<![CDATA[rss-Business & Economics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Business & Economics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Sisi ratifies financial leasing, factoring law]]>
The law gives six-month grace period to the companies working in financial leasing and factoring activities to legalize its businesses. The Financial Supervisory Authority was granted the authority to extend this deadline to one or two additional terms.

The new law was published in the official gazette.

The law came within the framework of the state’s keenness on developing financial inclusion, increasing the investment volume, and boosting economic activities in order to increase the rates of production and operation.]]>
8/18/2018 4:42:13 PM
<![CDATA[Cairo discusses with World Bank providing funds in environment field]]>
Nasr’s remarks were made during the meeting she held, along with Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad, with a World Bank delegation led by its Senior Environmental Economist Craig Meisner.

The meeting tackled the possibility of providing technical support by the World Bank to the Ministry of Environment in the field of pollution management and environmental health.

The agenda of the meeting included discussing the outcome of a study about the impact of sustainable transport on air quality.

The meeting also probed ways to foster cooperation within the framework of the World Bank’s Pollution Management and Environmental Health program. ]]>
8/18/2018 11:20:38 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt is a heaven market for traders: Bloomberg]]>CAIRO – 17 August 2018: In light of volatile economies the world face nowadays, Bloomberg reviewed the Egyptian economy in a report, referring to it as the traders’ refuge from volatility.


The report reviewed the economic measures Egypt took during the last period and how they kept the economy stable compared to other developing countries.


“Egypt has transformed into a haven for debt investors from a crisis zone in less than two years,” Bloomberg said.



The Egyptian Currency


Bloomberg said that the devaluated Egyptian pound was insusceptible to the plummet that faced Turkish and Argentine currencies, leaving them at low records.


photo_1

It commented that Egypt’s pound has barely moved in the past four months.


“The pound also held its own even as Egyptian Treasury bills suffered outflows of at least $4 billion since March,” it said.



Economic Reforms


The tough measures Egypt took to stabilize the economy are paying off the debt market, according to the report, resulted in raising the country’ credit rating by S&P Global Ratings in May.


“While a recent sell-off in the country’s debt may have irked some investors, others, including TCW Group Inc. and Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH., find the currency’s stability and its relatively high yields attractive,” it added.


Despite the outflows, “we are encouraged that there were no reports of dollar shortages,” said Brett Rowley, the Los Angeles-based managing director for emerging markets at TCW.


In a response to the flow cut of dollar in the back of 25th revolution, Egypt resorted to liberalize its currency in November 2016 as part of an International Monetary Fund deal for a $12 billion loan to support its recovery and end the hard-currency crunch.


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.


While the pound lost half its value after the float, a central-bank mechanism that guarantees investors’ ability to take money out of the country has limited the currency’s fluctuations, the IMF said in an email response to Bloomberg’s questions. That’s because when investors bring in hard currency, the central bank keeps the money in a special account, and then sells the cash back to foreigners on their way out.


According to IMF, Strong growth in inflows from tourism and remittances have also helped offset fund outflows in recent months, expecting the Central Bank of Egypt to keep the interest rates at 16.75 percent during August.


In the period from July 2017 to April 2018, remittances jumped 48.2 percent year-on-year to reach a record of $26 billion, compared to $17.5 billion in the same period of the previous year, CBE data showed earlier.


On Thursday, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of CBE kept interest rates unchanged Thursday for the third time this year, setting the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively.


“The government will, in my opinion, stick with orthodox policies,” said Shahzad Hasan, an emerging-market debt manager at Allianz in London. “That means overall capital inflows should hold up well.”


Bloomberg said that Egypt’s current-account deficit for the July 2017 to March 2018 period narrowed 58 percent to $5.3 billion as remittances from Egyptian expatriates and tourism receipts rose by over 40 percent to about $27 billion.



The Repatriation Mechanism


According to three people familiar with the matter, who asked to be unanimous, CBE raised the cost of using the mechanism last year, pushing more investors to exit using the open market and boosting demand for dollars.


They clarified that the solid supply of hard currency in the inter-bank market helped keep the pound stable over the past few months as investors sought to exit.


