<![CDATA[rss-Business & Economics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Business & Economics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[NBE vice president: Banks played key role in economic reform process]]>
Addressing the opening session of the "People and Banks" conference on the role of banks in supporting e-payment system, Abul Fotouh said that the banking sector assets hit around LE 5.1 trillion in July 2018. Banks continue to play their role in supporting the economy at this current important stage where structural reforms are taking place, he said.

The Egyptian economy has reached tangible results through economic growth which stood at around 5.4 percent in the previous fiscal and is expected to reach 5.6 percent this fiscal year, he said.

Banks have large amounts of cash as deposits of clients in this sector are estimated at LE 3.6 trillion and loans at LE 1.6 trillion, he pointed out.

The National Bank of Egypt pumped around LE 27.3 billion to around 29,000 clients to fund small and medium-sized enterprises, he added.]]>
10/23/2018 3:39:41 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Tuesday on mixed note, market cap. loses LE 4.3B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 lessened 0.49 percent, or 66.66 points, to close at 13,579.6 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 0.76 percent, or 16.06 points, to reach 2,106.96 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.18 percent, or 3.09 points, closing at 1,742.04 points.

Meanwhile, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.01 percent, or 0.06 points, reaching 693.52 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 4.3 billion, recording LE 761.53 billion, compared to LE 765.79 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 796.85 million shares, traded through 26,579 transactions, with a turnover of LE 196.85 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 54.95 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 32.5 million and LE 23.43 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 10.62 million, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 20.07 million, and LE 1.7 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 51.59 million, and LE 12.82 million, respectively, while foreign organizations bought at LE 53.24 million.

Regarding Stocks, Arab Moltaka Investments Co, International Agricultural Products, Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE were top gainers of the session by 9.12 percent, 8.82 percent and 7.78 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arab Cotton Ginning, Alexandria Mineral Oils Company, and Misr Hotels were top losers of the session by 13.89 percent, 9.56 percent, and 7.81 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in green, as EGX30 increased 0.90 percent, EGX50 inched up 0.66 percent, EGX70 rose 0.21 percent, and EGX100 hiked 0.22 percent.
]]>
10/23/2018 3:31:08 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s production index for transformative and extractive industries up in August]]>
The production index of ready-to-wear clothes registered 246.33 in August 2018 compared with 199.49 in July, at a 23.5 percent uptick.

The index of pharmaceutical and chemical products declined to 136.42 in August, down 10.1 percent from 151.76 for July, the report said.]]>
10/23/2018 2:58:42 PM
<![CDATA[American investments worth $200M to be pumped in Egypt by end of 2018]]>
Burger added that small enterprises and entrepreneurships will be financed by $30 million.

Burger’s speech came at the Conference of the American Chamber of Commerce, in the presence of Minister of Solidarity Ghada Wali.

He said that the American companies operating in Egypt play an important role in the society in light of the US commitment towards Egypt.

He also reviewed the partnership between Egypt and the US represented in the role of the American aid to the private sector and the American firms’ role in supporting and developing the Egyptian society, in addition to creating job opportunities in Egypt.

AmCham is organizing a conference for an American delegation that consists of 44 firms from October 23 - 25.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi met the delegation as well as the members of the American Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo on Tuesday, Oct.23.
]]>
10/23/2018 2:23:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Uruguay review boosting exports]]>
They discussed boosting exports between the two sides to benefit from signed free trade agreements.

Uruguay seeks to export meat to Egypt while the latter seeks to open markets in Uruguay for its crops of citrus and grapes.

Mehrez agreed with the diplomat to hold another meeting next month to review the issues due to be raised during a visit by an Uruguayan business team in December.

She said that the ministry is preparing for a meeting between Egyptian and Uruguayan companies to review Egypt's exportation of fruits and vegetables to the Latin American country's markets.

She added that the Uruguayan diplomat will convene with representatives of Egyptian companies importing from Uruguay.]]>
10/23/2018 2:19:27 PM
<![CDATA[Delayed state offering stalls Egypt's surging share sales]]>
The government had been planning to sell 4.5 percent of tobacco producer Eastern Company this week, the first of up to five sales previously due by the end of this year. Another 18 were expected over the next two or three years.

Egypt hopes the sales will raise badly needed funds for the state and boost the private sector as the country implements austerity measures backed by the International Monetary Fund and struggles to contain inflation and debt.

But on Friday, citing global market volatility, the government said the Eastern sale would be delayed until next year. It has not set dates for other sales.

Equities across emerging markets, including Egypt’s, have declined steeply since the beginning of the year. Eastern’s shares have fallen by 75 percent from their peak on March 8.

Privatisation also carries political risk. It has long been unpopular with a section of Egyptian society, including many employees of state-owned firms, who believe state assets should not be sold cheaply, if at all.

“If it were not postponed, and the Eastern offering had failed to be covered at proper valuation, this could have triggered a political backlash and possibly have jeopardised the whole program,” said Hany Farahat, senior economist at Egyptian investment bank CI Capital.

“The timing is not right for both private and public companies.”

Since last month, two private companies have made initial public offerings, the first in what was expected to be a surge of private and public share sales.

The first sale, Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development (CIRA), was 18.9 times oversubscribed, and shares opened on Tuesday 20.6 percent above their offer price.

But shares in Egyptian leasing company Sarwa Capital , the second company to float, have dipped by around 15 percent from the offer price after a week of trading.

At least three further private IPOs tentatively planned by the end of December — Rameda Pharmaceutical, Giza Spinning and Weaving and contracting group Hassan Allam — will now slip, according to an investment banker involved in one of the offerings.

“No IPOs this year. (They have been) all pushed to next year until we see how the market will recover,” he said. “I think everyone reached that decision.”

DEFICIT TARGET

Egyptian officials were counting on 10 billion Egyptian pounds ($558 million) of privatisation proceeds to reduce the budget deficit in the year to June 2019 to 8.4 percent of gross domestic product.

The government still has time to resume share sales before the end of the fiscal year in June, said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage. It could meet its revenue target from offerings in just two of the five originally planned for 2018, Eastern Company and fertilizer maker Abu Qir, he added.

But an increase in international oil prices this year and higher yields on emerging-market debt have made the task of reducing the deficit even harder. Egypt is expected to turn to the foreign currency bond market next year to raise $5 billion.

With reduced international appetite for emerging markets, neither borrowing nor selling assets is an easy option.

“The risk to the government in postponing the offerings is that the emerging-market crisis could get even worse over the coming year,” said Wael Ziada, head of investment company Zilla Capital and former head of research at EFG Hermes, Egypt’s biggest investment bank.]]>
10/23/2018 2:16:03 PM
<![CDATA[Pioneers’ 2nd phase oversubscribed 2.56 times]]>
The company clarified in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that the subscription was on 11.4 million shares, with 39 percent as stock allotment.

The company stated earlier that the remaining shares to be subscribed in the second phase recorded 4.46 million shares.

The first phase of raising its issued capital was oversubscribed by 98 percent, totaled by LE 1.07 billion, distributed over 211.65 million shares.

The price per share during the first phase hit LE 5.10, adding that the full amount was paid in cash.

Pioneers' capital raise oversubscribed by 98%

CAIRO - 15 October 2018: Pioneers Holding Company for Financial Investment announced Monday, Oct. 15 that the first phase of raising its issued capital was oversubscribed by 98 percent, totaled by LE 1.07 billion, distributed over 211.65 million shares. Subscriptions to the capital raise started on September 5, and closed on October 11, according to the company's statement.




In June, the extraordinary general assembly approved to raise the company's issued and paid-up capital to LE 4.68 billion from LE 3.6 billion, and agreed to increase its capital of LE 1.08 billion to be distributed over 216.1 million shares at a nominal value of LE 5 per share.

The board of Pioneers Holding approved in April to invest LE 2.9 billion in a year.

Pioneers marked a gross of 5.3 percent in its annual profits to reach LE 1.14 billion ($64.70 million) before minority, compared to LE 1.08 billion in 2016. Pioneers Holding is a public company, listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since June 2008.

It operates within the diversified financial sector focusing on investment banking and brokerage, with a capital of LE 3.6 billion, distributed over 708.4 million shares at a par value of LE 5 per share.

It has 34 subsidiaries operating across North America, North Africa and Middle East. Pioneers Holding is based in Cairo, Egypt and was established in March 2007.
]]>
10/23/2018 2:03:55 PM
<![CDATA[ITC announces program to support textile, clothing exports from 4 Arab states]]>
The program targets boosting exports, creating jobs and raising incomes across the Middle East and North Africa region, the ITC website reported on Monday.

The three-year program is intended to support the four countries to build sustainable export-oriented sectors with increased sales to traditional markets in Europe and North America along with new markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

To achieve lasting improvements in the sector’s export competitiveness, the project will focus on bolstering the capacities of national institutions such as textile and clothing business associations and training centers to help better support local businesses to export.

The project ‘Strengthening the International Competitiveness of the Textile and Clothing Sector in selected Middle East and North African Countries’ (MENATEX), is funded with SEK 42 million ($4.63m) from the Swedish government and will be implemented by the Geneva-based ITC in close collaboration with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). ]]>
10/23/2018 1:21:04 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt keen on boosting investment ties with Africa: minister]]>
Nasr asserted also Egypt's support for development efforts in Africa in the technology, mechanization, infrastructure, entrepreneurship and youth empowerment fields.

Cairo will work on assisting African countries through its international expertise to get finance from the World Bank and other world institutions, Nasr said during a meeting with the parliament's African affairs committee.

National banks will support Egyptian investment projects in Africa by providing long-term loans at a low interest rate, she told the lawmakers.

Egypt will also establish a capital guarantee fund to operate in the continent, said the minister.

She invited the lawmakers to take part in Africa Forum 2018, to be hosted by Sharm El Sheikh in December under the under the auspices President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The event s co-organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones and COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA).

So far, 12 presidents have confirmed their participation in the forum that aims to promote greater economic integration through more investments in Africa, Nasr said.

As Egypt will hold the chairmanship of the African Union in 2019, the forum will help in forming Africa's agenda for the next year, she noted. ]]>
10/23/2018 1:15:51 PM
<![CDATA[Disney imports 33 Egyptian products to US: AmCham]]>
Tawfik added that exports recorded $60 million annually, noting that former Trade Minister Tarek Kabil sent an official letter demanding to establish a free trade zone between Egypt and US.

He noted that both countries are still looking into this demand.

In April, Kabil said Disney extended the license of Egyptian companies manufacturing and exporting the products of Disney until December 2019.

This license provides a range of services for the supply chain of clothing, and carries out an assessment of factories, as well as advisory and training services.

This program came after Walt Disney lifted the ban on producing its merchandise in Egypt after negotiations with Egyptian trade officials.

Meanwhile, AmCham is organizing a conference for an American delegation that consists of 44 firms from October 23 - 25.

On a different note, Disney live shows returned to Egypt with 23 shows performed in Cairo International Stadium, starting from Sept. 26, 2018.

]]>
10/23/2018 12:29:59 PM
<![CDATA[PM reviews Egyptian Tax Authority development plan ]]>
At the beginning of the meeting, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait pointed out that the Egyptian Tax Authority development plan aims to adapt with global changes and the strategic shift to create a tax keeping pace with modern developments, maximizing its participation in the process of construction and supporting the stability of the Egyptian economy.

He stated that the Egyptian Tax Authority development plan also works towards the efficiency of employment, increasing revenues, as well as working on the integration of the informal economy, resolving problems and simplifying the flow of information at the Taxation Authority with taking into account fairness in dealing with financiers.

Maait pointed out that the institutional development plan for the tax department depends on several axes of work to achieve the highest degree of interaction with the financiers, in order to serve the growth of the national economy.

First, the axis of development and simplification of procedures aims to modernize and simplify procedures to serve the development process through engineering procedures and electronic billing system.

Second, the axis of technology and mechanization aims at building databases and maximizing the role of modern technology in tax work through the automation of basic tax operations, monitoring sales data, as well as developing networks and upgrading technological equipment, Maait added.

Third, the axis of development of the environment and the workplace seeks to modernize the headquarters of missions to provide an appropriate work environment through the development of projects and offices.

Fourth, the axis of human development aims to develop the capabilities of individuals and modernize the organizational structure.

Finally, the axis of legislation aims to update laws pertaining to taxed work, including the unified tax procedures law, amendments to Law 91 of 2005, the electronic tax law, the tax treatment law for small and micro enterprises and the tax regulating the law of advertising on websites.]]>
10/23/2018 11:30:51 AM
<![CDATA[J&J makes $2.1B offer to buy out Japan cosmetics firm Ci:z]]>
The U.S. company will pay 5,900 yen per Ci:z share, a 55 percent premium over Tuesday’s closing price, and expects the deal to strengthen its market presence in Japan, J&J said in a statement.

J&J is the second largest shareholder of the Japanese firm and owns a 19.9 percent stake through its affiliate.]]>
10/23/2018 10:59:50 AM
<![CDATA[Oil little changed despite Saudi pledge to boost output]]>
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency that his country had no intention of unleashing a 1973-style oil embargo on Western consumers, but rather was focused on raising output to compensate for supply losses elsewhere, such as Iran.

Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million. He added that Riyadh had capacity to increase production to 12 million bpd.

“Oil prices are finely balanced in today’s trading session despite the Saudi pledge to boost production. It is still not a foregone conclusion that the kingdom’s production increase will be enough to compensate for the potential output loss from Iran and Venezuela,” said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London.

Brent LCOc1 crude futures for December delivery rose 5 cents to settle at $79.83 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 for November delivery also rose 5 cents to settle at $69.17 on its last day as the U.S. front-month. In intraday trade, WTI fell as low as $68.27, its lowest since Sept. 14.

Several U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile, have suggested imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, pledged to retaliate against any sanctions with “bigger measures.”

“The White House’s dithering highlights the unwillingness of the Trump Administration to take any meaningful action against Riyadh, just a few weeks prior to the U.S. Iran sanctions coming into play,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index by online trading services firm Gain Capital, in a note.

“A veiled threat of using oil as a weapon is essentially tying U.S. hands. Investors are watching and waiting for the next chapter before positioning themselves accordingly,” Cincotta said.

U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil sector start on Nov. 4 and analysts believe up to 1.5 million bpd in supply could be at risk.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed in June to boost supply to make up for the expected disruption to Iranian exports.

An internal document reviewed by Reuters suggested OPEC is struggling to add barrels as an increase in Saudi supply was offset by declines elsewhere, including Iran and Venezuela.

The outlook for demand next year, meanwhile, is deteriorating.

OPEC estimates demand for its crude will fall to an average of 31.8 million bpd next year, from an average 32.8 million bpd this year. [OPEC/O]]]>
10/23/2018 10:57:57 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi to sign $50 billion in oil, gas, infrastructure deals: source]]>
The deals will be signed with companies including Trafigura, Total (TOTF.PA), Hyundai (011760.KS), Norinco (000065.SZ), Schlumberger, Halliburton (HAL.N) and Baker Hughes (BHGE.N), the source said.

The deals will include the establishment of a copper, zinc and lead smelter with Trafigura Group; a joint agreement to build an integrated petrochemical complex and downstream park in the second phase of the SATORP refinery, jointly held by Saudi Arabia’s Aramco and Total; and investments in retail gas stations also by Aramco and Total.]]>
10/23/2018 10:48:12 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling falls to 2-1/2 week low on fear of challenge to PM May]]>
The pound lost ground against the dollar and the euro, at one point falling close to 1 percent to the greenback, though it later clawed back some of the losses.

Sunday newspapers quoting unnamed lawmakers as saying May should prepare for a challenge to her leadership.

A report by the Telegraph newspaper’s deputy political editor said the DUP, the Northern Irish party which props up May’s government, would back an amendment proposed by rebel Brexiteer lawmakers that would effectively make the European Union’s proposal on the Irish border illegal

However, a rebel lawmaker, Steve Baker who had tabled the amendments, was later reported as planning to withdraw the proposal, according to The Times newspaper

Lee Hardman, FX strategist at MUFG in London said he still expected a deal eventually to be struck over Brexit but added: “The path to a deal seems to have become a bit harder.”

“On the weekend, we saw increasing concern over political instability in the UK and the threat of another leadership challenge back on the table,” Hardman said.

By 1530 GMT, sterling was down 0.65 percent, having earlier hit a low of $1.2957, its weakest since Oct. 4. GBP=D3

Against the euro, the pound was down 0.3 percent EURGBP=D3, well off earlier lows of 88.57 pence which had been a 2 1/2-week low. Technicals indicated sterling had fallen below its 55-day moving average — closing below this level would signal more downside risks, chartists said.

Jittery markets closely watched May’s speech to parliament, at which she is expected to say that 95 percent of the Brexit divorce deal has been settled. But she will maintain opposition to the European Union’s proposal for the land border with Northern Ireland.

However, her proposal to extend a status-quo transition period beyond the current proposed date of December 2021 has angered the eurosceptics in her party.

“(The leadership challenge issue) is hanging over sterling, which is (also) waiting for another steer on Brexit, likely from this address from May today,” Investec economist Victoria Clarke said.

Late last week, Brexit optimism, along with a paring of dollar long positions, saw short sterling bets fall to a net 50,353 contracts, versus more than 60,000 the week before, calculations by Reuters and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.

But analysts at Nomura said they were taking profit on long sterling positions, noting short-term risks.

“Despite our view that a leadership confidence vote on May is no more than hyped-up tail risk, we admit the Conservative Party has never looked closer to triggering such action as it does today,” Nomura said, noting that centrist Tories as well as Brexiteers were disgruntled with the direction of Brexit policy.]]>
10/23/2018 10:41:59 AM
<![CDATA[Oil falls as Saudi Arabia says it will play 'responsible role']]>
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 55 cents a barrel at $79.28 by 0735 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 35 cents lower at $69.01.

The U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil begin on Nov. 4, and Washington has said it wants to stop all of Tehran’s fuel exports.

Saudi Arabia says it will keep markets supplied despite its increasing isolation over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and there are signs that crude exports from the Middle East are rising.

There has been some concern that Saudi Arabia might cut crude supply in retaliation for potential sanctions against it over the Khashoggi killing.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday that “there is no intention” to do that, and that Saudi Arabia would play a “constructive and responsible role” in world energy markets.

Economist Intelligence Unit energy analyst Peter Kiernan said it would be self-defeating for Saudi Arabia to cut oil supply as it would “risk losing market share to other exporters while losing its reputation as a stable actor in the market”.

Despite this, Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta, said “markets are ... wary of the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil sector”, estimating sanctions “could impact up to 1.5 million barrels per day of supply”.

South Korea’s crude imports from Iran fell to zero in September, data from state-run Korea National Oil Corp showed on Tuesday.

JPMorgan said in a note dated Oct. 19 that it raised its 2019 Brent price forecast by $20.50 a barrel to $83.50, saying its “bullish argument is strongly driven by tighter supply due to Iranian sanctions and declining spare capacity”.

Not everyone is so bullish. Shipping brokerage Eastport said crude prices were “expected to decline in coming months, as rising production in the U.S. offsets increasing global demand”.

U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA has climbed by almost a third since mid-2016 to around 11 million barrels per day, and rising drilling activity points to further increases.

Reflecting a cautious outlook, traders have been curbing their exposure to oil markets by shutting long positions in crude futures, with fund managers cutting their combined positions by 187 million barrels in the last three weeks, according to exchange and regulatory data.]]>
10/23/2018 10:39:44 AM
<![CDATA[Euro wilts before EU decision on Italy budget]]>
A dispute over Italy’s spending plans and doubts about the leadership of Britain’s prime minister, mired in a stalemate over Brexit, means investors are focussing on the likelihood of further political turmoil in Europe.

That contributed to broad risk aversion on Tuesday, with the safe-haven Japanese yen and Swiss franc strengthening while higher-yielding currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollars fell.

Worries about Italy’s spending has bred some doubt about the European Central Bank’s plan to raise interest rates next summer and that has hurt the euro. On Tuesday, it fell 0.2 percent to $1.4390, nearing a two-month low of $1.4325 hit on Oct. 9.

Italy’s bond yields ticked up on Tuesday before the meeting. Mario Centeno, the head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, said on Monday he was confident an agreement could be reached.

“The prospect of a normalisation of monetary policy was the main reason why the euro was able to appreciate over the past year. However, there is a rising risk that this support is now going to crumble,” Commerzbank analyst Thu Lan Nguyen said.

Tensions are likely to heighten between Rome and Brussels, especially if the European Council launch an “Excessive Deficit Procedure” against Italy, said Philip Wee, currency strategist at DBS in a note.

“This would require Italy to provide a plan of corrective action to rein in its large public debt, currently at 130 percent of GDP vs the 60 percent Maastricht rule,” Wee said.

The dollar index, a gauge of its value against six other major currencies, rose to a two-month high of 96.158 and traded up 0.1 percent.

That was due to the turbulence in Europe continent and expectations that a strong U.S. economy may see the Federal Reserve raise rates faster than assumed.

Britain’s pound traded up 0.2 percent at $1.3 after falling on Monday on fears that the Irish border issue and disagreements within Britain’s ruling Conservatives over Brexit could see Prime Minister Theresa May face a serious leadership challenge.

“Whispers of a growing number of Tory MP rebels losing their patience with May have put the risks of a lengthy UK political impasse and a Brexit policy mistake (exiting the EU without a deal) back on the table,” said Viraj Patel, a currency strategist at ING.

“We think this noise is likely to keep the pound on the back foot this week,” he said.

The dollar weakened 0.4 percent against the Japanese yen to trade at 112.32 yen, gaining as risk-shy investors retreated from Asia’s main share markets.

The Australian dollar lost 0.1 percent versus the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, changing hands at 0.7089. It lost 0.6 percent on Monday.]]>
10/23/2018 10:35:21 AM
<![CDATA[Asian shares buckle to Saudi anxieties, Italian budget rows]]>
Selling in Asia erased gains made in rally of the previous two sessions, which were led by China stimulus hopes, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropping 2.2 percent. Declines in many regional benchmark indexes also exceeded 2 percent.

European shares are likely to come under pressure with France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX set to pierce their 2018 lows. Spread-betters see CAC falling 0.6 percent and Dax 0.9 percent. Britain’s FTSE is seen falling 0.5 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng both fell 3 percent while Japan’s Nikkei lost 2.7 percent. MSCI’s index for the region including Japan hit the lowest level since May 2017.

“We’ve got a few negative factors when market sentiment was already fragile,” said Hiroyuki Ueno, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management. “And earnings from some Japanese companies were weaker than expected, with some starting to blame trade wars.”

U.S. stock futures dropped 1.0 percent in Asia. On Monday, the S&P 500 lost 0.43 percent as investors kept a wary eye on earnings amid global growth worries. Enthusiasm over some upbeat results was tempered by the growing political uncertainty around the world.

“In short, the world seems to be getting into chaos,” said Akira Takei, bond fund manager at Asset Management One.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he was not satisfied with what he had heard from Saudi Arabia about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Turkey, but expressed reluctance to punish the kingdom economically.

While Saudi Arabia has sought to shield its powerful crown prince from the killing, many officials have cast doubt on Riyadh’s narrative.

Several countries, including Germany, Britain, France and Turkey, have pressed Saudi Arabia to provide all the facts.

An immediate market focus is on Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who said he will release information about the investigation in a speech on Tuesday.

Any signs of instability in Saudi Arabia, a major oil producer and a big investor in financial markets, could have wide-ranging repercussions.

“Saudi Arabia is involved with many big investment projects. Now we could see some of them held up because of this,” an executive at a Japanese asset management firm.

In Europe, Italy told the European Commission on Monday it would stick to its contested 2019 budget plans in defiance of EU fiscal rules.

The European Commision will decide on its response on Tuesday.

The euro slipped 0.2 percent to $1.1440, edging near its Oct. 9 low of $1.14325, its lowest level since mid-August.

Although Italian bond prices rose on relief after Moody’s did not slap on a negative outlook as the market had feared, yields remained elevated, with 10-year bonds rates more than 3 percentage points above benchmark German bonds.

The British pound lost 0.2 percent to $1.2940, hovering just above this month’s low of $1.2922 on fears the Irish border issue and disagreements within Britain’s ruling Conservatives over Brexit could see Prime Minister Theresa May face a serious leadership challenge.

The yen gained 0.4 percent on risk-off mood to 112.42 to the dollar.

The yuan was little changed but stood near Monday’s 21-month low of 6.9445 per dollar in the onshore trade on expectations China will pursue looser monetary policy to cope with pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump on tariffs.

Chinese shares also lost steam after two days of strong gains following guidance from Chinese officials, including Vice Premier Liu He, to major investors to support the sagging stock market.

“Any stimulus by China should be viewed not as a boost but as a cushion against a slowing economy against external headwinds,” said analysts at DBS in Singapore. “This reality was better reflected in the Chinese yuan which continued to trade weaker against the central parity in both the onshore and offshore markets.”

Oil prices fell after Saudi Arabia pledged to play a “responsible role” in energy markets, although sentiment remained nervous in the run-up to U.S. sanctions against Iran’s crude exports that start next month.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to keep markets supplied despite its increasing isolation over Khashoggi’s killing, easing fears Riyadh may use oil production as a diplomatic weapon.

Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $79.51 a barrel, down 0.4 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $69.12 a barrel, dropping 0.35 percent.]]>
10/23/2018 10:29:08 AM
<![CDATA[Iran's oil minister says U.S. sanctions cannot stop crude exports]]>
Washington plans new sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector from Nov. 4 with the aim of stopping the country’s involvement in conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and bringing Tehran to the negotiating table over its ballistic missile program.

“As long as America targets Iran, one of the biggest crude producers, with sanctions, the volatility in the oil market will continue,” Tasnim news agency quoted Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh as saying.

“Iranian oil exports cannot be stopped,” Zanganeh said.

Zanganeh reiterated his Monday remarks that Iranian oil output cannot be replaced by that of other oil-producing countries if Tehran is hit by U.S. sanctions.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in an interview with Reuters on Sunday, dismissed concerns that oil prices LCOc1 could rise, saying the market had already factored in the supply losses.

Iran’s regional rival, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, says Riyadh has the capacity to increase output to 12 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million bpd.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Saudi Arabia and Iran are members, agreed in June to boost supply to make up for the expected disruption to Iranian exports.]]>
10/23/2018 10:26:21 AM
<![CDATA[New trade pact leaves most U.S. industry at mercy of Mexico's courts]]>
For thousands of U.S. firms, the change could add complications and uncertainty to doing business south of the border. Mexico is the third-largest U.S. trading partner.

The previous trade agreement, NAFTA, included provisions that gave U.S. firms operating in Mexico and Canada the option to challenge government decisions at an international tribunal.

A change in Mexican or Canadian regulations, for example, that had a material impact on a U.S. firm’s operations, could be challenged through an international panel instead of local courts.

The removal of the investment protection means firms would now be at the mercy of Mexico’s courts, which are notorious for corruption, an energy industry source said.

The provision has been part of numerous trade pacts to lessen risks for firms operating overseas. Its removal makes the new agreement an outlier, trade experts and industry sources in Washington said.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump took a negative view on the provision. U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer sees it as a subsidy for U.S. companies to invest in Mexico.

A spokeswoman for USTR declined to comment for this story, referring to Lighthizer’s previous statements, which essentially said the old provision encouraged companies to move operations overseas at the cost of American jobs.

Trump blamed NAFTA for the loss of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs to Mexico, where labor is cheaper. He threatened to end the free trade deal until Mexico and Canada agreed to more favorable terms. A revised pact was signed last month.

The new deal, officially called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will phase out much of the old investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) protections over coming years.

Lighthizer had initially wanted to remove all such protections, but agreed to some carve outs after pressure from Mexico and U.S. industry groups, Mexican sources said.

“He took a more moderate position because Mexico wanted to preserve ISDS, because it is very important for investment,” said Jesus Seade, lead trade negotiator for Mexico President-elect Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Republican lawmakers in the United States, including Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah, also opposed Lighthizer’s attempts to cut ISDS from the deal. He led other lawmakers to press Lighthizer to keep NAFTA’s “robust investor protections” in a March letter.

A spokeswoman for Hatch said he is still reviewing the deal and working to ensure it “will build on NAFTA’s proven success”.

Under the new deal, the ISDS tribunal would only be an option for firms disputing a small number of issues, such as state expropriation of assets or discrimination against foreign entities.

A handful of industries retain broader protections under USMCA. They are oil and gas, telecommunications, power generation and infrastructure sectors that have contracts with the Mexican government.

But even those sectors face some uncertainty, industry sources said, because it is unclear if contracts with state-owned enterprises, such as oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and state power utility Comision Federal Electricidad, would be covered.

“This is a major degradation of investor protections,” a business industry source in Washington said.

Large U.S. firms have typically won these kinds of disputes, sources said.

In 2009, agribusiness Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] won $77 million from the arbitration tribunal over trade barriers the company said Mexico erected against high-fructose corn syrup from 2002 to 2007.

In 2015, Ottawa was forced to pay ExxonMobil Corp (XOM.N) and Murphy Oil Corp (MUR.N) $17 million in damages after the companies won a victory against a requirement to spend money on research and development.

“The change to ISDS is certainly deliberate and signals what USTR will pursue in the future,” said Inu Manak, a trade specialist at the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.

USTR last week said it plans to open trade talks with the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan.

“We’ll have to see how far they push it in the coming year as more negotiations begin,” Manak said.]]>
10/22/2018 3:20:13 PM
<![CDATA[Eighth Indonesian-Middle East Annual Gathering kicks off]]>
The three-day gathering, which is held at Yogyakarta Industry and Trade Directorate, was attended by several business delegations from Egypt, Morocco, Yemen, Syria, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

“The conference aims to further inform the Arab neighbors about the field of trade and investments in Indonesia and ways to easily remove obstacles they may face, especially the administrative ones,” said representative of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Nurul Aulia.

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The 2018 Indonesia-Middle East Annual Gathering on Economy (IMAGE) off on Monday in the city of Yogyakarta- Samar Samir/Egypt Today

Aulia added that the government is working on certain decisions to facilitate and enhance investment opportunities.

In light of the cooperation between Indonesia and the Middle East countries, Indonesian business delegations will visit Kuwait, Algeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt in the near future to discuss investments opportunities, Aulia told a group of Egyptian reporters at the conference.

The ambassador said that it is expected that the Indonesian President Joko Widodo will pay an official visit to Egypt after the upcoming general election due on April 17, 2019. It is worth mentioning that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi visited Indonesia in September 2015.

Concerning the investment environment in Egypt, Aulia said that the Indonesian investors found no big obstacles in Egypt.

On the sidelines of the eighth IMAGE gathering, a three-day exhibition was held. It displayed various Indonesian products, most notably crafts and furniture.

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Hand-made accessory at the exhibition of the IMAGE in Indonesia-Egypt Today-Samar Samir.jpg

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Hand-made nicklaces at the exhibition of the IMAGE in Indonesia-Egypt Today-Samar Samir.jpg

A fashion show was held on the sidelines of the conference as well, and a showroom on Indonesian traditional industry of Batik was organized for this year's participants.

At the beginning of the ceremonial event, Head of Yogyakarta Industry and Trade Directorate Trisaktiyana welcomed the participants, giving a historic brief on the city.

The city's population stands at 3.7 million people while the number of tourists bound for Indonesia reached 4.7 million in 2017, he added during his speech. Yogyakarta exports a total of 78 products such as coffee, furniture, tea, palm oil to 122 countries. The number of exporting companies reached 314 with $269 million in investments, he continued.

Yogyakarta is a pioneering city in the fields of silver, furniture, cooking oil, clay crafts, stone crafts, bikes, and agricultural tools, he continued, saying “we are witnessing a trade war between the U.S. and China, Amid Trump’s aspiration to annul several agreements. The Indonesian president says that winter is coming and we have to cooperate in that field.”

A presentation was also given on the most famous touristic places including Parampan temple and Candi Prambanan, and traditional food and drinks such as the menorah and Merapi coffee and Wedang Uwah, the monks’ favorite healthy drink.

He voiced his hope to enhance cooperation with Middle East countries during the current event.

On the second day of the conference, six prominent Egyptian businessmen will be granted the Primaduta Award, which is an Indonesian program that aims to increase the growth of Indonesian exports worldwide.

In 2017, the annual gathering was hosted by the Indonesian city of Bandung, West Java, where more than 50 Middle Eastern businessmen participated.

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Ministry of Foreign Affair of Indonesia representative Ambassador Nurul Aulia

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Hand-made statue from wood at the exhibition of the IMAGE in Indonesia-Egypt Today-Samar Samir.jpg
]]>
10/22/2018 2:34:41 PM
<![CDATA[Trade Exchange bet. Egypt, Sudan reaches $320.5M in 7 months]]>
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics noted in its report that trade balance during the seven months came in favor of Egypt by $72.68 million.

The report clarified that Egypt’s exports to Sudan recorded $196.58 million, while imports reached $123.9 million.

Trade exchange between Egypt and Sudan represents 4 or 5 percent of the trade volume between Egypt and the world.

In January and February 2018, trade exchange between both states rose 18.9 percent, recording $104.1 million, compared to $84.4 million during the same months of 2017. February allocated $61.8 million of the total amount, compared to $43.7 million in February 2017.

Egypt’s exports to Sudan during the first two months of 2018 increased 3.3 percent to $70.6 million, compared to $73 million during the same months of the previous year, while the imports surged 193.8 percent to $33.5 million, up from $11.4 million.

From 2010 to 2016, trade exchange between both countries amounted to $3.86 billion, marking its highest value in 2010 at $629 million, and its lowest in 2012 at $473 million.

During these seven year, trade balance came in Egypt’s favor by $3.18 billion, hitting its highest value in 2010 at $545 million, and its lowest in 2014 at $280 million.

The main Egyptian exports to Sudan are food commodities, including meat and sesame; plastic and chemical products. Cotton is the most important item among Egypt’s imports from the Sudanese market.

Projects between Egypt and Sudan

There are several projects that are conducted between the two states including the electricity interconnection project, where Egypt will supply about 300 megawatts in Sudan over the next two months, adding 600 megawatts at a later stage, to finally reach 3,000 megawatts.

Egypt to have electricity interconnection with Sudan

CAIRO - 24 April 2018: Deputy Electricity Minister Osama Asran and First Undersecretary of the Ministry Mohammed Mossa Omran headed to Sudan on Monday to agree upon the terms of the electricity interconnection project between the two countries.





There are also the strategic projects for land reclamation, including 100,000 feddans in the state of Blue Nile, in addition to the Egyptian project for the production of meat in Sudan on an area of 40,000 feddans in the state of White Nile.

The Egyptian-Sudanese shipping company has a project linking between the ports of Aswan and Halfa, for the transport of goods, individuals and tourism.

On Thursday, Oct.25, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi will visit Khartoum to attend the 24th summit with his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Bashir to sign several agreements and memoranda.

]]>
10/22/2018 1:33:23 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at Egypt's major banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at EGP 17.78 for buying and EGP 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the dollar price stood at EGP 17.79 for buying and EGP 17.89 for selling.

At Banque du Caire, it recorded EGP 17.86 for buying and EGP 17.96 for selling.

At Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the rate stood at EGP 17.87 for buying and EGP 17.97 for selling.]]>
10/22/2018 1:32:07 PM
<![CDATA[Oil rises above $80, Saudi Arabia plans output increase]]>
Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency that his country had no intention of unleashing a 1973-style oil embargo on Western consumers, but rather was focused on raising output to compensate for supply losses elsewhere, such as Iran.

Several U.S. lawmakers have suggested imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, pledged to retaliate to any sanctions with “bigger measures”.

Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million. He added that Riyadh had capacity to increase output to 12 million bpd and Gulf OPEC ally, the United Arab Emirates, could add a further 200,000 bpd.

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 rose 45 cents on the day to $80.23 a barrel by 0900 GMT, while U.S. crude futures CLc1 rose 31 cents to $69.43 a barrel.

“Politics are coming into the picture and maybe this is what (the Saudis) will do, but as far as next year’s supply/demand balance is concerned, it’s not justified for them to increase production,” PVM Oil Associates strategist Tamas Varga said.

U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil sector start on Nov. 4 and analysts believe anything up to 1.5 million bpd in supply could be at risk.

“The big unknown is how much Iranian oil will be off the market and we’ll know in about a month’s time. Then we’ll have a clearer picture of what to expect for the first quarter of next year,” Varga said.

OPEC agreed in June to boost supply to make up for the expected disruption to Iranian exports.

However, an internal document reviewed by Reuters suggested OPEC is struggling to add barrels as an increase in Saudi supply was offset by declines elsewhere.

While Saudi Arabia is intent on making up for lost barrels, the outlook for demand next year is deteriorating.

The ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States will almost certainly erode demand, analysts say.

OPEC itself estimates demand for its crude will fall to an average of 31.8 million bpd next year, from an average 32.8 million bpd this year. [OPEC/O]

“The full impact of the U.S.-China trade war will hit markets in 2019 and could act as a considerable drag on oil demand next year, raising the possibility of the market returning to surplus,” said Emirates NBD bank in a note.]]>
10/22/2018 12:15:01 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia has 'no intention' of 1973 oil embargo replay: TASS]]>
“There is no intention,” Khalid al-Falih told Russia’s TASS news agency when asked if there could be a repetition of the 1973-style oil embargo.

Top U.S. lawmakers turned their ire on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday and said they believed he ordered the killing of Khashoggi, although the Trump administration maintained a more cautious stance.

Several U.S. lawmakers have suggested imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia in recent days while the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, has pledged to retaliate to any sanctions with “bigger measures”.

“This incident will pass. But Saudi Arabia is a very responsible country, for decades we used our oil policy as responsible economic tool and isolated it from politics,” Falih said.

“My role as the energy minister is to implement my government’s constructive and responsible role and stabilizing the world’s energy markets accordingly, contributing to global economic development,” Falih said.

He said that if oil prices went up, it would slow down the global economy and trigger a recession. But he added that with Iranian sanctions coming into full force next month, there was no guarantee oil prices would not go higher.

