaries at the Sound and Light Company.

The Egyptian National Railways (ENR) obtained LE 56.6 million from the allocations to finance subsidies to student subscriptions in April, while LE 17.36 million went for the Egyptian Company for Metro Management and Operation to finance student subscriptions.

Moreover, LE 62.5 million were allocated for the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) in April for subsidizing water, and LE 61 million went to the Health Insurance Organization to support students, women breadwinners, and pre-school children. ]]>
5/29/2019 5:14:24 PM
<![CDATA[Housing Ministry establishes 6 water, wastewater projects in Beheira]]>
Gazzar said in a statement that three water projects are being executed in the governorate of Beheira at a capacity of 87,000 cubic meters per day, with a total cost of LE 513 million.

He added that three wastewater projects are being implemented at a capacity of 100,000 cubic meters per day, costing LE 1.26 billion.]]>
5/29/2019 5:11:28 PM
<![CDATA[Micro-Mesh to produce air filters for gas turbines in Egypt]]>
The products will be sold to Egypt’s power plants and exported to other North African countries. AES is a consulting firm offering services pertinent to the design and reassessment of oil and gas infrastructure and facilities. Its main offices are in India and Dubai.

The products will bear the logo of “Eurofilter,” according to a press release by the UK embassy in Egypt. British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox concluded his visit to Egypt on Wednesday and announced deals in the sectors of healthcare, transportation, and financial services sectors.

Those consist of a contract with Bombardier Transportation to build two Cairo monorails worth €3 billion, a contract with Vodafone worth $100 million to develop a health insurance IT system in Port Said, a contract with GSK worth LE100 million to upgrade two major production lines in Cairo.

During Fox’s visit, the Central Bank of Egypt announced that the UK's development finance institution CDC Group is the first non-IFI bank to be granted approval to provide ‘Tier 2’ capital to Egyptian Banks.

“This decision paves the way for CDC to invest an estimated $150-200 million in Egypt’s banking sector. The CDC will also open an office in Egypt in the coming months to support its increased engagement in Egypt,” the statement read.

British Ambassador to Egypt Sir Geoffrey Adams said that “with Egypt's economic reforms and the UK’s departure from the EU, we have the opportunity to tear down barriers to trade and investment and strengthen our economic ties.”
]]>
5/29/2019 3:52:49 PM
<![CDATA[Bourse loses EGP 4.6 bln]]>
The market capital lost about EGP 4.6 billion, registering EGP 753.7 billion amid transactions that totaled EGP 1.3 billion.

The EGX 30 benchmark decreased 0.38 percent, closing at 13,974.13 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading small and mid-cap enterprises (SMEs) went down 0.17 percent, standing at 602.9 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index also dropped 0.28 percent, recording 1,537.3 points. ]]>
5/29/2019 2:47:26 PM
<![CDATA[Upgrading sustainable development strategy plan]]>
The workshop aimed to reach a unified plan for the sustainable development strategy for 2030, including various perspectives and ideas adopted by ministries and set to be completed in October 2019.

The workshop was divided into four main axes: upgrading sustainable development strategies, upgrading communication skills, raising awareness, and developing human resources.

Participants were divided into five groups and each group worked to discuss the main targets and ideas of the developmental plan.

At the end of the workshop, each participant offered applicable solutions and recommendations for the new pan.

Recommendations included increasing investments in the field of railway and river transport, as well as making use of vacant lands, boosting education and offering more job opportunities.

“Upgrading the sustainable development strategy for 2030 is a national dream that plays a significant role in shaping Egypt's future,” the Ministry of planning said in an official statement.

Community dialogue is the first step in a systematic series of effective discussions that reflect Egypt’s keenness to boost the private sector and its role in enhancing sustainable development through huge investments and projects.

For her part, Head of the Sustainable Development Unit at the Ministry of Planning Huwaida Barakat pointed out that the new plan of development comes within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to carry out a modernization process in cooperation with all state institutions.

The new plan of sustainable development comes in accordance with the UN goals of sustainable development and AFRICA 2063.

It aims mainly to keep up with ongoing changes in the Egyptian economy especially after applying the economic reform program in 2016.

Moreover, Barakat emphasized that community dialogue ensures the participation of Egyptian sectors; the government, institutions, youth, Parliament, civil society organizations, private sector, trade unions, people with special needs and others.

Barakat also lauded the effective role of Egyptian experts who exerted their utmost efforts to upgrade sustainable development strategies.

It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Planning has held a set of introductory lectures to activate community dialogue.
]]>
5/29/2019 1:27:47 PM
<![CDATA[Export opportunities to Lebanon record $300K annually]]>
This comes within the framework of the implementation of the Egyptian Trade Representation’s plan for the development of Egyptian exports in foreign markets.

Egypt’s Cabinet announced earlier that the trade exchange between Egypt and Lebanon recorded $643 million in 2018, with Egypt's exports to the Arab country hitting $527 million, and imports from Lebanon standingat $116 million.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Commercial Representation Office in Jeddah revealed previously that Egyptian exports of onions to Saudi Arabia during 2018 amounted to about $71 million, which are expected to grow after the successful lifting of the temporary ban on the export of onions.

On May 26, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture lifted the ban on importing onions from Egypt after negotiations between the two sides.

According to a statement issued by the Central Department of Agricultural Quarantine at the Egyptian Agriculture Ministry, an Egyptian delegation visited Saudi Arabia last month to resolve this crisis, which comes within the framework of the good relations between the two brotherly countries. ]]>
5/29/2019 12:01:07 PM
<![CDATA[New banking law stimulates merging, acquisition: Pharos]]>
The investment bank added that banks that exceed the required minimum capital may be inclined to inject these retained earnings into the paid-up capital.

It added that other banks whose capital is well below the required limit may seek to merge, acquire or raise the capital of the Egyptian Gulf and the Suez Canal, but this will depend on the timing the law will come to force.

The new banking law draft stipulates raising the minimum capital of commercial banks to LE 5 billion from the current limit of LE 500 million, increasing it to $150 million for foreign banks, allocating no more than 1 percent of profits to the Development Fund for the Banking Sector, in addition to cancelling the maximum period of appointment of the heads of banks and members of the board of directors.
]]>
5/29/2019 11:54:36 AM
<![CDATA[Dice records profits of LE 21.91M during Q1 2019]]>
The company’s filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) showed that sales hiked to LE 287.42 million during 2019’s period, compared to LE 267.53 million in the compared period.

On the other hand, the cost of salesrecorded LE 244.18 million at the end of March, compared to LE 219.3 million during the same period of 2018.

In 2018, the company achieved a net profit of LE 160 million, compared to LE 178.4 million during the previous year.

Dice operates within the consumer durables & apparel sector focusing on textiles. It has subsidiaries operating across Egypt. It’s listed on EGX since July 2008.
Dice capital hit LE 53 million, distributed over 265 million shares.

]]>
5/29/2019 11:52:07 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar prices stable in Tuesday dealings]]>
The prices of the dollar in the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr recorded EGP 16.80 for buying and EGP 16.90 for selling.

In the Commercial International Bank and the Bank of Alexandria, its price recorded EGP 16.77 for buying and 16.90 for selling.

In the National Bank of Greece, the dollar was bought at EGP 16.78 and sold for EGP 16.88.]]>
5/28/2019 4:03:06 PM
<![CDATA[EGX30 exceeds 14K levels during mid-week session]]>
The benchmark EGX 30 rose 0.48 percent, or 67.53 points, to close at 14,028 points.

The equally weighted index EGX 50 increased 1.13 percent, or 23.65 points, to reach 2,123.66 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX 70 climbed 0.25 percent, or 1.49 points, to close at 603.94 points, and the broader index EGX 100 hiked 0.30 percent, or 4.63 point, to 1,541.58 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 2.41 billion, recording LE 758.37 billion, compared to LE 755.96 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 159.82 million shares, traded through 23,770 transactions, with a turnover of LE 925.18 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 5.9 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 2.95 million, and LE 2.99 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at 41.87 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 3.56 million, and LE 1.96 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 44.82 million, and LE 1.04 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 9.5 million.

Giza General Contracting, GB AUTO, and Ismailia National Food Industries were top gainers of the session by 7.99 percent, 7.79 percent and 7.30 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Delta Sugar, Middle & West Delta Flour Mills, and ZahraaMaadi Investment & Development were top losers of the session by 16.32 percent, 5.33 percent, and 4.31 percent, respectively.

On Monday, EGX ended trading in red, as EGX30 declined0.15 percent, EGX50 decreased 0.25 percent, EGX70 dropped 0.51 percent and EGX100 dipped 0.47 percent.
]]>
5/28/2019 2:53:40 PM
<![CDATA[Cancellation of additional Umrah fees ]]>
The Egyptian ministry’s decision is based on the Administrative Court's rule to cancel additional Umrah fees for those perform it for the second time within 3 years.

In a similar vein, EgyptAir operated on Saturday 16 flights carrying 3000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah (the minor Islamic pilgrimage), according to the Egyptian flag carrier.

EgyptAir is expected to transfer around 100,000 pilgrims during the Umrah season in Ramadan.

Umrah is the non-mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca, which may be performed at any time of the year.

EgyptAir has carried a total of 10,700 Palestinian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah from March 4 until May 17. The Egyptian flag carrier said it operated 44 flights for this purpose.