“The repatriation mechanism still shields the pound from sharp fluctuations, even though raising its cost is the reason why the pound has started witnessing more volatility,” said Mohamed Abu Basha, director of macro analysis at investment bank EFG-Hermes in Cairo.


The report displayed that the Egyptian currency witnessed its highest volatility period in May for 10 days, recording a decline of 1.3 percent, noting that it’s the most decrease since the devaluation.



T-bills


As per Treasury Bills, Bloomberg noted that despite the drop in overseas debt in May, the pound remained relatively stable.


photo_2



The effect of the devaluation and inflation


According to Bloomberg, the liberalization of the pound caused a price shock to the country as it relies heavily on imports, resulted in a 30-percent inflation for a much of last year.


It also added that the annual core inflation reached 8.54 percent in July, recording its lowest level since March 2016.


The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13 percent in July 2018, compared to 34.2 percent in the same month of 2017.


On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.5 percent in July, compared to the previous month, to record 289.9 points, CAPMAS stated.


Moreover, CBE said that Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 8.54 percent in July 2018 from 10.9 percent in June 2018, according to a report.


On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 0.6 percent in July 2018, compared to 1.6 percent in June.


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


Fitch Ratings, which has a positive outlook on the African nation’s debt rating, is forecasting a smaller current-account deficit through 2020, Bloomberg stated.


Egypt’s current account deficit for the third quarter of the 2017/18 fiscal year fell to $1.93 billion, compared to $3.1 billion a year earlier as tourism revenues rose to $2.27 billion in the quarter.


On August 6, Fitch affirmed Egypt’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B' with a Positive Outlook, attributing the ratings to the progress in executing an economic and fiscal reform program, greater macroeconomic stability and improving external finances.


The report also stated that Foreign-currency reserves have rebounded to more than $44 billion, from as low as $13.4 billion in March 2013.


It also referred to Egypt’s gas discoveries especially Zohr gas field which is considered to be the biggest ever found in the Mediterranean Sea.


In 2015, the Italian Company Eni discovered Zohr gas field, the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean, in the Shorouk concession, with an estimated production of 30 trillion cubic feet.


The country's total natural gas consumption is about six billion cubic feet per day, of which roughly 65 percent goes to the electricity sector.


The new discoveries are expected to turn Egypt into a net exporter of natural gas as the country is expected to halt gas imports by mid 2018.


“Egypt is a little bit over-crowded,” said Sergey Dergachev, who helps oversee about $14 billion in assets at Union Investment Privatfonds in Frankfurt. “But due to the relatively high yield and relatively stable currency, it will remain an interesting investment opportunity for emerging-market investors.”

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8/17/2018 11:50:00 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey long-term foreign currency rating lowered to 'B+': S&P Global Ratings]]>CAIRO – 17 August 2018: Standard & Poor's Global Ratings on Friday lowered its unsolicited long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Turkey to ‘B+’ and its unsolicited long-term local currency sovereign credit rating to ’BB-‘ from ’BB’.


Moreover, the financial services company has announced lowering its unsolicited long-term turkey national scale rating to ’trAA+’ from ’trAAA’, and also affirmed the 'trA-1+' short-term national scale rating.


"The downgrade reflects our expectation that the extreme volatility of the Turkish lira and the resulting projected sharp balance of payments adjustment will undermine Turkey's economy,” S&P Global Ratings announced in a press statement.


The company forecast a recession next year, while the inflation rate will peak at 22% over the next four months, before subsiding to below 20% by mid-2019.


“We anticipate that 2019 will be the first year since 2009 in which nominal credit growth will be less than inflation, implying a major shift in real domestic financing conditions.”


Turkey's battered lira weakened more than 6 percent against the dollar on Friday, after a U.S. warning that Ankara should expect more economic sanctions unless it hands over the detained American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson, Reuters reported on Friday.


Turkish lira has lost nearly 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, hit by both the diplomatic rift and investor alarm about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy.


The S&P’s statement also pointed out that “the weakening of the lira is putting pressure on the indebted corporate sector and has considerably increased the funding risk for Turkey's banks; these economic and financial shifts will have implications for public finances, resulting in a rise in the government's still-moderate debt ratio, and increasing the risk of contingent liabilities rising in the banking sector.”


The company added that despite heightened economic risks, it believes the policy response from Turkey's monetary and fiscal authorities “has so far been limited.”


