<![CDATA[rss-Business & Economics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Business & Economics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Will Egypt reduce its currency?]]>
The report noted that state-owned banks will no longer be able to support the Egyptian pound with policymakers appearing to hear calls of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to change the exchange rate regime.

The report also expected the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to keep interest rates unchanged in December’s meeting, inflation to decline, and the easing cycle to be resumed in 2019.

Capital Economics expected Egypt to reduce its currency to hit $19 per LE 1 by the end of next year, compared to the current rate of $17.9/LE 1.

The report clarified that the Egyptian policymakers are trying to simply change the country’s exchange rate setup, noting that “it is ultimately likely to result in a weaker pound.”

According to Capital Economics report, the state-owned banks intervened during the past six months to support the currency, expecting that this action cannot be sustained for much longer.

“Policymakers appear to be heeding calls from the IMF to streamline the exchange rate regime by scrapping an investor repatriation scheme and ending a preferential exchange rate for 'non-essential' imports,” it stated.

It referred to the CBE’s decision to end its investor repatriation program, noting that it will deepen liquidity on the interbank FX market, and promote greater swings in the exchange rate.

The report also pointed out raising the custom dollar for non-essential goods to LE 17.8 instead of LE 16.

Raising custom dollar for non-essential products to save employment: Min.

CAIRO- 2 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it said that the changes of the exchange rate and other economic factors affected some aspects of the Egyptian economy negatively, so the Ministry had to take actions to protect the employment and job opportunities.




Finance Minister Mohamed Ma’it announced earlier that Egypt didn’t ask for an additional fund from the IMF.

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.

Egypt to issue int'l bonds during Q1 of 2019: Min.

CAIRO - 3 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it announced that Egypt will receive the fifth tranche of the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) loan in December and expected an international issuance of bonds during the first quarter of 2019. Ma'it clarified that the issuance might be in dollar, euro or any other currency, if possible.




The report also reviewed the Egyptian economic indicators during the third quarter of 2018, describing it by “economy appears to have lost momentum in Q3.”

Egypt's economic indicators of 2017, 2018

CAIRO - 16 December 2018: The Egyptian economy witnessed progress in several indicators during 2017 and 2018 after applying the economic reforms since mid-2016. The most significant successes were declining the inflation and unemployment rates and boosting foreign reserves.




The report said that industrial production rose slowly 2.6 percent on a year-on-year basis and that headline inflation declined to 15.7 percent (YOY) in November, from 17.7 percent (YoY) in October, attributing the fall of inflation to the ease of food inflation.
“But core price pressures are weak,” it read.

As per the interest rates, the report expected the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to keep the rates unchanged in December’s meeting.

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

CBE keeps interest rates on hold in November

CAIRO - 15 November 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, Nov. 15 for the fifth time this year, meeting the expectations of experts and investment banks. MPC set the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively.




Capital Economics anticipated headline inflation to fall further, and that the easing cycle is likely to be resumed in early 2019.

Egypt's annual inflation hits to 15.6% in November

CAIRO - 10 December 2018: Egypt's annual consumer price inflation slipped to 15.6 percent in November 2018, compared to 26.7 percent in the same month of 2017 that rose due to the flotation of the Egyptian currency, state-statistics body said Wednesday, Oct. 10.



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12/18/2018 6:13:21 PM
<![CDATA[Careem to invest $100-120M in Egypt]]>
Careem works in 14 governorates in Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria and a number of Delta and Canal governorates.

Chairman of Careem Egypt Wael Abul Ela said in press statements that the executive regulations of the ride hailing Law will be finalized in January as agreed with the concerned parties.

He added that there are two points which are currently being discussed with the concerned parties, including the subject of the captain's license in relation to being a unified license for all companies or a different license for each company, and the second relates to the possibility of installing the financial obligations of the captain.

Abul Ela clarified that his company will expand in four governorates by the beginning of next week, including two governorates in Upper Egypt, and one governorate in Delta, noting that the new governorates will be officially announced after completing the required studies.

He highlighted that the company will provide about 20,000 new jobs in the service of ride hailing during the next year, noting that about 250,000 drivers have worked with Careem since the launch of the system.

Abul Ela reiterated that the company was the first to introduce the White Taxi system and the Careem Bus service, in addition to introducing a strategy to expand all transport services in Egypt.

By the beginning of December, Careem announced the launch of Careem Bus service in Cairo through four pilot lines covering a number of Cairo’s main neighborhoods. It is looking to invest $100 million in this service in the coming period.

Uber follows Careem, launches Uber Bus in Egypt

CAIRO - 4 December 2018: Uber announced Tuesday the launch of Uber Bus in Egypt, a day after its competitor Careem officially launched Careem Bus in Cairo. Uber also announced it will bring Uber Lite, a new version of the rider app built to work in low connectivity, and with older Android devices, across the Middle East region early next year.




Regarding the cooperation with Sarwa Capital Company, Abul Ela noted that Careem cooperates with the company in finance leasing and car installments, clarifying that the company negotiates with the banks, within the initiative of the Central Bank of Egypt, to set the interest rate at 5 percent.
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12/18/2018 5:58:58 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Tuesday in red, Egyptian investors buy at LE 1B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 0.71 percent, or 94.29 points, to close at 13,121.11 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.56 percent, or 12.12 points, to reach 2,155.19 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.17 percent, or 1.15 points, reaching 676.48 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 0.32 percent, or 5.48 points, to close at 1,695.11 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 3 billion, recording LE 746.25 billion, compared to LE 749.26 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 409.25 million shares, traded through 23,118 transactions, with a turnover of LE 2.4 billion.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 1.07 billion, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 497.4 million and LE 568.9 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 244.04 million, LE 183.59 million and LE 23.77 million, respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 313.81 million, and LE 313.81 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations bought at LE 1.3 billion.

Marsa Marsa Alam For Tourism Development, Cairo Poultry, and El Nasr For Manufacturing Agricultural Crops were top gainers of the session by 8.25 percent, 7.73 percent and 6.70 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, TransOceans Tours, Cairo For Investment And Real Estate Development, and Citadel Capital - Common Shares were top losers of the session by 5.26 percent, 3.91 percent, and 3.81 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in green, as EGX 30 rose 1.72 percent, EGX50 increased 0.84 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.71 percent, EGX100 went up 0.83 percent.
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12/18/2018 4:02:41 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt upgrades paid amount to Dana Gas to $152M]]>
Dana added in a filing to Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) that a further payment is planned to be made in US dollar before year-end.

“We are encouraged by this latest payment and we are looking forward to further payments before year end which will enable Dana Gas to proceed with its plans to drill the Merak deepwater exploration well, one of several prospects in the Block 6 North El-Arish Concession Area with high potential,” CEO of Dana Gas Patrick Allman-Ward said.

According to the filing, the company stated that it currently focuses on drilling its first deepwater exploration well in the North El-Arish Offshore (Block 6) Concession area in 2019 and final preparations are underway.

“It recently completed the drilling of the Balsam-8 production well and has tied it into the pipeline network. The well was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, adding over 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day 'boepd' to the Company’s output,” the statement read.

The company announced last week that the group production reached 70,000 boepd on Nov. 19, and has since been sustained above that level, representing a significant increase compared to the company’s 9M 2018 average of 62,250 boepd.

In May, DANA received $40 million from the Egyptian government as part of the company’s receivables, upgrading the total paid amount to $88.8 million during 2018.

Egypt pays $40M to Dana Gas

CAIRO - 28 May 2018: The UAE-based Dana Gas (DANA) announced the receipt of $40 million from the Egyptian government as a part of the company's receivables, upgrading the total paid amount to $88.8 million during 2018.




Dana has two to four wells in Egypt and where work has already begun, according to a previous statement.

During 2017, Dana’s production in Egypt hit 39,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), with an increase of 5 percent on a year-on-year basis.

Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla said earlier that debts to foreign oil partners slumped to less than one third, recording $1.2 billion by the end of June 2018, which is the lowest amount since 2010.

Petroleum minister reviews sector achievements in 4 years

CAIRO - 11 December 2018: In the period from 2014 to 2018, Egypt signed 63 petroleum agreements with investments of $14 billion, Minister of Petroleum Tarek el- Molla said. Molla reviewed achievements in the sector, saying that the ministry implemented the biggest two projects for collecting geophysical data in areas of the Red Sea and Upper Egypt.




Dana’s chief executive said in March that the firm will spend $47 million in Egypt this year but new investments will be made only if the country pays some of the money it owes.

“Capex (capital expenditure) of similar amount will be spent this year,” CEO Patrick Allman-Ward told reporters on a media call. The capex in 2017 was $47 million.

Dana Gas plans $47 mln capex in Egypt this year: CEO

ABU DHABI - 15 March 2018: United Arab Emirates-based energy firm Dana Gas will spend $47 million in Egypt this year but any new investments will be made only if the country pays some of the money it owes, Dana's chief executive said on Thursday.



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12/18/2018 1:34:25 PM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt expects beating revenues of 2018]]>
“Our 2019 projections count on the robust growth across our operational segments driven by Telecom Egypt’s footprint in the retail market, especially its strong growth in mobile and fixed broadband, along with its eagerness to seize all opportunities in the wholesale segment,” Beheiry added.

He added that transformation is their adopted theme to boost growth and remain agile, noting that WE brand is expected to continue to evolve and address more segments including corporates.

Beheiry pointed out that they are scaling their business by exploring all potentials in the ICT advancement field, which is the optimum route to navigate towards a progressive future.

“In 2019, we will continue to invest in our fiber network to meet the growing demand for our fixed and mobile broadband offerings, and cater to the growing traffic of domestic and international operators,” he stated.

Beheiry added that the company continues to stress on financial excellence, manage cash flows to minimize interest expense and maintain their strong relationships with vendors to keep investing for growth at favorable payment terms.

In September, Telecom Egypt’s board of directors approved the acquisition of 50 percent of its subsidiary Egyptian Submarine Cable Company (EISCC) for $15 million.

The company clarified in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that this decision is taken as EISCC has multiple financial advantages, including full consolidation of MENA Cable profitability from the Bharti Airtel transaction, immediate savings of $10 million as a result of the new structure, and total recognition of recurring revenue over the life time of the cable (min. of 15 years).

Telecom Egypt acquires 50% of EISCC for $15M

CAIRO - 23 September 2018: Telecom Egypt's board of directors approved the acquisition of 50 percent of its subsidiary Egyptian Submarine Cable Company (EISCC) for $15 million.




The company announced previously that EISCC completed the acquisition of Middle East and North Africa Submarine Cable “Mena Cable” from Orascom Investment Holding “OIH”, with total enterprise value of $90 million, $40 million of which represent the equity value of MENA Cable and the remainder represent its outstanding debt.

In August, Telecom Egypt signed with India's Airtel Company a memorandum of understanding to enhance cooperation in the maritime cable domain.

On a different note, the company’s consolidated results slipped 18.2 percent during the first half of 2018, recording LE 2.06 billion, compared to LE 2.52 billion during the same period of 2017.

Telecom Egypt operates within the telecommunication services sector focusing on integrated telecommunication services.

It has 17 subsidiaries operating across British Islands, Western Europe, Northern Africa and Middle East. Telecom Egypt is based in 6th of October, Egypt.


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12/18/2018 1:22:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s trade deficit drops to $3B in September]]>
In August, Egypt marked a trade deficit of $3.95 billion, compared to $3.66 billion in the same month of 2017, with an increase of 8 percent.

Egypt's trade deficit reaches $3.95B in August

CAIRO - 14 November 2018: Egypt's trade deficit increased 8 percent during August 2018, recording $3.95 billion, compared to $3.66 billion in the same month of 2017, according to the state statistics agency CAPMAS. In July, Egypt marked a trade deficit of $4.10 billion, compared to $3.79 billion in the same month of 2017, with an increase of 8.4 percent.




In its monthly bulletin on foreign trade data, CAPMAS said that exports hiked 21.7 percent to reach $2.3 billion during the month of 2018, compared to $1.9 billion during the month of 2017.

The bulletin attributed the increase of exports to the rise in the exports of crude oil by 36 percent, ready-made clothes by 39.5 percent, fertilizers by 55.6 percent, and pastries and food preparations by 20 percent.

Meanwhile, exports of some other commodities saw a decrease in September such as fresh fruits which decreased by 4.5 percent, medicaments and pharmaceutical goods (14.4 percent), coal (22.9 percent), and soap and detergents (22.6 percent).

As per imports, the bulletin showed an increase of 1.3 percent to hit $5.32 billion in September of the current year, compared to $5.25 billion in September 2017.

CAPMAS ascribed this hike to the increase in imports of medicine by 11.4 percent, Cars' spare parts by 20.5 percent, televisions and antennas by 143.6 percent, communication devices and exchanges by 45.9 percent.

On the other hand, imports of other commodities showed a decline such as raw materials of iron and steel products by 16.7 percent, petroleum products by 36 percent, plastics by 20.5 percent, motor vehicles by 7.9 percent, and meat by 46.6 percent.

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

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) stated previously that Egypt’s exports marked an increase of $1.2 billion during the third quarter of 2017/2018, hitting $6.75 billion, compared to $5.55 billion in the same quarter of 2016/2017.
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12/18/2018 1:19:42 PM
<![CDATA[FRA determines rules, procedures for short-term bonds' issuance]]>
The authority determined, through the decision, which companies are entitled to issue and offer short-term bonds.

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

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

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

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




“The move ensures tax equality with regards to financial institutions' investment in government securities and asserts the fair collection of taxes due on profits earned from the rest of their activities,” the minister added.

Egypt to achieve GDP of 5.3% in 2017/18

CAIRO - 4 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it said that Egypt achieved an increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.3 percent in 2017/2018, up from an average of 2.3 percent between 2011 and 2014. The minister added that Egypt targets a growth rate of 5.8 percent during the current fiscal year 2018/2019.




The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, issued LE 1.2 billion in treasury bonds on Monday, Dec. 17.

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.

CBE issues LE 1.2B in T-bonds Monday

CAIRO - 17 December 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, issued LE 1.2 billion in treasury bonds on Monday, Dec. 17. 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 in 2018, Egypt canceled bids for treasury bills four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.

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

CBE keeps interest rates on hold in November

CAIRO - 15 November 2018: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept interest rates on hold on Thursday, Nov. 15 for the fifth time this year, meeting the expectations of experts and investment banks. MPC set 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.

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12/18/2018 1:17:51 PM
<![CDATA[No Uber or Airbnb in South Korea: Red tape, risk-aversion hobble start-ups]]>
His pitch worked: Hyundai agreed to buy a 12 percent stake in Luxi for $5 million, its first investment in a car-sharing firm as it joined rivals in the race for new-age transportation.

But about six months later, Hyundai sold its stake after thousands of angry taxi drivers, worried about their jobs, threatened to boycott Hyundai cars, Choi told Reuters. Hyundai officials say they were also wary of laws limiting car sharing in South Korea.

Hyundai’s breakup with Luxi illustrates how rigid regulations, strong labor unions and a risk-averse culture among South Korea’s giant family run conglomerates, or chaebol, have hindered the growth of start-ups in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

President Moon Jae-in’s administration says the country’s decades-old growth model, powered by a handful of large exporters such as Hyundai and Samsung, has reached its limit in the face of Chinese competition and rising labor costs.

To offset slowing growth in sectors such as autos, ships and chips, it created a new ministry for start-ups last year and has boosted funding to cultivate new technologies.

But the government has been too slow to remove cumbersome regulations for start-ups, wary of upending the country’s economic order or upsetting powerful labor unions, according to interviews with a dozen entrepreneurs, investors and executives.

That has left South Korea surprisingly resistant to disruptive technologies despite its tech-savvy image, they say.

“After agonizing, Hyundai officials told me that they had to go slow with the service, before eventually pulling out,” Choi told Reuters. “But how on earth can a startup go slow?”

In a statement to Reuters, Hyundai said it sold its stake in Luxi as the investment “did not fit a business model the company pursued”, without elaborating.

Hyundai’s chief innovation officer Youngcho Chi also said South Korean restrictions on ride-sharing to unspecified “commuting hours” as one reason and said the automaker had concluded that Luxi was not going to work out.

Instead, Hyundai pumped $275 million into Singaporean ride-hailing firm Grab this year.

MOST STARTUPS ILLEGAL

Hyundai and Samsung say they invest in both local and overseas startups.

Close to the company’s headquarters, South Korean startups are easier to communicate with, Hyundai said. Samsung told Reuters it has been running a startup support program for five years to raise local entrepreneurs.

Still, some say chaebol are moving too slowly.

“The Korean success has been built on a fast-follower strategy, but Chinese rivals are catching up very fast,” said Hwang Sungjae, a co-founder of Fluenty, a South Korean artificial intelligence startup acquired by Samsung Electronics last year. “Companies now have no choice but to innovate and work with start-ups, but they are not investing quickly enough.”

“I think Korean companies are at a great risk of falling behind.”

Regulations are another challenge.

South Korean laws would entirely or partially block about 70 percent of the world’s top 100 startups by investment size from bringing their services to the country, according to joint research by Google Campus Seoul and the Asan Nanum Foundation. Those include giants Airbnb, Uber, and China’s Ant Financial.

In February, top South Korean mobile messaging operator Kakao Corp bought Luxi for $25 million, but it remains stymied by carpooling regulations, and has yet to launch amid fierce protests from taxi drivers.

One protesting taxi driver set himself on fire and died last week, and unionized drivers say they plan a huge rally this week.

Kakao said it pushed back the launch schedule of its carpool service in the wake of the suicide.

South Korea’s transport ministry declined to comment.

Regulations also prohibit venture capital funds from investing in financial, real estate, accommodation and restaurant sectors in South Korea.

The government has proposed a new law to lift those restrictions, but a senior government official acknowledged it would be neither easy nor quick. “The bottom line is that we have to move toward innovation, but it takes a lot of time and is a difficult process to mediate existing interests,” the government official at the Ministry of SMEs and Startups told Reuters.

“Realistically, we can’t simply ignore existing interests. There’s no clear answer.”

He declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

‘ARE YOU DREAMING?’

Many Korean ventures are focused on applications that would only apply locally, making them a hard sell for global companies, a Samsung Electronics executive told Reuters, asking not to be named as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Since 2016, Samsung Electronics has acquired minority stakes in nine startups, only one based in South Korea, according to corporate research firm CEO Score.

Hyundai Motor has invested a total 85 billion won ($75.11 million) worth of minority stakes in 15 foreign startups over the last three years, compared to 28 billion won spent on five local ventures over the same period, CEO Score said.

San Francisco-based venture fund 500 Startups, one of the early investors in Grab, said it had looked at Korean ride-sharing firms for a possible investment, but decided against it because of legal restrictions. “The regulatory environment hasn’t been favorable to the investors like us,” Jeffrey Lim, who heads 500 Startups’s Korea office, told Reuters.

There were, however, Korean industries offering interesting opportunities, such as pop music, online games, and cosmetics, Lim said.

500 Startups has invested 6.5 billion won in 30 South Korean firms since 2015, including radio app Spoon which is now available in Southeast Asia and Japan.

Other established foreign rivals have also backed South Korean start-ups despite the challenges.

Japan’s Softbank has invested in more than 20 tech companies in South Korea since 2012, according to venture capital data provider CB Insights, including a $2 billion stake in online retailer Coupang in November.

South Korean startup Viva Republica, which operates money transfer app Toss, last week raised $80 million from U.S. investors including Kleiner Perkins and Ribbit Fund, valuing it at $1.2 billion.

Korean conglomerates’ tendency to avoid risk and shun outside partnerships makes them slower than foreign rivals to adapt to fast changing technologies, said Rhee Moo-weon, a management professor at Seoul-based Yonsei University, who advises Samsung, Hyundai and the South Korean government.

In 2003, Samsung missed the opportunity to acquire the then small maker of the Android smartphone operating system, just two weeks before Google bought it for $50 million plus incentives, according to a 2013 book by Fred Vogelstein “Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution”.

When Android creator Andy Rubin pitched his firm to Samsung, a Samsung executive told him, “Are you dreaming? You and what army are going to go and create this? You have six people. Are you high?,” according to the book.

Samsung said it could not confirm the content of the book.

THINK OUTSIDE KOREA

As cash-rich conglomerates remain reluctant buyers, only 3 percent of South Korean startups were able to recoup their investments through trade sales in 2017, according to the Korean Venture Capital Association.

That leaves IPOs as one of a few exit options, but it takes about 12 years for South Korean startups to go pubic - “an eternity” compared to Silicon Valley where it typically takes six to seven years, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

Only last year, South Korea introduced the so-called “Tesla listing rule” which allows loss-making startups to list on its junior, tech heavy Kosdaq market. It’s named after the U.S. electric carmaker that remains loss-making eight years after going public in 2010, but is worth $63 billion.

So far, only e-commerce platform Cafe24 Corp has used the Tesla rule to go public. Since its February listing, its shares have risen 25 percent.

South Korean entrepreneurs say there is a long way to go.

“Government officials are trying to meet every stakeholder’s demands in a way that doesn’t lead to a solution,” said Seo Seung-woo, a professor and entrepreneur who moved his self-driving start-up to Silicon Valley last year.

“I say, don’t think about doing a startup in South Korea. Think outside Korea.”]]>
12/18/2018 11:47:49 AM
<![CDATA[Qualcomm says Apple violating Chinese court order, despite new software]]>
Qualcomm on Dec. 10 said it had won a preliminary court order in China banning Apple from selling some older iPhone models that the court found violated two Qualcomm software patents. The same day, Apple said that all of its phones remained on sale in China.

But on Dec. 14, Apple said that it would push a software update to its iPhones this week. The Cupertino, California-based company said it believed it was in compliance with the court’s orders but that it would update its software “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order.”

The update was pushed on Monday, Apple confirmed to Reuters.

“Despite Apple’s efforts to downplay the significance of the order and its claims of various ways it will address the infringement, Apple apparently continues to flout the legal system by violating the injunctions,” Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s general counsel, told Reuters in a statement on Monday.

Apple never publicly commented last week on why or how it believed its current iPhones for sale in China complied with the court’s order, which concerned patents on software features for switching between apps on a smart phone and resizing photos before setting them as a wallpaper on a phone.

Several media outlets, including CNBC, reported that Apple believed the court’s orders applied only to iPhones running older versions of its iOS operating system. But the court’s orders, a copy of which Qualcomm provided to Reuters, made no mention of operating systems and focused only on software features.

“Apple’s statements following the issuance of the preliminary injunction have been deliberate attempts to obfuscate and misdirect,” Qualcomm’s Rosenberg said in a statement on Monday.

Qualcomm believes Apple is still in violation of the court’s orders because Apple continues to sell phones and has not received an explicit order from the Chinese court allowing it to do so.

“They are legally obligated to immediately cease sales, offers for sale and importation of the devices identified in the orders and to prove compliance in court,” Rosenberg told Reuters in Dec. 14 in a statement.

Asked by Reuters about Qualcomm’s statements, Apple reiterated its earlier statements that it believes it is in compliance with the court order.]]>
12/18/2018 11:45:18 AM
<![CDATA[J&J moves to limit impact of Reuters report on asbestos in Baby Powder]]>
J&J shares fell nearly 3 percent Monday, closing at $129.14 in New York Stock Exchange trading. That drop was on top of the 10 percent plunge that wiped out about $40 billion of the company's market capitalization following the Reuters report here Friday. J&J also announced Monday that it would be repurchasing up to $5 billion of its common stock.

Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, on Friday sent a letter to the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration calling on the agency to investigate the findings in the Reuters report to determine whether J&J misled regulators and whether its Baby Powder products threaten public health and safety.

J&J Chief Executive Alex Gorsky, in his first interview since the Reuters article was published, defended the company during an appearance on CNBC’s “Mad Money” with host Jim Cramer on Monday night. J&J knew for decades about the presence of small amounts of asbestos in its products dating back to as early as 1971, a Reuters examination of company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents showed. In response to the report, J&J said on Friday that “any suggestion that Johnson & Johnson knew or hid information about the safety of talc is false.”

A Monday full-page ad from J&J — headlined “Science. Not sensationalism.” — ran in newspapers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The ad asserted that J&J has scientific evidence its talc is safe and beneficial to use. “If we had any reasons to believe our talc was unsafe, it would be off our shelves,” the ad said.

J&J rebutted Reuters’ report in a lengthy written critique of the article and a video from Gorsky. In the written critique, posted on the company’s website here, J&J said Reuters omitted information it supplied to the news organization that demonstrated the healthcare conglomerate’s Baby Powder is safe and does not cause cancer; that J&J’s baby powder has repeatedly been tested and found to be asbestos-free; and that the company has cooperated with the U.S. FDA and other regulators around the world to provide information requested over decades.

“Since tests for asbestos in talc were first developed, J&J’s Baby Powder has never contained asbestos,” Gorsky said in the video here. He added that regulators “have always found our talc to be asbestos-free.”

A Reuters spokeswoman on Monday said the agency “stands by its reporting.”

Reuters’ investigation found that while most tests in past decades found no asbestos in J&J talc and talc products, tests on Baby Powder conducted by scientists at Mount Sinai Medical Center in 1971 and Rutgers University in 1991, as well as by labs for plaintiffs in cancer lawsuits, found small amounts of asbestos. In 1972, a University of Minnesota scientist found what he called “incontrovertible asbestos” in a sample of Shower to Shower. Other tests by J&J’s own contract labs and others periodically found small amounts of asbestos in talc from mines that supplied the mineral for Baby Powder and other cosmetic products into the early 2000s.

The company did not report to the FDA three tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 that found asbestos in the company’s talc.

The Reuters story drew no conclusions about whether talc itself causes ovarian cancer. Asbestos, however, is a carcinogen. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has listed asbestos-contaminated talc as a carcinogen since 1987. Reuters also found that J&J tested only a fraction of the talc powder it sold. The company never adopted a method for increasing the sensitivity of its tests that was recommended to the company by consultants in 1973 and in a published report in a peer-review scientific journal in 1991.

The ad J&J ran in newspapers Monday also pointed to an online talc fact page the company created with “independent studies from leading universities, research from medical journals and third-party opinions.”

That website has changed since early December, according to a Reuters review of online archives.

The website, for instance, no longer contains a section headlined “Conclusions from Global Authorities” that as recently as Dec. 5 listed organizations including the U.S. FDA, the European Union and Health Canada as among entities that have “reviewed and analyzed all available data and concluded that the evidence is insufficient to link talc use to cancer.”

On Dec. 14, the day Reuters published its report, that section of the website had been removed. It is not clear exactly when the online page changed.

The Canadian government released a draft report this month that found a “consistent and statistically significant positive association” between talc exposure and ovarian cancer. The draft report also said that talc meets criteria to be deemed toxic.

The draft report put forth proposed conclusions that are subject to a public comment period and confirmation in a so-called final screening assessment, Health Canada said.

If the conclusions are confirmed, Canadian officials will consider adding talc to a government list of toxic substances and implementing measures to prohibit or restrict use of talc in some cosmetics, non-prescription drugs and natural health products, Health Canada said.

A J&J spokeswoman said the company removed the website section after the Canadian government issued the draft report. “We chose to be conservative while that draft is under review,” the spokeswoman said.

While J&J has dominated the talc powder market for more than 100 years, the products contributed less than 0.5 percent of J&J’s $76.5 billion in revenue last year.]]>
12/18/2018 11:41:41 AM
<![CDATA[Google to spend $1B on new campus in New York]]>
The 1.7 million square-foot campus, called Google Hudson Square, will include leased properties at Hudson Street and Washington Street, the company said in a blog post on Monday. The new campus will be the main location for Google’s advertising sales division, the Global Business Organization.

Google hopes to start moving into two Hudson Street buildings by 2020, followed by a Washington Street in 2022 and will have the capacity to more than double its New York headcount, currently more than 7,000, in the next 10 years.

The company’s plans to invest outside its home base mirror those of other U.S. tech giants such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O), which said last week it would spend $1 billion to build a new 133-acre campus in Austin, Texas.

Last month, Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said it would open offices in New York and the Washington, D.C. area, creating more than 25,000 jobs.

Mountain View, California-based Google’s move to invest in prime real estate on the lower west side of Manhattan also underscores the growing importance of New York as a hub for innovation and an incubator for technology companies.

With a plethora of white-collar workers and good infrastructure, the city provides a better option to other places that would require more investment.

“We’re growing faster outside the Bay Area than within it,” said Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Alphabet and Google.

It is a “fairly sensible” move for Google given the amount of available talent pool, Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell said.

It also makes sense for Google as New York has been the center for their core advertising business, Cordwell added.

U.S. corporations are also under pressure from the Trump administration to create more jobs domestically. Companies that have moved jobs overseas or closed factories have drawn sharp rebukes from President Donald Trump.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Google was nearing a deal to buy or lease an office building in New York City that could add space for more than 12,000 new workers.

Google’s first New York office at 111 Eighth Avenue is one of the city’s largest buildings that it bought in 2010 for $1.77 billion.

Earlier this year, the company announced a $2.4 billion purchase of the Manhattan Chelsea Market. It also has leased space on Pier 57 jutting into the Hudson, which will create a four-block campus.

Google shares were down 1.7 percent at $1,032.84 amid a broader market sell-off.]]>
12/18/2018 11:37:21 AM
<![CDATA[Asia shares sink as global growth worries deepen]]>
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.9 percent in mid-afternoon trade while Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.8 percent to close at its lowest since late March.

European shares are expected to start in negative territory, with spread-betters expecting Britain’s FTSE to open 0.8 percent lower and Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC to give up 0.6 percent each.

Chinese shares slumped, with the blue-chip index dropping 1.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down 1.2 percent, while Australian shares also lost 1.2 percent.

Markets did not find any relief after a highly-anticipated speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s stock markets, ACWI, was down 0.2 percent on Tuesday, after having hit its weakest level since May 2017 the previous day. It has declined 16 percent from a top hit on Jan. 29.

U.S. stock futures last traded around flat on the day after erasing gains of up to half a percent booked earlier in the session.

On Monday, the S&P 500 lost 2.08 percent to hit its lowest since October 2017 as it breached lows reached during a sell-off in February, having wiped out about $3.4 trillion of market value since late September.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.27 percent, with Amazon, one of the best performing shares this year, sliding 4.5 percent.

A profit warning from ASOS, a previously high-flying UK online-clothing retailer, shocked investors, sending U.S. consumer discretionary shares down 2.8 percent

“U.S. retailers have been stocking up consumer goods from China before hikes in tariff, piling up inventories. From now their costs are seen rising next year. That may have been kind of known to everyone but it’s becoming reality,” said Tatsushi Maeno, senior strategist at Okasan Asset Management.

In addition, the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index indicated U.S. homebuilder sentiment had fallen to a three-and-a-half-year low. It was the second consecutive month of disappointing reading.

The gloomy data came after weak economic news from China and Europe late last week.

“The likelihood is growing that more weak figures will come out compared to what is currently being expected,” said Harumi Taguchi, principal economist at IHS Markit, adding that she sees a rising risk that next year’s global economic conditions will be weaker than what’s expected now.

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield dropped to 2.841 percent, edging near a Dec. 10 low of 2.825 percent, its lowest level since late August.

FOCUS SHIFTS TO FED

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, which would be its fourth hike this year.

But many investors now expect signs of economic turbulence to prompt the Fed to signal a slowdown in the pace of tightening next year.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump and his top trade adviser ratcheted up their criticism of the central bank’s monetary tightening.

“It is incredible that with a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation, the outside world blowing up around us, Paris is burning and China way down, the Fed is even considering yet another interest rate hike. Take the Victory!” Trump wrote in a tweet.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro amplified those remarks a few hours later, calling the Fed “crazy” for having signaled that it would continue to raise rates next year.

The Fed said in September that its policymakers see three more rate hikes in 2019 while money market futures <0#FF:> are pricing in less than one such move.

“The major event between now and the end of the year is going to be what the Fed does tomorrow,” said Jim McCafferty, Hong Kong-based head of Asia-ex-Japan equity research at Nomura.

“Given the pace of change of sentiment seen from not just companies but (also) from major macro-economies, I think there might be an outside chance that the Fed gives a more muted message in terms of growth and how aggressive it will be in terms of future rate hikes,” he added.

The specter of a “dovish rate hike” kept the dollar in check.

The euro was largely steady at $1.1342, after having gained 0.40 percent on Monday.

The greenback lost 0.2 percent against the Japanese yen to 112.53 yen, adding to Monday’s fall of nearly half a percent.

The offshore Chinese yuan was slightly stronger at 6.8935 to the dollar.

China’s Xi on Tuesday called for the implementation of reforms but offered no new specific measures in a speech that marked the 40th anniversary of the country’s move toward market liberalization.

China is also expected to hold its annual Central Economic Work Conference later this week, where key growth targets and policy goals for 2019 will be discussed.

Oil prices extended losses on signs of oversupply in the United States and as investor sentiment remained under pressure from concern over global economic growth and fuel demand.

U.S. crude fell as low as $48.52 per barrel on Tuesday, its lowest since September last year and last stood at $49.00, down 1.8 percent on the day.

Brent crude oil futures lost 92 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $58.69 per barrel.]]>
12/18/2018 11:34:42 AM
<![CDATA[Oil drops 2% on oversupply, equities sell-off]]>
U.S. crude oil dropped $1.36 or 2.7 percent to a low of $48.52, its weakest since September 2017, before recovering to around $49.00 by 0840 GMT.

North Sea Brent crude fell $1.51, or 2.5 percent, to a low of $58.10 and last traded around $58.61, down $1.00.

Both benchmarks have shed more than 30 percent since early October due to swelling global inventories.

“A large part of the move (lower) is due to a broader market sell-off, with both U.S. and Asian equity markets coming under pressure,” said commodities strategist Warren Patterson at Dutch bank ING in Amsterdam.

“Specifically for the oil market, there are no clear signs yet of the market tightening,” he added.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers agreed this month to curb production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), equivalent to more than 1 percent of global demand, in an attempt to drain tanks and boost prices.

But the cuts won’t happen until next month and meanwhile production has been at or near record highs in the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia, undermining spot prices.

Russian oil output hit a record 11.42 million bpd this month, an industry source familiar with the data told Reuters.

Oil production from seven major U.S. shale basins is by the year-end expected to climb to more than 8 million bpd for the first time, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday.

Inventories at the U.S. storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the oil futures contract, rose more than 1 million barrels from Dec. 11 to 14, traders said, citing data from market intelligence firm Genscape.

The United States has surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s biggest oil producer, with total crude output climbing to a record 11.7 million bpd.

With prices falling, unprofitable shale producers will eventually stop operating and cut supply, but that could take some time, and meanwhile inventories keep growing.

“Rising U.S. shale production levels along with a deceleration in global economic growth have threatened to offset OPEC+ efforts,” said Benjamin Lu Jiaxuan, at Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures.

“Market confidence remains extremely delicate.”]]>
12/18/2018 11:28:02 AM
<![CDATA[Euro rises as dollar wilts before expected Fed caution]]>
A rout on Wall Street following a spate of weak data globally has strengthened the view that the Fed’s widely-expected rate hike on Wednesday will usher in a slowdown, or even a pause, to three years of steady rate increases.

The prospect of a “dovish rate hike” is keeping the dollar - this year’s best performing major currency - in check.

That is helping the euro, which on Tuesday was up 0.2 percent at $1.1373, having recovered all of its losses from Monday when it was hit by weak euro zone data.

The European Central Bank’s assessment last week that the balance of risks was moving to the downside, combined with signs that protests in France are beginning to weigh on business, means that euro appreciation is still a few months away, according to Goldman Sachs analysts.

Markets will scrutinise the Fed’s two-day policy meeting, which starts Tuesday, for its sense of how the economy is holding up amid a U.S.-China trade conflict and global financial market volatility.

“We expect the trade-weighted dollar to remain flat today, with a more meaningful catalyst for larger USD moves being the FOMC meeting tomorrow,” said ING FX strategist Petr Krpata.

The mood on Tuesday was less positive for the greenback with the dollar index 0.2 percent lower at 96.931 after losing 0.4 percent on Monday.

Last week, the dollar enjoyed its best weekly performance since September, reaching an 18-month high. The euro weakened after the European Central Bank cut inflation and growth forecasts and struck a cautious tone about the outlook for the world economy.

It may not be all gloom for the greenback. Some analysts think dollar strength can return if the Fed remains relatively confident about next year’s monetary tightening path.

“Personally, I think the Fed will continue to normalize policy next year and I don’t think it will send the US economy into recession,” said ACLS analyst Marshall Gittler.

“An economy where there are more job offers than unemployed persons doesn’t need such super-stimulus. That’s why I remain bullish on the dollar,” he added.

In a tweet overnight, U.S. President Donald Trump took another swipe at the Fed saying it was “incredible” for the central bank to even consider tightening given the global economic and political uncertainties.

The markets, however, looked past Trump’s now-familiar comments on the Fed.

The yen gained about 0.3 percent on the dollar as investors’ fears of slowing global growth increased demand for safety assets. The Swiss franc, another safe haven, also tacked on 0.2 percent.

Sterling, which has been heavily sold off in the past few months on Brexit uncertainty, held steady at $1.2653.

The kiwi firmed to $0.6845, buoyed in part by improved business confidence data.]]>
12/18/2018 11:24:29 AM
<![CDATA[CBE mulls re-opening door for licensing int'l banks' branches]]>
In statements to MENA on Tuesday, a CBE reliable source said the step will promote confidence in the Egyptian economy and the banking sector and contribute to boosting the sector's competitiveness.

The source noted that a number of international banks filed requests to join the Egyptian market.

He added that this will create a larger database of clients in the banking sector, especially in view of the huge network of relations which international banks have with heavyweight international investors, companies and institutions.]]>
12/18/2018 10:38:58 AM
<![CDATA[EGX30 passes levels of 13K by end of Monday’s session]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.72 percent, or 223.34 points, to close at 13,215.4 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.84 percent, or 18 points, to reach 2,167.31 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched up 0.71 percent, or 4.76 points, reaching 677.63 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 0.83 percent, or 14.03 points, to close at 1,700.59 points.


Market capitalization gained LE 7.18 billion, recording LE 749.26 billion, compared to LE 742.07 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 211.37 million shares, traded through 25,652 transactions, with a turnover of LE 886.3 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 28.27 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 15.76 and LE 12.51 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 49.92 million, and LE 1.8 million, respectively, while Arab individuals were buyers at LE 670,079.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 65.68 million, and LE 14.33 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 28.94 million.

Samad Misr -EGYFERT, El Ezz Porcelain (Gemma), and Arab Co. for Asset Management And Development were top gainers of the session by 8.35 percent, 7.85 percent and 6.49 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Arabian Cement Company, Sabaa International Company for Pharmaceutical and Chemical, and Gharbia Islamic Housing Development were top losers of the session by 7.75 percent, 4.53 percent, and 4.21 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s session on mixed note, as EGX 30 fell 0.04 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.33 percent, EGX100 inched down 0.25 percent, while EGX50 went up 0.23 percent.
]]>
12/17/2018 4:21:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s petroleum exports increase 5% in 1st 9 months of 2018]]>
According to a recent bulletin published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Egypt's crude oil exports reached $1.55 billion during the period of 2018, compared to $1.52 billion during the same period of 2017.

The bulletin revealed that exports of petroleum products reached $195 million during January to September 2018, compared to $240 million in the same period of 2017.

As per petroleum imports, the bulletin read that Egypt’s petroleum imports recorded $4.98 billion in the period of 2018, compared to $3.83 billion in the same period of 2017.

It clarified that the reason behind the rise of petroleum imports is the increase of importing crude oil.