Authorities of Cairo airport coordinated with the national airliner to finalize the arrival procedures of pilgrims who came through Rafah Border Crossing.

According to a cooperation protocol signed between EgyptAir and the Palestinian authorities, about 13,000 Palestinian pilgrims will be carried via 56 flights from March 4 until June 5.
]]>
5/28/2019 1:53:37 PM
<![CDATA[S. Korea to build 18 hydrogen production facilities by 2022]]>
Construction for the first batch of three plants in Seoul, Changwon and Samcheok will begin this year for completion in 2020, with the number set to gradually increase, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The facilities will utilize liquefied natural gas to produce hydrogen, which in turn will be supplied to nearby hydrogen fuel cell bus stations or other charging centers, the ministry said.

South Korea has been moving to build infrastructure to expand the supply of hydrogen in line with its new energy policy.

Each facility will be capable of producing around 1,000 to 1,300 kilograms of hydrogen on a daily basis, which will be enough to supply up to 40 hydrogen-powered buses. The price of hydrogen will be determined later, the ministry added.

Under the hydrogen economy drive, the cumulative number of hydrogen-powered vehicles produced by 2040 in South Korea will reach 6.2 million units, hovering far above the 2,000 units produced until 2018, the ministry said earlier.

The policy especially focuses on promoting the use of hydrogen in the public transportation segment, with the number of hydrogen-powered taxis to reach 80,000 units in 2040, along with 40,000 buses and 30,000 trucks.

There are currently 35 hydrogen-powered buses running in South Korea, with the figure set to reach 2,000 units in 2022.

Along with the efforts to increase the number of production facilities, the ministry is also moving to build more hydrogen charging stations. The number of charging stations, which came to only 14 last year, will reach 310 in 2022 and a thousand by 2040. ]]>
5/28/2019 11:31:00 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt targets to quadruple exports in 5 years]]>
In FY2017/2018, Egypt achieved a 12.7 percent growth in non-oil exports to record $12.7 billion from $15 billion in the previous fiscal year. The prime minister held meetings with export council's representatives in the previous weeks, where each presented a vision on possible mechanisms to increase exports.

In parallel, the state carries out economic reforms and takes measures that would boost the value chain by decreasing raw material exports, and increasing investments in the manufacturing sector.

Chairman of the Egyptian Commercial Service (ECS) Ahmed Antar told Egypt Today that the state targets 12 African states in the plan’s first phase. Those are Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya in the East; and, Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghanam and Benin in the West.

Those states are selected based on a number of elements including economic growth, ranking in ease of doing business index, and existing economic and trade cooperation. Such cooperation can be strengthened by not just growing exports but also by importing manufacturing inputs.

A source at the Export Development Authority (EDA) revealed that the authority in collaboration with export councils will send 12 trade missions this year to some African countries, Russia, Brazil and others having trade agreements with Egypt. The mission to Russia in September will be concerned with the chemicals sector.

Egypt’s main trade agreements are: Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), Agadir Agreement, Egypt-EFTA Agreement, Euro-Med Partnership, Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), Developing 8 Group (D-8), Egypt-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement, Qualifying Industrial Zone (QIZ), Egypt-Turkey FTA, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), European Union-Egypt Free Trade Agreement (Association Agreement), Pan Arab Free Trade Area (PAFTA), and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The sectors working on increasing their exports include pharmaceuticals, furniture, and handicrafts among others. Member of Furniture Export Council Abdo Sholah said that Egyptian producers in the sector have not taken part in any missions over the past two years. He added that since floatation, the cost of exhibiting furniture abroad has increased taking into consideration that the pieces require large areas. Sholah stressed that displaying the products using catalogues is not enough.

Chairman of the Handicrafts Export Council Hesham al-Gazzar stated that his entity targets a rise worth 10 percent. The council also targets supporting exporting companies through training programs held in collaboration with international institutions.

Chairman of Chemicals and Fertilizers Export Council declared that his entity targets to raise the sector’s exports by 20 percent in 2019 to $6.5 billion from $5.3 billion last year. That sector is the largest in terms of exportation.


]]>
5/28/2019 10:40:25 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to set custom dollar for non-essential commodities at LE 15 in June]]>
He attributed this decision to the decline of the exchange rate of the dollar at the banks during the last 5 months.

The price of the customs dollar is subject to the exchange rate declared by the Central Bank and contributes to the increase in the value added tax of the provocative and recreational goods. The price is reviewed periodically, every month, and announced at the beginning of the month.

The custom dollar is the price by which the proportion of customs duties and taxes on imports of goods from abroad are calculated.

By end of November, the minister of finance announced liberalizing the custom dollar for non-essential commodities to the rate of dollar at banks, to hit then LE 18 for non-essential products, including cars, some kinds of shoes, furniture and cigarettes.

The exchange rate of the dollar at the banks according to the average of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) recorded LE 16.81 for buying and LE 16.91 for selling]]>
5/28/2019 10:38:54 AM
<![CDATA[Foreign selling pushes EGX into red zone Monday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dipped 0.15 percent, or 21.41 points, to close at 13,960.47 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.25 percent, or 5.18 points, to reach 2,100.01 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 dropped 0.51 percent, or 3.09 points, to close at 602.45 points, and the broader index EGX100 lessened 0.47 percent, or 7.23 point, to 1,536.95 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 2.36 billion, recording LE 755.96 billion, compared to LE 758.32 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 98.14 million shares, traded through 13,592 transactions, with a turnover of LE 338.35 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 77.19 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 68.6 million, and LE 8.59 million, respectively.

Foreign individuals were net sellers at 389,403, while Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 47.85 million, and LE 529,403, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 20.74 million, and LE 8.06 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 76.81 million.

Sharkia National Food, Delta Construction & Rebuilding, and El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops Egypt were top gainers of the session by 8.66 percent, 8.47 percent and 7.39 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Pyramisa Hotels, Nasr Company for Civil Works, and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals were top losers of the session by 8.89 percent, 8.86 percent, and 7.96 percent, respectively.

On Sunday, EGX ended trading in green, as EGX30 rose 1.49 percent, EGX50 increased 1.53 percent, EGX70 climbed 0.31 percent and EGX100 jumped 0.50 percent.

]]>
5/27/2019 3:31:42 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, JICA discuss economic cooperation]]>
The Japanese delegation pointed out that the proposed budget for developing the Egyptian energy sector is worth around $800 million, funded by JICA, the African Development Bank (AFDB), and the French Development Agency (AFD).

The Ministry of Finance added in a statement that Ma’it asked for raising the value of the proposed budget to $1 billion.

The meeting also discussed JICA’s suggestion to cooperate with the World Bank in supporting the public budget by $500 million, which will be directed to health care programs.

JICA offered to provide these programs for $250 million to contribute to the development of the inclusive health care.

Ma’it affirmed that the government works on accelerating the application of the inclusive health care law.

He also reviewed JICA’s suggestion to develop the Egyptian health insurance community which targets improving and managing medical entities with the help of Japanese experts in this field.

The Japanese delegation pointed to JICA's willingness to contribute to funding the centers and hospitals required in the application of the comprehensive health insurance system.
]]>
5/27/2019 2:48:31 PM
<![CDATA[225,800 fruit seedlings exported to 3 countries ]]>
The breakdown is 224,000 strawberry seedlings exported to India, and 1,800 mango (Keitt and Sokary), orange, volkameriana Volkamer lemon, mandarin and annona seedlings exported to the other two countries.

The Central Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture issued a report earlier in May revealing that Egypt's exports of fruits and vegetables rose to 1,700,000 tons since the beginning of the new export season of fruits and vegetables.

Head of the Central Department of Agricultural Quarantine at Ministry of Agriculture Ahmed al-Attar stressed that these shipments were exported to the European Union in accordance with international export quality standards, affirming that the Egyptian agricultural products were exported to various countries without any obstacles.

He explained that the Ministry of Agriculture is applying strict measures on all exports of vegetables and fruits to maintain the reputation of the Egyptian agricultural exports.

In May 2018, Egyptian agricultural exports of vegetables and fruits to various countries of the world increased, amounting to about 2.88 million tons, according to a report by the Agriculture Ministry's Central Administration for Agricultural Quarantine.

Egypt has succeeded in opening new markets for agricultural crops in a large number of countries, especially in China, the European Union and East Asian countries. That is in addition to Egypt's success in lifting the ban on Egyptian agricultural exports in some countries, which confirmed the safety of Egyptian procedures and the quality of their agricultural crops, former Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Abdel Moneim el-Banna said.

Egypt's exports of citrus fruits increased to reach $502 million during 2017-2018, compared to $446 million during 2016-2017.



]]>
5/27/2019 2:20:08 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.75B 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 eariler that during May, it will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) worth LE 2 billion, seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) for LE 1.5 billion, and ten -year bonds (maturing in May 2029) at LE 1.5 billion.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion.

The ministry said it will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth 4.75 billion, three-year bonds (maturing in June 2022)worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) for LE 5.75 billion, and seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) at LE 5 billion. It will also auction 10-year t-bonds (maturing in November 2027) at a total value of LE 1.5 billion, and 10-year t-bonds (maturing in May 2029) at LE 2.75 billion.

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March meeting.

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.

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.