“I cannot give you a guarantee, because I cannot predict what will happen to other suppliers,” Falih said, when asked if the world can avoid oil prices hitting $100 per barrel again.

“We have sanctions on Iran, and nobody has a clue what Iranians export will be. Secondly, there are potential declines in different countries like Libya, Nigeria, Mexico and Venezuela,” he said.

“If 3 million barrels per day disappears, we cannot cover this volume. So we have to use oil reserves,” he said.

Falih said Saudi Arabia would soon raise output to 11 million barrels per day (bpd) from the current 10.7 million. He added that Riyadh had capacity to increase output to 12 million bpd and Gulf OPEC ally, the United Arab Emirates, could add another 0.2 million bpd.

“We have relatively limited spare capacities and we are using a significant part of them,” he said.

Global supply next year could be helped by Brazil, Kazakhstan and the United States, he added.

“But if you have other countries to decline in addition to the full application of Iran sanctions, then we will be pulling all spare capacities,” Falih said.]]>
10/22/2018 12:13:15 PM
<![CDATA[Euro rallies as Italian borrowing costs enjoy big drop]]>
Rating agency Moody’s downgraded the Italian government’s credit rating on Friday but unexpectedly kept the outlook at stable.

That, together with comments by Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio that the government was ready to sit down with the European Union amid the ongoing row over Rome’s budget, boosted demand for Italian debt after a sharp selloff in recent weeks.

The euro has often fallen this year when Italian government bond yields have spiked higher.

The single currency rose 0.3 percent to $1.1550 EUR=, hitting the day's high and away from recent lows of $1.1433.

The dollar index dropped 0.3 percent to 95.472 .DXY.

The euro was also 0.2 percent higher at 1.1487 Swiss francs EURCHF=, and gained 0.2 percent versus sterling to 88.26 pence EURGBP=.

Despite the euro’s rally, analysts said it remained at the mercy of Italian developments, with a great deal of uncertainty ahead.

“...A full diary of risk events over the next two weeks and little to argue in favor of support from the ECB (European Central Bank) in the near future, the question remains over how far the yield gap can blow out and how this could translate back into the FX market,” said Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon.

Equity markets were largely in positive territory as hopes that China’s tax cuts next year could be worth more than one percent of gross domestic product sparked a rally in Asian shares that fed across to Europe.

That helped offset geopolitical concerns about the rift between Saudi Arabia and the West over the killing of a prominent critic of the kingdom, as well as worries about Britain securing an exit deal with the EU.

Forex markets were largely quiet, although the more positive tone at the start of the week did buoy sentiment.

For the dollar, a hawkish Federal Reserve and signs of continued strength in the U.S. economy remain key drivers.

“Markets will be closely watching the release of the U.S. advance GDP number on Friday for more clarity on the direction of the U.S. dollar,” said Sim Moh Siong, currency strategist at Bank of Singapore.

The dollar rose versus the Japanese yen JPY=. The yen fetched 112.71, down 0.2 percent on the day and off a one-month high of 111.61 touched on Oct. 15.

The yen had benefited from rising risk around Brexit, the Italy budget plan and trade tensions, because investors tend to buy the Japanese currency when they are nervous.

The Canadian dollar CAD= changed hands at 1.3080 on its U.S. counterpart, within striking distance of a five-week low of 1.3132 hit on Friday on the back of weaker inflation and retail sales.

The Australian dollar AUD=, often considered a barometer for global risk appetite, traded at $0.7122, flat on the day.]]>
10/22/2018 12:11:26 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.2B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a five-year term and the second worth LE 500 million with a 10-year term.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
10/22/2018 12:08:28 PM
<![CDATA[Youth projects will be financed by $200M: Minister]]>
FEKRETAK SHERKETAK is an Egyptian initiative, created under the auspices of the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC). It supports Egyptian youth and entrepreneurs, targeting to support and accelerate the growth of Egyptian entrepreneurs to develop innovative businesses in today’s competitive economy.

The minister added the economic reforms were the reason behind growing foreign investment in Egypt despite the investment decline in most of the world, especially in emerging markets, according to the report of the United Nations UNCTAD.

The United Nations Trade and Development Board (UNCTAD) said that Egypt remained the first investment destination in Africa during the first half of 2018, as total foreign investment inflows hiked by 24 percent compared to the first half of 2017.

Foreign investments rises in Egypt by 24% during H1 2018: UNCTAD

CAIRO - 18 October 2018: The United Nations Trade and Development Board (UNCTAD) said that Egypt remains the first destination in Africa during the first half of 2018, as total foreign investment inflows hiked to 24 percent compared to the first half of 2017.



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).

Also, Nasr previously signed a protocol with Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy and head of the Small and Medium Enterprises Organization Neven Gamea to include youth and sports facilities within the investment map of Egypt.

Egypt launched earlier an investment map showing current investment opportunities available across the state.

The map includes 4,136 investment opportunities in eight industrial sectors in the 27 governorates and gives information on industrial zones in each governorate, their resources, the existing projects and available industrial projects in detail.

Nasr said earlier that Egypt reached a new agreement with the World Bank to have a new finance worth $3 billion during the upcoming months.

The minister noted that this funding reflects the World Bank's confidence in Egypt’s economic reforms and ensures its keenness on providing Egypt with support to implement the economic and social reform program.
]]>
10/22/2018 11:19:32 AM
<![CDATA[Juhayna’s profits jump 138% in 9M of 2018]]>
The consolidated gross profit increased 17.52 percent to reach LE 1.59 billion, compared to LE 1.35 billion in the same nine months of 2017.

As per the results of the third quarter, the net profit jumped 83.15 percent to hit LE 119.63 million, compared to LE 65.32 million in the third quarter of 2017.

The company clarified in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that gross profit of July-to-September 2018 recorded LE 533.17 million, compared to LE 503.59 million in the same months of 2017.

Juhayna’s consolidated results hiked 180.38 percent during the first half of 2018, recording LE 239.85 million, compared to LE 85.54 million, including minority rights, during the same period of 2017.

In 2017, the company gained LE 197.7 million, compared to LE 53.6 million in 2016, with an increase of 268 percent.

Juhayna was established in 1995 and joined the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) in May 2010. It operates within the food, beverage and tobacco sector, focusing on packaged foods with six subsidiaries operating across Egypt.
]]>
10/21/2018 5:29:43 PM
<![CDATA[EGX loses LE3.5B of market capitalization Sunday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 lessened 0.88 percent, or 119.49 points, to close at 13,524.67 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 0.85 percent, or 18.02 points, to reach 2,109.06 points.

Moreover, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.13 percent, or 1.02 points, reaching 692.03 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.07 percent, or 1.25 points, closing at 1,741.27 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 3.5 billion, recording LE 763.44 billion, compared to LE 766.95 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 117.3 million shares, traded through 15,265 transactions, with a turnover of LE 399.23 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 8.48 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 6.7 million and LE 1.76 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at LE 5.44 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 5.37 million, and LE 676,562, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 1.28 million, and LE 7.13 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 7.8 million.

Regarding Stocks, Development & Engineering Consultants, El Arabia for Land Reclamation, Egyptian Real Estate Group were top gainers of the session by 8.70 percent, 6.47 percent and 5.32 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Global Telecom Holding, Prime Holding, and El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing were top losers of the session by 9.34 percent, 6.97 percent, and 6.46 percent, respectively.

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) witnessed a semi-collective regression after an hour of trading on Sunday, Oct. 21, representing a first feedback after the Egyptian government's announcement of delaying the offering of Eastern Company's shares on EGX.

EGX records semi-collective regression after 1hr of trading

CAIRO - 21 October 2018: The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) witnessed a semi-collective regression after an hour of trading on Sunday, Oct. 21, representing a first feedback after the Egyptian government's announcement of delaying the offering of Eastern Company's shares on EGX. The benchmark EGX30 dropped 1.40 percent by 11:11 a.m.




EGX ended Thursday’s session in red, as EGX30 decreased 1.24 percent, EGX50 inched down 1.05 percent, EGX70 shrank 0.19 percent, and EGX100 lessened 0.40 percent.
]]>
10/21/2018 4:02:02 PM
<![CDATA[Trade minister hails economic relations with Sweden]]>
Such partnerships will serve the economy of both countries, Nassar told a meeting with Swedish Ambassador in Cairo Jan Thesleff in presence of a delegation comprising the chiefs of major Swedish companies operating in Egypt.

They discussed means of increasing Swedish investments in the coming period as Egypt is one of the key markets for Swedish exports in African and Middle East.

Nassar, yet, stressed the importance of promoting Egyptian exports to Sweden to cut a current balance of trade deficit.

He estimated the trade exchange in the first eight months of this year at $541 million.

Sweden has total investments of $ 133.5 million in 121 projects in fields including industry and IT, according to the minister.]]>
10/21/2018 4:00:04 PM
<![CDATA[NSB capital boosted by LE300M: minister]]>
The increase will enable NSB to properly fulfill its mission which includes offering soft loans, said Wali, who is also the chairman of NSB.

NSB operates a scheme of no interest loans in addition to other loans with moderate and marginal returns as well as other programs to support savings and investments.]]>
10/21/2018 3:42:04 PM
<![CDATA[ Orange’s loss dips in 9M to LE 235M]]>
The company clarified in a file to the Egyptian exchange (EGX) that consolidated revenues reached LE 10.2 billion in the first nine months of 2018, compared to LE 9.3 billion during the same period of 2017, with an increase of 9.03 percent.

Orange attributed the loss to the rise of inflation rate which is reflected on the operating costs due to the increase of energy and electricity prices and the huge increase in the operating costs, noting that the main components of networking are exported from abroad, and the company still pays high borrowing cost.

As per standalone results, the loss decreased 83.71 percent to reach LE 269 million, compared to LE 1.65 billion during the same period of 2017.

The standalone indicators revealed that the gross profit marked an increase of 9.53 percent, up to LE 7.52 billion from LE 6.87 billion during the same period of 2017.

The consolidated loss of the company decreased during the first half of 2018 by 77 percent, recording LE 253 million, compared to a loss of LE 1.1 billion in the same half of 2017.

As per the standalone results, the loss decreased 73.9 percent to reach LE 264 million, compared to LE 1.01 billion during the same period of 2017.

On another note, the Extraordinary General Assembly of the company approved to optionally write off the company's shares from the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

The company clarified in a filing to EGX that the assembly agreed to buy shares of shareholders who objected to the decision and are negatively affected, in accordance with Article 55 of the Listing Rules.

Founded in 1998, Orange operates within the telecommunication services sector, focusing on wireless telecommunication services. It has six subsidiaries operating across Egypt.
]]>
10/21/2018 1:47:51 PM
<![CDATA[EGX records semi-collective regression after 1hr of trading]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 1.40 percent by 11:11 a.m. (Cairo time), reaching 13,453.65 points.

The equally weight EGX50 also declined 1.31 percent, hitting levels of 2,099.11 points and the broader index EGX100 dipped 0.14 percent to 1,737.54 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 rose 0.09 percent, achieving levels of 691.74 points.

The committee of the governmental initial public offering (IPO) announced Thursday, Oct. 18 that it would delay the offering of 4.5 percent of Eastern Company’s shares in light of the global markets volatility.

It clarified in a statement that the reason behind the delay of the offering is that current price of Eastern Company share is out of the price range the government decided ranging 10 percent less or more of the average of the closing price during a month earlier of the announcement of investment banks promoting the offering.

In 2016, Egypt announced the launch of the government’s IPO program to offer shares over three to five years in several state-owned companies in fields such as petroleum, services, chemicals and real estate.

The government aims at offering 15-30 stakes of some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX) to increase funding to Egyptian companies, maximize the benefit from state assets, and to attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

Market capitalization recorded LE 760.46 billion within this time of Sunday’s session, losing around LE 6.49 billion, as it ended Thursday’s session at LE 766.95 billion.

On Thursday, Market capitalization lost LE 6.97 billion, recording LE 766.95 billion, compared to LE 773.93 billion in Wednesday’s session.

EGX ended Thursday’s session in red, as EGX30 decreased 1.24 percent, EGX50 inched down 1.05 percent, EGX70 shrank 0.19 percent, and EGX100 lessened 0.40 percent.

Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it said in September that Egypt’s IPO program will start floating an additional stake of the Eastern Company's shares on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), which amounts to 4.5 percent of the company’s shares.

The minister expected the yields of the offering to reach LE 2 billion, noting that the timing of the offering will be determined in cooperation with EFG Hermes.
]]>
10/21/2018 12:08:56 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.5 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.5 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided 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.]]>
10/21/2018 11:09:37 AM
<![CDATA[Oil well starts production at West Nile Delta Project: ministry]]>
The initial output of the well is estimated at 20 million cubic feet per day, the statement revealed.

The ministry noted that modern technology used in digging operations has saved eight working days and reduced the total cost by about $4 million. ]]>
10/20/2018 2:32:35 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt selected to be guest of honor at German-Arab Business Forum]]>
The German-Arab Business Forum, to be held in June 2019 in Berlin, is an annual key international business forum that provides job opportunities and chances of investment, trade and industry, Hanafy said in a statement.

Egypt’s selection as a guest of honor in the event comes in recognition of its leading role and international position in addition to the recent economic measures it has taken, he said, adding that Egypt has become attractive to investment.

Hanafy noted that a high-level Egyptian delegation along with representatives of Egyptian companies and private sector will take part in the forum. ]]>
10/19/2018 1:10:55 PM
<![CDATA[GASC announces 1st tender to import white rice in 2018]]>
In statements, the authority's vice chairman, Ahmed Youssef, said that it was seeking white rice, with 10-12 percent broken parts.

He further noted that the deadline for offers to be submitted is on November 12.

Every supplier should submit four rice samples - each weighting two kilograms, Youssef said.

The samples will be sent to the Agricultural Research Center (ARC), affiliated to the Agriculture Ministry, for a cooking test, he added.

Egypt is seeking to purchase 25,000 tons of rice, + or - 5 percent, Youssef said, adding the imported rice is to arrive in two cargos, the first from January 1 to 31 and the second from February 1 to 28.

Further details on the rules and specifications will be available in a booklet as of Thursday, Youssef said
]]>
10/18/2018 6:48:21 PM
<![CDATA[Russian min.: Talks bet. Egypt, EAEU on free trade zone ]]>
An agreement on the planned free trade zone is scheduled to be signed during 2019, Oreshkin said.

In a related context, the Russian minister added that Moscow is interested in inking a free trade agreement with Cairo, given the ongoing project to build a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

Russian companies are looking forward to making the best use of such free trade deal through allowing the entry of Russian equipment into the SCZone with paying reduced customs tariffs, he noted.

In a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Wednesday, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said that investments worth USD 7 billion will be channeled into the Russian industrial zone in the SCZone.

The project is expected to secure about 35 job openings, President Sisi added
]]>
10/18/2018 6:44:50 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Thursday in red, market cap. loses LE 7B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 1.24 percent, or 171.44 points, to close at 13,644.16 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 1.05 percent, or 22.66 points, to reach 2,127.08 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.19 percent, or 1.30 points, reaching 691.11 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.40 percent, or 7.01 points, closing at 1,740.02 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 6.97 billion, recording LE 766.95 billion, compared to LE 773.93 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 170.65 million shares, traded through 20,665 transactions, with a turnover of LE 672.55 million.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 20.55 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 6.7 million and LE 13.83 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were also net buyers at LE 23.7 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 3.4 million, and LE 28.55 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 3.15 million, and LE 3.28 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 14.7 million.

Regarding Stocks, Natural Gas & Mining Project (Egypt Gas), El Arabia for Land Reclamation, and Juhayna Food Industries were top gainers of the session by 9.41 percent, 4.78 percent and 4.53 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Canal Shipping Agencies, Dice Sport & Casual Wear, and Arabian Food Industries DOMTY were top losers of the session by 10.80 percent, 8.25 percent, and 6.11 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday on a mixed note, as EGX30 rose 1.92 percent, and EGX50 increased 1.07 percent, while EGX70 decreased 1.30 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.84 percent. ]]>
10/18/2018 5:06:55 PM
<![CDATA[The great issues of the green & circular economy at the center of international events at the 22nd edition of ECOMONDO ]]>CAIRO - 18 October 2018: European Strategy for plastics and its developments; the most advanced experiences of the circular bioeconomy in OCSE countries and Industry 4.0 applied to waste management and use; the protection, recovery and reuse of water resources. These are just a few of the issues at the centre of the flagship events of the next edition (the 22nd) of Ecomondo, organized by Italian Exhibition Group, from 6th to 9th November 2018 at Rimini Expo Centre.

They will form the core of the comprehensive program of meetings and conferences organized by the Ecomondo technical-scientific committee (chaired by Professor Fabio Fava) which every year involves very high profile experts and organizations (academical bodies, associations and institutions) from Italy and abroad.

The international flagship events will involve a large number of Italian and foreign speakers among the most qualified in the various sectors. The panel is conceived by the technical-scientific committee to ensure the in-depth coverage of the hottest topics in the various evolving sectors of the green & circular economy.

Some advance news:
On Wednesday 7th November the conference entitled How to Implement the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, will set itself the objective of giving a boost to the European Strategy for Plastics launched by the European Commission in February of this year, the first developments of which have been seen recently with the Brussels directive that bans drinking straws, cotton buds and other plastic products.
The conference will address the industry of biobased and biodegradable plastics as well as that of traditional plastic, which must face the market’s new challenges.
Organization is by the Ecomondo technical-scientific committee and Legambiente, along with Assobioplastiche, Corepla, Federchimica, PasticsEurope Italia, Enea and Res Urbis H2020 project

Ecomondo_2017_Stand_IMG_5003
the next edition (the 22nd) of Ecomondo, organized by Italian Exhibition Group, from 6th to 9th November 2018 at Rimini Expo Centre - Press Photo


A total of 25.8 million tons of plastic is produced in Europe every year, whereas plastic waste has a total weight of 49 million tons: less than 40% is recycled.
At Ecomondo the eCircular project promoted by Climate-Kic with the University of Bologna as group leader will indicate the possible actions for drastically reducing plastic’s effect on the environment.


Ecomondo_2017_Stand_IMG_7361
the next edition (the 22nd) of Ecomondo, organized by Italian Exhibition Group, from 6th to 9th November 2018 at Rimini Expo Centre - Press Photo

Closely connected with the plastic issue, the problem of marine litter is confirmed as a particularly important topic for Ecomondo, who will propose for the third consecutive year, along with Legambiente and Enea, the conference on the prevention and management of marine litter, with the sector’s top international experts, ready to put the most recent knowledge and expertise on the matter at everyone’s disposal.

Circular bioeconomy is by no means new terrain for the OCSE. The international organism is taking part directly in Ecomondo with the event Circular Bioeconomy: National Case Studies of Innovation Ecosystems. By means of the participation of top exponents of the respective countries, a comparison will be possible between the cases of Japan, USA, France, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and, obviously, Italy. The event will be chaired by OCSE representative James Philip and Philippe Mengal, executive director of the BBI JU, the European Union's public-private joint undertaking dedicated to developing the bioeconomy in Europe.

The avant-garde of research and its application to the management and exploitation of water resources will be another important chapter at Ecomondo, with the Global Water Expo section in close collaboration with Utilitalia. A key event, being held for the first time in Italy, and for the first time in a southern European country, will be the European Nutrient Event, a two-day event organized at Ecomondo by the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform, a body that at European level, along with some member countries, promotes research on the recovery from urban wastewater of phosphorus, a raw material that causes problems.

On the other hand, Industry 4.0 for greater efficiency in waste management and use will be at the centre of a meeting organized by the Ecomondo technical-scientific committee along with the CNR and the Universities of San Marino and Bologna. In fact, robotics and automation are essential for improving the selection of waste after its collection, while the Internet of Things and data analytics contribute to making logistics “smarter”.

Among the events to be remembered there is the tenth edition of the Sustainable Development Award, promoted by the Foundation for Sustainable Development in collaboration with Ecomondo. The Award will be assigned to the best enterprises in the sectors Water and resources, Sustainable construction and Energy from renewable sources. The competition was launched a few days ago. The awards ceremony will be held at Rimini Expo Centre, on 8th November, during Ecomondo.


]]>
10/18/2018 3:27:49 PM
<![CDATA[Mamish issues decision reducing docking fees at East Port Said port]]>
According the decision, ships laden with more than 50 containers for loading and unloading goods will enjoy a reduction rate by 0.03 percent and with a maximum rate of discount reaching 60 percent, Mamish said in a statement.

The decision comes as part of ongoing efforts to stimulate the movement of ships and enhance trading in transit containers at the Port Said harbor in coordination with the bodies concerned, notably the Ministry of Transportation, he added.

Vessels laden with 30,000 to 80,000 tons of commodities will have a reduction rate of 30 percent, while the ships carrying a shipment of commodities starting from 90,000 tons and above will be given a discount rate of 40 percent, he noted.

Meanwhile, ships laden with a shipment of less than 80,000 tons of goods will enjoy a reduction rate of 30 percent, while the vessels carrying more than 80,000 tons of goods will be offered a discount of 40 percent, he clarified.
]]>
10/18/2018 3:27:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports to Italy record $1.24B in 1st 8 months of 2018]]>
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.

This came during the extensive meeting held by the minister with an Italian trade mission comprising 25 Italian companies operating in various fields. The mission was organized by the Italian Institute for Asia and Africa (ISMAA).

The minister pointed out that the current stage is witnessing an intensive economic momentum between Egypt and Italy in all fields and at various levels, which paves the way for achieving a breakthrough in the commercial and industrial cooperation and joint investment projects between the two countries.

He referred to the possibility of benefiting from the Egyptian market as a manufacturing and export hub to the markets of Africa, the Middle East and the Arab Gulf.

The Egyptian-Italian historical relations as central countries in the Mediterranean region represent a pivotal point for the development of bilateral relations and the activation of the joint working system to achieve the common interests of the Egyptian and Italian economies alike, Nassar said.

“There are huge opportunities for cooperation between Egypt and Italy in the African countries, especially that Egypt is currently adopting an integrated plan to promote industrial cooperation, trade and investment with a number of countries in the east and west of the African continent,” he clarified.

Nassar explained that the ministry aims to attract small, medium and large Italian industrial projects to work in the Egyptian market and export to neighboring markets.

For his part, member of the Egyptian-Italian Business Council Ashraf Rashid said that the visit of the Italian delegation to Cairo aims at strengthening the economic relations between Italy and the countries of the Mediterranean Basin, including Egypt, noting that trade exchange between Egypt and Italy reached $5 billion annually.

He added that Egypt still enjoys a great industrial and investment competitiveness among the countries of the Middle East, pointing out that the competitiveness of energy prices and qualified technical work force make Egypt a distinct investment destination in the region.

Head of the economic and trade department at the Italian Embassy in Cairo, Pietro Tombacini, said that the Italian market remains the primary destination for Egyptian exports to the continent of Europe, pointing out that exports of textiles and agricultural products are on top of Egyptian exports to Italian markets.

Tombacini added that the Italian delegation includes representatives of a large number of Italian companies working in the fields of engineering industries, utilities, water control systems, education, vocational training, telemetry, digital systems, electromechanical systems, tourism, hotel management, infrastructure development, pipes, as well as the fields of machinery technology, industrial equipment, energy, banking and furniture.]]>
10/18/2018 3:17:10 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 19B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 9.5 billion with a 182-day term and the second worth LE 9.5 billion with a 357-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
10/18/2018 1:35:04 PM
<![CDATA[Russian min.: Talks bet. Egypt, EAEU on free trade zone to start by year end]]>
An agreement on the planned free trade zone is scheduled to be signed during 2019, Oreshkin said.

In a related context, the Russian minister added that Moscow is interested in inking a free trade agreement with Cairo, given the ongoing project to build a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

Russian companies are looking forward to making the best use of such free trade deal through allowing the entry of Russian equipment into the SCZone with paying reduced customs tariffs, he noted.

In a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Wednesday, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said that investments worth USD 7 billion will be channeled into the Russian industrial zone in the SCZone.

The project is expected to secure about 35 job openings, President Sisi added.
]]>
10/18/2018 1:25:14 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, EU sign 2 agreements worth €135M]]>
The agreements were signed by Egypt’s Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and General Director of the Neighborhood Policy and EU Enlargement Christian Danielson.

The minister clarified that the funding agreement for the program of EU’s facility of comprehensive growth and job creation is worth €75 million.

The program contributes to achieving the priorities of the Egyptian people. It consists of two parts: The first is to carry out reforms to reduce the burden on the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector by facilitating its access to long-term financing as well as facilitating business relations and fostering innovation among SME entrepreneurs, according to Nasr.

She added that the program aims at facilitating the overall growth of the Egyptian economy, as well as contributing to the creation of more job opportunities for youth and women, supporting sustainable economic development, improving the future indicators of living, and enhancing the overall climate of the Egyptian economy to allow for greater innovation.

Secondly, Nasr said that the agreement supporting the program to combat migration challenges in Egypt, worth €60 million, is funded by the European Emergency Fund for Africa, and includes contributions from Germany and the International Planning Organization.

The statement read that the agreement aims to combat illegal immigration and human trafficking, and works to find solutions to address the main social and economic causes of these phenomena.

Nasr noted that this program will contribute in supporting seven projects in 15 governorates with a total of €27 million; a capacity building project, worth €17 million, developing infrastructure in areas affected by illegal migration; and a multi-educational project in the affected areas worth €6 million.

The minister added that the fund also includes a project, worth €4.6 million, to support women to combat the economic causes leading to migration, a project to strengthen the management of migration through institutional support by €3 million, as well as a project to support the health sector for civil society in Cairo and Alexandria worth €1.4 million.

“The fund also includes a project, worth €1 million, which will be implemented in Sohag and Assiut to combat the main causes of migration and to support the civil society in Upper Egypt," the statement said.

For his part, Danielson said that the EU is Egypt's first development partner, with more than €1.3 billion in grants for ongoing projects, adding that this figure rises to €11 billion when grants, financing and debt swaps from European Union member states and European financial institutions are added.
]]>
10/18/2018 1:22:26 PM
<![CDATA[Foreign investments rises in Egypt by 24% during H1 2018: UNCTAD]]>
UNCTAD added in a report that foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped globally by 41 percent in the first half of 2018 to only $470 billion, down from $794 billion in the same period of 2017.

The report pointed out that the largest decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI inflows declined sharply by 69 percent to about $135 billion, while the participation rate of developing economies in global foreign direct investment reached a record rate of about 66 percent.

Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said that Egypt is reaping the fruits of the economic reform program, noting that reforms contributed to increasing foreign direct investment, and improving its recent ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report as well as the report of the United Nations Trade and Development Board.

This progress came as a result of the efforts to improve the legislative framework of the investment environment during the last period and to keep abreast of the economic legislation of the best international applications, which contributed to the jump of Egypt's six centers, which means that Egypt's ability to achieve a high rate of per capita GDP, Nasr added.

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).

Regarding Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), Egypt came in the 94th place in the 2018 GCI among 140 world countries, recording 63.4 points, and gaining 0.4 point compared to the rating of 2017.

It also occupied the 24th position among 140 states in the GCI report in the market size.
The GCI report tackles 12 main pillars, including financial system, institutions, labor market and business dynamism.

]]>
10/18/2018 11:25:31 AM
<![CDATA[Sutherland partners with Egypt’s ITIDA to add 750 Jobs in Alexandria]]>
Sutherland which is a the process transformation company, clarified in a press release that this agreement aims to grow the company’s business presence in Egypt and expand the service portfolio offered to the region.

The agreement was signed on the 3rd day of Gitex Dubai 2018.

Upon the agreement, Sutherland will add more than 750 full-time jobs in its service delivery centre in Alexandria.

“The centre, which was opened in 2010, provides a full range of integrated back-office and client facing front-office services to the company’s clients in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia, and North America,” the statement noted.

The company stated that Egypt is an attractive and low-cost hub for multinational BPO companies and IT service providers with global operations and services in the EMEA region, as it has a broad base of skilled, and multilingual professionals.

“Egypt has been taking all the right steps to develop its thriving IT& IT enabled services industry,” CEO of ITIDA Maha Rashad, said. “The industry has witnessed great progress in terms of the number of services offered and the growth of the market especially with the talent outflow and the annual 550+ of university graduates.’ she added.

The release also disclosed that Egypt’s export market of the combined IT, BPO, and KPO is expected to grow from $3.25 billion in 2017 to $4.7 billion in 2020, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC)

“We choose to grow in Egypt because we recognize the diverse and remarkably talented workforce here,” Sutherland senior director, MENA region, Ahmad Rihan said.

“ITIDA has been a strategic advisor to us where it has helped strongly in providing a great database of the talent pool from different universities in Alexandria and other governorates, which saved a lot of effort for Sutherland team,” he added.

“Sutherland Egypt is planning for great expansions over the next few years. New Middle Eastern and multinational accounts are currently approaching Sutherland Egypt. Thus, the plan is to open up in Cairo, Egypt too,” Julie Clarke, Sutherland Vice President for Human Resources EMEA region, commented.
]]>
10/17/2018 5:26:20 PM
<![CDATA[PM asserts importance of improving investment climate]]>
At a Cabinet weekly session, he added that the State is keen on providing all incentives to investors for increasing investments into the Egyptian market.

This would lead to increasing economic growth rates, he added.

Meanwhile, Minster of Finance Mohamed Maait said that recent meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund confirmed that Egypt became one of four countries that achieved successful economic reforms.

He also made reference that IMF chief Christine Lagarde has lauded recent economic achievements in Egypt.]]>
10/17/2018 3:36:29 PM
<![CDATA[EGX adds LE 5.7B to market capitalization Wednesday]]>CAIRO – 16 October 2018: The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) ended Wednesday’s session on mixed note, and market capitalization gained LE 5.7 billion, amid Egyptian selling.

The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.92 percent, or 126.21 points, to close at 13,815.60 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 hiked 1.07 percent, or 22.75 points, to reach 2,149.74 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 1.30 percent, or 9.15 points, reaching 692.41 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.84 percent, or 14.76 points, closing at 1,747.03 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 5.7 billion, recording LE 773.93 billion, compared to LE 768.23 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 248.25 million shares, traded through 21,626 transactions, with a turnover of LE 696.42 million.

Sharm Dreams Co. for Tourism Investment, Marsa Marsa Alam for Tourism Development, and Edita Food Industries S.A.E were top gainers of the session by 8.64 percent, 8.39 percent and 7.69 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE, Minapharm Pharmaceuticals, and El Obour Real Estate Investment were top losers of the session by 7.20 percent, 5.56 percent, and 4.73 percent, respectively.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 121.42 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 26.92 million and LE 94.49 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 3.68, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 80 million, and LE 1.18 million, respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 23.24 million, and LE 95.68 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations sold at LE 41.42 million.

EGX ends Tuesday in green, as EGX30 rose 1.24 percent, EGX50 increased 1.64 percent, EGX70 hiked 0.47 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.64 percent.
]]>
10/17/2018 3:27:55 PM
<![CDATA[ITIDA, Sutherland Global Services sign MoU to expand its work in Egypt]]>
The MoU was signed on the sidelines of GITEX Technology Week - GITEX 2018, currently in session in Dubai.

Under the MoU, Sutherland will add 750 full-time jobs for Egyptians at its center in Alexandria city that was opened in 2010.

The center provides a complete package of IT services and technical support to customers in Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and North America.

For her part, Acting CEO of ITIDA Maha Rashad said that Egypt takes the necessary steps to develop the IT industry and services through an overall strategy to promote Egypt's position as one of the top global offshoring destinations.

Egypt is the top African and Middle Eastern location for offshoring, according to A.T. Kearney's Global Services Location Index for 2017. ]]>
10/17/2018 2:42:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ranks no 94 in 2018 GCI]]>
As for market size, Egypt occupied the 24th position among 140 states in the GCI report.

The GCI report tackles 12 main pillars, including financial system, institutions, labor market and business dynamism.

Egypt ranked no 102 with regard to the GCI institutions pillar at 48.1 points, no 100 for ICT adoption at 40.6 points, no 99 for skills at 52.8 points, no 130 for labor market at 46.4 points and no 56 for infrastructure at 70 points.]]>
10/17/2018 2:04:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt plans to issue international sovereign sukuk in 2019-2020]]>
Ma'it did not give the size of the planned offering. Egypt is aiming to issue about $20 billion in foreign currency-denominated bonds by 2022.

Issuing sukuk could allow Egypt to attract a new class of investor as it implements a three-year IMF-backed economic reform program agreed in late 2016.

The country has borrowed heavily from abroad since then and faces a tough repayment schedule and a rising bill for oil imports.

Egypt’s foreign debt stood at $92.64 billion at the end of June, an increase of 17.2 percent from the previous year.

Egyptian officials have previously announced their intention to issue Islamic bonds, but the plans did not materialise. ]]>
10/17/2018 1:46:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt-EU water business forum kicks off]]>
The two-day forum includes representatives from the Egyptian and European private sectors, Egyptian government officials and key figures from the water sector with the aim to determine the water’s key role in achieving sustainable economic growth and to how to best meet increasing demands and scarce resources.

The EU-EGYPT Water Dialogue , including representatives from European and international development partners and government of Egypt, aims at creating a policy dialogue platform to discuss key strategic issues in the water sector and how to best tackle them ; reflecting transparency and mutual accountability, and drawing lessons from past and ongoing experiences for the betterment of the effectiveness of both investment portfolio, and overall sector development.

Finally, a dedicated award ceremony to the second annual media competition shall be made.]]>
10/17/2018 1:37:36 PM
<![CDATA[EIB supports Egypt’s Kitchener Drain by ‎€214M]]>
The agreement was signed by Egypt’s Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and EIB President Werner Hoyer at the headquarters of the EIB in Luxembourg.

“As the world’s largest lender in the global water sector, we are signing today a new agreement supporting the depollution of a crucial drain in Egypt. This project will have a great impact, as it will make sanitation services more available and improve the quality of water and farming conditions in the Nile Delta region,” President of the EIB Werner Hoyer said in the signing ceremony.

“Overall, the project will contribute to raising the living standards of Egyptians in many governorates. Our finance for the project comes under the Economic Resilience Initiative that seeks to improve the resilience of the Egyptian economy and build stronger socio-economic infrastructure,” Hoyer added.

EIB said in a statement that this agreement is the first phase of a larger investment program that was identified by an EU financed pre-feasibility study under the supervision of the Mediterranean HotSpots Investment Program II.

According to the statement, the project aims at the depollution of the 69 km long Kitchener Drain, which extends across the governorates of Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh and Dakahlia in the Nile Delta region. It is structured as an integrated depollution project comprised of investments in wastewater and sanitation, solid waste, and drain rehabilitation – a first of its kind in Egypt.

The EIB’s financing supports investments in domestic wastewater collection and treatment comprising both the rehabilitation and expansion of existing and the development of new infrastructure. In addition, the EBRD will finance the solid waste and drain rehabilitation components of the project. Moreover, the EU is supporting the project through a substantial grant contribution of €45.8 million through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF).

“The EU- Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) contribution will finance both investments and technical assistance and is critical to catalyze the investment,” the statement read.

EIB said that the project will improve the water security of communities and ecosystems, improving the quality of life and socio-economic development of a predominantly rural area, expecting that up to 6 million people will benefit from the new and improved sanitation and solid waste services as a result of the foreseen investments.

As per this agreement, EIB finance to Egypt is raised to €740 million in 2018, including funding the water and wastewater sectors as well as SMEs and Mid-caps.

“The bank is also hoping to extend additional financing to projects in the wastewater and transport sector (up to additional €430 million are planned for these sectors) and in support of SMEs and Mid-caps until year-end,” the statement noted.

In February, the EBRD approved €210 million in loans to Egypt for the Kafr El-Sheikh Kitchener Drain depollution project.

The Kitchener Drain extends 69 km and passes through the governorates of Kafr El Sheikh, Gharbeya and Dakahleya and discharges into the Mediterranean Sea.

Pollution of the Kitchener Drain emanates from three main sources: domestic wastewater (poorly treated and/or untreated) from numerous villages within the three governorates, uncontrolled municipal solid waste disposed along the banks and into the drains, industrial wastewater discharge, and fertilizers and pesticides discharges from the agricultural drainage system.

]]>
10/17/2018 1:23:00 PM
<![CDATA[China's United Energy Group to pump investments in Egypt ]]>
The company expressed desire to take part in international tenders in Egypt in view of promising investments in oil exploration in the country.

Molla made the remarks during a meeting on Wednesday with a delegation from Kuwait Energy Company under Board Chairman Mansour Bukhamseen and a delegation from China's United Energy Group under CEO Zhu Junfeng.

The Chinese company has purchased the Kuwaiti firm at $900 million, the ministry noted in a statement on Wednesday.

The stories of success of foreign oil companies in Egypt over the past years encouraged international oil companies to invest in this score.

Bukamseen said the Chinese company will pump investments to boost oil production, citing the company's achievement in Pakistan.

He underlined his country's support for Egypt, noting that his company seeks to realize more achievements in its concession zones in Egypt.

He noted that Kuwait Energy currently produces 30,000 oil barrels per day in its concession zones in the Egyptian Western Desert.

Meanwhile, Zhu said the development of the Egyptian petroleum sector encouraged international companies to inject investments into it.

He stressed the company's desire to invest in oil and natural gas domains, adding that the company wants to repeat its success story in Pakistan.

He added that the company will effectively participate in the Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS 2019).]]>
10/17/2018 12:18:16 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling prepares for inflation data after strong wage growth]]>
The better-than-expected UK wage data on Tuesday pushed the pound higher and briefly redirected attention away from ongoing Brexit negotiations and back to the UK economy.

The Bank of England has said tighter monetary policy depends on Britain’s agreeing a trade deal with the European Union. But it also wants to see signs of more wage growth, which could feed through to inflation.

A Reuters poll of analysts forecasts September data will come in at 2.6 percent, slightly below August’s 2.7 percent.