The bulletin also noted that despite the decline in the imports of petroleum products, the increase in importing crude oil covered the decrease in importing other petroleum products, which resulted in a hike in the overall value of Egypt’s petroleum imports.

Egypt’s imports of crude oil hit $2.86 billion during January-September 2018 period, compared to $1.18 billion during the same period of 2017, with an increase of $1.68 billion.

The volume of petroleum products' imports recorded $2.12 billion in 2018’s period, compared to $2.65 billion, with a decrease of $527 million, according to CAPMAS.

In the first seven months of 2018, Egypt’s petroleum exports dipped 5.5 percent, recording $1.35 billion, compared to $1.39 billion in the same period of 2017, losing about $40 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 went to crude oil and $1.671 billion was allocated for other petroleum products, compared to $3.054 billion in the same period of 2017.

Egypt's petroleum exports record $1.35B in 7 months

CAIRO - 16 October 2018: Egypt's petroleum exports dipped 5.5 percent during the first seven months of 2018, recording $1.35 billion, compared to $1.39 billion in the same period of 2017, losing about $40 million.




Regarding non-oil exports, The General Organization for Export & Import Control (GOEIC) said in a report 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 period in 2017, gaining $4.78 billion.

Egypt's non-oil exports reach $59.7B in 8 months

CAIRO - 30 September 2018: 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.



]]>
12/17/2018 1:53:55 PM
<![CDATA[Hitachi to buy majority stake in ABB's power grid arm for $6.4 bn]]>
The deal would make Hitachi the world's largest power grid company, local media said.

Under the plan, ABB will spin off its power grid unit, for which Hitachi will buy an 80.1 percent stake for 704 billion yen in early 2020, the Japanese company said in a statement.

"We plan to buy the remaining shares so that Hitachi can make the unit its wholly owned company," a spokesman said without disclosing, how much that would cost.

ABB's power grid unit makes and operates infrastructure including power transmission equipment and control systems in numerous countries.

The deal would also make Hitachi the world's second-largest heavy electrical equipment maker by revenue, behind only General Electric, according to local media.

The Nikkei business daily first reported the planned deal last Thursday, but Hitachi shares have since dropped 2.5 percent.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's said the power transmission and distribution business is growing globally, with service solutions a particularly promising field.

But "the business' profitability can be volatile, depending on how well a company manages projects related to equipment delivery", it added.]]>
12/17/2018 11:52:26 AM
<![CDATA[Euro edges off lows as dollar rally takes a pause]]>
In a quiet start to European trading, most currencies were little moved ahead of key policy events this week in the United States and China.

Last week the dollar enjoyed its best weekly performance since September while the euro tumbled after the European Central Bank cut its inflation and growth forecasts and struck a cautious tone about the outlook for the world economy.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs said the ECB’s assessment that the balance of risks was moving to the downside, combined with signs that protests in France are beginning to weigh on business, meant that euro appreciation was still a few months away.

“We continue to expect that euro/dollar will remain range bound but euro will underperform on crosses in the near term,” they wrote in a note to clients.

The Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday and is expected to hike rates for a fourth time in 2018.

But all eyes will be on signals about the pace of further tightening next year and the Fed’s sense of how the economy is holding up amid a U.S.-China trade conflict and global financial market volatility.

On Monday, the euro nudged up 0.1 percent to $1.1316 after last week hitting as low as $1.1270.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, slipped 0.1 percent to 97.394, close to the 19-month high of 97.711 touched last week.

Weaker-than-expected economic data from China and Europe last week sent investors towards the perceived safety of the dollar and the Japanese yen.

“The dollar is clearly showing it is attractive during times of market stress,” said Ray Attrill, head of currency strategy at NAB in Sydney.

Stephen Gallo, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets, noted that leveraged funds had cut their net long positions in the dollar by $4.4 billion last week to $23.3 billion, their smallest net long dollar position in 12 weeks according to CFTC data, but the U.S. currency had still rallied last week in “a bullish signal”.

The Australian dollar, whose fortunes are closely tied to China’s economy, was marginally down at $0.7173.

The Aussie had shed 0.3 percent of its value last week on weak Chinese data.

Investors are now looking to a major speech by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of China’s market reforms and opening up. China is also expected to hold its annual Central Economic Work Conference this week.

The offshore Chinese yuan, which has fallen significantly in 2018, rose 0.1 percent to 6.900.

The yen was unchanged at 113.39 yen per dollar.

Other foreign exchange markets were also quiet, with the British pound flat at $1.2591 as investors waited for the next Brexit-related developments.]]>
12/17/2018 11:51:04 AM
<![CDATA[Oil steady but oversupply, economic growth weigh]]>
Brent crude oil LCOc1 was unchanged at $60.28 per barrel by 0845 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was unchanged at $51.20.

Both benchmarks fell more than 25 percent through October and November as a supply glut inflated global inventories but have stabilized over the last three weeks, trading within fairly narrow ranges as oil producers have promised to cut production.

“The market continues range-bound, hemmed in by well tested support and ...resistances,” said Robin Bieber, technical analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil.

Some investors doubt whether planned supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers such as Russia will be enough to rebalance markets.

U.S. shale output is growing steadily, taking market share from the big Middle East oil producers in OPEC and making it harder for them to balance their budgets.

“I don’t believe OPEC cuts will work this time around with Qatar going out and Iran refusing to cut, while there’s a big question mark when Russia will go to its agreed level,” said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of oil consultancy Trifecta.

“Meanwhile, U.S. production will go on increasing.”

OPEC and its allies have agreed to reduce output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January, in a move to be reviewed at a meeting in April.

Qatar said on Dec. 3 it would leave OPEC to focus on gas.

Increasing concerns about weakening growth in major markets such as China and Europe have also dampened the mood in oil and other asset classes.

Chinese oil refinery throughput in November fell from October, suggesting an easing in oil demand, while the country’s industrial output rose the least in nearly three years as the economy continued to lose momentum.

French business activity plunged unexpectedly into contraction this month, retreating at the fastest pace in over four years, while Germany’s private sector expansion slowed to a four-year low in December.

But oil prices were supported after energy services firm Baker Hughes said U.S. drillers reduced oil rigs in the week to Dec. 14, pulling the total count to the lowest since mid-October at 873.

However, the current U.S. rig count, which serves as an early indicator of future output, is higher than a year ago.]]>
12/17/2018 11:44:54 AM
<![CDATA[Asian shares perk up ahead of key policy events in China, U.S.]]>
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.25 percent. The CSI 300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen shares dipped 0.3 percent but managed to stay above its November low.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.6 percent while U.S. stock futures edged up 0.3 percent.

European shares are expected to start little changed, with spread-betters looking at an almost flat opening for Britain’s FTSE and France’s CAC and slight rises in Germany’s DAX.

MSCI’s broadest gauge of the world’s stocks covering 47 markets was up slightly after hitting the weakest close since July last year on Friday on mounting evidence of slowing growth in Europe and China.

China’s economy has been losing momentum in recent quarters as a multi-year government campaign to curb shadow lending put increasing financial strains on companies in a blow to production and investment.

Investors are now looking to a major speech by President Xi Jinping on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up.

China is also expected to hold its annual Central Economic Work Conference later this week, where key growth targets and policy goals for 2019 will be discussed.

The top decision-making body of the Communist Party, the politburo, said last week China will keep its economic growth within a reasonable range next year, striving to support jobs, trade and investment while pushing reforms and curbing risks.

“It’s generally assumed that you will need to expand fiscal and monetary support to achieve those goals. The market sentiment is being supported by expectations that there could be an announcement in that direction after the economic work conference,” said Wang Shenshen, strategist at Tokai Tokyo Research.

In the United States, the Federal Reserve is seen as almost certain to raise interest rates at its two-day policy meeting starting on Tuesday, further enhancing the dollar’s yield attraction.

At the same time, many market players also expect the Fed to lower its projections for future interest rate hikes given increasing headwinds to the economy.

“You could argue that if the Fed lower estimates, that could be taken as a further sign of economic slowdown,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“But given the fragile market sentiment, I would think it would be more dangerous if the Fed sticks to the view that it would raise rates three times next year.”

On Wall Street on Friday, the S&P 500 lost 1.91 percent to 2,599.95, marking its lowest close since April 2.

The benchmark has dropped 11.3 percent from its Sept. 20 record close - the worst performance since it fell more than 14 percent between May 2015 and January 2016.

In the currency market, the dollar held firm after having touched a 19-month high against a basket of six other major rivals on Friday as the U.S. economy appeared to be in better shape than others.

U.S. retail sales excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services rose 0.9 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.7 percent increase in October.

Still, some analysts said the dollar could be held back by the probability of a partial U.S. government shutdown as President Donald Trump and federal lawmakers disagree over funding for a border wall. The stopgap funding bill agreed earlier this month will expire on Dec. 21.

The euro traded at $1.1307, having fallen to $1.1270 on Friday, its lowest level since Nov. 28.

IHS Markit’s Flash Composite Purchasing Managers’ Index slumped to 51.3, its weakest since November 2014, from a final November reading of 52.7. That was well below even the most pessimistic forecast in a Reuters poll where the median expectation was for a modest rise to 52.8.

The survey showed euro zone businesses ended the year in a gloomy mood, expanding their operations at the slowest pace in over four years as new orders growth all but dried up, hurt by trade tensions and violent protests in France.

Sterling hovered near its 20-month low touched last week, as concerns grew that Britain was headed for a chaotic exit from the European Union.

With just over 100 days until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, Brexit remains up in the air with growing calls for a no-deal exit, a potentially disorderly divorce that business fears would be highly damaging, or for a second referendum.

The pound traded at $1.2580, about a cent above Wednesday’s low of $1.2477.

The yen was little moved at 113.45 per dollar.

The biggest mover was the Mexican peso, which gained after Mexico’s new leftist government avoided major surprises in its closely watched first budget, sticking to fiscal promises made earlier to investors.

The peso rose 0.7 percent to 20.102 on the dollar, edging near a key resistance of 20.

Oil prices licked wounds after Friday’s falls on concerns about the global economy.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures stood almost flat at $51.26 per barrel, after a loss of 2.7 percent last week.]]>
12/17/2018 11:42:15 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to implement new tax system by 2020: Ma'it]]>
He added during a seminar held at the American Chamber (Amcham) that the ministry seeks to issue small and medium tax treatment law in order to encourage informal economy to enter the tax system.

The minister noted that most of the Egyptian economy is outside the formal tax framework.

Ma'it clarified that the ministry is working on setting an electronic tax operation system, and restructuring the Tax Authority to overcome obstacles that may arise and avoid problems in the tax value estimations.

He affirmed that Egypt is determined to complete the economic reforms, clarifying that these efforts will be reflected on Egypt's presence in the international economy to reach the economic development that Egypt aspires to.

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).

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

Ma’it referred that the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn’t collected before.
He clarified that the taxes of T-bills are determined at 20 percent and the taxes of the profits are at 22.5 percent.

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

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




“The move ensures tax equality with regards to financial institutions' investment in
government securities and asserts the fair collection of taxes due on profits earned from the rest of their activities,” the minister added.

Egypt to achieve GDP of 5.3% in 2017/18

CAIRO - 4 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it said that Egypt achieved an increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.3 percent in 2017/2018, up from an average of 2.3 percent between 2011 and 2014. The minister added that Egypt targets a growth rate of 5.8 percent during the current fiscal year 2018/2019.



]]>
12/17/2018 11:28:59 AM
<![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 in 2018, Egypt canceled bids for treasury bills four times, each worth LE 3.5 billion, amid calls to raise its interest rates.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged for the 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.
]]>
12/17/2018 11:26:10 AM
<![CDATA[The Missing Pillar in African Trade ]]>
In March, 49 out of 55 member states in the African Union signed up to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that must be ratified by 22 states to come into force. A second phase of negotiations will be held to cover investment, competition policy and intellectual property.

Head of the African Union Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Kadah tells Business Today Egypt that 10 countries ratified the agreement and speculates that many more countries than 22 will endorse it before the African Union Summit 2019 that will take place in Niger next summer. Kadah highlights that Nigeria has been the only country facing problems with the ratification of the agreement after workers protested in fear it would have a negative impact on them.

UNCTAD estimates that tariff elimination between African countries would boost intra-African trade by one-third, and increase the continent’s GDP by 1 percent. Manufactured goods make up 20% of Africa’s exports to other continents, and half of intra-trade. Yet, Africa’s exports are predominantly primary goods. Kadah said that industrialization in Africa can be concentrated in the sectors of food processing, textiles, building materials, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and renewable energy.

According to Afreximbank’s African Trade Report 2018, African countries involved the most in intra-trade include South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, Zambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mozambique.Main products traded within Africa include mineral fuels, machinery, vehicles, electrical machinery, ores, slag, and ash, plastics, iron and steel, inorganic chemicals and precious metals, sugars and confectionery, essential oils and cosmetics, and fertilizers.

Opportunities and Obstacles

Consultant at the Arab Union for Industrial Exports Development (AUIED) Ahmed El Dib states that trade within the continent accounted in 2017 for 14% of African trade. "That indicates that economic coalitions have not helped much," El Dib says, explaining that "the main challenges are embodied in developing the infrastructure which will decrease the cost of investment and boost intra-Africa trade. That is in addition to eliminating tariff and non-tariff obstacles, and encouraging the contribution of the services sector and transformative industries in African economies."
Afreximbank estimates that one of the reasons intra-African trade is low is the lack of access to information on trade and markets, El Dib says, which is why it has undertaken several initiatives to fulfill that gap. One of those is the Intra-African Trade Fair (ITAF) that is held every two years. ITAF provides information on trade and markets, and brings together importers and exporters from all over the continent. The first edition took place in 2016, and the second edition is set to take place this month.

ITAF adopts the Afreximbank's strategy called Impact 2021 aiming to boost intra-African trade from $175 billion to $250 billion. That five-year strategy has three main themes: create, connect and deliver. The ‘create’ theme aims at supporting the production of goods and services as well as agricultural production through capacity-building. The ‘connect’ theme is concerned with linking exporters and importers on one hand to institutions and agents on the other hand so they would be acquainted with supply and demand in different African markets. The deliver theme is about ensuring effective distribution channels including transport, logistics, payment systems, warehousing, and finance to participants.

Egypt's trade with the rest of Africa composes just 4% of intra-African trade. That requires setting a strategy to enter African markets, and reviewing the current mechanisms and tools. The trade volume between Egypt and Africa reached in 2017 $5 billion. Exports and imports are worth $3.2 billion and $1.8 billion respectively.
Exports include plastic, aromatic oils, sugar, candy, machinery, electronics, spare parts, natural and cultured pearls, precious and semiprecious stones, precious metals, fossil fuels, mineral oil, distillation products of petroleum, vegetables, fruits, soap, detergents, washing and lubricating devices, iron and steel products, ceramics, medicinal drugs, cigarettes, furniture, footwear, and others.


Trade Finance

The African Development Bank (AFDB) estimates that Africa has an unmet demand for trade finance of more than $90 billion annually. One-third of Africa’s trade is intermediated by banks. The value for the years 2013 and 2014 are $430 billion and $362 billion respectively while bank-intermediated intra-African trade stands at 20%. The percentage among North and Central Africa is 5% against 25% in East and Southern Africa.

On the other hand, default rates on trade finance in Africa were 4 and 5% in 2013 and 2014 respectively compared to 9 and 12% Non-Performing Loan (NPL) ratios for all bank asset classes. The trade finance default rates are 2, 3, and 4% for banks in Southern, Eastern, and Northern Africa compared to 9 and 7% in Central and West Africa.

According to a 2014 AFDB report titled “Trade Finance in Africa: Overcoming Challenges”, SMEs representing more than 80% of Africa’s enterprises receive only 28% of banks’ trade finance portfolio as their default rate is 14%. The study reported poor creditworthiness and lack of adequate collateral as the main reasons behind bank’s rejection of trade finance demands. New applicants compose only 15% of banks’ trade finance portfolio, although their default rate is only 3%.

In 2013, AFDB launched its four-year Trade Finance Program (TFP). Worth $1 billion, the program targeted low-income countries, African local banks, small and medium enterprises in critical sectors—including agriculture/agribusiness, light manufacturing and intermediate/capital goods—across regional member countries.
The TFP also provided risk mitigation and liquidity support. It crowded in global banks and worked on strengthening local African financial institutions that are critical to the promotion of trade on the continent.

Afreximbank, AfDB, and insurers such as the African Trade Insurance Agency provide guarantees and credit rating backings for those looking to trade across borders. Earlier this year, AfDB concluded a risk participation agreement with Frankfurt-based Commerzbank AG with a value of $50 million. The target is covering the risk of some small African banks to expand their trade finance portfolio. AFDB aims at supporting $700m of trade on the continent over three years.

In May, Standard Chartered and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) launched the Risk Participation Programme to generate an estimated incremental trade volume surpassing $350 million over three years.

]]>
12/16/2018 6:45:31 PM
<![CDATA[Afreximbank announces inking deals worth $27B during Intra-African Trade Fair]]>
The figure exceeds the bank’s target of $25 billion, it said, noting that the signed agreements cover a number of development projects in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Borkina Faso, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire.

In a press statement on Saturday, the Egyptian Trade and Industry Ministry said that memorandums of understandings had been signed to promote ventures of green economy and renewable energy across Africa.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer of the Export Development Authority (EDA) Sherine el Shorbagi noted that the fair included holding meetings with representatives of non-African countries to sign trade deals with them.

She pointed out that former footballer Didier Drogba visited the exhibition and talked about his experience and how he became a businessman.

The Intra-Africa Trade Fair 2018 (IATF2018) is the first of its kind seven-day trade show that takes place at Egypt International Exhibition Centre, Cario, Egypt from the 11th to the 17th of December 2018. The Fair is promoted by the African Export-Import Bank and organized in collaboration with the African Union.

It provides a platform for sharing trade, investment and market information and enabling buyers and sellers, investors and countries to meet, discuss and conclude business deals.]]>
12/16/2018 4:28:36 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, China discuss coop. in manufacturing of express trains, monorails]]>
This comes within the framework the government's keenness to modernize the fleet of railway and metro carriages and introduce the service of high speed trains, al Taras said.

During the meeting, al Taras highlighted that the AOI seeks to provide all potentials and ways to speed up the development process, given unprecedented achievements that the country witnesses nowadays, in addition to boosting domestic manufacturing, which positively could reflect on the national economy.

Also, the AOI head said that he agreed with the CR20G chairman to establish an industrial base in the field of fast trains and monorails, pointing out that the state gives a top priority to transport projects, as it forms the backbone of desired development.

For his part, Deng Yong said that the CR20G is interested in fostering cooperation with the AOI, adding that he agreed with al Taras to work on removing all obstacles to achieving high rates of local manufacturing in the area of speed trains and monorails.]]>
12/16/2018 3:58:36 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt seeking to promote Arab uses of peaceful atomic energy]]>
Addressing an Arab conference, the 14th on the issue, Mohamed Shaker called Sunday for building qualified Arab cadres and organizing specialized workshops to help hone their skills in that field.

He was speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli during the inauguration of the event, which will last until December 20.

Shaker spoke highly of the role played by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in supporting research programs and upgrading nuclear applications in Egypt.

The IAEA is still offering support for Egypt's 2030 vision to help operate its nuclear energy program, Shaker added.

Shaker appreciated IAEA support to also increase the agricultural productivity in Egypt and enhance the level of food security in the country through nuclear techniques.

The agency also supports Egyptian cadres working in the field of nuclear medicine and radiotherapy, he said. ]]>
12/16/2018 3:39:07 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Sunday in semi-collective regression]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 0.04 percent, or 4.83 points, to close at 12,992.06 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.33 percent, or 2.2 points, reaching 672.87 points, and the broader index EGX100 went dowm 0.25 percent, or 4.18 points, to close at 1,686.56 points.

On the other hand, the equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.23 percent, or 4.93 points, to reach 2,149.31 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1.89 billion, recording LE 742.07 billion, compared to LE 740.18 billion in Thursday's session.

The trading volume reached 148 million shares, traded through 19,614 transactions, with a turnover of LE 558.28 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 13.18 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 2.13 and LE 11.05 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 4.17 million, LE 2.9 million, and LE 13.8 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 6.3 million, LE 13.97 million, and LE 667,179, respectively.

Golden Pyramids Plaza, Heliopolis Housing, and International Agricultural Products were top gainers of the session by 9.93 percent, 5.63 percent and 5.10 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE, Torah Cement, and Nasr Company for Civil Works were top losers of the session by 5.72 percent, 4.70 percent, and 3.34 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday's session in green, as EGX 30 rose 1.09 percent, EGX50 increased 1.41 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.30 percent, and EGX100 went up 0.66 percent
]]>
12/16/2018 3:36:21 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's economic indicators of 2017, 2018]]>
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).

During 2017 and 2018, the foreign reserves jumped from $36.7 billion to $44.5 billion for the first time in the foreign monetary reserves' history, which enhances the central bank's capabilities to import commodities, and thus provide appropriate environment to attract more foreign investments to Egypt.

Economic indicators up in 2018 - Cabinet

CAIRO, Dec 13 (MENA) - All economic indicators in 2018 showed a tangible improvement, according to the media center of the cabinet on Thursday. Economic growth rose from 4.2% to 5.3% during the 2017/2018 fiscal year while unemployment rate declined from 12% to 9.9%.




As per growth rate, the improvement in the infrastructure and the increase of investments contributed to raising the gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.3 percent, up from 4.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 9.9 percent during the second quarter of 2018, compared to 12 percent during the first quarter of 2017. The current number of employed citizens hit 26.3 million.

As per these data, the World Bank expected the unemployment rate in Egypt to decline to 9.5 percent in 2020, and the growth rate to rise to 5.8 percent as a result of the reforms implemented in the Egyptian economy. The reforms focus on structuring the subsidies and launching legislations that provide incentives to investors in Egypt and pay great attention to the strong construction of infrastructure.

World Bank expects Egypt to achieve growth of 5.6% in 2018/19

CAIRO - 3 October 2018: The World Bank (WB) expected Egypt's growth to hit 5.6 percent during fiscal year 2018/2019, supported by private consumption, a recovery in tourism sector and the operationalization of recently discovered gas fields. WB also added that if the business environment reforms are effectively implemented, public investment will grow and private investment will recover.




The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected Egypt’s economy to record a growth rate of 5.3 percent in 2018 and 5.5 percent in 2019, compared to 4.2 percent in 2017.

Egypt to reach growth rate of 5.5% in 2019: IMF

CAIRO - 9 October 2018: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expected Tuesday Egypt's economy to record a growth rate of 5.3 percent in 2018 and 5.5 percent in 2019, compared to 4.2 percent in 2017.




The revenues of tourism rose from 4.4 percent to 9.8 percent, the remittances of expatriates hiked from 21.8 percent to 26.4 percent, and the outcomes of the Suez Canal increased to 5.7 percent from 4.9 percent.

Egypt came fifth in the world regarding the volume of remittances during 2018, according to the World Bank, expecting remittances to Egypt to reach $25.7 billion, with an increase of 14 percent, compared to 2017.

The bank stated that the remittances allocated 10.8 percent of the GDP.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said that Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 7.94 percent in November 2018 from 8.86 percent in October 2018.

Core inflation discounts or strips out certain categories that are considered more volatile.

Egypt's annual core inflation hits 7.94% in November: CBE

CAIRO - 10 December 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said that Egypt's annual core inflation rate declined to 7.94 percent in November 2018 from 8.86 percent in October 2018, according to a report. In October, the core inflation rose to 8.86 percent from 8.55 percent in September.





]]>
12/16/2018 3:17:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt pumps public investments exceeding LE 960B in 4 years: Min.]]>
This came during her speech at the opening session of the fourth edition ofAl-Sadat Academy for Management Sciences' conference, entitled "From Economic Growth to Economic Happiness."

The minister clarified that during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019, 490 projects have been implemented with an investment cost of LE27.2 billion in 13 sectors distributed all over the country.

Saeed noted that these projects included executing 238 projects in health and education sectors at an amount of LE1.6 billion and 164 projects in Upper Egypt at LE 12 billion.

Egypt implements 490 development projects at cost of LE 27.2B

CAIRO - 13 December 2018: Minister of Planning Hala el-Saeed revealed implementing 490 development projects across the country at a total cost of LE 27.2 billion in 13 sectors during the first quarter of 2018/2019.




Saeed added that Egypt achieved positive results during the past four years, including recording the highest annual economic growth rate in 10 years by 5.3 percent in 2017/2018 and in the first quarter of current fiscal year.
The minister referred that the economic rate was driven by achieving positive rates inall economic sectors, explaining that the source of this growth is investment and net exports, not consumption.
The minister added that the unemployment rate declined to 9.9 percent, the payment balance achieved a surplus of$12.8 billion, and the foreign reserves hiked to $44.5 in October 2018 to cover nine months of imports after covering only three months in 2014.

According to Saeed, all these efforts contributed to recording progress in Egypt's position in the international indicator of happiness.

As per expertise exchange, she said that the government seeks to exchange successful experiences with other countries in fields of administrative reforms and development.

She also referred to the United Arab Emirates' experience in this field as it is the first country to have a Ministry of Happiness, clarifying that Egypt cooperated with UAE to launch the Egypt Government Excellence Award to spread culture and enhance competitiveness in the country's administrative sector.

The minister added that the cooperation also included the construction of logistic centers for citizens in all governorates, starting with Cairo and Aswan, and establishing the project of 100 million programmers which aims at boosting the students' capabilities in the field of programming.

Saeed announced earlier that Egypt’s total public investments during the first quarter of the 2018/2019 recorded LE 72 billion, with government investments of about LE 27.4 billion.


]]>
12/16/2018 1:22:16 PM
<![CDATA[First Arab Digital Economy conference kicks off in Abu Dhabi]]>
Chairman of the Arab Federation for the Digital Economy and an adviser to the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU) Ali el Khoury voiced hope that the two-day conference would be a turning point in developing the digital economy.

Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer and former telecommunications minister Atef Helmi attended the first session.

The conference will for the first time present an initiative for a common Arab digital economy strategy under the theme of "A Common Vision For an Arab Digital Economy Initiative."

The council had chosen Abu Dhabi to kick off the conference in its first ever edition because the leaders of the UAE presented their expertise and achievements in supporting a common Arab vision for a digital economy.

The conference will showcase different parts of the strategy, as well the economic opportunities in Arab countries that have resulted from the digital transformation.]]>
12/16/2018 12:29:10 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.

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
12/16/2018 11:34:35 AM
<![CDATA[ T-Mobile, Sprint see Huawei shun clinching U.S. deal - sources]]>
Like all major U.S. wireless carriers, T-Mobile and Sprint do not use Huawei equipment, but their majority owners, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG and Japan’s SoftBank Group Ltd, respectively, use some Huawei gear in overseas markets.

People familiar with the deal between T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers, said U.S. government officials had been pressuring Deutsche Telekom to stop using Huawei equipment, and the companies believed they had to comply before a U.S. national security panel would let them move forward on their deal.

Both Deutsche Telekom and Softbank were reported this week to be seeking to replace the world’s biggest network equipment maker as vendor. Now, T-Mobile and Sprint expect the U.S. panel, called Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to approve their deal as early as next week, the sources said.

The sources, however, cautioned that negotiations between the two companies and the U.S. government have not been finalized yet, and any deal could still fall through. They asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Sprint, T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, SoftBank and CFIUS declined to comment. Huawei did not respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. government and its allies have stepped up pressure on Huawei over concerns that the company is effectively controlled by the Chinese state and its network equipment may contain “back doors” that could enable cyber espionage, something which Huawei denies. Several telecom operators in Europe and Australia have said they will exclude the Chinese firm from their fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks.

The pressure on Huawei has already heightened tensions between the United States and China over trade. Earlier this month Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its billionaire founder, was arrested in Canada on a U.S. extradition request. U.S. prosecutors have accused her of misleading multinational banks about Huawei’s control of a company operating in Iran. China has asked for her release.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this week, U.S. President Donald Trump drew a connection between the Huawei CFO extradition case and his administration’s trade row with China, saying he would be willing to intervene if it helped resolve the dispute or serve U.S. national security interests.

The United States has been stepping up its targeting this year of both Huawei and ZTE, China’s second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment. Last March, Trump blocked chip maker Broadcom Ltd’s attempted $120 billion takeover of U.S. peer Qualcomm Inc over concerns the deal could boost Huawei’s competitive position.

ZTE was crippled in April when the United States banned American firms from selling it parts, saying the company broke an agreement to discipline executives who had conspired to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The ban, which became a source of friction in Sino-U.S. trade talks, was lifted in July after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties, allowing the firm to resume business.

China to halt added tariffs on U.S.-made cars
SoftBank plans to replace 4G network equipment from Huawei with hardware from Nokia and Ericsson, Nikkei reported on Thursday, without citing sources.

Deutsche Telekom, Europe’s largest telecoms company, on Friday said it was reviewing its vendor plans in Germany and other European markets where it operates, given the debate on the security of Chinese network gear.

The Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission must also approve T-Mobile’s and Sprint’s merger. T-Mobile previously said it expected the deal to close in the first half of 2019.]]>
12/16/2018 11:28:59 AM
<![CDATA[Boeing opens first 737 plant in China amid U.S.-Sino trade war]]>
The world’s largest planemaker also delivered the first of its top-selling 737s completed at the facility in Zhoushan, about 290 km (180 miles) southeast of Shanghai, to state carrier Air China (601111.SS)(0753.HK) during a ceremony on Saturday with top executives from both companies.

The executives, alongside representatives from China’s state planner and aviation regulator, unveiled the plane at an event attended by hundreds of people.

Boeing and Airbus have been expanding their footprint in China as they vie for orders in the fast-growing aviation market, which is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest in the next decade.

Boeing invested $33 million last year to take a majority stake in a joint venture with state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC) to build the completion center, which installs interiors and paints liveries.

Chicago-based Boeing calls itself the top U.S. exporter and delivered more than one out of every four jetliners it made last year to customers in China, where it forecasts demand for 7,700 new airplanes over the next 20 years valued at $1.2 trillion.

However, the plant’s inaugural ceremony was overshadowed by tensions between the United States and China as they engage in a bruising tit-for-tat tariff war. The world’s two largest economies are in a 90-day detente to negotiate a trade deal.

“Am I nervous about the situation? Yeah, of course. It’s a challenging environment,” John Bruns, President of Boeing China, told reporters on a conference call earlier on Saturday.

“We have to keep our eye on the long game in China. Long term, I’m optimistic we will work our way through this,” he said.

While the trade frictions have hurt businesses such as U.S. soy bean farmers and Chinese manufacturers, their impact on Boeing has been unclear. U.S.-made aircraft have so far escaped Beijing’s tariffs.

Bruns said he remained optimistic about the outcome of trade talks between the United States and China and described aviation as a “bright spot” amid tensions between the two countries.

Asked about the possibility of technology transfer agreements between Boeing and COMAC, Bruns stressed that the purpose of the plant was for installing seats, painting vehicles, and completing the planes’ final delivery.

“That’s only a part of what we do in the production of airplanes,” he said.

Officials and executives made no direct reference to the trade tensions in public remarks at the planemaker’s Zhoushan facility.

Boeing aims eventually to hit a delivery target of 100 planes a year at Zhoushan, although Bruns deflected a question on how quickly it would reach that level and said Boeing had no plans to expand work to other aircraft types.

Boeing also hopes the plant will relieve pressure at the Seattle-area facility where it plans to boost production next year of its best-selling 737 narrowbody aircraft but has struggled with production delays.]]>
12/16/2018 11:26:52 AM
<![CDATA[OPEC has shown it can reach deal despite splits: Iran oil minister]]>
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its Russia-led allies agreed on Dec. 7 to cut output by more than expected, despite pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to reduce the price of crude.

“OPEC ... has shown the capacity in which members can hold talks and reach important results regarding their common interests despite having the most intense political disputes or even military conflicts (such as during the Iran-Iraq war),” Zanganeh said on Twitter.

The OPEC deal had hung in the balance for two days - first on fears that Russia would cut too little, and later on concerns that Iran, whose crude exports have been depleted by U.S. sanctions, would receive no exemption and block the agreement.]]>
12/16/2018 11:24:25 AM
<![CDATA[Nations inch towards climate deal at marathon UN summit]]>
Speaking to AFP at the COP24 summit in Poland, a senior negotiator said delegates from nearly 200 nations had reached a "landing zone" of agreement.

But sources close to the talks said differences remained stark on the issues of ambition, how the climate fight is funded and how best to measure and ensure the fairness of each nation's efforts to reduce emissions.

Delegates at the UN summit, held this year in the Polish mining city of Katowice, must agree on a common rule book to put the pledges made at the landmark 2015 Paris talks into practice.

This means all countries, rich and poor alike, must agree to action that will cap global temperature rises to "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and stave off the worst effects of planetary warming, and to a safer cap of 1.5C if possible.

The final draft decision text was repeatedly delayed as negotiators sought to form guidelines that are effective in slashing emissions while protecting the economies of rich and poor nations alike.

"Without a clear rulebook, we won't see how countries are tracking, whether they are actually doing what they say they are doing," Canada's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told AFP.

Earlier in the day, Gebru Jember Endalew, chair of the Least Developed Countries negotiating group, said delegates had reached a "landing zone" of compromise after negotiations sailed past their Friday deadline and deep into the weekend.

"It is a bit difficult to compromise when there are 190-plus countries," he told AFP.

At the heart of the matter is how each nation funds action to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as how those actions are reported.

Developing nations want more clarity from richer ones over how the future climate fight will be funded and have been pushing for so-called "loss and damage" measures.

This would see richer countries giving money now to help deal with the effects of climate change many vulnerable states are already experiencing.

- Carbon trade-off -

Another contentious issue concerns the integrity of carbon markets, looking ahead to the day when the patchwork of distinct exchanges -- in China, the Europe Union, parts of the United States -- may be joined up in a global system.

"To tap that potential, you have to get the rules right," said Alex Hanafi, lead counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund in the United States.

"One of those key rules -- which is the bedrock of carbon markets -- is no double counting of emissions reductions."

The Paris Agreement calls for setting up a mechanism to guard against practices that could undermine such a market, but finding a solution has proved so problematic that the debate has been kicked down the road to next year.

Some observers had accused Brazil of seeking to muddy the date by which the provisions should enter into force, although its chief negotiator told AFP it was working "constructively with other parties to find a workable pathway forward."

- 'A deal within reach' -

Another stumbling block could be how ambitious countries are in their renewed emissions-cutting pledges ahead of a 2020 stock-take of the Paris deal's progress.

Most nations wanted the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to form a key part of future planning. It highlighted the need for greenhouse gas emissions to be slashed to nearly half by 2030 in order to hit the 1.5C target.

But the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected, leading to watered-down wording.

The draft decision statement from the Polish COP24 presidency welcomed "the timely conclusion" of the report and invited "parties to make use of it" -- far from the ringing endorsement many nations had called for.

"We need to be ambitious, we need to do more, we need to reflect the goals of 1.5 degrees of global warming," said McKenna.]]>
12/15/2018 10:44:53 PM
<![CDATA[UNIDO director hails investment climate in Egypt]]>
Also, he lauded measures applied in the Investor Service Center (ISC) to serve investors.

Yong made the remarks following his visit to the center, at an invitation of Investment Minister Sahar Nasr.

Afterwards, the UN official headed to the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

Yong's visit to the center comes upon directives of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to get representatives of international organizations acquainted with underway mega national projects to determine how much achievements the country is making in different areas, the Investment Ministry said in a statement.

For her part, Jehan el Beri, an official with the ISC, reviewed services offered by the center to help investors issue their work licenses, get necessary approvals to set up new businesses or increase their capital in existing ones.

During his inspection tour of the center, the UNIDO director listened to an explanation of Egypt's investment map, which includes more that 1,000 available investment opportunities in ongoing mega national projects, notably the Suez Canal development corridor, the New Administrative Capital and the Grand Egyptian Museum.]]>
12/14/2018 4:43:22 PM
<![CDATA[Entrepreneurs voice challenges they faced: Experiences from different industries]]>
In fact, Early Stage Entrepreneurial activity rates higher in Egypt compared to the rest of the world, with Egypt reaching 14.3 percent compared with a global average of 12.3 percent.

Commenting on this, Senior Vice President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) and President of the Middle East Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (MCSBE) Ahmed Osman says, “In terms of age distribution, there is a noticeable increase in the percentage of youth who decided to start their own business, especially those in the age bracket range of 18-24, constituting 16.2 percent of Egyptian entrepreneurs.” This growth in youth entrepreneurship may be attributed to higher awareness and interest to have independent career, or potentially an alternative path, given the high youth unemployment. The President of the MCSBE further explains that the societal perception of entrepreneurship is at an all time high with 83.4 percent viewing entrepreneurship as a sound career option.

Challenges in the market

“We [all of Africa] have the challenge of infrastructure; we cannot invest when there is no infrastructure. Infrastructure is one of the conditions for having investment; whether roads, telecommunications or whatever. Africa needs to have infrastructure of all kinds. We also need to have an abundance of low-cost electricity. Africa needs to be more competitive in terms of producing quality goods at a low cost to ensure that our products are attractive; this is how to increase African attractiveness,” the Director of Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission René N’Guettia Kouassi told Egypt Today.

For African Union’s Commissioner of Economic Affairs Victor Harrison, however, the problem is not infrastructure: Africa has a problem of poverty and underdevelopment, despite having significant natural resources and a young population. “The continent continues to be characterized by all the features of underdevelopment, including a low level of human development, industrialisation, manufacturing and productivity as well as dependence on the primary sector. Africa’s private sector, on the other hand, is specifically characterized by small size and informality, weak linkages, low level of competitiveness and lack of innovation; however, it’s important to note that not all is groom,” says the Commissioner. This, for Harrison, limits the businesses that people can do and their chances of success.

Taking about how to fix the challenges facing entrepreneurs, Osman previously told Egypt Today, “Concerning the regulatory reforms, I hope the new law for SMEs would give the start-ups tax breaks and incentives. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi has spoken about entrepreneurship in several events, which is great change in the government’s mind-set, which proves their belief in the role of young people to lead the economy.”

Furthermore, Osman argues that there is a need for policymakers, private sector parties, civil society, research educational institutions and business incubators to work together on facilitating the inception, creation and launch of start-ups. “Ideally, they should create new business incubators for SMEs [Small and Medium Sized Enterprises] to fund start-ups in specific sectors, targeting women entrepreneurs, especially in Upper Egypt and poor areas. An entrepreneurial culture could be supported through promoting successful entrepreneurship role models in the media, and by offering entrepreneurship curricula in schools and universities. The private sector should engage small, local businesses in its supply chain, and out of their CSR budgets, to help train entrepreneurs and invest in start-ups.”

Fashion: Palma

When Mostafa Magdy, Founder and CEO of Palma, first came across the idea of Palma, one of the fastest growing handbag brands in Egypt, he was confused as why there are not many successful local brands in Egypt. “I was always interested in fashion, and back in college I was always intrigued as to why we don’t have a lot of successful local brands here in Egypt and most of the available brands are foreign/imported even though there are lots of bags and apparel manufacturers here in Egypt that are really good but the local fashion brands presence is still really low.

More so, international fashion brands like Zara, Calvin Klein, and Old Navy used to outsource some of their production to Egypt. So, we thought that the production/manufacturing is already here, all that is missing is the research-based designs, marketing, and branding. That’s when we started to try and fill this gap, and our vision for Palma actually is to be a full-fledged fast fashion brand and to add more product lines other than bags in the near future.” Magdy saw a gap in the market, just like many other local start-ups and fought to find a place in the market and fill this gap.