As for the outlook, the company affirmed it reflects balanced risks to its ratings on Turkey over the next 12 months.


“We could lower our ratings on Turkey if we see an increasing likelihood of a systemic banking crisis with the potential to undermine the country's fiscal position,” the statement read. “Key indicators of this could include a rise in corporate loan book default rates, difficulties rolling over banks' foreign funding, or domestic deposit withdrawals.”


The ratings, according to the company, could also be lowered if Turkey's economic growth turned out to be materially weaker than we currently project, with a deeper recession taking place over the four-year forecast horizon.


“We could consider an upgrade if the government successfully devises and implements a credible economic adjustment program that bolsters confidence, stabilizes balance-of-payments flows, and brings inflation under control.”

]]>
8/17/2018 11:25:19 PM
<![CDATA[S&P lowers Turkey’s sovereign rating to B+ from BB-; maintains outlook at stable]]>
S&P says Turkey long-term foreign currency rating lowered to 'b+' on implications of extreme lira volatility; outlook stable.

S&P says substantial weakening of lira has negative fiscal implications for Turkey,while straining corporate balance sheets,pressuring domestic banks.

S&P says affirmed Turkey's short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings at 'B'.

S&P says now project that Turkey's economy will contract in 2019.

S&P says stable outlook reflects the balanced risks to its ratings on Turkey over next 12 months.

S&P says extreme volatility of Turkish lira and resulting projected sharp balance of payments adjustment will undermine Turkey's economy.

S&P on Turkey says it forecasts a recession next year.

S&P says Turkey's economic risks are, in its view, "Aggravated by an absence of a rapid and effective policy response".

S&P says view new economic model recently announced by Turkey's government as lacking specific policy proposals.

S&P says policy response from turkey's monetary & fiscal authorities has so far been limited to risks.

S&P says "Absent quick and decisive actions," Turkey's economic, financial & fiscal costs could escalate.

S&P says there are also substantial risks stemming from Turkey's international relations.]]>
8/17/2018 11:11:22 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey's lira weakens more than 6% on threat of more U.S. sanctions]]>
It has lost nearly 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, hit by both the diplomatic rift and investor alarm about President Tayyip Erdogan's influence over monetary policy. Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", wants to lower borrowing costs despite high inflation.

The currency crisis has deepened concerns about weaknesses in the broader economy - particularly Turkey's dependence on energy imports and whether foreign-currency debt levels pose a risk to the banking sector.

"There has been no sign that the central bank will be allowed to raise interest rates significantly and return rates to positive territory," said William Jackson of Capital Economics in a note to clients. "Similarly, there has been no improvement in relations with the U.S. and additional sanctions may be on the horizon."

At 0937 GMT the currency stood at 6.2499 to the dollar, nearly 7 percent weaker.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told President Donald Trump at a cabinet meeting on Thursday that sanctions were ready to be put in place if Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges, was not freed.

Trump later said in a tweet the United States "will pay nothing" for Brunson's release, "but we are cutting back on Turkey!" He called Brunson "a great patriot hostage.". Turkish officials say the case is a matter for the courts.

In response to the weakness, the Turkish banking watchdog has taken steps to stabilise the currency, limiting futures transactions for offshore investors and lowering limits on swap transactions. But economists have said they want to see decisive moves by the central bank, rather than technical measures.

Turkey and its firms face repayments of nearly $3.8 billion on foreign currency bonds in October, Societe General calculated. For companies, the cost of servicing foreign debt has risen by a quarter in lira terms in the past two months alone.

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's is scheduled to release a review of Turkey's sovereign credit rating after the market close on Friday.

ENERGY, BANKS

One currency trader said Friday's lira weakness was driven by "the new U.S. sanctions threat and the S&P decision, with position-closing in markets ahead of the public holiday".

Turkish markets will be closed from midday on Monday for the rest of the week for the Muslim Eid al-Adha festival.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, assured investors on Thursday that Turkey would emerge stronger from the currency crisis, insisting its banks were healthy and signalling it could ride out the dispute with Washington.

Economists gave Albayrak's presentation a qualified welcome and the lira initially found some support. It was also helped by Qatar's pledge to invest $15 billion in Turkey.