Sterling shrugged off the standoff between the EU and Britain over Brexit and rose as high as $1.3235 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, it traded down 0.2 percent at $1.3156.

The British currency also slipped versus the euro, down 0.1 percent at 87.895 pence.

The consumer price inflation report is due at 0830 GMT.]]>
10/17/2018 11:23:06 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar gains for a second day as markets eye Fed minutes]]>
Still, moves were muted in currency markets, contrary to the big gains in global stocks and drops in government bond yields in markets such as Italy.

“The dollar has been strongly correlated to risk appetite for much of this year, but in the last few days we have seen this correlation loosening a bit, suggesting markets need more strong economic data to push the dollar higher,” said Manuel Oliveri, an FX strategist at Credit Agricole in London.

Against a basket of its rivals, the dollar rose 0.1 percent to 95.15. It remains about 2 percent below a 2018 peak of near 97 hit in mid-August.

Major Wall Street indexes rose by more than 2 percent each as strong earnings indicated the U.S. economy is still expanding, despite rising interest rates and global trade-war tensions .

But market analysts warned against buying into the dollar’s strength as global financial conditions appeared to be tightening globally.

Cross-currency basis swaps in euros, yen and sterling, money market gauges of offshore dollar liquidity, have widened in recent weeks. That suggest the U.S. Federal Reserve’s rate hikes have cut into the availability of overseas dollars.

“Risk caution is warranted ... the replacement of Fed liquidity has come at the expense of tightening liquidity conditions outside the U.S.,” Morgan Stanley strategists said.

Markets will be looking for clues on the dollar’s direction and the path for U.S. interest rates from minutes of the Fed’s September meeting, due for release later on Wednesday.

Interest rate futures are pricing in a 77 percent likelihood that the Fed will raise rates in December, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool. Two more increases are likely next year.

The British pound was down 0.2 percent at $1.3158 after gaining 0.25 percent on Tuesday as a crucial European Union summit got underway.

On Wednesday, the euro traded lower at $1.15575, down 0.2 percent. On Tuesday, it reached $1.1622 - its highest since Oct. 1 - before giving up its gains.]]>
10/17/2018 11:19:52 AM
<![CDATA[Uber IPO proposals value company at $120 billion: WSJ]]>
The proposed valuation of the company is about $50 billion more than the company’s most recent valuation, setting the stage for what would be one of the biggest listings ever.

Reuters reported in late September that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were in pole position to secure top roles in Uber IPO.

Uber and smaller rival Lyft’s initial public offerings, both expected in 2019, will test investor tolerance for money losing technology unicorns.

Dara Khosrowshahi, who took over as chief executive last year, said in September that Uber was on track for a 2019 IPO, adding that he was not concerned if Lyft went public first because he expected enough demand for both companies.

Both companies have taken hits to their bottom lines in order to attract drivers and enter new markets, although they have made strides in recent years in narrowing their losses.

Uber has been seeking new avenues of growth, including food delivery services, even as it battles intense competition in its core business of ride hailing.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley last month delivered the valuation proposals to Uber, the WSJ report said.

The company hired Nelson Chai as its chief financial officer in August, filling a long-standing vacancy.

Uber declined to comment.]]>
10/17/2018 11:17:32 AM
<![CDATA[IBM revenue misses as server, software sales slow]]>
Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty has been refocusing International Business Machines Corp toward faster-growing cloud and analytics services to lower dependence on its traditional hardware products and reverse years of revenue declines.

The Armonk, New York-based company’s overall revenue slipped 2 percent in the third quarter ended September, with almost all of its businesses missing Wall Street’s revenue estimates.

Revenue at its systems unit, which includes mainframe servers and data storage systems sold to large organizations, climbed only 1 percent, compared with a 25 percent jump in the previous quarter.

Sales growth of z14 mainframe servers, introduced about a year ago, have slowed as customers await the launch of new machines before they upgrade.

IBM’s cognitive software business, which houses artificial intelligence platform Watson, analytics and cybersecurity services, had sales of $4.15 billion, down 6 percent from a year earlier.

Seasonal factors affecting demand for software such as transaction processing platforms hurt revenue, IBM Chief Financial Officer James Kavanaugh said in an interview, adding that there were signs demand was recovering.

“We have a good pipeline in transaction processing software as we enter the fourth quarter,” he said.

IBM, which gets over 60 percent of its revenue from outside the United States, said a stronger dollar also weighed on results.

The company said it made $39.5 billion in revenue over the last 12 months from its “strategic imperatives” — high-growth businesses including cloud services that are spread across its divisions.

Overall revenue slipped to $18.76 billion, missing analysts’ average estimate of $19.10 billion, according to I/B/E/S data from Refinitiv.

Net income fell to $2.69 billion, from $2.73 billion a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings rose to $2.94 from $2.92 due to a lower number of outstanding shares.

Excluding one-time items, IBM earned $3.42 per share, while analysts had expected $3.40.

IBM shares were down 4.7 percent to $138.29 in extended trading. The Dow component has fallen about 8 percent this year.]]>
10/17/2018 11:15:15 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. oil service firms face tough quarter despite high crude prices]]>
Oil producers are holding off finishing new wells, and cost pressures from tight labor markets and U.S. tariffs on imported steel are driving up service firms’ costs.

Meanwhile, shale producers including Devon Energy Corp (DVN.N) and Oasis Petroleum Inc (OAS.N) are doing more work traditionally handled by service companies.

The west Texas drillers that drove the shale revolution have overwhelmed the region’s infrastructure with oil production -driving up costs, depressing regional oil prices and slowing the pace of production growth.

“The risk for a number of (oilfield service) firms is to the downside,” said Brad Handler, a Jefferies equity analyst in New York who follows the oilfield service sector.

Wall Street is trimming earnings forecasts for oilfield market leaders’ Schlumberger NV (SLB.N) and Halliburton Co (HAL.N), and for pressure pumper Keane Group Inc (FRAC.N) and sand provider U.S. Silica Holdings Inc (SLCA.N). Schlumberger kicks off third-quarter reporting by the sector on Friday.

The cuts are coming despite third-quarter oil prices CLc1 that are up more than 40 percent from a year earlier.

Schlumberger is expected to report a profit of 47 cents a share, up from 39 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago, according to Refinitiv I/B/E/S. Halliburton’s per share profit is expected to be 49 cents, compared with 42 cents a year ago.

Weakness in completing wells is worrisome because such services have carried the day for firms still waiting for offshore drilling to pick up.

Completing a well by fracking and tying it to pipelines represents about 60 percent of onshore well expenditures. With producers holding off completions until new pipelines start up next year, there is less demand for services.

“The market for frac spreads is very soft, below even what we started in 2018,” Bill Thomas, chief executive of EOG Resources Inc (EOG.N), told investors at a New York conference last month.

The number of active hydraulic fracturing spreads or fleets in the Permian, the largest oilfield in the United States, has fallen to 172 from 192 earlier this year, and such fleets active across the U.S. have dropped to 460 from a peak of 480, according to data provider Primary Vision.

“Lower utilization and increased completion efficiencies is creating more slack in the system, with pressure pumpers most at risk heading into year end,” Barclays said in a note this month.

Producers’ unwillingness to raise spending despite higher oil prices also is taking a toll. Analysts at Barclays estimate that more than 80 percent of producer upstream budgets soon will be tapped out if third quarter spending was similar to the second quarter’s.

Bernstein analysts estimate there could be a 15 percent further decline in fracking activity, but they expect the market to bottom early next year.

“There is still risk of further declines as we approach winter and roll into the new E&P (exploration and production) budget cycle,” Colin Davies, a senior analyst for Bernstein wrote in a note.]]>
10/17/2018 11:12:50 AM
<![CDATA[Don't mention the oil price - U.S. legal threat prompts change at OPEC]]>
Proposed U.S. legislation known as “NOPEC”, which could open the group up to anti-trust lawsuits, has long lain dormant, with previous American presidents signaling that they would veto any move to make it law.

But U.S. President Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, blaming it for high oil prices and urging it to increase output to relieve pressure on a market hovering around four-year highs.

That has made OPEC and its unofficial leader, Saudi Arabia, nervous about what it might mean for NOPEC, or No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act.

The decision to refrain from discussing a preferred oil price level — one way the group can guide market expectations — underlines how Trump’s aggressive stance on the oil market is unsettling OPEC and testing ties between allies Riyadh and Washington.

In July, senior OPEC officials attended a workshop in Vienna with international law firm White & Case to discuss the NOPEC bill, and the lawyers advised avoiding public discussion of oil prices and rather talk about the stability of the oil market, two sources familiar with the matter said.

OPEC officials were also advised to explore diplomatic lobbying channels to try and prevent the NOPEC bill from becoming law, one of the sources said.

On Aug. 1, the OPEC secretariat sent a letter to the ministers making a similar recommendation.

“We solemnly believe that market stability, and not prices, is the common objective of our actions,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazroui, who holds the rotating OPEC presidency this year, wrote in the letter, seen by Reuters.

“I would like to call upon OPEC Member Countries, as well as our participating Non-OPEC colleagues, to refrain from any reference to prices in their commentary about our collective efforts or oil market condition,” he added.

White & Case did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Specifying oil prices is not the only way OPEC tries to guide the market. By cutting production it can support prices and by raising supplies it can do the opposite, for example.

But the private coordination of how to communicate OPEC’s message to the market represents a departure from past practice, when Saudi Arabia would often signal a preferred price level when speaking about OPEC policy and seek to push through actions to achieve that.

TIES STRAINED

While chances of the law passing this year appear slim, concerns among OPEC members and other oil producers are growing that it may ultimately get the support of Trump, given his open criticism of OPEC and high oil prices.

The OPEC letter came two months before U.S.-Saudi relations were further strained when a Saudi journalist disappeared during a visit to the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish officials say they believe Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi policies, was murdered and his body removed. Saudi Arabia has strongly denied killing Khashoggi.

Some members of the U.S. Congress, which has long had a testy relationship with Saudi Arabia, have criticized the kingdom over the case.

A Senate source familiar with the bill said renewed interest in NOPEC was likely, as lawmakers weigh any actions in response to Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The source, who declined to be named, said that with lawmakers out of town for the next several weeks, it was difficult to measure current sentiment.

LITIGATION RISKS MAY BE BEHIND IPO DELAY

Over much of the last year, Saudi Arabia irked Washington by pushing OPEC to adopt measures to boost oil prices in a shift from its previous, more moderate stance.

Industry sources have linked that shift to a desire to maximize revenues and raise the valuation of state energy giant Saudi Aramco ahead of a planned IPO, a key part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reforms aimed at diversifying the economy.

The share float, expected by some to be worth up to $100 billion, has been put on hold, sources have told Reuters.

Prince Mohammed said this month the float was postponed to 2021, and several industry sources say the delay was partly because of litigation risks if Aramco was listed in New York, a preferred venue by the Saudi crown prince.

“There is a major fear NOPEC could turn into another JASTA,” one of the sources familiar with Aramco IPO preparations said, referring to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act which allows victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to sue Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia, which denies involvement in the attacks, had long had broad immunity from the lawsuits. That changed in 2016, when the U.S. Congress overrode then-President Barack Obama’s veto of JASTA.

With close to $1 trillion in investments in the United States, including assets owned by Aramco, Riyadh has a lot to lose if the NOPEC bill was passed into law.

It would revoke the sovereign immunity which oil producers, including OPEC members, currently enjoy from U.S. legal action.

Washington-based legal firm Gibson Dunn and the Saudi embassy there signed a contract in late August, according to a copy of the contract filed to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The contract outlines that among its other responsibilities, Gibson Dunn would be “opposing NOPEC”.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has also raised concerns over NOPEC with senior U.S. officials including U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry during private meetings, two sources familiar with the talks told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.]]>
10/17/2018 11:10:50 AM
<![CDATA[Netflix record subscriber growth dispels Wall Street worries]]>
The record number of additions in the third quarter brought Netflix’s customer base to 137 million worldwide, confirming its rank as by far the world’s biggest online subscription video service.

Netflix shares, already up about 78 percent so far this year, jumped 14 percent to $394.25 in after-hours trading, and boosted other high-tech stocks.

The leap in subscribers marked a sharp turnaround from three months ago, when investors sent Netflix shares tumbling 14 percent after it missed Wall Street’s subscriber growth targets.

“The question at the end of Q2 was whether that miss was an aberration or signs of a longer-term slowdown in the business,” said Forrester Research analyst Jim Nail. “The answer: an aberration, likely the results of a somewhat low volume of new content last quarter.”

Netflix’s results sent shares of Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc and Amazon.com Inc up about 1 percent higher in extended trade. The four make up the so-called FANG group of high-growth companies that in recent months has lost some of its momentum following market-leading gains in recent years.

HIGH CONFIDENCE

Netflix is investing more than $8 billion in entertainment programming this year to lure new customers around the world. In the third quarter, it released its largest slate of original TV shows and movies to date, including new seasons of hits such as “Orange is the New Black” and “BoJack Horseman.”

That paid off in terms of new subscribers. Wall Street analysts had expected Netflix to add about 5.2 million streaming customers in the quarter.

The company exceeded forecasts in both U.S. and international markets. Netflix said it signed up roughly 1.1 million subscribers in the United States, above analysts’ estimate of 674,000, according to Refinitiv. Its international business added nearly 5.9 million subscribers, compared with the average analyst estimate of 4.5 million.

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix said it saw “strong growth broadly across all our markets including Asia.”

Executives said audiences welcomed shows tailored to specific markets, such as “Sacred Games” in India, which the company identified as key to its expansion.

“We feel like we have a long, long runway ahead of us in India,” Greg Peters, chief product officer, said in a post-earnings video interview.

For the current quarter, Netflix forecast it will add 1.8 million customers in the United States and 7.6 million in international markets.

“We want to assure investors that we have the same high confidence in the underlying economics as our cash investments in the past,” Netflix said in its letter.

COMPETITION

During the September quarter, Netflix added about 676 hours of original programming in the United States, a 135 percent increase from a year earlier, according to Cowen and Co analysts.

Netflix has been borrowing heavily to fund such rapid growth in TV shows and movies. It has issued a net $7.5 billion of bonds in less than three years, though that could carry a cost in a changing economic environment.

“Rising interest rates could make Netflix increasingly vulnerable to higher cost of capital,” CFRA research analyst Tuna Amobi said.

At the same time, Netflix faces competition from deep-pocketed companies such as Amazon and new streaming services from Walt Disney Co and AT&T Inc that are expected late next year.

Netflix said it expects operating margins at the lower end of the 10 percent to 11 percent range for the full year 2018. It cut its projection of negative cash flow to closer to $3 billion. The company had previously projected $3 billion to minus $4 billion.

Neil Begley, a senior analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, estimated that Netflix may spend closer to $9 billion on content this year, but he said keeping negative free cash flow to about $3 billion would not change the company’s capital needs.

“It’ll probably still be the case that they’re going to stick to raising debt twice a year,” he said.

Netflix’s net income rose to $402.8 million, or 89 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $129.6 million, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier. That beat analysts’ average estimate of 68 cents, according to Refinitiv.

Total revenue rose to $4 billion, in line with analysts’ expectations, from $2.98 billion a year earlier.]]>
10/17/2018 11:06:37 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s balance of payment hits surplus of $12.8B]]>
Saeed added that the volume of reserves now covers nine months of imports, compared to three months in 2012.

Regarding remittances from expatriates, she said that they increased to $26.4 billion, adding that exports marked an increase of 40 percent, targeting to hit 70 percent during the upcoming two years.

She further noted that political stability was reflected on the tourism sector, and revenues of the Suez Canal hiked 15 percent.

"We are shifting from an economy based on the exploitation of raw materials and natural resources to an economy whose focus is deepening domestic industrialization and human capital," she said, noting that the source of 5.3 percent growth comes from increased investment and net foreign trade, which is reflected in more job opportunities.

The minister referred that the overall economic and administrative reform program initiated by the Egyptian government in 2016 helped the country restore macroeconomic stability, with a growth rate of 5.3 percent at the end of 2017/2018, compared to a growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2014.

She also addressed the administrative reform system, referring to the restructuring of organizational units within the administrative system and the development of a number of new departments such as human resources, auditing and internal audit, strategic planning departments and policies.

Saeed said earlier that Egypt is expected to achieve a growth rate of 7.5 to 8 percent by the end of a four-year plan.






]]>
10/16/2018 6:06:57 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends in green, market cap. gains LE 9.26B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.24 percent, to close at 13,689.39 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 hiked 1.64 percent, to reach 2,126.99 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.47 percent, reaching 701.56 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.64 percent, closing at 1,761.79 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 9.26 billion, recording LE 768.23 billion, compared to LE 758.96 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 150.41 million shares, traded through 24,383 transactions, with a turnover of LE 897.65 million.

Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad), Egypt for Poultry, and Memphis Egyptian Real Estate Group were top gainers of the session by 9.07 percent, 8.52 percent and 8.03 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, El Kahera El Watania Investment, Six of October Development & Investment (SODIC), and El Arabia Engineering Industries were top losers of the session by 10 percent, 5.65 percent, and 4.86 percent, respectively.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 101.94 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 17.37 million and LE 84.56 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 14.43, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 56.53 million, and LE 2.23 , respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 2.94 million, and LE 86.78 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations sold at LE 45.41 million.

EGX ends Monday in green, as EGX30 rose 1.81 percent, EGX50 increased 2.31 percent, EGX70 hiked 1.96 percent, and EGX100 inched up 1.87 percent.

]]>
10/16/2018 4:06:54 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s balance of payment hits surplus of $12.8B]]>
Saeed added that the volume of reserves now covers nine months of imports, compared to three months in 2012.

Regarding remittances from expatriates, she said that they increased to $26.4 billion, adding that exports marked an increase of 40 percent, targeting to hit 70 percent during the upcoming two years.

She further noted that political stability was reflected on the tourism sector, and revenues of the Suez Canal hiked 15 percent.

"We are shifting from an economy based on the exploitation of raw materials and natural resources to an economy whose focus is deepening domestic industrialization and human capital," she said, noting that the source of 5.3 percent growth comes from increased investment and net foreign trade, which is reflected in more job opportunities.

The minister referred that the overall economic and administrative reform program initiated by the Egyptian government in 2016 helped the country restore macroeconomic stability, with a growth rate of 5.3 percent at the end of 2017/2018, compared to a growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2014.

She also addressed the administrative reform system, referring to the restructuring of organizational units within the administrative system and the development of a number of new departments such as human resources, auditing and internal audit, strategic planning departments and policies.

Saeed said earlier that Egypt is expected to achieve a growth rate of 7.5 to 8 percent by the end of a four-year plan.]]>
10/16/2018 3:24:39 PM
<![CDATA[Port Said tunnels are miracle: Madbouli ]]>
In press statements during an inspection tour of the area, he added that the Egyptian State is establishing its projects with the hands of its sons.

The tour included a visit to an under-construction child cancer hospital in the area that will be opened later this year.

The hospital includes 123 beds and its costs hit around 380 million pounds. ]]>
10/16/2018 3:05:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s petroleum exports record $1.35B in 7 months]]>
According to a recent bulletin published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Egypt's crude oil exports reached $1.151 billion, while exports of the remaining petroleum products reached $203 million during January to July 2018.

In the first seven months of 2017, crude oil hit $1.208 billion, and the exports of petroleum products recorded $186 million.

On the other hand, Egypt's oil imports increased during the period from January to July 2018 to $3.827 billion, $2.157 billion of which were crude oil and $1.671 billion went for other petroleum products, compared to $3.054 billion in the same period of 2017.

The General Organization for Export & Import Control (GOEIC) announced in September that the trade exchange of non-petroleum products hit $59.68 billion in the first eight months of 2018, compared to $53.35 billion during the same period of 2017, with an increase of 11.8 percent.

GOEIC added that Egypt’s exports hiked 10 percent, recording $16.54 billion, compared to $14.99 billion during the first eight months of 2017.

Egypt’s imports also increased 12 percent to $43.14 million, compared to $38.35 million in January-to-August 2017, gaining $4.78 billion. ]]>
10/16/2018 2:31:04 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank provides Egypt with $3B]]>
This agreement comes within the framework of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Head of the World Bank Jim Kim's prior agreement sealed during their last meeting in September.

The minister noted that this funding reflects the World Bank's confidence in Egypt’s economic reforms and ensures its keenness on providing Egypt with support to implement the economic and social reform program.

During the World Bank and International Mutual Fund (IMF) meetings held in Bali, Nasr discussed the preparations related to the new funding with the World Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva.

For her part, Georgieva said that the World Bank is keen to support Egyptian efforts in the process of economic and social transformation, and to assist the efforts of the Egyptian government to attract foreign investments to Egypt.

She added that the bank is keen to support the priority sectors, especially the development of Sinai, with $1 billion, in addition to supporting infrastructure projects, transport and agriculture, and its continued support for the economic reform program.

On Oct. 13, Egypt signed an agreement with the World Bank to finance the infrastructure with $300 million through proceeding with the "Sustainable Rural Sanitation Services Program".

Executive Director of Egypt at the World Bank in Washington Ragui el-Etreby said earlier that the World Bank’s portfolio in Egypt exceeds $8 billion, recording the highest portfolio amongst Arab countries and the region.

]]>
10/16/2018 2:30:52 PM
<![CDATA[Oil Ministry: MOU signed to finance project to produce Methanol derivatives]]>
Chairman of Suez Company for Methanol Derivatives Gawdat el Sadeq and APICORP Managing Director Nicolas Thévenot signed the MOU.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Mulla asserted that the MOU's signing gives a strong impetus to this vital project that will be considered an addition to the Egyptian petrochemicals industry so as to provide methanol products to the local market.

He also said the project comes in line with the ministry's strategy to diversify financing sources of oil projects to reduce the need for hard currency and push forward economic development.

Suez Company For Methanol Derivatives Chairman Gawdat el Sadeq, for his part, said, the project's total investments are estimated at dlrs 60 million, 40 percent of which will be provided via major shareholders, while 60 percent will be in the form of soft loans.

The project will be set up on an area of 100,000 square meters inside Damietta Harbor on a land allocated to the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM), he added.

The project aims at producing 18,000 tons of Urea-formaldehyde with a 85 percent concentration, also known as urea-methanal, which is used in the production of cement, along with 34,000 tons of Urea-formaldehyde of 65 percent concentration used in the making of ready cement blocs in addition to other chemical products.]]>
10/16/2018 12:54:47 PM
<![CDATA[CBE governor chairs African Consulting Group meeting in Bali]]>
The meeting covered a number of important issues on the latest international economic and monetary developments and the IMF's expectations of growth in Africa, a statement released by the CBE on Tuesday said.

Amer participated in the G-24 meeting along with the leaderships of finance ministries, central banks, the World Bank and the IMF.]]>
10/16/2018 12:49:20 PM
<![CDATA[EGX witnesses 4 IPOs in 9 months at LE 5.2B]]>
The EGX chairman clarified that these IPOs are CI Capital, B Investment Holdings, Cairo investment and Real Estate Development, and Sarwa Capital.

B Investments’ initial public offering (IPO) was oversubscribed 84.4x by the end of Monday’s session through the sale of 422 million shares out of 5 million shares offered.

Moreover, EFG Hermes announced the IPO of Cairo for Investment & Real Estate Development (CIRA) on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) at LE 1.244 billion.

CI Capital Holding announced in March that it planned to issue 43.6 percent of the group’s share capital on the EGX, amounting to 246.9 million ordinary shares.

Sarwa offered around 295.2 million shares on the EGX, representing 47.2 percent of the company’s capital, at a price of LE 7.36 per share, reaching a total value of LE 2.2 billion.

Farid added that EGX continues to provide all forms of support and assistance to serious companies wishing to grow through the stock market in various sectors, in support of the country's plans to achieve sustainable economic growth.

He noted that the diversity that EGX boosts its role in supporting the economic reform program that the government is currently implementing to correct its economic path.

Farid welcomed all companies in various sectors to join the stock exchange to obtain necessary funding to pump in more investments and open up new markets.

He stressed that the EGX board is working to improve the trading environment and simplify procedures to enhance liquidity and circulation, raising the efficiency and depth of the Egyptian financial market.

Regarding Sarwa’s IPO, Farid said that strong demand from Arab and foreign investors to represent 52.3 percent of the total offer is a strong message that Egypt is on the right path, by implementing reforms on all levels; financially, critically and legally.

The stake of non-Egyptians, Arabs and foreigners, stood at 52.3 percent, while the share of Egyptians reached 47.7 percent of the total (public and private offerings).
]]>
10/15/2018 8:36:40 PM
<![CDATA[Minister urges finding cooperation mechnicam between investors of Egypt, Tatarstan]]>
In a speech read out by Ahmed Taha, the CEO of the Industrial Modernization Center, at the Egyptian-Tatarstan Business Forum in the presence of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, the minister called for finding a mechanism for cooperation between the two sides to increase communication among the investors and businessmen of Egypt and Tatarstan.

He said the volume of trade between Egypt and Tatarstan reached $22.8 million in 2017, pointing out the figure is not up to the historical and political relations between the two sides.

The minister said the Russian industrial zone in East Port Said would boost Russian investments in Egypt and make Egypt a regional hub for investments of Eurasian Union countries.

During the forum, Tatarstan's president said that his country is deeply interested in the advanced technologies and establishment of industrial cities. Tatarstan ranks second among federal Russian republics in the field of advanced technologies, non-technology and robotics.

Minnichanov also stressed the possibility of cooperating in the tourism and cultural fields, adding that as many as 55 Egyptian students are enrolled in Tatarstan universities.]]>
10/15/2018 4:24:52 PM
<![CDATA[UK to launch creative economies program in Egypt ]]>
The declaration of the program took place in a conference attended by Minister of Telecommunication and Communication Technology Amr Talaat, British Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department for International Development Alistair Burt, Consultant of the Ministry of Trade and Industry Hossam Farid, and Chairman of the Industries Union Mohamed el-Sewedy.

Minister Burt said that Egypt’s partnership with the UK will contribute to boosting the creative economy in the country and will create jobs for future generations, equipping them with essential skills “to turn their dreams into reality.”

“Innovation is at the heart of economic success. We know that for countries to succeed in creating jobs for future generations, and solutions for society’s problems, we need to support bright ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. That’s why the UK is investing in entrepreneurs through programs like DICE, and in education to give young people the skills they need to turn their dreams into reality,” the British minister said.
The conference was also attended by key government actors, national institutions and relevant organizations that the British Council is working with to understand and develop this particular area of the economy.

The creative sector offers opportunities for entrepreneurs from a diverse range of backgrounds, in particular young people, women and other marginalized groups. Grants from the British Council that are offered as part of the DICE programme are only allocated to projects that can benefit these groups.

Through the programme, the British Council is collaborating with a range of government, academic and business organizations to assess the shape and size of the creative economy, its potential, and ways to improve its growth.

The programme will also provide grants to individuals to kick-start projects in the creative economy. By boosting Egypt’s creative sector through the right strategies and support, the project hopes to increase employment opportunities, particularly for young people.

Elizabeth White, country director at the British Council in Egypt, said: "As we celebrate 80 years in Egypt, we have launched this new programme which combines arts, creativity and entrepreneurship – and looks to the future."

Elizabeth
Country Director at the British Council in Egypt Elizabeth White - Noha El Tawil


“If you have a new idea, whether it’s in social sciences, art, or technology, the future can be yours, because growth through innovation is the future.”

“Digital technology contributed a great deal to the development of creative economy, which has been growing considerably in recent years. This makes investing in innovative technology and entrepreneurship a strong priority to achieve inclusion and sustainable development, which are part of Egypt’s 2030 Vision,” Egyptian CIT Minister said.

The Ministry of CIT contributes to this vision by launching different projects that encourage youth to innovate and develop their knowledge base, creating awareness of entrepreneurship and intellectual property protection.

More importantly, the ministry is launching programmes that apply technology to enable and include people from different factions of society. Such programmes include distance learning, developing the technological infrastructure of public schools, and building the skill sets of youth in marginalized and rural areas, in addition to providing people with disabilities with access to technology.”

The British Council director described in a subsequent press conference the start of the project as "great", saying that the Union of Industries had greatly supported the project and that the disabled as well as the citizens in remote areas will be targeted by the program once they have internet access.

Head of DICE program Becky Schutt stated that creative economy has secured 30,000 jobs in the United Kingdom. The value of the sector is £92 billion and it is integrated with 11 sectors.

Becky
Head of Developing Inclusive and Creative Economies (DICE) Becky Schutt - Noha El Tawil

Schutt explained that the program is to be integrated with social enterprise like in the domains of health, education, and social cohesion. Schutt clarified that creative economy can come up with creative solutions to gender inequality, demarginalization of certain social groups and unemployment.

Schutt added that creative jobs are 85 percent less likely to be robotized and that it is ideal for women empowerment. She said that DICE will train youth to create jobs in the creative economy sector, teaching them all the necessary skills.

Creative economy is part of many core creative sectors and all types of social enterprise, Schutt highlighted.

White affirmed the UK’s trust in Egypt’s economy revealing that by March 2019 arrangements with Egyptian universities will start to make the program accessible for students. Youth’s ambition is no longer starting from the beginning in a company all the way up; they are eager to create something, White said.

White revealed that LE30 million have been allocated for implementing the program in Egypt, highlighting that grants up to LE2 million are currently available for creative economy entrepreneurs through the grants program between the UK and Egypt before even DICE is launched.

Schutt explained that DICE is a global collaboration grants program and that it is in the pilot phase in Pakistan, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, and soon Egypt. The DICE fellowship program has been already introduced in Pakistan.

Schutt clarified that the program is based on the demands of each country so as the UK currently co-designs the model with Egypt with an interest in hubs and intermediaries as one establishment can work with 100 others. She added that success factors will be assessed in each country to be integrated into a global perspective when applying the program in others.

DICE received 30 grant requests in Egypt and the deadline for application is November 20. Furthermore, DICE plans to do a mapping of different sectors in the creative economy - including journalism and media - to determine development needs, and potential areas. ]]>
10/15/2018 4:11:39 PM
<![CDATA[Trading on Sarwa Capital starts Monday]]>
Sarwa offered around 295.2 million shares on EGX, representing 47.2 percent of the company’s capital, at a price of LE 7.36 per share, reaching a total value of LE 2.2 billion.

Chairman of EGX Mohamed Farid said that the strong demand from Arab and foreign investors to represent 52.3 percent of the total offer is a very strong message that Egypt is on the right path by implementing reforms on all levels; financially, critically and legally.

The stake of non-Egyptians "Arabs and foreigners" recorded 52.3 percent, while the share of Egyptians reached 47.7 percent of the total (public and private offerings).

The company retail offering of 877.4 million shares was oversubscribed 30.1 times, recording demands of LE 6.5 billion. The retail offering subscription period ran from October 3 and ended Wednesday, October 10, 2018.

On October 4, the company announced that its private offering was oversubscribed around 10.83 times, recording a strong demand of c.LE 21 billion ($1.2B), with demand coming from over 280 institutional and high net worth investors.

The company added that the final price of its public offering was set at LE 7.36 per share after the success of the book-building process for the institutional offering of 265.65 million ordinary shares.

For his part, Managing Director of Beltone Financial Holding Bassem Azzab said that the offering witnessed a great deal of interest from institutions and individuals both inside and outside Egypt, which was evident in the private offering coverage rates which reached 11 times and the public offering was covered more than 30 times.

Beltone Investment Banking was acting as Sole Global Coordinator and Bookrunner, and Marouk Bassiouny was acting as counsel to the issuer.

Azzab also noted that Sarwa is one of the most attractive companies in the Egyptian market due to several factors including the fact that the free trading ratio in the company will reach about 47 percent after the completion of capital increase, and the rate of growth in profits of the company hit 52 percent on average over the last five years.

The company will allocate LE 700 million of the yields of public and private offerings to increase its capital by LE 95.11 million, in a closed subscription of selling shareholders at the offer price (LE 7.36).

“Based on the offer price, the company’s post money market capitalization is LE 5.3 million,” Sarwa stated earlier.

In August, Sarwa Capital announced its intention to issue IPO on the EGX.

Sarwa Capital is a provider of consumer and structured finance solutions in Egypt.

]]>
10/15/2018 3:50:02 PM
<![CDATA[Pioneers’ capital raise oversubscribed by 98%]]>
Subscriptions to the capital raise started on September 5, and closed on October 11, according to the company’s statement.

The company clarified in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that the price per share hit LE 5.10, adding that the full amount was paid in cash.

It added that the remaining shares to increase its capital will be opened for subscription for shareholders who have the right to subscribe during the second phase.
The remaining shares reach 4.46 million shares.

In June, the extraordinary general assembly approved to raise the company's issued and paid-up capital to LE 4.68 billion from LE 3.6 billion, and agreed to increase its capital of LE 1.08 billion to be distributed over 216.1 million shares at a nominal value of LE 5 per share.

The board of Pioneers Holding approved in April to invest LE 2.9 billion in a year.

Pioneers marked a gross of 5.3 percent in its annual profits to reach LE 1.14 billion ($64.70 million) before minority, compared to LE 1.08 billion in 2016. Pioneers Holding is a public company, listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since June 2008.

It operates within the diversified financial sector focusing on investment banking and brokerage, with a capital of LE 3.6 billion, distributed over 708.4 million shares at a par value of LE 5 per share.

It has 34 subsidiaries operating across North America, North Africa and Middle East. Pioneers Holding is based in Cairo, Egypt and was established in March 2007.




]]>
10/15/2018 3:47:20 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday in green, market cap. loses LE 2.6B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.81 percent, or 240.42 points, to close at 13,523.73 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 hiked 2.31 percent, or 47.23 point, to reach 2,093.68 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 1.96 percent, or 13.44 points, reaching 698.51 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 1.87 percent, or 32.10 points, closing at 1,751.04 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 2.58 billion, recording LE 758.96 billion, compared to LE 761.55 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 147.04 million shares, traded through 21,520 transactions, with a turnover of LE 708.29 million.

Medinet Nasr Housing, El Kahera Housing, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals were top gainers of the session by 10.77 percent, 9.92 percent and 9.15 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Sarwa Capital Holding, Lecico Egypt, and Six of October Development & Investment (SODIC) were top losers of the session by 11.14 percent, 9.85 percent, and 7.88 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 81.49 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 58.09 million and LE 23.4 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 1.74, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 4.9 million, and LE 388,781 , respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 56.35 million, and LE 28.31 million, respectively, while foreign organizations bought at LE 81.11 million.


]]>
10/15/2018 3:38:41 PM
<![CDATA[Tatarstan president asserts his country's keenness to develop economic relations with Egypt]]>
Addressing the Egyptian-Tatarstan Business Forum, Minnichanov said Egypt could benefit from Tatarstan expertise in the fields of oil, energy, equipment, information technology, pharmaceutical and medical products.

He also said both countries have common religious relations as they are members in the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC, urging the Egyptian side to to take part in the forum's next session that will be held in Tatarstan's capital of Kazan in 2019.

Tatarstan's president also said that his country is deeply interested in the advanced technologies and establishment of industrial cities. Tatarstan ranks second among federal Russian republics in the field of advanced technologies, non-technology and robotics.

Rustam Minnichanov also stressed the possibility of cooperating in the tourism and cultural fields, adding that as many as 55 Egyptian students are enrolled in Tatarstan universities.

The Tatrastan president highlighted that the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Russia hit dlrs 6.5 billion during the period from January till August 2018, with a rise of 30 percent compared to the same period the last year.

The volume of Russian investments in Egypt reached dlrs 5 billion, mostly in the fields of oil, gas, petrochemicals and railway, he added.

The visiting Tatarstan president also noted that Egypt and Russia have agreed on setting up the first Russian logistics center in Egypt, a matter which could increase the volume of trade exchange especially that most Russian imports from Egypt are agricultural products.]]>
10/15/2018 3:03:57 PM
<![CDATA[FECC head urges more Tatarstan investments in Egypt]]>
During the Egypt-Tatarstan business forum, he said Tatarstan's giant company Kamaz will invest in the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal.

He added that Tatarstan companies have a great chance to do business in the various Egyptian industrial sectors, including the petrochemical, agricultural, engineering and automotive domains.

He added that Egypt is open for serious investors worldwide, underlining that Egypt seeks to lure investments.

He noted that Egypt launched a package of economic incentives in order to encourage investments and activate the private sector's role.

Wakil added that Egypt is considered the biggest market in Africa and the Arab world with about 100 million consumers.

He accentuated the importance of benefiting from free trade agreements signed with different countries.]]>
10/15/2018 2:57:31 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Tatarstan agree to set up business council]]>
The protocol was signed by chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Ahmed el Wakil and his Tatarstan counterpart.

Addressing a joint business forum, Secretary General of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce Alaa Ezz said Egypt can be gateway for Tatarstan exports into Africa.

He called on Tatarstan companies to cooperate with their Egyptian counterparts, saying Egypt is Africa's first investment destination.

He referred to the International Monetary Fund's positive reports on the Egyptian economy and investment climate.

He said Egypt has taken many steps to develop infrastructure, including setting up 7,000-km-long roads at a cost of 85 billion pounds.

The Tatarstan official said there are many spheres of cooperation Egypt and Tatarstan can engage into to increase the volume of trade exchange between them that did not surmount 20 million dollars last week.

He called on Egyptian businessmen to take part in the exhibitions organized in Tatarstan within the coming period.]]>
10/15/2018 2:55:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports hit $4.1B in July]]>
In June, Egypt marked a trade deficit of $3.62 billion, compared to $2.51 billion in the same month of 2017, with an increase of 44 percent.

In its monthly bulletin on foreign trade data, CAPMAS said that exports increased 8.9 percent to reach $2.23 billion during the month of 2018, compared to $2.05 billion during the month of 2017.

The bulletin attributed the increase of exports to the jump in the exports of some goods, such crude oil, increasing by 15.9 percent, ready-made clothes (12 percent), plastics in primary forms (46.8 percent), and petroleum products (58.6 percent).