Asked about the difficulties his company faced when they first started, Magdy admitted that dealing with manufacturers and getting good quality was an issue at first, suggesting that Palma had to do lots of research to find the perfect quality. “When we first started two years ago, our quality was actually very bad. But during the last year, we improved our quality dramatically and we even started exchanging some of the old bags that had defects that customers bought more than a year ago with new ones with much better quality.” Another problem was legalities, explains Magdy, is the lack of advice available for entrepreneurs on which company type to create and how the taxing system works. “We had to do lots of research on our own to figure things out,” Magdy reveals proudly.

Nonetheless, according to the Magdy, “The business climate here in Egypt is really good and welcoming for us [entrepreneurs]. The market is huge and has lots of gaps. The e-commerce market in Egypt is really kicking off and consumers are more encouraged to buy online now more than ever; it’s actually increasing.” Much like Senior Vice President of the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) said, e-commerce in Egypt presents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Co-Working Space: ICan Academy

Jehad El-Sayed, a young entrepreneur, who opened up her very own co-working space in her early 20s, managed to survive the marketing due to her sharp research skills and flexibility. Despite starting off as an English training centre, El-Sayed soon changed her whole business model and shifted to a co-working space to keep up with market dynamics. Her ability to shift with the market and adapt, as well as her ability to let go of an idea when she saw it was not working, which is something experts Osman and Ismail warned off, allowed her to stay in business.

“I did not begin as a co-working space; it actually started off as an English training centre. When I first started working, I worked in an English training centre and the owner was a woman, in her 30s—her name is Sarah—and she has many branches and is well-known in the field. I was very impressed with her and she took me under her wings. I worked as a tutor and then in management, during which I was responsible for social media, marketing and a lot of other things. I worked in three other companies for three years, then I fell ill and had to stay home for a while. During my time at home, I applied in a lot of places and was not accepted. That’s when it came to me: I should have my own place. Customers where already contacting me asking for lessons, so why not?” El-Sayed tells Egypt Today.

When this happened, El-Sayed explains, the idea of a co-working space was not around, meaning there was nowhere to give lessons if you do not have a place, except if you go to a café. There were no training rooms for rent. “After we opened, it was an English training centre for a while but it was not very profitable and there was a lot of time when the place was empty. I would give a course or two a day and the rest of the time the place would be free,” the young entrepreneur recalls. Soon, she started to think of renting to people who want to give courses or training per hours; this was around the same time the first co-working space, Maqar, opened in Egypt.

After analysing the market and doing her research, El-Sayed decided to change her start-up and moved into the co-working field, “I liked the idea so I shifted the business model completely. I closed the place for two months, changed the decorations and worked on my new model for it to be a co-working space. I changed it and offered three things: Training rooms, office rooms for start-ups, and student activity rooms for meetings and whatnot.”

Asked about the difficulties she faces when she first opened, El-Sayed explained that her biggest problem, and the biggest problem for any start-up, she argues, is marketing. At first, she relied on a well known and a start-up digital marketing firms but did not see any real results because they needed a high budget to ensure high returns. “They wanted like LE 10,000, this was too much for me at the time. I ended up being responsible for the page myself for about two years. The marketing is the problem for all start-ups. You could have a great idea but you do not know how to market for it,” recalls El-Sayed.

Despite having faced difficulties in establishing herself, El-Sayed explains that the atmosphere in Egypt is welcoming to new businesses and start-ups, “I think that the atmosphere in Egypt is welcoming, especially to co-working spaces. This is the time for co-working spaces. Those who opened up two or three years ago are even better because in the past there was less competition, now there are a lot of co-working spots. So, those who built a reputation in the past went a long way.”

Looking at her start-up specifically, she holds the view that the sector will continue to grow and is prosperous, “A lot of youths are doing start-ups now, especially in the marketing and tech fields. In a month, I get maybe four or five people who want to rent the room to have meetings. The increase in start-ups is increasing demand for co-working spaces because it is difficult for them to rent a whole place; instead, they think, ‘We will rent a room now and then we can get a bigger place.’ The co-working space has made it easier for start-ups and I think one of the reasons that start-ups are increasing now is the abundant availability of rooms in co-working spaces. Entrepreneurs no longer think that they need a LE 50,000 or LE 60,000, all they need is LE 2,000-3,000 to get a room in a place.”

It seems that start-ups and co-working spaces have their own ecosystem, something that Ismail would agree on given his recommendation that the government should allocate more office spaces for start-ups, “an area where they could come in and start operating immediately.”

But training rooms and co-working spaces are not just for start-ups, there is also high demand for training rooms from students as they do not just rely on universities. “Plus, there are certain things that are not taught in universities, for example, social media. No university in Egypt teaches social media and so those who want to learn it have to take courses. Android and web design is the same. Many people want to take training courses. The environment in Egypt is generally very welcoming,” explains El-Sayed.

Jewellery: Taba Silver

Omar Abdel Nasser started Taba Silver when he was in the American University in Cairo, undergoing his Bacherlor’s degree. He wanted to have a start-up business alongside his academics. “My father has lots of Jewellery stores all over Egypt and having a start-up in the same field helped me deliver a certain modern silver style online,” the young entrepreneur explains his choice of silver jewellery to Egypt Today.

Despite having his father’s experience to benefit from, Abdel Nasser admits that he faced many challenges, most prominently last-minute cancelations of customized orders that cannot be resold. “The kind of difficulties that we face is the cancellation at the last moment especially with a customized order where we have to pay for it cost upfront then deliver the design,” says the entrepreneur, continuing, “One of the other difficulties which we face as a jewellery brand especially in customizing is that not all people know the process of manufacturing a piece of jewellery or know how many steps the design goes through in order to be between your hands. It reflects that people may not know the time estimate and they order a customized design and expect it the next day to be at their doorstep.”

The customizing idea is appealing to most of the customers since of its ability to create a personalized design, he explains.

Still, the entrepreneur, who started his own business very early on in his life, recommends the business climate in Egypt for start-ups, especially those in e-commerce. “The business climate in Egypt actually is a welcoming environment for most start-ups, especially if the nature of your service is demanded. At first, the idea of having an online store was difficult to achieve but the online purchasing concept has became very common in the recent years and with the nature of the silver or affordable jewellery in general is a demanded item among any online user especially the youth (18-24).”
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12/14/2018 3:19:03 PM
<![CDATA[PM, UNIDO director general probe means of fostering bilateral cooperation]]>
Li’s remarks came during his meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli to discuss means of fostering cooperation between Cairo and UNIDO.

The UNIDO chief said the outcome of his meetings with President Sisi and some Egyptian ministers increased his satisfaction that UNIDO has taken the right decision when it included Egypt in the partnership program of its member states.

He added that the international organization is ready to provide technical assistance to Cairo and to exchange expertise with it in a way that helps support the efforts made to achieve sustainable development.

Li said he is looking forward to boosting cooperation with Egypt, especially that it has distinguished capabilities that qualify it to make a breakthrough in the industrial sector.

Meanwhile, Madbouli voiced appreciation for Egypt’s cooperation with UNIDO, which he said contributes to confronting poverty, building capabilities and creating job opportunities.]]>
12/14/2018 1:40:25 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank looks forward to more cooperation with Egypt - Senior official]]>
Diop’s remarks came during his meeting on Friday with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli to discuss fields of cooperation between Cairo and the World Bank.

During the meeting, attended by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Diop affirmed that the World Bank looks forward to intensifying cooperation with Egypt during its chairmanship of the African Union in 2019 via three main fields, namely air transport, cooperation in the energy field as well as electrical linkage among Africa’s states.

Meanwhile, the prime minister welcomed Cairo’s cooperation with the World Bank that aims to foster Africa’s development agenda, especially that Cairo has major capabilities in the three proposed fields.

Madbouli also issued directives to the investment minister to draw up a plan for the cooperation suggested, calling for finalizing it before the start of Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union in 2019.]]>
12/14/2018 1:36:36 PM
<![CDATA[African trade ministers issue 'Cairo package']]>
Nassar clarified that these meetings resulted in a consensus on a large number of outstanding topics, especially regarding mechanisms of trade liberalization in the African continent and opening African markets to the exports of member states.

The results of the meetings were all included in an integration package under the name of "Cairo Package."

The minister said that the meetings witnessed a strong presence from all African countries with the presence of about 30 African trade ministers, trade commissioner of the African Union and heads of African regional organizations, where delegations praised the good organization of the meetings.

Furthermore, the mechanism and timing of liberalizing goods in Africa were agreed upon during the mettings, aiming to accelerate the liberalization process as an essential step for achieving African integration and establishing a unified African market, Nassar clarified.

Nassar referred that these were the first African negotiations on the liberalization of trade in services, where liberalization is set to be implemented on five priority sectors, including tourism, transport, telecommunications, financial services and business services.

Nassar pointed out that the negotiations on the liberalization of trade in services are very important for Egyptian service sectors, which are more advanced than those in the countries of the continent, especially the banking, telecommunications and information technology sectors.

The minister pointed out that the privileges granted in the field of liberalization of trade in services are unprecedented, and have not been granted to any of the other countries outside the continent, which gives Egypt the precedence of a strong and effective presence in these countries.

Nassar said that a joint ministerial declaration was adopted, urging African countries to prepare a common vision to activate the role of the World Trade Organization in supporting African countries to ensure that African countries affirm their entitlement to integration into the international trading system.

For their part, African trade ministers stressed that what was reached under the African Free Trade Agreement is a strong push to compel the world to listen to the voice of Africa and to hear its demands.

Egypt's hosting of these meetings comes as a prelude to Egypt's presidency of the African Union during 2019. Egypt aims at complementarity and cooperation with African brothers in various fields, especially with regard to opening markets for Egyptian exports of goods, services and developing trade exchange in the continent, as well as the establishing joint investment projects.
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12/14/2018 11:59:28 AM
<![CDATA[Russian official: REC plans to open offices in Egypt, 16 other states next year]]>
The 17 countries include South Africa, Vietnam, India, China, Singapore, Iran, Turkey, the UAE, Italy, France, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Finland

The measure is meant to boost Russian exports to these markets, he said in statement to MENA before leaving Egypt late Wednesday.

Meanwhile, he hailed the development of the Suez Canal Zone which is vital for the global logistic infrastructure as it links European, African and Asian markets.

He said developing the Suez Canal Zone and establishing an adjacent logistic center will help save time and cost of cargo transportation across the world.

He noted that a Russian business team which visited Egypt over the past two days to attend Russian-African cooperation talks aimed at having direct contact between Russian exporters and potential African partners.

The Russian team sought to clinch agreements for exporting Russian products to Egypt and other African states, he said.

He noted that the government's investment in the first stage of the Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Zone is estimated at dlrs 190 million.

He quoted Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying that the total Russian investments in the zone are expected to hit dlrs 7 billion.]]>
12/13/2018 5:25:37 PM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt, Fiber Misr sign MoU in submarine cable services domain]]>
In a statement, the Communications Ministry said the memo will help upgrade submarine cables and develop information technology services.

The memo covers boosting cooperation in the maintenance and installation of submarine cables, management of maritime projects and offering logistic services to ships and cable recharging services.

These services will be offered to the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Arab Gulf and East Africa regions.

The memo will help Telecom Egypt meet growing demands on maritime services and develop them.

The memo was signed by managing director and CEO of Telecom Egypt Ahmed Beheiri and managing director and CEO of Fiber Misr Ahmed Mekki with the attendance of Communications Minister Amr Talaat.]]>
12/13/2018 5:21:36 PM
<![CDATA[Economic indicators up in 2018 - Cabinet]]>
Economic growth rose from 4.2% to 5.3% during the 2017/2018 fiscal year while unemployment rate declined from 12% to 9.9%.

Also, annual inflation rate went down from 26% to 15.7% and the budget deficit declined from 10.9% to 9.8%.

Cash reserves rose from 36.7 billion dollars to 44.5 billion dollars, according to the center.

Suez Canal revenues increased from 4.9 to 5.7 billion dollars, it said.]]>
12/13/2018 5:18:36 PM
<![CDATA[Trade Minister: Egyptian-Angolan working team formed to boost cooperation]]>
The minister's statements came during a meeting with Angolan Trade Minister Jofre Van-Dúnem Júnior to discuss cooperation between the two countries in the presence of Angolan Ambassador to Egypt Antonio de Costa.

Nassar said the Egyptian government's future plan focuses on achieving economic integration and partnership with African countries.

He said the intensive presence of African trade ministers at the seventh meeting on the Continental Free Trade Area ( CFTA) reflected the interest of African states in CFTA and the liberalization of inter-African trade exchange to achieve the joint interests of the continent.

Minister Nassar expressed his ministry's keenness on supporting industrial development in Africa through the implementation of industrial projects in African states.

For his part, the Angolan minister expressed his country's keenness on boosting economic cooperation with Egypt, referring to the possibility of establishing joint Egyptian-Angolan projects in the logistic centers domain to boost trade movement between Egypt and African countries.
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12/13/2018 5:14:26 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi approves 2 loans bet. Egypt, AFDB worth $105M]]>
Sisi issued decree No. 178 of 2018 approving a loan agreement with the African Development Bank for the Sustainable Development of Abu Rawash Water Treatment and Sewage Treatment Project for $100 million.

He also issued decree No. 179 of 2018 approving a loan agreement between Egypt and the African Development Bank on behalf of the Africa Fund for the sustainable development of Abu Rawash Water Treatment and Sanitation Project by $5 million.

Both agreements were signed on February 2, with the reservation subject to ratification.

In March, Minister of Housing Mustafa Madboli said that Egypt’s Cabinet approved a $1.5 African Development Bank (AfDB) loan to construct the sewage station’s project in Abu Rawash with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters per day.

Egypt approves $1.5M loan from AfDB

CAIRO - 18 March 2018: Egypt's Cabinet approved Sunday a $1.5 African Development Bank (AfDB) loan to construct the sewage station's project in Abu Rawash with a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters per day, Minister of Housing Mustafa Madboli said.



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12/13/2018 5:09:16 PM
<![CDATA[EGX continues trading in green for 4th session Thursday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.09 percent, or 140.06 points, to close at 12,996.89 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 1.41 percent, or 29.72 points, to reach 2,144.38 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched up 0.30 percent, or 2.02 points, reaching 675.07 points, and the broader index EGX100 went up 0.66 percent, or 11.02 points, to close at 1,690.74 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 7.2 billion, recording LE 740.18 billion, compared to LE 732.97 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 240.26 million shares, traded through 28,855 transactions, with a turnover of LE 997.31 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 82.29 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 2.14 and LE 80.15 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 34.89 million, LE 61.17 million, and LE 33,333, respectively.

Arab organizations sold at LE 18.98 million, while Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 32.75 million, and LE 18.33 million, respectively.

El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, Rakta Paper Manufacturing Cleopatra Hospital Company, and Orascom Development Egypt were top gainers of the session by 8.08 percent, 7.90 percent and 6.83 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Arabian (cmar) Securities Brokerage EAC, Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE, and Ismailia Development and Real Estate Co were top losers of the session by 6.98 percent, 5.73 percent, and 5.18 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session in green for the third session in row amid Arab and foreign purchases, as EGX 30 rose 1.52 percent, EGX50 increased 1.58 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.65 percent, and EGX100 went up 0.79 percent.
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12/13/2018 5:00:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt implements 490 development projects at cost of LE 27.2B]]>
Saeed pointed out that these projects include 238 projects in health and education sectors at a total investment cost of LE 1.6 billion, as well as 164 projects in Upper Egypt and the border governorates at a total investment cost of LE 12 billion.

The minister pointed out that the government's work program has given high priority to improving the quality of life and standard of living of citizens, particularly in the needy areas, stressing the necessity of boosting public investments in all fields.

According to the data the ministry published, five projects were established in the youth and sports section at an estimated cost of LE 101 million, including the development of youth centers in the neediest villages in Qena and Sohagat a total cost of LE 11.2 million.

Another project was completing the construction of playgrounds and the development of youth centers, at an estimated cost of LE 61.8 million, as well as the project of the establishment of swimming pools in youth centers at a total cost of LE 5.3 million.

Additionally, Mohamed Abdel Wahab Theater project was established in Alexandria at a cost of LE 9.9 million.

The data also revealed that two projects are completed in the higher education sector at a cost of LE 29.7 million, which are the new dialysis unit at Al-Demerdash Hospital at a cost of LE 9.7 million, and the development project of Al-Shatby Pediatric Hospital at a total cost of LE 20 million.

Saeed announced earlier that Egypt’s total public investments during the first quarter of the 2018/2019 recorded LE 72 billion, with government investments of about LE 27.4 billion.
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12/13/2018 3:26:26 PM
<![CDATA[UNIDO: Egypt is on fast track to achieve development, economic growth]]>
In a press conference, the visiting UNIDO director general said that he sensed during his meeting with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday that the Egyptian president is a leader who enjoys an insightful and clear vision to bring about progress and lead his country into the ranks of developed states.

Yong, also, added that he discussed with Egyptian officials means of cementing relations between the UNIDO and Cairo, especially in light of the new UNIDO partnership approach.

The UN official pointed out that he will pay a field visit to the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) on Friday.

The UNIDO pays great attention to small and medium-sized enterprises, as they contribute to creating jobs and increasing per capita income and economic growth, Yong said.

In this regard, Yong pointed out that the UNIDO has been working with the Egyptian government to support small and medium-sized projects, especially in Upper Egypt.

In 2017, the UN agency contributed to the establishment of 76 small companies and offered support to 500 other companies working in the sectors of clean water, leather and renewable energy, he said.

The UNIDO also assisted 10,000 women by granting them soft loans to start private projects, trained 5,000 young people on how to run their own small businesses and helped 20,000 farmers to elevate the level of agricultural production, he noted.
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12/13/2018 3:23:31 PM
<![CDATA[Ma’it appoints Abdel Azim Hussein as Head of Tax Authority]]>
Abdel Azim Hussein was the head of the Senior Funders Center.

Abdel Azim was born in 1961 in Minya Governorate. He was the general manager of the Joint-Stock Company and then occupied the position of head of the Central Administration of Postage Stamp before heading the Senior Funders Center.

The decision also included the appointment of Reda Abdel Kader Gharib as vice-president of the Tax Authority until he reaches the age of retirement or until the post is filled by appointment.

According to the ministry’s statement, Abdel Kader holds the position of head of Development Sector at the authority (value added).

Mohammad Maher Mostafa Shehata was also appointed as assistant to the head of the Tax Authority, in addition to his current position as head of the Center of Senior Free Financial Professionals.
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12/13/2018 1:42:42 PM
<![CDATA[AIIB delegation tours Egypt’s NAC, reviews cooperation chances]]>
The tour included the government district, residential neighborhoods, roads and bridges, the Parliament, the administrative area, the opera site in the city of culture and arts, business district, electricity and water stations serving the administrative capital, a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance said.

During the visit, the delegation reviewed opportunities for enhancing cooperation with Egypt as part of the efforts exerted to strengthen cooperation among the 87 member countries of the AIIB, including Egypt. The delegation also presented the financing opportunities offered by the AIIB for private sector institutions.

President of the AIIB Jin Liqun praised the establishment of the Administrative Capital by self-financing through the sale of lands to investors to maximize the value of these lands.He also affirmed that the coming period will witness cooperation in many national projects, including the new metro project that will connect the administrative capital with central parts of Cairo.

Ahmed Zaki Abdeen, chairperson of the New Administrative Capital Company for Urban Development, called on the delegation of the AIIBto cooperate in building a waste treatment plant in Egypt’s new capital.

Spanning over an area of 170,000 feddans (176,460 acres), the new capital is set to include 20 residential areas expected to accommodate 6.5 million people and a 650-kilometer road network. The capital will include an international airport and an electric train to link it with the 10th of Ramadan and El-Salam cities.

It will feature 1,250 mosques and churches, a 5,000-seat conference center, nearly 2,000 schools and colleges, over 600 medical facilities, and a park that is projected to be the world’s largest.

It has been confirmed that the New Administrative Capital will include six international universities from the United States, Britain, Hungary, Canada, Sweden and France, said Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar early November 2017.

This was during the International Education Conference held in the United Kingdom on Nov.1, 2017, entitled “Cross Boundary Education in Egypt and the Chances of Investment in the Higher Education.”
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12/13/2018 11:59:02 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18.7B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.2 billion with a 357-day term and the second is worth LE 9.5 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
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12/13/2018 11:18:36 AM
<![CDATA[EGX adds LE4.8B to market cap. by Thursday’s opening ]]>
On Wednesday, Market capitalization added LE 8.59 billion, recording LE 732.97 billion, compared to LE 724.37 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The benchmark EGX30 rose 0.89 percent, to reach levels of 12,971 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.96 percent, to reach 2,134 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched up 0.11 percent, reaching 673 points, and the broader index EGX100 went up 0.79 percent, to hit 1,685 points.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session in green for the third session in row amid Arab and foreign purchases, as EGX 30 rose 1.52 percent, EGX50 increased 1.58 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.65 percent, and EGX100 went up 0.79 percent.

Arab, foreign purchases push EGX into green for 3rd session in row

CAIRO - 12 December 2018: The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) ended Wednesday's session in green for the third session in row amid Arab and foreign purchases and market capitalization gains about LE 8.6 billion. The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.52 percent, or 192.42 points, to close at 12,856.83 points.



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12/13/2018 11:16:55 AM
<![CDATA[Orascom Development signs agreement to construct residential project]]>
Orascom clarified in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that NUCA's share of the total residential sales is 26 percent for the first eight years.

As per the agreement, NUCA is entitled to a total cash payment of LE 11.4 billion over eight years and a primary in-kind residential BUA of 130,000 square meters delivered in the eighth year, which implies a land cost of LE 1,580 per square meter on a net present value basis.

The statement added that NUCA will also be entitled to another in-kind residential BUA of 150,000 square meters divided equally on years nine and ten.

“Through this agreement, ODE will be responsible for all construction, development, internal infrastructure, marketing and sales activities. While, NUCA will be contributing with the land alongside all associated external infrastructure to the boundaries of the project,” the statement read.

The statement added that the project is expected to comprise over 19,000 units with a residential built-up area (BUA) of approximately 3.2 million square meters, generating an estimated total residential sales value of approximately LE 77 billion over a period of eight years.

According to the statement, the integrated community is a complete residential complex offering dwelling apartment buildings and standalone units complemented with all necessary functions for a full-scale town such as commercial, educational district, sports club, medical and leisure facilities.

“It is a milestone for the group to witness its first foray in the first home market, Egypt. We are very happy that we were able to successfully execute our strategy that we have communicated in 2016. I am pleased to say that the level of customer interest and demand have been very positive, exceeding our expectations,” CEO of Orascom Development Khaled Bichara.

Orascom Development Egypt operates within the consumer services sector focusing on hotels, resorts and cruise lines with 52 subsidiaries operating across Northern Africa, Middle East and southern Europe.
]]>
12/12/2018 5:20:55 PM
<![CDATA[7th meeting of African Union Trade Ministries kicks off Dec. 12]]>
Coordinator of the Center for Trade Policy in Africa David Luke said that the member states need to face the problems and obstacles of removing customs constraints.

Luke clarified that the member states agreed to liberalize 90 percent of trade movement.

President of the African Export – Import Bank (Afrexim bank)Benedict Okey Oramah said that they are working with the African Union on several files, including the African Continent Free Trade Agreement.

Oramah noted that the bank supports the agreement according to available resources, pointing out that the trade area allows more progress.

He added that the intra-trade fair in Egypt is considered a development event in Africa, noting that the Afreximbank will provide $25 million as a trade support and that it will work on providing services to more than 500 banks until 2020 to support regional trade.

“We currently have 300 banks in this project and will offer it $8 billion,” Oramah stated.

He pointed out that the African bank is using a digitalized system to allow trade flows in Africa, adding that the trade platforms will increase by three folds in 2020, and that the bank will provide more than $50 billion as an informal trade, and will facilitate payments in national currencies.
]]>
12/12/2018 5:15:34 PM
<![CDATA[African-Russian chamber of commerce to be established during 4th EIF in Egypt]]>
Wakil's remarks came on Wednesday during a Russian-African forum.

Egypt played a great role in establishing African chambers with international economic blocs and major countries including China, Japan, Korea and Arab states to develop trade and investment exchange, he said.

Wakil said that the Russian-African cooperation forum hosted by Egypt aims at boosting trade and investment ties and benefiting from Africa's immense human and natural resources.

Achieving a fruitful cooperation between the African and Russian sides needs increased efforts to develop the infrastructure and the transport and logistics sectors across the continent, he said.

Russia should seize the available opportunity to be a main trade and investment partner for Africa especially in the fields of agriculture, new and renewable energy and transformative industries, Wakil said.

He pointed out that Egypt is doing its utmost to create an investment-attractive climate and its markets are open to serious investors from all countries of the world who are willing to invest in new sectors and big projects.]]>
12/12/2018 3:32:57 PM
<![CDATA[Arab, foreign purchases push EGX into green for 3rd session in row]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.52 percent, or 192.42 points, to close at 12,856.83 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 1.58 percent, or 32.85 points, to reach 2,114.66 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched up 0.65 percent, or 4.37 points, reaching 673.05 points, and the broader index EGX100 went up 0.79 percent, or 13.16 points, to close at 1,679.72 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 8.59 billion, recording LE 732.97 billion, compared to LE 724.37 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 255.74 million shares, traded through 28,170 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.17 billion.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 98.57 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 2.55 and LE 96.01 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 68.5 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 9.36 million, and LE 2.92 million, respectively.

Foreign organizations bought at LE 93.09 million, while Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 30.03 million, and LE 6.81 million, respectively.

Torah CementRakta Paper Manufacturing and El Obour Real Estate Investment were top gainers of the session by 9.84 percent, 8.93 percent and 7.88 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, National Bank of Kuwait- Egypt- NBK, Alexandria Flour Mills, and Eastern Company were top losers of the session by 6.23 percent, 5.71 percent, and 4.90 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in green, as EGX 30 rose 1.51 percent, EGX50 increased 1.54 percent, EGX70 inched up 1.21 percent, and EGX100 went up 1.16 percent.
]]>
12/12/2018 3:30:58 PM
<![CDATA[Public business sector ministry keen to develop money-losing companies: min.]]>
Addressing a meeting of the parliament’s manpower committee chaired by MP Gebaly el Maraghy, the minister said he assigned holding companies in June to compile adequate reports about ailing companies.

The reports revealed that 26 companies constitute 90 percent of the total losses, Tawfiq said, adding that 25 companies will be developed while the National Cement Company will be shut down.

The minister noted that the National Cement Company had to be closed after the public business sector ministry confirmed the difficulty of reforming the company’s financial condition as it required investments worth EGP 1.5 billion.

The company’s workers have been compensated with 180 percent of their legal rights, he said. ]]>
12/12/2018 2:06:38 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt wants World Bank, IMF to include informal sector in GDP]]>
“We are seeking support to quantify the informal sector and recognise it in the overall size of our GDP,” Negm told a financial technology conference in Abu Dhabi, adding that the informal sector accounted for about 40 to 50 percent of GDP.

He did not discuss the response of the World Bank and IMF to the idea, or say when the proposal might take effect. ]]>
12/12/2018 12:58:36 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's fiscal deficit to narrow to 6.4% in 2019/20: Fitch Solutions]]>
In a fresh report Tuesday, the agency said Egypt has already implemented significant fiscal reforms in recent years. "As a result, we believe that Egypt recorded a primary surplus of 0.2 percent of GDP in FY2017/18, the first time the country has run a primary surplus since FY2003/04."

We expect the country;s primary surplus to rise to 2.1 percent of GDP in FY2018/19 and 2.3 percent of GDP in FY2019/20, the report added.

While elevated debt servicing costs mean that Egypt will continue to run overall fiscal deficits in the coming years, we expect these to shrink from 9.4 percent of GDP in FY2017/18 to 7.8 percent in FY2018/19 and 6.4 percent in FY2019/20, Fitch Solutions said.

Egypt's fiscal consolidation and robust economic growth will help narrow the country's public debt as a share of GDP. We forecast total public debt to fall from an estimated 89.4 percent of GDP in FY2017/18 to 84.3 percent in FY2018/19 and 78.6 percent of GDP in FY2019/20, it added.

Our Oil and Gas team forecast gas output to increase by 20.0 percent in 2019 and 5.6 percent in 2020, the report read. "Rising gas productio will further grow the government's tax intake." ]]>
12/12/2018 11:56:00 AM
<![CDATA[Petroleum min. inspects progress in Zohr field]]>
In a statement on Wednesday, the minister convened with the leaderships of companies in charge of implementing the project which was opened by President Abdel Fattah al Sisi last January.

The minister reviewed the timetable of the project, noting that the Zohr output is expected to exceed 3 billion cubic meters daily by 2019.

The project started last December with an initial output of 350 million cubic meters daily and now reached 2 billion cubic meters daily.]]>
12/12/2018 11:43:06 AM
<![CDATA[Trump says Fed shouldn't hike rates, but calls Powell 'a good man']]>
“I think that would be foolish, but what can I say?” Trump told Reuters in an interview.

Trump said he needed the flexibility of lower interest rates to support the broader U.S. economy as he fights a growing trade battle against China, and potentially other countries.

“You have to understand, we’re fighting some trade battles and we’re winning. But I need accommodation too,” he said.

Trump named Jerome Powell as Fed chairman, but has repeatedly railed against him since he took over as head of the U.S. central bank last February. Trump in August told Reuters that he was not “thrilled” with Powell’s raising interest rates.

Trump was more conciliatory in his comments about Powell on Tuesday, but still criticized the policies of the man he chose for the top Fed job.

“I think he’s a good man. I think he’s trying to do what he thinks is best. I disagree with him,” Trump said. “I think he’s being too aggressive, far too aggressive, actually far too aggressive.”

When asked whether he was concerned there might be a recession when he was running for re-election in 2020, Trump noted that other factors in the world could affect the economy, including Britain’s plans to leave the European Union, known as Brexit, and the unrest in France.

“Well, you have problems in the world, like Brexit, like France - a big problem in France. It’s shocking to see what’s going on in Paris,” Trump said, referring to anti-government protests that have targeted his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron this week made major concessions to try and quell the protests that have rocked France, announcing wage increases for the poorest workers and a tax cut for most pensioners.

“Are we heading for a recession?” Trump said. “In my opinion, we are doing really well. Our companies are doing really well. If the Fed is going to act reasonably and rationally, I think we’ll go - I think we are a rocket ship going up.”]]>
12/12/2018 11:32:21 AM
<![CDATA[Trump says would intervene in arrest of Chinese executive]]>
“If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters in the Oval Office.

Trump expressed optimism that he could strike a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the two countries struggle to resolve a dispute that has contributed to recent U.S. stock market declines and raised questions about whether economic turmoil could beset the president in the new year.

At the request of U.S. authorities, Huawei Technologies Co. executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested earlier this month in Vancouver on charges of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The arrest came the same day Trump and Xi declared a 90-day truce in their trade war during summit talks in Buenos Aires.

Trump, who wants China to open up its markets to more American-made products and stop what Washington calls the theft of intellectual property, said he had not yet spoken to Xi about the case against Huawei’s executive.

Over the course of the 30-minute interview, Trump also addressed the controversy surrounding the Oct. 2 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying he stood firmly beside Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite accusations that he was the mastermind of it.

Trump refused to comment on whether the crown prince was complicit in the murder, but he provided perhaps his most explicit show of support for MbS, as the prince is known, since Khashoggi’s death more than two months ago.

“He’s the leader of Saudi Arabia. They’ve been a very good ally,” Trump said. Asked if standing beside Saudi Arabia means also standing by the crown prince, Trump said, “Well, at this moment, it certainly does.”

While Trump has condemned the murder of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist who was often critical of MbS, he has given the benefit of the doubt to the prince with whom he has cultivated a deep relationship.

Trump again reiterated on Tuesday that MbS “vehemently denies” involvement in a killing that has sparked outrage around the world.

Despite Trump’s desire to maintain close ties to Saudi Arabia, several of his fellow Republicans have joined Democrats in blaming the crown prince for Khashoggi’s death and backing legislation to respond by ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, imposing new sanctions and stopping weapons sales.

Last month, the CIA assessed that MbS ordered the killing.

CHINA TRADE TALKS UNDERWAY

In the wake of his meeting with Xi in Buenos Aires, Trump said during the interview that trade talks with Beijing were under way by telephone, with more meetings likely among U.S. and Chinese officials.

He said the Chinese government was once again buying large quantities of U.S. soybeans, a reversal after China in July imposed tariffs on U.S. supplies of the oilseed in retaliation for U.S. duties on Chinese goods.

“I just heard today that they’re buying tremendous amounts of soybeans. They are starting, just starting now,” Trump said.

Commodity traders in Chicago, however, said they have seen no evidence of a resumption of soybean purchases by China, which last year bought about 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports in deals valued at more than $12 billion.

Already fraught, relations between the United States and China have been further complicated by the arrest of Meng, 46. She faces U.S. accusations she misled multinational banks about Huawei’s control of a company operating in Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions and incurring severe penalties, court documents said.

If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions. A Canadian court on Tuesday granted Meng bail while she awaits an extradition hearing

Trump has intervened on behalf of a Chinese company before. Earlier this year he revisited penalties for Chinese company ZTE Corp for lying to the U.S. after the company pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran, saying the telecom maker is a big buyer for U.S. suppliers.

Trump said Meng could potentially be released.

“Well, it’s possible that a lot of different things could happen. It’s also possible it will be a part of negotiations. But we’ll speak to the Justice Department, we’ll speak to them, we’ll get a lot of people involved,” he said.

Asked if he would like to see Meng extradited to the United States, Trump said he wanted to first see what the Chinese request. He added, however, that Huawei’s alleged practices are troubling.

“This has been a big problem that we’ve had in so many different ways with so many companies from China and from other places,” he said.

On the domestic front, Trump waved off concerns that he could face the possibility of impeachment when Democrats, intent on greater oversight of the president, take command of the U.S. House of Representatives in January.

“It’s hard to impeach somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong and who’s created the greatest economy in the history of our country,” he said. “I think people would revolt if that happened.”

Trump said the accusations in the probe on whether his campaign colluded with Russia in 2016 amounted to “peanut stuff.” Payments that he allegedly made to an adult film actress and a former Playboy model through then-lawyer Michael Cohen were not a violation of campaign finance law, he added.

“Michael Cohen is a lawyer. I assumed he would know what he’s doing. You rely on somebody. Hey, he was a lawyer. Number

one: it wasn’t a campaign contribution. If it were, it’s only civil. And even if it’s only civil, there was no violation based on what we did,” Trump said.]]>
12/12/2018 11:28:45 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar up for a third day as yields rise; pound falls]]>
U.S. interest rates may be nearing a peak, but relative interest rate differentials still offered some support for the dollar index, which rose 0.02 percent to 97.41 .DXY

The dollar also got some help from reports China was considering cutting import tariffs on American-made cars to 15 percent from the current 40 percent and that a Canadian court granted bail to a top executive of China’s Huawei Technologies HWT.UL and

“Investor confidence is building on the U.S.-China trade front, and this has helped risk assets perform better today,” said Stephen Innes, head of APAC trading at OANDA, a broker.

However, market moves were restrained, with gauges of risk appetite such as the Australian dollar AUD=D3 and the euro/Swiss franc EURCHF= little changed.

Sterling was the biggest loser, dropping below $1.25, after lawmakers triggered a no-confidence vote against British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday .

China's yuan gained in offshore trade CNH=D3 to 6.886 against the dollar, extending gains from the previous day. The yuan strengthened on Tuesday on news that Beijing and Washington were discussing the next steps in their trade talks.

The 10-year Treasury note yield US10YT=RR inched up to 2.886 percent, continuing to pull back from recent lows.

The yield had dropped to a three-month low of 2.825 percent at the start of the week, with dovish comments from Fed officials and soft U.S. data reinforcing views of a slowdown in rate increases.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was broadly steady at 113.445 JPY= after touching a one-week peak of 113.52.]]>
12/12/2018 11:25:17 AM
<![CDATA[Pound jumps after British minister raises prospect of Article 50 delay]]>
The pound rose as much as half a percent to $1.2550 from below $1.25 earlier in the session. Against the euro sterling rose 0.3 percent to 90.27 pence.

The British currency plunged to a 20-month low of $1.2477 overnight after lawmakers in May’s Conservative party managed to garner enough support to trigger a no-confidence vote in her leadership.

The ballot, which is to be held between 1800 GMT and 2000 GMT on Wednesday, plunged May’s planned Brexit into further chaos after she had delayed a parliamentary vote on her plans on Monday.]]>
12/12/2018 11:23:55 AM
<![CDATA[Canada frees CFO of China's Huawei on bail; Trump might intervene]]>
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s [HWT.UL] chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, faces U.S. claims that she misled multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

In a court hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Justice William Ehrcke granted C$10 million ($7.5 million) bail to Meng, who has been jailed since her arrest on Dec. 1. The courtroom erupted in applause when the decision was announced. Meng cried and hugged her lawyers.

Among conditions of her bail, the 46-year-old executive must wear an ankle monitor and stay at home from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Five friends pledged equity in their homes and other money as a guarantee she will not flee.

If a Canadian judge rules the case against Meng is strong enough, Canada’s justice minister must next decide whether to extradite her to the United States. If so, Meng would face U.S. charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

The arrest of Meng has put a further dampener on Chinese relations with the United States and Canada at a time when tensions were already high over a trade war and U.S. accusations of Chinese spying.

U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene in the U.S. Justice Department’s case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Meng’s arrest “was a mistake from the start”.

“We have already made clear our position to the United States and Canada, who should immediately correct their mistake and release Meng Wanzhou,” he told a daily news briefing.

“Any person, especially if it is a leader of the United States, or a high-level figure, who is willing to make positive efforts to push this situation toward the correct direction, then that, of course, deserves to be well received.”

China had threatened severe consequences unless Canada released Meng immediately, and analysts have said retaliation from Beijing over the arrest was likely.

The U.S. State Department is considering issuing a travel warning for its citizens, two sources said on Tuesday.

The Canadian government was considering issuing a similar warning, Canada’s CTV network reported. Reuters was not able to confirm the report.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Canadian government said that one of its citizens in China had been detained.

The International Crisis Group think-tank said on Wednesday it had received no information from Chinese officials about the detention of its employee, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, and that it was seeking consular access to him.

The Chinese ministry spokesman, Lu, said he had nothing he could say on the details of the case, but said the ICG was not registered in China as a non-governmental organization and Kovrig could have broken Chinese law.

The Canadian government said it saw no explicit link to the Huawei case.

However, Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada’s former ambassador to China, asked by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp whether the Kovrig detention was a coincidence, said: “In China there are no coincidences ... If they want to send you a message they will send you a message.”

ELECTRONIC MONITORING

Meng, who was arrested as she was changing planes in Vancouver, has said she is innocent and will contest the allegations in the United States if she is extradited.

Tuesday was the third day of bail hearings. Meng’s defense had argued that she was not a flight risk, citing her longstanding ties to Canada, properties she owns in Vancouver and fears for her health while incarcerated.

Her family assured the court she would remain in Vancouver at one of her family houses in an affluent neighborhood. Her husband said he plans to bring the couple’s daughter to Vancouver to attend school, and Meng had said she would be grateful for the chance to read a novel after years of working hard.

“I am satisfied that on the particular facts of this case ... the risk of her non-attendance in court can be reduced to an acceptable level by imposing bail conditions,” said the judge, adding that he was also persuaded by the fact that Meng was a well-educated businesswoman with no criminal record.