In 2018, Egypt canceled bids for treasury bills four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.
]]>
5/27/2019 12:50:50 PM
<![CDATA[Oil steadies as trade fears balance Mideast tension and supply cuts]]>
Figures on Monday showed that profits for Chinese industrial companies shrank in April while new orders for U.S.-made capital goods fell more than expected in a further sign that the economy is slowing.

The main factor preventing crude prices from rising on the geopolitical news is the concern about the global economy, said Petromatrix oil analyst Olivier Jakob.

“The macroeconomic outlook does not look good,” Jakob said.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 5 cents at $68.74 a barrel by 0839 GMT, having fallen by about 4.5% last week. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 36 cents at $58.27.

Both crude contracts registered their biggest weekly price declines of the year last week. Public holidays in the United States and Britain on Monday limited participation, keeping volumes low.

Rising tension between the United States and Iran, with Washington’s announcement on Friday that it would deploy more troops to the Middle East, has had little impact on the market so far.

“This move further increases tensions in the regions, but with the U.S. and UK markets closed today and most of the geopolitical tension likely already priced in to the market, effects on crude prices may remain subdued,” JBC Energy said in a report.

Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions - bets on rising prices - in the week to May 21, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

Oil supply cuts - both voluntary and those resulting from U.S. sanctions - have boosted prices this year and are still keeping a floor under prices.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, has been cutting supply to tighten the market.

U.S. sanctions on OPEC members Iran and Venezuela have curbed their crude exports, reducing supplies further.

Brent’s price structure remains in backwardation, with prices for prompt delivery higher than those for future dispatch, suggesting a tight balance between supply and demand.]]>
5/27/2019 12:22:18 PM
<![CDATA[Euro holds firm after EU vote shows pro-Europe parties cling to majority]]>
The common currency traded at $1.1211 in Asian trade, near its highest levels in 1 1/2 weeks, and off a two-year low of $1.11055 touched on Thursday.

While centre-right and centre-left blocs are losing their shared majority, surges in the Greens and liberals meant parties committed to strengthening the union held on to two-thirds of seats, official projections showed.

The results dented the hopes of anti-immigration, anti-Brussels National Rally led by Marine Le Pen, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini and others who have been opposing attempts to forge closer EU integration.

“It looks like pro-EU parties still have a majority. To be sure, we see a rise of anti-EU parties in some countries but it is not like they are winning an outright majority,” said Minori Uchida, chief currency analyst at MUFG Bank.

“I’d expect markets’ focus to shift back to U.S.-China relations,” he said.

Trading was seen subdued on Monday due to market holidays in London and New York, limiting moves in other currency pairs.

The U.S. currency traded at 109.45 yen, up 0.15%, underpinned by Japanese players’ bargain-hunting.

Buying interest from Japanese investors is strong when the dollar dips near 109 yen, said Mitsuo Imaizumi, chief currency strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“Data shows Japanese investors bought a large amount of foreign bonds a few weeks ago when the dollar fell near 109 yen. There’s demand from Japanese companies that need dollar for their M&A deals,” he said.

Still, the U.S. currency is not far from a three-month low of 109.02 touched two weeks ago, hit amid worries about escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology.

The dollar has been also capped against the yen as U.S. President Donald Trump is seen putting pressure on Japan to take measures to reduce its trade surplus with the United States.

Trump, who arrived in Tokyo on Saturday, tweeted on Sunday that much of the trade negotiation with Japan will wait until after the country’s election in July.

The British pound ticked up 0.15% to $1.2731, having regained some ground after Prime Minister Theresa May set out a departure date, bouncing back from a 4-1/2-month low of $1.2605 set on Thursday.

But the prospect of a “no deal” Brexit was fast becoming the central battle of the race among contenders to succeed May, with four of eight leadership hopefuls having said Britain must leave the EU on Oct. 31 even if this means a no-deal Brexit.]]>
5/27/2019 12:19:19 PM
<![CDATA[Fiat Chrysler seeks Renault merger to meet auto challenges]]>
If successful, the $35 billion-plus tie-up would alter the competitive landscape for rivals including General Motors and Peugeot maker PSA Group, which recently held inconclusive talks with Fiat Chrysler (FCA).

The Italian-American group’s plan, which was finalised in overnight talks with Renault, will be discussed at a meeting of the French company’s board on Monday.

Investors welcomed the blueprint for an automaker producing more than 8.7 million vehicles a year and aiming for 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in annual savings, with shares in both companies rising sharply.

It would rank third in the global auto industry behind Japan’s Toyota and Germany’s Volkswagen.

But analysts also warned of big complications, including Renault’s existing alliance with Nissan, the French state’s role as Renault’s largest shareholder and potential opposition from politicians and workers to any cutbacks.

“The market will be careful with these synergy numbers as much has been promised before and there isn’t a single merger of equals that has ever succeeded in autos,” Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said.

With these sensitivities in mind, FCA proposed an all-share merger of equals under a listed Dutch holding company. After a 2.5 billion euro dividend paid to existing FCA shareholders, investors in each company would receive half of the new entity.

This would be chaired by John Elkann, head of the Agnelli family that controls 29 percent of FCA, sources familiar with the talks told Reuters, while Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard would likely become CEO.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said the proposed merger could be good news for Italy if it helped Fiat to grow, but it was crucial to preserve jobs.

He did not comment on the French government’s 15% stake in Renault, but an influential lawmaker from the ruling League party said Rome may seek a stake in the combined group to balance France’s holding.

In a letter to employees seen by Reuters, FCA chief executive Mike Manley also cautioned a merger could take more than a year to finalize.

‘BOLD DECISIONS’

A deal could help both companies address shortcomings, as well as the challenges of switching to electric and self-driving technologies and tougher emissions regulations.

FCA has a highly profitable businesses in North America with its RAM trucks and Jeep brand, but lost money last quarter in Europe, where most of its plants are running below 50% capacity and it may struggle with new emissions curbs.

Renault, by contrast, was an early mover in electric cars, with relatively fuel-efficient engine technologies and a strong presence in emerging markets, but no U.S. business.

Both are marginal players in China.

“The case for combination is also strengthened by the need to take bold decisions to capture at scale the opportunities created by the transformation of the auto industry,” FCA said.

It could also have profound repercussions for Renault’s 20-year-old alliance with Nissan, already weakened by the crisis surrounding the arrest and ouster of former chairman Carlos Ghosn late last year.

Milan-listed FCA shares jumped as much as 19% in early trade, while Renault stock leapt 17%. PSA shares fell 2.5%.

“FCA fits as well with Renault as it does with PSA,” Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois said in a note.

FCA-Renault, like almost every possible automotive pairing, had been studied intermittently for years by dealmakers. But the fractious relations between Ghosn and FCA’s late CEO Sergio Marchionne made constructive merger talks impossible until after Marchionne’s sudden death last July, banking sources said.

Prior to his November arrest in Japan, Ghosn had revived discussions about a deal to bring FCA into a reinforced Renault-Nissan alliance, sources have told Reuters.

PARIS AND ROME

The French government, Renault’s biggest shareholder, supports a merger with FCA in principle but will need to see more details, its main spokeswoman said on Monday.

France will be “particularly vigilant regarding employment and industrial footprint,” another Paris official said - adding that any deal must safeguard Renault’s alliance with Nissan, which had recently rebuffed a merger proposal from the French carmaker.

Seeking to soothe concerns, FCA stressed “new opportunities for employees of both companies”.

“The benefits of the proposed transaction are not predicated on plant closures, but would be achieved through more capital-efficient investment in common global vehicle platforms, architectures, powertrains and technologies,” it said.

Nissan, which is 43.4%-owned by Renault, would be invited to nominate a director to the 11-member board of the new company.

As alliance partners, Nissan and its affiliate Mitsubishi would benefit from an estimated 1 billion euros in annual savings from the merger, FCA added.]]>
5/27/2019 12:15:59 PM
<![CDATA[Asia shares come off four-month low, euro steady after fragmented EU vote]]>
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 percent, off a four-month low touched on Friday, with market holidays in the U.S. and U.K. denting trading volumes.

European shares were expected to open modestly higher, with futures for Eurex EURO STOXX 50 index and Germany’s DAX ticking up 0.4 and 0.3 percent, respectively.

Casting a shadow over many share markets were worries the China-U.S. trade conflict was turning into a technology cold war between the world’s two largest economies.

Japan’s Nikkei average advanced 0.3%.

Chinese shares rose, helped by investor hopes of policy support from Beijing, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite climbing 1.4% and the blue-chip CSI 300 adding 1.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.1%.

Wall Street’s major indexes edged higher on Friday in a rebound from the previous session after comments from U.S. President Donald Trump on trade relations with China provided markets a bit of a respite. [.N]

The euro was a shade higher at $1.1209, holding within a tight $1.2272-$1.2754 range in what was a limited reaction to partial returns in the European parliament elections.

Analysts said the single currency’s muted reaction came as the results showed populist and far-right parties in some countries were unlikely to have gathered as much support as anticipated.

Parties committed to strengthening the European Union held on to two-thirds of seats in the EU parliament, official projections from the bloc’s elections showed on Sunday, though far-right and nationalist opponents saw strong gains.

Macron’s Renaissance, built on the ruins of center-left and center-right parties, added to gains for liberals at the EU level as turnout bounced sharply across the bloc. Along with a surge for the Greens, that meant four groups occupying the pro-EU middle ground lost under 20 seats, securing 505 seats out of 751.