Meanwhile, exports of some other commodities saw a decline in July such as fertilizers which decreased by 34.9 percent, Miscellaneous Edible Preparations (0.9 percent), fresh fruits (54 percent), and dairy products (19 percent).

As per imports, the bulletin showed an increase of 8.6 percent to hit $6.33 billion in July of the current year, compared to $5.84 billion in July 2017.

CAPMAS ascribed this hike to the increase of imports of primary forms of iron or steel by 52.2 percent, petroleum products by 7.5 percent, and motor vehicles by 71.8 percent.

On the other hand, imports of other commodities showed a decline; such as plastics in primary forms by 1.3 percent, medicaments and pharmaceutical goods by 15.8 percent, chemicals, organic and non-organic by 5.6 percent, and corn by 16.9 percent.

Egypt has been witnessing a drop in imports after it floated its currency in late 2016, making Egyptian goods in foreign markets attractively cheaper while doubling the cost of importing.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) stated previously that Egypt’s exports marked an increase of $1.2 billion during the third quarter of 2017/2018, hitting %6.75 billion, compared to $5.55 billion by the same quarter of 2016/2017.

]]>
10/15/2018 1:04:21 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt talking to banks about hedging for commodities]]>
“We are not in advanced talks...we are surveying, taking presentations, not more than that,” the source said, adding that there was no deadline set for the completion of the talks.

Egypt’s Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said in September his country was ready to implement an oil hedging policy but was waiting for the market to cool off.

Another government source earlier on Monday said that Egypt was also talking to banks over a scheme to hedge against the rise in wheat prices but did not give further details.

“There are many units in many ministries working on this,” the first government source said. “A unit in the finance ministry is studying the potential for hedging the price of oil and basic commodities.”

Cairo spends around $1.5 billion annually on wheat imports to stock a sprawling bread subsidy program relied on by tens of millions of Egyptians. ]]>
10/15/2018 12:07:56 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling pinned near one-week lows as Brexit talks stall]]>
Negotiators from both sides have been locked in talks this week to overcome differences on the biggest outstanding hurdle to a deal - how to keep the UK frontier with the Irish republic free of border checks after Britain leaves the EU in March.

But EU negotiator Michel Barnier said after meeting British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab that they could still not bridge a gap between his “backstop” demands that Northern Ireland stay in the EU’s economic zone if there is a risk that border checks with EU member Ireland could revive conflict, and London’s rejection of any checks on trade between the province and the British mainland.

The British currency edged 0.3 percent lower to $1.3080 on Monday, its lowest in almost a week. Against the euro it weakened by a similar margin to 88.09 pence.

“Despite the weekend news, markets appear fairly more comfortable that some sort of agreement will be reached at the EU summit later this week and we should see sterling supported at these levels,” said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at MUFG in London.

Britain and the EU have called a pause in the Brexit negotiations until leaders of member states meet in Brussels and it is not clear what those leaders can agree to at a dinner of 27 on Wednesday before British Prime Minister Theresa May joins them at a regular summit on Thursday.

Latest positioning data showed that investors have become more cautious about sterling after a recent unwinding of short positions.

Hedge funds resumed shorting the British currency, raising net short bets to their highest level since May 2017 after cutting short bets in the two weeks before that, according to futures data.]]>
10/15/2018 12:01:45 PM
<![CDATA[Yen gains as geopolitical tension weighs on currency markets]]>
Equity markets fell on worries the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade dispute is hitting China’s economy, while Saudi Arabian shares tumbled on rising tensions between Riyadh and the West after the monarchy warned against trying to punish it over disappearance of a journalist.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies suffered their worst election result since 1950 on Sunday, in a setback that raised tensions within the country’s crisis-prone national government.

“I don’t think it’s a huge political risk, but it does tell you that political risks in Europe are not going away,” said Alvin Tan, a currencies analyst at Societe Generale.

Tan said the yen and franc, both considered safe-haven currencies that attract investors when markets are in flux, had benefited as equity markets dropped, although the moves were not huge.

The yen rose as much as half a percent to 111.69, its strongest since Sept. 18. The franc also rose versus both the euro and dollar, but the gains were limited.

The Australian dollar, often seen as a barometer of global risk sentiment, shrugged off the mood and rose 0.2 percent to $0.7128 against the dollar, suggesting investors were far from panicked. The Aussie had hit a two-year low of 0.7039 on Oct. 5.

The euro nudged higher to $1.1571 against the dollar, while the dollar traded flat against a basket of currencies.

Analysts said the euro’s fortunes would be determined in part by the Italian government’s annual budget, which the cabinet is due to approve later on Monday.

YEN STRENGTH

Analysts expect the yen to strengthen as a downturn in equities catalyses safe-haven demand for the yen.

“Our bias is that equities will remain under pressure this week, and thus see scope for USD/JPY to ease somewhat further towards the 110 level,” a research note from Mizuho Bank said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday that Washington wants to include a provision to deter currency manipulation in future trade deals, including with Japan, based on the currency chapter in the new deal to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Japanese media ran front-page stories questioning whether that would give Washington the right to label as currency manipulation any future foreign-exchange market interventions by Tokyo to curb sharp yen rises.

Sterling dropped 0.2 percent $1.3121 after warnings that Brexit talks appear to have hit an impasse. The pound also fell 0.4 percent against the euro to 88.190 pence.]]>
10/15/2018 11:57:55 AM
<![CDATA[JP Morgan and Ford cancel plans for Saudi investor event]]>
The cancellations could add pressure on other U.S. firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Mastercard Inc (MA.N) and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) to reconsider their plans to attend the investor event.

Neither JP Morgan nor Ford would elaborate on the reasons for the decision not to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh later this month, and did not comment on whether concerns about the disappearance of Khashoggi were a factor.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh’s policies, disappeared on Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkey believes he was murdered and his body removed. Saudi Arabia has denied that.

The investment summit in Riyadh typically attracts executives from some of the world’s largest companies and media organizations. But it has rapidly become a vehicle for those firms to express their concerns over Khashoggi’s disappearance.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened “severe punishment” if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, although he said Washington would be “punishing” itself if it halted military sales to Riyadh.

Major news organizations such as CNN, the Financial Times, the New York Times, CNBC and Bloomberg have pulled out of the conference. The Fox Business Network, the lone Western news outlet still heading to the conference, told Reuters on Sunday it was reviewing that decision.

Uber Technologies Inc Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, Viacom Inc (VIAB.O) CEO Bob Bakish and billionaire Steve Case, one of the founders of AOL, said they were no longer going .

Goldman Sachs, Mastercard and Bank of America did not respond to requests on Sunday on whether they were still attending the event.

Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.S) declined to comment on Sunday on their plans.

Bill Winters, CEO of Asia, Africa and Middle East-focused bank Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L) was still planning to go, the company said on Sunday.

The absence of media and technology executives is likely to case a shadow over the three-day event, dubbed “Davos in the Desert.” It has become the biggest show for investors to promote Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s reform vision.

“Whilst it is disappointing that some speakers and partners have pulled out, we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of speakers, moderators and guests from all over the world to Riyadh,” a Future Investment Initiative representative said last week.]]>
10/15/2018 11:52:40 AM
<![CDATA[Sears CEO steps in for bankruptcy financing]]>
Lampert, who is also the company’s largest shareholder and lender, is hoping the deal, combined with a program of divestments, will give Sears a fighting chance to escape liquidation ahead of the key holiday shopping season, the sources said. Big banks, including Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co and Citigroup Inc, are expected to provide significant portions of the financing, the sources added.

The bankruptcy filing is expected in New York early Monday, according to the sources.

The sources cautioned that there was always a chance that the negotiations could collapse at the last minute and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

A spokesman for Lampert declined to comment on details of the bankruptcy financing, while a Sears spokesman and spokespeople for the banks didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sears, once the largest retailer in the United States, hopes to sell stores and other assets, including its Kenmore appliances brand and home services business, in court-supervised auctions while under bankruptcy protection, sources have previously said.

Lampert is also exploring bidding on the assets as a so-called stalking horse bidder, setting a floor with offers that other possible buyers could then attempt to top, Reuters reported last week.

He could help finance his bids for the assets by forgiving some of the money Sears owes him, as opposed to putting in more cash, the sources have said.

Lampert, a billionaire who also runs hedge fund ESL Investments, has invested in and lent to Sears many times over the years, giving him and ESL ownership of about half the company, as well as $2.5 billion of Sears’ debt.

Sears plans to close about 150 of its 700 stores in malls across the United States as soon as it files for bankruptcy, Reuters reported on Friday. It intends to keep another 300 open moving forward, and place the remaining 250 under review. It is unclear how the closures would impact Sears’ almost 70,000 employees.

At its peak, Sears sold everything from toys to auto parts to mail-order homes, and was a key tenant in almost every big mall across the United States. But it has struggled to reinvent itself in the face of competition from companies such as Amazon.com Inc, as well as other brick-and-mortar retailers, including Walmart Inc.]]>
10/15/2018 11:40:54 AM
<![CDATA[HNA held talks with Ant, others as it weighs options for IT unit Pactera]]>
The discussions on Pactera, which HNA bought from Blackstone in 2016 for $675 million in cash, come amid a series of sales by the heavily indebted Chinese conglomerate and show the extent of its financial crunch following a $50 billion acquisition spree.

Since January, HNA [HNAIRC.UL] has sold or agreed to sell over $20 billion worth of assets around the world, according to Reuters calculations and media reports.

Beijing-based Pactera, which too has struggled with its finances, caused a stir last year when Goldman Sachs suspended early-stage work on its U.S. initial public offering after the deal did not pass the bank’s internal due diligence standards.

HNA has approached several potential investors about an outright sale of Pactera, two of the people told Reuters. The group is also considering a spin-off of Pactera’s financial services business for a separate listing, said one of them.

Ant Financial, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group (BABA.N) and operator of China’s biggest online payment platform, is among investors weighing a deal with Pactera, two of the people said.

Terms of any deal under discussion between the two were not immediately clear. The identity of other potential investors was not known. It was also not clear how much a sale of Pactera might fetch.

Pactera did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. HNA declined to comment. Ant Financial declined to comment on what it said were market rumors. The sources declined to be named as the information is confidential.

The discussions follow unsuccessful efforts by Pactera to secure financing via convertible bonds. Late last year it tapped CLSA, the Hong Kong brokerage owned by CITIC Securities (600030.SS), to arrange a deal worth up to $200 million with an eye also to a future listing in Hong Kong.

Despite discussions with potential investors it failed to reach an agreement and the deal was called off around late June, sources said. A spokeswoman for CLSA said it does not comment on individual deals.

In an Oct 1 letter to its bondholders, Pactera’s parent, HNA Ecotech Panorama Cayman Co, said it has obtained a $80 million secured term loan facility for general working capital, which two of the people said was an alternative to the failed bond sale.

HNA Ecotech did not mention any sale plans for Pactera in the letter.

Founded in 1995, Pactera offers digital marketing, big data analysis and other services for companies across a wide range of sectors, with offices worldwide, according to its website.

The company works with banks, securities firms and insurance companies. It was also recently ranked by IDC Financial among the world’s top 50 fintech businesses.

In July Pactera was downgraded by ratings agency Moody’s to Caa1 from B3, pushing it deeper into junk-rated territory. Moody’s, which said the company’s weak liquidity position was its main concern, also maintained a negative outlook on the ratings.

Pactera reported revenues of $872 million in 2017. Moody’s also noted the company had provided interest-free loans to HNA Group and its affiliates, resulting in a net cash outflow of $44 million in 2017.]]>
10/15/2018 11:38:22 AM
<![CDATA[Asian shares resume decline, Saudi tensions lift oil prices]]>
Spreadbetters expected European stocks to open mixed, with Britain's FTSE .FTSE edging up 0.15 percent, Germany's DAX .GDAXI dipping 0.1 percent and France's CAC .FCHI losing 0.3 percent.

Not helping the mood, oil prices jumped and Saudi Arabian shares tumbled on rising diplomatic tensions between Riyadh and the West after the monarchy warned against threats to punish it over disappearance of a journalist critical of its policies.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 1 percent while Shanghai shares .SSEC were down 0.75 percent.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 slumped 1.8 percent, with carmaker shares .ITEQP.T hitting 13-month lows after Washington said it would seek a provision about currency manipulation in future trade deals with Japan.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s stock markets .MIWD00000PUS was off 0.25 percent after a sizable 3.87 percent decline last week - its biggest since March - to a one-year nadir.

The market shakeout has been blamed on a series of factors, including worries about the impact of a U.S.-China trade war, a spike in U.S. bond yields and caution ahead of the earnings season.

Although selling appeared to have abated on Friday, partly after Chinese trade data showed strong growth in September, many investors remained cautious.

“Some people say markets drew comfort from China’s exports data. But to me it seems so obvious the numbers were inflated by front-loading ahead of the introduction of tariffs,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

Fujito said the trade war is starting to take a toll on growth in China, noting that data released later on Friday showed Chinese auto sales posted the biggest drop in seven years.

Over the weekend, China central bank governor Yi Gang said he still sees plenty of room for adjustment in interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio (RRR), as downside risks from trade tensions with the United States remain significant.

Also starting to attract wider attention, Saudi Arabia doubled down on pressure from the West on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist, after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened “severe punishment” if it turns out Khashoggi was killed while many company executives have canceled their plans to attend a Saudi investor conference later this month.

Investors suspect the latest development could undermine the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and has the risk of eventually destabilizing the oil-rich kingdom.

Saudi Arabia’s shares .TASI plunged as much as 7 percent on Sunday, and closed down 3.5 percent at their lowest levels since early January.

Oil prices reversed their downtrend since early this month.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 1.3 percent to $81.50 per barrel, bouncing back from Friday’s near-three-week low of $79.23.

“Oil prices could rise to $100 on worries about Saudi Arabia,” said Kazuhiko Fuji, senior fellow at Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, a think tank affiliated with the Japanese government.

“People had thought the Saudis will make up for fall in Iran’s output. If they are starting to use oil as their weapon, that will be a whole new chapter,” he said.

Higher oil prices could boost inflation around the world and spark rises in U.S. borrowing costs, which are also seen hurting weak borrowers, especially those in emerging markets.

Although the U.S. 10-year yield posted its first major fall in about two months last week on stock market rout, the yield rose a tad on Monday to 3.15 percent US10YT=RR.

Investors were also bracing for a European Union summit meeting from Wednesday.

The British pound GBP=D3 shed 0.3 percent to $1.3114 after negotiators from the European Union and the UK failed to clinch a Brexit deal ahead of the crucial summit.

The euro traded at $1.1552 EUR=, down slightly after Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies suffered their worst election result since 1950 on Sunday.

On the other hand, the dollar is seen under pressure against the yen after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday that Washington wants to include a provision to deter currency manipulation in future trade deals, including with Japan.

That raised worried among Japanese policy circles that this would give Washington the right to label as currency manipulation any future foreign exchange market interventions by Tokyo to keep sharp yen rises in check.

The dollar slipped 0.2 percent to 112.00 yen JPY=.]]>
10/15/2018 11:33:22 AM
<![CDATA[Trade minister meets with Tatar president]]>
The statement reported that the meeting tackled developing trade and industrial relations, setting up joint investment partnership and increasing trade exchange.

Nassar added that a working team will be formed to follow up the results of the visit and set a framework for future of economic and trade relations.

Minnikhanov said both Egypt and Tatarstan are capable of pushing forward economic cooperation through developing coordination between the Egyptian chamber of commerce and its Tatarstan counterpart and arranging trade and investment missions.

He invited the Egyptian minister to visit Tatarstan within the coming period to stand on the huge industrial potentials the country possesses.

Representatives of the Tatarstan companies attended the meeting.]]>
10/15/2018 11:16:58 AM
<![CDATA[The cabinet negates increasing fuel prices by 25%]]>
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi stated in the 23rd Armed Forces Informative Session that state fuel subsidies reached LE125 billion in the aftermath of the hike in oil prices globally. Over the past eight months, the price per barrel rose from $40 to $85. Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy said that electricity subsidies would double to record LE70 billion, if natural gas prices rise as well.

Minister of Finance Mohamed Moet stated in September that oil prices would not distort the budget because they would not go beyond a certain level.

Egypt will halve its diesel oil imports by the beginning of 2019 as the Mostorod refinery complex will be piloted in December, a source at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation said.

In statements to MENA on Thursday, the source said the complex will come online in the first quarter of 2019 and the complex is expected to produce about 2.3 million tons of diesel oil annually.

The 4.270-billion-dollar complex will secure about 12 percent of the local market needs of petroleum products, the source said.

The complex will be one of the largest oil refining facilities in the Middle East, having an annual production capacity that stands at 80,000 tons of butane, 600,000 tons of jet fuel, 450,000 tons of coal, and 96,000 tons of sulfur, the source added.

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

The IMF loan helped the state’s foreign reserves to rebound by receiving the first three tranches of the loan with a total value of $6.08 billion.

In June, the Cabinet decreased fuel subsidies for the fourth time since 2015 so as energy prices would be floated within two to three years.

Gasoline 95 prices went up from LE 6.6 ($ 0.37) per liter to LE 7.7, while 92 octane gasoline prices amounted to LE 6.75 instead of LE 5 per liter. Prices of gasoline 80's liter increased to LE 5.5 instead of LE 3.65, the newly-appointed government said in its first move since taking oath Thursday.

The price of diesel will be LE 5.5 a liter instead of LE 3.65, while the price of natural gas used for vehicles rose to LE 2.75 per cubic meter instead of LE 2.

Meanwhile, the government has announced raising the price of the cooking gas cylinder to LE 50 instead of LE 30 and the commercial gas cylinder's prices surged to LE 100 instead of LE 60.
]]>
10/14/2018 4:11:45 PM
<![CDATA[WB president: Bank to invest dlrs 45 bn in Africa in coming 3 years]]>
He made the remark during a meeting with the African Group under Egyptian Investment Minister Sahar Nasr. The meeting was held on Sunday on the fringe of the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Bali.

He said the funds will go for developing education, basic health services, sanitation and agriculture as well as clean water supply and improving the investment climate and infrastructure.

He added that the bank is ready to offer more support for Africa to upgrade education.

Meanwhile, he commended Egypt's efforts as the chair of the African Group, saying that Egyptian Investment Minister Sahar Nasr was carrying out innovative works.

During the meeting, Nasr invited African banks' governors to attend "Africa 2018 Forum" which is due to be held under the patronage of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The event will be held in Sharm El- Sheikh on December 8-9.

The meeting will take place one month ahead of Sisi's chairmanship of the African Union in 2019.

During the meeting, the president will expound his all-out vision for development and integrated economic development in Africa.]]>
10/14/2018 1:30:38 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi to highlight economic cooperation during visit to Russia]]>
The two parties will discuss the increase of the trade volume, investment exchange and the expansion of cooperation in the tourism sector. The meeting will also tackle means to raise investment between the two countries especially in the economic zone of the Suez Canal.

Transport Minister Hisham Arafat said that Sisi’s upcoming visit to Russia will enhance cooperation between the two countries in the transportation field.

In an interview with Russia Today, Arafat said that an agreement between Egypt and a Russian-Hungarian consortium to produce 1,300 train vehicles at a cost of €1 billion has been finalized.

He noted that the Russian company participating in the consortium is one of the biggest train manufacturers in the world.

The Russian-Hungarian consortium has been hired to help Egypt establish a local manufacturing line at the National Organization for Military Production, he said.
The first batch of the carriages will be manufactured in Russia and will be a model for the other batches later.

Egypt’s exports to Russia hit $402.4M in H1 2018

Egypt’s exports to Russia rose 11.5 percent during the first half of 2018, recording $402.4 million, compared to $360.6 million in the same half of 2017.

The Ministry of Trade announced in a statement that the most significant items of the Egyptian exports, varied between the industrial and agricultural sectors.

The exports of the industrial sector showed a 224 percent increase in household appliances, reaching $14.66 million compared to $4.53 million during the same period in 2017.

According to the statement, exports of detergent and soap products hiked 147 percent to reach $3.7 million compared to $1.5 million during the same period of the previous year.

In addition, exports of crochet apparel increased 41.8 percent to $5.73 million compared to $4 million during the same period of the previous year.

Chairman of the Commercial Representation Authority Ahmed Antar referred to the Egyptian exports of the agricultural sector which included Oranges that increased 26.7 percent to $129.2 million in the first half of this year.

Exports of potato rose 6.6 percent to $124.2 million and tomato exports hiked by 86.4 percent to $ 3.24 million, fresh strawberries exports increased by 22.82 percent to $4.2 million, and grape exports inched up by 13.47 percent to $ 15.2 million, according to Antar.

He pointed out that the structure of Egyptian exports to the Russian market has become diversified. Exports of engineering goods, food industries and furniture have also increased.

Antar added that Egyptian exports to the Russian market contain commodities only and do not include any petroleum products.

The Trade Representation Office of the Russian Federation in Egypt said earlier that trade exchange between Egypt and Russia hit $2.775 billion during the first five months of 2018, with an increase of 31.5 percent in comparison with the same period in 2017.

In January-May2018, Egypt's exports to Russia increased 26.5 percent, recording $356 million, while imports reached $2.4 billion, with 32.3 percent increase.
Egyptian- Russian weapon deals
In 2017, Egypt received three Ka-52 attack helicopters, known as Black Shark, which are part of a 46 Black Shark-helicopter deal signed in 2015.

However, Egypt upgraded the deal in June to acquire the latest Ka-52 helicopters, instead of the conventional Ka-52 agreed to earlier. These Kamov Ka-52K helicopters will be deployed for Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. In June, Egypt also received the first out of three Antey-2500 long-range air defense missile system similar to S-300 VM missile defense system.

Egypt cooperates with Russia in fighting terrorism

Both presidents agreed on boosting the exchange of information between both countries within the framework of anti-terrorism efforts, especially regarding the issue of terrorists fleeing unstable spots to other countries.

The experts asserted that Russia will provide Egypt with satellite images of militant camps and movements in Libya and neighboring countries in addition to supplying military surveillance equipment to be used in counter-terrorism operations.

During his visit to Egypt, Putin told his Egyptian counterpart that he will inform him of the details of his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that took place on the same day of his visit to Egypt in Hmeimim Airbase. This is Putin's second visit to Egypt since the Egyptian president was elected in 2014; the first visit was in 2015.

Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant

Putin and Sisi witnessed the signing of the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant contracts between the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy and Russian nuclear firm Rosatom. The contracts cover designing and construction of the plant, supplying nuclear fuel, consulting services for operation and maintenance, and fuel recycling.

The plant includes four third-generation reactors, with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts (MW) each, for a total of 4,800 megawatts. The plant will be built on approximately 12,000 feddans and is expected to create over 50,000 job opportunities. The first reactor will be accomplished in 2026, while the rest will be finished in 2028.

A preliminary agreement was signed by Egypt and Russia in November 2015 to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, along with a $25 billion loan to cover 85 percent of the plant, with Egypt funding the remaining 15 percent. Local funding for the first two reactors will be 20 and 25 percent respectively, and will gradually increase to 35 percent for the other two reactors.

“The importance of Dabaa lies in establishing a nuclear infrastructure in Egypt by developing nuclear research institutions, granting academic scholarships and training sessions to Egyptian experts in Russia, and building a nuclear technical school to qualify Egyptian technicians who will work in the plant,” Mohamed Farrag Abol Nour - writer, political analyst and expert in Russian affairs said, adding that 20 percent of the constructions in the plant will be executed by Egyptian companies.

Russian President's Aide Yuri Ushakov said to media outlets that Moscow is making active contacts in preparation for a visit to be made by Sisi later this month. “Active preparations for the visit are underway. I can confirm that”, Ushakov told reporters.

Last March, Putin sent a cable congratulating President Sisi on his victory in Egypt’s presidential election. “The results of the election clearly showed your value among your people [Egyptians], your approach to resolve urgent social and economic tasks, and also to enhance stability in your country,” read the cable.

Putin added, “I hope through our joint efforts, we will continue beneficial bilateral cooperation in all fields, coordination in regional and global issues, and confrontation of international security threats and challenges, which undoubtedly serve the interests of the two friendly people of our both countries.”

In November, Russia’s government published a draft agreement between Russia and Egypt, allowing both countries to use each other’s air bases for military purposes.
]]>
10/14/2018 12:14:18 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at major Egyptian banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at EGP 17.78 for buying and EGP 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the dollar stood at EGP 17.79 for buying and EGP 17.89 for selling.

At Banque du Caire, it recorded EGP 17.86 for buying and EGP 17.96 for selling.

At Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the rate stood at EGP 17.87 for buying and EGP 17.97 for selling.]]>
10/14/2018 11:47:43 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt looks to tap Asian debt markets under debt restructuring]]>
The minister met investors in Seoul last week and plans to continue the marketing trip to Singapore, Japan and Malaysia among other countries, Maait said in an interview on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in the resort island of Bali.

Egypt raised 2 billion euro in bonds in April, its first issue in the single currency, and is planning to sell more euro-denominated debt next year.

Maait said response from the non-deal roadshow in South Korea was “very positive” and the government had been “advised to try to issue in Asia”.

“We are thinking about issuing in other currencies,” Maait said. “No decision has been made yet, but all options are open and we are considering it and we will make a decision in the near future.”

The plan comes amid efforts to rearrange Egypt’s debt structure as it faces a tough foreign repayments schedule over the next two years, as well as a rising oil import bill.

At the same time, foreign holdings of its government debt have fallen due to outflows amid emerging market turbulence.

In July, the government said foreign holdings of Egyptian treasuries had fallen to $17.5 billion at the end of June from $23.1 billion three months earlier.

The government, which has borrowed heavily from abroad since it drew up an economic reform programme with the IMF in 2016, is planning to expand its investor base, lengthen maturity of its debt from short term, and seek cheaper borrowing, Maait said.

Emerging markets have seen bond yields jump in recent months as outflows spiked due to escalating trade tension between the United States and China, and expectation for further hikes in U.S. interest rates as the American economy picks up speed.

In its 2018/19 budget, Egypt is targeting average interest rates for government debt of 14.7 percent, down from 18.5 percent in fiscal year ending June 2018.

To manage the cost of oil imports, Egypt has signed hedging contracts for its oil imports and everything was in place to launch this, the minister said.

“We are ready to press the button at any moment,” the minister said.

Egypt is also looking into implementing similar insurance measures for other commodities including wheat, he said.

The country is among the biggest importers of wheat in the world.]]>
10/13/2018 4:24:05 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, WB sign $300mn deal on upgrading infrastructure]]>
The agreement was inked by Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and World Bank Group Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj, on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, currently held in Bali, Indonesia.

Nasr said that the deal falls within the framework of the government's efforts to improve the infrastructure in rural areas and most-needy governorates in addition to enhancing social protection networks for the poor and limited-income brackets.

The project aims to complete providing 892,000 citizens in the most needy governorates with sanitation services, Nasr said, noting that Sharqia, Dakahlia, Damietta, Gharbia and Monufia are covered by the project.

Nasr pointed out that about 818,000 citizens have already benefited from the project's first phase, bringing the total number of those benefiting from it to 1.7 million.

The original $550 million program was launched in 2015 in support of the government’s National Rural Sanitation Program, Nasr said.

Nasr underscored that investing in the human capital tops the government's priorities.

Belhaj said that the bank's decision to invest in the Egyptian human capital comes as a result of the reforms that Cairo has implemented with the aim of achieving comprehensive leap in health care and education services as well as improving social protection programs.]]>
10/13/2018 11:37:18 AM
<![CDATA[IRENA praises Egypt’s investment moves in renewable energy ]]>
“Egypt has started investing in renewables in a very interesting way at large scale, which I think is beginning to change the equation in the local energy sector,” said General Director of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Adnan al-Amin as interviewed by CNN.

During the interview, Amin said that there are several markets around the world where renewable energy is competing head on with the fossil fuels, adding “we project that by 2030 the cheapest form of power generation on the grid will be renewable energy.”



He further hailed other early moves by Arab countries on renewable energy like the United Arab Emirates, and their ambitious investments to generate power for very low cost, in addition Jordan’s profile as one of the best renewable energy economies. The list expanded to Morocco, as he said that “it has done a phenomenal job with solar and wind over the past three years.”

He went on explaining that two main factors help the renewable energy market to flourish, which are an enabling policy and regulatory strategy that encourages investors come to the market.

Amin arrived in Cairo last week, where he attended the renewable energy conference that kicked off on Oct. 9.

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NERA) has adopted a strategy since 2016 to increase the sector’s contribution to Egypt’s energy to 20 percent by 2022 from the current 10 percent. The breakdown is 12 percent for wind energy, 2 percent for solar energy, and 6 percent for hydropower. According to the authority, the most suitable areas for generating wind energy are western Suez Gulf, eastern and western Nile valley, and some locations in Sinai.

A wind farm will be built near the Suez Gulf with the capacity of 2 billion kilowatts per year. Another wind farm is almost finished in Gabal El-Zeit with a capacity of 580 megawatts.

Egypt has begun building the largest solar energy station in the world- containing 40 plants - in Aswan’s Binban with a capacity of 1465 megawatts. The first plant in the station started operating this year with a capacity of 50 megawatts and is called “Infinity.”

Additional reporting by Nourhan Magdi and Noha el-Tawil
]]>
10/13/2018 9:00:00 AM
<![CDATA[IEA: Unprecedented rise in global oil demand, supply]]>
Fifteen years ago, forecasts of peak supply were all the rage, with production from non-OPEC countries supposed to have started declining by now. In fact, production has surged, led by the US shale revolution, and supported by big increases in Brazil, Canada and elsewhere.

In future, a lot of potential supply could come to the market from places like Iran, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria and Venezuela, if their various challenges can be overcome. There is no peak in sight for demand either.

The drivers of demand remain very powerful, with petrochemicals being a major factor. In a new IEA study "The Future of Petrochemicals", the Agency points out that rising living standards, particularly in developing countries, are already underpinning strong demand growth for plastics and this will continue for many years to come.

As the oil market reaches the landmark 100 mb/d level, prices are rising steadily. Brent crude oil is now established above $80/bbl, with infrastructure constraints causing North American prices to lag somewhat.

Nonetheless, our position is that expensive energy is back, with oil, gas and coal trading at multi-year highs, and it poses a threat to economic growth. For many developing countries, higher international prices coincide with currencies depreciating against the US dollar, so the threat of economic damage is more acute.

The global economy is also at risk from trade disputes. In this Report, our revised demand outlook reflects these concerns: growth in both 2018 and 2019 will be 110 kb/d lower than our earlier forecast. As explained in the demand section of this Report, there is also an impact from methodological changes to Chinese estimates.

Official statements from Saudi Arabia suggest that October exports are back to the high levels seen in June and that more oil is available for those who wish to buy it.

Meanwhile, output in Iran, Mexico, and Venezuela has fallen by 575 kb/d. New data for OECD stocks show that in August they increased by a more- than-normal 16 mb and have been relatively stable for several months after falling significantly following the implementation of the original Vienna Agreement. ]]>
10/12/2018 7:17:49 PM
<![CDATA[WB official commends Egypt's investment climate]]>
This came during the inaugural session of the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, currently held in Bali, Indonesia, in the presence of Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.

Nasr said that Egypt has implemented policies aiming to create a competitive business environment and establish an organizational framework encouraging the private sector on engaging in the development plan.

Nasr confirmed the importance of furthering cooperation with the United Nations, mainly in light of the Strategic Framework Agreement for the Partnership for 2022.

The attendees praised the economic success that Egypt has achieved, asserting that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi adopted bold reforms via launching an integrated economic and social program.

On the sidelines of the session, Nasr met with Head of the United Nations Development Program Achim Steiner who hailed Egypt's experiment in implementing social protection programs to go in line with the economic reforms.]]>
10/12/2018 2:34:56 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank president praises Egypt's reform program]]>
Egypt succeeded in slashing energy subsidies to help investments be directed to human capital in a more comprehensive way, Kim said during the opening session of the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, held in Indonesia’s Bali city.

During the session, attended by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Kim reviewed success stories of Egypt, Peru, Poland and Ethiopia.

The World Bank helped Egypt lure foreign investments from the private sector in the field of new and renewable energy, which led to an annual $14 billion increase in financial space for the Egyptian government, Kim revealed.

He also noted that Cairo has been comprehensively transformed with regard to developing health, education and sanitation projects.]]>
10/12/2018 2:33:03 PM
<![CDATA[Foreign holdings of Egyptian treasuries stood at $14 bln at end-Sept]]>
Holdings stood at $17.5 billion at the end of June. Appetite for emerging market debt had already weakened when it declined further following currency crises in Turkey and Argentina in August. These triggered an exodus of foreign investors from Egypt who must also be repaid.

Kouchouk’s remarks were published in the online newsletter Enterprise.

The government cancelled four consecutive local currency T-bond auctions last month after bankers and investors demanded high yields on the debt.

Egypt on Sunday launched a pan-Asian roadshow to promote its international bonds in South Korea, part of a bid to bring down rising yields on its debt.]]>
10/11/2018 10:33:45 PM
<![CDATA[Biggest oil refinery upgrade project to be implemented in Upper Egypt - ministry]]>
The venture is considered one of the biggest strategic projects of developing refineries in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Assiut.

The 3.4 million tonnes/year diesel hydrocracking complex will convert lower-quality heavy fuels (Mazut) into high-quality petroleum products such as LPG, naphtha, kerosene and gasoline.

The preparatory works include the project's main designs, purchase of equipment and negotiating with the financing institutions, said a statement by the Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ministry on Thursday.

The venture targets providing petroleum products in Upper Egypt and reducing imports besides contributing to the implementation of the State's plan to develop Upper Egypt, the statement read. ]]>
10/11/2018 2:10:03 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at major Egyptian banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at EGP 17.78 for buying and EGP 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the dollar stood at EGP 17.79 for buying and EGP 17.89 for selling.

At Banque du Caire, it recorded EGP 17.86 for buying and EGP 17.96 for selling.

At Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the rate stood at EGP 17.87 for buying and EGP 17.97 for selling.]]>
10/11/2018 2:05:43 PM
<![CDATA[Trade min.: Egypt keen on providing suitable atmosphere for foreign investments]]>
The positive outcome of the economic reform program contributed to attracting many international companies to invest and expand in the Egyptian market in various sectors, he noted.

These remarks came during the minister's meeting with a delegation representing Mars Wrigley international firm under its regional director for Africa and Middle East region Duncan McCulloch to probe the company's future plans in Egypt.

Nasar stressed his ministry's keenness on providing facilitations to the firm in light of its expansion in the Egyptian market.

McCulloch said that the company seeks increasing its investments in the market in light of the economic and legislative reforms witnessed by the Egyptian economy over the past few years. ]]>
10/11/2018 11:36:14 AM
<![CDATA[Apple to buy part of supplier Dialog's business in $600 million deal]]>
Dialog’s shares rose by 34 percent in Frankfurt early on Thursday as the deal settles questions about future relations between Apple and Dialog, whose stock tumbled earlier this year when it said Apple planned to use chips from another supplier.

The acquisition is unusual for Apple, which rarely does such deals, and is larger than previous transactions. Apple bought Israel’s PrimeSense, creator of the facial recognition application used to unlock newer iPhones, for about $350 million in 2013.

Since the first iPhones a decade ago, Apple has used Dialog power-management chips to manage their battery life. Under the deal, Apple is buying patents, a team of about 300 engineers, most of whom already worked on chips for Apple devices, and Dialog offices in Britain, Italy and Germany.

Dialog said its 2018 revenue would not be affected and it would continue shipments of existing main power management integrated circuits (PMICs) to Apple. It expects to sell current and future generations of so-called sub-PMICs to Apple.

“We are not selling our PMIC business,” Chief Executive Jalal Bagherli told analysts.

After the deal, Dialog expects Apple to account for 35-40 percent of its total revenues in 2022. That is down from around 75 percent in the current year. Headcount will fall to 1,800.

The Anglo-German chipmaker also said it would begin a share buyback program for up to 10 percent of its stock following its next quarterly trading update.

Other chip designers in Europe have struggled to manage their relationship with Apple due to its sheer scale. Britain’s Imagination Technologies ended up being sold to a Chinese-backed fund last year after losing Apple as a client.

Shares in Austria’s AMS, which competes with Dialog in areas such as power-management chips, fell by 3.8 percent.

EUROPE PUSH
Half of the deal’s value, or about $300 million, is cash for the Dialog engineers and offices and the other $300 million is pre-payment to Dialog for supplying chips over the next three years, the companies said.

Dialog said it would continue to deliver chips to other customers, focusing on the automotive and internet-of-things markets, among others.

It forecast that its sub-PMIC business would achieve compound annual growth rates of 30-35 percent between 2018 and 2022. Its AMS, Connectivity and Automotive & Industrial business would grow at a 10-15 percent rate.

The deal represents an expansion of Apple’s chip design operations, which kicked into high gear in 2010 when the company released its first custom processor for the iPad and iPhone.

Apple is buying about 16 percent of Dialog’s workforce. Apple said these employees would stay in Europe and would report to Johny Srouji, the company’s senior vice president of hardware technologies who oversees Apple’s chip design efforts.

“Our relationship with Dialog goes all the way back to the early iPhones, and we look forward to continuing this long-standing relationship with them,” Srouji said. Apple has added around 20,000 employees in Europe since 2000. It already has a chip design centers in Munich, Germany, where it employs 1,000 staff, and St Albans, Britain. The deal will give Apple four more from Dialog, in Livorno in Italy, Swindon in Britain, and Nabern and Neuaubing in Germany.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2019, subject to customary closings and regulator approvals, Dialog said. It expects savings of $35 million in annual operational expenses from the deal, but declined to give more detail on its financial impact ahead of an investor presentation on Nov. 1.

Dialog said Qatalyst Partners was acting as financial adviser and Linklaters was acting as its legal counsel.

]]>
10/11/2018 11:32:32 AM
<![CDATA[Beltone Financial to cancel GDRs system ]]>
The company added in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that this decision will be reviewed by the extraordinary general assembly.

According to the filing, the company will set the date of the upcoming meeting of the extraordinary assembly.