She must remain in Canada and be accompanied by security guards when she leaves her residence. Meng will pay a cash deposit of C$7 million, with five guarantors liable for a remaining C$3 million if she absconds.

Meng was ordered to reappear in court on Feb. 6 to make plans for further appearances.

Huawei, which makes smartphones and network equipment, said in a statement it looked forward to a “timely resolution” of the case.

“We have every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach a just conclusion,” it said, adding that it complied with all laws and regulations where it operates.

The case against Meng stems from a 2013 Reuters report here about Huawei's close ties to Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech Co Ltd, which attempted to sell U.S. equipment to Iran despite U.S. and European Union bans.

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, with revenue of about $92 billion last year. Unlike other big Chinese technology firms, it does much of its business overseas.]]>
12/12/2018 11:22:13 AM
<![CDATA[Stocks cheered by Trump trade talk; sterling plagued by politics]]>
In an interview with Reuters, Trump said talks were taking place with Beijing by phone and he would not raise tariffs on Chinese imports until he was sure about a deal.

Trump also said he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal.

A Canadian court on Tuesday granted bail to the executive in a move that could help placate Chinese officials angered by her arrest.

The news was enough to prompt a bounce after days of losses, and MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 1.2 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei led the way with a jump of 2 percent, while Shanghai blue chips trailed with just 0.2 percent.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 added 0.5 percent and spreadbetters pointed to gains for European bourses.

Having been repeatedly disappointed before, analysts were careful to not get too optimistic about prospects of a trade agreement.

“From the Huawei case, it is increasingly obvious that the China-US trade war is about the exchange of technology, and the development of advanced technologies by Chinese companies,” said analysts at ING in a note.

“The truce will not address these issues. And therefore tension between China and U.S. will continue.”

Sentiment had got a lift on Tuesday from reports China was considering cutting import tariffs on American-made cars to 15 percent from the current 40 percent.

Yet there were also reports the U.S. would release evidence this week detailing Chinese hacking and economic espionage.

“Even if this (auto) step is taken it just removes what was a retaliatory measure to begin with,” noted ANZ economist David Plank. “Whatever the case, market price action is somewhat of a chop-fest, right now, as it swings around on each new headline.”

Markets had also been jolted when Trump threatened to shut down the government over funding for a wall he has promised to build on the southern border with Mexico.

A VERY BRITISH COUP

In currency markets, sterling was pinned near 20-month lows amid reports Conservative lawmakers could vote on a no confidence motion in May’s leadership as soon as Wednesday night.

The political ructions come a day after her decision to delay a vote in parliament on her Brexit deal for fear of a loss angered many in her party.

The risk kept the pound at $1.2505, having shed 1.9 percent in the previous two sessions to a trough of $1.2483.

The euro held firm at 90.56 pence, but was flat on the dollar at $1.1324. The dollar was still being viewed as the best of a bad bunch and stayed at 97.411 on a basket of currencies.

“The market is concerned that May could be replaced by a Brexit-supporter, increasing the chance of a no-deal scenario,” said Rodrigo Catril, a senior FX strategist at NAB.

“Bottom line: there is great uncertainty about whether Theresa May can survive as PM and what the prospects are for a general election, new referendum or a hard Brexit.”

Investors were also looking ahead to the U.S consumer price report later on Wednesday where an expected slowdown in headline inflation would only reinforce speculation of fewer rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

While market still expect the Fed will tighten at its policy meeting next week, Trump said the central bank would be “foolish” to do so.

Wagers on a more restrained Fed helped gold stay near a five-month peak around $1,244.17 an ounce.

Oil bounced after industry data showed a surprisingly large draw on stockpiles and amid talk a recent OPEC-led supply cut could support prices in 2019. [O/R]

Brent futures added another 65 cents to $60.85, while U.S. crude rose 60 cents to $52.25 a barrel.]]>
12/12/2018 11:19:46 AM
<![CDATA[EU commission highlights EU-Egypt partnership in 2017/2018]]>
The report of the European Commission covers the EU-Egypt partnership from June 2017 to May 2018 and assesses the economic, political and social developments in Egypt, focusing on priority areas.

The report said that Egypt has been implementing an ambitious economic reform plan since mid-2016, backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through a loan of $12 billion,torestore macroeconomic stability and boost growth, which have been severely hit after the events of 2011.

The report praised Egypt's key measures to achieve macroeconomic stability and restore competitiveness such as floating the currency in November 2016, raising interest rates to contain inflation, reforming the subsidy program and introducing VAT at 14 percent, in addition to a number of structural reforms in the business enabling environment.

The report pointed out that the flotation of the Egyptian pound led to a decline in its value by more than 50 percent, which raised the cost of unsupported imports, levels of inflation and thus increased the cost of living. However, the enhancement of social protection measures and the increased food support came to ease the pressures of higher living costs, especially on vulnerable segments of the population.

“Inflation fell to 11.4 percent in May 2018, after reaching its peak in July 2017 at 32.5 percent,” the report stated, adding that for the first time since the exchange rate was floated, the central bank cut interest rates in February and again in March 2018.

The report pointed out that although the macroeconomic stability is still at an early stage, the country started to recover during the report's period. “GDP in fiscal year 2016/17 grew by 4.2 percent and hiked to 5.3 percent in fiscal year 2017/18."

It referred that unemployment rates also fell positively from 11.3 percent at the end of FY2016 to 9.9 percent at the end of fiscal year 2017/18.

The report also highlighted the strengthening of the oil extraction sector, especially after the discovery of the Zohr gas field, and the start of its operation in December 2017. “Indeed, the improvement in energy supply has begun to affect the other sectors, especially the manufacturing sector.”

As per the tourism sector, the report stated that the sector strongly recovered during the first half of fiscal year 2017/2018, as it marked an increase of 44.5 percent driven by the devaluation of the currency and the resumption of Russian flights to Egypt after a two-year suspension.

The total number of tourists in 2017 was 8.3 million tourists, compared to 5.4 million the prior year. European tourists accounted for 57 percent of all arrivals in 2017, with Germany coming at the top of the list.

The report stated that although the current account deficit hasn’t changed due to currency devaluation, it is expected to fall by 2.8 percent in fiscal year 2017/18 thanks to the production of the new gas fields,which will replace imports and tourism.

The report noted that foreign reserves reached a new record high of $44.1 billion at the end of May 2018.

It also pointed to the improvement in the overall financial situation, reaching an initial financial surplus of 0.2 percent in fiscal year 2017/18.

Trade and Investment

The report said that the EU remains Egypt's largest trading partner for imports and exports, accounting for 29.7 percent of Egypt's trade volume in 2017.

“During that year, trade between the EU and Egypt peaked at €27.9 billion (compared with €11.8 billion in 2004, when the partnership Agreement entered into force).

Egypt's exports to the EU increased by 20.8 percent in 2017, with agricultural and food exports increasing by 10.5 percent, while EU exports to Egypt fell 3.8 percent, which resulted in a15.4 percent decline of trade deficit between the two sides to €11.75 billion.

According to the report, the EU remains the largest investor in Egypt, with investments of EU member countries amounting to €42.8 billion. It also said that the new investment law, adopted in May 2017, seeks to overcome existing challenges, including bureaucracy,through the promotion of foreign investment by offering more incentives, as well as simpler and more efficient operations.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) remains concentrated in the oil and gas sector, with the increasing renewable energy (wind and solar). According to the Central Bank of Egypt's (CBE) data, the total foreign direct investment flows from the EU are increasing, reaching $8.863 billion in 2016/2017, up from US $ 7.876 billion in 2015/2016.
]]>
12/12/2018 10:33:48 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to reach normal rates of deficit, public debt: Minister]]>
“These are the normal rates,” the minister noted during the meeting of the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.

Ma’it referred to the deficit in Morocco which recorded 4.5 percent and that the public debt is about 67 percent of GDP, saying: "These are normal rates;deficit less than 5 percent and debt ratio less than 70 percent."

He pointed out that as a result of the policies of the last four years, Egypt's budget achieved a primary surplus of LE 4 billion at the rate of 0.1 percent of GDP forthe first time by the end of fiscal year 2017/2018.

The minister added that the government aims to achieve a primary surplus of2 percent, and a total deficit of 8.4 percent of GDP by the end of the current fiscal year.

As per the public debt, Ma’it said that the debt ratio in 2017 amounted to 108 percent of GDP, while it hit 98 percent during last year, pointing out that the government aims to reduce this percentage during the current fiscal year to 92 percent, to reach 80 percent during the fiscal year 2020/2021.

The minister pointed out that Egypt has faced difficult circumstances that caused an increase in debt, in conjunction with the weakness of the state revenues and the continuation of the primary deficit, which forced the state to continuously borrow to meet the primary deficit of food and drink, debt service and debt installments.

He added that these circumstances were changed during the last fiscal year after the state recorded a primary surplus for the first time in 15 years, saying: "This means that we ate and drank from our revenues."

“President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called on the government to accelerate further reduction of these rates, which requires non-traditional solutions to increase revenue growth, and the use of debt reduction in favor of improving the lives of citizens,” according to Ma’it.

Regarding inflation, the minister said that the government aims to reduce inflation rate to less than 10 percent by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, 2019.

“The reduction of deficit, debt, unemployment and inflation reflected on Egypt’s rating in the reports of international institutions, as the reports emphasized political and institutional stability and improved economic indicators in Egypt.

He added that the past six months have been difficult for many countries such as Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, Mexico and Venezuela, but Egypt has been able to absorb those shocks, indicating that the reforms gave the Egyptian economy immunity against shocks.

As per emerging markets, Argentina and Turkey have been facing currency crises, which led Argentina’s central bank to set interest rates at 60 percent.
The Central Bank of Turkey also raised its benchmark interest rate by 625 base points to 24 percent on September 13, 2018.

With the downtrend of currencies in these countries, in addition to the hike of their interest rates, foreign investors were morelikely to exit other markets and enter these countries' markets.

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. It also provided facilities and legislative reforms to encourage investors to invest in Egypt.
]]>
12/12/2018 10:30:35 AM
<![CDATA[261.8M shares respond to Orascom Investment's offer to acquire Sarwa Capital]]>
The price of the deal will be LE 7.36 per share due to attaining the first case of the acquisition, acquiring 216.03 million shares at a price of LE 7.36,representing 30 percent of the issued capital, the bourse said in a statement on Tuesday.

On November 26, the Financial Regulatory Authority approved Orascom Investment Holding’s offer to make an optional purchase offer to acquire a non-controlling stake in Sarwa Capital Holding.

Beltone Financial Holding announced that OPR market will be opened to Orascom offer from November 28 to December 11, 2018.

FRA approves Orascom's offer to buy stake of Sarwa, OPR market opened Dec.28

CAIRO - 26 November 2018: The Financial Regulatory Authority approved Orascom Investment Holding's offer to make an optional purchase offer to acquire a non-controlling stake in Sarwa Capital Holding. Beltone Financial Holding announced that OPR market will be opened to Orascom offer from November 28 to December 11, 2018.




On Oct. 31, Orascom Investment Holding applied to the Financial Regulatory Authority for an approval to make an optional purchase offer to acquire a non-controlling stake in Sarwa Capital Holding.

In a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), the financial authority announced that Orascom intends to make an optional purchase offer for two cases: the first is to acquire 216.03 million shares at the offer price of LE 7.36, and the second is to acquire from 144.02 million shares to less than 216.03 million shares at a price of LE 6.62 per share.

According to the statement, Orascom Investment has the right to accept or reject the purchase of shares offered if the number of shares came less than 144.02 million shares.

Orascom offers to buy non-controlling stake in Sarwa Capital

CAIRO - 31 October 2018: Orascom Investment Holding applied to the Financial Regulatory Authority for an approval to make an optional purchase offer to acquire a non-controlling stake in Sarwa Capital Holding.



Trading on Sarwa Capital shares on EGX started Monday, October 15, after offering around 295.2 million of its 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.

Trading on Sarwa Capital starts Monday

CAIRO - 15 October 2018: Trading on Sarwa Capital shares on the Egyptian Exchange started Monday, October 15, recording LE 6.67 per share at 1:09 p.m.(CLT), and losing 9.74 percent of its opening price after trading on 12.39 million shares with a turnover of LE 82.68 million.




On Nov.6, The Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) accused Beltone of irregularities in the IPO procedure of Sarwa Capital. The board of FRA decided on Thursday, Nov. 1 to suspend Beltone from covering and promoting initial public offerings (IPOs) for a six-month period.

Beltone commented on the decision by saying that FRA’s decisions are surprising and that the company is yet to be informed of reasons for their issuance and their stipulations.

Sarwa Capital's IPO prospectus witnesses no irregularities: Beltone

CAIRO - 6 November 2018: Head of Investment Banking at Beltone Financial Holding Sobhy el-Sehrawy said that the prospectus of Sarwa Capital's initial public offering (IPO) did not contain irregularities, according to Reuters. He added that his company received 10 mandates from companies for share offerings, acquisitions and other services.




Sarwa Capital is a provider of consumer and structured finance solutions in Egypt, while Orascom Investment Holding works in the fields of GSM, media, cables and mobile communications in Egypt, North Korea and Lebanon.
]]>
12/12/2018 10:27:14 AM
<![CDATA[Intra-trade bet. Egypt, African countries hits $5B: Prime Min.]]>
During the opening of the first African Intra-Trade Fair, Madbouli said that the volume of Egyptian investments in African countries is about $8 billion, especially in the sectors of construction, energy, telecommunications, mining, agriculture and others.

The prime minister stressed that this exhibition comes as an important step in supporting the efforts of African economic integration, especially in light of the completion of the African Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations; the FTA will enter into force in the near future.

He stated that the agreement will help the countries of the continent achieve high economic growth rates after removing customs barriers to intra-trade movement, facilitate the movement of production elements, and increase industrial growth rates and technological development.

Consequently, the agreement will help enhance the competitiveness of African products at the regional and international levels.

Madbouli added that the organization of this event comes in line with Egypt's commitment to achieving the hopes of the people of Africa, that are set forth in the Africa Agenda 2063, which was adopted by the countries of the continent as an African vision for achieving comprehensive development.

The prime minister called on African countries, African and international business communities and development partners to place the first building blocks of development projects and initiatives, taking into consideration the balance between our ambition to build our African continent and the aspirations of development partners for incentives and returns that open up new horizons for more investment and capital flows.

Madbouli inaugurated Tuesday, Dec.11 the first African intra-trade fair, held in Cairo from December 11 to 17, with the participation of 34 countries and about 1,055 African companies, including 300 Egyptian companies.

]]>
12/11/2018 5:27:51 PM
<![CDATA[EGX flags in green for 2nd session in row]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 1.51 percent, or 188.23 points, to close at 12,664.41 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 1.54 percent, or 31.57 points, to reach 2,081.81 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched up 1.21 percent, or 8.01 points, reaching 668.68 points, and the broader index EGX100 went up 1.16 percent, or 19.13 points, to close at 1,666.56 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 7.78 billion, recording LE 724.37 billion, compared to LE 716.58 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 162.69 million shares, traded through 22,257 transactions, with a turnover of LE 913.52 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 63.48 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 52.2 and LE 11.28 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 20.9 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 15.33 million, and LE 838,113, respectively.

Arab organizations sold at LE 78.82 million, while Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 73.1 million, and LE 10.44 million, respectively.

Natural Gas & Mining Project (Egypt Gas), Global Telecom Holding, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals were top gainers of the session by 9.19 percent, 8.14 percent and 7.58 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, El Arabia Engineering Industries, Alexandria Cement, and Naeem Holding were top losers of the session by 7.89 percent, 5.87 percent, and 2.89 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in green, as EGX 30 rose 2.77 percent, EGX50 increased 2.10 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.89 percent, and EGX100 went up 1.12 percent.
]]>
12/11/2018 5:16:47 PM
<![CDATA[COMESA thanks Egypt's foreign, investment ministries for their efforts in holding Africa Forum 2018]]>
The forum was attended by more than 3,000 African and international figures, including African leaders and heads of the major international funding institutions.

In a statement to MENA, Heba Salama, director of RIA said that the Egyptian State attached special importance to this year's edition of the forum given the great efforts exerted by the Foreign Ministry to facilitate all procedures needed for the participation of international and African investors and media persons in the forum.

The RIA director added that the great efforts exerted by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation under Sahar Nasr conveyed a civilized image of Egypt and reflected the great shift that Egypt has seen on both African and international arenas during Sisi's presidency.

Salama attributed the success of the three-day forum to the concerted efforts of all bodies concerned.

She affirmed that the great successes that were achieved by the three editions of the forum which were all held in Egypt made it one of the major economic African events.]]>
12/11/2018 2:29:26 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s PM inaugurates African Intra-trade fair Tuesday]]>
Minister of Trade and Industry AmrNassar said that the exhibition is the first of its kind in Africa, which is based on the African trade promotion strategy, aiming at supporting and encouraging the production of goods and services in order to promote participation in regional trade.

It also provides a platform for offering goods, services and information exchange on trade, investment, and market, he added.

Nassar noted that it also provides opportunities for business exchange with the aim of increasing intra-African trade, where a number of trade deals among the participating companiesare planned.

The minister added that the exhibition focuses on agricultural products, building materials, tourism, medical and pharmaceutical products, heavy industries, energy industry, textiles, clothing and engineering.

He pointed out that the exhibition will include a national day for each country to present its potential and culture.Each national day is divided into two main sections; a section forartistic and entertainment shows expressing the culture of each country and a section to present the vision of the ministries of trade, economyand tourism.

On December 8 and 9, Egypt held the Africa 2018 forum aiming to build bridges of cooperation between Egypt and its brotherly countries in the continent.The forumcontributesto making Africa a promising continent and an incubator for major productive and service projects by attracting huge investments.
]]>
12/11/2018 2:17:54 PM
<![CDATA[Fed seen slowing, or even stopping, rate hikes next year]]>
The U.S. central bank is still seen raising rates a notch next week in a nod to a hot labor market and economy running well above potential even as inflation remains at target. Yet two volatile months in financial markets and signs of an overseas slowdown have raised doubts the Fed can carry through with the three rate hikes its officials have predicted for 2019.

The sharp tightening of financial conditions convinced Goldman Sachs’ chief economist that the U.S. central bank is now more likely to pause its rate hikes in March, before continuing with three more hikes later in 2019. Goldman had previously predicted four rate hikes next year, far more than that implied by financial markets.

“We think the probability of a move in March has now fallen to slightly below 50 percent,” Goldman’s Jan Hatzius wrote in a note on Monday. But “we see a return to quarterly hikes in June that last through the end of 2019.”

Traders of short-term U.S. interest-rate futures are, for their part, betting the Fed may halt its rate hikes altogether next year, and could even move to cut borrowing costs.

Contracts tied to the Fed’s target rate rose on Monday, reflecting rising worries about U.S. growth prospects amid a global slowdown and doubts about a smooth exit for Britain’s exit from the European Union after Prime Minster Theresa May abruptly postponed a parliamentary vote on her Brexit deal.

Also adding to worries are signs that inflation expectations are slipping, and that the U.S.-China trade dispute has hit rougher waters. All this has weighed on the U.S. stock market as the S&P Index .SPX hit an 8-month low early Monday.

Wall Street ends choppy day higher
The situation on Wall Street, wrote University of Oregon economics professor Tim Duy, is “unpleasant, and it in turn is creating considerable uncertainty about the outlook for monetary policy in 2019.”

Based on prices of Fed fund futures, traders now see a 73 percent chance of a rate hike next week, and just a 49 percent chance of a further rate hike by the end of next year. Contracts expiring in June 2020 are now fetching a higher price than contracts expiring a year earlier, meaning traders are beginning to put some money on a rate cut.

The changing predictions put a spotlight on the Fed’s own expectations, which it will update next Wednesday when it delivers its expected fourth rate hike of the year.]]>
12/11/2018 12:13:28 PM
<![CDATA[Brexit vote delay sinks sterling; dollar rebounds]]>
Safe-haven bids stoked a comeback for the greenback which suffered its steepest weekly drop versus a basket of currencies in three months last week. The dollar’s snapback was limited as traders reduced their expectations that the Federal Reserve might pause its interest rate hikes sooner than previously thought.

“Pound slowly fell in the past two years, fluctuating based on erroneous hopes of resolution, but it’s clear that leaving the single market and its benefits, in any way, is not a prosperous route,” said Juan Perez, senior currency trader at Tempus Inc in Washington.

The U.K. parliamentary vote for May’s Brexit proposal was set for Tuesday. The postponed vote left the door open to a disorderly Brexit with no deal, a last-minute deal or another EU referendum.

European Council President Donald Tusk said the Brexit Brussels and May agreed on are not up for renegotiation.

The sterling was down 1.41 percent at $1.2546 after touching $1.2507, which was the lowest since April 2017.

The euro hit a three-month peak versus the pound at 90.875 pence. It was last up 1.06 percent at 90.475 pence.

The single currency’s gains were limited by the violent protests in France against President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reform.

The euro was down 0.23 percent at $1.13535 after hitting a near 2-1/2-week high at $1.14425 in Asian trading.

The greenback strengthened versus a basket of currencies that includes the euro as traders trimmed their earlier bets on a less aggressive Federal Reserve.

Widening interest rate differentials between the United States and the rest of the world, driven by a confident U.S. Federal Reserve, has fuelled an unlikely dollar rally this year. However, weak data in recent weeks has clouded the currency’s prospects for next year.

“You are getting a bit of reprieve from a very dovish view for the Fed in the next 12 months,” said Chuck Tomes, associate portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.

The futures market implied traders expected the U.S. central bank to raise key lending rates by a quarter point at its Dec. 18-19 meeting to 2.25-2.50 percent, marking its fourth rate hike in 2018. They now saw no more than one rate increase in 2019, down from two a month ago, according to CME Group’s FedWatch programme.

An index that tracks the dollar versus a group of six currencies was up 0.74 percent at 97.232 after falling 0.78 percent last week.]]>
12/11/2018 11:11:18 AM
<![CDATA[Oil prices under pressure amid global market unease, but Libyan disruption supports]]>
But traders said crude prices received some support after Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) declared force majeure on exports from the El Sharara oilfield, the country’s biggest, which was seized last weekend by a militia group.

NOC said the shutdown would result in a production loss of 315,000 barrels per day (bpd), and an additional loss of 73,000 bpd at the El Feel oilfield.

International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $60 per barrel at 0746 GMT, up 3 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $50.98 per barrel, down 2 cents.

The rise in prices came after crude dropped by 3 percent the session before amid ongoing weakness in global stock markets and concerns that slowing oil demand-growth could erode supply cuts announced last week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers including Russia.

Crude futures have lost around a third of their value since early October amid the financial market slump and an emerging oil supply overhang.

There are also some doubts that all producers will follow through with their announced cuts.

Russia plans to cut its oil output by 50,000 to 60,000 bpd in January, its energy minister said on Tuesday, much less than its target under a global production deal reached last week.

In a show of no confidence, money managers cut their bullish wagers on crude to the lowest in more than two years in the week ending Dec. 4, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Monday.

The financial speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 25,619 contracts to 144,775 during the period. That is the lowest level since Sept. 20, 2016.

In physical markets, Kuwait and Iran this week both reduced their January crude oil supply prices to Asia.

“There remains a lot of uncertainty if the production cut is thick enough to make a significant dent in global supply,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

“The general risk-off tone in global markets and the stronger dollar ... are contributing to the selling pressure.”

The OPEC-led group of oil producers last Friday announced a supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude oil supply from January, measured against October 2018 output levels.
]]>
12/11/2018 11:09:41 AM
<![CDATA[Petroleum minister reviews sector achievements in 4 years]]>
Molla reviewed achievements in the sector, saying that the ministry implemented the biggest two projects for collecting geophysical data in areas of the Red Sea and Upper Egypt.

He added that debts to foreign oil partners slumped to less than one third, recording $1.2 billion by the end of June 2018, which is the lowest amount since 2010.

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.




This came during the first session of Al-Ahram second conference for Energy on the role of Ministries of Electricity and Petroleum to achieve Egypt’s vision for sustainable development 2030.

Molla clarified that 24 projects were implemented to develop gas fields, most importantly projects of Zohr, Atoll, Noras and North Alexandria, adding that these projects contributed to the hike of natural gas production by 60 percent, compared to the average production in 2015/2016.

Egypt achieved self-sufficiency of gas by the end of September 2018.
He also referred to the rise of the refinery laboratories' efficiency and the expansion of infrastructure projects, maximizing the added value of petrol and gas through petrochemical industries, as three projects with investments of $4 billion were executed to increase petrochemical industries.

Additionally, four projects are set to be completed within the coming four years.
The minister also reviewed the ministry’s strategy to turn Egypt into a regional hub for petrol and gas trading through several axes.

He explained that a governmental committee was formed to study the project and issue a gas regulating law which allows private sector to enter the Egyptian market. Molla also pointed out the continued cooperation with the west Mediterranean countries and the European Union through signing joint agreements and memorandum of understanding (MoU).
“Egypt is qualified to be a regional hub for energy due to its liquefying plants, pipeline grids, Warehousing, transportation, trading of petroleum and gas products and ports overlooking the Mediterranean and Red Sea and refineries,” the minister stated.

The minister added that these qualifications also help Egypt meet its needs, attract more direct and indirect investments and provide foreign currency and job opportunities.

Molla said that the petroleum sector works according to a clear strategy to achieve Egypt’s Vision 2030; the strategy revolves around the following axes: Ensuring energy security, increasing the contribution of the energy sector to GDP, promoting good and sustainable management of the sector, reducing energy consumption and reducing the environmental impact of emissions.

According to Molla, energy provision is one of the most important axes in the ministry’s plan which will be achieved through working on increasing energy supplies, managing energy demand, and achieving financial sustainability through paying debts, energy support reforms and enhancing private sector investments.

He added that a plan to develop and modernize the petroleum sector is currently being implemented to achieve optimum economic benefit from all potentials and natural resources, allowing the sector to further contribute to the sustainable development of Egypt. This plan also aims to turn Egypt into a regional center for the trade and circulation of gas and oil.
]]>
12/11/2018 10:47:54 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, SISCO ink 1st green port contract]]>
Prime Minster Mostafa Madbouli attended the signing ceremony.

The contract covers the terminal's design, establishment, management and operation with an expected investment cost of LE 1.5 billion.

SCZone head Mohab Mamish said the project provides 3,300 direct and indirect jobs in all disciplines within the logistics field.

Its revenues range from LE 13 to 20 billion, he added.

Partial operation is expected in mid-2019, Mamish revealed.

The project will be implemented in accordance with the latest global technologies to be the first model for green ports in Egypt, he added. ]]>
12/10/2018 4:37:50 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual core inflation hits 7.94% in November: CBE]]>CAIRO – 10 December 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said that Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 7.94 percent in November 2018 from 8.86 percent in October 2018, according to a report.

In October, the core inflation rose to 8.86 percent from 8.55 percent in September.

Core inflation discounts or strips out certain categories that are considered more volatile.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier on Monday that the annual inflation rate hit 15.6 percent in November 2018, compared to 26.7 percent in November 2017.

On a monthly basis, the rate decreased 0.7 percent, compared to October.

Egypt's annual inflation hits to 15.6% in November

CAIRO - 10 December 2018: Egypt's annual consumer price inflation slipped to 15.6 percent in November 2018, compared to 26.7 percent in the same month of 2017 that rose due to the flotation of the Egyptian currency, state-statistics body said Wednesday, Oct. 10.




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

Egypt targets an inflation rate of 13 percent in its fiscal year 2018/2019 budget.
]]>
12/10/2018 4:29:20 PM
<![CDATA[Delta Steel Mill under development to up production 5 to 10 times]]>
The ministry said recent statements by Public Enterprise Minister Hesham Tawfik where he was quoted as saying that the "steel industry is not strategic" were taken out of context.

The minister meant that the public sector's production of steel is less than 5 percent compared with 100 percent in the 1970s.

The statement noted that the ministry is following up underway efforts to upgrade the Helwan Iron and Steel Company. ]]>
12/10/2018 4:21:52 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet: LE 200B cost of biggest petrochemical compound in ME]]>
In its Facebook account, the center said the project, which is the biggest in the Middle East, lies inside the the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

It added that the contract of the project was signed on June 30 and that its implementation will take five years, pointing out the project exports are expected to hit during the operation 8 billion dollars and provide 48,000 job opportunities. ]]>
12/10/2018 4:19:35 PM
<![CDATA[Petroleum sector key player in implementing development plans, says minister]]>
Over the past two years Egypt's success stories have gone far beyond expectations, the petroleum minister said in his speech at the inauguration of the second Al Ahram Energy Conference Monday.

Egypt could outline and implement a well-designed economic reform program with strong public support, said a proud Molla.

He cited positive reports by global financial institutions, atop of which the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, not to mention credit rating organizations and investment banks.

All the reports lauded practical reforms and steps taken to achieve comprehensive sustainable development, the minister noted.

Molla also touched upon efforts to implement important structural reforms and update the legislative infrastructure to remove bureaucratic obstacles facing investors.

Undoubtedly, energy is one important tool to achieve economic and social development plans, the minister further said.

According to him, energy security could only be achieved through diversified sources.

Molla also believes that political, legislative and economic stability in Egypt has greatly contributed to creating an investment-friendly climate that spilled over into the petroleum industry. ]]>
12/10/2018 4:17:26 PM
<![CDATA[Planning Minister: Egypt seeks 15-20% annual increase in exports]]>
The minister's remarks were made during her meeting with Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer, the Council of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and representatives of the IsDB's Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) led by the corporation's CEO Abdel Rahman al Kaissi, Director of Middle East and North Africa Morad Mizori and Regional Director Ali Mostafa.

Talks covered means of bolstering cooperation between the Egyptian government and the IsDB.

The minister asserted the need for expanding the base of foreign currency, adding that a group of sectors are propelling the Egyptian economy such as industry, agriculture, communication, construction and others.

Meanwhile, Kaissi proposed increasing the ICIEC's investments in Egypt in view of its stability compared to the volatile regional situation. He also asserted his corporation's keenness to open up to the African market.

The two sides also probed encouraging the services sector in the countries which achieved a big leap in such field.

Kaissi congratulated the Egyptian minister on her appointment in the Council of Governors of the IsDB in August.

The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) is a member of the Islamic Development (IDB) Group. ICIEC was established on 1st August 1994 as an international institution with full juridical personality.

The idea for the establishment of an entity to provide investment and export credit insurance for Islamic Countries originated from the Agreement for the Promotion, Protection and Guarantee of Investment among Member Countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). ]]>
12/10/2018 4:16:01 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Monday in green, market cap. gains LE13B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 2.77 percent, or 336.18 points, to close at 12,476.18 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 2.10 percent, or 42.16 points, to reach 2,050.24 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched up 0.89 percent, or 5.82 points, reaching 660.67 points, and the broader index EGX100 went up 1.12 percent, or 18.21 points, to close at 1,647.43 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 12.85 billion, recording LE 716.58 billion, compared to LE 703.73 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 111.39 million shares, traded through 21,220 transactions, with a turnover of LE 741.84 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 98.12 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 51.65 and LE 46.47 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 26.14 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 476,233, and LE 2.22 million, respectively.

Arab organizations sold at LE 98.6 million, while Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 77.79 million, and LE 44.25 million, respectively.

General Silos & Storage, Mena Touristic & Real Estate Investment, and The Arab Ceramic CO.- Ceramica Remas were top gainers of the session by 7.36 percent, 7.32 percent and 6.80 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, El Arabia for Land Reclamation, Obour Land for Food Industries, and Arab Valves Company were top losers of the session by 9.96 percent, 9.91 percent, and 3.64 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s in red, as EGX 30 declined 2 percent, EGX50 decreased 2.10 percent, EGX70 inched down 0.93 percent, and EGX100 went down 1.10 percent.

]]>
12/10/2018 4:12:12 PM
<![CDATA[1st phase of electricity linkage bet. Egypt, Sudan to operate in Jan.: Min.]]>
During his speech at Al-Ahram Conference for Energy, shaker added that there is no generating plant in the area from Assiut to Aswan, stressing that this situation will be solved by the completion of the plan to develop electricity transmission and distribution networks throughout the republic.

He noted that the National Energy Control Center (NECC) hasn’t relieved loads on the grid since June 2015.

In August, adelegation from the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and the Indian engineering firm Larsen & Toubro visited the location of the grid inter-connectivity project with Sudan after Deputy Electricity Minister Osama Asran and First Undersecretary of the Ministry Mohammed Mossa Omran headed to Sudan in April to agree upon the terms of the electricity interconnection project between the two countries.

Larsen & Toubro is the engineering company responsible for linking the electricity grids of Sudan and Egypt.

According to the announced data, the linkage will be done in two phases with a total investment cost of about $56 million within six months. The linkage line is about 100 km long.

Egypt to have electricity interconnection with Sudan

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




Thiscomes in line with Egypt’s plan to become a regional energy hub, benefiting from its remarkable geographical location between three continents of Africa, Asia and Europe.

Meanwhile, Egypt signed the contracts of the electricity interconnection project with Saudi Arabia to start the implementation of the project.

Electrical interconnection lines between Egypt and Saudi Arabia are scheduled to begin operation in the beginning of 2021, with a capacity of 3,000 MW.

The Egyptian-Saudi project targets making Egypt a central hub for electricity among the Arab countries, aiming to establish an infrastructure for electricity trade between the Arab countries in preparation for the establishment of a common market for electricity.

Egypt is already electrically interconnected with Jordon and Libya. Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding with Cyprus and Greece to interconnect electrically, which will make Egypt a central hub for electricity linkage between three continents.

The electricity interconnection between Egypt and Jordon is currently working at capacities ranging between 400 and 450 MW. These capacities are currently being increased.
]]>
12/10/2018 1:59:24 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual inflation hits to 15.6% in November]]>
In October, Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation recorded 17.5 percent, compared to 31.8 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation decreased 0.7 percent in November, compared to the previous month, to record 309.1 points, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said.

CAPMAS attributed the decrease in inflation on a monthly basis to the decline of some commodities' prices as vegetables by 3.4 percent, fruit by 8.9 percent, and chicken by 1.7 percent.

On the other hand, the prices of dairy, cheese and eggs increased 0.6 percent, and the prices of clothes and shoes rose 1.8 percent.
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.

]]>
12/10/2018 1:07:30 PM
<![CDATA[EIB signs 3 agreements worth $227.8M to support businesses in Egypt]]>
EIB clarified that it signed two financing agreements for a total amount of €229 million ($260.497 million) to support sanitation and community infrastructure in Egypt.

It added that these investments will contribute to the development of a sustainable modern economy – a key element of the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities.

“The first agreement signed was the €214 million loan to Kitchener Drain depollution project. This 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,” EIB stated.

It added that the project will reduce pollution in the 69 km long Kitchener Drain, which extends across the Governorates of Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh and Dakahlia in the Nile Delta region.

According to EIB, Approximately 6 million people are expected to benefit from improved and new sanitation and solid waste services as a result of the foreseen investments. By contributing to the depollution of the Mediterranean Sea, the project also supports the objectives of the Clean Ocean Initiative that was recently announced at the World Bank / IMF annual meetings in Bali and contributes to the environmental objectives highlighted in the EU Egypt Partnership Priorities.

Also, the bank signed a Grant Agreement with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) for €15 million to support the Community Development Program.

“This grant is funded by the EU under the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) and will finance investments in community infrastructure to improve living standards for disadvantaged and vulnerable persons living in and around urban centers in several governorates in Egypt,” it said.

The EIB added that projects to be funded bythe grant are expected to include the provision or enhancement of community facilities, including schools, health clinics, and community centres. “They may also comprise access infrastructure such as potable water, waste water, solid waste and minor roads for businesses or residential units. The sub-projects will be implemented by MSMEDA in cooperation with corresponding governorates.”

“The EU bank continues to support a sustainable, modern economy in Egypt and reinforce its economic resilience,” commented the EIB’s President Werner Hoyer after the signatures.

He added: “We are proud to announce that with today’s signatures total EIB financing signed in Egypt since 2012 reaches €5 billion. The projects we finance in Egypt make a substantial difference to people’s lives. The Kitchener Drain depollution project is a good example, it will improve the availability of sanitation services as well as drain infrastructure in the Delta region. In addition, the€15 million grant will finance investments to improve living standards of disadvantaged and vulnerable persons living in and around urban centres in Egypt.”

Meanwhile, EIB has signed an agreement to invest $ 11.3 million in Sawari Ventures Fund, a regional venture capital fund investing in growth and seed stage innovative businesses in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco.

The bank said that this investment will contribute to the modernization of the economy by encouraging entrepreneurship, in line with the EU-Egyptian Partnership Priorities. Moreover, it is the first EIB operation under the Risk Capital Facility of the Economic Resilience Initiative.

The bank added: "The EIB investment is the first commitment to a venture capital fund focused on Egypt.”

As per this fund, the bank will provide access to needed risk capital to support early and growth stage innovative start-ups and SMEs in Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco that have the potential to scale rapidly and grow regionally boosting the local tech ecosystem.

It will also contribute to knowledge transfer, and will enhance competitiveness of innovative sectors by investing in seed stage companies through a local accelerator.

“The support provided to local SMEs and dynamic start-ups is expected to contribute to economic growth, increase economic resilience and create opportunities, especially for youth,” it noted.

The fund included investors of CDC (UK), Proparco (France) and DGGF (Netherlands), besides theEIB that contributes to the fund by $35 million out of $50 million.

“We are proud to invest in Sawari Ventures Fund, which will provide smart finance to innovative start-ups and high growth companies. We are confident that Egyptian technology start-ups can play an important role in creating jobs and modernizing the Egyptian economy thanks to their great ideas and innovation potential,” Hoyer said.

"We are convinced that equity investment in knowledge economy companies is a huge untapped opportunity in North Africa and we are excited that top tier DFIs like EIB, CDC, DGGF and Proparco share that vision with us," Wael Amin, partner at Sawari Ventures,said.

According to the statement, Sawari is a leading venture capital firm based in Cairo and is among the pioneers of developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Egypt. It established the Greek Campus (tech hub), Flat6Labs (seed stage investment vehicle) and Sawari Ventures, one of the first venture capital firms in Egypt.

The statement noted that the EIB investment is funded under the bank’s Economic Resilience Initiative Risk Capital Facility (ERI RCF). The facility seeks to foster private sector development and job creation through investments in venture capital and private equity funds.


]]>
12/10/2018 12:00:43 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 three-year term and the second worth LE 500 million with a seven-year term.

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

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged for the 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.]]>
12/10/2018 11:52:41 AM
<![CDATA[SoftBank's blockbuster IPO reaches $23.5B after extra share sale]]>
That makes the share sale one of the largest of all time globally, just shy of the record $25 billion that Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) raised in 2014.

The price set by SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) Japanese telecommunications unit was unchanged from the indicative price, and its overallotment option will be exercised in full, the filing to the finance ministry showed on Monday.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange on Monday said the shares will be traded on its first section from Dec. 19.

The IPO pricing comes just days after Japan’s third-largest mobile phone network provider by subscriber numbers suffered rare nationwide service outage. SoftBank said the disruption would not affect its earnings and dividend forecast made on Nov. 12.

But other causes of concern abound. The government wants to see a decline in mobile phone charges just as competition is set to increase with the market entrance next year of e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc (4755.T).

Moreover, sources told Reuters that Tokyo plans to ban government purchases of equipment from Chinese telecommunications infrastructure firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL]. SoftBank has a long relationship with Huawei that has included joint trials of fifth-generation (5G) network technology.