“With a turnout of more than 50%, European elections were far less of a non-event than usual,” Robert Carnell, ING Asia-Pacific research head, said in a note to clients.

“This was not a ringing endorsement for Euroscepticism - with only 22% of the seats going to EU skeptical parties, and even this bolstered by what may be a temporary surge in the UK’s Brexit party seats, the EU parliament remains a largely pro-European institution.”

A centrist, pro-EU coalition would still be possible in the new chamber that will sit for the first time on July 2. But it would be more difficult to piece together among more numerous partners, according to the European Parliament’s estimates.

The longer-term impact of the election, therefore, remained unclear, analysts say.

“It’s difficult to foresee what will happen to Brexit, the political situation in Italy and elections in Greece just by looking at the vote count,” said Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.

“We may not see an immediate market reaction, as the election outcome will have to seep in first before beginning to have a political impact on the various countries.”

The pound was 0.2% higher at $1.2740 . Sterling had bounced back from a near five-month trough of $1.2605 after British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would quit. [GBP/]

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was little changed at 97.575.

The greenback was holding at 109.48 yen, 0.2% higher on the day.

China’s yuan rose to a 1-1/2-week high against the U.S. dollar on Monday, buoyed by a senior official’s warning not to bet against the Chinese currency.

In the spot market, onshore yuan rose to a high of 6.8854 yuan per dollar at one point, the strongest since May 16, and was last quoted at 6.8926 yuan per dollar, up 0.1% on the day.

China’s banking and insurance regulator said over the weekend that it did not expect a persistent decline in the yuan and warned speculative short sellers they would suffer “heavy losses” if they bet against the currency.

Oil prices fell on Monday, extending losses from last week when crude dropped the most this year on concerns the Sino-U.S. trade war could trigger a broad economic slowdown, although OPEC’s supply cuts provided some support. [O/R]

Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, dropped 0.2% to $68.58 per barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures shed 0.6% to $58.27 per barrel.]]>
5/27/2019 12:12:59 PM
<![CDATA[Google to invest 600 million euros in Finnish data center]]>
Google, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., already has a data center in Hamina, where it invested 800 million euros to convert an old paper mill. Paper firm Stora Enso sold the site, which is close to the Russian border, to Google in 2009.

Google said the existing Hamina facility was one of its most advanced and efficient data centers. Its cooling system uses seawater from the Gulf of Finland to reduce energy use.

Google’s other European data centers are located in the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium.

“The demand for Google services is growing daily and we are building our data center infrastructure to match this demand,” Google’s Finland country head Antti Jarvinen said in a statement.]]>
5/27/2019 11:47:54 AM
<![CDATA[Electricity Ministry to consider low prices for New Valley households]]>
The ministry’s decision is upon the request of the Energy and Environment Committee at the House of Representatives in light of the governorate’s desert nature and temperature that hit 47 degrees celsius.

The proposal was put forward by Parliamentarian Dawood Soliman, and communicated to the Cabinet and the ministry, which in turn has given the aforementioned response.

As stated by law, the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency is the institution in charge of setting electricity prices on a national scale. Nonetheless, any requests to make exceptions must be submitted to the Cabinet to make a decision.

Egypt's Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker announced in a press conference on Tuesday new electricity prices after the 14.9 percent rise that will be applied as of July. The new prices would save the state from a deficit of up to LE 33.5 billion.

The new prices, according to the minister, come as part of the government’s economic reform program, as follows:

Household use:

First bracket: From 0 to 50 kilowatts = (30 piasters up from 22).

Second bracket: From 51 kilowatts to 100 = (40 piasters up from 30).

Third bracket: From 0 to 200 kilowatts = (50 piasters up from 36).

Fourth bracket: From 201 to 350 kilowatts = (82 piasters up from 70).

Fifth bracket: From 351 kilowatts to 650 = (100 piasters up from 90).

Sixth bracket: From 651 to 1000 kilowatts = (140 piasters up from 135).

Seventh bracket: From 0 to more than 1000 kilowatts will have no subsidy (145 piasters).


]]>
5/27/2019 10:57:20 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's non-petroleum exports to Indonesia climb 19% in 2018]]>
The report added that Egyptian imports from Indonesia dropped 17.6 percent to reach $1.33 billion.

First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Head of the Commercial Representation Authority Ahmed Antar said that the increase of the Egyptian non-petroleum export to Indonesia came as a result of introducing new export items such as ammonium nitrate, car tires and beans.

He added that other items of exports witnessed a significant increase, such as non-phosphate or chemical fertilizers, which recorded $42 million, with an increase of 13 percent; calcium phosphate and aluminum with a 4.7 percent increase, recording $28 million; in addition to dates which recorded $22 million, marking an increase of 60 percent; and sugar molasses which recorded $15 million, up 32 percent.

Antar attributed the decline of imports to the decrease in imports of several items of palm oil, whose derivatives represent 10 items among the top 50 items in the Egyptian imports from Indonesia, including imports of palm oil which declined from $173 million to $21 million. This is in addition to solidified palm oil, which recorded a decrease of $43.7 million, and natural rubber, which decreased by 6.8 percent.

He pointed out that there are an increased import items, including a refined palm oil valued at $272 million and an increase of 1.5 percent, single yarns of synthetic fibers worth $67 million, or 9.6 percent, and coffee rose by $56 million, with an increase of 7.8 percent, as well as car tires by $33.6 million, or 28 percent.

Antar referred that 50 items of our imports from Indonesia, which accounted for about 94 percent of the total value of imports from Indonesia during 2018, are strategic goods and intermediary commodities with no local alternative or limited local alternatives such as palm oil and its products, coffee, wood and paper.

]]>
5/27/2019 10:34:16 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia lifts ban on Egyptian onion]]>
According to a statement issued by the Central Department of Agricultural Quarantine at the Egyptian Agriculture Ministry, an Egyptian delegation visited Saudi Arabia last month to resolve this crisis, which comes within the framework of the good relations between the two brotherly countries.

In April 2018, The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) lifted the ban on imports of Egyptian strawberries and peppers to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the SFDA also decided to lift the temporary ban on imports of Egyptian frozen guava to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

In December 2017, Saudi Arabia banned importing frozen guava from Egypt because pesticide residues exceeded global standards.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Safwat al-Haddad said that talks with the kingdom would be resumed to lift the ban off fresh guava according to the regulations set by the SFDA.

Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Jordan have recently lifted their bans off imports of Egyptian lettuce, guava, onions, pepper and potatoes, which were suspended because of their high pesticide residues.

Exports of agricultural products decreased in January 2018 to $200 million, compared to $217 million in the same month of 2017 – a decrease of 8 percent.

In 2017, agricultural exports jumped 3 percent to $2.2 billion, compared to $2.1 billion in 2016.

Additional Report with Hanan Mohamed ]]>
5/26/2019 4:07:56 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar exchange rate continues downward trend at Egypt's major banks]]>
At the National Bank of Egypt, the dollar rate went down by two piasters recording EGP 16.83 for buying and EGP 16.93 for selling.

At the Commercial International Bank, the dollar rate registered EGP 16.81 for buying and EGP 16.91 for selling.

The dollar price decreased two piasters recording EGP 16.81 for buying and EGP 16.91 for selling at the Arab African International Bank.]]>
5/26/2019 3:25:07 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 273-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The ministry announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills (T-bills) in May with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 34.25 billion, LE 35.25 billion, LE 34.25 billion, and LE 37.25 billion, respectively.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion, with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion.

Finance Ministry to auction LE478.5B in T-bonds, bills in Q4

CAIRO - 28 March 2019:The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.



The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during May’s meeting.

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 Egyptian treasuries hit $15.8 billion during February 2019, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it.

Foreign investments in government treasuries record $15.8B in Feb.

CAIRO - 6 March 2019: Foreign investments in Egyptian treasuries hit $15.8 billion during February 2019, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it. Ma'it elaborated that this increased figure came as a result of the development of the Egyptian economy; in addition to the investors and financial institutions' trust in the Egyptian market and the continuous progress represented in the improvement of all financial indicators.




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.
]]>
5/26/2019 3:01:46 PM
<![CDATA[EGX adds LE 6.66 to market cap. during 2nd green session]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.49 percent, or 205.03 points, to close at 13,981.88 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 1.53 percent, or 31.74 points, to reach 2,105.19 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 climbed 0.31 percent, or 1.89 points, to close at 605.54 points, and the broader index EGX100 hiked 0.50 percent, or 7.73 point, to 1,544.18 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 6.66 billion, recording LE 758.32 billion, compared to LE 751.65 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 115.65 million shares, traded through 13,892 transactions, with a turnover of LE 378.18 million.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 78.91 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 18.8 million, and LE 60.11 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 1.45 million, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 22.79 million, and LE 1.61 million, respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 17.35 million, and LE 61.72 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations bought at LE 56.12 million.

Mohandes Insurance, Nasr Company for Civil Works, and El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops Egypt were top gainers of the session by 9.79 percent, 8.29 percent and 8.14 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Assiut Islamic Trading, Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development, and Egyptian International Tourism Projects were top losers of the session by 4.46 percent, 2.52 percent, and 2.35 percent, respectively.