Beltone said in another filing that procedures to raise its capital by LE 1 billion will be maintained in accordance with the decision of the extraordinary general assembly on June 27, 2016.

The extraordinary general assembly approved in July to activate the reward and motivation system after the completion of capital hike.

On another note, the company announced in August that its offer to acquire a controlling stake in Orabank was rejected, as it didn’t reach a deal over the transaction’s financial terms with the African banking group.

In May, Beltone Financial’s board of directors agreed to acquire large stake in Orabank, which has branches in 12 African countries.

Beltone turned into profitability during the first quarter of 2018 at LE 760,200 in the first quarter of 2018, compared to losses of LE 8 million during the same quarter of 2017.

It reported earnings after minority amounting to LE 9 million in 2017, compared to LE 44 million in 2016.


]]>
10/10/2018 5:16:16 PM
<![CDATA[Moody’s upgrade Egyptian banking system’s outlook to positive ]]>
Moody’s said this outlook has come as economic growth picks up, supporting credit growth, banks' profitability and internal capital generation.

“The positive outlook also reflects the strong links between the banks and the government of Egypt (B3 positive), improving credit profile,” Moody’s said in a report.

“This is due to the large exposure that Egypt's banks have to the country's government through investments in securities and loans, which stood at 40 percent of total banking system assets as of June 2018,” it added.

The improving operating environment followed by the implementation of structural reforms that put the country on a path of sustainable and inclusive growth were the key drivers of Moody’s positive outlook, according to the report.

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 report entitled, “"Banking system outlook: Egypt-Accelerating economy and strong loan demand drive our positive outlook" expected Egypt’s real gross domestic product (GDP) to record 5.5 percent in 2019, up from 4.2 percent in 2017, noting that ongoing economic and fiscal reforms will slowly nudge GDP higher.

"Increased domestic private sector investment, large infrastructure projects, as well as higher exports will drive economic growth and credit demand", Moody's Assistant Vice President Melina Skouridou said.

The report forecasted loan quality to remain stable as new lending is tested, expecting the formation of non-performing loans (NPL) to remain steady, and the NPL ratio to remain broadly unchanged from current levels of around 4.5 percent of total loans as of March 2018, as the improvement in asset quality from legacy exposures dwindles.

As per profitability, Moody’s said it will remain strong, as rising fees and commissions on new lending will support banks' pre-provision profit. Loan-loss provisioning will be broadly stable for rated banks.

“Egyptian banks' capital buffers will improve only modestly as internally generated capital finances loan growth,” the report stated. “The largest Egyptian banks all exceed their regulatory minimum capital requirement, but their capital position is weaker than global peers. Banks' capital will improve modestly under Moody's base-case scenario but is more vulnerable under the rating agency's high-stress scenario due to losses assumed on government securities.”

Moody’s further anticipated the banks' funding and liquidity profiles to stay strong.

It clarified that the two largest government-owned banks, National Bank of Egypt SAE and Banque Misr SAE, have increased their market funding significantly, but their large liquidity buffers already offset refinancing risk.

It added that Egyptian banks will maintain high levels of liquid assets to ensure coverage of liquidity needs and deposit movements, saying that stable deposit funding and low loan-to-deposit ratios also support liquidity.





]]>
10/10/2018 4:37:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt considers issuing up to $20B in foreign currency bonds]]>
After the government canceled treasury bonds four times this year as a result of callings to raise the interest rates, it started to look for international bonds opportunities.

“The required return rates were not within logical limits and did not reflect the good economic and financial performance or the improvement of Egypt’s credit rating, but were affected by the risks associated with the emerging markets,” the ministry noted upon the second cancellation.

The government now takes into consideration issuing Samurai and Panda bonds during the upcoming 12 months.

Foreign bonds are referred to as Samuari bonds in the Japanese market and as Panda bonds in China.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it participated in a non-deal roadshow on October 8, in South Korea as a part of the minister’s plan to visit a number of Asian countries to present Egypt’s compelling investment story and attract new international investors to the Egyptian market.

Ma’it will also visit Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan, as Egypt planned a $5 billion Eurobond issuance.

The Finance Ministry auctioned on Tuesday five and 10 year treasury bonds at a total value of LE 1.25 billion, with an average of 18.41 percent on shorter-term offerings and 18.37 percent for the longer term.

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 the Egyptian government debt instruments recorded $23.1 billion by the end of March 2018, up from about $20 billion in December 2017.

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.

]]>
10/10/2018 3:50:31 PM
<![CDATA[Public offering of Sarwa Capital oversubscribed 30 times]]>
The retail offering subscription period ran from October 3 and ended Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Share trading is expected to commence on or around Monday, October 15.

On October 4, the company announced that its private offering was oversubscribed around 10.83 times, recording a strong demand of c.LE 21 billion ($1.2B), with demand coming from over 280 institutional and high net worth investors.

The company added that the final price of its public offering was set at LE 7.36 per share after the success of the book-building process for the institutional offering of 265.65 million ordinary shares.

The company will allocate LE 700 million of the yields of public and private offerings to increase its capital by LE 95.11 million, in a closed subscription of selling shareholders at the offer price (LE 7.36).

“Based on the offer price, the company’s post money market capitalization is LE 5.3 million,” Sarwa stated.

Earlier this month, Sarwa announced that it will offer around 295.17 million shares, representing 47.2 percent of the total issued share capital, on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

The statement added that the indicative price for its IPO ranges between LE 7.04 and LE 8 per share, with an expected offering size in the range of LE 2.1 billion to LE 2.4 billion.

The shares are offered in two tranches consisting of: (i) a retail offering of 29.52 million shares to individual investors, representing 10 percent of the offering (the Retail Offering), (ii) a private offering of 265.65 million shares to qualified institutional investors, representing 90 percent of the offering (the Institutional Offering).

Beltone Investment Banking is acting as Sole Global Coordinator and Bookrunner, and Marouk Bassiouny is acting as counsel to the issuer.

In August, Sarwa Capital announced its intention to issue IPO on the EGX.
Sarwa Capital is a provider of consumer and structured finance solutions in Egypt.
]]>
10/10/2018 3:47:11 PM
<![CDATA[EGX enters green zone, market cap. gains LE 2.4B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 0.24 percent, or 32.49 points, to close at 13,621.23 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 hiked 0.43 percent, or 8.99 point, to reach 2,099.47 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.45 percent, or 3.08 points, reaching 692.81 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.44 percent, or 7.58 points, closing at 1,741.51 points.

Market capitalization added LE 2.44 billion, recording LE 758.32 billion, compared to LE 755.88 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 184.47.21 million shares, traded through 21,559 transactions, with a turnover of LE 774.77 million.

Raya Contact Center, El Obour Real Estate Investment, and El Arabia Engineering Industries were top gainers of the session by 9.84 percent, 8.30 percent and 8.20 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad), Palm Hills Development Company, and Cairo Poultry were top losers of the session by 7.66 percent, 5.86 percent, and 3.48 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 72.8 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 10.46 million and LE 62.35 million, respectively.

Foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 644,891, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 42.24 million, and LE 10.84 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 31.78 million, and LE 72.17 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 51.51 million.

EGX ended Tuesday in red, as EGX30 dropped 0.11 percent, EGX50 declined 0.84 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.14 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.11 percent.
]]>
10/10/2018 3:10:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual core inflation hits 8.55% in September: CBE]]>
On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 0.1 percent in September 2018, compared to 0.6 percent in August.

In August, the core inflation rose to 8.83 percent from 8.54 percent in July.

Core inflation discounts or strips out certain categories that are considered more volatile.
The bank also stated that the inflation hiked to 16 percent in September, compared to 14.2 percent in August 2018.

CBE indicated that the consumer price index for urban areas, announced by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), rose to a monthly rate of 2.5 percent in September, compared to 1.8 percent in August 2018.

CAPMAS announced earlier Wednesday that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation slipped to 15.4 percent in September 2018, compared to 32.9 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.6 percent in September, compared to the previous month, to record 302.7 points, CAPMAS stated.

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.
]]>
10/10/2018 1:35:33 PM
<![CDATA[Planning min.: LE 508M allocated for developing cultural services]]>
The 2018-2022 sustainable development plan, including the first-year plan of 2018-2019, aims at developing archaeological sites and cultural services nationwide.

In a statement on Wednesday, the planning minister said that LE 43 million were earmarked for revamping the revolutionary command museum, LE 40 million for the higher institute of child arts, LE 31 million for the Oasis Community Center in the Sixth of October city and other important projects.

She added the plan will also include investments in several vital projects in the cultural sector, involving the renovation of Saraya El Gezira Museum, Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum, the Arab Music Institute, the Higher Institute of Art Criticism and the High Institute of Folk Arts.]]>
10/10/2018 12:25:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual inflation drops to 15.4% in September]]>
In August, Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation fell to 13.6 percent, compared to 33.2 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.6 percent in September, compared to the previous month, to record 302.7 points, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said.

CAPMAS attributed the increase in inflation on a monthly basis to the rise of some commodities' prices as vegetables by 17.2 percent, fruit by 7.4 percent, and food and drinks by 4.6 percent.

Additionally, the prices of fish and seafood group increased 0.3 percent to contribute by 0.01 percent in the rate of monthly change.

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.

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.

Meanwhile, the World Bank said that headline inflation remained at high levels of 21.6 percent during 2017/2018, but started to recede significantly by the end of the year, adding that core inflation returned to single digits in July 2018.

The World Bank clarified that the increase of energy prices caused a temporary rise in headline inflation to 14 percent on an average during June to August.

HC Securities & Investment also forecasted that Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will keep rates unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2018, with anticipations that inflation will hit 14.8 percent from September to December.

“We expect the annual inflation rate to average 14.8 percent over September–December,” Equity Analyst – Macro & Banking Sector at HC, Monette Doss added.

Egypt targets an inflation rate of 13 percent in its fiscal year 2018/2019 budget.
]]>
10/10/2018 12:16:20 PM
<![CDATA[Oil dips as IMF cuts growth outlook; eyes on hurricane]]>
Brent crude LCOc1 was down 20 cents at $84.80 a barrel by 0915 GMT after a 1.3 percent gain on Tuesday. U.S. light crude CLc1 was down 15 cents at $74.81.

“Oil prices have stabilized for the moment - between a real and a metaphorical storm,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index.

“Hurricane Michael is powering ahead toward the Gulf of Mexico but it now seems likely to miss the main production areas there. On the other hand, Iran sanctions are only weeks away.”

The International Monetary Fund cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 on Tuesday, raising concerns that demand for oil may also slump.

Trade wars and rising import tariffs are taking a toll on commerce, while emerging markets struggle with tighter financial conditions and capital outflows, the IMF said.

But supply concerns are keeping the market on edge.

In the United States, nearly 40 percent of daily crude oil production was lost from offshore U.S. Gulf of Mexico wells on Tuesday because of platform evacuations and shut-ins ahead of Hurricane Michael.

Michael has strengthened into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane, according to the latest advisory from the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Oil producers evacuated personnel from 75 platforms as the storm made its way through the central Gulf on the way to landfall on Wednesday in Florida.

Companies turned off daily production of about 670,800 barrels of oil and 726 million cubic feet of natural gas by midday on Tuesday, according to offshore regulator the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

Crude supply is also a concern in the Middle East.

Iran’s crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to tanker data and an industry source, as buyers sought alternatives ahead of U.S. sanctions that take effect on Nov. 4.

Industry and government data on U.S. crude inventories will be delayed by one day this week because of a public holiday on Monday. The American Petroleum Institute is due to release data on Wednesday, while the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due to publish on Thursday.]]>
10/10/2018 11:49:55 AM
<![CDATA[Euro steadies as dollar rally takes a pause]]>
Rising Treasury yields and concern about the sustainability of Italy’s public finances after the ruling parties proposed a budget criticized by the European Union and have fueled another rally in the dollar in recent sessions, sending the greenback to a 1 1/2-month high on Tuesday.

That rally paused in European trading on Wednesday, although analysts said it was likely to prove a temporary reprieve for the euro.

Investors are betting that rising inflation pressures will keep the Federal Reserve, which unlike the European Central Bank is hiking rates, firmly focused on tighter policy, even as U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at policy makers’ hawkish inclinations.

“If U.S. yields rise at the same time and the market prices in a slightly more aggressive Fed next year, that automatically means that EUR/USD will head south,” said Commerzbank analyst Antje Praefcke.

“That means that short-term the dollar will continue to remain bid. The euro has lost its shine and therefore has too little to offer at present.”

On Wednesday, the dollar index .DXY was largely unchanged at 95.692, not far off 96.163 reached during the previous session — its highest level since Aug. 20.

The euro hovered around $1.1486 EUR= having briefly pushed past $1.15 in Asian trading hours.

Yields on Italy’s 10-year bonds have hit a 4 1/2-year high this week - reflecting concern about the country’s finances - despite encouraging comments from Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria.

Tria said that Italy will do whatever is necessary to restore calm if market turbulence turns into a financial crisis, adding fears over the country’s budget plan for next year were unjustified.

Elsewhere, other hard-hit currencies took advantage of the dollar's pause, with the Australian AUD= dollar strengthening.

Sterling hit a 3 1/2-month high versus the euro EURGBP= after reports that Britain and the EU were making progress towards a Brexit deal. The pound also rose against the dollar GBP=.

Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond US10YT=RR stood at 3.21 percent on Wednesday, after reaching a seven-year top of 3.261 percent overnight.

“The rising U.S. bond yields have obviously provided support to the dollar,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo. “On the short term, the dollar may be sold, but I don’t think that will last long. The dollar will start to strengthen again.”

Against the Japanese yen JPY=, the dollar edged higher, trading up 0.1 percent at 113.06 yen.

China's offshore yuan CNH= gave up 0.1 percent to 6.9237 yuan per dollar, not far from the 6.9379 two-month lows touched at the start of this week.

A Reuters poll released Wednesday showed China’s onshore yuan is forecast to pare some of its recent losses against the dollar over the coming year on hopes that risks from the U.S.-China trade war and a sell-off in emerging markets will subside.]]>
10/10/2018 11:46:20 AM
<![CDATA[Pound hits 3-1/2 month high vs euro on fresh Brexit deal hopes]]>
Britain’s ITV News reported late on Tuesday that the two sides had made progress in negotiations over an Irish border backstop, a key hurdle in reaching a Brexit deal.

“We’ve been here before (with Brexit hopes) but this pound move might have a little further to run, especially against the Australian and New Zealand dollars,” Chris Turner, head of foreign exchange strategy at ING, said in a note to clients.

The Times newspaper also reported that around 30 to 40 lawmakers from the opposition Labour Party would be prepared to back a Brexit deal that British Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to strike with the EU.

The British economy’s summer surge turned out to be stronger than expected as warm weather spurred consumer spending and housebuilding, official data showed on Wednesday.

The data is likely to reassure the Bank of England about the economy’s momentum as Brexit approaches in March but it did not move the pound.

At 0900 GMT sterling was up 0.1 percent versus the euro at 87.43 pence per euro EURGBP=D3.

Against the dollar GBP=D3 sterling firmed 0.3 percent to as high as $1.3186, its strongest level since Sept. 26, before easing back to trade flat at $1.3142.]]>
10/10/2018 11:43:57 AM
<![CDATA[Global financial stability risks rising with trade tensions: IMF ]]>
The IMF, whose autumn meetings with the World Bank get under way on the Indonesian resort island of Bali this week, also noted that while the banking system has been shored up by regulators in the decade since the 2008 global financial crisis, easy financial conditions are contributing to a buildup of vulnerabilities such as high debt levels and “stretched” asset valuations.

New bank resolution regimes meant to avoid future bailouts are largely untested, the Fund said in its biannual global financial stability update.

“Near-term risks to global financial stability have increased somewhat,” the IMF said. “Overall, market participants appear complacent about the risk of a sharp tightening in financial conditions.”

IMF capital markets director Tobias Adrian said potential shocks to the system could come in many forms, such as higher-than expected inflation that triggers a sharp jump in interest rates or a “disorderly” exit by Britain from the European Union.

But the severity of the impact from such shocks will be determined by vulnerabilities including growing non-financial debt levels now exceeding 250 percent of GDP, a decline in underwriting standards outside the traditional banking sector and elevated asset prices that could drop sharply.

“It’s this interaction between the buildup of vulnerabilities and the decline in asset prices that can generate adverse implications for macroeconomic activity,” Tobias told a news conference.

The rapid build-up in debt in China in recent years also is a concern, although Chinese authorities have taken steps to rein in debt growth, he said.

In the report, the IMF said economic growth appears to have peaked in some major economies while the gap between advanced countries and emerging markets was widening. The IMF on Tuesday cut its global growth forecasts due to an escalating U.S.-China trade war and growing financial strains on emerging markets

The United States continues to grow strongly and the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the seventh time in the last eight quarters at its latest policy meeting in September. U.S. stock markets are also at record highs.

That contrasts with a slowing in the euro area and Japan. China’s economy is also showing signs of moderating and that could be exacerbated by its trade disputes with the United States, which has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports from Beijing and is threatening duties on $267 billion more.

The normalization of monetary policy in the United States as well as a stronger dollar and escalation in trade tensions has already begun to affect emerging market economies, the Fund said.

New IMF research shows emerging market countries excluding China could face debt portfolio outflows of up to $100 billion, a level last seen during the global financial crisis.

The Fund cited a number of other near-term risks to financial stability including the possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit or renewed fiscal policy concerns in some highly indebted euro area countries.

It also urged global regulators to keep in place measures taken since the financial crisis and both heighten supervision of market liquidity and raise the amount of capital banks have to set aside to cushion any downturn.

“The financial regulatory reform agenda should be completed, and a rollback of reforms should be avoided,” the Fund said. “To adequately address potential systemic risks, financial regulation and supervision should be used more proactively.”

]]>
10/10/2018 11:41:33 AM
<![CDATA[Fed policymaker says clarity key to avoiding global disruptions]]>
The Fed’s nearly three-year-old tightening cycle has in part prompted a global shift in capital away from emerging markets, leading this year to sharp and painful currency plunges in Turkey and Argentina, in particular.

Speaking in Bali, Indonesia, one of the emerging-market economies hit by capital outflows as the U.S. central bank raises rates, New York Fed President John Williams said he supports continued gradual and predictable rate hikes that should better serve global policymakers.

He said this would be “the best solution for emerging markets” to minimize unintended volatility.

“A key lesson about policy making in an interconnected world is that transparency and open lines of communication are critical to minimizing misunderstanding, market disruption, and volatility that can interfere with our common goals of having strong and stable economies,” he told a conference co-hosted by Bank Indonesia (BI) and the New York Fed.

BI Governor Perry Warjiyo, speaking alongside Williams, said the Fed should continue to be “mindful” of the impact of any change in U.S. monetary policy on emerging markets and he advocated a predictable interest rate path.

Indonesia, whose economic growth remains relatively strong and inflation low, has still had to raise interest rates 150 basis points since mid-May in a bid to support its battered rupiah - the second worst performer among emerging Asian currencies.

Warjiyo said less global volatility would help determine his policy response.

EASING THE PRESSURE

“With your assurance of gradual normalization, continued dialogue and clear communication, that also eases the pressure on global spillover and how we need to respond,” he said.

Williams’ speech, at the event on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, largely mirrored a speech he gave late last month.

He reiterated that the Fed in the future will stop giving forward guidance of where rates will go as it enters neutral rate territory.

The world’s largest economy, Williams said, was enjoying a “very strong” labor market with no signs that inflation could rise too much. He brushed off the risk of inflation overshooting the Fed’s expectation due to higher tariffs on some Chinese goods.

Williams said he saw no sign, so far, of a significant impact of the U.S.-China trade war on the U.S. economy and the Fed’s dual mandate of price stabilization and employment, though he cited anecdotal indications of rising trade tensions affecting investment decisions and hiring.

U.S. unemployment has fallen to near a 49-year low of 3.7 percent. In a nod to strong jobs and economic growth, the Fed raised its key policy rate another notch last month, to above 2 percent.

BI’s Warjiyo also called for the IMF and the World Bank to “better synchronize and harmonize international policy” and get policymakers to move away from trade wars and back to supporting multilateralism.]]>
10/10/2018 11:39:42 AM
<![CDATA[Stocks flatline after selloff as U.S. borrowing costs hold below multi-year peaks]]>
The effects of the global bond selloff that took U.S. 10-year bond yields to seven-year highs this week were exacerbated by economic growth concerns stemming from trade conflicts and $80-per-barrel oil, with the International Monetary Fund cutting its world GDP forecasts for the first time in two years.

The IMF’s estimates for the United States and China were both reduced, with the fund predicting the countries would feel the brunt of their trade war next year. It also slashed its expectations for emerging markets for 2019.

MSCI’s world equity index rose 0.14 percent .MIWD00000PUS after four days in the red. However, while Japan’s Nikkei and MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.2-0.3 percent, European shares slipped 0.2 percent , undermined by more bellicose rhetoric from Italian politicians.

Milan-listed stocks traded 0.15 percent higher however, rising off 18-month lows hit earlier in the week .FTMIB.

Wall Street was set to open flat to weaker, futures showed.

There are also concerns over China where the yuan slipped against the dollar for the fifth session out of the past six CNY= to approach four-year lows hit in August .

The focus is on next week’s semi-annual U.S. report on currencies amid Treasury officials’ comments that recent yuan depreciation has raised concerns in Washington.

However, some relief came from U.S. Treasuries where US10YT=RR 10-year borrowing costs kept well below a 7-1/2-year peak of 3.261 percent.

“We are at some sort of critical moment, a crossroads, for bond and equity markets,” Marie Owens Thomsen, global head of economic research at Indosuez Wealth Management, said noting that while U.S. 10-year yields at 2 percent unequivocally favored equity investment, this was not so above 3 percent.

“This January we took out the 2 percent (yield) handle and now we are wondering if we are permanently taking out the 3 percent handle as well. That makes the climate for equities much more challenging,” Owens Thomsen added.

She cautioned though that signs of deceleration in world growth and IMF forecast cuts could curb the relentless rise in yields which was partly fueled by buoyant U.S. economic data.

The Treasury selloff may have been curbed also after U.S. President Donald Trump complained said the Federal Reserve was going too fast in raising rates.

But they rose 1.3 basis points to 3.22 percent on Wednesday, also getting some traction from Europe, where German yields inched up amid fresh concerns in Italy.

Italian bond yields pulled off multi-year highs on Tuesday after Economy Minister Giovanni Tria pledged action to restore calm should market turbulence escalate into financial crisis. Yields slipped further after Tria said he expected “collaboration” with the EU on the budget issue.

But markets’ pressure has not dissuaded the government from a bigger-than-expected budget deficit; ministers’ comments appear to indicate they are prepared to defy European Union critics.

The developments have raised risks of a credit ratings downgrade for the country, with a knock-on effect for Italian banks which are big holders of government bonds. However the banks’ shares .FTIT8300 received a boost after an EU official told Reuters regulators were “intensely” monitoring Italian banks’ liquidity levels but there was no cause for alarm.

“I am not saying Italy is managing the situation in an ideal fashion but at the current junction I don’t think they are anywhere near a position where they can provoke another crisis in Europe,” Owens Thomsen said.

Politics were also in focus in Britain where reports of progress between the UK and the EU in negotiating a Brexit deal pushed the pound to 3-1/2-month highs against the dollar. GBP=D3

Analysts at Eurizon SLJ Capital said parliamentary approval looked likely for Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The Times newspaper reported 30-40 opposition Labour MPs would back the agreement.

“Already significantly undervalued, sterling has upside risks, especially against the euro,” Eurizon SLJ told clients, arguing that $1.55 was “fair value” for the currency.

The dollar was flat against a basket of currencies, easing from seven-week peaks after Treasury yields retreated .DXY. That allowed emerging currencies, hard hit in recent days, to make tentative gains .MIEM00000CUS.

The IMF growth forecast cuts weighed on oil prices, pulling them off 4-1/2-year highs above $85, though the market was somewhat supported by Hurricane Michael which has shut nearly 40 percent of crude output in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico [O/R].]]>
10/10/2018 11:37:15 AM
<![CDATA[265 tons of rice seized before being sold in black market ]]>
The campaigns took place in Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sharkeya, Gharbeya, Damietta and Daqahleya to ensure that wholesalers and retailers are abiding by the ministry’s regulatory decrees. Culprits have been referred to the public prosecution.

The articles of the decree issued in September are as follows:

1) Farmers and producers must supply and sell local barley rice to licensed entities.
2) Only licensed public and private firms are allowed to trade in or stock local barley rice.
3) Suppliers, wholesalers, and any entities involved in rice trade and marketing are allowed to only deal with licensed firms for buying, selling, packaging, stocking, and trading.
4) Farmers, producers, suppliers, firms, wholesalers, factories, and others are prohibited from stocking rice for the purpose of supply reduction and market manipulation, not following trade norms.

On June 5, the government announced its plan to import rice (paddy, mulled and cargo rice), in a way to reduce the rice-cultivated areas due to the water shortage crisis the country is suffering from.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ratified on May 21, the newly-passed amendments to the Agriculture Law No. 53 of 1966, per which the government will determine the areas to cultivate certain water-intensive crops such as rice and sugarcane, amid the water shortage crisis in order to rationalize water usage.

Also, Article 101 of the law stipulates that those who violate the ministerial decrees issued to implement Articles 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Agriculture Law shall be punished with a fine not less than LE 20,000 (about $1,119) and not more than LE 50,000.

On May 2, the Egyptian government agreed to increase the area allocated for rice cultivation by 100,000 feddans (one feddan equals 1.038 acres) for this season only, bringing the total area allocated for rice cultivation to 820,000 feddans, Abdel Latif Khaled, head of irrigation sector in the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, stated.

Thus, it is expected that Egypt will produce about 3.3 million tons this year as one feddan produces 4 tons, while Egypt's annual consumption of rice is estimated at 4.3 million tons.

However, the cultivated areas will be shrunk in the coming seasons as a result of water scarcity, given that one feddan of rice consumes 7,000 cubic meters of water.


]]>
10/10/2018 11:34:53 AM
<![CDATA[Google challenges record $5B EU antitrust fine]]>
“We have now filed our appeal of the EC’s Android decision at the General Court of the EU,” Google said in an email. It had previously said it would take the case to Europe’s second highest court in Luxembourg.

The company referred to arguments put forward by Chief Executive Sundar Pichai on the day of the EU ruling in July, of which the main one is that Android has created more choice for consumers, not less.

The European Commission in its July decision said Google had abused its market dominance since 2011. Android, used by device makers for free, is found on about 80 percent of the world’s smartphones.

EU competition enforcers had said Google’s illegal practices included forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and its Chrome browser together with its Google Play app store on their Android devices,

The EU antitrust authorities said the company also paid manufacturers to pre-install only Google Search and blocked them from using rival Android systems.

The complex case could take several years before judges rule on it. A final appeal is possible at Europe’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, but only on points of law.]]>
10/10/2018 11:32:17 AM
<![CDATA[Yields of AmanCertificatereach LE 1.4B]]>
This came on a conference held on Tuesday concerning Aman certificate in partnership with the banks issuing the certificate.

Mostafa revealed that the Commercial International Bank (CIB) will join the four banks issuing Aman Certificate and thatit has already obtained all the necessary approvals.

The Aman Certificate is available at four Egyptian banks, which are the National Bank of Egypt, BanqueMisr, Banque Du Caire and the Agriculture Bank of Egypt.

Mostafaalso pointed out that a new product will be launched within days in cooperation with the banks, noting that it will be a new certificate of pension.

The segments of the Aman Certificate are LE 500, LE 1,000, LE 1,500, LE 2,000 and LE 2,500. The duration of the certificate is three years at a rate of 16 percent, and it can be redeemed at any time.

At the beginning of March, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered the completion of an insurance policy for temporary and seasonal workers within 15 days.

In response to Sisi's directions, former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail affirmed that the Aman Insurance Certificate for temporary employment has no procedures or administrative documents, adding that it is worth LE 500 and can be increased until it reaches LE 2,500.

Ismail clarified that the Aman Certificate’s monthly installment starts from LE 4, and its highest monthly installment is LE 20, with a benefit period of five years or 10 years.


]]>
10/9/2018 5:38:14 PM
<![CDATA[Sukari Mine production increases 27% in Q3 2018]]>
Centamin previously announced its quarterly results, stating that it lowered its targeted production during the current year to 480,000 ounces, compared to the previous target levels of505,000 and 580,000 ounces.

General Manager of Centamin Egypt and Managing Director of Sukari Gold Mining Company Youssef el-Raghy said earlier that production from Egypt’s Sukari Gold Mine has reached 108.8 tons of gold since the mine started production in 2010 and until June 2018.

Raghy clarified that the production recorded 1.1 tons of gold in June 2018.
At the beginning of July, Centamin announced that production at Egypt’s Sukari Gold Mine declined 25 percent during the second quarter of 2018, recording 92,800 ounces, compared to 124,600 ounces during the same period of 2017.

The company attributed this decrease to the low quality of the gold-bearing material, expecting the production to increase during the second half of 2018.

Despite the decreased production, Centamin announced that it has cracked nearly 18.415 million tons of rocks, compared to 17.793 million tons in the second quarter of 2017.

On another note, Raghy said that the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) received $4.5 million on profit from the Sukari Gold Mine in September 2018.

The Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) took a total of $196.6 million on profit from the Sukari Gold Mine since profits were first divided between Centamin Egypt Company and the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) in October 2016 and until May 2018, he clarified.

EMRA received $1.1 million on profit from the Sukari Gold Mine in May 2018, according to a previous statement by Raghy.

According to the agreement between the company and EMRA, the Egyptian authority receives a 3 percenttribute of the total production of the mine.

Established in 2005, Sukari Gold Mining Company is a joint venture between the Australian Centamin Company and the Mineral Resources Authority, based on an agreement between the company and the government in 1994.

According to schedule, Centamin Egypt, which operates the Sukari Gold Mine, is targeting to pay $137 million to the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) in 2018.

Exports of Sukari Gold Mine represent 2 percent of Egypt’s exports balance, according to Centamin official reports.

Two companies are currently operating in Egypt to produce gold, which are Australian Pharaonic Company operating in the Sukari mine and the Cyprus-based Mats Holdings, which operates in the Hamsh mine.

For exploration and drilling of gold, another two gold companies are operating in Egypt: Canada’s Aton Mining and the UAE’s Thani Dubai.

In accordance with the terms of the Concession Agreement, EMRA is entitled to share 50 percentof the Sukari mine’s net production surplus.

The government had previously stated that it aims to increase the mining sector's contribution to the GDP to more than 5 percent from the current rate of 0.5 percent.



]]>
10/9/2018 5:35:09 PM
<![CDATA[EGX continues its downtrend, market cap. Loses LE 2.36B]]>
On the second session of the week, the benchmark EGX30 declined 0.11 percent, or 15.27 points, to close at 13,588.74 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 0.84 percent, or 17.69 point, to reach 2,090.48 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.14 percent, or 0.94 points, reaching 689.73 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.11 percent, or 1.87 points, closing at 1,733.93 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 2.36 billion, recording LE 755.88 billion, compared to LE 758.25 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 143.21 million shares, traded through 21,692 transactions, with a turnover of LE 648.5 million.

International Agricultural Products, Development & Engineering Consultants, and B Investments Holding were top gainers of the session by 5 percent, 3.90 percent and 2.94 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, General Company For Land Reclamation,Development & Reconstruction, MM Group for Industry and International Trade, and Sues Canal Company For Technology Settling were top losers of the session by 7.64 percent, 7.41 percent, and 6.90 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 41.64 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 17.45 million and LE 24.19 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 932,441, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 35.1 million, and LE 1.95 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 17.65 million, and LE 43.59 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 25.12 million.

EGX ended Monday in red, as EGX30 dropped 3.55 percent, EGX50 declined 4.17 percent, EGX70 decreased 1.24 percent, and EGX100 inched down 1.87 percent.
]]>
10/9/2018 5:33:00 PM
<![CDATA[ Sarwa Capital plans to issue new financial instruments]]>
Sawy statements came on the sidelines of a press conference organized by Sarwa Capital to announce the details of the company’s upcoming initial public offering (IPO on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

“The Egyptian market needs fresh financial instruments such as sukuk, covered bonds, and short-term bonds,” he affirmed, revealing that the company’s financing volumes recorded approximately LE 14 billion since 2005.

Sarwa Capital’s private offering was oversubscribed 10.83 times, recording a strong demand of LE 21 billion ($1.2B), with demand coming from over 280 institutional and high net worth investors, the company announced on Thursday. The IPO is scheduled to be closed on October 10, with 29.517 million shares offered.

Trading on the stock is set to commence as of Monday, October 15, under the symbol of SRWA.CA. Sarwa Capital announced that the final price of its public offering was set at LE 7.36 per share after the success of the book-building process for the institutional offering of 265.65 million ordinary shares.

The indicative price for the IPO ranged between LE 7.04 and LE 8 per share, with an expected offering size in the range of LE 2.1 billion to LE 2.4 billion.

Earlier this month, Sarwa announced that it will offer around 295.17 million shares, representing 47.2 percent of total issued share capital, on the EGX.

Beltone Investment Banking is acting as Sole Global Coordinator and Bookrunner, and Matouk Bassiouny is acting as counsel to the issuer.

]]>
10/9/2018 4:42:50 PM
<![CDATA[Foreign retail chain to invest LE10B in Egypt]]>
The investment comes as per a deal with the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, Chairman of the Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA) Ibrahim Ashmawy told press on Oct.9. The official added that the deal is the outcome of the authority’s efforts and visits to Gulf countries to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).

Ashmawi added that the prospective projects will increase goods supply and the share of the formal sector against the informal sector. He clarified that those investments are the first after a protocol was signed by ITDA and the New Urban Communities Authority so that the latter offers lands for investors in the internal trade sector.

The chain chose the Logistics Centre in Alexandria to be an export base for its branches in the Gulf and other countries in the region. The company inaugurated its first store in Egypt in 2016 within its plan to open 10 hypermarkets all over the country.


Ministry of Planning, Follow-Up and Administrative Reform announced in September that the total cost of programs targeting the development of the supply and internal trade sector in the fiscal year 2018/2019 hits LE 130 billion. The purpose is securing strategic commodities in affordable prices and preventing any monopolistic practices in the Egyptian market.

Egypt is on top of the 21 COMESA members in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) with a share of 42 percent in the value of $7.4 billion achieved in 2017, Head of COMESA Regional Investment Agency Heba Salama told African Business Magazine.
]]>
10/9/2018 4:32:24 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to reach growth rate of 5.5% in 2019: IMF]]>
IMF forecasted in a report released in Bali, Indonesia on the sidelines of the autumn meetings of the IMF and the World Bank that the growth rate in Egypt will hit 6 percent in 2023.

IMF added that the level of sound foreign reserves and the flexible exchange rate make the Egyptian economy well positioned to manage any acceleration in foreign inflows.
The report also stressed the need to maintain sound macroeconomic frameworks and implement consistent policies to maintain macroeconomics.

The report entitled “The World Economic Outlook - October 2018” attributed these results to the rise of neutral gas production, the recovery of tourism sector, as well as the continued improvement of the confidence of the global business community in Egypt’s economy as a result of the implemented economic reforms.

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).

Regarding inflation, the report expected the rate 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.

The current account deficit would reach about 2.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) compared to a deficit of 6.3 percent in 2017 and it would continue to decline to 2.4 percent in 2019 and 1.2 percent in 2023, according to the report.

The report also predicted that unemployment rate will drop to 10.9 percent in 2018 from 12.2 percent in the previous year and will continue to fall to 9.9 percent in 2019.

The autumn meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group began in Bali, Indonesia on Monday, Oct. 8 and will continue until October 14, in the presence of Egypt’s Finance Minister Mohammad Ma’it and Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.
]]>
10/9/2018 12:20:20 PM
<![CDATA[EMRA proceeds $4.5M on profit account from Sukari mine in September]]>
Raghy said in July that production from Egypt’s Sukari Gold Mine had reached 108.8 tons of gold since the mine started production in 2010 and until June 2018.

Raghy added that Egypt received a total of $309.2 million on profit from the Sukari Gold Mine.

While the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) took a total of $196.6 million on profit from the Sukari Gold Mine since profits were first divided between Centamin Egypt Company and the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) in October 2016 and until May 2018, he clarified.

EMRA has received $1.1 million on profit from the Sukari Gold Mine in May 2018, according to a previous statement by Raghy.

He noted that EMRA received a total tribute of $112.6 million from the start of production until the end of last December.

According to the agreement between the company and EMRA, the Egyptian authority receives a 3% tribute of the total production of the mine.

Established in 2005, Sukari Gold Mining Company is a joint venture between the Australian Centamin Company and the Mineral Resources Authority, based on an agreement between the company and the government in 1994.

According to schedule, Centamin Egypt, which operates the Sukari Gold Mine, is targeting to pay $137 million to the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) in 2018.

Raghy added that Sukari mine’s total gold production recorded 106.7 tons since the beginning of production in 2010 until last April, clarifying that April’s production reached 1.2 tons.

Exports of Sukari Gold Mine represent 2% of Egypt’s exports balance, according to Centamin official reports.

Two companies are currently operating in Egypt to produce gold, which are Australian Pharaonic Company operating in the Sukari mine and the Cyprus-based Mats Holdings, which operates in the Hamsh mine.

For exploration and drilling of gold, another two gold companies are operating in Egypt: Canada’s Aton Mining and the UAE’s Thani Dubai.

In accordance with the terms of the Concession Agreement, EMRA is entitled to share 50% of the Sukari mine’s net production surplus.

The government had previously stated that it aims to increase the mining sector's contribution to the GDP to more than 5% from the current rate of 0.5%.

Centamin previously announced its quarterly results, stating that it lowered its targeted production during current year to 480,000 ounces compared to previous target levels at 505,000 and 580,000 ounces.