To stimulate interest in SoftBank’s IPO among retail investors, the deal’s domestic lead underwriters have pursued an unprecedented marketing campaign, including what are believed to be Japan’s first TV adverts for a private firm’s IPO.

SoftBank is widely perceived to be a mature business - and so is considered to have relatively slower growth prospects - and the huge number of shares on offer has raised concern of oversupply. Still, brokerages said they would be able to attract enough investors with SoftBank’s dividend alone.

Its 5 percent dividend yield - a percentage of dividend income against the stock price - is among the highest in Japan.

Brokerages said SoftBank likely set the indicative price of its shares at 1,500 yen - rather than a price range, as is the norm - to keep its dividend yield at 5 percent.

The turnout demonstrated that Japanese retail investors’ enthusiasm for IPOs was firm enough to absorb such a large offering. Over 80 percent of the $23.5 billion deal was allocated to retail investors, banking sources have told Reuters.

“Retail investors see (buying) IPO stocks as profitable” said Naoto Akashi, general manager at SBI Securities, Japan’s biggest online brokerage and one of the lead underwriters for the domestic portion of SoftBank’s IPO.

“In popular IPOs, there are several cases this year in which we received orders worth over 1 trillion yen for a single deal during book-building period,” he said, declining to comment specifically on SoftBank.

Kazuto Hayashi, chief executive of smartphone brokerage startup One Tap BUY, said the IPO also attracted many young investors, some of whom were participating in an IPO for the first time.]]>
12/10/2018 11:50:12 AM
<![CDATA[Hitachi shares rise after report it is considering scrapping Britain nuclear project]]>
Hitachi’s Horizon Nuclear Power plans to build over 5 gigawatts of new nuclear capacity at two sites in Britain – the first at Wylfa Newydd in Wales.

The project will be discussed at Hitachi’s board meeting on Tuesday, and a conclusion is likely to be made by the end of the business year through March, TV Asahi reported. Giving up the project would incur Hitachi a 270 billion yen loss, it said.

A Hitachi spokesman declined to comment on the report when contacted by Reuters.

Hitachi shares ended up 1 percent at 3,254 yen, compared with a 2.1 percent decline in the Nikkei share average .N225.]]>
12/10/2018 11:48:12 AM
<![CDATA[Alibaba takes control of film group in $160M share purchase]]>
Alibaba Pictures will issue one billion new shares to Alibaba at HK$1.25, valuing the exchange at roughly HK$1.25 billion ($159.9 million), the e-commerce firm said.

Currently, Alibaba owns a 49 percent stake in the firm.

“The proposed share purchase is a vote of confidence in Alibaba Pictures, and we will continue to invest resources,” Alibaba chief Daniel Zhang said.

Alibaba Pictures, which listed in 2016, operates under Alibaba’s Digital Media and Entertainment business.]]>
12/10/2018 11:46:41 AM
<![CDATA[Hong Kong on track for global IPO crown but many new listings sag]]>
The figures are a blow to Hong Kong, whose hopes of a listings bonanza spurred by new tech-friendly rules have been dented by weak markets, sparking fears the soggy performance could weigh on initial public offering (IPO) volumes in 2019.

Several companies have in recent weeks cut the size of their offerings, while others have held back from floating in the hope of a better environment later.

Companies listing in Hong Kong have sold shares worth $31.4 billion so far this year, the highest total in eight years, compared with $30.2 billion on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), according to Dealogic data.

But just six of the biggest 20 IPOs in Hong Kong that have begun trading were above their offer prices a month after debut, the data show, compared with 16 on the NYSE and 10 on Nasdaq.

Two of Hong Kong’s biggest deals, Xiaomi (1810.HK) and Meituan Dianping (3690.HK), which raised $9.7 billion between them, are down 19 percent and 26 percent respectively since their floats in July and September.

Hong Kong has been hit by volatility stemming from concerns over a U.S.-China trade war and by slowing growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

INVESTING PERSPECTIVE

The city's benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI has fallen 13 percent this year, while the Shanghai Composite index .SSE has dropped more than 20 percent. In the United States the S&P 500 is up 0.8 percent.

“From an investing perspective it’s obviously been terrible,” said a Hong Kong-based investor at a major asset manager.

“A lot of these companies are very interesting, they’re really attractive ... and I think there’s been a certain amount of ... fear of missing out,” the person said, referring to investors’ continued participation in IPOs despite their performance.

Hong Kong has hosted a series of Chinese tech floats after a change in its listing rules in April to allow dual-class shares, brought in to avoid a repeat of Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba (BABA.N) picking New York in 2014 for its record $25 billion IPO because Hong Kong would not accept its unusual control structure.

Bankers said a factor in the soggy post-IPO performance was a reluctance by many company founders to accept lower valuations, meaning many deals priced high. Xiaomi for instance, valued at $54 billion in its July IPO, had been seeking a valuation of more than $70 billion as recently as May.

Bankers however took comfort from the renewed interest this year in Hong Kong listings among global institutions, many of which had previously been deterred by a parade of unexciting Chinese state-owned enterprises that dominated local IPOs.

“That (poor performance) is symptomatic of the process of re-institutionalisation of the Hong Kong market and that is going to take time,” said a senior equity capital markets banker. “It was never likely to be particularly smooth.”]]>
12/10/2018 11:44:09 AM
<![CDATA[Hong Kong on track for global IPO crown but many new listings sag]]>
The figures are a blow to Hong Kong, whose hopes of a listings bonanza spurred by new tech-friendly rules have been dented by weak markets, sparking fears the soggy performance could weigh on initial public offering (IPO) volumes in 2019.

Several companies have in recent weeks cut the size of their offerings, while others have held back from floating in the hope of a better environment later.

Companies listing in Hong Kong have sold shares worth $31.4 billion so far this year, the highest total in eight years, compared with $30.2 billion on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), according to Dealogic data.

But just six of the biggest 20 IPOs in Hong Kong that have begun trading were above their offer prices a month after debut, the data show, compared with 16 on the NYSE and 10 on Nasdaq.

Two of Hong Kong’s biggest deals, Xiaomi (1810.HK) and Meituan Dianping (3690.HK), which raised $9.7 billion between them, are down 19 percent and 26 percent respectively since their floats in July and September.

Hong Kong has been hit by volatility stemming from concerns over a U.S.-China trade war and by slowing growth in China, the world’s second-largest economy.

INVESTING PERSPECTIVE

The city's benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI has fallen 13 percent this year, while the Shanghai Composite index .SSE has dropped more than 20 percent. In the United States the S&P 500 is up 0.8 percent.

“From an investing perspective it’s obviously been terrible,” said a Hong Kong-based investor at a major asset manager.

“A lot of these companies are very interesting, they’re really attractive ... and I think there’s been a certain amount of ... fear of missing out,” the person said, referring to investors’ continued participation in IPOs despite their performance.

Hong Kong has hosted a series of Chinese tech floats after a change in its listing rules in April to allow dual-class shares, brought in to avoid a repeat of Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba (BABA.N) picking New York in 2014 for its record $25 billion IPO because Hong Kong would not accept its unusual control structure.

Bankers said a factor in the soggy post-IPO performance was a reluctance by many company founders to accept lower valuations, meaning many deals priced high. Xiaomi for instance, valued at $54 billion in its July IPO, had been seeking a valuation of more than $70 billion as recently as May.

Bankers however took comfort from the renewed interest this year in Hong Kong listings among global institutions, many of which had previously been deterred by a parade of unexciting Chinese state-owned enterprises that dominated local IPOs.

“That (poor performance) is symptomatic of the process of re-institutionalisation of the Hong Kong market and that is going to take time,” said a senior equity capital markets banker. “It was never likely to be particularly smooth.”]]>
12/10/2018 11:44:08 AM
<![CDATA[Huawei CFO bail hearing to resume in Canada as Beijing piles pressure]]>
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities Dec. 1 at the request of the United States.

Meng, 46, faces U.S. accusations that she misled multinational banks about Huawei’s control of a company operating in Iran. This deception put the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions and incurring severe penalties, court documents said. U.S. officials allege that Huawei was trying to use the banks to move money out of Iran.

Canadian prosecutors argued against giving her bail while she awaits extradition to the United States.

Meng argued that she should be released on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing due to severe hypertension and fears for her health while incarcerated in Canada, court documents released on Sunday showed. In a sworn affidavit, Meng said she is innocent of the allegations and will contest them at trial in the United States if she is surrendered there.

She was detained while transferring flights in Canada and appeared in a British Columbia court on Friday for her bail hearing. After nearly six hours of arguments and counter arguments, the hearing was adjourned until Monday.

China has strongly criticized her detention and demanded her immediate release. Her arrest has roiled global markets as investors worry that it could torpedo attempts to thaw trade tensions between the United States and China.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, has been held in custody since her arrest. Her lawyer argues that this situation is untenable due to her health. Meng said in the sworn affidavit she was taken to a hospital for treatment for hypertension after being detained.

Meng also has sleep apnea and was treated for a carcinoma, lawyer David Martin told court on Friday.

At issue is whether Meng should be set free while her extradition case proceeds. The U.S. has 60 days to file a formal request; if its evidence convinces a judge the case has merit, Canada’s justice minister will decide whether to extradite Meng.

On Monday a judge could decide to set Meng free on any number of conditions, including high-tech surveillance, or to keep her in jail, according to some legal experts.

According to local media reports, Meng is being kept in Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, a Vancouver-area jail. Reuters could not independently verify these reports.

Meng’s wealth and power are undeniable as the financial chief of one of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world, which builds everything from networks to handsets and is seen as one of China’s best chances to change the global technology landscape.

Huawei is now China’s largest technology company by employees, with more than 180,000 staff and revenue of $93 billion in 2017.]]>
12/10/2018 11:41:21 AM
<![CDATA[Ghosn formally charged for financial misconduct, Nissan also indicted]]>
The prosecutors also indicted Nissan for filing false financial statements, making the Japanese automaker culpable for the scandal that has shocked the auto industry.

Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19 on suspicion of conspiring to understate his compensation by about half of the actual 10 billion yen ($88 million) over five years from 2010.

He has been held in a Tokyo jail since then for questioning, but had not been officially charged till now. Prosecutors also re-arrested him on Monday for allegedly understating his income for three more years through March 2018.

Nissan, which fired Ghosn as chairman days after his arrest, has said the misconduct was masterminded by the once-celebrated executive with the help of former Representative Director Greg Kelly, who was also officially charged for the first time on Monday.

Ghosn and Kelly have not made any statement through their lawyers, but Japanese media reported that they have denied the allegations. Calls to Ghosn’s lawyer, Motonari Otsuru, at his office went unanswered.

After its indictment was announced, Nissan said it took the situation seriously.

“Making false disclosures in annual securities reports greatly harms the integrity of Nissan’s public disclosures in the securities markets, and the company expresses its deepest regret,” it said in a statement.

Japan’s securities watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission, said the crime carried a fine of up to 700 million yen ($6.21 million).

Analysts and legal experts have said it could be difficult for Nissan and its Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa to avoid the fallout, whether it turns out that other executives had knowledge of Ghosn’s misconduct, or that the company lacked internal controls.

“Now suddenly the issue of CEO Saikawa becomes bigger. It becomes difficult to overlook Saikawa’s role in all of this. That becomes the main focus now,” said prominent lawyer and former prosecutor Nobuo Gohara.

NISSAN ON OFFENSIVE

Nissan has stepped up its offensive against the executive once credited for rescuing the company from near-bankruptcy.

The company said on Sunday that it was seeking to block access by Ghosn’s representatives to an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, citing a risk that the executive may remove or destroy evidence.

A Brazil court has granted Ghosn access to the property, owned by Nissan, in the Copacabana neighborhood, but the company said in a statement that it was now petitioning a higher court to reverse the decision.

Nissan has also blamed Ghosn for a series of infractions including personal use of company funds. While not commenting on the possibility that other executives may have had knowledge or been involved in the wrongdoing, it has acknowledged a need to improve its governance.

Nissan’s board last month agreed to create a special committee and take advice from an independent third-party group about how to improve governance and oversight of director compensation.

The arrest of Ghosn and Kelly also shook the foundations of the Renault-Nissan alliance. Ghosn remains chairman and chief executive of Renault SA (RENA.PA).

The key question is whether and how the ownership structure of the alliance might change. Ghosn, under pressure from the French government, had pushed for a deeper tie-up including a possible full merger between Renault and Nissan, despite strong reservations at Nissan.

Some Nissan executives have long been unhappy with what they see as Renault’s outsized influence over the Japanese automaker, which dwarfs Renault in vehicle sales.

Renault holds around 43 percent of Nissan, while Nissan has a non-voting 15 percent stake in the French partner.]]>
12/10/2018 11:39:00 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar little changed after biggest weekly loss in three months]]>
Widening interest rate differentials between the United States and the rest of the world, driven by a confident U.S. Federal Reserve, has fueled an unlikely dollar rally this year. But weak data in recent weeks has clouded the currency’s prospects for next year.

U.S. non-farm payrolls increased by 155,000 jobs last month, below a median forecast of 200,000 jobs, and the wage increase was weaker than expected, even though its annual rise remained near the highest level in almost a decade.

Apart from weak data, some Fed policymakers have struck a cautious tone about the economic outlook, possibly flagging a turning point in its monetary policy and lowering the expectations of U.S. rate hikes priced into money markets.

Futures markets are now pricing in only a 44 percent chance of a U.S. rate increase next year compared with nearly 80 percent last Monday as the U.S. bond yield curve has flattened.

“Fed fund expectations are dropping like a stone and that is a big obstacle for the dollar, though there is plenty of event risk out there this week that will give plenty of thought for dollar bears,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Against a basket of currencies .DXY, the dollar was flat after falling 0.8 percent last week, its biggest weekly drop since late August.

The euro led gains, rising 0.34 percent at $1.1470 though market traders said currency markets will be in a wait-and-watch mode.

French President Emmanuel Macron will address the country at 2000 Paris time (1900 GMT) on Monday as he seeks to “yellow vest” anti-government protesters that have wreaked havoc in Paris during the weekend.

In London, Theresa May faces an internal revolt against her Brexit deal before a vote in the parliament on Tuesday. May plans to push ahead with the vote, but senior lawmakers in her own party put pressure on her to go back to Brussels and seek a better offer.

A rejection could throw plans for Britain's exit into turmoil and leave her own political future hanging in the balance. Against the dollar, the British pound GBP=D3 was flat at $1.2720.
]]>
12/10/2018 11:36:48 AM
<![CDATA[Brent oil rises after deal to cut supply, but 2019 outlook weakens]]>
Despite this, the price outlook for next year remains muted on the back of an economic slowdown.

International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.03 per barrel at 0748 GMT, up 36 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their last close.

Prices surged after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers including heavyweight Russia on Friday said they would cut oil supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), with an 800,000-bpd reduction planned by OPEC members and 400,000 bpd by countries not affiliated with the group.

The shutdown of the 315,000-bpd El Sharara oilfield in Libya also helped push up Brent, traders said.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were weaker, however, dropping 10 cents from their last settlement to $52.51 per barrel, weighed down by surging U.S. output as the booming American oil industry is not taking part in the announced cuts.

“The surge in U.S. supply in recent months should be a reason for caution,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note on Monday.

The OPEC-led supply curbs will be made from January, measured against October 2018 output levels.

U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said the cut was “likely sufficient to balance the market in 1H19 and prevent inventories from building”.

It added that it expected “Brent to reach $67.5 per barrel by 2Q19, down from $77.5 before.”

Bank of America said the reduction “should lead to a relatively balanced global oil market and will likely push Brent and WTI prices back to our respective expected averages of $70 per barrel and $59 per barrel in 2019.”

Not all analysts were so confident.

Edward Bell of Emirates NBD bank said “the scale of the cuts ... isn’t enough to push the market back into deficit” and that he expected “a market surplus of around 1.2 million bpd in Q1 with the new production levels”.

Oil prices have fallen sharply since October on signs of an economic slowdown, with Brent losing almost 30 percent in value.

Japan, the world’s No.4 oil consumer, on Monday revised its third quarter GDP growth down to an annualized rate of minus 2.5 percent, down from the initial estimate of minus 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the two world’s biggest economies - the United States and China - are locked in a trade war which is threatening to slow global growth and battering investor sentiment.

Despite the expectations of a slowdown, demand on the ground remains healthy.

China, the world’s biggest oil importer, over the weekend reported November crude imports rose 8.5 percent from a year ago, to 10.43 million bpd, marking the first time China imported more than 10 million bpd. That leaves the world’s second-biggest economy on track to set yet another annual import record.

Demand is driven by Chinese purchases for strategic reserves, but also by new refineries, triggering excess supply of fuels, filling up storage tanks and eroding refinery profits across Asia.]]>
12/10/2018 11:34:03 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. says March 1 'hard deadline' for trade deal with China]]>
Global markets are jittery about a collision between the world’s two largest economic powers over China’s huge trade surplus with the United States and U.S. claims that China is stealing intellectual property and technology.

“As far as I am concerned it is a hard deadline. When I talk to the president of the United States he is not talking about going beyond March,” Lighthizer said on the CBS show “Face the Nation,” referring to Trump’s recent decision to delay new tariffs while talks proceed.

“The way this is set up is that at the end of 90 days, these tariffs will be raised,” said Lighthizer, who has been tapped to lead the talks and appeared to tamp down expectations that the negotiation period could be extended.

After a turbulent week in markets, investors “can be reassured that if there is a deal that can be made that will assure the protection of U.S. technology...and get additional market access...the president wants us to do it,” Lighthizer said. “If not we will have tariffs.”

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said both countries’ economic and trade teams were “intensifying contacts and consultations”, when asked if China was sending a trade negotiation delegation to the United States this week.

“We hope both can earnestly, with joint efforts, put into effect the consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders at the Argentina meeting,” he told a daily news briefing.

In Argentina last weekend, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a truce that delayed the planned Jan. 1 U.S. hike of tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods while they negotiate a trade deal.

However, the arrest of a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] has roiled global markets amid fears that it could further inflame the China-U.S. trade row. In Beijing on Sunday, China’s foreign ministry protested the arrest to the U.S. ambassador.

In a series of appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows, Lighthizer, economic adviser Larry Kudlow, and trade adviser Peter Navarro insisted the trade talks with China would not be derailed by the arrest, which they deemed solely a law enforcement matter.

U.S. equity markets have staked much on the outcome of the talks. Stocks climbed early in the week on optimism tensions between the two sides were easing, then cratered after Trump claimed he was a “tariff man” after all. He also seemed to indicate the talks could be extended.

But Lighthizer, in his first comments since being appointed to lead the negotiations, said the United States would need concessions across a number of areas in coming weeks if the higher tariffs are to be avoided.

That includes demands for increased purchases of U.S. goods in a more open Chinese market, as well as “structural changes” to a system that, for example, forces American firms to turn over technology to Chinese partners as a condition of doing business.

“We need agricultural sales and we need manufacturing sales. We need structural changes on this fundamental issue of non-economic technology transfer,” Lighthizer said.

The demands are similar to those made under previous Democratic and Republican presidents, but Lighthizer said he felt Trump’s willingness to go beyond “dialogue” and impose tariffs would produce results.]]>
12/10/2018 11:32:24 AM
<![CDATA[Global stocks extend slump as growth worries mount]]>
Spreadbetters expected European stocks to follow, with Britain's FTSE .FTSE seen dropping 0.7 percent, Germany's DAX .GDAXI 1.1 percent and France's CAC .FCHI 1 percent.

Traders returned from the weekend to face a growing wall of worry, with the world’s largest economies — the United States, China and Japan — all reporting weaker-than-expected data which pointed to moderating activity.

Investors were also bracing for a Tuesday vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal, which looks set to be rejected by parliament, raising fears of a chaotic exit in March.

S&P futures ESc1 and Dow futures YMc1 both fell 0.7 percent, suggesting more pressure on Wall Street later in the session as investors continue to dump riskier assets.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slid 1.5 percent to a near three-week low.

The Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC retreated 0.6 percent. Australian stocks lost 2.2 percent, brushing the lowest level since December 2016, and South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 fell 1 percent.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 shed 2.1 percent. Data early in the session showed the economy contracted the most in over four years in the third quarter as companies cut capital spending amid uncertainty over global demand and trade tensions.

U.S.-China trade negotiations need to reach a successful end by March 1 or Washington will impose new tariffs, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday, clarifying that there is a “hard deadline” after a week of seeming confusion among President Donald Trump and his advisers.

Markets were already reeling from news last week that Canadian officials had arrested the chief financial officer of Chinese smartphone maker Huawei for extradition to the United States. The arrest could throw up another hurdle to the resolution of a trade war between the world’s top two economies.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell more than 2 percent on Friday in a broad sell-off, posting their largest weekly percentage drops since March. [.N]

“The biggest concerns for equity markets currently is the U.S.-China trade conflict and the Huawei incident,” said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo.

“The trade theme will preoccupy the markets through the 90-day truce period between the United States and China, waiting for any signs of concession between the parties.”

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping early this month agreed to a temporary truce that delayed a planned Jan. 1. U.S. tariff hike while the two sides negotiate.

“Eventually, because it is in both party’s interests, I think some deal will be struck but the process, I suspect, will have many hills and valleys that will impact the markets,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist at B. Riley FBR Inc in Florida.

While U.S. officials say the Huawei arrest was a legal matter and not linked to the trade dispute, the move is expected to complicate trade talks.

“Even though President Trump said the incident will not derail the talks, the markets should not underestimate the nationalism hype which may create the hurdle for China to make concessions,” wrote strategists at OCBC Bank.

FED PAUSE?

The dollar was on the backfoot after Friday’s soft U.S. jobs report raised worries that economic growth has peaked and the Federal Reserve may pause its rate tightening cycle sooner than previously thought.

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department said public and private employers hired 155,000 workers in November, fewer than the 200,000 forecast by economists polled by Reuters, while the jobless rate held at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent.

The dollar was down 0.3 percent at 112.42 yen JPY= and the euro added 0.5 percent to $1.1437 EUR=.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies dipped 0.1 percent to 96.424 .DXY.

Dollar weakness helped lift the pound 0.2 percent to $1.2752 GBP=D4, despite the looming Brexit vote in parliament. It had lost 0.5 percent on Friday.

The Chinese yuan dipped following weak trade and inflation data over the weekend that added to worries about its slowing economy.

China reported far weaker than expected November exports and imports, underscoring faltering global and domestic demand. The downbeat reading reinforced views that Beijing will have to roll out more support and stimulus soon to keep the economy from cooling too fast.

Oil prices rose, extending gains from Friday when producer club OPEC and some non-affiliated producers agreed a supply cut of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January. [O/R]

Brent crude LCOc1 rose 0.6 percent to $62.01 per barrel.]]>
12/10/2018 11:30:11 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian gov. cuts $1.25B deal with Africa Finance to fund projects in Ain Sukhna]]>
With a total investments of $11 billion, the petrochemical complex is the largest in the MENA region.

The signing ceremony took place on the sidelines of the 2018 Africa forum, taking place in Sharm el-Shiekh, in the presence of Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and Mehab Mameish, the Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, and the President of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

During the ceremony, Nasr stressed the government's keenness to attract more investments into the SCZone.

Commenting on the progress of the SCZone, Mameish confirmed that the economic zone is steadily progressing and developing, with many facilitations being made to investors and incentives given to promote the project. Moreover, he asserted that the region is being promoted via international and local forums, confirming that a number of key investors have places the SCZone as the top of their list.

In similar vein, Chairman of Carbon Holding Company, Basil al-Baz, revealed that a total of $5.4 billion in funding has been secured from various sources. Moreover, he said that their recent visits to different countries to promote the SCZone has been fruitful, with them signing with more than 16 European and American banks.

Baz also pointed out that they will soon build and launch residential buildings for the labour force. The residential area will cover 0.5 metres squares and will house 35 thousand individuals, adding that the design of the pier that serves the project has been completed and that implementation will start soon.

Executive Director of Financial Services and Executive Director in the AFC, and representative of the AFC, Sanjeev Gupta pointed out that the Egyptian government follows policies to diversify the countries’ economy and support the private sector to develop new industries. Egypt aims to create more jobs, he pointed out.

Gupta also pointed out how proud the AFC is of the partnership, saying that “[it] will be a major breakthrough in one of the most important petrochemical industries in the economic region, which will reap many benefits to all African countries.”
]]>
12/9/2018 7:47:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s foreign minister expresses hope to ratify CFTA in 2019]]>
This came during the 2018 Africa Forum in Sharm El-Sheikh attended by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and a number of African leaders.

The minister revealed that Egypt hosted a meeting of African trade ministers to amend some of the shortcomings in the agreement and broaden different horizons for development and intra-African investments.

This came during his speech at a panel discussion on marketing and supporting African investments entitled "Strong Leadership and Collective Commitment" and attended by Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr; Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker; President of the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investment Jin Liqun; President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina; CEO of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group Philip Huero and representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The minister stressed that there is an urgent need to continue efforts to activate the agreement, through consolidating all the mechanisms available in the African Union together with individual efforts of African countries.

He pointed out that the Free Trade Agreement and the African countries' commitment to developing trade among them, of course, will enhance investment opportunities.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is an agreement aiming to ease trade exchange between the countries that signed it according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.

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

Q&A about African Continental Free Trade Area agreement

CAIRO - 22 March 2018: The announcement of signing a trade agreement among African Countries, including Egypt, to ease the trade exchange between them, raises questions concerning the agreement and how Egypt and other African countries can benefit from it.



]]>
12/9/2018 7:11:36 PM
<![CDATA[Time challenge needs to be addressed: Sisi]]>
Sisi commented after holding a panel discussion entitled" Strong Leadership and Collective Commitment - on marketing and supporting African investments", saying: Are the rates of work in Africa appropriate?”

He added that as we observe the rates in Africa and Egypt, we will find out that the developed countries have been ahead of us by many years, wondering if these rates will provide the African countries the time and the opportunity to be developed with the available standards and policies.

"These standards and policies can be the current economic and financial theories in the world's financing banks," he said.

Sisi stated that feasibility studies are not a decisive factor, noting that if Egypt had depended on the studies only, the country would have achieved only 20 to 25 percent of the current progress.

The president noted that he wanted to provide job opportunities for 4-5 million citizens, adding that this target was considered to be an investment saving the state.

The panel was attended by Minister of Foreign Minister Sameh shoukry; Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr; Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker; President of the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investment Jin Liqun; President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina; CEO of the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank Group, Philip Huero and representatives the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
]]>
12/9/2018 7:07:10 PM
<![CDATA[EGX loses LE9.11B of market cap. Sunday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 2 percent, or 247.58 points, to close at 12,140 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 2.10 percent, or 43.15 points, to reach 2,008.08 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.93 percent, or 6.18 points, reaching 654.85 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 1.10 percent, or 18.2 points, to close at 1,629.22 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 9.11 billion, recording LE 703.73 billion, compared to LE 712.84 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 105.01 million shares, traded through 17,603 transactions, with a turnover of LE 441.58 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 67.43 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 55.66 and LE 11.77 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 39.09 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 4.05 million, and LE 644,479, respectively.

Foreign organizations bought at LE 66.79 million, while Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 16.57 million, and LE 15.82 million, respectively.

The Arab Ceramic CO.- Ceramica Remas, United Housing & Development, and Alexandria Flour Mills were top gainers of the session by 4.73 percent, 3.76 percent and 3.74 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Six of October Development & Investment (SODIC), El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, and Arab Pharmaceuticals were top losers of the session by 9.25 percent, 9.01 percent, and 8.74 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s in red, as EGX 30 declined 1.58 percent, EGX50 decreased 0.88 percent, EGX70 inched down 0.17 percent, and EGX100 went down 0.33 percent.
]]>
12/9/2018 7:04:24 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, World Bank sign $1B financing program]]>The next phase of the Egyptian reform program will focus on creating opportunities for Egyptians and raising their living standards by strengthening the private sector and improving the government performance.

The World Bank added in a statement that the signing ceremony of the Development Policy Loan Agreement for the Private Sector Development Project was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on the sidelines of the Africa 2018 Forum in order to achieve inclusive growth.

The agreement was signed by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr on behalf of Egypt, while Farid Belhadj, the World Bank's vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, represented the World Bank in the signing. The signing ceremony was attended by Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.

Nasr announced in October that the World Bank will finance youth projects, including women projects and projects of FEKRETAK SHERKETAK initiative, by $200 million.
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).
]]>
12/9/2018 7:02:53 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD president says Egyptian economic reforms way out of African challenges]]>
Addressing the Africa 2018 Forum - currently taking place in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh - Sunday, Chakrabarti greatly appreciated steps taken by Egypt over the past five years, which helped open the door to the private sector.

He thanked President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for inviting him to this forum and said African governments could very well take similar steps to achieve development.

Chakrabarti put the total value of EBRD investments in Egypt at about 4.5 billion dollars.

He stressed the importance of having effective markets with good governance and inclusiveness.

Economic integration is also another important factor, Chakrabarti added. ]]>
12/9/2018 5:57:41 PM
<![CDATA[IFC chief praises steps taken by Egypt to increase investments]]>
Addressing a session of the ongoing Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm el Sheikh, Le Houérou stressed the importance of providing an attractive investment environment for the private sector as a key player to reduce public debts of governments.

He also thanked President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for inviting him to attend the forum, pointing out that he will visit Aswan later in the day to follow up the largest solar project there. ]]>
12/9/2018 5:53:36 PM
<![CDATA[Afreximbank: CFTA starting point of Africa's development]]>
Addressing the "strong leadership and collective commitment" penal session held on the sidelines of the Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, he said some 49 countries signed CFTA agreement in Kigali in March although at first he expected only 25 countries to join it. This was impressive, he added.

Orama said Africa enjoys tremendous potentials, praising the efforts exerted by Egypt to host the first-ever Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2018) next week, noting that the event is promoted by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and organized in collaboration with the African Union. The seven-day trade show will provide a platform for entry into Africa’s single market of over one billion people joined together by the African Continental Free Trade Area, he added.]]>
12/9/2018 5:47:24 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Uganda ink MoU to enhance investment ties]]>
The MoU was inked on the sidelines of Africa 2018 Forum by GAFI CEO Mohsen Adel and Sheila Mugyenzi on behalf of UIA CEO.

The MoU tackled boosting business relations and promoting cooperation between GAFI and UIA in order to enhance investment opportunities and establish direct ties among the Egyptian and Ugandan business circles in the investment fields.

The memorandum stipulates also that both countries exchange business missions and visits to get acquainted with their experience and expertise in the domain of encouraging investments in addition to organizing joint conferences and symposiums related to investments in both countries.

The MoU states exerting utmost effort by the two countries in order to remove obstacles hindering the growth and increase of investments via finding suitable solutions and exchanging technical expertise regarding investment opportunities.
]]>
12/9/2018 5:43:39 PM
<![CDATA[UPDATE 1-Egypt approves BP purchase of 25 pct of Nour gas concession]]>
Nour lies near the Zohr gas field, which was declared the biggest in the Mediterranean when it was discovered in 2015. Zohr is estimated to hold about 30 trillion cubic feet of gas and has raised interest in gas exploration in Egypt.

BP will buy 25 percent and Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala 20 percent of the Nour concession from Italian energy company Eni , the petroleum ministry said in a statement.

Eni, which had held 85 percent of the concession through a subsidiary, will now hold 40 percent. Egypt’s state-controlled Tharwa Petroleum Company holds the remaining 15 percent.

Eni and Tharwa were originally due to start drilling the first exploratory oil well at Nour in late September. ]]>
12/9/2018 5:10:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt is the gateway to Africa: Sahar Nasr]]>
The minister pointed to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's keenness to build bridges of cooperation between Egypt and its brotherly countries in the continent, thus contributing to making Africa a promising continent and an incubator for major productive and service projects by attracting huge investments.

“Our meeting today reflects our consensus on a common vision for the advancement of our continent,” Nasr stated.

Nasradded that meetings are held to discuss ways to boost economic development and overcome possiblechallenges, and to tacklethe prospects for cooperation, encouraging joint investments and increasing intra-trade opportunities to provide jobs for the people of our promising continent to achieve the goals of sustainable development.

According to the minister, a number of African countries have recently adopted economic reform programs that contribute to increasinggrowth rates, despite the challenges of the global economy, the rates reached 3.5 percent in 2018 and are expected to rise to more than 4 percent in the coming years.

“Indeed, six African countries ranked the top ten fastest growing economies this year,” she noted.

Nasr pointed to Egypt's achievements that came as a result of the implementation of anambitious program to correct the course of the economy,improvingthe investment climate through economic, financial and institutional reforms, notably the investment law and its incentives.

The minister said that this program resulted inan increase in economic growth rates, increased investment opportunitiesand a marked increase in economic and social indicators, which have been praised by international institutions.

“Africa has the huge economic, production and consumption potential needed to enjoy a better future. Investment returns on the continent are among the highest in the world, and this has been reflected in more than a fourfold increase in foreign direct investment flows in the last five years,” Sahar stated.

She clarified that in order to get the best out ofthese opportunities, our countries need a supportive infrastructure of networking, digital transformation and a maximizeduse of information technology.

The minister said: “Investment in infrastructure is the cornerstone of development and growth. The amount of investments required annually is estimated to be $150 billion, with a funding gap of about $90 billion, which means that there is a need for concerted efforts between governments, the private sector, international financial institutions and investment banks - our development partners.”

Nasr added that investing in human capital is an urgent necessity for sustained growth and for the exploitation of the human wealth of Africa - a young continent with 60 percent of its population under the age 25 years old.

According to the minister, Egypt has been a pioneer in this field, where President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has adopted the initiative to invest in human capital in the areas of health, education and skills development, as investing in the youth of the continent is a key factor toraising growth rates.

She referred that it is a top priority to channel the youth's energies to developing their skills and their innovative ideas, consolidating the concept of entrepreneurship, which is the main engine of economic development and increased competitiveness of the economy.

“Entrepreneurship is an important source of employment, as fast-growing startups generate one-third of new employment opportunities. Egypt has been keen to develop this activity by providing a stimulating investment climate and innovative financing mechanisms,” Nasr said.

The minister added that on Saturday more than 250 African companies representing more than 35 countries and 57 models of products made in Africa participated in the forum. “We are proud of our youth.”

Nasr explained that growth plans are not complete without real opportunities for women to participate in economic, political and social life.

“Identifying the common objectives of the African countries will unify the priorities of development,” Nasrsaid, noting that in August, Egypt and African countries succeeded in adopting an integrated financing agenda for the governors of the international financial institutions in SharmEl-Sheikh.

She emphasized the need to adhere to national programs that meet national priorities and preserve the sovereignty and national security of countries.

At the end of her speech, she invited all the attendants to seize the opportunity of the participation in this important international forum and exchange ideas and experiencesto explore investment opportunities in Egypt and Africa.

]]>
12/9/2018 2:53:57 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to ink 45-million-euro loan deal with EU early next year]]>
In press statements on the fringe of Africa 2018 Forum, she said the deal will underline the EU's continued support to small enterprises in Egypt.

Egypt had also signed a 15-million-euro grant with the EU to support infrastructure development in six governorates, including Assiut, Giza, Sharqiya and Port Said, she said.

She pointed out that the agency has recently become affiliated to the cabinet, noting that the premier will be appointing its CEO for a four-year term.

She said that the agency realized great success with regard to the projects it funded, adding that it bankrolled 160,000 projects over the past six months and secured 305,000 jobs.]]>
12/9/2018 1:58:04 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt reviews cooperation with AIIB in 5 sectors]]>
Ma’it stressed that the national economy has overcome the challenges it encountered during the past period, and is currently witnessing a significant improvement in economic performance.

He pointed out that the Egyptian government is aware of the weaknesses of the economy,such as unemployment rates,and is working to fix them.

The minister reviewed the available opportunities for cooperation between Egypt and the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investment, especially in the five following sectors: railway development, modernization of the public transport network, expansion of subway lines, modernization and development of Egyptian ports and airports, and development of the new and renewable energy sector.

The meeting with Liqun also tackled the results of the meetings held by senior officials of the Egyptian government and a senior delegation of the Asian Bank during their visit to Cairo in November, Ma’it noted.

He clarified that the delegation included the bank's executive board members on the first visit to a country outside Asia to deepen cooperation with Egypt, one of the most important countries in the Middle East and the world.

For his part, the president of the Asian Bank confirmed the success of the bank's cooperation with Egypt in the sanitation and solar energy sectors, pointing out the bank's interest in other opportunities for cooperation in the sectors of infrastructure and industrial development and development of public utilities.

He also called for Egypt and developing countries to pay attention to the development of the industrial sector because of its strong effect on increasing economic growth rates.

Liqun called for the need to find competitive opportunities in infrastructure in Egypt, especially the Suez Canal.

Regarding the cooperation opportunities offered by the minister of finance, the president of the Asian Bank affirmed the bank's full support for these opportunities and projects planned by the Egyptian government, especially those that develop ports and airports.

He pointed out the importance of turning Cairo International Airport into a regional air
transport hub to link South Africa with the continents of Asia and Europe.

Liqun added that the Asian Bank also has considerable experience in the field of subway lines, and therefore welcomes cooperation with Egypt in this sector, adding that Egypt has vast desert that can be used in the construction of solar power plants.

The volume of the bank's investments currently amounts to $5 billion distributed over 28 projects in many countries. The bank also signed an initial agreement for the Asian Bank's contribution in financing a $300 million sanitation project in cooperation with the World Bank.
]]>
12/9/2018 1:48:12 PM
<![CDATA[Green Finance & the African Continent]]>
What’s the size of your investments in Egypt in both energy and wastewater?

Investing in the Egyptian power sector since 1974, the African Development Bank has financed 25 energy operations. In the last decade alone, AfDB- financed projects added 4,000 MW to the national grid, created 9,000 direct jobs and met 4.5 million customers’ demand. Currently, the portfolio in Egypt consists of 30 operations for a total commitment of $2.9 billion, with a focus on energy, water and sanitation and irrigation as well as support to the government’s reform program.

Under the aegis of the New Deal on Energy, the Bank has placed green growth at the heart of its operations. The Bank approved financing in 2017 for three private sector solar energy projects at the Benban solar park in Upper Egypt to the tune of $55 million.

In water and sanitation, the AfDB is helping Egypt address water quality and sanitation needs through supporting the second phase of the Gabel Al Asfer Wastewater Treatment project that is currently being completed with a total capacity of 2.5 million m3/day, and the Abu Rawash Wastewater Treatment Plant extension with a total capacity of 1.6 million m3/day that is just starting.

AfDB project 2
AfDB solar power project in Egypt - Courtesy of AfDB


What other contributions has AfDB made to Egypt’s economic reform?

The AfDB has supported the government’s macroeconomic and structural reform pro- gram as it was indeed critical for jump-starting economic growth after the slowdown following 2011. Through the programmatic (2015-2018) Policy-based Operation (PBO) for Economic Governance and Energy Support Program, AfDB, together with the World Bank and the IMF, supported government reforms in three key areas: enhancing fiscal consolidation; ensuring sustainable energy supply; and enhancing the business environment. The AfDB’s support amounted to a total of $1.5 billion. The final $500 million tranche was disbursed in September 2018.

How do you assess Egypt’s current investment environment in renewable energy?

Over the past few years, Egypt has made strides in terms of attracting investments to the renewable energy sector, especially the private sector on both international and domestic levels. This achievement is underpinned by a strong government reform pro- gram that aims at tackling the legal, regulatory and institutional bottlenecks that traditionally impeded private investment in the sector. The reforms have indeed borne fruit, with close to $2 billion of private investment in the renewable energy sector alone being currently realized on the ground. Several more investments are in the pipeline.