On Thursday, EGX ended trading in green, as EGX30 rose 0.82 percent, EGX50 increased 1.11 percent, EGX70 climbed 0.81 percent and EGX100 jumped 0.83 percent.
]]>
5/26/2019 3:00:39 PM
<![CDATA[EGX discusses listing 79 companies ]]>
EGX clarified that these discussions came after eight months of the development and launch of the Client Relation Management (CRM) to follow the target companies to be listed on the stock exchange.

This is carried out through collecting data of companies that perform transfers on non-listed securities (orders market, over the counter), and companies registered at the central storage system of Misr for Central Clearing, Depository & Registry Company, in addition to companies registered at the General Authority for Investment.

According to a recent report issued by the Egyptian bourse on the performance of the new system, the target companies are registered and distributed in the sectors of real estate, pharmaceuticals, energy and gas, oil and food processing, technology and media, services and industrial products and cars.

The report divided the companies into three sections; companies showing a positive interest in listing on the stock exchange, companies showing hesitant interest and need more knowledge and understanding, and companies showing interest but believe that the current time is not appropriate for enrollment.

The number of companies that showed positive interest in the stock market reached about 17 companies, some of which began to take serious steps to study the process of registration and placement in coordination with investment banks.

While the number of companies showing hesitant interest and studying the feasibility and timing of entry at the stock exchange hit about 17 companies. Meanwhile, companies that believe the current time is not appropriate but still have a future desire to register, recorded 20 companies, according to the report.

During the discussions conducted by the stock exchange, about 25 companies indicated their unwillingness to register in the stock exchange.

The average capital of the target companies to be listed in the bourse is nearly LE 700 million.

Developed and launched by the stock exchange, the new system aims to select companies, offer advantages, facilitate procedures of listing on the stock exchange and provide technical consultations. ]]>
5/26/2019 2:59:15 PM
<![CDATA[Citizens play principal role in preparing state budget: Finance ministry]]>
Sara Eid, the head of the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Transparency and Citizen Engagement Unit, made her remarks during a symposium organized by the ministry in cooperation with a sustainable development center and an Alexandria institution for development.

Through its "participatory budget" initiative, the ministry seeks to increase community engagement in setting the state's fiscal policies, which would enable citizens to effectively participate in formulating the state's reform vision, Eid said.

This initiative is based on the recommendations of a workshop held in cooperation with the World Bank and the ministries of planning and local development, Eid noted, adding it demonstrates the government's commitment to promoting transparency and community outreach.

A number of MPs attended the symposium along with several civil society representatives in Alexandria. ]]>
5/25/2019 4:23:10 PM
<![CDATA[Citizens play principal role in preparing state budget: Finance ministry]]>
Sara Eid, the head of the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Transparency and Citizen Engagement Unit, made her remarks during a symposium organized by the ministry in cooperation with a sustainable development center and an Alexandria institution for development.

Through its "participatory budget" initiative, the ministry seeks to increase community engagement in setting the state's fiscal policies, which would enable citizens to effectively participate in formulating the state's reform vision, Eid said.

This initiative is based on the recommendations of a workshop held in cooperation with the World Bank and the ministries of planning and local development, Eid noted, adding it
demonstrates the government's commitment to promoting transparency and community outreach.

A number of MPs attended the symposium along with several civil society representatives in Alexandria.]]>
5/25/2019 3:13:40 PM
<![CDATA[Trade exchange between China, African countries hits $ 204.2 bn in 2018]]>
China's imports from African countries hit 99.3 billion dollars in 2018, marking a notable annual increase of 32 percent, according to a statement published by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Saturday.

The exports of the Asian country to the Africa countries increased by 11 percent reaching 104.9 billion dollars, the statement added.

China's direct investments in African countries made an increase of seven percent in 2018 recording 3.3 billion dollars.

Chinese companies carried out projects in African countries during 2018 with a cost of 78.4 billion dollars, with an annual increase of three percent.]]>
5/25/2019 12:52:37 PM
<![CDATA[28% increase in trade exchange between China, Arab countries in 2018]]>
China's imports from Arab countries hit 139.4 billion dollars in 2018, while the exports of the Asian country to the Arab ones stood at 104.9 billion dollars, according to the latest figures published by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Saturday.

Chinese companies carried out new projects in Arab countries during 2018 with a cost of 35.6 billion dollars, with an annual increase of nine percent, the ministry added, noting that the value of Chinese business recorded 27.8 billion dollars.

China pumped investments worth 1.2 billion dollars in all sectors in Arab countries throughout 2018, the ministry pointed out. ]]>
5/25/2019 10:21:26 AM
<![CDATA[AOI plans to resume cooperation protocol with Germany company]]>
Altarras made the remarks during talks with a delegation of DMG MORI German company to resume the activation of cooperation protocol with the company.

Under the protocol, an AOI affiliated factory should be equipped with the latest technologies, within the framework of the fourth industrial revolution.

Also, the protocol stipulates cooperation in the field of training technical and engineering cadres, including providing training for 26 engineers on the latest programs of operating CNC (computer numerical control) machines.

Outstanding trainees will continue their training in Germany where they will get international certificates.

DMG MORI executive director described cooperation with Egypt a crucial step for the country and Africa in terms of localizing technology, noting that Egypt is the cornerstone of Africa's stability.

DMG MORI CO is a machine tool manufacturer that was established in 1948. In 2009, it reached a capital and business partnership agreement with a German machine tool builder DMG MORI AG and completed its management integration in 2016.]]>
5/24/2019 1:21:52 PM
<![CDATA[Trade exchange between Egypt, Algeria hits $938 M]]>
Egyptian exports to Algeria are estimated at 550 million dollars and they include finished and intermediate goods as well as raw materials, it said in a statement.

Egyptian imports from Algeria account for 399 million dollars, it added.

The statement noted that deputy chairman of the authority Wael Aref took part in a meeting at the Algerian Trade Ministry and requested the Algerian side to reconsider the list of products with additional taxes.

The Algerian trade minister promised to examine these lists to take right decisions towards them]]>
5/23/2019 5:23:02 PM
<![CDATA[CBE Keeps interest rates on hold during May]]>
The overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate were kept at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during May’s meeting.

MPC attributed this decision to the decline of inflation rate in April, the slight rise of GDP to 5.6 percent during the first quarter of 2019, in addition to the slowdown of global economy, as well as targeting to achieve a primary surplus of 2 percent of GDP during fiscal year 2018/2019.

Analysts expected CBE to keep rates unchanged in light of the inflationary season, including Ramadan, Islamic feasts and the beginning of the new fiscal year with subsidy cuts.

Despite April’s good inflation rate, most analysts see that it is not enough for another interest rate cut, with reference to an expected rise in inflation during May and June as a result of Ramadan, feasts and subsidy cuts.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation fell to 12.5 percent in April 2019, compared to 12.9 percent in April 2018. Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 8.1 percent in April 2019, from 8.9 percent in March 2019, according to CBE’s report.

Head of Microeconomics Analysis at EFG Hermes Mohamed Abu Basha told Enterprise that CBE would refrain from taking any action now that we are getting closer to the liberalization of fuel prices this summer.

On Tuesday, Egypt's Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker announced a new subsidy cut of electricity tariffs, recording a 14.9 percent rise that will be applied as of July.

“We expect monthly inflation to rise in May as a result of higher consumer demand during Ramadan. Moreover, we estimate fuel prices to rise 15 percent-25 percent in June-July, compared to average fuel price increases of 31 percent-42 percent for octane and diesel in FY2017-2018, resulting in higher monthly inflation in June and July,” HC’s Sara Saada told press.

Senior economist at Shuaa Securities Esraa Ahmed stated earlier her belief that CBE could prefer to keep rates unchanged for some time, attributing this belief to the recent inflation hikes which were mainly pushed by food items, and the need to keep foreign inflows in shape, especially before imports pick up in the upcoming season, in addition to global oil prices.

In Reuter’s poll, eleven out of 14 economists said the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) monetary policy committee was unlikely to change its overnight rates, with deposits at 15.75 percent and lending at 16.75 percent.

“The CBE will likely be reluctant to change its monetary stance at this point, given the anticipated energy subsidy cuts expected next month,” Senior Economist at Egyptian investment bank CI Capital Hany Farahat told Reuters, expecting the CBE to maintain policy rates stable during Q3 and resume easing in Q4 2019.

On another note, Senior Economist at Beltone Alia Mamdouh said that there is a room for a 100 bps interest rate cut. “But the most likely scenario remains a 100 bps cut in rates by the end of the year, accounting for the expected inflationary repercussions of the wider implementation of the fuel indexation mechanism.”

During March’s meeting, CBE kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively.

During the first meeting in 2019 held in February, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) cut the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate to 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively.
]]>
5/23/2019 4:15:21 PM
<![CDATA[Huawei founder: to us, most important thing is to do our job well]]>
 “To us, the most important thing is to do our job well”

 “Our relationships with US companies won't be destroyed by a piece of paper from the US government”

 “Our company will not end up with an extreme supply shortage. We have got well prepared”

In his latest meeting with the media, Huawei founder Mr. Ren Zhengfei has reiterated that the company is in a strong position to move ahead despite recent political actions in the United States.