Raghy clarified that production recorded 1.1 tons of gold in June 2018.
At the beginning of July, Centamin announced that production at Egypt’s Sukari Gold Mine declined 25% during the second quarter of 2018, recording 92,800 ounces, compared to 124,600 ounces during the same period of 2017.

The company attributed this decrease to the gold-bearing material’s low quality, expecting production to increase during the second half of 2018.
]]>
10/9/2018 10:55:43 AM
<![CDATA[Eni, Tharwa to end digging at Noor Field in December: Sources]]>
The source added that the Italian company started digging in the last week of September, noting that the digging process will not take more than two months.

In August, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek el-Molla signed an oil agreement with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas), Tharwa Petroleum Company and Italian Company Eni in Noor marine area in the Mediterranean Sea to drill two wells with a total investment of $105 million.

Egypt has recently signed several oil agreements for the exploration of oil and gas in several areas, including the Mediterranean, Western desert, Nile Delta and the Gulf of Suez.

The number of signed petroleum agreements reached 88 new agreements since 2014 and the authority is working on signing 13 new agreements.

In fiscal year 2018/2019, the targeted investments in petroleum sector are estimated at LE 145.6 billion ($8.12 billion), marking 15.5 percent of the total investments of the year.
Natural gas investments represent 91 percent of petroleum investments which amount to LE 132.8 billion.

Egypt aims to invest LE 145.6B in petroleum sector during 2018/19

CAIRO - 29 August 2018: In fiscal year 2018/2019, the targeted investments in petroleum sector are estimated at LE 145.6 billion ($8.12 billion), marking 15.5 percent of the total investments of the year. Natural gas investments represent 91 percent of petroleum investments which amount to LE 132.8 billion.




Egypt’s production of natural gas increased in December 2017 to reach 3.4 million tons, up from 2.7 million tons in December 2016.

Egypt’s gas production currently stands at 5.5 billion cubic feet a day, after adding some 1.6 million cubic feet as a result of starting production from the recent projects.

The country's total natural gas consumption is about 6 billion cubic feet per day, of which roughly 65 percent goes to the electricity sector.
]]>
10/8/2018 4:22:25 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday in red, market cap. loses LE24.4B]]>
On Thursday, the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) announced that Sunday, October 7, is an official holiday for the bourse on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of October War victory.

The benchmark EGX30 declined 3.55 percent, to close at 13,604 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 4.17 percent, to reach 2,108 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 1.24 percent, reaching 690 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 1.87 percent, closing at 1,735 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 24.43 billion, recording LE 758.25 billion, compared to LE 782.67 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 189.46 million shares, traded through 24,299 transactions, with a turnover of LE 709.18 million.

Head of the Egyptian Association of Technical Analysts Ahmed Shehata expected the benchmark of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) to decline on the short and medium terms.

Sehata attributed the decline to external pressures on emerging markets after the rise in US interest rates and the increase of interest rates in some of these emerging markets, which led to attracting foreign investments to these markets, in addition to the rise in the price of oil globally, thus raising the budget deficit of the state.

Shehata ruled out the positive impact of the government's initial public offering (IPO) program on the Egyptian stock exchange, especially after news about the adoption of stock prices according to the average price during the last month and the weakness of the liquidity level in the Egyptian stock market.

EGX to continue in downtrend on short, medium terms: Expert

CAIRO - 8 October 2018: Head of the Egyptian Association of Technical Analysts Ahmed Shehata expected the benchmark of the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) to decline on the short and medium terms. Sehata attributed the decline to external pressures on emerging markets after the rise in US interest rates and the increase of interest rates in some of these emerging markets, which led to attracting foreign investments to these markets, in addition to the rise in the price of oil globally, thus raising the budget deficit of the state.




Mohandes Insurance, El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing, and Development & Engineering Consultants were top gainers of the session by 7.28 percent, 6.06 percent and 4.52 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Suez Cement, Raya Contact Center, and Modern Company for water proofing (Bitumode) were top losers of the session by 9.53 percent, 9.48 percent, and 9.42 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 56.11 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 34.68 million and LE 21.42 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 14.5 million, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 6.04 million, and LE 3.6 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 40.7 million, and LE 6.9 million, respectively, while foreign organizations bought at LE 52.49 million.

EGX ended Thursday in red, and market capitalization lost LE 9.5 billion, as EGX30 dropped 1.46 percent, EGX50 declined 1.79 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.55 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.80 percent.
]]>
10/8/2018 3:37:29 PM
<![CDATA[IRENA to present report on Egypt in Cairo ]]>
The conference is held to discuss the expansion of renewable energy usage. Adan presides a delegation that will participate in the three-day event and will present the report IRENA prepared on the future of renewable energy in Egypt. The report offers an integrated evaluation of Egypt’s capabilities in the renewable energy domain.

The New and Renewable Energy Authority (NERA) has adopted a strategy since 2016 to increase the sector’s contribution to Egypt’s energy to 20 percent by 2022 from the current 10 percent. The breakdown is 12 percent for wind energy, 2 percent for solar energy, and 6 percent for hydropower. According to the authority, the most suitable areas for generating wind energy are western Suez Gulf, eastern and western Nile valley, and some locations in Sinai.

A wind farm will be built near the Suez Gulf with the capacity of 2 billion kilowatts per year. Another wind farm is almost finished in Gabal El-Zeit with a capacity of 580 megawatts.

Egypt has begun building the largest solar energy station in the world- containing 40 plants - in Aswan’s Binban with a capacity of 1465 megawatts. The first plant in the station started operating this year with a capacity of 50 megawatts and is called “Infinity.”

A solar energy station will be built in Kom Embo city in Aswan with a capacity of 26 megawatts. One more will be constructed in Hurghada with a capacity of 20 megawatts. Three other stations with a capacity of 50 megawatts each will be built as well. One of these stations will be built in Zaafarana at Red Sea Governorate, in addition to a wind farm that will be built in the same area.

Shaker revealed earlier this year that four solar energy stations with a total capacity of 500 megawatts were built by investors, stressing that lifting energy subsidies will boost investments in the renewable energy sector.
]]>
10/8/2018 3:32:48 PM
<![CDATA[Bilateral trade with China sees 26.7% hike in 8 months: GAC]]>
Chinese exports to Egypt increased by 24.8 percent to stand at $7.61 billion; there has also been a 40.2 percent increase in Chinese imports from Egypt, the statement added.

During August 2018, bilateral trade volume stood at $1.92 billion with Chinese exports estimated at $1.11 billion, while Chinese imports from Egypt amounted to $183 million. ]]>
10/8/2018 2:30:14 PM
<![CDATA[Hassan Allam to offer 44.3% of its Shares on EGX, London]]>
The company said that Renaissance Capital and EFG Hermes will be joint global coordinators for the sale and will be the bookrunners of the initial public offering in partnership with Arqaam Capital.

According to the company's statement, the proceeds of the IPO will go to the development of solar energy projects in cooperation with Light Source BP with the support of Hassan Allam Service.

It will also finance its water project by developing new assets and acquiring a specialized engineering company, as well as supporting the company's continued growth in the construction and building materials sector.

The selling shareholders were the Hassan Allam family, and the International Finance Corporation.

Hassan Allam family owns an 86.2 percent stake of the company, while the International Finance Corporation owns a 13.8 percent stake in the company.

Hassan Allam Holdings works in fields of engineering, procurement & construction, building materials and utilities, and has subsidiaries in Saudi Arabia and Algeria.

EGX witnesses a number of offerings nowadays in light of the government's IPO program.

As per the private companies, EFG Hermes previously announced the completion of the initial public offering (IPO) of Cairo for Investment & Real Estate Development (CIRA) on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) at LE 1.244 billion.

Moreover, Sarwa Capital announced that the final price of its public offering was set at LE 7.36 per share after the success of the book-building process for the institutional offering of 265.65 million ordinary shares.

In 2016, Egypt launched the government’s IPO program to offer shares over three to five years in several state-owned companies in fields such as petroleum, services, chemicals and real estate.

The state’s IPO program comes in light of the economic reform program adopted by Egypt and conducted under the supervision of the Ministry of Investment.

It covers a period of three to five years, aiming to offer partial stakes in some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX). It will serve as a main tool to attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

It also aims to increase funding to Egyptian companies and maximize the benefit from state assets
]]>
10/8/2018 2:23:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s foreign reserves reach $44.46B by the end of September]]>
The state’s foreign reserves started to rebound since the delivery of the $12 billion three-year International Monetary Fund loan program in 2016.

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.

Egypt received the fourth tranche of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan; the total disbarments Egypt got under the program reached $8 billion.

This step came after the board's approval of the fourth tranche on Friday, June 29, as a result of the IMF delegation’s 16 day-visit that took place in May to review the state’s reform program.

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.

Egypt spends an average of $5 billion monthly on imports with an annual total of more than $60 billion.

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).
]]>
10/8/2018 2:16:37 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 19.25B in T-bills, bonds Monday]]>
The T-bills are worth LE 18 billion, and will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.5 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.5 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

Meanwhile, the T-bonds amounted to LE 1.25 billion with five and 10-year term.

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

Egypt needs to fund 2018/2019 budget by LE 714.64 billion; LE 511.21 billion will be provided 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.
]]>
10/8/2018 2:05:55 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at major Egyptian banks]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at LE 17.78 for buying and LE 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the dollar stood at LE 17.79 for buying and LE 17.89 for selling.

At Banque du Caire, the National Bank of Greece, Alexandria Bank and the Commercial International Bank (CIB), it recorded LE 17.86 for buying and LE 17.96 for selling.

At Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the rate stood at LE 17.87 for buying and LE 17.97 for selling.

At the Arab African International Bank, the dollar rate registered LE 17.85 for buying and LE 17.95 for selling.]]>
10/8/2018 12:26:47 PM
<![CDATA[Finance ministry launches promotion campaign of its int'l bonds in S.Korea]]>
The promotion campaign will continue in November in several important Asian markets, topped by Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Within the coming few weeks, a roadshow will also be launched in some European states, such as Italy, France, China and Japan.

The non-deal roadshow is meant to expand the investor base and increase liquidity levels for Egyptian securities in order to contribute to reducing the high yields required on government securities, thereby reducing the public debt burden, the ministry said in a statement said on Sunday.

During the campaign, the minister will review the latest economic indicators in view of the economic reforms carried out by Egypt, the statement said, highlighting the reforms' contribution to upping Egypt's international economic rating.

The statement said the budget deficit dropped 12.5 percent in the 2015-2016 FY and continued its downturn to reach 9.8 percent in the last fiscal year.

The ministry plans to further decrease budget deficit to 8.4 percent in the current fiscal year, the statement said.

The economic reforms have recently contributed to upping Egyptian expats' remittances by 21 percent to stand at $26.3 billion, the statement said.

The statement noted that tourism revenues skyrocketed by 68.2 percent to stand at $7.4 billion in the 2017-2018 FY.

The Suez Canal revenues ramped up by 15.4 percent to reach $5.7 billion.]]>
10/8/2018 11:41:02 AM
<![CDATA[Oil drops to around $83 on expectations Iran will maintain some exports]]>
Two companies in India, a big buyer of Iranian oil, have ordered barrels in November, India’s oil minister said on Monday.

The Trump administration is considering waivers on sanctions, a U.S. government official said on Friday.

“One way or another, it looks as though India is going to take some Iranian crude,” said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix, adding that the development was helping oil to “retrace some of the price surge we saw last week.”

Brent crude, the international benchmark LCOc1, was down $1.07 to $83.09 per barrel at 0817 GMT. It hit a four-year high of $86.74 last week.

U.S. crude CLc1 was down 93 cents at $73.41.

U.S. sanctions will target Iran’s crude oil exports from Nov. 4, and Washington has been putting pressure on governments and companies worldwide to cut their imports to zero.

“This is one of the single biggest supportive factors for crude,” said analysts at JBC Energy of the U.S. re-imposition of Iran sanctions. “Having said that, it may well be that we are already in the most supportive phase coming from this change and the effect will soon begin to ease.”

Oil also dropped as investors focused on rising output from other producers, such as top exporter Saudi Arabia, to compensate for lower Iranian supplies.

Saudi Arabia said last week it plans to raise production in November from October output of 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd), indicating Riyadh will be boosting its supply to the highest ever level.

“Chatter that Saudi Arabia has replaced all of Iran’s lost oil” is weighing on prices, said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

Concern that the U.S.-Chinese trade war could slow down economic growth and hit oil demand also weighed on the market, traders in Asia said. Chinese equities fell sharply on Monday.

Oil has been supported by concern that the Iranian export loss will leave a thinner margin of unused production capacity to deal with supply shocks. The bulk of spare capacity is held by Saudi Arabia.

These concerns remain supportive. Innes warned that limited spare production to deal with further supply disruptions meant “the capacity is quickly declining due to Asia’s insatiable demand”.]]>
10/8/2018 11:34:01 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar extends two-week run of gains, data eyed]]>
Against a basket of its rivals the greenback rose 0.2 percent to 95.85, edging towards a 14-month high of 96.991 hit in mid-August.

“The dollar has been supported by some strong data but with the market already long dollars at these levels, new data has to surprise investors by a bigger margin to push it higher,” said Manuel Oliveri, an FX strategist at Credit Agricole in London.

The dollar climbed half a percent last week, marking its second consecutive week of gains as hedge funds ramped up their dollar holdings by $3.4 billion to $28.7 billion last week, the largest since end-December 2016, according to latest data.

The euro fell a quarter of a percent to $1.15 and nearing a low of $1.1463, its lowest since Aug, 20, 2018 as a fresh rise in Italian bond yields weighed on investors’ minds.

Italian politics remained a drag as the European Commission warned the country’s budget deficit breached past commitments, leading Rome to insist it would “not retreat” from its spending plans.

Moves were limited by a lack of liquidity with Japan on holiday and the U.S. bond market on a break. A sudden and steep rise in Treasury yields had underpinned the dollar for much of last week.

Yields on 10-year Treasuries hit a seven-year peak on Friday as data showed the unemployment rate falling to its lowest since 1969. [US/]

The big focus for dollar bulls this week will be the release of U.S. CPI data on Thursday. Markets expect a 0.2 percent increase on a monthly basis in September, similar to last month and a bigger increase will bolster U.S. rate hike bets in 2019.

Sterling fell 0.4 percent to $1.3077 as markets focussed on any substantial breakthrough in Brexit negotiations Britain moved nearer to an exit deal with the European Union.

EU Brexit negotiators believe a deal with Britain on leaving the bloc is “very close”, sources said, in a sign a compromise on a major sticking point - the future Irish border - might be in the making.]]>
10/8/2018 11:31:10 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling drops as dollar gains, caution sets in after Brexit deal optimism]]>
European Union negotiators said on Friday an agreement with Britain was “very close” and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Saturday a deal would be reached in November, if not this month.

That had helped push the pound up above $1.31, but investors booked profits at the start of this week, with some still cautious about whether a Brexit agreement was likely.

Analysts at Commerzbank said a deal remained a long way away, with both sides yet to agree on customs arrangements for the Irish border and Prime Minister Theresa May allegedly trying to gain support among opposition Labour party lawmakers to get a deal voted through parliament.

“To sum it up: Anyone who thought that an end of the Brexit drama is in sight will have to think again,” said analyst Thu Lan Nguyen.

The pound dropped half a percent to as low as $1.3054 against the dollar, with a broader sell-off across markets and a rush into the safety of the U.S. currency also sending sterling lower.

Versus the euro, the British currency weakened 0.1 percent to 87.955, slightly below 3 1/2-month highs touched at the end of last week.

Concerns about a row between Brussels and Rome over Italy’s proposed budget deficit targets have added to the euro’s woes in recent sessions.

Many strategists remain optimistic for sterling should the UK make more progress towards a Brexit deal.

“Overall, recent developments are encouraging as they help to dampen the risk of a more disorderly no-deal Brexit outcome. A Brexit breakthrough in the coming weeks would open up further upside potential for the pound heading into year end,” MUFG analysts said in a note sent to clients.]]>
10/8/2018 11:29:37 AM
<![CDATA[Apple tells Congress it found no signs of hacking attack]]>
Apple Vice President for Information Security George Stathakopoulos wrote in a letter to the Senate and House commerce committees that the company had repeatedly investigated and found no evidence for the main points in a Bloomberg Businessweek article published on Thursday, including that chips inside servers sold to Apple by Super Micro Computer Inc (SMCI.PK) allowed for backdoor transmissions to China.

“Apple’s proprietary security tools are continuously scanning for precisely this kind of outbound traffic, as it indicates the existence of malware or other malicious activity. Nothing was ever found,” he wrote in the letter provided to Reuters.

Stathakopoulos repeated Apple’s statements to the press that it never found malicious chips or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server or been contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about such concerns. He said he would be available to brief Congressional staff on the issue this week.

The letter follows statements on Friday by Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre and on Saturday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that those agencies have no reason to doubt denials from Apple and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) that they had discovered backdoored chips.

Bloomberg said on Friday it stood by its story, which was based on 17 anonymous sources. Some allegations were based on fewer accounts or even a single unnamed source, Apple noted in its letter.

A Bloomberg spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions sent on Sunday.]]>
10/8/2018 11:26:01 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt allocates LE 25.6B for investments in Upper Egypt]]>
Saeed clarified that this amount is 20 percent higher than the allocations of last fiscal year.

The largest proportion of the aloocations went to Southern Upper Egypt which took up to 51 percent or LE 13 billion of the investments, followed by Northern Upper Egypt which took 26 percent, and Central Upper Egypt which took 23 percent of government investments, Saeed clarified.

Southern Upper Egypt includes the governorates of Aswan, Sohag, Qena, Red Sea, and Luxor, while Northern Upper Egypt includes Beni Suef, Menia, and Fayoum, and Central Upper Egypt includes Assiut, and New Valley.

As for the investments targeted at Southern Upper Egypt in 2018/2019, the minister said that Aswan took the largest share of government investments directed to Southern Upper Egypt (32 percent) with a value of LE 4.24 billion and an increase of 71 percent compared to 2017/2018, followed by the governorate of Sohag which took 22 percent with an increase of 4.4 percent, and in the third place comes Qena, getting 18 percent and an increase of 7 percent.

Saeed pointed out that the most important development programs targeted at Southern Upper Egypt during the fiscal year 18/2019 are a number of projects in the fields of sanitation, education, transportation, storage, health and water services.

Saeed pointed out that Menia governorate accounted for the largest percentage of investments allocated to Northern Upper Egypt by 41 percent at LE 2.66 billion, followed by Beni Suef governorate by 35 percent and an increase of 25 percent, and Fayoum came in the third place by 25 percent and an increase of 6 percent.

Saeed noted that the most important development programs targeted at Northern Upper Egypt during the fiscal year 18/2019 are projects of real estate, health services, education and transport.

Regarding Central Upper Egypt, Assiut allocated 66 percent of the investments at LE 3.9 billion with an increase of 48 percent compared to 2017/2018, and New valley accounted for 34 percent and an increase of 4.4 percent.

She added that the most important development programs targeted at the central region of Upper Egypt during the fiscal year 18/2019 are a number of projects in the fields of sanitation, construction and transport.

]]>
10/8/2018 11:18:31 AM
<![CDATA[EGX to continue in downtrend on short, medium terms: Expert]]>
Sehata attributed the decline to external pressures on emerging markets after the rise in US interest rates and the increase of interest rates in some of these emerging markets, which led to attracting foreign investments to these markets, in addition to the rise in the price of oil globally, thus raising the budget deficit of the state.

Shehata ruled out the positive impact of the government's initial public offering (IPO) program on the Egyptian stock exchange, especially after news about the adoption of stock prices according to the average price during the last month and the weakness of the liquidity level in the Egyptian stock market.

The head of the Egyptian Association of Technical Analysts also expected EGX30 to break the level of 14,150 points down to reach the level of 13600 points during the current week, after excluding the existence of purchasing power again as the index reached the level of 14,150 points for the lack of any stimuli.

In 2016, Egypt announced the launch of the government’s IPO program to offer shares over three to five years in several state-owned companies in fields such as petroleum, services, chemicals and real estate.

The state’s IPO program comes in light of the economic reform program adopted by Egypt and conducted under the supervision of the Ministry of Investment.

It targets to offer 15-30 percent stakes of some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX), and to increase funding to Egyptian companies and maximize the benefit from state assets.

It will also serve as a main tool to attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.
In March 2018, Former Finance Minister Amr el-Garhy said that 23 state companies have been chosen for the first phase of the state IPO program, with total shares worth LE 80 billion.

Garhy clarified that the market value of the shares to be listed is worth LE 430 billion.
Market Capitalization lost around LE 107 billion during the third quarter of current year, reaching LE 803.86 billion.

On Thursday, the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) announced that Sunday, October 7, is an official holiday for the bourse on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of October War victory.

EGX added in a filing to its official website that trading will resume on Monday, October 8.

EGX ended Thursday in red, and market capitalization lost LE 9.5 billion, as EGX30 dropped 1.46 percent, EGX50 declined 1.79 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.55 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.80 percent.

]]>
10/8/2018 11:15:15 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt achieves largest FDI share among COMESA ]]>
Salama said that FDI worldwide declined by 23 percent from $1.87 billion in 2016 to $1.43 billion in 2017. The percentage for African countries is 21 percent as investment inflows went down to $42 billion in 2017, while the percentage for COMESA countries decreased by only 3 percent.

The official added that member states achieved a 5 percent sustainable growth over the past five years, accomplishing the stability needed by investors to set long-term plans to reach consumers among 500 million Africans in COMESA countries.

Member states combined have an annual population growth of 2.2 and an annual GDP of $1.2 trillion. In addition to Egypt, COMESA comprises Kenya, Sudan, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Djibouti, Malawi, Madagascar, Rwanda, Burundi, Comoros, Libya, Uganda, Seychelles, Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Somalia, and Tunisia.

COMESA is a free trade area that was founded in 1994 and its headquarters is in the Zambian capital Lusaka.

Additional contribution by Noha El Tawil
]]>
10/8/2018 9:39:59 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian auto market to keep growth rate at around 40%]]>
Sales of the Egyptian car market hiked by around 40 percent in the first half of current year, compared to the same half of 2017.

Mostafa added that the Egyptian market still has the capacity to absorb more growth in sales, because a large proportion of Egyptians have not yet owned cars.

On another side, Secretary-General of the Association of Car Manufacturers Khalid Saad said that the appearance of electric cars at the latest Formula Automech Motorshow is not an indication of these car's intrusion into the markets.

He pointed out that the companies' offer of electric cars does not mean they will be able to release them in Egyptian streets soon.

Saad added that the infrastructure of electric cars has not yet been published, and its deployment did not exceed 65 stations so far, which will not meet the expectations of customers.

Sales of locally assembled cars marked an increase of 25.8 percent during the first seven months of 2018, compared to the same months of 2017.

Sales of locally assembled cars reached 48,219 vehicles in the first seven months of 2018, compared to 38,335 vehicles in the same period of 2017.

Meanwhile, exported cars recorded an increase in their sales by 53.1 percent, selling 48,162 units up from 31,450 units in the same months of 2017.

Automotive Market Information Council (AMIC) said that sales of the automotive market increased 26.8 percent in July 2018 on a year-on-year basis.

In June, sales of automotive market hiked 54.1 percent on YoY basis, selling 15,526 units compared to 10,770 units in June 2017.
]]>
10/7/2018 4:15:53 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s need of sugar increases annually by 50K tons]]>
Fendi clarified that this demand requires the establishment of a complete sugar industry line every three years to produce 150,000 tons annually to fill the current and future gap.

The head of Sugar Division called for deepening the local industry by increasing the cultivation areas of sugar beet to provide locally produced sugar for the food industry such as jam and candy industry, where sugar enters as a basic ingredient.

He also called to support sugar producers to establish productive projects to meet the deficit of white sugar which is estimated at 1 million tons imported from abroad.

Fendi clarified that the sugar market is currently controlled and the prices are reasonable because of the decline of the global prices, adding that the gap in productivity is still in place.

On the other hand, he called for the need to tighten controls on the informal sector which produces non-controlled food, which is a serious danger to human health.

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.
]]>
10/7/2018 2:12:04 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt exports of grape hit $219M in 10 months ]]>
Demerdash added that the volume of exported grapes increased 3 percent on year-on-year basis, recording around 120,000 tons.

He also revealed that the Parliament focuses on entering new markets of grapes in Asia and Africa to raise the exports.

Grapes came on top of the list of the highest 20 foodstuff of the Egyptian non-petroleum exports during June and July 2018.

In July, the exports of grapes hit $165 million, according to the General Organization for Export and Import Control.

The General Organization for Export and Import Control announced that in August grapes’ exports recorded $213 million, topping the list of the top 20 foodstuffs of the Egyptian non-petroleum exports during June 2018.

During exporting season of 2017, Egyptian exports entered the Chinese market for the first time.

Generally, Egypt's non-oil exports reached $1.692 billion in June, of which $1.345 billion were industrial exports, while food exports reached $347 million.

During the first eight months of 2018, Egypt’s non-oil exports hiked 10 percent, recording $16.54 billion, compared to $14.99 billion during the first eight months of 2017.
]]>
10/7/2018 12:43:22 PM
<![CDATA[China's Central Bank to cut reserve requirement ratio for fourth time]]>
The move to cut the amount of cash which most commercial and foreign banks must hold in reserve, to repay loans obtained via the central bank's medium-term lending facility, will take effect on October 15.

The decision is intended to "further encourage the stable development of the real economy, optimise the liquidity structure of commercial banks and financial markets, lower financing costs, and to continue increasing the financial systems' efforts to support small businesses, private enterprise and innovation," the People's Bank of China said in a statement.

The move will be used to pay down 450 billion yuan ($65.6 billion) of medium-term lending facilities, it said, adding that it could also free up another 750 billion yuan in funds.

The move is not expected to put depreciatory pressure on the yuan, the statement said, adding that the bank would continue to maintain a "prudent and neutral" monetary policy.

It is the fourth such move this year, as China seeks to blunt the economic impact US President Donald Trump's imposition of $250 billion dollars of Chinese goods, roughly half of country's exports to the US.]]>
10/7/2018 11:54:08 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt targets to increase production of Zohr to 3bcfg/day]]>CAIRO – 6 October 2018: Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Italian Company Eni aim at raising natural gas production from Zohr gas field during the second half of 2019 to reach 3 billion cubic feet of gas per day, according to sources at the ministry.

The sources added that Eni’s plan to develop the field is 2.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

Officials in the field said that the pace of increase in production is witnessing a steady rise.

They stressed that the recent achievement of the Ministry of Petroleum to declare self-sufficiency of liquefied natural gas, comes after a series of petroleum agreements signed in the field of exploration, and after the increased production of "Zohr."

In September, Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla stated that the daily natural gas production from Zohr gas field increased to 2 billion cubic feet, adding that the total cost of the project reached $7.7 billion.

In July, Italian Company Eni announced the activation of the fourth liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing facility of Zohr gas field’s gas-treatment plant, pushing Egypt’s gross production of LNG to 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

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

Egypt stopped importing liquefied gas as it achieved self-sufficiency after it received the last shipment of liquefied gas in September.

Egypt has recently signed several oil agreements for the exploration of oil and gas in several areas, including the Mediterranean, Western desert, Nile Delta and the Gulf of Suez.

The number of signed petroleum agreements reached 88 new agreements since 2014 and the authority is working on signing 13 new agreements.

In fiscal year 2018/2019, the targeted investments in petroleum sector are estimated at LE 145.6 billion ($8.12 billion), marking 15.5 percent of the total investments of the year.
Natural gas investments represent 91 percent of petroleum investments which amount to LE 132.8 billion.

Egypt’s production of natural gas increased in December 2017 to reach 3.4 million tons, up from 2.7 million tons in December 2016.

Egypt’s gas production currently stands at 5.5 billion cubic feet a day, after adding some 1.6 million cubic feet as a result of starting production from the recent projects.

The country's total natural gas consumption is about 6 billion cubic feet per day, of which roughly 65 percent goes to the electricity sector.


]]>
10/6/2018 1:30:44 PM
<![CDATA[Russian-Spanish consortium participates in Dabaa project]]>
The consortium groups the Russian Tubes 2000 company and the Spanish Tubacex company, said Assar in press statements.

Under the deal, both sides will cooperate in joint manufacturing of some components needed for making the pipelines systems that will be used while implementing Dabaa nuclear station, he added.

The deal comes within the framework of keenness by the Military Production Ministry to support all sustainable development efforts in all domains in Egypt, he said, adding that his ministry welcomes cooperation with any party for implementing development and national projects in Egypt.

Tubacex CEO Jesus Esmoris said that the consortium will present to the authority an integrated feasibility study about the project.

He added that the consortium is keen on participating with the Egyptian side in this project.

Also, CEO of Tubes 2000 Aleksey Gorokhov said that Egypt is witnessing marked development in the industrial sector, a state of affairs that led the consortium to participate in the Dabaa project through offering its experience and technology on this score]]>
10/6/2018 12:49:35 PM
<![CDATA[NTI signs MoU with Huawei Egypt on 4G service]]>
The agreement comes as part of the NTI strategy to qualify highly-skilled cadres in the communications and IT areas to meet the needs of telecommunication companies working in Egypt.

The ministry is keen on qualifying Egyptian cadres to keep abreast of the latest global technologies and applications, Talaat said in a statement.

According to the MOU, the two sides will work on developing technical skills of fresh graduates in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT Engineering) in the country, NTI Chairperson Eman Ashour said.

She added that Huawei Egypt will provide a specialized training course at the NTI premises for 100 graduates.

Talented trainees will have a chance to receive job training before hiring them at Huawei Technologies Co. and other local telecommunication companies, she noted.

Since 19 years ago, Huawei Egypt has been keen to provide support for the ICT sector in Egypt, through offering the state-of- the-art global technologies and launching several initiatives to train young engineers, its CEO Liu Dazhou said.

Huawei Egypt will offer 30 training opportunities to select distinguished cadres for appointing them at Huawei Technologies Co, Dazhou added.]]>
10/5/2018 6:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[Growing remittances of expats boost Egyptian economy - Experts]]>
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said in a statement earlier in October that the remittances of Egyptian expatriates rose to $26.4 billion in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, marking a $4.6-billion increase from the previous fiscal year, Xinhua reported.

The remittances of Egyptian expatriates are one of the main sources of Egypt's national income and foreign exchange reserves (forex), which include the revenues of exports, tourism and the Suez Canal.

The remittances have pumped more investments, savings and consumer expenditures into the Egyptian economy, increasing the strength of Egypt's economy, said Ibrahim Nawwar, an economic expert and former adviser to the minister of industry and foreign trade.

Nawwar pointed out that, with annual increase of the remittances of Egyptian expatriates at 21.1 percent, Egyptians abroad have transferred more than $100 billion back home over the past five years.

"These remittances in foreign currency have contributed to increasing Egypt's real financial resources that are not re-transferred abroad," Nawwar told Xinhua, stressing it is an example of the positive effect of human resources on economy.

Amounting to $26.4 billion, the remittances of Egyptian expatriates are more than three times the total direct foreign investment in Egypt, which stands at $7.7 billion in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to the CBE.

"They have also exceeded Egypt's oil and non-oil exports of $25.8 billion in 2017-2018 fiscal year and nearly five times the revenues of traffic in the Suez Canal in the same year that reached $5.7 billion," Nawwar noted.

Egypt started in late 2016 a three-year economic reform program with full floatation of the local currency, Egyptian pound, to contain the forex shortage and budget deficit and to push forward the economy.

The move has led to a hike of exchange rate of the US dollar against the Egyptian pound, yet the rate has eventually been stabilized.

The austerity-based reform program, also including subsidy cuts and tax hikes, is supported by a $12-billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, two thirds of which have already been delivered to Egypt.

Ehab al-Desouki, head of the Economy Department of Cairo-based Sadat Academy, said that the significance of the growing remittances of Egyptian expatriates is that they helped stabilize the exchange rate by making up for the shortage of dollars in the Egyptian financial market.

"They are significant in maintaining the stability of the dollar exchange rate, which is determined by supply and demand. The more dollars we have, the more stable the exchange rate will be, which may increase the value of the Egyptian pound as well," Desouki told Xinhua.

Egypt managed to increase its forex at the CBE to over $44 billion at present, after it declined to as low as $13 billion in 2013.

"The remittances of Egyptian expatriates increase the dollar supply in the market, which means more dollar savings and stronger ability of banks to provide loans in dollars, not only in the Egyptian pound," said Desouki, noting that it all ends up in favor of the CBE forex.

Desouki explained that the reason for the increasing remittances of Egyptian expatriates is that the dollar exchange rate is still high and can be freely obtained, which has encouraged expatriates to transfer their dollars through official channels like the banks. ]]>
10/5/2018 4:48:08 PM
<![CDATA[Trade min. to participate in EU-Arab World Summit in late Oct.]]>
Nassar made the remarks at his meeting with Greek Ambassador in Cairo Michael-Christos Diamessis, during which they discussed means of increasing fields of economic cooperation between Egypt and Greece in the coming stage in light of the current political momentum witnessed in bilateral relations.

The minister said in a statement Friday that he is set to hold bilateral meetings with several senior officials of the Greek government on the sidelines of his visit to Athens.

The statement noted that Nassar will also hold talks with officials of Greece’s trade and industry chambers and representatives of a number of firms that have shown interest in investing in Egypt.]]>
10/5/2018 1:36:00 PM
<![CDATA[FM meets with members of Japan-Egypt Business Council]]>
The foreign minister reviewed the latest developments of Egypt’s economic reform program and the government’s efforts to achieve comprehensive development, increase growth rates and lure more direct foreign investments, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said in a statement.

Shoukry also pointed out to several positive economic indicators, such as the expected rise in economic growth rate this year, the decline in total budget deficit in addition to the slump witnessed in unemployment rates.

In the same regard, the foreign minister noted that foreign investments in Egypt surged to $10 billion in fiscal year 2017/2018.

He added that foreign reserves increased to $44.1 billion during the current fiscal year, compared to some $18 billion in 2014. ]]>
10/5/2018 1:05:24 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry auctions LE 18.7B T-bills]]>
In an online statement, the ministry said it auctioned LE 9.5 billion of 182-day T-bills with an average yield of 19.85 percent, adding it accepted bids at rates between 18.88 percent and 19.9 percent.

It also auctioned 357-day T-bills, worth LE 9.2 billion with an average yield of of 19.6 percent, the ministry said.

The Central Bank of Egypt auctions T-bills on behalf of the Finance Ministry. ]]>
10/4/2018 4:35:18 PM
<![CDATA[Russian wheat offered lowest at $233.95/T in Egypt wheat tender]]>
The offer was for 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and was presented by Daewoo, they said.

GASC is still considering the bids and results are due later on Thursday.

The wheat offered was of Russian, Romanian, Ukrainian and French origin.

The agency is seeking the wheat for Dec. 1-10 shipment.

Traders gave the following breakdown of offers in dollars per tonne on an FOB basis:

*Daewoo: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $233.95

*Aston: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $235.80

*Cargill: 55,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $236.90

*Garant Logistics: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $237

*Aston: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $237.80

*ECTP: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $238

*GTCS: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $239

*Garant Logistics: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $239.90

*Ameropa: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $240.39

*GTCS: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $241

*Glencore: 55,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $241.86

*ADM: 60,000 tonnes of Russian what at $242.15

*Ameropa: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $242.69

*ADM: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $246.23

*CHS: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $247.74

*Soufflet: 60,000 tonnes of French wheat at $247.75

*Louis Dreyfus: 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat at $248

Traders also said the following were the best cost and freight (C&F) offers presented in dollars per tonne:

*Daewoo: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $233.95 a tonne FOB and $17.69 freight equating to $251.64 C&F

*Aston: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat $235.80 FOB and $17.69 freight equating to $253.49 C&F

*Garant Logistics: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $237 FOB and $17.69 freight equating to $254.69 C&F

*Aston: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $237.90 FOB and $17.69 freight equating to $255.49 C&F

*ECTP: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $238 FOB and $17.69 freight equating to $255.69 C&F

*Cargill: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $236.9 FOB and $18.55 freight equating to $255.45 C&F

*GTCS: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $239 FOB and $16.5 freight equating to $255.5 C&F]]>
10/4/2018 4:08:49 PM
<![CDATA[EGX announces Sunday as an official holiday]]>
EGX added in a filing to its official website that trading will resume on Monday, October 8.

On October 6, 1973 at 2 p.m. (Cairo time) the Egyptian forces launched the six-day war against the Israeli troops; meanwhile, the Syrian troops waged the war against the Israeli troops near the Golan Heights.

Egypt celebrates its victory against the Israeli troops, which had captured the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Old City of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

The last holiday at EGX was from Monday, August 20, to Thursday, August 23, on the occasion of Eid El-Adha.

Also, The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced that banks will be off on Sunday, October 7, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of October War victory.

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) ended the last session of the week in red, and market capitalization lost LE 9.5 billion, amid foreign selling.

The benchmark EGX30 declined 1.46 percent, or 208.27 points, to close at 14,104.90 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 1.79 percent, or 40.07 points, to reach 2,199.95 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.55 percent, or 3.89 points, reaching 699.34 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.80 percent, or 14.21 points, closing at 1,768.96 points.
]]>
10/4/2018 3:57:41 PM
<![CDATA[EGX loses LE9.5B of market cap. Thursday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 1.46 percent, or 208.27 points, to close at 14,104.90 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 1.79 percent, or 40.07 point to reach 2,199.95 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.55 percent, or 3.89 points, reaching 699.34 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.80 percent, or 14.21 points, closing at 1,768.96 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 9.5 billion, recording LE 782.67 billion, compared to LE 792.21 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 151.08 million shares, traded through 19,629 transactions, with a turnover of LE 710.3 million.