How does the New Deal in Energy for Africa en- hance partnerships across the continent?

The AfDB’s New Deal on Energy for Africa is a partnership-driven effort with the aspirational goal of achieving universal access to energy in Africa by 2025. The AfDB has worked with governments, the private sector, and bilateral and multilateral energy sector initiatives to develop a Transformative Partnership on Energy for Africa, mobilize domestic and international capital for innovative financing, and support African governments to strengthen energy policy among other goals.


Can entrepreneurs help solve the challenge of high costs of renewable energy?

We’ve supported entrepreneurs and incubated 40 startups working on waste management under the “Leha Keema” initiative. This resulted in the establishment of 28 startups that are operational, have mobilized financing and are growing, producing fish-feed and bricks from waste, alternative wood and activated carbon from biochar required by water treatment companies. The success of this project has encouraged us to mobilize additional resources in order to design a larger project, called “Tanmia wa Tatweer,” which will support entrepreneurs in clean and green, agribusiness and handicrafts and performing arts sectors.

1 (6)
AfDB's Egypt country manager Malinne Blomberg - Courtesy of AfDB


How can Egypt as an energy hub help solve Africa’s related crises?

The new sizable gas discoveries in Egypt, the large increase in the number of new oil and gas concessions, and the intensive government investment program in new modern and efficient energy infra- structure are the foundations upon which Egypt is building its aspirations to becoming a regional energy hub. Unlike the North Africa region, not all of Sub-Saharan Africa has access to modern energy sources, where Egypt can play a major role to help. Egypt can also provide a lot of experience sharing with many of its fellow African countries on how it has managed to achieve universal access to its rather large population and on the recent success stories on attracting private investment to the sector.

Why aren’t there enough investments in Africa’s energy?

In total, $230-310 billion is required until 2025, while an additional $190-215 billion is required from 2026-2030. The total average annual investment from 2018-2030 is estimated at $32-40 billion. There is no question that these amounts are too large for public investment alone; private investment in Africa’s energy sector is therefore a must. Yet there are undoubtedly barriers to mobilizing private investment in the energy sector in Africa, including lack of access to affordable finance to SMEs, volatilities of exchange rate, and the lack of legal and regulatory frameworks for private in- vestment.

How do you see Africa’s transition to clean energy in parallel to its potentials and needs?

The large gap in terms of access to modern energy sources in many African countries poses several developmental and economic challenges. However, since Africa is building its energy sector almost afresh, there is a great potential to maximize the use of green and clean energy sources that the continent is already endowed with in various forms. The Bank saw this opportunity and indeed tried to capitalize on it. As a result, since 2017, renewable energy has increasingly taken a significantly larger share of the energy investments supported by the Bank.

How can mobile technology help smooth transition to clean energy in Africa?

The so-called PAYGO model has proven to be very successful in scaling up access to modern energy in many parts of Africa where access is low. In such cases, mobile technology is used to facilitate acquisition or lease of solar home systems in peri-urban and rural areas of Africa where people generally cannot afford to buy those systems in cash upfront. In those areas, the availability of modern mobile technologies is a prerequisite for the adoption of modern energy solutions.]]>
12/9/2018 12:58:12 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 273-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
12/9/2018 11:52:12 AM
<![CDATA[Uber makes confidential filing for long-awaited IPO]]>
The ride-hailing company filed the confidential paperwork on Thursday, one of the sources said, in lock-step with its smaller U.S. rival, Lyft Inc, which also announced on Thursday it had filed for an IPO.

The simultaneous filings extend the protracted battle between Uber and Lyft, which as fierce rivals have often rolled out identical services and matched each other’s prices. Uber is eager to beat Lyft to Wall Street, according to sources familiar with the matter, a sign of the company’s entrenched competitiveness.

Its filing sets the stage for one of the biggest technology listings ever. Uber’s valuation in its most recent private financing was $76 billion, and it could be worth $120 billion in an IPO. Its listing next year would be the largest in what is expected to be a string of public debuts by highly valued Silicon Valley companies, including apartment-renting company Airbnb Inc and workplace messaging firm Slack. Ongoing market volatility, however, could alter companies’ plans.

The IPO will be a test of public market investor tolerance for Uber’s legal and workplace controversies, which embroiled the company for most of last year, and on Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi’s progress in turning around the company.

Khosrowshahi took over just over than a year ago, and has repeatedly stated publicly he would take Uber public in 2019. In August, he hired the company’s first chief financial officer in more than three years.

Together, Uber and Lyft will test public market investor appetitive for the ride-hailing business, which emerged less than a decade ago and has proven wildly popular, but also unprofitable.

Uber in the third quarter lost $1.07 billion and is struggling with slowing growth, although its gross bookings, at $12.7 billion, reflect the company’s enormous scale. Its revenue for the quarter was $2.95 billion, a 5 percent boost from the previous quarter. Its bookings grew just six percent for the quarter.

Uber has raised about $18 billion from an array of investors since 2010, and it now faces a deadline to go public.

An investment by SoftBank that closed in January, which gave the Japanese investor a 15 percent stake in Uber, included a provision that requires Uber to file for an IPO by Sept. 30 of next year or the company risks allowing restrictions on shareholder stock transfers to expire.

Uber has not formally chosen underwriting banks, although Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are likely to get the lead roles, sources told Reuters. Lyft hired JPMorgan Chase & Co, Credit Suisse and Jefferies as underwriters.

The Wall Street Journal reported Uber’s filing earlier on Friday.

Becoming a public company will bring a heightened level of investor scrutiny and exposure to Uber, which suffered a string of scandals when the company was led by co-founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, who resigned last year.

The controversies included allegations of sexual harassment, obtaining the medical records of a woman raped by an Uber driver in India, a massive data breach, and federal investigations into issues including possibly paying bribes to officials and illicit software to evade regulators.

Khosrowshahi and his leadership team have worked to reset the workplace culture and clean up the messes, including settlements with U.S. states over the data breach and with Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, Waymo, which had sued Uber for trade-secrets theft.

Uber today is a different company than the vision its founders pitched to early investors, which helped it become the most highly valued venture-backed company in the United States.

After concessions in China, Russia and Southeast Asia, where Uber sold its business to a local competitor, and the prospect of another merger in the Middle East, Uber is far from being the dominant global ride-hailing service it set out to be.

Still, Uber operates in more than 70 countries, while Lyft is in the U.S. and Canada, although the smaller company is plotting a global expansion.

Uber has also added a number of other businesses, which are growing but have yet to show sustainable profits, in a bid to become a one-stop mobility app. Those include freight hauling, food delivery and electric bike and scooter rentals. Meanwhile, its self-driving car unit is costing the company about $200 million a quarter, according to investors, but Uber’s program has retrenched since one of its autonomous cars killed a pedestrian in March.]]>
12/9/2018 11:38:24 AM
<![CDATA[China urges Canada to free Huawei CFO or face consequences]]>
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 and faces extradition to the United States, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions.

The executive is the daughter of the founder of Huawei.

If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, a Canadian court heard on Friday, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

No decision was reached at the extradition hearing after nearly six hours of arguments and counter-arguments, and the hearing was adjourned until Monday.

In a short statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had issued the warning to release Meng to Canada’s ambassador in Beijing, summoning him to lodge a “strong protest”.

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Saturday there is “nothing to add beyond what the Minister said yesterday”.

Freeland told reporters on Friday that relationship with China is important and valued, and Canada’s ambassador in Beijing has assured Chinese that consular access will be provided to Meng.

When asked about the possible Chinese backlash after the arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Friday that Canada has a very good relationship with Beijing.

Canada’s arrest of Meng at the request of the United States while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights, Le said.

The move “ignored the law, was unreasonable” and was in its very nature “extremely nasty”, he added.

“China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused.”

The statement did not elaborate.

“There will probably be a deep freeze with the Chinese in high-level visits and exchanges,” David Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to China, said on Friday.

“The ability to talk about free trade will be put in the ice box for a while. But we’re going to have to live with that. That’s the price of dealing with a country like China.”

On Sunday, the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily said that while China would not “cause trouble”, it also did not fear trouble and that nobody should underestimate China’s determination on this case.

“Only if the Canadian side corrects its mistake and immediately stops infringing upon the lawful, legitimate rights of a Chinese citizen and gives a proper accounting to the Chinese people can it avoid paying a heavy price for this,” it said in an editorial.

Meng’s arrest was on the same day that U.S. President Donald Trump met in Argentina with China’s Xi Jinping to look for ways to resolve an escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

“We are tracking the developments of this case and refer you to the filings in the Supreme Court of British Columbia,” said a U.S. State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Afghanistan's 'Messi boy' forced to flee home
The news of Meng’s arrest has roiled stock markets and drawn condemnation from Chinese authorities, although Trump and his top economic advisers have played down its importance to trade talks after the two leaders agreed to a truce.

A Huawei spokesman said on Friday the company has “every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach the right conclusion.” The company has said it complies with all applicable export control and sanctions laws and other regulations.]]>
12/9/2018 11:36:58 AM
<![CDATA[KFAED to begin 2nd stage of program on financing development projects in Sinai]]>
The second stage of the program with the same amount of money will kick off soon, he noted in a statement during his participation in the COMESA conference.

Failakawi also said that the fund signed on Saturday with Egypt two agreements to finance a program on establishing infrastructure ventures in Sinai estimated at $35 million including drinking water projects in the peninsula.]]>
12/8/2018 1:37:27 PM
<![CDATA[KFAED signs deals worth $57mn on fringe of Africa Forum 2018]]>
In press statements on the sidelines of Africa Forum 2018, regional manager for North African countries at the fund Abdullah Khalil said that an agreement will be signed with Madagascar at a value of $10 million.

He added that a $17-million- agreement will be signed with Malawi.

Another deal worth $30 million will be signed with Côte d'Ivoire, he noted.

He pointed out that the fund seeks engaging in the development projects in the African continent.

Egypt is set to sign two financing deals worth 40 million Kuwaiti dinars with the KFAED on the first day of the forum.]]>
12/8/2018 12:44:08 PM
<![CDATA[Banque du Caire to open branches in Tanzania, Kenya, Russia, China]]>
The move comes within the framework of the bank's expansion plan in the African continent and the State's strategy to boost cooperation with Africa, he noted.

In statements to MENA on the sidelines of his participation in Africa 2018 Forum that kicked off here on Saturday, Fayed said that the African market has a promising future in the banking field which prompted the financial institution to acquire majority share in one of the banks in Uganda to be a starting point in the African banking market.

The bank mulls also opening offices in Russia and China to finance the trade and investment operations, he asserted, noting that it also finalized getting license to open another office in Dubai.

Work at Dubai's office will begin at the beginning of next year, Fayed added. ]]>
12/8/2018 11:42:55 AM
<![CDATA[COMESA chief: Egypt's presidency of AU to beef up investments]]>
The COMESA chief described Sisi as one of the most credible presidents in the African continent.

In statements to MENA on Saturday, Kapwepwe said that President Sisi has exerted tireless efforts to support trade integration and sustainable development in the African continent.

Egypt's hosting the Africa Forum for the third year in a row highlights Cairo's commitment towards pushing forward the collective action among the African countries with an aim to achieve the sustainable development, increase the economic growth rates and joint investments and reducing poverty rates, Kapwepwe noted.

Kapwepwe asserted that Egypt is capable of leading the efforts exerted for establishing a free trade zone between the three African blocs; COMESA, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC).

Participants in the two-day forum will discuss means of consolidating partnership between the African governments and the private sector and removing hurdles facing free trade, she said.

She said that the African countries can benefit from Egypt's expertise in the fields of sustainable development, economic reforms, technology transfer and infrastructure.]]>
12/8/2018 11:35:39 AM
<![CDATA[Kuwait to fund desalination plant, road in South Sinai]]>
On the sidelines, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr inked an agreement with the Kuwait Fund for Arab Development Bank in the presence of South Sinai governor Khaled Fouda.

The agreement is to fund a seawater desalination project to serve residents at the governorate. Those either resort to wells to get fresh water or use the water distributed by municipalities. The cost of water distribution is high. Also, the water can become contaminated while circulating among residents.

A street and a memorial will be constructed and named after Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development will finance a water purification plant in Bahr al-Bakar in Sharqeya governorate, and four others in different governorates.
]]>
12/8/2018 11:32:06 AM
<![CDATA[IFC, Investment Min. select 100 start-ups to participate in initiative]]>
IFC noted that the start-ups include Vezeeta, Avidbeam and Next Protein. They and other selected companies will participate in Africa’s Next Start-Ups program, a joint IFC-MIIC effort that helps provide up-and-coming small businesses with funding and advice.
It added that the selection of the applicants according to the greatest potential to achieve a positive impact on their communities.

The statement clarified that these applicants come from cross the African continent—including Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa, noting that they operate in a range of sectors, including education, health care, logistics, and software.

According to the statement, the program connects such companies with potential investors, financial institutions, business leaders, and policymakers.

“It is designed to support the continent’s budding start-up culture and create opportunities for entrepreneurs, who often struggle to secure growth capital and have few places to turn for guidance,” the statement read.

Upon the program, the start-ups and other entrepreneurs will attend the Africa 2018 Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from December 7 to 9.

“Africa is brimming with entrepreneurs whose drive and creativity have the potential to transform the industries in which they work,” IFC’s Chief Executive Officer Philippe Le Houérou said.

He added: “With the right support, African start-ups can help create the high-quality jobs that are so urgently needed while reducing poverty and finding solutions to some of the continent’s most urgent challenges.”

IFC referred that the number of applicants to the program exceeded 500 businesses from 35 African countries.

In October, IFC and Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation announced the launch of the initiative that aims to strengthen ecosystem entrepreneurship across Africa, calling for applicants for it.

IFC, Investment Min. support ecosystem entrepreneurship in Africa

CAIRO - 3 October 2018: The International Finance Cooperation (IFC) and Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation announced Tuesday the launch of a new initiative that aims to strengthen ecosystem entrepreneurship across Africa. IFC added in a statement that a website was launched calling for applicants for the new initiative.




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.
]]>
12/7/2018 1:55:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt ranks 1st in FDI flows in Africa: report]]>
The report, of which MENA obtained a copy, was compiled in cooperation with the COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA).

Egypt was followed by Ethiopia, with 3.5-billion-dollar investments, Congo, with 1.9-billion-dollar investments, and Sudan, with 1.6 billion-dollar investments, the report added. ]]>
12/7/2018 1:49:52 PM
<![CDATA[COMESA: Sudan, Ethiopia receive 60% of Egypt's investments]]>
The total value of the Egyptian investments in the COMESA countries are estimated at $4.37 billion, said the report which was prepared in cooperation with the Financial Times.

The Egyptian investments were concentrated in eight countries out of the COMESA 21 member states, added the report of which MENA obtained a copy.

Sudan topped the countries in which Egypt’s investments are concentrated at a value of $1.8 billion, representing 41% of Egypt’s total investments in the organization’s countries followed by Ethiopia with investments amounting to $980 million, said the report.

The report ranked Zambia as the third country in terms of the Egyptian investments, followed by Libya, then Burundi, then Kenya followed by Eswatini and then Rwanda.

According to the report, the figures were registered during the period from 2003 to 2018, covering 38 projects that offered more than 11,750 job opportunities.]]>
12/7/2018 12:16:08 PM
<![CDATA[EIB chief to arrive in Egypt Saturday to participate in Africa Forum 2018]]>
The EIB president will also sign a number of funding and loans agreements with the Egyptian government.

During his visit to Egypt, the EIB chief will hold bilateral meetings with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli and Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, the bank said in a statement of which MENA obtained a copy.

The two-day forum will kick off in Sharm el Sheikh on Saturday with several African leaders attending.

The funds provided by the EIB contribute to supporting the Egyptian government's efforts meant to improve facilities and infrastructure nationwide. ]]>
12/7/2018 12:06:36 PM
<![CDATA[Pharos Holdings signs global agreement with Exotix Capital]]>
Pharos Holding clarified in a statement that this global agreement will allow Exotix clients from across the world, including many of the world's major institutional investors, to have access to Pharos research, as well as to the Egyptian market to trade and invest through Pharos Brokerage.

Pharos Holding will also work with Exotix and its other partners across the world to help offer research, produced on the ground in emerging markets, offering an increasingly important resource for fund managers to utilize the sophisticated Exotix technology to distribute Pharos research to global clients, according to the statement.

“This will include joint sectoral research from the network of investment banks which work with Exotix, as well as road shows for Pharos analysts, working with Exotix and its wider emerging markets investment banking partners' analysts,” it added.

According to the statement, the agreement is effective immediately and allows for Pharos' research to be distributed to several hundred additional global fund management firms.

CEO of Exotix Capital Duncan Wales commented: “This partnership builds on our existing relationship with Pharos Holding, allowing us to deliver an even more extensive service to our clients around the world and provide more of the valuable insights to support their investment decisions. As our network continues to add more and more high-quality partners like Pharos, Exotix Capital is uniquely placed to deliver superior local insight and actionable intelligence that simply is not available anywhere else.”
For his part, Group Chairman and CEO of Pharos Holding Elwy Taymour stated: "The global agreement with Exotix is an exciting step for Pharos as it plugs us into a very much larger network of global clients. This growing network should drive both Pharos and Exotix to increase our joint share of international investment flows. As Egypt's IPO program recommences in 2019, this relationship also offers the potential to increase the exposure of Egypt's capital markets to new institutional clients."

Pharos Holding Chief Operating Officer, Angus Blair, said that "This deeper relationship with Exotix should help to build a deeper and more sustainable strategy for long term growth for Pharos and for Exotix, as well as offering an increasingly attractive product offering to global investment institutions. We look forward to making this agreement flourish."

Early in 2018, Pharos and Exotix signed a "Chaperone Agreement" which is required to meet and trade with clients across the USA to trade in the Egyptian Market.
]]>
12/6/2018 6:02:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to auction $1B 1-year dollar T-bills on Monday: CBE]]>
The auction will be settled on Tuesday, the bank said.

One-year bills worth about $1.15 billion are due to mature on the same day. The average yield on those bills was 3.495 percent.

In the last dollar-denominated treasury bill auction, on Nov 19, the average yield was 3.697 percent.]]>
12/6/2018 3:43:00 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's GASC receives offers in wheat tender]]>
The offer was presented by Daewoo. Results are expected later on Thursday.

GASC is seeking an unspecified amount of wheat for the end-January shipping period.

Traders told Reuters on Wednesday that GASC had delayed wheat payment guarantees for some shipments that had already arrived in the country.

Sources had said that letters of credit for 16 recently purchased wheat cargoes, of which at least five have already arrived at Egyptian ports, had not been issued.

The supply ministry later said the payment guarantees had since been issued for three wheat cargoes due Dec. 1-10 and would be issued for the five cargoes due Nov. 11-20.

GASC had asked suppliers who sold eight cargoes for the Dec. 11-20 shipping period if they could delay shipments to January or ship without letters of credit, according to traders with knowledge of the matter.

Traders said the following offers were made in dollars per tonne FOB:

* Daewoo: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $236.30

* Daewoo: 55,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $236.75

* Louis-Dreyfus: 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat at $237.25

* Aston: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $237.65

* Glencore: 55,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $237.99

* Glencore: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $239.64

* GTCS: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $238.00

* GTCS: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $241.00

* ADM: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $240.64

* ADM: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $244.50

* Garant Logistics: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $250.00

* Agro Industrial: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $245.00

Traders said the following were the best cost-and-freight (C&F) offers in dollars per tonne:

* Daewoo: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $236.30 and $15.90 freight, equating to $252.20

* Daewoo: 55,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $236.75 and $16.65 freight, equating to $253.40

* Aston: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $237.65 and $15.90 freight, equating to $253.55

* GTCS: 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat at $238.00 and $15.90 freight, equating to $253.90

* Louis-Dreyfus: 60,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat at $237.25 and $16.70 freight, equating to $253.95

* Glencore: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $239.64 and $14.70 freight, equating to $254.34

* ADM: 60,000 tonnes of Romanian wheat at $240.64 and $14.25 freight, equating to $254.89]]>
12/6/2018 3:33:09 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian non-oil private sector rises to 49.2 in November: PMI]]>
Emirates NBD research clarified that despite reaching the highest rate in three months, “it is still in contraction territory.”

“The main components of the index – output, new work – declined less than in the prior two months,” it added.

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, new export orders also remained in contraction territory for the third month in a row, as the Egyptian pound has been resilient in front of the Euro since April, which may be contributing to the recent softness in export demand.

Firms surveyed cited "challenging economic conditions" which continued to weigh on demand as a reason for the decline in new orders last month, the data stated.

The research also referred to the decrease in the employment rate for the second month in a row during November, “with this component of the PMI falling to the lowest level since March.”

It also said that staff costs hiked at a similar rate to the previous three months as a result of the firms' response to higher living costs.

“Output prices were stable on average last month, with the output price index at the lowest level since November 2015,” it said.

AS per input prices, the rate of increase in producer prices was the weakest since the series began in April 2011, as inflationary pressures appear to have eased in recent months after spiking on subsidy cuts over the summer.

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 September, Egypt’s Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector fell to 47.4, recording the lowest level since June, compared to 50.5 in August.

]]>
12/6/2018 3:29:15 PM
<![CDATA[Govt denies selling 49% of Suez Canal economic zone]]>
The media center of the cabinet dismissed as groundless these reports, saying no lands affiliated with the SCZone were sold to any Arab or foreign country.

The SCZone belongs to Egyptians and it is one of the mega national projects in Egypt, the center said in a statement, stressing that such rumors are meant to negatively affect the contracts concluded by the economic zone.

The statement made clear that the SCZone started negotiations with Dubai Ports World to set up a company to be in charge of developing 45 square kilometers of the industrial zone in Ain Sokhna under the usufruct system.

The SCZone will own 51 percent of shares of this company while DP will have a 49-percent share, the statement said.

The company aims at luring world investors to pump their money into the Suez Canal economic zone.

Negotiations with DP have been going on since November of 2017 and a major consultancy office is now finalizing a study in this regard, it said.

The SCZone urged all media outlets to verify the authenticity of reports they publish to avoid disrupting public order and creating unnecessary chaos]]>
12/6/2018 3:26:47 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends the week in red, market cap. loses LE 6.3B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 1.58 percent, or 199.16 points, to close at 12,387.58 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.88 percent, or 18.29 points, to reach 2,051.23 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.17 percent, or 1.12 points, reaching 661.03 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 0.33 percent, or 5.52 points, to close at 1,647.42 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 6.27 billion, recording LE 712.84 billion, compared to LE 719.11 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 145.04 million shares, traded through 21,033 transactions, with a turnover of LE 694.55 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 31.56 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 8.96 and LE 22.6 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 88.99 million, LE 1.62 million and LE 9.95 million, respectively.

Foreign organizations bought at LE 21.61 million, while Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 97.96 million, and LE 24.22 million, respectively.

Alexandria New Medical Center, Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE, and Nasr Company for Civil Works were top gainers of the session by 6.92 percent, 6.23 percent and 5.63 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, South Cairo & Giza Mills & Bakeries, Sharkia National Food, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals were top losers of the session by 14.59 percent, 8.14 percent, and 8 percent, respectively.

]]>
12/6/2018 3:04:01 PM
<![CDATA[WB to launch report on Egypt investment on Tuesday]]>
The report will present a roadmap to attract private investments to the sectors of energy, transport, water and agriculture, the WB said in a statement on Thursday.

Attracting private investments to these sectors will reduce public spending and direct the resources towards more citizens, the statement said. ]]>
12/6/2018 2:32:46 PM
<![CDATA[IMF hails CBE decision terminating repatriation mechanism]]>
In statements to MENA on Thursday, Chief of IMF mission in Cairo Subir Lall said the fund’s board will convene by the end of December to discuss paying the fifth tranche of the $12-billion loan.

He underlined full support for the CBE decision.

The Central Bank of Egypt decided to terminate the Repatriation Mechanism as of December 4, close of business day, for any fresh foreign currency portfolio investments wishing to enter the local currency Egyptian T-Bills, T-Bonds market and the stocks listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange.

This will not apply to balances held inside the mechanism before the aforementioned date. Investors that initially entered through the repatriation mechanism before December 4, close of business day, may exit through the repatriation mechanism at any time. Fresh foreign currency portfolio investments, from this point forward, should be channeled through the interbank market.

The Foreign Exchange repatriation mechanism was heavily utilized by foreign investors at the initiation of the liberalization in order to guarantee liquidity. However, as the gains of the homegrown reform program became clearly demonstrated and the foreign exchange resources granted by the real economy flourished, Egypt's external balances and various economic indicators have gained considerable strength since November 2016.

Egypt's risk profile improved and its financial stability regained strength. As a result, confidence increased as was reflected in the elevated interbank market volume. ]]>
12/6/2018 1:42:27 PM
<![CDATA[Deal to list Egyptian companies in Kuwaiti 2030 projects]]>
This came on the sidelines of the 12th session of the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Committee that was held in Kuwait under the chairmanship of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled al Ahmed al Sabah.

In a statement on Thursday, Wakil said that they discussed means of activating a cooperation protocol signed between the Kuwaiti Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.

He added that Kuwait will lead a high-level delegation to the fourth edition of the Egyptian-Kuwaiti Cooperation Forum, set for Cairo on February 8-10, 2019]]>
12/6/2018 1:37:07 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian firms invest $4.4B in COMESA states: report]]>
Egyptian companies have become the most active African companies in the COMESA, according to the report, a copy of which MENA received on Thursday.

In 2018, Egyptian companies invested about $876 million in projects in COMESA states.

The Egyptian companies' investments focused on the fields of contractor, construction, pharmaceuticals, minerals, communications and IT and financial services.

Among top ten Egyptian companies investing in COMESA are El Sewedy Electric, ASEC Cement, Pharmaoverseas, Egyptian International Pharmaceutical Industries Company, El Wadi Co. For Food Industries (Wadi Food) and Pack-tec.

COMESA countries include Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.]]>
12/6/2018 1:31:02 PM
<![CDATA[Factors determining final selling price of cars]]>
The custom cuts of European cars come after Egypt started implementing the trade cooperation agreement with the European Union in 2010 as part of the Egyptian-European Agreement, so European car customs have begun to decline gradually.

The agreement, which came into force in mid-2004, stipulates establishing a free trade area during a transitional period of 12 years. It also liberalizes the Egyptian imports of industrial goods with European origins in a period of up to 16 years.

Egypt used the right to postpone the reduction twice in the previous year and by the start of 2019, customs will be reduced to hit 0 percent for all cars and Europe’s supply of all engine capacities.

Egypt Today reviews factors that determine the final sale price of cars in Egypt After cutting customs on European cars, including taxes and fees.

These factors include the dollar rate, the custom dollar, schedule taxes, development fees and most importantly agents’ profit margins.

Dollar Rate

The price of imported cars depends on the exchange rate of the US dollar against the Egyptian pound, as the dollar is the currency of the international settlement of all external obligations of countries. Since the flotation of the Egyptian currency in November 2016, the exchange rate is around LE 17.78 for buying and LE 17.99 for selling.

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, aiming to reduce the budget deficit.

Custom Dollar

Another factor that popped up in the automotive market and will impact the prices of cars is the hike of the custom dollar for non-essential products, including cars, to about LE 18 after being at LE 16 since the liberalization of the currency.

By the end November, Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it announced raising the customs dollar for non-essential and luxury commodities to LE 17.9737 during December, up from LE 16 in November and prior months.

Ma’it clarified that the list of non-essential and luxury commodities included mobile phones, computers, Cars, some kinds of shoes, furniture, and cigarettes.

As per this decision, prices of 2000CC cars will hike by 5 to 10 percent, 1600CC cars will rise 2 percent for cars from the European Union, and 4 percent for cars that are not subject to the agreement.

Schedule Taxes

A tax is imposed in special rates or at specified values on the sale or importation of local or imported goods and services provided in the schedules accompanying the VAT Act.

This tax is levied on the sale, performance or importation of the goods and services provided in the schedules of the law and up to 24 percent.

Development fees

The latest amendments to Law No. 147 of 1984 concerning the imposition of a fee for the development of the state's financial resources, including imported cars, on the basis of the value of the car, in addition to the customs tax and value added tax and other taxes and fees.

Agents’ Profit Margins

This margin has no rules or constants because it is subject to the rules of supply and demand in the local market, so it is a relative factor determined by the agent only.


]]>
12/6/2018 12:59:23 PM
<![CDATA[Djibouti allocates 1M square meters to Egypt for logistic zone ]]>
The ambassador said in a meeting with the African Affairs Committee at the Parliament that the bilateral cooperation agreements between Egypt and Djibouti can be activated. “Maybe there were some circumstances that hindered the activation of such agreements but now both countries are cooperating. We will soon witness the outcome of such cooperation, fostered by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi,” Harsi said.

The ambassador praised Egypt for allocating a passage for Africans at the border control of Cairo International Airport to speed up their measures adding that Djibouti is always eager to attend events hosted by Egypt. He also expressed his happiness that Egypt will chair the African Union (AU) in 2019.

Harsi highlighted that both countries must overcome obstacles impeding trade and economic partnership. He said transportation is the main obstacle because of the lack of direct flights and maritime transport.

The ambassador demanded that Egypt establishes an Azhar-affiliated institute, and branches of the Egyptian universities in his country; that is in addition to supporting pre-university education, stressing that his country is ready to allocate the necessary lands, and facilitate all measures.

Harsi stated that his country’s disagreements with Eritrea are coming to an end, and that bilateral meetings are taking place to resolve issues.

Committee Head Tarek Radwan promised the ambassador that he will communicate with relevant governmental bodies and that the committee is ready to accept any invitations by Djibouti Parliament to discuss bilateral files and boost cooperation in all fields.

Radwan affirmed that the political leadership is eager to strengthen relations with African countries and study the needs of each. Committee Deputy Head Maged Abol Kair stated that Egypt targets to establish real bases to achieve development while chairing the AU, highlighting that the president’s motto is “partnership for development.”

Abol Khair added that Egypt is ready to share its experiences in different fields including energy, and the medical sector, especially the elimination of hepatitis C.

Committee member Amena Nosseir affirmed that Egypt is proud of its African identity, and that it “realizes Africa’s value as it is the future,” pointing out that “the West is racing to have presence in Africa.”
]]>
12/6/2018 12:12:20 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18.7B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.2 billion with a 364-day term and the second is worth LE 9.5 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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




Egypt to achieve GDP of 5.3% in 2017/18

CAIRO - 4 December 2018: Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it said that Egypt achieved an increase in the gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.3 percent in 2017/2018, up from an average of 2.3 percent between 2011 and 2014. The minister added that Egypt targets a growth rate of 5.8 percent during the current fiscal year 2018/2019.




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
12/6/2018 11:44:07 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt- UK joint cooperation at PPP Leaders Forum]]>
The forum aimed to identify the immediate actions required to kick start the Egyptian PPP program, demonstrate to the wider investment and development community that Egypt has considered the lessons learned from past experiences, and explore in more details project selection and best in class delivery of PPP projects to promote the program's success.

“I am proud Britain has played a significant role in supporting economic reform in Egypt. Britain has world-leading expertise in PPP, and as Egypt’s number one partner, we want to make it available here,” the British ambassador to Egypt said.

“We are proud to be sharing our skills and expertise with the Ministry of Finance to develop its PPP financing system. PPPs must be a catalyst for sustainable development,” the UK trade envoy stated.

Adding: “The UK has already worked to provide finance opportunities to Egyptian companies, technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance and capacity building to the Egyptian stock Exchange employees. We look forward to taking this cooperation to new heights.”

Tim Armsby, head of Finance and Projects for the Middle East at Pinsent Masons LLP said: "I have been working in Egypt since 2003 and was privileged to have the opportunity to assist the Egyptian Government on a number of PPPs over the last decade.”

Armsby further stated:” Egypt already has a considerable track record of attracting private sector investment in infrastructure and this forum should provide impetus for a re-launch to the international markets."

Industry experts of British companies Mott MacDonald, PwC and Pinsent Masons LLP are leading on the development of government strategies for the implementation of major infrastructure, including Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), across the Middle East.

Other ministerial representatives attended the forum alongside guest speakers from EBRD, IFC, and Orascom.
]]>
12/6/2018 11:37:21 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar, yen lifted as Huawei CFO arrest triggers trade concerns]]>
The dollar has been under pressure recently over concern about a possible U.S. recession and an inversion in part of the Treasury yield curve.

But the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer lifted safe-haven demand for the dollar as doubts emerged over a truce on trade struck days ago between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said.

“Political quarrels outside the trade arena could jeopardise the success of the trade talks... This is causing risk aversion to rise again,” said Esther Maria Reichelt, an FX strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

An aversion to riskier assets set in and that benefited the Japanese yen, a safe-haven currency, and pressured the Chinese yuan and the Australian dollar both of which have proved vulnerable to a worsening trade conflict.

Against a basket of six rivals, the dollar edged up 0.2 percent to 97.202. The currency has fallen 0.4 percent this week but is only half a percent off a 17-month peak of 97.693 touched on Nov. 12.

The dollar fell broadly earlier this week after a thaw in trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

It has also been pressured by worrisome signs in U.S. bond market about economic growth and signals from the Federal Reserve that a slowdown in the pace of interest rate hikes may be coming.

“The dollar could remain under pressure until this month’s Fed meeting when the market will see the Fed’s stance on policy and the economy,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

“The recent reaction to the U.S. yield curve inversion appears a little hysterical, but the dollar will not be given the all clear sign until the Fed meeting is hurdled.”

Fed policymakers are still widely expected to raise interest rates again at their Dec 18-19 meeting, but the market focus is on how many rate hikes will follow in 2019.

The yen, often sought in times of market unrest, rose 0.2 percent against the dollar to 113.05, and made strides against most of its peers.

World stocks hit by Wall Street, U.S. yield curve double whammy
The Australian dollar, sensitive to swings in risk sentiment, was down 0.7 percent at $0.7220.

The Aussie was already on a shaky footing after shedding nearly 1 percent the previous day on weaker-than-expected third quarter Australian gross domestic product data.

The euro was slightly lower at $1.1328 after retreating from this week’s high of $1.1419 scaled on Tuesday.]]>
12/6/2018 11:33:54 AM
<![CDATA[OPEC waiting for Russia before deciding how much oil to cut]]>
Five delegates said the group was waiting for news from Russia as Energy Minister Alexander Novak had flown back from Vienna for a possible meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Novak returns to Vienna on Friday for talks between OPEC and its allies, following discussions among OPEC producers on Thursday.

“I am optimistic. There will be a deal, but it is unclear how much OPEC and how much non-OPEC will contribute. It is still under discussion,” one delegate said.

Three delegates said OPEC and its allies could cut output by 1 million barrels per day if Russia contributed 150,000 bpd of that reduction. If Russia contributed around 250,000 bpd, the overall cut could exceed 1.3 million bpd.

“The cut will be between 1.0 and 1.3 million bpd. We just have to see how it will be distributed,” another delegate said.

The Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plans to cut output despite pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to support the global economy by keeping oil prices low.

OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, has indicated it wants the organization and its allies to curb output by at least 1.3 million bpd, or 1.3 percent of global production.

Riyadh wants Moscow to contribute at least 250,000-300,000 bpd to the cut but Russia insists the amount should be only half of that, OPEC and non-OPEC sources said.

The cuts would take September or October 2018 as baseline figures and last from January to June, Oman’s Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhy said on Wednesday.

Oil prices LCOc1 have crashed by almost a third since October to around $61 per barrel as Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE have raised output since June after Trump called for higher production to compensate for lower Iranian exports.

Iranian exports have plummeted after Washington imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran in November.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States have been vying for the position of top crude producer in recent years. The United States is not part of any output-limiting initiative due to its anti-trust legislation and fragmented oil industry.

TRUMP RAISES PRESSURE

Washington also gave sanctions waivers to some buyers of Iranian crude, further raising fears of an oil glut next year.

“Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The world does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!” Trump wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

Possibly complicating any OPEC decision is the crisis around the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. Trump has backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman despite calls from many U.S. politicians to impose stiff sanctions on Riyadh.]]>
12/6/2018 11:24:15 AM
<![CDATA[SoftBank mobile services disrupted ahead of bumper IPO, shares drop]]>
Shares of the group fell as much as 6 percent after the news, pressured also by a broader sell off in stocks following the arrest of a senior executive at Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL]. The two companies have partnered on 5G trials.

A SoftBank spokeswoman said connection problems started around 1:39 p.m. (0439 GMT). Other details, including when full service will be restored, are not yet known, she added.

Strong retail demand saw SoftBank Group last week forgo a price range for the bumper IPO of its domestic telco, SoftBank Corp, setting a single indicative rate of 1,500 yen ($13.30).

SoftBank will set a final offering price on Dec. 10 with shares set to begin trading on Dec. 19.

Shares of the group closed down 5 percent on Thursday, in a broader market that skidded to a two-week low after Canada arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States, threatening a new spike in Sino-U.S. tensions.

($1 = 112.8200 yen)]]>
12/6/2018 11:14:51 AM
<![CDATA[Facebook CEO backed sharing customer data despite second thoughts]]>
The decision made it possible for a quiz app to gather data on about 87 million Facebook users the following year, and later share the information with the now-defunct British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on Donald Trumps’ presidential campaign.

Zuckerberg lamented his choice in a Facebook post on Wednesday, saying that cracking down a year earlier could have helped the company avoid a privacy scandal that has tarred its reputation.

The CEO’s 2012 emails, obtained by a British government panel investigating Facebook, provide an unusual window into the internal deliberations over the critical strategic question of how much customer data the social network should share.

Facebook had recently gone public and was counting on third-party apps such as games to help drive growth.

But Zuckerberg questioned whether such apps and the data they sent back to Facebook were producing sufficient increases in usage and revenue.

“In theory, we want information, but are the posts developers are giving us actually valuable?” Zuckerberg wrote in response to a lengthy email from a lieutenant. “They don’t seem to be for targeting (content) and I doubt they drive meaningful increases in engagement either.”

A proposed alternative was charging apps for access to Facebook user data, though such a move would have likely limited the number of apps that worked with Facebook, Zuckerberg wrote in one message.

Facebook stayed the course, with Zuckerberg rejecting fees in late 2012.

“The purpose of the platform is to tie the universe of all the social apps together so we can enable a lot more sharing and still remain the central hub,” he said in an email to several top executives. “This finds the right balance between ubiquity, reciprocity and profit.”

By 2014, Facebook had moved to restrict the free promotion and wide data access from which outside developers benefited. Though the tools and data remained free, they became less valuable to many app makers.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SHIFTING GEARS

The deliberations in the late 2012 emails focused on profit rather than privacy.

Zuckerberg and senior leaders debated how data-exchange deals with companies like Spotify and Pinterest could generate revenue, believing that Facebook was getting less benefit from the arrangement than its partners.

Zuckerberg loosely proposed the idea of charging apps 10 cents for every user data request, a fee he estimated would cost Spotify and Pinterest about $3 million annually, according to one email.

In another thread, he and Sam Lessin, a director of product management, weighed the consequences.

Facebook had “maximized profit” from games integrating with Facebook by charging them a fee, Zuckerberg said.

But charging had led the best games to abandon Facebook’s services, Lessin said, and he was “not proud” of those that remained. Lessin did not respond to a request to comment.

Ultimately, Zuckerberg in the emails stuck with the goal he had set when launching the developer tools years earlier: Get people to share more items on Facebook.

In its IPO filing, the company said working with other apps was “key” to increasing usage of Facebook and had improved its ability to personalize news feeds.