Addressing questions about the impact of the White House’s recent executive order, Ren noted: “What the US will do is out of our control. To us, the most important thing is to do our job well. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the US companies that we work with. Over these 30 years, they have helped us to grow into what we are today. They have made many contributions to us. As you know, most of the companies that provide consulting services to Huawei are based in the US, including dozens of companies like IBM and Accenture. In the face of the recent crisis, I can feel these companies' sense of justice and sympathy towards us.”

The Huawei founder then went into greater detail about its relationships with US companies. “The US is a country ruled by law. US companies must abide by the laws, and so must the real economy. The media should understand that these US companies and Huawei share the same fate. We are both players in the market economy. Our close relationships with US companies are the result of several decades of effort on both sides. These relationships won't be destroyed by a piece of paper from the US government.”

The supply of products to Huawei from international partners was also discussed. “Our company will not end up with an extreme supply shortage. We have got well prepared. Even if there is an insufficient supply from our partners, we will face no problems. This is because we can manufacture all the high-end chips we need ourselves,” said Ren.

As long as these companies can obtain approval from Washington, Ren commented that Huawei will continue to buy in large volumes from them. “It may be the case that they cannot obtain approval quickly. We have ways to go through this transition period. Once approval is granted, we will maintain our normal trade with these US companies and work together to build an information society for humanity. We don't want to work alone.”

In an answer to a direct question about why the US is targeting Huawei, Ren responded: “I don't know exactly what [those US] politicians are thinking. I think we should not be the target of US-led campaigns just because we are ahead of the US.”

The Huawei founder also responded to questions about overall disruptions to the international ICT market. “Europe will not follow in the footsteps of the US, and the majority of US companies are communicating closely with us. We will certainly be able to continue serving our customers. Our mass production capacity is huge, and adding Huawei to the Entity List won't have a huge impact on us. We are making progress in bidding worldwide.”

With regards to Huawei’s own business outlook for 2019, Ren added: “Our growth will slow down, though not by as much as everyone imagines. In the first quarter of this year, our revenue grew 39% over the same period last year. This rate decreased to 25% in April, and may continue decreasing towards the end of this year. But the US ban will not lead to negative growth or harm the development of our industry.”

In sectors where Huawei have the most advanced technologies, at least in the 5G sector, Ren added that there “won't be much impact”. Not just that, but Huawei competitors won't be able to catch up with it within two to three years.

5G standards are widely considered to have a huge impact on society, added Ren. The company appears to be well prepared for the future in terms of technology innovation and R&D. Huawei has 26 centers of expertise for R&D globally, over 700 mathematicians, 800 physicists, and 120 chemists working at Huawei, according to Ren. He further noted that Huawei have the most 5G standard-essential patents in the world – about 27% of the total.

“We have an Institute of Strategic Research, which provides a large amount of funding to well-known professors at top universities around the world. We don't expect return on this investment. The way we sponsor research is similar to how investment works according to the US Bayh-Dole Act. It's the universities that benefit from the investment. By doing so, we will work with more scientists researching technologies at different stages,” says Ren.

As for its three business groups, when asked about where revenue will come from over the long term, Ren doesn't take the view that the most profitable one is necessarily the most important. “Only the department that is responsible for building network connections will be able to become number one in the world. It is the very department that has come under attacks from the US. I have compared it to a badly damaged aircraft. Actually, we have realized that this department does not face as many difficulties as others because it has been preparing for a long time. Our 5G, optical transmission, and core network technologies are free from the pressure that is being put on this department, and these technologies will be the world leaders for many years to come.”

In addressing its latest reputational challenges, Ren concluded that: “We do not seek to solve our reputation issues outside of China through media campaigns. I think we will ultimately need to solve these issues by providing excellent services to our customers. We are very advanced, and our customers will realize this if they start using our services.” ]]>
5/23/2019 4:05:31 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian, Arab purchases push EGX into green Thursday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 0.82 percent, or 112.62 points, to close at 13,776.85 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 1.11 percent, or 22.74 points, to reach 2,073.45 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 climbed 0.81 percent, or 4.85 points, to close at 603.65 points, and the broader index EGX100 hiked 0.83 percent, or 12.64 point, to 1,536.45 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 5.16 billion, recording LE 751.65 billion, compared to LE 746.49 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 70.23 million shares, traded through 13,839 transactions, with a turnover of LE 394.11 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 51.05 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 35.92 million, and LE 15.12 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 10.98 million, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 2.95 million, and LE 547,354, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 38.87 million, and LE 4.14 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 50.5 million.

Pyramisa Hotels, Misr Cement (Qena), and AJWA for Food Industries company Egypt were top gainers of the session by 9.99 percent, 9.72 percent and 8.04 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arabian Food Industries DOMTY, Ismailia Development and Real Estate Co, and Torah Cement were top losers of the session by 5.14 percent, 3.02 percent, and 2.71 percent, respectively.

On Wednesday, EGX ended trading on mixed note, as EGX30 rose 0.37 percent, EGX50 increased 0.90 percent, while EGX70 dropped 0.56 percent and EGX100 declined 0.36 percent.
]]>
5/23/2019 3:46:41 PM
<![CDATA[Foreign cash flows record $4.471B since beginning of May]]>
He noted that these flows confirm confidence in the performance of the Egyptian economy.

The dollar fell against the Egyptian pound by 92 piasters since the beginning of 2019, supported by foreign exchange flows from multiple sources.

Assistant undersecretary of the Central Bank of Egypt for managing cash markets and investing in international reserves said earlier that total foreign cash flows to Egypt have reached $24.765 billion from January to present.

In April, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer said foreign cash flows from different sources have recorded $130 billion since the Egyptian pound exchange rate liberation in November 2016.

The price of the currency is a "thermometer" of the performance of the economies of countries, and the flow of dollars and capital in foreign currency helps to strengthen the currency.

The exchange rate in Egyptian banks is determined according to the mechanism of supply and demand, and the more the dollar supply is and the less the demand is, the lower the dollar price is.
]]>
5/23/2019 3:42:40 PM
<![CDATA[Steady interest rates expected during May’s meeting]]>
Despite April’s good inflation rate, most analysts see that it is not enough for another interest rate cut, with reference to an expected rise in inflation during May and June as a result of Ramadan, feasts and subsidy cuts.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation fell to 12.5 percent in April 2019, compared to 12.9 percent in April 2018. Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 8.1 percent in April 2019, from 8.9 percent in March 2019, according to CBE’s report.

Head of Microeconomics Analysis at EFG Hermes Mohamed Abu Basha told Enterprise that CBE would refrain from taking any action now that we are getting closer to the liberalization of fuel prices this summer.

On Tuesday, Egypt's Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker announced a new subsidy cut of electricity tariffs, recording a 14.9 percent rise that will be applied as of July.

“We expect monthly inflation to rise in May as a result of higher consumer demand during Ramadan. Moreover, we estimate fuel prices to rise 15 percent-25 percent in June-July, compared to average fuel price increases of 31 percent-42 percent for octane and diesel in FY2017-2018, resulting in higher monthly inflation in June and July,” HC’s Sara Saada told press.

Senior economist at Shuaa Securities Esraa Ahmed stated earlier her belief that CBE could prefer to keep rates unchanged for some time, attributing this belief to the recent inflation hikes which were mainly pushed by food items, and the need to keep foreign inflows in shape, especially before imports pick up in the upcoming season, in addition to global oil prices.

In Reuter’s poll, eleven out of 14 economists said the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) monetary policy committee was unlikely to change its overnight rates, with deposits at 15.75 percent and lending at 16.75 percent.

“The CBE will likely be reluctant to change its monetary stance at this point, given the anticipated energy subsidy cuts expected next month,” Senior Economist at Egyptian investment bank CI Capital Hany Farahat told Reuters, expecting the CBE to maintain policy rates stable during Q3 and resume easing in Q4 2019.

On another note, Senior Economist at Beltone Alia Mamdouh said that there is a room for a 100 bps interest rate cut. “But the most likely scenario remains a 100 bps cut in rates by the end of the year, accounting for the expected inflationary repercussions of the wider implementation of the fuel indexation mechanism.”

During March’s meeting, CBE kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively.

During the first meeting in 2019 held in February, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) cut the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate to 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively.
]]>
5/23/2019 3:14:15 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 announced earlier that it will auction treasury bills (T-bills) in May with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 34.25 billion, LE 35.25 billion, LE 34.25 billion, and LE 37.25 billion, respectively.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, the ministry will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion, with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion.

Finance Ministry to auction LE478.5B in T-bonds, bills in Q4

CAIRO - 28 March 2019:The Ministry of Finance will auction treasury bills and bonds at a total value of LE 478.5 billion during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019.



The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March meeting.

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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 Egyptian treasuries hit $15.8 billion during February 2019, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it.

Foreign investments in government treasuries record $15.8B in Feb.

CAIRO - 6 March 2019: Foreign investments in Egyptian treasuries hit $15.8 billion during February 2019, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it. Ma'it elaborated that this increased figure came as a result of the development of the Egyptian economy; in addition to the investors and financial institutions' trust in the Egyptian market and the continuous progress represented in the improvement of all financial indicators.




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.
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5/23/2019 1:05:48 PM
<![CDATA[Foreign investments in petroleum sector to exceed $10B in 2019/20]]>
The source pointed out that this will be reflected on the growing oil activity and projects implemented.

He said that the volume of investments is a strong indicator of the success of the Ministry of Petroleum's strategy to attract foreign investors and encourage international companies operating in Egypt to pump more investments.