El Arabia Engineering Industries, Egyptian for Developing Building Materials, and Egyptians Real Estate Fund Certificates were top gainers of the session by 7.13 percent, 5.33 percent and 5.11 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, B Investments Holding, Egyptian Arabian (cmar) Securities Brokerage EAC, and Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation were top losers of the session by 5.55 percent, 5.38 percent, and 5.11 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 30.7 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 5.24 million and LE 25.46 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net buyers at LE 9.3 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 2.47 million, and LE 4.37 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations sold at LE 4.03million, and LE 26.34 million, respectively, while Arab organizations bought at LE 27.93 million

EGX ended Wednesday’s session on mixed performance, as EGX30 decreased 0.48 percent, while EGX50 rose 0.16 points, EGX70 increased 0.56 and EGX100 went up 0.21 percent.
]]>
10/4/2018 3:26:53 PM
<![CDATA[CBE announces Sunday off for banks]]>
CBE added in a statement that work will resume on Monday, October 8, noting that Friday and Saturday are the weekend of banks operating in Egypt.

On October 6, 1973 at 2 p.m. (Cairo time) the Egyptian forces launched the six-day war against the Israeli troops; meanwhile, the Syrian troops waged the war against the Israeli troops near the Golan Heights.

Egypt celebrates its victory against the Israeli troops, which had captured the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Old City of Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

The last holiday for banks was from Monday, August 20, to Thursday, August 23, on the occasion of Eid El-Adha.
]]>
10/4/2018 2:15:32 PM
<![CDATA[LE 87.5M contract signed to develop electricity control centers]]>
Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker, who attended the signing ceremony, reiterated the importance of abiding by the deadline of the development of control centers, scheduled to be finalized by the end of 2019.

The two consultancy offices are Belgium's DNV GP and Germany's LAHMEYER, according to a statement by the Electricity Ministry.

The two consultancy offices won a tender launched by the Egyptian Electricity Holding Co. to develop control centers at electric distribution companies to improve the performance of the national power grid.

The ministry's development plan also includes setting up 14 new control centers nationwide over two stages, the statement said.

The statement noted that development of power centers will help address any emergency case and lower power waste and duration of power failure. ]]>
10/4/2018 1:46:34 PM
<![CDATA[IMF mission in Egypt in October for 4th review of economic program]]>
A report by the fund said the economic reform program carried out by the Egyptian government played a main role in achieving economic stability in the country, reducing inflation and unemployment rates, ending hard currency shortage and increasing social protection programs and investments.

Annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF will take place in the Indonesian city of Bali on October 8-14.

The IMF mission was last in Egypt in May to conduct the third review. Following the review, Egypt received a 2-billion-dollar tranche of an IMF 12-billion-dollar loan.

This tranche brings the total amount of IMF disbursements since the beginning of the Egyptian program to around 8 billion dollars.

In 2016, Egypt signed with the IMF an agreement to receive a loan of 12 billion dollars over three years to boost its economy that was hard hit after the January 11 revolution.]]>
10/4/2018 1:44:02 PM
<![CDATA[Final price of Sarwa Capital’s IPO set at LE 7.36/share]]>
The company said in a statement that the offering was oversubscribed around 10.83 times, recording a strong demand of c.LE 21 billion ($1.2B), with demand coming from over 280 institutional and high net worth investors.

The retail offering subscription period runs between October 3 and October 10, 2018, and share trading is expected to commence on or around Monday, October 15.

“The Retail Offering is fully covered by a stabilization account which will be settled one month from the first day of trading,” the statement read.

The company will allocate LE 700 million of the yields of public and private offerings to increase its capital by LE 95.11 million, in a closed subscription of selling shareholders at the offer price (LE 7.36).

“Based on the Offer Price, the company’s post money market capitalization is LE 5.3 million,” Sarwa stated.

Earlier this month, Sarwa announced that it will offer around 295.17 million shares, representing 47.2 percent of total issued share capital, on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

The statement added that the indicative price for its IPO ranges between LE 7.04 and LE 8 per share, with an expected offering size in the range of LE 2.1 billion to LE 2.4 billion.

The shares are offered in two tranches consisting of: (i) a retail offering of 29.52 million shares to individual investors, representing 10 percent of the offering (the Retail Offering), (ii) a private offering of 265.65 million shares to qualified institutional investors, representing 90 percent of the offering (the Institutional Offering).

Beltone Investment Banking is acting as Sole Global Coordinator and Bookrunner, and Marouk Bassiouny is acting as counsel to the issuer.

In August, Sarwa Capital announced its intention to issue IPO on the EGX.

Sarwa Capital is a provider of consumer and structured finance solutions in Egypt.
]]>
10/4/2018 1:41:23 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 18.7B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 9.2 billion with a 357-day term and the second worth LE 9.5 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.]]>
10/4/2018 12:43:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to halve its diesel oil imports by 2019: source]]>
In statements to MENA on Thursday, the source said the complex will come online in the first quarter of 2019 and the complex is expected to produce about 2.3 million tons of diesel oil annually.

The 4.270-billion-dollar complex will secure about 12 percent of the local market needs of petroleum products, the source said.

The complex will be one of the largest oil refining facilities in the Middle East, having an annual production capacity that stands at 80,000 tons of butane, 600,000 tons of jet fuel, 450,000 tons of coal, and 96,000 tons of sulfur, the source added. ]]>
10/4/2018 11:56:18 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia, Russia agreed in September to lift oil output, told U.S.]]>
U.S. President Donald Trump has blamed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for high crude prices and called on it to boost output to bring down fuel costs before the U.S. congressional elections on Nov. 6.

The deal underlines how Russia and Saudi Arabia are increasingly deciding oil output policies bilaterally, before consulting with the rest of OPEC.

The sources said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak agreed during a series of meetings to lift output from September through December as crude headed toward $80 a barrel. It is now over $85.

“The Russians and the Saudis agreed to add barrels to the market quietly with a view not to look like they are acting on Trump’s order to pump more,” one source said.

“The Saudi minister told (U.S. Energy Secretary Rick) Perry that Saudi Arabia will raise output if its customers asked for more oil,” another source said.

Originally, the two countries had hoped to announce an overall increase of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Saudi-led OPEC and non-OPEC Russia at a gathering of oil ministers in Algiers at the end of September.

But with opposition from some in OPEC, including Iran which is subject to U.S. sanctions, they decided to defer any formal decision until a full OPEC meeting in December.

“Saudi is trying to thread a needle with a rope by satisfying customer concerns about higher oil prices, but also wanting to keep prices from falling and sending the wrong price signal to industry which absolutely needs to continue to invest to prevent a supply crunch,” Yasser Elguindi, energy market strategist at consultancy Energy said.

Executives at the world’s biggest oil and gas companies are under growing pressure to loosen the purse strings to replenish reserves and halt declines in crude production after years of austerity.

PERRY LOOPED IN

Since the meeting in Algiers, Reuters has reported that Riyadh planned to lift output by some 200,000 bpd to 300,000 bpd from September to help fill the gap left by lower Iranian output due to the sanctions.

Russian output rose 150,000 bpd in September.

Iran accused Saudi Arabia and Russia on Wednesday of breaking OPEC’s agreement on output cuts by producing more crude, adding that the two countries would not be able to produce enough oil to make up for a reduction in Iranian exports.

A source at a major Russian oil company told Reuters: “I would expect Russia’s oil production will hover at around 11.4 to 11.6 million bpd until the end of 2018 and may increase further to 11.8 million bpd later on in 2019.”

Russian produced 11.36 million bpd in September, up from 11.21 million bpd in August, Energy Ministry data showed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday it could raise production by 200,000 to 300,000 bpd to tackle possible fuel shortages while Falih said Saudi Arabia will increase output further in November from 10.7 million bpd.

Perry was made aware of the Saudi-Russia plan to lift output before the Algiers gathering, meeting with Falih three times in September and Novak once. The three did not meet together.

Perry’s spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes did not comment on details of the talks but said the energy secretary, “continues to be engaged with leaders from other major oil producing nations and remains confident in their ability to boost output if needed”.

She said Perry had in recent meetings “impressed upon his counterparts that keeping supply up is important for the global economy”.

Oil prices rose to $85 a barrel this week as buyers of Iranian crude wound down their purchases to meet the terms of U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

Sources said Riyadh would help fill that shortfall because buyers needed replacement supplies. Saudi Arabia has spare capacity to produce oil at a higher rate and holds a large volume of crude in storage.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia is keen to maintain unity among the so-called OPEC+ alliance, a group comprising OPEC states, Russia and several other producers that has agreed on output curbs. That’s because it may need to change course and seek the collaboration of OPEC+ for any future production cuts.

“Iranian crude exports are considerably lower and market participants are concerned of a wide market deficit this quarter,” said Giovanni Staunovo, analyst at Swiss bank UBS.

“To cover those losses, Saudi Arabia, Russia and the other Gulf countries are increasing production, but this will bring down the global spare capacity to a 10-year low.”

FOOTBALL DIPLOMACY

In the run up to the private deal with Russia, Falih flew to the United States during the second week of September where he and fellow Texas A&M University alumnus Perry attended a football game in College Station, Texas.

Falih then held official talks with Perry in Washington on Sept. 10, the U.S. Energy Department has said.

Perry flew to Moscow two days later to meet Novak, while Falih also met Novak in Moscow a day later.

Perry told Reuters during his Moscow visit that Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russia had enough capacity between them to compensate for the loss of Iranian supply over the next 18 months.

After Moscow, Falih and Perry met again in Vienna where they attended an event in the Austrian capital, sources said.

“Perry was aware that Russia is going to ramp up oil output,” a third source familiar with talks said.

It was at this point that Falih and Novak discussed announcing a 500,000-bpd increase at the Sept. 23 Algiers meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC countries. The plan did not materialize, with any formal decision deferred until a regular OPEC meeting in Vienna on Dec. 6.

“Saudi Arabia is not going to flood the market and risk a price crash. Saudi Arabia has to work with other producers and see what are they doing, who is raising exports and to which market,” another source said.]]>
10/4/2018 11:51:42 AM
<![CDATA[OPEC able to raise oil output by 1.3M barrels per day: TASS cites Saudi's Falih]]>
The minister was attending an energy forum in Moscow.

TASS had earlier incorrectly reported that Falih said his own country was able to increase output by 1.3 million bpd.]]>
10/4/2018 11:49:00 AM
<![CDATA[Traders bet on oil at $100 as Iran sanctions loom]]>
But the imminent return of U.S. sanctions on Iran and bottlenecks keeping U.S. oil from getting to market have fueled a rally that has taken benchmark oil prices to four-year highs.

While big producing nations say supply is ample, hedge funds and speculators are increasingly skeptical of that argument, betting the market could rally further as sanctions on Iran’s crude exports return on Nov. 4.

The bullishness is visible in the U.S. options market. The number of open positions on $100 December 2019 WTI call options CL1000L9 - bets on futures hitting that price by the end of 2019 - has risen by 30 percent in the last week to a record 31,000 lots, according to CME data.

“Over the last two weeks, there’s been a lot more evidence that even some of the larger customers - India and China - are not going to be buying Iranian crude from November,” said John Saucer, vice president of research and analysis at Mobius Risk Group.

As a result, he said, “these sanctions are likely to be a lot more effective than people even thought.”

Overall exports from Iran have dropped to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) in September from 2.8 million bpd in April, the Institute of International Finance said.

Estimates for how much of Iran’s exports could be affected range from 500,000 bpd to 2 million bpd, and uncertainty over the impact could ultimately foster price swings in either direction.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose above $86 a barrel on Wednesday, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. crude hit $76 a barrel, both four-year highs.

The Trump administration’s decision to renew sanctions on Iran prompted a sharp shift from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. After about 18 months of restraining supply, OPEC agreed to increase output.

Further, Saudi Arabia and Russia recently agreed privately to boost supply before telling other OPEC countries in an effort to mollify U.S. President Donald Trump, who has focused his anger on rising prices.

Oil markets are looking to OPEC and Russia to make up shortfalls in supply. U.S. production, which sits at a record 11.1 million bpd, cannot replace Middle East crudes, such as Iranian grades, in Asian refineries. In addition, transportation bottlenecks are constraining U.S. output.

“We continue to see price risks tilted to the upside and do not rule out a spike in oil prices to $100/barrel,” UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

Open interest in $100 December 2018 Brent call options LCO10000L8, which expire in late October, is currently more than 50,000 lots, more than any other strike price for that month, according to InterContinental Exchange data.

Implied volatility for very bullish Brent options that expire after the Nov. 4 resumption of sanctions has overtaken that for very bearish options, suggesting increased demand for such bullish bets.

This spread, or skew, is at its most bullish since mid July.

Open interest in $100 December 2018 WTI calls CL1000L8, which expire in mid-November, has risen to the highest in over four months at about 15,000 lots.

Many traders said these $100 bets face long odds. Option contracts used to speculate on far-fetched outcomes tend to be cheap, and if crude’s rally stalls, those positions will expire worthless. But even a short-term jump could make those options more expensive, and holders could sell them for a profit.]]>
10/4/2018 11:45:49 AM
<![CDATA[Oil slips as Saudi and Russia quietly agree output rise, US stocks swell]]>
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were trading at $86.14 per barrel at 0651 GMT, down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

Brent on Wednesday hit a four-year high of $86.74 a barrel, lifted by expectations of a tightening market ahead of U.S. sanctions that will target Iran’s oil exports from next month.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 18 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $76.23 a barrel.

“Data for last week showed a much more significant than expected ... build in U.S. commercial crude (inventories), which generally suggests that oil prices should tumble,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

U.S. crude oil stocks C-STK-T-EIA rose by nearly 8 million barrels last week to about 404 million barrels, the biggest increase since March 2017, Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday.

U.S. weekly Midwest refinery utilization rates dropped to 78.9 percent, their lowest since October 2015, according to the data.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA remained at a record-high of 11.1 million barrels per day (bpd).

“This on top of the other big news of the day from Riyadh that ... Saudi Arabia and Russia will boost output,” Innes said.

Russia and Saudi Arabia struck a private deal in September to raise oil output to cool rising prices, Reuters reported on Wednesday, before consulting with other producers, including the rest of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s actions come as markets have heated up ahead of U.S. sanctions against Iran’s oil sector, which are set to kick in from Nov. 4, and which many analysts expect to knock around 1.5 million bpd of supply out of markets.

On the demand side, there is increasing concern that high oil prices and weakening emerging market currencies are creating a toxic inflationary mix that could erode fuel demand and economic growth.

“We have been taking a very close look at the demand signals in the market, and what we have been seeing is not good, JBC Energy said on Wednesday in a note to clients.

The energy consultancy said it had revised its oil demand forecast downwards amid Brent prices above $80 and diving currencies in many emerging markets, as well as burgeoning product stocks and the ongoing Sino-U.S. trade dispute.

“We are not talking about cosmetic changes either. We have cut our forecast for 2018 demand growth by a whopping 300,000 bpd to below 1.1 million bpd,” it said.

The impact of surging fuel costs is starting to show. In India, record retail fuel prices have contributed to farmer riots, in what is becoming a challenge to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an election that must be held by May.]]>
10/4/2018 11:37:01 AM
<![CDATA[Brent hits new four-year high on Iran supply worries]]>
“Nothing matters between here and Nov. 4,” said Bob Yawger, director of futures at Mizuho in New York, referring to the date when U.S. sanctions take full effect. “You just had the biggest build this year, and the market rallied right through it.”

U.S. crude inventories jumped 8 million barrels last week, quadruple analysts’ expectations and the biggest build since March 2017, the Energy Information Administration said. [EIA/S]

Brent crude LCOc1 rose $1.49, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $86.29 a barrel, after hitting $86.74, its highest since Oct. 30, 2014. U.S. crude CLc1 settled $1.18, or 1.6 percent, higher at $76.41 a barrel, after touching a session high of $76.90.

Both benchmarks dipped briefly after the U.S. government released inventory figures, then resumed their climb.

“The speculative community took an opportunity to buy on the dip,” Yawger said.

Earlier in the session, crude had been pushed lower as Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom had raised output to 10.7 million barrels per day in October and would pump more in November. The record high for Saudi output is 10.72 million bpd in November 2016.

Russia and Saudi Arabia struck a private deal in September to raise oil output to cool rising prices and informed the United States before a meeting in Algiers with other producers, four sources familiar with the plan told Reuters.

Iran, however, accused Saudi Arabia and Russia of breaking OPEC’s agreement on output cuts by producing more crude, adding that the two countries would not be able to produce enough oil to make up for a reduction in Iranian exports.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies have been limiting supply since 2017 to get rid of a glut. They partially relaxed the cut in June, under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to cool prices.

One analyst said the Saudi plan to pump more would not change much.

“Saudi is still very timid, the market wants to see something more proactive,” said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob. “That’s why the market is not reacting very much to the different headlines.”]]>
10/4/2018 11:34:40 AM
<![CDATA[Global stocks firm, U.S. Treasury yields soar, oil at four-year high]]>
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a record high helped by U.S. data showing private sector payrolls saw the biggest monthly gain since February. Financial stocks gained from a rebound in European markets and rising Treasury yields.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 54.45 points, or 0.2 percent, to 26,828.39, the S&P 500 gained 2.08 points, or 0.07 percent, to 2,925.51 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.54 points, or 0.32 percent, to 8,025.09.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.02 percent.

U.S. Treasury yields reached multi-year peaks, with the 10-year note’s yield at its highest since 2014 and maturities at the short end of the curve at decade highs, after economic data bolstered the case for the Fed to raise interest rates in December.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 30/32 in price to yield 3.1662 percent. The 30-year bond last fell 67/32 in price to yield 3.3206 percent.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year note was on track for its largest daily jump since the U.S. presidential election in November 2016 as U.S. service sector activity hit a 21-year high and the ADP private payrolls data for September came in stronger than expected.

“Just the recognition of the Fed saying the economy is good, that means they are not going to slow down any time soon the rate of rate increases,” said Mike Baele at managing director at U.S. Bank Private Client Wealth Management in Portland, Oregon.

The U.S. dollar also gained after the release of the ADP data, which comes ahead of the more comprehensive non-farm payrolls data on Friday.

Stock markets around the world initially rose after a report said Italy’s deficit would fall to 2.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2020 and to 2.0 percent in 2021 from the 2.4 percent earlier outlined, easing concerns that Italian budget deficits could deepen its debt problems and stoke conflict with the European Union.

Italian 10-year borrowing costs eased off 4-1/2-year highs, after jumping 50 basis points since budget details emerged last Thursday. Two-year yields fell 10 bps.

The improved mood toward Italy also reduced the premium investors demand for holding Italian risk relative to that of safer Germany to around 290 bps, down from a five-year high over 300 bps on Tuesday, and sapped demand for safe-haven assets such as German bonds and Swiss franc.

“Today, so far, has been better-than-expected performance out of Europe,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director of institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

The pan-European equity index rose 0.5 percent, while the Milan bourse jumped more than one percent. The moves were led by an initial 3.1 percent bounce in Italian banks.

Lingering concerns about Italy’s budget negotiations continued to weigh on the euro, which was down 0.3 percent to $1.1517. The single currency hit a six-week trough of $1.1506 on Tuesday after an Italian lawmaker said his country might be better off with its “own currency.”

In oil, Brent crude rose nearly 2.0 percent after hitting a four-year high as the market focused on upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran while shrugging off the year’s largest weekly build in U.S. crude stockpiles and reports of higher Saudi Arabian and Russian production. [O/R]

Brent crude rose $1.49, or 1.8 percent, to settle at $86.29 a barrel, after hitting $86.74, its highest since Oct. 30, 2014. U.S. crude settled $1.18, or 1.6 percent, higher at $76.41 a barrel, after touching a session high of $76.90.]]>
10/4/2018 11:31:07 AM
<![CDATA[Danske Bank faces U.S. criminal inquiry over suspicious Estonian accounts]]>
Denmark’s largest bank said in a statement on Thursday that it had “received requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with a criminal investigation relating to the bank’s Estonian branch”.

The bank, which this week appointed Jesper Nielsen as interim chief executive to handle the growing crisis after the resignation last month of Thomas Borgen, said it was cooperating with the U.S. authorities.

Shares in Danske Bank fell by three percent to 160 Danish crowns, their lowest level since January 2015 and a 33 percent decline so far this year, as investors digested the latest developments at the bank.

Shareholders have fretted for months over the possibility of U.S. authorities investigating whether Danske Bank broke U.S. rules in allowing payments through its Estonian operation because of the potential for significant penalties.

France’s BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA) reached a record $8.9 billion settlement with U.S. authorities in 2015 to resolve claims that it violated sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

Many of the non-resident accounts at Denmark’s Estonia branch were held by entities or individuals in Russia, which is the subject of sanctions by the United States.

Banks doing business in Estonia handled more than $1 trillion in cross-border flows between 2008 and 2017, the country’s central bank said on Wednesday.

Sweden’s Swedbank (SWEDa.ST) said on Thursday there were “no ongoing investigations” into its anti-money laundering practices by any of its regulators.

WIDENING NET

In a sign of the impact criminal and regulatory investigations in Estonia, Denmark and the Britain are having on the lender, Danske Bank said it would end its share buyback program after reassessing its capital targets.

It had initially planned to buy shares back worth 10 billion Danish crowns ($1.5 billion) under the program, which should have run until Feb 1 next year. It had repurchased shares worth 6.8 billion under the program as of the end of last week.

This followed an assessment by Denmark’s Financial Services Authority which said Danske Bank’s compliance and reputational risks were now higher than previously thought in May.

The FSA did not mention the U.S. authorities in its 12 page follow-up report published via Danske Bank on Thursday.

The FSA said in May that the bank’s Pillar II capital requirements should increase by 5 billion Danish crowns but it has now ordered Danske to reassess its solvency need “with a view to increase the add-on to an absolute minimum of 10 billion crowns”.

The bank has therefore raised its CET1 capital ratio target to around 16 percent from a target of 14-15 percent and its total capital ratio to be above 20 percent from an earlier target of above 19 percent.

By end of the second quarter the bank’s CET1 ratio stood at 15.9 percent and its total capital ratio stood at 21.6 percent.

Last month the bank said in an internal report commissioned by Borgen that payments totaling 200 billion euros, many of which it described as “suspicious”, had been moved through its tiny Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015.

The findings of the report led to Borgen taking “ultimate responsibility” and stepping down, although he says he was cleared from a legal point of view, and prompted regulators across the European Union to question their oversight.

Politicians in Europe are calling for stricter measures to prevent money laundering in the bloc’s banks, after Dutch financial group ING (INGA.AS) was fined 775 million euros last month after admitting criminals had been able to launder cash through its accounts.

($1 = 0.8714 euros)

($1 = 6.4903 Danish crowns)]]>
10/4/2018 11:25:28 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar elated by yield surge, Asia stocks downcast]]>
Higher U.S. yields are anything but favourable for emerging markets as they tend to draw away much-needed foreign funds while pressuring local currencies.

Bond prices fell across Asia and long-term Japanese yields reached ground not visited since early 2016, a market tightening not warranted by domestic economic conditions.

“A simple dynamic is playing out in the global economy right now - the U.S. is booming, while most of the rest of the world slows or even stagnates,” said HSBC economist Kevin Logan.

“A Federal Reserve that is raising rates to prevent the U.S. economy from overheating is constraining the policy options of countries where financial conditions are tightening and trade tensions intensifying.”

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan skidded 1.7 percent in response, with South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Taiwan all down.

Even the Nikkei eased 0.3 percent, as rising yields offset the boost to exporters from a weaker yen. EMini futures for the S&P 500 also lost 0.4 percent in Asian trade, while European bourses were seen starting mixed.

The dollar had taken off after an influential survey of the U.S. services sector showed activity at its strongest since August 1997, sparking speculation the payrolls report on Friday could also surprise.

“The (ISM) index was significantly above the long-term average during periods of growth and consistent with the upside risks to growth,” said Kevin Cummins, senior U.S. economist at NatWest Markets.

“At a minimum, these data suggest that labor demand remains very strong.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell declared the economic outlook was “remarkably positive” and said rates might rise above “neutral”, currently anywhere from 2.5 to 3 percent.

DOLLAR TRACKS YIELDS

A Fed hike in December is now put at an 8 in 10 chance, while investors lifted expectations for how high rates may eventually go.

Fed fund futures for December 2019 <0#FF:> sank to a contract low of 97.095, implying a rate of 2.905 percent. At the start of this year they had looked for only 2.1 percent.

Yields on 10-year Treasury debt were up at 3.225 percent, having spiked 12 basis points overnight. That was the steepest daily increase since the shock outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November 2016. [US/]

The jump in yields boosted financial shares on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 within striking distance of a record. The Dow rose 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 0.07 percent and the Nasdaq 0.32 percent. [.N]

The groundswell of economic optimism swept the U.S. dollar to a six-week high on a basket of currencies and it was last trading up 0.34 percent at 96.086.

The gains were broad based with the euro falling back to $1.1471 after being as high as $1.1593 on Wednesday.

The dollar shot to its highest so far this year on the yen at 114.55 before steadying at 114.40. It was now threatening a major peak from November 2017 at 114.735.

In Asia, the Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah have been under heavy fire, in part because both countries are being squeezed by the soaring cost of imported oil.

Oil prices have reached four-year peaks as the market focused on upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran while shrugging off the year’s largest weekly build in U.S. crude stockpiles. [O/R]

Brent eased 17 cents to $86.12 a barrel on Thursday, while U.S. crude fell 15 cents to $76.26.]]>
10/4/2018 11:19:57 AM
<![CDATA[Toyota, SoftBank team up to develop self-driving car services]]>
The partnership between Japan’s top automaker and its most influential tech giant shows that even big well-funded players fear being left behind in the race to develop autonomous and connected cars.

“SoftBank alone and automakers alone can’t do everything,” said Junichi Miyakawa, chief technology officer at SoftBank Corp who will be CEO of the new company. “We want to work to help people with limited access to transportation.”

The announcement adds to a slew of deals and discussions aimed at sharing costs and securing expertise that has resulted in myriad pairings between global automakers, ride-hailing companies as well as major tech firms.

Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) said on Wednesday it would invest $2.75 billion and take a 5.7 percent stake in General Motors Co’s (GM.N) Cruise self-driving vehicle unit, in which SoftBank is also an investor.

On the same day, Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) and Renault (RENA.PA) said they may expand their cooperation to batteries, self-driving vehicles and mobility services.

Toyota and SoftBank’s new venture will start with 2 billion yen ($17.5 million) in capital, with SoftBank owning just over half of the business.

It will be called MONET, short for mobility network, and potential car services could include meal deliveries, shuttle buses as well as vehicles that offer onboard medical examinations, they said.

While both firms have been independently developing technologies for self-driving vehicles and car sharing, and each have investments in ride-hailing firms Uber Technologies [UBER.UL], Grab and Didi Chuxing, this is first time they have come together.

“We are trying to take traditional car making into new fields,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters. “We realised that Softbank shares the same vision when it comes to the future of cars, so it’s time that we partner together.”

Toyota, which has been mainly developing automated driving and artificial intelligence technologies in-house, expects the future will include convoys of shuttle bus-sized, self-driving multi-purpose vehicles used, for instance, as pay-per-use mobile restaurants and hotels.

It has been developing a service called “e-Palette” based on this concept. Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Didi, Uber and Pizza Hut are early partners in the project, and Toyota has said it plans to use the service to ship athletes and guests around during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

MONET will roll out an autonomous driving service using e-Palette by the second half of the 2020s, the companies said.

SoftBank will provide technology to collect and analyze transportation data to ensure cars are efficiently dispatched when and where they’re needed, they said.

SoftBank has its own autonomous vehicle unit, SB Drive, which has been developing self-driving technology for buses.]]>
10/4/2018 11:14:01 AM
<![CDATA[Honda to invest $2.75B in GM's self-driving car unit]]>
This comes months after Japan’s SoftBank Group (9984.T) made a multibillion-dollar commitment to Cruise. That puts Cruise in a league with Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo unit in terms of resources and aggressive plans to launch commercial services.

Honda has also been in talks with Waymo about a possible collaboration for two years. While no deal has been announced, an agreement between the two to discuss integrating Waymo’s self-driving technology into Honda vehicles still stands, a spokeswoman for the automaker told Reuters.

Honda, which has lagged many of its rivals in developing self-driving vehicles, is paying $750 million upfront for the equity stake in GM’s Cruise and will contribute another $2 billion over 12 years in development work and fees, the companies said on Wednesday.

The deal calls for Honda to provide engineering expertise, and extends cooperation between the pair in a technology that has enormous costs and risk but no market-ready products.

Other global automakers are forging similar alliances to share the uncertainty and huge price of developing technologies that have yet to gain widespread consumer acceptance.

Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and SoftBank said on Thursday they were teaming up to develop car services that rely on self-driving technology.

In May, SoftBank said it would buy stakes in Cruise totaling 19.6 percent for $2.25 billion.

Where SoftBank is primarily a financial partner, “we view Honda as a strategic investor”, sharing in vehicle, systems and business development with GM, RBC analyst Joseph Spak wrote in an investor note.

In a blog post early Wednesday, Cruise Chief Executive and co-founder Kyle Vogt joked: “Honda is joining the party. They’re bringing chips, dip, and $2.75 billion.”

Vogt told Reuters that Cruise and Honda would design a vehicle intended to be autonomous rather than the modified sedan with a steering wheel and driver controls that it is working on.

“We’re still shooting for 2019 to have the first version or first wave of vehicles that come out on our own platform. This is what comes after that,” he said.

2019 REMAINS THE GOAL

Honda’s investment boosts the value of Cruise to $14.6 billion, about a third of GM’s $48 billion market cap. GM acquired the San Francisco-based startup in March 2016 for a reported $1 billion.

By comparison, analysts have pegged the value of Waymo as high as $175 billion.

In a media briefing on Wednesday, GM President Dan Ammann said 2019 “remains the goal” for GM Cruise to launch a self-driving ride services fleet.

He added: “The longstanding relationship we have with Honda will allow us to move very quickly in ramping up our efforts.”

GM shares closed up 2 percent on Wednesday. Honda shares were little changed on Thursday.

In January, GM filed a petition seeking U.S. approval for a fully self-driving car, one without a steering wheel, brake pedal or accelerator pedal, to enter the automaker’s first commercial ride-sharing fleet in 2019.

Ammann declined on Wednesday to provide a more specific timeline for the vehicle.

GM has been “very selective” in its approach to investors in Cruise and “we will evaluate other investment opportunities as they come along”, he said.

Ammann later told analysts: “We’re moving as quickly as we can to get to the point where we can initially deploy the technology and then scale it ... This is an effort that requires very, very significant resources to pull off.”

Ammann said Honda will contribute its engineering know-how and will help GM Cruise build a global ride services business.

Honda executive Seiji Kuraishi said: “This investment is based on a shared vision and their (GM’s and Cruise’s) superior technologies in this area.”

GM Cruise has a test fleet of more than 100 self-driving versions of the Chevrolet Bolt, rebadged as Cruise AV.

GM CEO Mary Barra said the automaker is still focused on testing self-driving vehicles in San Francisco before expanding to other markets.

RUSH FOR TIE-UPS

GM Cruise and Waymo are often described as leading the pack of technology and auto companies competing to create self-driving cars and integrate them into ride services fleets.

Waymo has agreements with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI) and Jaguar Land Rover [TAMOJL.UL] to buy and equip tens of thousands of vehicles with its self-driving systems.

Other automakers are exploring similar tie-ups to help mitigate risk and cost, according to Autotrader analyst Michelle Krebs, who said the GM-Honda deal “demonstrates that global partnerships like these ... are necessary to take on these expensive ventures that likely will not return a profit in the near term.”

BMW (BMWG.DE), which has a development partnership with suppliers Intel Corp (INTC.O), Aptiv PLC (APTV.N) and Magna International (MG.TO), expects some rivals and ride services companies to join its consortium for developing self-driving cars as auto industry profits come under increasing pressure, board member Klaus Froehlich said on Tuesday.

At the Paris Auto Show on Wednesday, the heads of Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE) and Renault (RENA.PA) said the two companies may expand their cooperation to batteries, self-driving vehicles and mobility services.

The GM-Honda announcement extends a partnership that includes joint development of electric vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells that are expected to go on sale in 2020. In June, Honda also said it would buy advanced batteries from GM in a move that could significantly reduce the cost of future electric vehicles at both automakers after 2020.]]>
10/4/2018 11:11:19 AM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Wednesday on mixed note, market cap. loses LE 3.6B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 0.48 percent, or 68.38 points, to close at 14,313.17 points.

On the other hand, the equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.16 percent, or 3.63 point to reach 2,240.02 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 hiked 0.56 percent, or 3.90 points, reaching 703.23 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.21 percent, or 3.75 points, closing at 1,783.17 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 3.6 billion, recording LE 792.21 billion, compared to LE 795.84 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 206.77 million shares, traded through 22,804 transactions, with a turnover of LE 779.28 million.

El Arabia Engineering Industries, El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops, and Cleopatra Hospital Company were top gainers of the session by 9.91 percent, 9.77 percent and 8.29 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE, Egypt for Poultry, and Heliopolis Housing were top losers of the session by 6.29 percent, 5.17 percent, and 2.88 percent, respectively.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 71.91 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 66.89 million and LE 5.02 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 30.07 million, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 78.84 million, and LE 5.31 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 6.9 million, LE 36.82 million and LE 10.33 million, respectively.

EGX ended Tuesday’s session on mixed performance, as EGX30 decreased 0.45 percent, EGX50 dropped 0.05 points, while EGX70 increased 0.25 and EGX100 went up 0.09 percent.

]]>
10/3/2018 5:22:55 PM
<![CDATA[Growth in MENA to reach 2.8% by 2020: World Bank]]>
In 2018, the bank anticipated growth in MENA to hit an average of 2 percent, compared to an average of 1.4 percent in 2017.

The bank attributed the expected rise of growth to the recent rise in oil prices, which has benefitted the region’s oil exporters, while putting pressure on the budgets of oil importers, adding that it also reflects the impact of modest reforms and stabilization efforts undertaken in some countries in the region.

The bank said in a report that the instability in the region could risk the growth, while the bank forecasted that the region’s oil exporters will benefit from oil prices and demand that will remain high, clarifying that domestic reforms to increase revenues and contain public spending, such as in Saudi Arabia, will also contribute to growth in oil exporters.

“The region’s oil importers are expected to benefit from reforms to manage public expenditures, rising trade with Europe and China, and financial inflows from MENA oil exporters,” the bank said in a report.

As per Egypt, The bank expected the growth to reach 5.8 percent in 2020 driven by a reform program that has included the liberalization of the exchange rate, rationalized energy subsidies, and increased social protection for the poor.

“Overall, reforms in the region have led to cumulative savings of nearly $180 billion, mostly in oil exporting countries, providing governments additional financial space to continue economic reforms,” the report stated.

Despite the bank's expectations, it described growth by slow, noting that this pace will not generate enough jobs for the region’s large youth population.

The bank stressed new drivers of growth are needed to reach the level of job creation required.

“Far too many of the region’s young men and women are unemployed,” World Bank Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Region Ferid Belhaj said. “This challenge will continue to grow unless it is turned into an opportunity. The current growth momentum is a chance to increase the speed and ambition of reforms. The focus should be on building a modern economy that leverages new technology and is driven by the energy and innovation of young people.”

The report entitled "A New Economy for the Middle East and North Africa" offered a roadmap for unlocking the enormous potential of the region’s large and well-educated youth population by embracing the new digital economy.

The report clarified that reaching this goal requires the reorientation of education systems toward science and technology, the creation of modern telecommunication and payment systems, and the establishment of a private-sector driven economy governed by regulations that encourage rather than stifle innovation.

“Countries in the region possess all the ingredients they need to leapfrog into the digital future,” World Bank Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region and lead author of the report Rabah Arezki said.

“The key is making sure young people are taught the skills needed for the new economy, have access to tools such as digital payments, and that obstacles to innovation are removed. It will require governments acting on many fronts, and pulling multiple policy levers, but the rewards in growth and jobs will be more than worth it,” Arezki added.

The report also recommended setting out goals, such as achieving parity with advanced economies in information and communication technology by 2022, noting that these sorts of bold objectives can serve to unite governments, citizens and the private sector in the collective effort needed to achieve the ambitious agenda.
]]>
10/3/2018 5:20:52 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to achieve growth rate of 7.5-to-8% in 4 years: Min.]]>
The minister added that within the targeted four years, a higher investment rate will be achieved to reach 25 percent.

She pointed out that the possibility of providing accurate and up-to-date data and information on the indicators of each governorate is currently being greatly improved, stressing that providing indicators at the governorate level enables decision-makers to plan with great flexibility.

This came during her meeting with a delegation of foreign investors, headed by Director of Citibank’s activities in Egypt Mohamed Abdel Kader, as well as representatives of a number of investment companies and banks.

The meeting aimed to follow up on the investments in Egypt and discuss the opportunities to increase these investments as well as the role played by the Ministry of Planning and the most important programs and projects targeted by the ministry during the coming period to revive investment movement and increase economic growth rates.

The minister reviewed the achievements of the economic reform program that was implemented in November 2016, resulting in an increase of the growth rate to 5.3 percent, and a decline in the unemployment rate to 9.9 percent.

Saeed noted that the Egyptian government has paid close attention to addressing the social impacts of the economic reform program through a series of social protection programs, monetary support programs (Takaful and dignity), and social housing programs.

The government also focuses on the industrial sector on the medium term as a part of the sustainable development strategy and Egypt’s vision 2030, pointing that this sector is targeted to contribute to the growth rate by 20 percent during 2018/2019 and to improve gradually.

The minister also discussed the development of government services and the completion of the automation of all services in the Canal governorates.

Saeed also added that through the G2G digital converter, data is currently being linked and is available to 20 government entities.

The minister said earlier that Egypt has a diversified economy led by the industrial sector, which is headed by manufacturing, followed by the extractive, oil and gas sectors and then comes the construction sector.

She added that Egypt aims to achieve an industrial boom that leads to increasing export rates, so production is the main engine of the economic growth.