If Facebook made it easy for more apps to integrate social features, Zuckerberg wrote months later, “we should be able to unlock more sharing in the world and on Facebook.”]]>
12/6/2018 11:13:32 AM
<![CDATA[Oil's sharp price drop fuels questions for stock market]]>
Crude prices rebounded off of one-year lows to start the week, with investors focused on Thursday’s meeting in Vienna of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producing countries including Russia. A monitoring committee of OPEC and its allies agreed on the need to cut oil output in 2019, two sources familiar with the discussions said.

Oil's drop holds economic benefits, including lower costs for some companies and cheaper fuel prices for consumers. But investors were already bracing for a significant drop in U.S. profit growth next year, and the oil price slump is poised to bite into profits for energy producers and related companies that are part of Wall Street's benchmark S&P 500 stock index .SPX.

OPEC and allied producers used output cuts to curb an oil glut that sent prices from late 2014 into a prolonged slump, bringing prices to below $30 a barrel at the start of 2016. But supplies are growing again, and the U.S.-China trade war and other factors have investors worried that slowing economic growth could erase demand and send prices still lower.

“What started the sell-off on oil was a supply issue,” said Alicia Levine, chief market strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management. “In the last couple of weeks, what we are getting is fears of slowing demand. And fears of slowing demand are directly related to fears of global growth slowdown.”

Crude oil prices have fallen 30 percent or more 13 times since 1982, according to Ed Clissold, chief U.S. strategist at Ned Davis Research. Of the prior 12 occurrences, the oil drop overlapped eight times with what Ned Davis Research defines as a cyclical bear market - a 30 percent drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI after 50 calendar days or a 13 percent decline after 145 calendar days.

However, finds Clissold, in only three of those cases did the oil decline overlap with a U.S. economic recession.

Futures contracts for U.S. crude CLc1, known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), topped $75 a barrel in early October. The commodity slid to as low as $49.41 last week, but has clawed back since and is now trading around $53. Brent LCOc1, the global crude benchmark, has notched a similar percentage drop.

“Somewhere in the $50-60 level, it’s probably a good level for the market, because producers are making enough money and it’s also helping the consumer,” said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at SunTrust Advisory Services in Atlanta. “But if you see an abrupt move down, the bigger concern is what is that signaling about the global economy.”

Oil's decline has coincided with increased turbulence in the stock market. The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX late last month confirmed a correction, a decline of more than 10 percent from its all-time high. Still, investor optimism about a less aggressive path of U.S. interest-rate hikes prompted a modest market rebound.

Both oil and equities markets have been focused on international trade, China’s economic health and the global economy, said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors in New York.

“For the near term, the two are very closely correlated,” Katz said.

Since oil’s October peak, the S&P 500 energy sector .SPNY has dropped 16 percent, about twice the drop for the overall S&P 500. Analysts have been lowering earnings estimates for the sector, with S&P 500 energy companies now expected to increase earnings by 21.3 percent in 2019, down from an expectation of 26.2 percent on Oct 1, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Many investor see positives in the oil drop, including a potential stimulus for consumer spending through lower gasoline prices. Lower fuel prices could help check inflation, allowing the Federal Reserve to slow its program of U.S. interest rate hikes.

But David Bianco, Americas chief investment officer for DWS, estimates that every $5 per barrel decline in oil prices shaves $1 to $1.50 per share from S&P 500 earnings. The S&P 500 is expected to earn $162.81 per share this year, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

That earnings impact includes not just energy companies, but also industrial manufacturers that service the energy sector. It also accounts for any earnings boost for companies like airlines and consumer companies that benefit from lower fuel prices.

“The S&P is much more of a commodity producer than a commodity user,” Bianco said. “Higher commodity prices bring higher profits and lower commodity prices bring lower profits...This is one of the most reliable relationships when it comes to corporate profitability of them all.”]]>
12/6/2018 11:10:43 AM
<![CDATA[GM CEO will keep 'open mind' on plant closings, acknowledges anger]]>
Barra came under pressure from Ohio’s two U.S. senators and other lawmakers who want GM to shift production of a vehicle from Mexico or build electric vehicles at the Lordstown Assembly plant in their state that the automaker has said it intends to close.

“I want to make sure that the workforce knows that there are limitations and we do have an overcapacity across the country,” Barra said, urging workers at plants set to close to take seriously offers of GM jobs in other parts of the countries.

In a brief Reuters interview after her meetings Wednesday, she said it would be “very costly” to shift production from Mexico of the Chevrolet Blazer due to be launched in the next few days.

U.S. President Donald Trump told GM last week that the company had “better” find a new vehicle to build at the plant in Ohio, which could be crucial to his re-election chances in 2020.

Asked about Trump’s comments, Barra did not directly answer but said she understood the strong reaction in Washington.

“I understand this is something that impacts the country and I understand that there is a lot of emotion and concern about it,” Barra said.

GM said last week it would close five North American assembly plants next year and cut up to 15,000 jobs as it blames slow selling car sales for the need to restructure.

The CEO said GM planned to add other products at U.S. plants next year and that the automaker would have some jobs to fill at other Ohio facilities in 2019.

She cast the decision as critical to keep GM competitive. In the interview, she said GM wanted to “do the right thing for our employees but also make sure General Motors is strong and lean in the future.”

Senator Rob Portman said Barra made no promises about the future of the Lordstown plant in Ohio, where the soon-to-be-discontinued Chevrolet Cruze sedans are manufactured.

Barra said the plant’s ultimate status will be determined during contract talks next year with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

“We’re not asking for charity.” Portman said, adding the members are asking for a new product for the plant to build.

GM has come under harsh criticism from lawmakers and from President Donald Trump since Nov. 26, when the No. 1 U.S. automaker announced the biggest restructuring since its bankruptcy a decade ago.

Portman said he spoke to fellow Republican Trump on Wednesday about GM.

Barra is in Washington for meetings with lawmakers, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer as well as lawmakers from Ohio and Maryland. She was also expected to meet with lawmakers from Michigan on Thursday, among other meetings. After GM announced its plans, Trump threatened to eliminate subsidies for GM in retaliation.

Administration officials later said they wanted to end subsidies for electric cars in 2020 or 2021, affecting GM and other automakers.

Trump also said new auto tariffs were being studied, asserting, without evidence, that they could prevent job cuts such as those planned by GM.

The UAW has objected to GM’s plan to end production in 2019 at four U.S. plants, saying it violates commitments made during contract talks in 2015. The union has asked GM to rescind the decision and resolve the fate of the plants in talks for a new labor contract next year.]]>
12/6/2018 11:08:26 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. stock futures slip, Asia follows after Canada arrests Huawei CFO]]>
The news came as Washington and Beijing begin three months of negotiations aimed at de-escalating their bruising trade war, which is adding to lingering investor jitters over higher U.S. interest rates and other risks to global economic growth.

S&P500 e-mini futures fell almost 2 percent at one point in thin Asian morning trade and were last were down 1.3 percent.

The losses in the first few minutes of trading might have been even steeper, but CME Group’s Chicago Mercantile Exchange implemented a series of 10-second trading halts that helped limit the initial drop.

Japan’s Nikkei slumped 1.8 percent by the midday break, with semi-conductor related shares leading the losses. Huawei is one of the world’s largest makers of smartphones and telecommunications network equipment.

MSCI’s ex-Japan Asia-Pacific index fell 1.7 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 2.7 percent while Shanghai shares dipped 1.2 percent.

Canadian authorities said they had arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the United States.

The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter said, though officials have so far stayed mum on her allegations.

The arrest heightened the sense of a major collision between the world’s two largest economic powers not just over tariffs but also over technological hegemony.

Britain’s BT Group said it was removing Huawei’s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations. Australia and New Zealand have also rejected Huawei’s products.

“The U.S. has been telling its allies not to use Huawei products for security reasons and is likely to continue to put pressure on its allies,” said Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.

“So while there was a brief moment of optimism after the weekend U.S.-China talks but the reality is, it won’t be that easy,” he said.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinasoft International Ltd shed as much as 13 percent in response to news of the arrest. Huawei is a key client of Chinasoft.

WORRIES ABOUT SLOWER U.S. GROWTH

Markets had initially brightened after U.S. and Chinese leaders agreed a temporary trade truce at a meeting on Saturday. But the mood has quickly soured on scepticism that the two sides can reach a substantive deal on a host of hugely divisive issues within the tight 90-day time frame set out.

The benchmark Treasury 10-year yield fell 1.8 basis points to 2.903 percent, near Tuesday’s three-month low of 2.885 percent. U.S. markets were closed on Wednesday to mark the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

The yield curve remained inverted between two- and five-year zones, with five-year notes yielding 2.780 percent, below 2.797 percent on two-year notes.

“Worries about a U.S. economic slowdown are deepening as housing and other interest rate-sensitive sectors seem to have been hit,” said Shuji Shirota, head of macro economic strategy at HSBC.

“If the upcoming U.S. jobs data on Friday shows some weakness, markets will face a major challenge,” he added.

The inversion is a symptom of a weak economy, said Bryan Whalen, group managing director of TCW in Los Angeles, noting the U.S. economy has not been able to achieve sustainable economic growth of more than two percent in recent years.

“If the U.S. couldn’t break the two percent growth environment, with zero-bound interest rates and a rapidly expanding balance sheet early in the economic cycle, why would you ever think we could do it when interest rates are rising and balance sheet is shrinking and we are basically 9-10 years into an aging economic cycle,” he said.

“It’s hard to envision a scenario where U.S. growth doesn’t dip down, if not kind of going into a recession.”

Oil prices fell slightly in tepid trading ahead of a meeting by producer group OPEC that is expected to result in a supply cut aimed at draining a glut that has pulled down crude prices by 30 percent since October.

A monitoring committee of OPEC and its allies, including Russia, agreed on the need to cut oil output in 2019, two sources familiar with the discussions said.

Still, lack of details could suggest such an agreement could be elusive, some analysts also said.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $52.63 per barrel at 0248 GMT, down 26 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close. Brent crude oil futures were down 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $61.35 per barrel.

In the currency market, the dollar fell 0.4 percent against the yen to 112.78 yen on a risk-averse mood while the Australian dollar shed 0.6 percent to $0.7227.

The yuan eased 0.2 percent to 6.8770 per dollar in offshore trade while the euro traded flat at $1.1345.

Sterling dipped 0.1 percent to $1.2725 as Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal faced fresh criticism from allies and opponents alike.]]>
12/6/2018 11:05:12 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt supports African states: Official in General Authority for Investment]]>
Addressing a workshop on promoting African and international investments, the deputy chairman of the authority added that Egypt under President Abdel Fattah El Sisi is keen on enhancing cooperation with African countries and encouraging joint investments.

She highlighted the role of the private sector in increasing the competitiveness of African economies.

The workshop is organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the COMESA regional investment agency.]]>
12/5/2018 3:07:44 PM
<![CDATA[PM approves setting up free zone in Badr City]]>
The zone will be set up over an area of 429 feddans and will produce all kinds of weaving threads and fibers.

It will also produce cloths and garments along with stationery tools and furniture.]]>
12/5/2018 1:27:46 PM
<![CDATA[Nassar: British investments in Egypt hit $5.5bn]]>
Nassar held a meeting with British Trade Representative Jeffery Donaldson. The meeting took up future economic cooperation between the two countries in light of the Brexit.

Nassar, in press statements, added that bilateral relations are strategic and based on mutual understanding and joint action in all fields.

He noted that British investments in Egypt are in the sectors of oil, gas, fertilizers, agriculture and food industries.

Trade exchange between the two countries reached about 2.5 billion dollars in the past year, he pointed out, adding that it achieved an increase of seven percent compared to 2016.

Egyptian exports to Britain include oils, fertilizers, clothes, chemicals, iron and steel and furniture, he said.

Imports from Britain include medical drugs, industrial and mechanical engineering equipment and machines, he added.

Donaldson said that stability that the Egyptian economy enjoys sends positive messages to the British business community for starting more joint investment projects in Egypt.

He further underlined the importance of activating the role of the Egyptian-British Business Council and the British Chamber of Commerce for pushing up bilateral trade and investment relations to unprecedented levels. ]]>
12/5/2018 12:29:25 PM
<![CDATA[Bank of England says will delay work on cyber stress tests for banks]]>
The BoE’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC), which monitors the health of Britain’s financial system, said it had planned to discuss the details of the test, such as how quickly banks should recover from a hacking.

“(The FPC) agreed to delay until the first half of 2019 the setting of impact tolerances, given the focus on preparations for Brexit,” Wednesday’s record said.

The test pilot was due to launch at some point in 2019 but Wednesday’s minutes mean it will almost certainly take place after Brexit, due on March 29.

The FPC, whose role it is to spot and tackle risks in the financial system, also responded to a government consideration of its remit.

Some lawmakers have said the committee should in future play a role in keeping London competitive as a global financial center, particularly if Britain fails to obtain good access to the EU’s financial market after Brexit.

The FPC on Wednesday made no firm commitment.

In a submission to Britain’s finance minister Philip Hammond, the FPC said it will, “where practicable”, consider how its policy actions, or decisions not to act, might affect the international competitiveness of the UK financial system.

Senior BoE officials have already said publicly they don’t want a competitiveness remit.]]>
12/5/2018 12:23:30 PM
<![CDATA[COMESA organizes workshop for investment promotion agencies ahead of Africa 2018]]>
The forum which will run for two days will be held under the auspices of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and attended by 3,000 African and international figures.

In a speech at the workshop that was attended by CEOs and members of promotion agencies from 27 African and non-African countries, RIA's CEO Heba Salama said that the agency set a strategy this year that extends until 2020 depending on the best international practices in the field of encouraging and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

RIA is always searching for the best means to create opportunities to benefit from the plentiful available resources in the African continent, she said.

RIA was launched in 2006 in line with COMESA's ultimate objective to create a fully integrated, internationally competitive and unified regional economic community in which goods, services, capital and persons move freely, for the sustainable economic development of the region. The principal route that was chosen in order to realize this goal is development integration through increased trade and investment.]]>
12/5/2018 11:53:02 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to achieve GDP of 5.3% in 2017/18]]>
The minister added that Egypt targets a growth rate of 5.8 percent during the current fiscal year 2018/2019.

This cameduring the minister’s speechat Beltone Access event seriesto shed light on recent macro developments within Egypt’s economic reform program.

Ma'itadded that Egypt needs to continue achieving higher economic growth rates of 7-8 percent given the growing population, which requires increased investment spending.

“Fiscal consolidation efforts have been intact, resulting in a primary budget surplus of 2 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2017/2018 for the first time in 18 years,” he stated.

Overall fiscal deficit was also reduced from a peak of 16.7 percent of GDP in FY13/14 to 9.8 percent of GDP in FY17/18, with an expectation to reach 8.4 percent this fiscal year, Ma’it noted.

During the first quarter of 2018/2019, the minister said that the overall budget deficit fell to 1.9 percent of GDP, compared to an average of 2.3 percent for the same quarter over the past three years, adding that this provided enough funds for increasing spending on social measures, including food subsidies and cash transfers, as well as government investment spending to support growth targets.

The minister of finance also pointed out the debt management strategy to reduce debt-to-GDP ratio as well as debt service cost, whereby total government debt was reduced from 108 percent of GDP in FY16/17 to 98 percent in FY18/19.

Egypt's revenues hike 35% in Q1, targets budget deficit lower than 5% in 2021

CAIRO - 2 December 2018: Egypt's revenues increased 35 percent during the first quarter of 2018/2019, according to Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it. The minister said that his country targets a budget deficit less than 5 percent in 2021. Ma'it added that Egypt achieved its target during the first quarter of 2018/2019.




Tax treatment on bills and bonds

“The minister of finance referred to the latest amendments to the tax treatment on the returns of bills and bonds, which were adapted to comply with the best international practices applied in most countries and to deal with some imbalances in the previous application; without imposing any new tax burden in relation to the tax rate or tax policy on investors in government securities,” a statement of Beltone revealed.

The current tax rate on the proceeds of government securities is set at 20 percent, while the tax on commercial and industrial profits is set at 22.5 percent, according to the statement.

“The move ensures tax equality with regards to financial institutions investment in government securities and also the fair collection of taxes due on profits earned from the rest of their activities,” the minister added.

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

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




]]>
12/4/2018 10:30:58 PM
<![CDATA[Timing of gov’t offering depends on stock’s price: Minister]]>
As per pricing mechanism, it is determined based on the average stock price for the month preceding the agreement with the investment bank (+/- 10 percent).

This came during Tawfik’s participation with Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it at Beltone Access event seriesto shed light on recent macro developments within Egypt’s economic reform program and elaborate on recent policies.

Tawfik also confirmed that there will be a fair representation for the private sector in the management of the companies enrolled in the program, according to its new shareholder structure, noting that the program is a part of a wider plan to restructure SOEs and improve their profitability.

The first phase of the government’s IPO program includes additional stake sales of five State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The first phase will start with offering 4.5 percent of Eastern Company.

He added that the second phase of the IPO program is expected to be announced before the end of the year.

The IPO program targets to offer 15-30 percent of stakes of some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX) to increase the 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.

Theministry’s plan to reverse Loss-Making Companies

The ministerof public affairs referred to theministry’s ambitious plan to reverse loss-making companies to profit-making.

He stated that the ministry’s portfolio includes 73 companies registering profits of LE 15 billion, and 48 companies with losses of LE 7.45billion during fiscal year2016/2017.

“The plan also includes lifting productivity of profit-making companies to realize their full potential, namely those in insurance and maritime transport,” he said, adding that these sectors were chosen to increase the country’s competitiveness and help attract investments.

During his speech, Tawfikalso highlighted the plan to utilize the SOEs’ unutilized assets, whose debt settlement plan will continue to be financed.

The debt reached LE 35 billion, LE 23 billionof which are settled with the oil and electricity sectors and the National Investment Bank, according to the minister
Tawfik added that the plan also includes upgrading and improving the operational performance and productivity of these companies. “These assets, mostly lands, will be part of the sovereign wealth fund as well.”

]]>
12/4/2018 6:45:06 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s foreign reserves hit $44.513B by end of November]]>
Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it said previously that foreign reserves hit $44.5 billion, which covers the imports for 9 months, which is an unprecedented period, accordingto the minister.

The state’s foreign reserves started to rebound after 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.

On Oct. 31, IMF and Egypt reached a staff-level agreement to offer Egypt the fifth installment of IMF’s $12 billion extended fund facility arrangement, amounting to $2 billion.

By receiving the fifth installment, the total disbursements under the program will reach about $10 billion.

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).

]]>
12/4/2018 6:26:20 PM
<![CDATA[Uber follows Careem, launches Uber Bus in Egypt]]>
Uber also announced it willbring Uber Lite, a new version of the rider app built to work in low connectivity, and with older Android devices, across the Middle East region early next year.

Uber said that it has been testing Uber Bus since September 2018 to ensure the safety and seamlessness of the product prior to its launch.

According to the announcement, the initial rollout will start by covering the areas of Nasr City, Heliopolis, Greater Downtown, and Mohandeseen, and will expand across Cairo in upcoming months.

Regarding Careem Bus, Careem announced on Monday launching Careem Bus through four pilot lines covering a number of Cairo’s main neighborhoods. It is looking to invest $100 million in this service in the coming period.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr attended the launch of Uber Bus on Tuesday, Dec. 4.

According to Uber, this step comes within the framework of the company’s plan to pump investments in Egypt by $100 million within 5 years.

“Uber Bus, a product built for Cairo, incorporates Uber technology into the city’s already popular minibus system to provide safe, seamless, and efficient trips. Cairo is the first city globally to be rolling out Uber Bus,whichis an important step as Uber broadens its platform to be more accessible so that truly anyone, anywhere can get a ride,” Uber stated.

In the same context, the company said: “Uber Lite, the new, space-saving app works in low connectivity areas and on 99 percentof Android devices. UberLite’s new interface was designed to make booking rides quicker and lighter in spotty connectivity, on basic Android phones, and for people with limited data plans. The product is already being testedin parts of the region with plans to roll out early next year.”

“Whena global company like Uberchooses Egypt to launch Uber Bus, it is a testament to the success of the investment climate after the latest regulatory reforms. Uber’s new investments will benefit from the new investment law and the ride-sharing regulations, as well as the roads and bridges infrastructure the country has put in place, based on the directives of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi,”the minister commented.

The minister also said that “Uber’s investments highlight the attractiveness of Egypt’s investment climate. Having opened its Centre of Excellence in Cairo in 2017 with an investment of around US$ 20 million, Uber has now, in 2018, chosen Cairo once again, this time for the launch of Uber Bus.”

“I'm excited to be in Cairo to launch Uber Bus, a product that will improve affordable transportation for millions of Egyptians by using Uber’s technology to enhance the popular minibus system. We are committed to broadening access to the Uber platform with a range of low-cost options that will move more people around town and help cities tackle issues such as congestion. Egypt and the Middle East region are hugely important to Uber and we will continue to heavily invest in this part of the world,” Uber CEO said.

UberBus is the latest addition to the Uber app in Egypt, joining the UberX, Select and Scooter services.

]]>
12/4/2018 5:58:11 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual industrial index reaches LE 414.7B in 2016]]>
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) clarified in the bulletin "The Annual Industrial Production of Private Sector Establishments for 2016” that the value of food industry production hiked 8.5 percent, amounting to LE 92.6 billion, compared to LE 85.3 billion in 2015.

Meanwhile, the value of production of the chemicals industry hit LE 42.9 billion, compared to LE 35.1 billion, with an increase of 22.1 percent, CAPMAS stated.

The report added that the value of production of manufacturing other non-metallic mineral products (such as glass, ceramics and cement) rose 21.4 percent, reaching LE 47.4 billion in 2016, compared to LE 39.1 billion in 2015.

The production index of food industries contributed to the industrial index by 15.5 percent, followed by steel, iron and metal industries by 8.1 percent, and pharmaceutical and chemical industry by 4 percent, according to CAPMAS.

During the first quarter of 2018, the value of Egypt’s industrial production, excluding crude oil and petroleum products, increased 32 percent, recording LE 168.5 billion during the first quarter of 2018, compared to LE 127.7 billion during the same quarter of 2017.
]]>
12/4/2018 4:04:11 PM
<![CDATA[EGX loses LE 13.48 of market cap. amid Egyptian, Arab selling]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 2.39 percent, or 309.7 points, to close at 12,624.74 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 2.35 percent, or 50.14 points, to reach 2,083.07 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 1.04 percent, or 6.96 points, reaching 665.39 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 1.28 percent, or 21.54 points, to close at 1,660.12 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 13.48 billion, recording LE 721.9 billion, compared to LE 735.38 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 151.58 million shares, traded through 23,319 transactions, with a turnover of LE 628.2 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 49.41 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 28.75 and LE 20.66 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 12.93 million, LE 3.28 million and LE 52,868, respectively.

Foreign organizations bought at LE 49.36 million, while Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 41.68 million, and LE 49.36 million, respectively.

Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation, Egyptian Starch & Glucose, and Alexandria National Company for Financial Investment were top gainers of the session by 9.89 percent, 8.56 percent and 7.29 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Saudi Egyptian Investment & Finance, Al Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals were top losers of the session by 9.57 percent, 9.27 percent, and 8.82 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s in red, as EGX 30 declined 1.64 percent, EGX50 decreased 1.61 percent, EGX70 inched down 0.43 percent, and EGX100 went down 0.59 percent.
]]>
12/4/2018 4:02:57 PM
<![CDATA[Sales of automotive market rise 53.8% in October]]>
AMIC said that sales of locally assembled cars jumped 18.5 percent during the first 10 months of 2018, compared to the same months of 2017.

It added that sales of exported cars rose 62.3 percent during the 10 months of 2018 on a year-on-year basis.

In September, sales of automotive market hiked 52.1 percent on YoY basis, selling 18,804 units, compared to 12,361 units in September 2017.

Sales of locally assembled cars marked an increase of 25.8 percent during the first seven months of 2018, reaching 48,219 vehicles, compared to 38,335 vehicles the same months 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.

Sales of automotive market rise 52% in September

CAIRO - 7 November 2018: Sales of automotive market hiked 52.1 percent during September 2018, recording 18,804 units, compared to 12,361 units in the same month of 2017. The Automotive Market Information Council (AMIC) said that sales of cars rose 52 percent, selling 14,608 cars, compared to 9,615 cars in September 2017.



]]>
12/4/2018 4:00:11 PM
<![CDATA[IFAD contributes $455.6M to finance 13 projects in Egypt]]>
The minister clarified in a statement that the total cost of these programs and projects hit $829.1 million.

She noted that about 7.1 million of the rural population benefit from these projects and programs.

During a meeting between Vice President of IFAD for Program Management Donal Brown and Nasr, Brown announced choosing Egypt to be the agency's regional center for about eight countries in the region.

He noted that the focus of the center will be on maximizing technical benefits and integration between the countries in fields of rural development, supporting rural women, raising job opportunities for rural youths, achieving food security and lowering poverty rates.

Brown added that IFAD allocated $1 billion for the center as a start for the cooperation exchange portfolios between the countries in all fields headed by South-South cooperation.

He also praised Egypt's investment climate and investment opportunities in agriculture, expressing his pride of contributing to provide job opportunities in rural areas and offer technical support for current activities.]]>
12/4/2018 3:53:55 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD provides $50M trade facility to Arab International African Bank]]>
“AAIB is the fifth-largest bank in Egypt. The bank has market shares of 4.2 percent, 4.6 percent and 4.4 percent in terms of total assets, loans and deposits, respectively,” EBRD noted in a statement.

EBRD clarified that this step comes as part of the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Program (TFP).

As per the trade facility, the EBRD will issue guarantees in favor of international commercial banks covering the political and commercial payment risk of the transactions undertaken by AAIB, and will provide financing for export and import transactions, according to the statement.

“The EBRD will also provide technical assistance to support the training of AAIB staff working in trade finance,” the statement read.

Trade Facilitation Program (TFP) was launched in 1999, aiming to promote foreign trade to, from and among the economies where the EBRD invests.

EBRD noted that through TFP it provides guarantees to international confirming banks and short-term loans to selected banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.

“The TFP currently includes over 100 partner banks in 29 economies where the bank invests, with limits exceeding €1.5 billion in total, and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide,” EBRD stated.

EBRD has invested over €4.5 billion in 87 projects in Egypt so far, in addition to providing technical assistance to more than 750 small and medium-sized local enterprises, as Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been a country of operations since 2012.
]]>
12/4/2018 3:44:09 PM
<![CDATA[Inertia Egypt reveals latest updates on Joulz]]>
INERTIA TEAM - TAREK SALEM - HUSSEIN SHEIR - NIHAD SOUSSA - KARIM RADWAN - YASSER DARWISH
INERTIA TEAM - TAREK SALEM - HUSSEIN SHEIR - NIHAD SOUSSA - KARIM RADWAN - YASSER DARWISH

Strategically located in the heart of west Cairo, Joulz is only 2 km away from the ring road, 7 km away from the 26th of July corridor and just 20-30 minutes away from downtown Cairo.

Joulz consists of 1,150 residential units containing an array of apartments, town houses, twin houses and stand-alone villas. Residential units are built on 25 percent of the total land area, allowing for vast lush, green vegetation throughout the neighborhood that create unique views and healthy, green environments.

Media Gathering held in Crimson Zamalek
Media gathering held in Crimson Zamalek

The name “Joulz” is appropriated from “Joules”, the unit used to measure photons, the fundamental particle of light, without which life would not be sustainable. On that premise, Joulz architecture harnesses this light to transport its community from the smog of the city to radiance, doing so by integrating natural elements inside each home to create a cleaner and healthier lifestyle.

Part of the attendees - CC Mustafa Marie
Part of the attendees - CC Mustafa Marie

Inertia’s architects designed each unit with large windows, spacious patios and bright sun wells that guarantee plenty of sunlight. Homes contain study rooms and corridors lit up by natural sunlight and villas have internal courtyards to ensure natural light penetrates every home.

Joulz Presentation Video CC Mustafa Marie
Joulz presentation video - CC Mustafa Marie

“When we developed Joulz, we thought deeply about what makes the perfect neighborhood and developed the project accordingly. This entailed having the majority of the land used for open green spaces, facilities that encourage healthy lifestyles and outdoor activities, restaurants and cafes, medical clinics, hyper markets, banks, 24 hour security surveillance and easy accessibility to wider Cairo. All this can be found within Joulz neighborhood which promises a friendly, warm and intimate experience,” declared Yasser Darwish, projects director in Inertia.

Yasser Darwish clarifying latest Joulz updatess
Yasser Dariwsh clarifying Joulz latest updates - CC Mustafa Marie

Joulz has eight themed parks that make up to 45,000 squared meters of the development. Every park and green area will be themed differently to suit and entertain the residents.


Joulz has curving jogging trails and bicycle lanes located throughout the neighborhood that aim to better the resident’s experience, and help them practice healthier daily habits that are hard to sustain in the city. For families with children, each area inside the compound has a nearby children’s playground to ensure children are close to their home.

About Inertia Egypt:

Inertia is a leading Egyptian real estate company that develops distinctive, valuable and dynamic projects located in different parts of Egypt. Since its inception in 2007, Inertia has been thriving and is renowned for projects that cater to today’s cosmopolitan clientele, whether in the energetic Cairo, by the mesmerizing Mediterranean Sea or on the enchanting Red Sea. The company provides more than just properties, it aims to establish a closely-knit and active community. For further details please visit www.inertiaegypt.com


Inertia bycicle promoting a healthier lifestyle - cc MM
Inertia bicycle promoting a healthier lifestyle - CC Mustafa Marie




]]>
12/4/2018 1:51:37 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling jumps after EU court adviser says Britain can end Brexit unilaterally]]>
The advocate general's advice is non-binding but the prospect of a route out of the Brexit process cheered the market, even as Prime Minister Theresa May pressed ahead with plans for a parliamentary debate on her proposed divorce deal with the EU.

The pound spiked to a day's high of $1.2803 and traded up 0.6 percent on the day versus a broadly weaker dollar. Against the euro it rose 0.4 percent to a day's high of 88.9 pence.

May's attempts to win over critics in her Conservative party and opposition groups in order to get her deal approved next week are seen by investors as increasingly fraught.

"The parliamentary debate should reiterate the divisions between and within the political parties, pointing to a low likelihood of the Brexit deal being voted through in Parliament next week," said Petr Krpata, an currency strategist at ING.

He said sterling would remain under pressure with the currency converging on 90 pence against the euro.

Opposition Labour finance spokesman John McDonnell said last week a second Brexit referendum "might be an option we seize upon".

The comments raised expectations the Labour party could back putting Brexit to a second vote though it is unclear what impact the prospect of a second referendum would have on sterling.

"We doubt this option will impact the pound. A lot of dire developments would probably have to take place first before a second referendum happens," said analysts at MUFG.

Recent positioning data suggests hedge funds have started to unwind large short positions on sterling as hopes grow that Britain may manage to negotiate an orderly Brexit.

But growing domestic opposition to May's Brexit arrangement has continued to pressure sterling, pulling it down 3 percent from a Nov. 7 high of $1.3176.

"The outcome being priced into GBP right now is the idea of a successful second vote in parliament on the negotiated deal and an orderly exit on March 29," said Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon.]]>
12/4/2018 11:47:39 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to issue int’l bonds during Q1 of 2019: Min.]]>
Ma’it clarified that the issuance might be in dollar, euro or any other currency, if possible.

He added in the fifth CEOs Thoughts conference that the ministry holds promotional tours for bonds in East Asia, within the framework of the efforts to have diverse markets, currency and timing.

The minister also referred to the ministry’s earlier euro and dollar-dominated bond issuance in April and February of 2017, respectively, adding that the ministry can issue bonds in more than one currency.

As per IMF’s loan, the total disbursements under the program will reach about $10 billion by receiving the fifth installment.

The minister noted that IMF’s Executive Board will review Egypt’s economic reform program and offer Egypt the fifth settlement of the IMF’s $12 billion extended fund facility arrangement, amounting to $2 billion.

He added that the economic reform program is on track and is praised by international organizations, international investment world, and credit rating agencies.

Ma’it announced earlier that Egypt didn’t ask for an additional fund from the IMF.

The final disbursement, amounting to $2 billion, is expected to be offered to Egypt in June or July 2019, after spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF which will be held in April.

Furthermore, Ma’it said that about LE 1.2 billion have been transferred from the treasury to the Export Development fund.

The minister affirmed the readiness of the IPO of governmental companies on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) in case they meet the prime minister’s requirements.

Egypt delayed listing some shares of state-owned companies on the Egyptian Exchange, as it should have listed about 4.5 percent of Eastern Company in October.

The government attributed the delay to the global market volatility, noting that if the shares were floated, it would have failed to be covered at proper valuation.

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 is conducted under the supervision of the Ministry of Investment.

It targets to offer 15-30 percent of stakes of some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX) to increase the 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.
]]>
12/3/2018 4:17:30 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi-Algerian business forum starts]]>
Bin Salman arrived in Algeria last night on an official visit for talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and a number of Algerian ministers and senior officials.

The visit comes within the framework of the strong fraternal ties binding Algeria and Saudi Arabia, according to a statement of the Algerian presidency.

The visit aims at probing many regional and international political and economic issues of mutual interest and furthering bilateral relations and opening new horizons to businessmen to increase trade exchange and expand economic partnerships, the statement said.]]>
12/3/2018 3:37:30 PM
<![CDATA[Shaker, AFD director in Cairo review bilateral cooperation]]>
In a statement on Monday, Shaker hailed the distinguished ties between the ministry and AFD.

Shaker reviewed the electricity sector's expansion of renewable energy projects and encouragement of private sector to invest in this domain.

He shed light on the power linkage project linking Egypt, Jordan, Libya and Sudan as well as the power linkage project involving Egypt, Cyprus and Greece.

Shaker underlined that the meeting with Grazi fell within the framework of Egypt's keenness on enhancing cooperation and exchanging expertise.

Grazi stressed the depth of AFD-Egypt ties, commending the development realized by the electricity sector over the past four years.

He accentuated the agency's preparedness to offer all needed support for Egypt to expand renewable energy projects.]]>
12/3/2018 3:36:00 PM
<![CDATA[FRA issues regulations, measures for short-term bonds issuance]]>
In a statement on Monday, he said the board decided the companies and authorities to be in charge of issuing the short-term bonds.

The board also set the key rules for any company or authority seeking to issue short-term bonds.]]>
12/3/2018 3:33:59 PM
<![CDATA[Arab selling pushes EGX to red zone for 2nd session in row]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 1.64 percent, or 215.64 points, to close at 12,934.44 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 1.61 percent, or 34.97 points, to reach 2,133.21 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.43 percent, or 2.88 points, reaching 672.35 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 0.59 percent, or 10.04 points, to close at 1,681.66 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 9.16 billion, recording LE 735.38 billion, compared to LE 744.54 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 183.97 million shares, traded through 23,418 transactions, with a turnover of LE 997.11 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 169.73 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 74.97 and LE 94.76 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 91.78 million, and LE 546,012, respectively, while Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 178,139.

Foreign organizations bought at LE 94.22 million, while Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 16.81 million, and LE 169.55 million, respectively.

Misr National Steel - Ataqa, Telecom Egypt, and Maridive & oil service were top gainers of the session by 5.18 percent, 2.59 percent and 2.22 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Saudi Egyptian Investment & Finance, Global Telecom Holding, and Upper Egypt Flour Mills were top losers of the session by 9.26 percent, 7.76 percent, and 7.31 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s in red, as EGX 30 declined 1.27 percent, EGX50 decreased 0.78 percent, EGX70 inched down 0.93 percent, and EGX100 went down 0.88 percent.
]]>
12/3/2018 3:22:34 PM
<![CDATA[WB delegation in Egypt to asses sewage services program]]>
The first phase of the program is being funded by a WB loan worth 550 million dollars, Menshawi said.

The second phase will be funded through a 300-million-dollar loan, she added.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will allocate another 300 million dollars for the program.

The first phase of the program includes sewage services in 150 villages in the governorates of Daqahliya, Sharqiya and Behaira. ]]>
12/3/2018 1:32:59 PM
<![CDATA[New capital company, Petroleum Ministry seal deal to build cooling plant]]>
This comes as part of government efforts to achieve sustainable development goals in new cities and to rationalize the use of energy, Abdeen said.

The plant should be the biggest project in the Middle East and would help achieve a quantum leap where the economy is concerned, he added.]]>
12/3/2018 12:31:45 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.7B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a 10-year term and the second worth LE 500 million with a five-year term.

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

The Central Bank of Egypt’s Monetary Policy Committee kept interest rates unchanged for the 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. ]]>
12/3/2018 12:26:16 PM
<![CDATA[WB promises $200B in 2021/25 climate cash]]>
The World Bank said the move, coinciding with a UN climate summit meeting of some 200 nations in Poland, represented a "significantly ramped up ambition" to tackle climate change, "sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same".

Developed countries are committed to lifting combined annual public and private spending to $100 billion in developing countries by 2020 to fight the impact of climate change -- up from 48.5 billion in 2016 and 56.7 billion last year, according to latest OECD data.

Southern hemisphere countries fighting the impact of warming temperatures are nonetheless pushing northern counterparts for firmer commitments.

In a statement, the World Bank said the breakdown of the $200 billion would comprise "approximately $100 billion in direct finance from the World Bank".]]>
12/3/2018 12:12:55 PM
<![CDATA[Said: bloating population lowers GDP per capita]]>
In a press release on Monday, she expounded that the wider the gap between population growth and resources, the lower the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.

She added that each ministry plays a key role to render successful the population growth control strategy which was launched by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to improve the people's standards of living.

She added that the booming population poses a threat to national security and social stability.]]>
12/3/2018 12:09:25 PM
<![CDATA[GAFI approves work regulations at investment zones]]>
The rules are meant to regulate work at investment zones, including the formation of boards and work of executive offices in line with the investment law.

Nasr, in a statement Monday, said GAFI is working to upgrade free zones and establish new ones with the aim to promote competitiveness with free zones in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The meeting also took up final arrangements for an Africa 2018 forum, which will be held under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on December 8-9 in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh, Nasr said.

The board also discussed the activation of a digital transformation system at GAFI, she added.]]>
12/3/2018 12:07:48 PM
<![CDATA[Molla, Spanish amb. review cooperation in petroleum, gas score]]>
In a statement on Monday, he said the state is interested in encouraging international companies to boost its investments in Egypt.

The Spanish diplomat asserted that Spanish companies are keen on participating in the tenders of the Egyptian petroleum sector, hailing the political ties binding the two states.]]>
12/3/2018 12:06:24 PM
<![CDATA[Euro, yuan lead surge after U.S.-China trade war truce]]>
A man is seen in front of a sheet of five Euro notes at the opening of the new Central Bank of Ireland offices in Dublin, Ireland April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Emerging market currencies also surged higher, with China’s offshore yuan gaining more than one percent.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping have agreed a 90-day cease-fire in their trade dispute during which they will try to bridge their differences.

“Even though it’s a 90-days truce and both U.S. and China still need to sort out multiple issues in this period, from markets’ perspective getting past the event risk with a positive outcome and de-escalation of tensions is clearly positive for risk sentiment,” said Mayank Mishra, global macro strategist at Standard Chartered.

Currencies hit hard during the trade dispute amid fears of the potential damage to the global economy recovered sharply. The Australian dollar rocketed 1 percent to $0.7386 AUD=.

China is the biggest buyer of Australian exports and the worry has been that any hit to Chinese demand would hurt international trade.

The Canadian dollar rose 0.9 percent to C$1.3162 CAD=, while the Norwegian crown added 1 percent NOK= helped by the improved market sentiment and soaring oil prices.