The volume of investments in research, exploration and field development also recorded $10 billion in 2017/2018 and $10 billion in 2018/2019, the source said.

In February, an official source at the Petroleum Authority said that the volume of joint foreign investments that were pumped during 2018 in the petroleum sector recorded $5.7 billion.

The source clarified that $3.2 billion were invested in operations to explore oil and gas, in addition to developing fields, adding that the operating cost reached $1.6 billion.
According to the source, 109 joint firms participated in these investments, besides 58 exploring companies that represent 25 international authorities.

He affirmed that these investments were fruitful in increasing the number of discoveries and reserves that were added during 2018.
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5/22/2019 4:11:37 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, UNIDO discuss promoting investment opportunities in Cairo]]>
In a statement released by the Egyptian Commercial Service on Wednesday, First Secretary of the Egyptian Trade Representation Office in Tokyo Hossam Negm said that he met with Deputy Head of UNIDO ITPOs Ferda Gelegen and they discussed means of luring more foreign investments to the industrial sector in Egypt as well as increasing productivity rates and exports to foreign markets.

They also reviewed the latest developments as regards investment between the Egyptian and Japanese sides along with UNIDO efforts to back the campaigns launched by the Egyptian Trade Representation Office in Tokyo.

Talks also covered establishing a Japanese industrial zone in the Exclusive Economic Zone in Suez (EEZ) and luring in more Japanese investments to the engineering sector in Egypt.

Talks also addressed preparations for Egypt's participation in the G20 Summit and The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), due to be held in Yokohama City in August.

Agreement has been reached with UNIDO representative to address the possibility of participation of representatives of the various Egyptian industrial bodies and officials of the trade and industry ministry in the promotion programs launched by UNIDO in Tokyo in the coming phase along with organizing forums for the Japanese companies interested in investments in the African countries including Egypt.]]>
5/22/2019 3:42:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to establish wind farms in Suez Canal’s Economic Zone]]>
Mamish added that the economic zone of the Suez Canal, is an ideal area for the implementation of such projects, according to the opinion of the New Energy and Renewable Energy Authority, pointing out that it’s an ideal area due to the availability of vast space, which has the energy of the sun, wind and bio-energy.

"Although renewable energy is a new trend in Egypt, the government intends to increase production and dependence of them instead of traditional sources of energy, which makes renewable energy an opportunity to attract more investment in this area," Mamish said.

The head of the Suez Canal Authority and the economic zone of the Canal pointed out that it is intended to produce 7,200 MW of wind farms to be established in the region, especially that the government aims to produce 12 percent of the total electricity generated by wind, and complete the rest of the plan of 20 percent of other renewable sources of energy.

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5/22/2019 3:36:08 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows mixed performance Wednesday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 0.37 percent, or 50.02 points, to close at 13,664.23 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.90 percent, or 18.22 points, to reach 2,050.71 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 dropped 0.56 percent, or 3.38 points, to close at 598.8 points, and the broader index EGX100 dipped 0.36 percent, or 5.53 point, to 1,523.81 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 3.15 billion, recording LE 746.49 billion, compared to LE 743.34 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 70.07 million shares, traded through 12,602 transactions, with a turnover of LE 417.14 million.

Arab investors were net buyers at LE 29 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 13.26 million, and LE 15.75 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 8.92 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 11.36 million, and LE 1.68 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations sold at LE 4.34 million, and LE 17.43 million, respectively, while Arab organizations bought at LE 17.64 million.

Egypt Aluminum, Memphis Pharmaceuticals, and National Bank Of Kuwait- Egypt- NBK were top gainers of the session by 9.43 percent, 8.89 percent and 6.68 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arabian Food Industries DOMTY, Golden Textiles & Clothes Wool, and Misr Hotels were top losers of the session by 9.23 percent, 8.03 percent, and 7.39 percent, respectively.

On Tuesday, EGX ended trading in green, as EGX30 rose 1.75 percent, EGX50 increased 2.08 percent, EGX70 climbed 0.46 percent and EGX100 hiked 0.69 percent.
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5/22/2019 2:40:30 PM
<![CDATA[Maximum limit of micro-finance doubled to LE 200K: FRA]]>
The decision was made to help the emerging projects increase their activities, the matter which would contribute to creating more job opportunities for youths.

In a statement on Wednesday, the FRA said that its board of directors approved a draft amendment on some provisions of law No. 141/2014 on regulating micro-finance of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in order to allow entrepreneurs to benefit from the offered financial services.

The draft amendment will be presented to the prime minister for approval, the statement read.]]>
5/22/2019 2:15:26 PM
<![CDATA[Loans provided to customers hit LE1.82T by end of Feb.]]>CAIRO – 22 May 2019: Total loans provided to banks’ customers, excluding the Central Bank of Egypt, recorded LE 1.823 trillion by end of February, compared to LE 1.806 trillion by end of January, marking an increase of LE 1 billion, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

CBE added in a report that governmental loans reached LE 586.4 billion, LE 227.6 billion of which were provided in local currency and LE 340.7 billion in foreign currency.

It added that non-governmental loans increased to LE 1.255 trillion, explaining that LE 959 billion of which were in local currency.

CBE noted earlier that total deposits at the banking system, excluding the Central Bank, rose by LE 41.7 billion, to reach LE 3.879 trillion by the end of February 2019, compared to LE 3.837 trillion by the end of January.

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5/22/2019 2:07:19 PM
<![CDATA[Domestic liquidity reaches LE 3.67T by end of February: CBE]]>
CBE elaborated in a report that the increase in domestic liquidity reflected on near money “quasi-money” by about LE 220.4 billion with a rate of 7.6 percent, and on Money supply by about LE 20 billion or 2.4 percent.

CBE attributed the increase of near money to the hike in non-current deposits in local currency by LE 169.6 billion or 8.8 percent, and the rise in foreign currency demand deposits by LE 30.8 billion or 4.3 percent.

Near money or quasi-money is the high-liquid non-cash assets, including bank deposits, Certificates of Deposit (CDs) and Treasury Bills. The term refers to the assets that can be quickly converted into cash.

Regarding money supply, the report attributed the increase in the money supply to the rise in current deposits in local currency by LE 14.5 billion, at an average of 3.8 percent.

Meanwhile, net foreign assets at the banking system hiked LE 276.4 billion or 8.8 percent, as net foreign assets at banks rose by LE 10 billion, and net foreign assets at CBE by LE 46 billion.

As per net domestic assets at the banking system, they rose LE 276.4 billion or 8.8 percent, due to Domestic credit increased by LE 269.8 billion (7.8 percent) and negative balance of net items decreased by LE 6.6 billion (2.1 percent).

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5/22/2019 1:58:46 PM
<![CDATA[Production index for transformative, extractive industries rise 15.1% in March]]>
The index of food products industry rose 16.6 percent, recording 108.72 during March 2019, compared to 93.22 in the prior month due to higher contracting and supply and higher quantity of ground wheat.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) added that the index of the industry of ready-made garments recorded 457.91 in March 2019 compared to 287.43 in February 2019, with an increase of 59.3 percent due to the increased export contracts.

Meanwhile, the index of Mining and other quarrying industry reached 125.35 in March 2019, compared to 170.95 in February 2019, reaching 170.95, with a decrease of 26.7 percent, as a result of the stoppage of exporting salt during the summer.

CAPMAS also stated that the index for furniture industry reached 67.23 in March 2019 compared to February 2019, reaching 78.92, with a decrease of 14.8 percent due to the decline in demand and the market situation.
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5/22/2019 1:32:08 PM
<![CDATA[Pound set for biggest losing streak vs euro as Brexit plan disintegrates]]>
With the plan appearing dead in the water, some traders said they saw a rising chance of Britain leaving the European Union without a transition deal.

The pound fell 0.3% to $1.2663, its lowest since mid-January, and weakened a similar amount against the euro to 88.135 pence. It is set for the 13th straight day of losses against the euro, the longest losing streak since the euro began trading in 1999, according to Refinitiv data.

“The action from Labour and eurosceptic Tory members were quite negative and an updated deal passing parliament looks quite distant now,” said Nomura FX strategist Yujiro Goto.

“It may depend on the result of the EU parliamentary election over the weekend, but this could mean May resigns over the weekend. It was generally expected by the market, but it became clearer yesterday.”

The EU parliamentary election is due to run from Thursday to Sunday, and opinion polls suggest Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will poll strongly.

In mid-March, banks informally canvassed by Reuters saw a diminishing chance of a “no-deal” Brexit.

This week though there were signs some were changing their mind, with JPMorgan upping its probability of a no-deal Brexit to 25% from 15%. Another bank, Nordea, raised the chance of no-deal Brexit to 15%, compared to 10% in March while Mizuho strategists now see no-deal chances rising towards 50%.

“Personally, I suggest chances of no-deal (Brexit) is nearer 50% given the way things are shaping up right now. Looking for lower sterling-dollar trend to continue into the EU election and beyond,” said Neil Jones, head of hedge fund currency sales at Mizuho.

Others stuck to previous forecasts ranging around 15-20%. JPM also said it was expecting a national election and Brexit delayed to year-end.

Broader market positioning on the pound suggested more volatility in store for the British currency. Outstanding net short positions on the pound were whittled back sharply in recent weeks when hopes grew that May could secure a deal.