Egypt’s vision 2030 targets to have a new Egypt that possesses a competitive, balanced and diversified economy, dependent on innovation and knowledge, based on justice, social integrity and participation, and characterized by a balanced and diversified ecological collaboration system, investing in the ingenuity of the place and humans to achieve sustainable development and to improve Egyptians' life quality.
]]>
10/3/2018 5:18:32 PM
<![CDATA[Transport minister probes development of railway sector with EIB, AFD]]>
In statements, Arafat asserted that his ministry attaches great importance to the development of the first line of underground metro, pointing out that the EIB will provide 350 million euros and AFD will provide 50 million euros to the project.

The minister said the development of Alexandria tram will cost 235 million euros as part of a plan to develop the Mediterranean city's transportation system.

He added that the 118km-long Tanta-Mansoura-Damietta railway line will be developed at costs estimated at 150 million euros.]]>
10/3/2018 5:09:41 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry: LE 1.7B of taxes on imported vehicles collected by Alex customs authority]]>
The number of imported cars that were cleared by the customs authority after paying customs fees reached 10,800, and their estimated value exceeded EGP 2.829 billion. Their paid customs fees and value added tax (VAT) amounted to EGP 1.108 billion.

Also, as many as 1,028 imported half-trucks, microbuses and motorbikes were cleared by the customs authority. Their collected customs fees reached roughly EGP 280 million, the statement read.]]>
10/3/2018 5:07:24 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank expects Egypt to achieve growth of 5.6% in 2018/19]]>
WB also added that if the business environment reforms are effectively implemented, public investment will grow and private investment will recover.

The expected increase in tax revenues as growth accelerates and further cuts in energy subsidies will help fiscal consolidation, WB stated.

“The large interest payments are expected to decline over the medium term, through debt repayment and the prolongation of the maturity structure,” WB disclosed.

Regarding the continued price hikes of regulated goods and services, the World Bank anticipated that it will affect households in the short term, especially the vulnerable: who live in rural Upper Egypt.

So, the bank recommended to implement adequate mitigation measures.
The bank also anticipated the poverty rate to decrease to 15.3 percent in 2019, compared to an estimated 15.6 percent in 2017.

Risks and Challenges
The World Bank stated the risks and challenges the Egyptian economy is facing, saying “The challenge of kick-starting private sector led growth requires the alleviation of longstanding constraints, including fostering a level-playing field and facilitating access to key inputs (such as land and skilled labor force).”

It also clarified that domestic and foreign investments depend on the economic activities that Egypt expands.

“Despite the announced program to divest minority shares in selected SOEs, the state is expanding in some areas, such as construction,” it added.

The bank expected the public investments' budget to be double the size of the government investments’ budget.

To reach a well-functioning market economy, it requires a clear demarcation of the role of the state, and its redirection towards the enabling and regulation functions, the bank stated, noting that it could be achieved through establishing the rule of law, reinforcing competition policies and improving basic service delivery.

The bank referred to the outflows of local treasury bills and bonds, recommending a sound macroeconomic policy framework to enable the economy to withstand such shocks.

The bank said that the budget of 2018/209 faces risks of increasing global oil prices or disorderly exchange rate spillover from contingent liabilities (including from sovereign guarantees).

A high level of public debt represents risks in the medium to longer term if the fiscal consolidation is discontinued, according to the bank.

The challenging socioeconomic conditions, including: double digit youth unemployment, a low labor force participation, difficult conditions of employment and the acceleration of population growth, are also sustainable risks that Egypt faces.

It clarified that high population exerts pressure on natural resources as water and public goods and services.

Recent Developments
The World Bank reviewed the recent developments the Egyptian Economy witnessed during the last period, stating that real gross domestic product (GDP) hiked to 5.3 percent during 2017/2018, compared to 4.2 percent in the previous year.

It attributed the hike of GDP to public and private investments and private consumption.
It also referred to the positive indicators of exports of goods and services, as well as the rebound of the Suez Canal and tourism revenues.

“A notable improvement has been achieved on the fiscal font, especially with the realization of a primary surplus of 0.1 percent in 2017/2018,” the bank stated. “Cuts in energy subsidies, containment of the wage bill and an increased VAT intake narrowed the overall deficit by more than 1 percentage points to 9.8 percent of GDP in 2017/2018.”

As per inflation, the bank said that headline inflation remained at high levels at 21.6 percent during 2017/2018, but started to recede significantly by the end of the year, adding that core inflation returned to single digits in July 2018.

It clarified that the increase of energy prices caused a temporary rise in headline inflation to 14 percent on an average during June to August.

According to the World Bank, structural reforms are still needed to attract non-oil foreign direct investments, despite the increase of foreign reserves to $44.4 billion by the end of August, in addition to a $12 billion held by the Central Bank of Egypt as other foreign currency assets.

“The overall balance of payments during the first nine months of 2017/2018 was 4.4 percent of GDP, down from 4.8 percent a year earlier,” the bank noted.
“As a part of the emerging markets’ selloff, foreigners’ holdings of Egyptian treasury bills have dropped by around $6 billion between March and July 2018, bringing them down to around $15.1 billion last July,” the bank said.

On a positive note, the bank said that the higher remittances, the surge in the services balance (Suez Canal and tourism) and the decline of trade deficit resulted in a lower current account deficit to 2 percent of GDP during the first nine months of 2017/2018, compared to 5 percent in the previous year.
]]>
10/3/2018 3:01:47 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian non-oil private sector hits 47.4 in September: PMI]]>
The neutral level of Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is 50 which delineates contraction and expansion in the non-oil private sector.

According to the released data, all components of the headline index declined in September, except for inventories, which slipped at a slower rate than in August.

Output reached the level of 46.5 in September, falling at the sharpest rate in four months. Panelists attributed the decrease of output to “weak underlying demand.”

Emirates NBD research said that new orders also contracted at a slightly faster rate in September.

Moreover, new export orders fell for the first time in six months, suggesting that external demand was weaker in September as well.

Survey respondents highlighted “political and economic uncertainty in neighbouring countries” as a factor hampering foreign demand, according to Emirates NBD research.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly given the weakness in output and new orders, employment declined at the sharpest rate since November 2016. However, rising staff costs may also have contributed to fewer jobs. Wage inflation has accelerated in recent months in response to the higher cost of living, although the rate of increase slowed slightly in September,” data stated.

Overall input cost inflation eased in September, but producer price pressures remain high with the index at 68.8.

“Higher VAT was one reason given for both higher input costs and higher selling prices. Output prices increased at a slower rate last month (54.3) however, suggesting that the official CPI is likely to continue to ease,” it attributed.

The data read that despite this decline in economic conditions in September, businesses optimism improved to the highest level since June 2017, clarifying that nearly 70 percent of firms surveyed said they expect their output to be higher in 12 months’ time, while only 11 percent expected their output to decline over the same period.

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.

In July, Egypt’s Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector hit 50.3.
]]>
10/3/2018 1:08:34 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's cotton exports expected to reach 1.3 million kantars this year]]>
In statements to Xinhua on Wednesday, he said that contracts to be signed during the current year to export long staple cotton will increase to reach 1.3 million kantars, compared to 1.1 million kantars in the 2017/2018 season and 600,00 kantars in the 2015/2016 season.

He further underlined that India is a top importer of Egyptian cotton as it imports 50% of Egypt's cotton exports, followed by China, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil and Bangladesh.

Compared to international cotton production, Egypt exported large quantities of cotton this year, nearly 25 million tons, including 500,000 tons of long staple cotton.]]>
10/3/2018 12:12:52 PM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt, Talaat Moustafa Group cooperate to activate smart cities application]]>
Under the contract, Telecom Egypt will prepare Talaat Moustafa Group projects to apply the latest applications as regards smart cities, according to a press release Wednesday.

Inking the contract yesterday comes as part of Telecom Egypt's plan to set up a regional center of data and a platform for the internet of things and smart solutions.

Signatories to the contract were CEO of Talaat Moustafa Group Hisham Talaat and CEO of Telecom Egypt Ahmed el Beheiri.

Beheiri said the company is very happy to supply real estate projects with the latest in the information technology domains especially after it launched the 4G technology service.

Moustafa said the contract comes in line with the group's plan to develop its fully-integrated real estate projects in accordance with global specifications.]]>
10/3/2018 12:11:42 PM
<![CDATA[National cement company to be liquidated]]>
The decision was taken on Tuesday after going through a report by a consultancy office assigned to examine whether or not to keep the company operational.

The report blamed the disastrous policies of the irresponsible boards that were at the helm in the company since 1996 for its deteriorating conditions, calling for bringing their chiefs and members to justice.]]>
10/3/2018 12:10:28 PM
<![CDATA[IFC, Investment Min. support ecosystem entrepreneurship in Africa]]>IFC added in a statement that a website was launched calling for applicants for the new initiative.

Titled "The Next 100 African Start-Ups", the initiative will select up to 100 promising entrepreneurs based in Africa and connect them with business leaders, international investors, financial institutions, and policymakers at the Africa 2018 Forum set to be held under the patronage of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in December in Sharm El-Sheikh.

“The initiative is part of IFC’s broader efforts to boost entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Africa by helping start-ups access much-needed financing, receive advice, and break into new markets,” the statement read.

“This initiative is a reflection of our faith in the bright young minds of our continent, and our commitment to ensure that entrepreneurs are equipped with the tools they need, including finance, advice, and networks, that would enable them to innovate and grow.” Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said.

“Through nurturing the ecosystem entrepreneurship, we believe we can unlock the potential of African youth to become more globally competitive, and to more actively contribute to the development of their communities,” she added.

“Supporting entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to drive innovation and create jobs in Africa. That’s what this forum will help do,” IFC Vice President for the Middle East and Africa Sérgio Pimenta said.

The statement read that Egypt is on its way to become a leading regional hub for entrepreneurs, tapping the immense potential for innovation and growth the region has to offer.

“To boost the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, MIIC launched Fekretak Sherketak in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in 2017 a comprehensive platform offering key tools including funding, mentorship, and training to entrepreneurs,” the statement noted.

MIIC also established leading venture firms and accelerators such as Egypt Ventures, Falak Start-ups and EFG-EV Fintech, through joint investments with the private sector and international financial institutions.

IFC signed an agreement in September with Banque Misr to support female entrepreneurs, aiming to help expand the number of women-led businesses in its SME banking portfolio, as part of IFC’s wider efforts to boost financial inclusion for women entrepreneurs in Egypt.

Over the last two years, IFC has provided close to $65 million in funding to technology companies and start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa, while working alongside leading accelerators and venture funds like Wamda, Flat6Labs, and Algebra Ventures.
Interested entrepreneurs can learn more details about the initiative and submit their applications via the website - http://next100africanstartups.com
]]>
10/3/2018 12:03:40 PM
<![CDATA[Euro lifted off six-week low by Italian budget speculation]]>
Uncertainty surrounding Italy’s debt, fiscal plans and future ties with Europe have unnerved markets recently and exacerbated tensions with other euro zone leaders.

The euro has suffered as a result, and on Tuesday it slid to a six-week low after a senior lawmaker suggested that Italy should re-adopt a national currency, prompting a broad market sell-off.

The single currency regained some ground on Wednesday after Italian newspapers said Rome aims to gradually reduce its budget deficit to 2 percent of gross domestic product in 2021.

“That the Italian government is trying to appease its EU partners can be seen as a step in the right direction and therefore justifies some euro-positive reaction,” said Thu Lan Nguyen, a FX strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt.

“The devil is in the details. The euro’s recovery will only continue if the new fiscal plans are also feasible,” she said.

The euro was up 0.3 percent at $1.1578 following its descent to $1.1505 overnight, its lowest since Aug. 21.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will meet ministers over the budget at around 1100 GMT on Wednesday.

Other analysts are less sanguine about the euro.

“When was the last time you ever heard anybody question the integrity of any other G8 currency?” said CMC Markets’ chief analyst, Michael Hewson.

“The fact that [Italian] politicians feel the need to constantly reiterate this line speaks to a fundamental weakness at the heart of the single-currency area,” he said.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was 0.2 percent lower at 95.313 after scaling 95.744 overnight, its highest since Sept. 4.

The yen and the Swiss franc, both safe-haven currencies, dipped against peers such as the euro, dollar and Australian dollar.

“U.S. data due later today, such as the non-manufacturing ISM index, will provide a chance to see if the economy is performing in line with the Fed’s views,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

Ishikawa said the dollar has benefited from recent euro weakness but that fundamental factors after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates last month had played a larger role. The dollar index has advanced about 1.4 percent since the Fed moved last Wednesday and said it foresees another rate hike in December.

The pound was 0.1 percent lower at $1.2995 after dropping on Tuesday to $1.2941, its weakest since Sept. 10, as conflicts over Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan escalated.

The Australian dollar was down 0.3 percent at $0.7165 and within touching distance of a two-week trough of $0.7162 brushed on Tuesday.]]>
10/3/2018 11:54:24 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. crude oil shipments to China 'totally stopped' amid trade war: shipping executive]]>
Washington and Beijing have slapped steep import tariffs on hundreds of goods in the past months. And although U.S. crude oil exports to China, which only started in 2016, have not yet been included, Chinese oil importers have shied away from new orders recently.

“We are one of the major carriers for crude oil from the U.S. to China. Before (the trade war) we had a nice business, but now it’s totally stopped,” Xie Chunlin, the president of CMES (601872.SS) said on the sidelines of the Global Maritime Forum’s Annual Summit in Hong Kong.

Ship tracking data in Refinitiv Eikon confirmed that U.S. crude oil shipments to China ground to a halt in September.

“It’s unfortunately happened, the trade war between the U.S. and China. Surely for the shipping business, it’s not good,” the CMES president said.

He also said the trade dispute was forcing China to seek soybeans from suppliers other than the United States, adding that China now bought most its soybeans from South America.]]>
10/3/2018 11:51:36 AM
<![CDATA[Italy budget concession hopes switch risk sentiment back on, boost euro]]>
A report in the Corriere della Serra newspaper — later confirmed to Reuters by a government source — said the deficit would fall to 2.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2020 and to 2 percent in 2021 from the 2.4 percent earlier outlined.

That brought relief to markets which had fretted that Italy’s decision to expand budget deficits well beyond what was agreed by a previous government would deepen its debt problems while stoking conflict with the European Union, whose officials have already expressed concerns.

The euro, which had hit a six-week trough of $1.1506 after suffering five straight days of losses, firmed 0.3 percent while Italian borrowing costs eased off 4-1/2-year highs, after jumping 50 basis points since budget details emerged last Thursday.]]>
10/3/2018 11:48:39 AM
<![CDATA[Oil min. asserts importance of global partnership in securing energy supply]]>
It is necessary to draw up a clear-cut roadmap for coordination and cooperation in oil and natural gas affairs and define targets and necessary mechanisms to secure the future of energy supply, the minister said during a ministerial session of the 11th Arab energy conference, which started in Marrakech on Monday.

Egypt is poised to become a regional hub for trade and handling natural gas and petroleum as part of its participation in securing a stable supply of gas to world markets through receiving gas produced in Mediterranean fields to Egypt and re-exporting it through its liquefaction factories in Edku and Damietta, the minister said.

Global oil and gas markets are currently witnessing fluctuation in prices which definitely affects whether positively or negatively the economies of oil exporting nations, he said, asserting the need to exert collective efforts by the industry parties to reach balance in prices and stability in markets.

Egypt is keen on cooperation with all producers inside and outside the OPEC to reach the aspired stability, he said, praising the key role played by Arab oil exporting countries, members of OPEC, in stabilizing oil and gas supply to the markets in light of their great potentials in terms of size of exports and production.]]>
10/2/2018 4:48:18 PM
<![CDATA[Foreign organizations go for selling on EGX’s Tuesday session]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 0.45 percent, or 65.17 points, to close at 14,381.55 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 lost 0.05 points, to reach 2,236.39 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 hiked 0.25 percent, or 1.77 points, reaching 699.33 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.09 percent, or 1.66 points, closing at 1,779.42 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 819.67 million, recording LE 795.84 billion, compared to LE 796.66 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 161.59 million shares, traded through 19,759 transactions, with a turnover of LE 743.82 million.

Egyptian Transport (EGYTRANS), Egyptian for Developing Building Materials, and Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad) were top gainers of the session by 8.20 percent, 8.04 percent and 6.67 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Gharbia Islamic Housing Development, Nasr Company for Civil Works, and Edita Food Industries S.A.E were top losers of the session by 8.23 percent, 7.47 percent, and 7.35 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 53.2 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 12 million and LE 41.19 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 14.05 million, while Arab and Foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 1.7 million, and LE 1.6 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 26.06 million and LE 39.49 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 54.8 million.

EGX ended Monday’s session in red, as EGX30 decreased 1.16 percent, EGX50 dropped 1.84 percent, EGX70 declined 2.08 and EGX100 went down 1.82 percent.
]]>
10/2/2018 3:44:20 PM
<![CDATA[Oil boosts Gulf petchems but markets mostly sluggish]]>
The Saudi Arabian index was up 0.1 percent after an hour of trading, with 11 of 14 petrochemical stocks gaining. Saudi Basic Industries rose 0.5 percent.

The Dubai index dipped 0.5 percent, pulled down by real estate stocks on profit-taking after the sector had rebounded moderately in the last few days. Emaar Properties slid 1.9 percent.

Loss-making construction firm Drake and Scull, which has plunged more than 80 percent this year, jumped 10 percent in heavy trade ahead of a planned shareholder meeting on Thursday that is expected to discuss ways to strengthen the company.

In Qatar, the index edged up just 0.3 percent but petrochemical producer Industries Qatar rose 1.2 percent in unusually heavy trade.

Drilling rig provider Gulf International Services was heading for its sixth straight gain, up 1.8 percent; rising oil prices have boosted it more than 13 percent since mid-September. ]]>
10/2/2018 11:42:19 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's current account deficit narrows sharply to $6B in 2017/18]]>
The central bank attributed the drop in the deficit to the impact of currency liberalisation. Egypt let its pound float in late 2016 as part of an IMF-backed economic reform programme.

Since then the pound has more than halved in value, helping to cut the trade deficit and attract foreign investment that had dried up after an uprising in 2011.

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) for the 2017-18 financial year was $7.7 billion, of which $4.5 billion was in the oil sector, the bank said. The net FDI figure was down from $7.9 billion in 2016-17.

The trade deficit stood at $37.3 billion, compared with $35.4 billion for the 2016-17 financial year.

Portfolio investment slowed to a net inflow of $12.1 billion, down from $16 billion, mostly due to lower foreign investment in treasury bills.

Remittances from Egyptians working abroad rose sharply, to $26.4 billion from $21.8 billion year earlier.

Egypt has borrowed heavily from abroad since 2016, and is looking to tap the international financial market at a time when emerging market turbulence has pushed up rates.

Egypt’s current account deficit for the fourth quarter of 2017-18 was $642.2 million, 73 percent less than for the same period the previous year, a Reuters calculation showed.

The overall balance of payments registered a surplus of $12.8 billion compared with a surplus of $13.7 billion a year earlier, the statement said. ]]>
10/2/2018 11:26:08 AM
<![CDATA[Indicative price for Sarwa Capital's IPO ranges from LE 7.04, LE 8/share]]>
Sarwa clarified in a statement that this decision comes after the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) approved the company’s public subscription note.

The statement added that the indicative price for its IPO ranges between LE 7.04 and LE 8 per share, with an expected offering size in the range of LE 2.1 billion to LE 2.4 billion.

According to the statement, the shares will be offered in two tranches consisting of: (i) a retail offering of 29.52 million shares to individual investors, representing 10 percent of the offering (the Retail Offering). The second tranche is a (ii) a private offering of 265.65 million shares to qualified institutional investors, representing 90 percent of the offering (the Institutional offering).

“Following the offering, the selling shareholders will use a portion of the offering proceeds to subscribe to LE 700 million in a closed subscription at the offer price (the “Capital Increase”),” it stated.

The retail offering subscription period will run between Wednesday, October 3 and October 10, 2018, and share trading is expected to commence on or around Monday, October 15.

Beltone Investment Banking is acting as Sole Global Coordinator and Bookrunner, and Marouk Bassiouny is acting as counsel to the issuer.

“Sarwa concluded a local and international roadshow spanning the US, UK, South Africa and the GCC, with strong interest for the offering from local and international investors,” the statement read.

In August, Sarwa Capital announced its intention to IPO on the EGX.

Sarwa Capital is a provider of consumer and structured finance solutions in Egypt.

]]>
10/2/2018 10:58:45 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. oil hits four-year peak ahead of sanctions on Iran]]>
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 marked $75.90 a barrel around 0630 GMT on Tuesday, their strongest since November 2014. WTI has risen around 18 percent since mid-August.

International benchmark Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $85.28 per barrel, up 30 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. That was not far off the $85.45 peak reached in the previous session, the highest since November 2014.

Brent has risen by more than 20 percent from its most recent lows in August.

Sentiment was lifted by a last-gasp deal to salvage NAFTA as a trilateral pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada, rescuing a $1.2 trillion a year open-trade zone that had been about to collapse.

More fundamentally, oil markets have been pushed up by looming U.S. sanctions against Iran’s oil industry, which at its most recent peak this year supplied almost 3 percent of the world’s almost 100 million barrels of daily consumption.

Trade data in Refinitiv Eikon showed Iran’s seaborne exports in September were just 1.6 million barrels per day, the lowest level since mid-2016.

“Oil prices continue to climb, supported by the nearing Iran embargo and related supply concerns,” said Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.

“The supply situation looks fragile indeed, as any additional shortfall such as a deterioration of the situation in Venezuela would tighten oil supplies.”

HSBC said in its fourth quarter Global Economics outlook that “our oil analysts believe there is now a growing risk it (crude) could touch $100 per barrel”.

Washington’s sanctions are set to start on Nov. 4, and analysts say there may not be enough spare production capacity in the short-term to meet demand, potentially requiring large storage drawdowns.

Many analysts say the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iran is a member, will struggle to replace export falls from Iran.

Britain’s Barclays bank, however, said on Tuesday that “OPEC has ample spare capacity”.

For now, soaring crude prices and weak emerging market currencies, including India’s rupee and Indonesia’s rupiah, may erode economic growth.

“Admittedly, supply-side concerns are pushing the oil price higher, but there are now clear warning signs on the demand-side, which could yet send prices lower,” said Capital Economics in a note to clients.

“Softening demand growth and new supply should cool the bullish sentiment and push prices lower by the end of the year,” Barclays said.]]>
10/2/2018 10:51:50 AM
<![CDATA[Euro slides after Italian lawmaker mentions return to own currency]]>
Markets are highly sensitive to Italian political developments after the ruling parties proposed a budget with a higher-than-expected deficit target, exacerbating tensions with other euro zone leaders and worrying investors who want Rome to bring its large debts under control.

The euro’s weakness combined with another push higher by the dollar, as investors shrugged off signs dollar long positions had become stretched to buy into the U.S. currency.

“We are dealing with a war of words, with the euro on one side and Italy on the other ... There’s a lot of headline risk about,” said Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX Strategy at Credit Agricole.

Marinov, however, said he did not expect the Italian saga to weigh heavily on the euro in the medium term because there was “no real evidence of contagion” that would worry the European Central Bank and prompt it to postpone a gradual end to its fiscal stimulus.

The euro skidded half a percent to as low as $1.1525, almost its weakest since Aug 21.

Most of the losses came after Claudio Borghi, the economic head of the ruling League party, said Italy would enjoy more favourable economic conditions outside the euro zone.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who has accused European Union officials of deliberately upsetting financial markets with negative comments about Italy’s budget plans, also said Italy would not change its budget deficit targets.

The euro also fell against the Swiss franc, often bought as a safe haven in times of market flux, which added 0.4 percent to reach 1.1347 francs.

The dollar extended gains as risk appetite faded, after it got a boost from the U.S.-Canada trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The dollar index rose 0.3 percent to 95.542, trading at a three-week high.

Fears about international trade conflicts between the United States and major trading partners, including China, have lifted the dollar this year, as has an increasingly confident U.S. Federal Reserve.

Flows from investors buying U.S. government bonds and stocks have also underpinned dollar demand, analysts say.

AUSSIE FALLS

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell 0.2 percent to 113.74 yen as dollar bulls booked some profits.

Following the U.S.-Canada trade deal announced on Monday, the yen fell as low as 114.06 per dollar, its weakest since November 2017.

“If we close this week above 114, that’s going to be a significant milestone,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank.

The Australian dollar fell half a percent to $0.7194 after the Reserve Bank of Australia held interest rates at 1.5 percent after its October policy meeting, a widely expected decision given inflation and wage growth continue to disappoint.

The Aussie, often viewed as a barometer of risk appetite, was expected to do well out of the U.S.-Canada trade deal but dollar demand and the central bank decision sent it lower on Tuesday.

The Canadian traded flat at C$1.2821 per dollar, holding onto most of its 0.7 percent gains the previous day.

The British pound dropped 0.4 percent to as low as $1.2990, a three-week low.]]>
10/2/2018 10:48:19 AM
<![CDATA[Trump hails Canada, Mexico trade pact as win for U.S. workers]]>
Washington and Ottawa reached an agreement on Sunday after weeks of tense bilateral talks to update the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. The United States had forged a separate trade deal with Mexico, the third member of NAFTA, in August.

The new agreement, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), is aimed at bringing more jobs into the United States, with Canada and Mexico accepting more restrictive commerce with the United States, their main export customer.

“These measures will support many - hundreds of thousands - American jobs,” Trump said at the White House, describing the trade deal as “the most important” the United States had ever made.

“It means far more American jobs, and these are high-quality jobs,” he said. Trump had repeatedly called NAFTA a terrible deal for the United States.

Any U.S. job gains are likely years away, but the deal provides Trump with a victory that he can tout at campaign rallies over the next month on behalf of fellow Republicans running in the Nov. 6 congressional elections.

But auto industry officials privately said job gains would be more limited, partly because tighter autos content rules would raise their costs even as the deal eases worries that they would have to tear up supply chains and move existing assembly plants.

Praise from the lobbying group representing Ford Motor Co (F.N), General Motors (GM.N) and Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI) was measured.

Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, called the deal “a workable agreement” achieved through a close relationship between the automakers and U.S. negotiators.

Speaking in Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the deal removed uncertainty, but he conceded that Canada had made some difficult compromises. Canada’s dairy industry criticized him for giving more market access to U.S. imports.

“We had to make compromises, and some were more difficult than others,” Trudeau said at a news conference. “We never believed that it would be easy, and it wasn’t, but today is a good day for Canada.”

Trudeau did win a face-saving preservation of a key trade dispute settlement mechanism to fight U.S. anti-dumping tariffs.

Initial U.S. reaction was effusive, with auto workers, dairy farmers and wheat producers saying the deal would likely create job opportunities and open up agricultural markets.

A NAFTA collapse could have caused U.S. farmers, a key Trump constituency, to lose access to major agricultural markets in Canada and Mexico at the same time that China has halted purchases of U.S. soybeans and other commodities due to a tariff war. NAFTA underpins about $1.2 trillion in annual trade between its three member countries.

U.S., Canadian and Mexican stocks jumped early on Monday before paring gains later.

The Canadian dollar CAD=D4 strengthened to a four-month high against the U.S. dollar, while the Mexican peso MXN=D3 rose to near a two-month high against the greenback.

EYES ON CHINA

The deal ends a major source of trade irritation as the Trump administration pivots to a much bigger fight with China, where U.S. tariffs now are active on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and threatened on $267 billion more.

The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, issued a new warning on Monday that rising tariffs were dimming the global growth outlook.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been working to recruit Japan and the European Union to help pressure China to change its trade, subsidy and intellectual property practices. With a deal that preserves U.S. market access, Canada and Mexico now are more likely to join that effort.

While Trump’s goals for revising NAFTA were to shrink U.S. trade deficits, claw back lost manufacturing jobs and add new IP protections and digital trade chapters, the new pact leaves North American trade flows largely unaltered.

“The most significant thing about this new deal is that they changed the name,” said David Kelly, chief global strategist for JPMorgan Asset Management. “It really is tweaks to NAFTA.”

The deal effectively maintains the auto industry’s current footprint in North America, and spares Canada and Mexico from the prospect of U.S. national security tariffs on their vehicles.

Over time it will force auto companies to spend billions of dollars to produce more of their future products in the United States or Canada to meet new requirements that 40 percent to 45 percent of a vehicle’s value content come from high-wage areas.

Auto makers, particularly from Europe and Asia, may be pushed to move more of their supply chain into the region.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, who led his country’s trade negotiations, said the agreement was an attempt to make the region more competitive versus Asia and Europe.

“Everyone is trying to entrench themselves in their region to compete with other regions,” Guajardo told Mexican radio.

Unifor, Canada’s biggest private sector union, said the deal was likely positive for auto workers, as it requires a much higher percentage of parts to be made in North America, with a significant proportion produced in areas paying at least $16 per hour.

STEEL TARIFFS STAY

The deal does not include any changes to separate U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum levied earlier this year on Canada, Mexico, China, the European Union and others.

Trump said the those tariffs - 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum - would remain in place for Canada and Mexico until they “can do something different like quotas, perhaps.”

“We are not going to allow our steel industry to disappear,” Trump said, adding that Sunday’s deal would not have happened without the tariffs.

Both Trudeau and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said the tariffs needed to be removed before the new trade deal is signed on Nov. 30.

Passage of the deal by the U.S. Congress is not expected until the spring of 2019, after November elections could shift control of the House of Representatives to Democrats from Republicans.

Some Democrats may be reluctant to give Trump a victory and may oppose the deal, but some of the deal’s stronger rules on labor, autos and the environment may appeal to more liberal Democrats, who often opposed free trade deals in the past.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump “deserves praise for taking large steps” to improve NAFTA, but said he would judge the deal on U.S. dairy access to Canada and “real enforcement of labor provisions.”

Mexico’s Guajardo on Monday said the new accord could be signed by the three countries’ leaders when they meet at a Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires in late November.]]>
10/2/2018 10:43:29 AM
<![CDATA[Asia stocks slip as NAFTA lift fades; oil near four-year highs]]>
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.3 percent after a steady start.

Australian stocks lost 0.7 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI fell 0.9 percent.

Bucking the overall trend, Japan’s Nikkei added 0.1 percent, after rising as much as 0.8 percent to a new 27-year intra-day high of 24,448.07.

Spreadbetters expected a weaker tone in European equities, forecasting a lower open for Britain’s FTSE, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC.

China’s financial markets are closed for the week of Oct. 1-5 for national holidays.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which did not trade on Monday due to a holiday, dropped 1.9 percent in reaction to signs of weakness in the Chinese manufacturing sector shown in purchasing managers’ index (PMI) numbers released on Sunday.

“While news that the U.S. and Canada had struck a new NAFTA trade deal gave the S&P 500 a lift overnight, dark clouds are gathering,” strategists at OCBC Bank wrote in a note.

“With some signs of weakness in the European and Asian manufacturing PMIs Asian, markets may trade with a slightly more cautious tone.”

IHS Markit purchasing managers’ indices released on Monday showed manufacturing growth in the euro zone slowed to a two-year low at the end of the third quarter.

The United States and Canada forged a last-minute deal on Sunday to salvage NAFTA as a trilateral pact with Mexico, rescuing a $1.2 trillion open-trade zone that had been about to collapse after nearly a quarter century in operation.

The Dow rose 0.73 percent and the S&P 500 gained 0.36 percent on Monday after the deal to preserve NAFTA helped ease trade worries. [.N]

“There were concerns that the resulting confusion would exceed that of the U.S.-China trade row if NAFTA was scrapped. While it appears like Canada and Mexico caved in to the United States, the outcome is positive for global trade and the economy,” said Yoshihisa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

The Canadian dollar traded at C$1.2815 per dollar after rallying to a four-month high of C$1.2782 overnight following the trilateral trade pact.

The euro was little changed at $1.1543 after slipping 0.25 percent on Monday on renewed concerns about heavily-indebted Italy’s budget.

The single currency has been hurt by concerns that a significant increase in the Italian budget will deepen Italy’s debt and deficit problems.

The dollar was at 113.845 yen after scaling an 11-month high of 114.06 yen on Monday, as improving investor risk sentiment weighed on the Japanese currency.

The yen is usually seen as a safe haven at times of turmoil but recedes when risk appetite returns.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies rose 0.2 percent to 95.462, its highest since Sept. 10.

The greenback drew support from an uptick in U.S. Treasury yields as Wall Street gains curbed demand for safe-haven debt.

In commodities, U.S. crude futures were up 0.4 percent at $75.60 a barrel.

Crude contracts surged nearly 3 percent to $75.77 a barrel on Monday, their highest since November 2014, as the deal to salvage NAFTA stoked economic growth expectations, with impending U.S. sanctions on Iran seen raising prices. [O/R]

Brent crude edged up 0.1 percent to $85.07 a barrel after rallying 2.7 percent the previous day to a $85.45, highest since November 2014.]]>
10/2/2018 10:39:03 AM
<![CDATA[CIRA’s IPO on EGX worth LE 1.2B: Hermes]]>
EFG Hermes acted as sole global coordinator and bookrunner on the transaction. Shares of CIRA were admitted to trading on the Egyptian Exchange under the stock ticker CIRA.

Hermes said in a statement that CIRA caters predominantly to the fragmented middle-income segment, offering premium education at affordable pricing. CIRA is also active in the higher-education segment with its Badr University in Cairo (BUC), which houses nine faculties as of 2018.

“We are particularly pleased with this transaction that brings a new, high-growth and underpenetrated sector to the Egyptian capital market through one of Egypt’s largest private sector educational platforms,” Co-Head of Investment Banking at EFG Hermes Mostafa Gad said.

“Egypt’s education space is supported by strong demand and a high growth potential owing to the country’s demographic profile. Meanwhile, the sector’s limited players and underinvestment add up to an incredible investment opportunity as illustrated by our ability to build a solid base of diversified investors,” he added.

It noted that the IPO saw selling shareholders Social Impact Capital (SIC) alongside other minority shareholders offering 207. 26 million shares or 37.8 percent of CIRA to institutional and retail investors at an offer price of LE 6.00 per share.

CIRA’s total market capitalization at the start of trading was LE 3.287 billion. The secondary share sale is to be followed by a closed subscription at the same offer price, wherein SIC will inject a portion of the IPO proceeds into the company by way of capital increase, according to the statement.

The statement also referred that proceeds from the capital increase will be utilized to fund CIRA’s growth strategy, which encompasses both capacity and geographic expansion of its schools, while simultaneously pursuing diversification opportunities particularly in the healthcare space.

“CIRA’s IPO builds on a long tradition of bringing new sectors to the public domain and illustrates our continued role in helping develop regional equity markets,” EFG Hermes’ Co-CEO of the Investment Bank Mohamed Ebeid said.

“Education adds to a roster of firsts by EFG Hermes that includes healthcare and dairy, and is testament to our leadership position in Egypt as a capable partner that can package and market new opportunities to quality investors thanks to unmatched market insights and execution knowhow,” Ebeid added.

Trading on the shares of Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development (CIRA) started Monday after issuing about 37.84 percent of the company’s outstanding share capital on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

After two minutes of the beginning of the EGX session, CIRA rose to reach LE 7.09 per share after trading on 504,375 shares.

By 10:54 a.m., CIRA declined to LE 7 per share, after trading on 32.69 million shares with a turnover of LE 228.7 million.

On September 25, EGX announced that the initial public offering (IPO) of CIRA was oversubscribed by 18.87 times, with purchase orders recording 273.78 shares.
CIRA is a private education provider in Egypt, targeting both the K-12 and the higher-education segments in six governorates.

EFG Hermes is a public company, listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since February 1999.

It operates within the diversified financial sector, focusing on investment banking and brokerage. It has 36 subsidiaries operating across the Caribbean, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. EFG Hermes is based in 6th October, Egypt and was established in January 1984.
]]>
10/1/2018 5:24:18 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry auctions LE1.25B T-bonds]]>
In a statement, the ministry said it has sold LE 750 million of three-year T-bonds with an average yield of 18.432 percent, adding it accepted bids at rates between 18.45 percent and 18.3 percent.

As for the seven-year T-bonds, worth LE 500 million, they achieved average revenue of 18.431 percent, the ministry said.

The yield ranged from 18.5 percent to 18.41 percent.

The Central Bank of Egypt auctions T-bonds on behalf of the Finance Ministry.]]>
10/1/2018 5:04:56 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday in red amid Egyptian, Arab selling]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 1.16 percent, or 169.75 points, to close at 14,446.72 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 1.84 percent, or 41.95 points, to reach 2,236.72 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 2.08 percent, or 14.84 points, reaching 697.56 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 1.82 percent, or 33.02 points, closing at 1,777.76 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 7.19 billion, recording LE 796.66 billion, compared to LE 803.86 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 174.29 million shares, traded through 18,339 transactions, with a turnover of LE 946.19 million.

Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development, Arab Pharmaceuticals, and Misr National Steel - Ataqa were top gainers of the session by 17.67 percent, 8.19 percent and 7.07 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Modern Company for water proofing (Bitumode), Dice Sport & Casual Wear, and Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation were top losers of the session by 9.42 percent, 9.09 percent, and 8.84 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 90.76 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 19.17 million and LE 71.59 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and Foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 31.41 million, LE 35,690 and LE 7.25 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 12.24 million and LE 98.01 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 35.90 million.

EGX ended Sunday’s session on mixed performance, as EGX30 decreased 0.11 percent, while EGX50 rose 0.31 percent, EGX70 increased 1.95 and EGX100 inched up 1.45 percent.]]>
10/1/2018 4:26:04 PM
<![CDATA[CBE: Deposits in banks hit LE3.586 trillion in July]]>
According to a CBE report, a copy of which MENA obtained, governmental deposits were worth around LE538.4 billion, including LE420.3 billion in local currency and LE118 billion in foreign currencies.

Non-governmental deposits increased to LE3.047 trillion in July against LE3.036 trillion in the previous month, the report said.

The total value of non-governmental deposits in foreign currency reached LE733 billion, of which the public business sector had LE41.5 billion, the private sector had about LE193.4 billion and the family sector around LE490.1 billion. it added. ]]>
10/1/2018 2:01:28 PM