The euro also capitalized on the dollar weakness, adding more than half a percent to $1.1379 EUR=. That takes the euro further away from its 2018 low hit last month of $1.1216.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major peers, fell 0.6 percent to a day’s low of 96.719 .DXY.

Trade tensions have been one of the biggest drivers of dollar strength in 2018.

“The reduction in global trade tensions has delivered a second successive blow for the U.S. dollar. It follows hot on the heels of the recent dovish shift in Fed communication,” MUFG analysts said, referring to recent comments from Federal Reserve officials that suggested the current interest rate hiking cycle may end sooner than expected.

The offshore yuan CNH=EBS gained more than one percent to 6.8790, although analysts said that with China's economy on less steady ground than a year ago relief for the yuan may be temporary.

Other emerging market currencies jumped. The South African rand ZAR= added 2 percent, while the Mexican peso MXN= was 1.8 percent higher. The Russian rouble RUB= added 1.1 percent.

Some analysts said many issues still have to be resolved for risk sentiment to remain supported in the medium term, with both China and the United States still on different pages when it came to trade.

Investors will also be focusing on U.S. monetary policy this week. The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points later in December but question marks remain about how many more hikes are due in the current cycle.

The Japanese yen JPY= slipped slightly to 113.48.
]]>
12/3/2018 11:48:57 AM
<![CDATA[G20 sealed landmark deal on WTO reform by ducking 'taboo words']]>
To do so, they had to bow to U.S. and Chinese demands to drop some of the pledges that have become hallmarks of the Group of 20 industrialized nations, which represents two-thirds of the global population.

But they left with a communique committing for the first time to reform the dysfunctional World Trade Organization (WTO), the body supposed to regulate global trade disputes.

“A number of words that we used to have always in G7 and G20 summit communiques became kind of taboos,” a European official said on Saturday in the midst of the negotiations. “We have American taboos and Chinese taboos.”

First among those taboos is “protectionism”. The U.S. administration has become sensitive to criticisms after President Donald Trump has imposed tariffs not only on $250 billion of Chinese goods but also on steel and aluminum imports that hit several of his G20 partners.

As a result, for the first time since G20 leaders held their inaugural meeting in Washington in 2008, their communique did not contained a pledge to fight protectionism.

China, meanwhile, steadfastly opposed the inclusion of the usual calls for “fair trade practices,” delegates said. Beijing rejects criticisms from the United States, Europe and Japan for dumping, industrial subsidies, abuse of intellectual property rights and technology transfers, amongst other practices.

Even the word “multilateralism” itself has fallen out of favor in a group designed to foster international cooperation.

Central to getting the United States to sign up to a phrase recognizing the importance of “multilateral trading system” was acknowledging that the system was falling short of its objectives, delegates said.

The United States is unhappy with what it says is the WTO’s failure to hold Beijing to account for not opening up its economy as envisioned when China joined the body in 2001.

To force reform at the WTO, Trump’s team has blocked new appointments to the world’s top trade court, which is rapidly running out of judges, meaning it will be unable to issue binding rulings in trade disputes. He has even threatened to withdraw the United States from the global body.

“There was an attempt from a lot of the other countries ... to get the United States to commit to certain language with regard to the multilateral system,” said one senior U.S. official.

“We commit to multilateralism where it works ... Is it achieving its intended objectives? In a lot of areas it’s falling short,” said the U.S. official, who asked not to be identified because of the confidential nature of the talks.

The final statement said the group supports the “necessary reform of the WTO to improve its functioning”, allowing U.S. officials to claim a victory.

While there were no details of the proposed reform, many delegates hailed a breakthrough in committing Washington to global solutions.

“For the first time China and the United States agreed to engage on the WTO,” said one delegate closely involved in drafting the communique. “Given Trump’s earlier threats, to end up with the G20 saying it would work together on WTO reform is interesting.”

CHINA WAS KEY

European Union officials said that a key step in clinching a deal was getting China and major emerging economies to commit to language on trade early this week.

“The idea was to bring the Chinese into the discussion almost immediately,” said a second European official. “After APEC, we knew it would be important for the Chinese to feel there was no ganging up on them.”

At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in mid-November, leaders failed to agree on a joint communique for the first time in the group’s 30-year history.

After APEC, Washington and Beijing traded accusations of blame but, with global markets increasingly roiled by trade tensions, both sides appeared more ready for compromise in Buenos Aires.

After the G20 talks ended, Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed over dinner on Saturday to a ceasefire in their trade conflict, calling off higher U.S. tariffs that were to go into effect on Jan. 1.

“The spirit wasn’t adversarial,” said the delegate closely involved in the G20 drafting, adding that perhaps because of the fallout after APEC, officials at least tried to work things out.

Delegates worked until 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, the final day of the summit, watering down language on migration and refugees in the face of resistance from the United States and others, European and Argentine officials said.

And they still had not tackled one of the thorniest issues: climate change.

“That was what they discussed (Saturday) morning till noon,” an Argentine government spokeswoman said, just hours before the communique was made public.

In the end, members agreed to disagree. The United States reaffirmed its commitment to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord - as it had at the previous G20 summit in Germany last year - while other members said they would fully implement it.

Veteran negotiators were phlegmatic about the difficulties in agreeing on a text.

“There is always at least one overnighter in sessions like these,” said the delegate closely involved in the drafting, adding “sometimes it was tough to find the right word to stick to the middle ground.”]]>
12/3/2018 11:46:36 AM
<![CDATA[Oil surges 5% on trade truce and expected supply cuts]]>
U.S. light crude oil CLc1 rose $2.92 a barrel to a high of $53.85, up 5.7 percent, before easing slightly to around $53.50 by 0830 GMT. Brent crude LCOc1 rose 5.3 percent or $3.14 to a high of $62.60 and was last trading around $63.15.

China and the United States agreed during a weekend meeting in Argentina of the Group of 20 leading economies not to impose additional trade tariffs for at least 90 days while they hold talks to resolve existing disputes.

The trade war between the world’s two biggest economies has weighed heavily on global trade, sparking concerns of an economic slowdown.

Crude oil has not been included in the list of hundreds of products that each side has slapped with import tariffs, but traders said the positive sentiment of the truce was also driving crude markets.

“The agreement to keep talking for 90 days during which tariffs are paused is an upside surprise,” U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said in a note to clients on Monday. It added, though, that trade negotiations would be “bumpy”.

Overall, Morgan Stanley said it saw a “slight upside in our 2019 growth outlook” because of the renewed talks.

Oil also received support from an announcement by the Canadian province of Alberta that it would force producers to cut output by 8.7 percent, or 325,000 barrels per day (bpd), to deal with a pipeline bottleneck that has led to crude building up in storage. Most of Alberta’s oil is exported to the United States.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Dec. 6 to decide output policy. The group, along with non-OPEC member Russia, is expected to announce cuts aimed at reining in a production surplus that has pulled down crude prices by around a third since October.

“Markets are expecting to see a substantial production cut after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country’s cooperation on oil supplies with Saudi Arabia would continue,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at futures brokerage FXTM.

Within OPEC, Qatar said on Monday it would leave the producer club in January.

Qatar’s oil production is only around 600,000 bpd, but it is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Gulf state has also been at loggerheads with its much bigger neighbor Saudi Arabia, the de facto OPEC leader.

Outside OPEC, Russian oil output stood at 11.37 million bpd in November, down from a post-Soviet record of 11.41 million bpd it reached in October, Energy Ministry data showed on Sunday.

Meanwhile, oil producers in the United States continue to churn out record amounts of oil, with crude output at an unprecedented level of more than 11.5 million bpd.

With drilling activity still high, most analysts expect U.S. oil production to rise further in 2019.]]>
12/3/2018 11:37:31 AM
<![CDATA[Asian shares, oil soar on Sino-U.S. trade truce]]>
Trade-exposed currencies led the early gains, with the Australian dollar notching a four-month peak, while the dollar dropped to one-month lows against the yuan CNH=.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 climbed as much as 1.9 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS jumped 1.8 percent.

China's CSI300 index of Shanghai and Shenzhen shares .CSI300 rose 2.6 percent. In Japan, the Nikkei .N225 gained 1.3 percent to a six-week high.

European shares are expected to follow suit, with futures for Britain's FTSE .FTSE, France's CAC .FCHI, Germany's DAX .GDAXI rising by 1.6 to 2.1 percent.

“Markets are opening with a knee-jerk boost to risk appetite but time will tell how enduring the optimism proves to be,” said ANZ economist Jo Masters. “There are already very different official takes on what was achieved at the meeting.”

“But for now, both sides can claim a win,” she added. “Perhaps not insignificantly, it provides a window to export the soybean crop from key Republican states, at least.”

China and the United States agreed to halt additional tariffs in a deal that keeps their trade war from escalating as the two sides try again to bridge their differences with fresh talks aimed at reaching a deal within 90 days.

The White House said on Saturday that President Donald Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping during high-stakes talks in Argentina that he would not boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent on Jan. 1 as previously announced.

“Deeply contentious thornier structural issues such as forced technology transfer remain unresolved,” cautioned Westpac FX analyst Robert Rennie.

“This U.S.-China agreement is thus better characterized as a ‘mini-breakthrough’ that puts a momentary pause on trade tensions rather than a comprehensive policy deal.”

Indeed, many market players doubt the two countries can bridge their differences that cover a range of issues within three months.

“Technology is becoming the main battle ground. It’s not just a trade war any more. It’s more like a technology war, in which we just found a temporary lull,” said Hiroshi Watanabe, economist at Sony Financial.

And on the whole, there is still uncertainty over the outlook for corporate earnings amid signs of slowing growth.

For now though, investors chose to see the glass as half full and lifted the Aussie dollar 0.75 percent to $0.7360 AUD=D3.

The greenback eased against a basket of currencies to 96.993 =USD, but also firmed on the yen to 113.52 JPY=. The euro added 0.3 percent to $1.1345 EUR=.

The Mexican peso jumped more than 1 percent to 20.185 MXN=D3, helped also by reports that newly sworn-in Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador may reverse his earlier plan to cancel construction of a new airport in the country's capital.

MSCI’s emerging currency index .MIEM00000CUS rose 0.4 percent to its highest levels in almost 4 months.

The dollar had come under pressure last week when comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell were interpreted by markets as hinting at a slower pace of rate hikes.

Powell was scheduled to testify on Wednesday to a congressional Joint Economic Committee. But the hearing is expected to be postponed to Thursday because major exchanges will be closed on Wednesday in honor of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, who died on Saturday at the age of 94.

Treasuries rallied hard late on Friday to leave 10-year yields down at 2.99 percent before bouncing back to 3.035 percent US10YT=RR early on Monday.

The progress on Sino-U.S. trade and an easier dollar provided some support to commodity prices.

Oil soared more than five percent, a positive start after it had posted its weakest month in more than 10 years in November, losing more than 20 percent as global supply outstripped demand. [O/R]

Speculation is high the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia would agree some form of production cut at a meeting in Vienna on Thursday.

Brent futures LCOc1 rose $2.40 to trade at $61.86 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 gained $2.28 to $53.21, both on course to make their biggest daily gains in over two years.

Chicago soybeans Sv1 climbed to their highest in almost six months, rising more than 2 percent at one point,

The gains were helped by a White House statement that said Beijing has agreed to buy an unspecified but “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products.

Over recent months, the tit-for-tat retaliatory tariffs have drastically curbed U.S. soybean exports to China, by far the world’s biggest bean importer.]]>
12/3/2018 11:35:38 AM
<![CDATA[Trump says China to cut tariffs on U.S.-made cars in potential lift for Tesla, BMW]]>
Trump, fresh from agreeing a 90-day cease-fire in his trade war with China at the meeting of the G20, said on Twitter that “China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%.”

The move, if realized, would bolster U.S. car manufacturers who were hit hard when China ramped up levies on U.S.-made cars in July as part of a broad package of retaliatory tariffs amid a sprawling trade war between Washington and Beijing.

China, the world’s largest auto market, raised tariffs on U.S. auto imports to 40 percent in July, forcing many carmakers to hike prices in a major hit to the roughly $10 billion worth of passenger vehicles the United States sent to China last year.

That put U.S.-made car brands like Tesla and Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) Lincoln at a major disadvantage, soon after China slashed auto import tariffs broadly to 15 percent for most vehicles.

Trump’s tweet did not give any further detail about the tariff cuts, such as when the deal had been reached or a new level for the Chinese levies.

The White House and U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office did not immediately respond to a request for comment late on Sunday. China’s commerce and finance ministries did not respond to requests for comment on Monday.

After a 2-1/2 hour dinner with Xi on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to postpone an increase in the tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent that was scheduled for Jan. 1. China agreed to resume purchases of some U.S. farm and energy commodities.

The two sides also agreed to negotiate during the next 90 days over “structural changes” to China’s policies on technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture.

Major U.S. automakers said they were unaware of the lower tariffs on exports to China. The automakers have a previously scheduled meeting with USTR on Monday, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The lower tariffs would be a boost to automakers exporting vehicles to China, including Ford and German carmaker BMW, which exports U.S.-built luxury vehicles to China.

It would also be good news for Tesla, which has been hit hard by increased tariffs on the electric cars it imports to China. The U.S. firm has said it will cut prices to absorb more of the tariffs and is building a local plant in Shanghai.

While China had lowered its general tariff rate for imported cars to 15 percent from 25 percent this year, it had slapped on a 25 percent punitive tariff on American-made vehicles, bringing the rate back up to 40 percent. The United States currently charges tariffs of 27.5 percent on Chinese vehicles.

On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Trump had directed him to examine all available tools to raise U.S. tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the level that China is charging.]]>
12/3/2018 11:33:14 AM
<![CDATA[Qatar to withdraw from OPEC and focus on gas exports]]>
Doha, one of the smallest oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is locked in a diplomatic dispute with the group’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia but said the move to leave OPEC was not driven by politics.

Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad al-Kaabi told a news conference that Qatar, which he said been a member of OPEC for 57 years, would still attend the group’s meeting on Thursday and Friday this week, and would abide by its commitments.

“Qatar has decided to withdraw its membership from OPEC effective January 2019 and this decision was communicated to OPEC this morning,” the minister said.

“For me to put efforts and resources and time in an organization that we are a very small player in and I don’t have a say in what happens ... practically it does not work, so for us it’s better to focus on our big growth potential,” he said.

One OPEC source told Reuters the decision was more symbolic than anything else. “They are not a big producer, but have played a big part in it’s (OPEC) history,” the source said.

Qatar has oil output of only 600,000 barrels per day (bpd), compared with the 11 million bpd produced by Saudi Arabia, the group’s biggest oil producer and world’s biggest exporter.

But Doha is an influential player in the global LNG market with annual production of 77 million tonnes per year, based on its huge reserves of the fuel in the Gulf.

Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects, said Qatar’s withdrawal “doesn’t affect OPEC’s ability to influence as Qatar was a very small player.”

OPEC and its allies, including Russia, are expected to agree on a supply cut at this week’s meeting in a bid to support crude prices that have slid almost 30 percent since October.

Oil prices surged about 5 percent on Monday after the United States and China agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war, but Brent crude is still trading at around $62 a barrel, well below October’s peak of more than $86.

Al-Kaabi, who is heading Qatar’s OPEC delegation, said the decision was not political but related to the country’s long-term strategy and plans to develop its gas industry and increase LNG output to 110 million tonnes by 2024.

OPEC members, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and fellow Arab states Bahrain and Egypt, have imposed a political and economic boycott on Qatar since June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty.

“A lot of people will politicize it,” Al-Kaabi said. “I assure you this purely was a decision on what’s right for Qatar long term. It’s a strategy decision.”

“We will make a big splash in the oil and gas business soon,” he said.

He said Qatar Petroleum planned to raise its production capability from 4.8 million barrels oil equivalent per day to 6.5 million barrels in the next decade. Doha also plans to build the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.]]>
12/3/2018 11:29:44 AM
<![CDATA[Qualcomm says NXP deal is dead, even as China seen open to okaying it]]>
Qualcomm, the world’s biggest smartphone-chip maker, walked away in July from the mammoth deal to buy NXP after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval, becoming a high-profile victim of the China-U.S. trade dispute.

After high-stakes talks on Saturday between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina, the White House said that China was “open to approving the previously unapproved” deal for Qualcomm to acquire NXP “should it again be presented”.

But Qualcomm said there was no prospect for the acquisition to be revived.

“While we were grateful to learn of President Trump and President Xi’s comments about Qualcomm’s previously proposed acquisition of NXP, the deadline for that transaction has expired, which terminated the contemplated deal,” a Qualcomm representative said via email.

“Qualcomm considers the matter closed.”

Chinese regulators did not have immediate comment.

Qualcomm paid NXP a $2 billion fee to terminate the deal and embarked on a $30 billion stock repurchase plan to appease shareholders miffed by the deal falling through. It has spent more than $20 billion in share buybacks in the last 12 months.

NXP has also announced its own $5 billion share buyback programe.]]>
12/3/2018 11:27:37 AM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Sunday in red, market cap. loses LE6.16B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 1.27 percent, or 169.42 points, to close at 13,150.08 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.78 percent, or 17.01 points, to reach 2,168.18 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.93 percent, or 6.36 points, reaching 675.23 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 0.88 percent, or 15.09 points, to close at 1,691.7 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 6.16 billion, recording LE 744.54 billion, compared to LE 750.7 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 126.22 million shares, traded through 17,510 transactions, with a turnover of LE 509.01 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 25.35 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 21.13 and LE 4.22 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 44.52 million, and LE 1,121, respectively, while Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 1.13 million.

Foreign organizations bought at LE 4.22 million, while Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 23.38 million, and LE 24.22 million, respectively.

Misr National Steel - Ataqa, Egyptian Starch & Glucose, and Atlas for Land Reclamation and Agricultural Processing were top gainers of the session by 8.64 percent, 5.55 percent and 4.76 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Global Telecom Holding, El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing, and Arab Valves Company were top losers of the session by 9.95 percent, 9.29 percent, and 5.45 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s session on mixed note, as EGX 30 rose 0.08 percent, while EGX50 decreased 0.63 percent, EGX70 inched down 0.10 percent, and EGX100 went down 0.10 percent.
]]>
12/2/2018 5:04:59 PM
<![CDATA[Financial modifications on T-bills save treasury rights: Min.]]>
Ma’it notes the share of the treasury from the taxes wasn’t collected before.

He clarified that the taxes of T-bills are determined at 20% and the taxes of the profits are at 22.5%.

According to the minister, chairmen of banks asked to started working with this law after issuing it which took place last Wednesday.

He added that the government took into consideration the requests of banks and their chairmen.

This came during Ma’it’s speech at a conference held at the Ministry of Finance to declare the reasons behind the modifications of the custom dollar’s price the minister announced on Friday.

By the end of November, Ma’it announced raising the custom dollar to LE 18 for non-essential products, including: cars, some kinds of shoes, furniture and cigarettes.]]>
12/2/2018 2:49:16 PM
<![CDATA[Mission to Britain introduces investment opportunities in Egypt: Min.]]>
The minister added that he met three ministers of the British government through his visit, referring to their optimism about the Egyptian economy.

He also added that the British government is Very keen to have an agreement with Egypt after the Brexit.

According to the minister, negotiations at the on their way to have this agreement, adding that two British missions will visit Egypt during the next two weeks.

Ma’it refers that They are interested to whether participate or having direct investment in health and education reforms.

He added that the economic reforms Egypt took during the last period have positive feedback.

This came during Ma’it’s speech at a conference held at the Ministry of Finance to declare the reasons behind the modifications of the custom dollar’s price the minister announced on Friday.

By the end of November, Ma’it announced raising the custom dollar to LE 18 for non-essential products, including: cars, some kinds of shoes, furniture and cigarettes]]>
12/2/2018 2:45:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s revenues hike 35% in Q1, targets budget deficit lower than 5% in 2021]]>
The minister said that his country targets a budget deficit less than 5 percent in 2021.

Ma’it added that Egypt achieved its target during the first quarter of 2018/2019.

The Minister added in a press conference that last period witnessed shocks as a result of the hike of oil prices, the interest rate, crisis of emerging markets and increasing the interest rate in the United States which led to outflows of about $35 million.

Ma’it said that all these factors have negative impacts but the economic reforms saved the Egyptian economy from these shocks.

He added that the economic situation will be better in the beginning of 2019, as now the price of oil barrel is declined.

The minister also added that foreign reserves hit $44.5 billion, which covers the imports for 9 months, saying that it’s an unprecedented period.

This came during Ma’it’s speech at a conference held at the Ministry of Finance to declare the reasons behind the modifications of the custom dollar’s price the minister announced on Friday.

By the end of November, Ma’it announced raising the custom dollar to LE 18 for non-essential products, including: cars, some kinds of shoes, furniture and cigarettes.]]>
12/2/2018 2:31:42 PM
<![CDATA[Raising custom dollar for non-essential products to save employment: Min.]]>
The government targets to provide job opportunities and the employment can be affected by any change happens in the society so here comes the interference to prevent current jobs, the minister clarified.

He noted that as a result of the circumstance and movements in the economy, the custom dollar had to be reviewed.

“We must protect the objectives of the economy,” he said, stressing on the industry, the production and producers in Egypt, adding that we need to consider them when we take decisions to increase production and job opportunities.

The minister said that products that are fully produced abroad will deal with the exchange rate of dollar at CBE, noting that locally produced products must have benefits than the imported ones.

“That’s why we picked the decision to liberalize non-essential products to the exchange rate,” he explained.

“The main objective is to protect any job opportunity for any citizen from losing it.
We don’t want to close any factory because of the competitiveness,
We want to encourage assembling these products in Egypt and to produce them here,” he stated.

Ma’it said that this step will open the chance of local producers to establish factories and provide job opportunities in Egypt as the producer will get his components with custom dollar at $16.

Some of our factories export their locally produced products,according to Ma’it, noting that we had to distinguish them from others.

We are open for any changes, referring to excluding the price of Raw material of tobaccos will be at $16 as there are factories that produce in Egypt while exporting the Products that are fully produced abroad will be dealt at $17.9, current rate of dollar at CBE.

These products have no inflationary impact, the minister stated.

He added that It will differ and have an effect on the VAT.

This came during Ma’it’s speech at a conference held at the Ministry of Finance to declare the reasons behind the modifications of the custom dollar’s price the minister announced on Friday.

By the end of November, Ma’it announced raising the custom dollar to LE 18 for non-essential products, including: cars, some kinds of shoes, furniture and cigarettes.]]>
12/2/2018 1:57:37 PM
<![CDATA[Trump to notify Congress in 'near future' he will terminate NAFTA]]>
“I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way home from Argentina.

“Just so you understand, when I do that - if for any reason we’re unable to make a deal because of Congress then Congress will have a choice” of the new deal or returning to trade rules from before 1994 when NAFTA took effect, he said.

Trump told reporters the trade rules before NAFTA “work very well.” NAFTA allows any country to formally withdraw with six months notice.

Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a new trade agreement on Friday known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

Trump’s decision to set in motion a possible end to largely free trade in North America comes amid some skepticism from Democrats about the new trade deal.

The U.S. landscape will shift significantly in January when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, after winning mid-term elections in November.

Presumptive incoming Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described the deal as a “work in progress” that lacks worker and environment protections.

“This is not something where we have a piece of paper we can say yes or no to,” she said at a news conference on Friday, noting that Mexico had yet to pass a law on wages and working conditions.

Other Democrats, backed by unions that oppose the pact, have called for stronger enforcement provisions for new labor and environmental standards, arguing that USMCA’s state-to-state dispute settlement mechanism is too weak.

A 2016 congressional research report said there is a debate over whether a president can withdraw from a trade deal without the consent of Congress, and there is no historical precedent for the unilateral withdrawal from an free trade deal by a president that had been approved by Congress.

The issue could ultimately be decided by the U.S. courts.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said last year that exiting NAFTA without a new deal could devastate American agriculture, cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and “be an economic, political and national-security disaster.”

The leaders of the three countries agreed on a deal in principle to replace NAFTA, which governs more than $1.2 trillion of mutual trade, after acrimonious negotiations concluded on Sept. 30.

Trump had vowed to revamp NAFTA during his 2016 presidential election campaign. He threatened to tear it up and withdraw the United States completely at times during the negotiation, which would have left trade between the three neighbors in disarray.

The three were still bickering over the finer points of the deal just hours before officials were due to sit down and sign it.

Legislators in Canada and Mexico must still approve the pact.

Trump had forced Canada and Mexico to renegotiate the 24-year-old agreement because he said it encouraged U.S. companies to move jobs to low-wage Mexico.

U.S. objections to Canada’s protected internal market for dairy products was a major challenge facing negotiators during the talks, and Trump repeatedly demanded concessions and accused Canada of hurting U.S. farmers.]]>
12/2/2018 12:14:00 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry keeps customs dollar at LE 16 for intermediate goods, semi-finished products]]>
Finished products like cigarettes and cigars will be subjected to the exchange rate announced by the Central Bank, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Egypt began setting a monthly fixed customs exchange rate following the Central Bank’s decision to float the Egyptian pound in November 2016.

The Finance Ministry has since reviewed the rate every month. ]]>
12/2/2018 12:02:57 PM
<![CDATA[U.S., China agree trade war ceasefire after Trump, Xi summit]]>
Trump will leave tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 10 percent at the beginning of the new year, agreeing to not raise them to 25 percent “at this time”, the White House said in a statement.

“China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries,” it said.

“China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.”

The two leaders also agreed to immediately start talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, the White House said.

Both countries agreed they will try to have this “transaction” completed within the next 90 days, but if this does not happen then the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent, it added.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said the negotiations were conducted in a “friendly and candid atmosphere”.

“The two presidents agreed that the two sides can and must get bilateral relations right,” Wang told reporters, adding they agreed to further exchanges at appropriate times.

“Discussion on economic and trade issues was very positive and constructive. The two heads of state reached consensus to halt the mutual increase of new tariffs,” Wang said.

“China is willing to increase imports in accordance with the needs of its domestic market and the people’s needs, including marketable products from the United States, to gradually ease the imbalance in two-way trade.”

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“The two sides agreed to mutually open their markets, and as China advances a new round of reforms, the United States’ legitimate concerns can be progressively resolved.”

The two sides would “step up negotiations” toward full elimination of all additional tariffs, Wang said.

The announcements came after Trump and Xi sat down with their aides for a working dinner at the end of a two-day gathering of world leaders in Buenos Aires, their dispute having unnerved global financial markets and weighed on the world economy.

After the 2-1/2 hour meeting, White House chief economist Larry Kudlow told reporters the talks went “very well,” but offered no specifics as he boarded Air Force One headed home to Washington with Trump.

China’s goal was to persuade Trump to abandon plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent in January, from 10 percent at present. Trump had threatened to do that, and possibly add tariffs on $267 billion of imports, if there was no progress in the talks.

With the United States and China clashing over commerce, financial markets will take their lead from the results of the talks, widely seen as the most important meeting of U.S. and Chinese leaders in years.

The encounter came shortly after the Group of 20 industrialized nations backed an overhaul of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which regulates international trade disputes, marking a victory for Trump, a sharp critic of the organization.

Trump told Xi at the start of their meeting he hoped they would achieve “something great” on trade for both countries. He struck a positive note as he sat across from Xi, despite the U.S. president’s earlier threats to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports as early as the next year.

He suggested that the “incredible relationship” he and Xi had established would be “the very primary reason” they could make progress on trade.

Xi told Trump that only through cooperation could the United States and China serve the interest of peace and prosperity. Washington and Beijing have also increasingly been at odds over security in the Asia-Pacific region.

At the same time, Trump again raised with Xi his concern about the synthetic opioid fentanyl being sent from China to the United States, urging the Chinese leader to place it in a “restricted category” of drugs that would criminalize it.

The White House said Xi, “in a wonderful humanitarian gesture”, had agreed to designate fentanyl a controlled substance.

Xi also said that he was open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal should it again be presented to him, the White House added.

“This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China. It is my great honor to be working with President Xi,” Trump said in the statement.

WTO REFORMS
Earlier on Saturday, the leaders of the world’s top economies called for WTO reform in their final summit statement.

Officials expressed relief that agreement on the communique was reached after negotiators worked through the night to overcome differences over language on climate change.

The final text recognized trade as an important engine of global growth but made only a passing reference to “the current trade issues” after the U.S. delegation won a battle to keep any mention of protectionism out of the statement.

Trump has long railed against China’s trade surplus with the United States, and Washington accuses Beijing of not playing fairly on trade. China calls the United States protectionist and has resisted what it views as attempts to intimidate it.

The two countries are also at odds over China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea and U.S. warship movements through the highly sensitive Taiwan Strait.

In addition to tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States this year. Numerous countries have filed litigation at the WTO to contest the levies.

The United States is unhappy with what it says is the WTO’s failure to hold China to account for not opening up its economy as envisioned when China joined the body in 2001. The European Union is also pushing for sweeping changes to how the WTO operates.

G20 delegates said negotiations on the summit statement proceeded more smoothly than at a meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders two weeks ago, where disagreement on protectionism and unfair trading practices prevented a consensus.

European officials said a reference to refugees and migration - a sensitive issue for Trump’s administration - was excised to ensure consensus.

China's Xi arrives in Argentina for G20
On climate change, the United States once again marked its differences with the rest of the G20 by reiterating in the statement its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and its commitment to using all kinds of energy sources.

The other members of the group reaffirmed their commitment to implement the Paris deal and tackle climate change.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde said high levels of debt accumulated by emerging market nations was a pressing concern.

U.S. officials said a call by G20 leaders for the IMF and World Bank to improve monitoring debt levels was aimed at ensuring that developing economies did not become to heavily indebted to China in return for infrastructure projects.

U.S. officials have warned about China’s increasing influence across swaths of the developing world, including Latin America. G20 summit host Argentina is expected to sign a series of deals with China on Sunday during a one-day state visit by Xi.

Apart from trade and climate change, Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian vessels drew condemnation from other G20 members, while the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the summit raised an awkward dilemma for leaders.

Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler arrived amid controversy over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, though Saudi officials have said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

The leader of the OPEC heavyweight had a series of bilateral meetings at the summit, including a closely watched encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin.]]>
12/2/2018 11:34:53 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18.2B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.7 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 treasury bills (T-bills) recorded LE 210.21 billion ($11.71 billion) by the end of October, compared to LE 234.52 billion ($13.06 billion) by the end of September, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.]]>
12/2/2018 11:20:04 AM
<![CDATA[Gov't announces wheat cultivated areas rise to 1.5M feddans in winter]]>
The ministry told press on Saturday that subsidized fertilizers are provided to farmers cultivating wheat, and that it is running awareness campaigns to encourage more wheat cultivation.

The ministry has also launched inspection campaigns on vegetable crops, especially tomato and potato crops, to follow up on productivity, provide needed guidelines and instructions, and avoid the repercussions of climate change.

The ministry is observing potato crops in Minya as their harvest time has started. The production per feddan is 10 tons. The ministry is also observing tomato crops in Luxor and Qena. The prices of potato and tomato have almost doubled recently for end consumers.

The ministry may issue a decree in the future to regulate decoration plants cultivation in order to provide support for farmers in the business. That is part of a nationwide plan to develop horticulture in Egypt crucial for local needs and exportation.

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12/1/2018 4:27:14 PM
<![CDATA[Trade minister, Afreximbank head discuss final preparations for IATF]]>
Nassar said the IATF 2018 is the first one of its kind across Africa and it provides a platform for commodities, services as well as information exchange about trade, investment and the market, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said in a statement.

The fair also helps buyers, sellers and investors, while providing opportunities for signing trade deals with the aim of boosting intra-trade among African countries, the minister said.

Nassar revealed that 1,055 African companies, including 300 Egyptian ones, have confirmed their participation in the IATF, in addition to 34 countries that are set to take part in the event through national pavilions.]]>
12/1/2018 1:51:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s total public investments record EGP 72 bln in Q1, says minister]]>
Most of the government investments have been directed to develop infrastructure, the minister said at the inauguration ceremony of Al Ahram economic third annual conference, held under the auspices of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli.

A total of 18 percent of these investments have been allocated to the sector of construction and public utilities, while the transport sector and electricity sector have been provided with 13 percent and 11 percent of the investments respectively.

The conference was attended by several ministers, officials of government authorities, financial and banking institutions as well as representatives of the business community. ]]>
12/1/2018 1:48:17 PM
<![CDATA[China supports Saudi Arabia in economic and social change - Xi]]>
Meeting in Buenos Aires, host of the G20 summit of industrialized nations on Friday, Xi said China has always attached great importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

"China firmly supports Saudi Arabia in its drive for economic diversification and social reform, and will continue to stick together with Saudi Arabia on issues involving their core interests," Xinhua cited Xi as saying.

The Saudi press agency reported early on Saturday that the crown prince and Xi discussed partnership between the two countries and harmonising Saudi Arabia's 2030 vision with China's Belt and Road Initiative, as well as Saudi energy supplies to China and mutual investment.

China and Saudi Arabia have close energy ties.

Saudi Arabia is set to expand its market share in China this year for the first time since 2012, with demand stirred up by new Chinese refiners pushing the kingdom back into contention with Russia as top supplier to the world's largest oil buyer.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest global oil exporter, has been surpassed by Russia as top crude supplier to China the past two years as private "teapot" refiners and a new pipeline drove up demand for Russian oil.

China also has good relations with Saudi's regional rival, Iran, and has long had to balance its ties between Riyadh and Tehran.]]>
12/1/2018 11:29:21 AM
<![CDATA[Japan-France spat over Nissan-Renault brews as Ghosn remains jailed]]>
The 19-year partnership between Renault SA (RENA.PA) and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) is facing its biggest test to date after the arrest this month of its larger-than-life leader, Carlos Ghosn, for suspected financial misconduct.

Ghosn, 64, has been detained in Tokyo since his Nov. 19 arrest, and prosecutors are widely expected to seek a maximum 10-day extension of his detention. If the court approves, authorities will have to file charges by Dec. 10 or arrest him on suspicion of fresh crimes to keep him in custody.

Ghosn’s detention in Tokyo has left the Franco-Japanese auto alliance without a leader and an advocate for the French government, which has said it wants to retain the current capital structure. Renault controls Nissan through its 43 percent stake, while Nissan holds a non-voting 15 percent stake in its partner.

After meeting in Paris last week, Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko and French Finance and Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire reaffirmed the two countries’ support for the alliance.

A few days later, however, Le Maire said on French television that he and Seko agreed that keeping the alliance’s current capital structure was desirable - an agreement the Japanese minister denied making.

The Mainichi Shimbun daily reported on Friday that Seko had sent a rare letter of protest to Le Maire for the remarks. Officials at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

said they could not immediately comment on the reported letter.

MACRON’S FIGHT

Ghosn’s arrest, including for allegedly under-reporting his income, has triggered new attempts by Nissan to shake off what it considers Renault’s outsized control of it, adding to problems at Macron’s Elysee.

As economy minister, Macron had masterminded the French government’s surprise increase of its Renault stake in 2015, raising alarm bells inside Nissan that the Elysee was out to wield more influence over the Japanese company.

Macron has requested a meeting with Abe at the G20 summit starting on Friday, the Mainichi reported. A Japanese government spokesman said nothing had been decided.

The auto alliance, which also includes Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T), for its part “emphatically reiterated” its commitment to the partnership on Thursday after executives met in Amsterdam for the first time since Ghosn’s arrest.

A review of the capital structure was not discussed at the meeting, Mitsubishi Motors’ CEO Osamu Masuko said.]]>
11/30/2018 11:38:33 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 19B in T-bills Thursday]]>CAIRO – 29 November 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, is set to issue LE 19 billion in treasury bills on Thursday.

The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.5 billion with a 182-day term and the second is worth LE 9.5 billion with a 357-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
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11/29/2018 5:34:08 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Thursday on mixed note, market cap, loses LE1.5B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 rose 0.08 percent, or 10.01 points, to close at 13,319.5 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.63 percent, or 13.86 points, to reach 2,185.19 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 inched down 0.10 percent, or 0.66 points, reaching 681.59 points, and the broader index EGX100 went down 0.10 percent, or 1.79 points, to close at 1,706.79 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 1.53 billion, recording LE 750.7 billion, compared to LE 752.23 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 258.41 million shares, traded through 25,186 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.75 billion.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 225.39 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 46.27 and LE 179.12 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 26.48 million, and LE 8.05 million, respectively, while foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 113,459.

Arab organizations sold at LE 233.44 million, while Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 19.79 million, and LE 179.24 million, respectively.

Torah Cement, Natural Gas & Mining Project (Egypt Gas), and Misr Cement (Qena) were top gainers of the session by 9.09 percent, 5.18 percent and 4.36 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, B Investment Holding, Misr Fertilizers Production Company - Mopco, and Sharm Dreams Co. for Tourism Investmentwere top losers of the session by 9.13 percent, 4.85 percent, and 4.22 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session in green, as EGX 30 rose 0.72 percent, EGX50 hiked 0.53 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.06 percent, and EGX100 went up 0.25 percent.
]]>
11/29/2018 5:25:21 PM
<![CDATA[ Egyptian economy has flexibility to face shocks: Min.]]>
Ma’it affirmed that Egypt will achieve the targeted economic growth rate of fiscal year 2018/2019, which is 5.8 percent.

This came during his speech at a seminar about the Egyptian economy, held by British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) in London.

He added that the Egyptian government succeeded in achieving positive macroeconomic indicators as a result of the implementation of the economic reform program, stressing that the Ministry of Finance will reduce the state budget's deficit, where the first surplus was achieved for the first time in decades.

The minister of finance pointed out that the investment and business environment in Egypt has become paved to attract foreign direct investment, which is reflected in employment opportunities and growth.

Ma’it stressed that he is not concerned about the rising inflation which comes as a result of the liberalization of the exchange rate two years ago and the increase in oil prices a few months ago, clarifying that it will decrease in the coming months to less than 10 percent.

He added that the ministry will work to reduce the rate of public debt through initiatives reducing public debt to less than 90 percent in proportion to GDP.

BEBA organized a knock door mission to UK from November 27 to 30 to support the economic relationship between both countries and to promote investment opportunities in Egypt.

Minister of Finance Ma’it and about 50 Egyptian companies participate in the mission to support the economic relations between Cairo and London and review the achieved progress in the Egyptian economic indicators and the investment opportunities in the state.

Trade exchange between Egypt, Britain reaches $1.3B: BEBA

CAIRO - 28 November 2018: Trade exchange between Egypt and Britain recorded about $1.3 billion, according to Board Member of British Egyptian Business Association (BEBA) Khaled Zaki. Zaki said that the association is working on increasing the volume of trade exchange and boosting the economic and trade relationship between both countries.



]]>
11/29/2018 3:51:39 PM
<![CDATA[Orascom Construction marks profits of $119.3M in 9 months of 2018]]>
The financial indicators revealed that the company accomplished gross profits of $273.2 million during the January-September 2018 period, compared to $248.8 million during the same period of 2017.

As per standalone results during the nine months, Orascom turned into profitability at $202.3 million, compared to a loss of $14.9 million during the same months of the prior year.

The company recorded profits of $32.3 million during the third quarter of 2018, compared to $23.5 million during the same quarter of 2017, with an increase of 37 percent.

Orascom Construction Ltd's consolidated profits marked a 60.6 percent increase during 2017, recording $85.1 million (LE 1.5 billion), compared to $53 million in 2016.

Orascom Construction Ltd is a public company, listed on Nasdaq Dubai and EGX. It operates within the capital goods sector, with a focus on construction and engineering.
It has companies operating across South and Central Asia, North America, Western Europe, North Africa, West Africa and the Middle East.
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11/29/2018 3:46:42 PM