With positioning broadly neutral, sterling has become more vulnerable to headline-driven selloffs.

WHAT INFLATION?

Data on Wednesday showed British inflation rose last month by less than investors and the Bank of England had expected. But it still hit its highest level this year, pushed up by higher energy bills.

Yet, with politics dominating currency trading so heavily, there was barely any reaction from sterling.

Money markets now do not expect a BOE rate rise this year and are starting to price out 2020 hikes as well.

Ten-year British government bond yields slipped 3.6 basis points and their yield premium over German debt tightened to its narrowest in six weeks, implying greater demand from British investors for government bonds.

“Brexit, rather than inflation, is at the moment the key driver of interest rates. And with the uncertainties on this front growing rather than falling and no early resolution in sight, rates look set to remain firmly on hold for the time being,” said Rupert Thompson, head of research at Kingswood.]]>
5/22/2019 12:53:46 PM
<![CDATA[After Huawei, U.S. could blacklist Chinese surveillance tech firm: media]]>
The restrictions would limit Hikvision's ability to buy U.S. technology and American companies may have to obtain government approval to supply components to the Chinese firm, the New York Times reported nyti.ms/2MfgBS3 on Tuesday.

The United States stuck Huawei Technologies on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world’s largest telecom network gear maker, in a major escalation in the trade war.

The United States has accused Huawei of activities contrary to national security, a charge Huawei denies. However, this week the Trump administration granted the firm a license to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19 to minimize disruption for customers.

Huawei says it can ensure a steady components supply chain without U.S. help. A Hikvision executive echoed the sentiment.

“Even if the U.S. stops selling them to us we can remedy this through other suppliers,” a Hikvision executive said on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the matter.

“The chips Hikvision uses are very commercial and most of the suppliers are actually in China,” she said, but added the company had not been informed of any possible U.S. blacklisting.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, reported the U.S. government was deliberating whether to add Hikvision, security equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua Technology and several other unidentified firms to a blacklist.

A Dahua investment department employee declined to comment.

Hikvision, with a market value of more than $37 billion, calls itself the world’s largest video surveillance gear maker.

Its products are used in public places in China, from Beijing to Xinjiang. Headquartered in high-tech Hangzhou, one of China’s richest cities, it sells close-circuit TV products, traffic and thermal cameras, and unmanned aerial vehicles.

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday urged the United States to provide a fair environment for Chinese firms, in the wake of reports Hikvision could be blacklisted.

“Recently we have repeatedly expressed China’s position of opposing the United States’ abuse of national power to wilfully smear and suppress other countries’ companies, including Chinese companies,” ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a briefing.

China requires its companies to abide by international norms when investing abroad, but “at the same time we always demand that other countries give Chinese enterprises fair and non-discriminatory treatment”, he added.

UIGHUR CONNECTION

Shares in Hikvision, 42% held by state-owned firms, opened 10% lower on Wednesday. It later pared some losses to trade down 6%. Dahua shares slumped as much as 9.2%.

Jefferies analyst Rex Wu downplayed the impact of a possible ban on Hikvision, saying the United States accounted for roughly 5% of the company’s sales.

“Most AI solutions are sold to the government, public and enterprise sectors in China. Hikvision may be able to acquire GPU (graphics processing unit) via local distributors,” Wu said.

Hikvision and Dahua were specifically cited in a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump’s top advisers last month, signed by more than 40 lawmakers, which called for tighter U.S. export controls over China’s treatment of Muslim minority.

China has faced growing global condemnation for setting up facilities in its western region of Xinjiang that U.N. experts describe as mass detention centers holding more than 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims.

Beijing has said its measures in Xinjiang, which reportedly also include widespread surveillance, are aimed at stemming the threat of Islamist militancy. The camps that have opened are vocational training centers, it has said.

In a separate email on Wednesday, a Hikvision spokeswoman said the firm took these concerns seriously and had since last October been engaging with the U.S. government on the subject.]]>
5/22/2019 12:49:23 PM
<![CDATA[Fed may cut rates if inflation keeps disappointing: Bullard]]>
The risk of the Fed missing its 2% inflation target and the trade war were two key macroeconomic challenges to the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), he said in a presentation prepared for an audience at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) in Hong Kong.

The Fed held interest rates steady earlier in May, when Chairman Jerome Powell said there was “no strong case” for either a cut or hike in interest rates.

But Bullard said on Wednesday “a downward policy rate adjustment even with relatively good real economic performance may help maintain the credibility of the FOMC’s inflation target going forward.”

“A policy rate move of this sort may become a more attractive option if inflation data continue to disappoint,” he said.

Bullard and Chicago Fed’s Charles Evans, both voting members of the FOMC, have in recent days expressed concerns over the Fed’s failure to meet its target. Bullard said on Wednesday that another ‘low-side miss’ is on the horizon in 2019.

Bullard said any policy adjustment going forward would be in response to incoming data, and not a continuation of the rate normalisation process which has stopped earlier this year after 225 basis points worth of hikes from near zero levels.

He remained upbeat about growth prospects.

Bullard drew comparisons with 2-1/2 decades ago — when rates were increased by 300 basis points between early 1994 and early 1995, and the economy still boomed during the second half of the 1990s — to stress that rate normalisation can be accomplished without damaging prospects for an extended period of growth.

The next FOMC meeting will convene on June 18.

TRADE RISKS

Bullard expects agreements on trade will be reached in the near term, but warned that a failure to do so, with substantial barriers “erected and maintained,” could alter “global trading patterns over the medium term”.

These unresolved trade disputes and the below-target inflation “suggest that the FOMC needs to tread carefully in order to help sustain the economic expansion,” he said.

Bullard said that from a macroeconomic perspective, China should agree to “everything that’s being asked” in the negotiations because it would lead to a domestic economic boom.

“They will establish credibility on trade inside China, and will reassure foreign investors that they can invest in China and be treated appropriately. If that occurs, I would see blue skies ahead for the Chinese economy,” Bullard said.

“It’s not just the U.S. that’s doubting Chinese credibility. Many global players all around the world have found that it’s a difficult place to do business.”

In an interview with Bloomberg TV earlier on Wednesday, Bullard said tariffs would have to stay on for “something like six months” with no prospect of a resolution in sight to weigh on Fed policy.

In his FCC remarks, he added China selling its large stock of U.S. Treasuries was not “as big of a threat as it’s being made out to be” as it would be hard to replace them with other assets.]]>
5/22/2019 12:40:49 PM
<![CDATA[Investors run for safety amid threat of broader U.S.-China spat]]>
Relief over Washington’s temporary relaxation of curbs against China’s Huawei Technologies evaporated after reports that the White House is considering further sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision.

Fears of another blacklisting reinforced worries that U.S. President Donald Trump is looking beyond sealing a trade deal with China to a potentially bigger battle aimed at curbing Beijing’s technology ambitions.

“I think the debate is just starting about what the implications of all this could be if it escalates. It’s my biggest concern,” said Simon Webber, lead portfolio manager on the global & international equities team at Schroders.

The limits which were imposed on Huawei last week and eased on Monday had sent shivers through global semiconductor stocks as investors worried about disruption to suppliers of the world’s No. 2 smartphone maker.

“If we get retaliation, if we start deconstructing supply chains, if we get countries asking whether they can rely on products and services overseas, then we’ll have much more uncertainty and a much more worrying environment,” said Webber.

MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down slightly at 0905 GMT, as investors shunned assets considered risky in times of economic and political strife.

The reports rattled European and Asian stocks, with the euro-zone STOXXE down 0.1%.

London’s FTSE 100 blue chips bucked the trend, rising 0.4% as sterling fell amid renewed worries about the country’s messy exit from the European Union.

The Chinese markets, which have endured a volatile few months, were on the backfoot. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.5%.

The threat dampened Australia’s post-election optimism slightly, but stocks still hovered near the 11-year highs scaled on Monday.

“Some in the markets will continue to cling on to hopes of the United States and China reaching an agreement at the upcoming G20 meeting,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management.

“But the ongoing trade conflict looks to be a protracted one, and its potentially negative impact on various economies is becoming a running concern.”

Leaders from G20 nations are scheduled to gather for a summit in Japan at the end of June.

Australia’s stocks index is the only major global bourse to notch up gains since Trump ramped up his battle with Beijing on May 6, largely due to the election euphoria, while South Korea’s KOSPI is the biggest loser.

RISK OFF

With the risk appetite off, investors sought havens in the Swiss franc, Japanese yen and German government bonds.

The yen strengthened away from two-week lows against the dollar, rising 0.1% to 110.39 yen, while the Swiss franc was higher against the euro and the dollar.

Moves across all financial markets were largely muted, though, as many investors preferred to keep to the sidelines.

The standout was the pound, which was down 0.2% at $1.2712, its lowest since January amid a deepening crisis over the UK’s exit from the EU after Prime Minister Theresa May’s final gambit failed dramatically.

The euro was little changed at $1.1164.

In commodities, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 0.6% at $62.567 per barrel after American Petroleum Institute data showed that U.S. crude stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week. [O/R]

Oil was also pressured by Saudi Arabia reiterating that it would aim to keep the market balanced and try to reduce tensions in the Middle East.

Brent crude futures lost 0.7% to $71.69 per barrel.]]>
5/22/2019 12:33:37 PM