However, deep concerns remain about the potential for damage to the broader economy. Turkey is dependent on imports, priced in hard currency, for almost all of its energy needs.

For years Turkish firms have borrowed in dollars and lira to take advantage of lower interest rates. But now, the sell-off has increased the cost of servicing that debt, particularly for companies whose revenues are solely in lira.

Turkey has the highest foreign exchange-denominated debt among emerging markets, Societe Generale said in a note on Friday, estimating its short-term external debt at $180 billion and total external debt at $460 billion.]]>
8/17/2018 12:23:28 PM
<![CDATA[CBE keeps interest rates unchanged for 3rd time in 2018]]>
During June’s meeting, MPC also kept the interest rates unchanged after lowering them twice earlier this year by 1 percent each time.

In February and March, CBE cut the interest rates by 200 basis points, and kept the rates unchanged during May and June meetings at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent for the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate, respectively.

By keeping the interest rate unchanged, MPC met the expectations of the investment banks and economic research organizations.

CBE expected to keep interest rates Thursday

CAIRO - 16 August 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt is expected to keep interest rates unchanged during Thursday's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. Despite the inflationary pressure which came in June as a result of implementing the economic program coinciding with Islamic events, Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr, investment banks see that the MPC will keep the rates at the current levels.




Despite the inflationary pressure which came in June as a result of implementing the economic program coinciding with Islamic events, Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr, investment banks saw that the MPC would keep the rates at the current levels.

The Cabinet announced on June 16 lowering the fuel subsidy to 25 percent, after cutting electricity subsidies on June 12, raising prices by an average of 26 percent in the fiscal year of 2018/2019 that began in July.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13 percent in July 2018, compared to 34.2 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.5 percent in July, compared to the previous month, to record 289.9 points, CAPMAS stated.

Pharos Research expected CBE to keep interest rates at their current levels during their August meeting.

Pharos attributed this expectation to the acceleration of inflation during August and September due to seasonal factors and fiscal reform measures, as well as the recent low rate of foreign ownership of treasury bills.

HC Securities & Investment agreed with Pharos' forecasting that the interest rate will be unchanged during August meeting.

“We believe the MPC will likely keep interest rates unchanged at its upcoming meeting, expecting monthly inflation to start normalizing in August to 1 percent on the phasing out of first and second rounds' effects of fuel, electricity, and tax reforms, resulting in a nearly stable yearly inflation in August,” Chief Economist at HC, Sara Saada, said.

HC expected earlier interest rates to take almost two years to return to pre-flotation levels.

Egypt floated its currency in November 2016, losing 50 percent of its value as a part of an economic reform program.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that includes floating its currency, cutting energy subsidies and introducing new taxes to cut the budget deficit.

Also, Vice president and head of MENA strategy for EFG Hermes Mohamad al-Hajj told media outlets: “The outlook for interest rate cuts in the short-to-medium term, over the next 12 months, is uncertain. It’s unlikely that we’ll see an interest rate cut coming out of Egypt in the current environment, given where oil prices are, what’s happening with the rest of emerging markets, the rising dollar etc.”

Beltone Financial came in line with other investment banks and research organizations as well, affirming that CBE will keep the interest rates unchanged during August meeting and the upcoming three meetings in 2018 as returns rose recently to 19.4 percent, which keeps the Egyptian fixed income market attractive among emerging markets.

"Inflation may rise a little further in July on the back of electricity price hikes that came into effect at the start of this month,” Capital Economics said in a report. “Even so, we doubt that higher inflation will prompt the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to raise interest rates at its meeting in mid-August."

“We expect another 350bp of rate cuts, taking the overnight deposit rate to 13.25 percent by the end of 2018,” according to Capital Economics.
]]>
8/16/2018 7:23:01 PM
<![CDATA[Huawei Surpasses Apple to Grab Number Two Spot Globally]]>
The entry of Huawei in the second position marks a turning point for the smartphone industry as it delivered shipments of 54.2 million units with a record high market share of 15.8%. Huawei has recorded 41% year-on-year growth leaping ahead of the other two brands globally during the same period last year.

It is also important to highlight that Huawei has also grabbed the second spot ahead of Apple in the Middle East and Africa. According to the GFK May 2018 report Huawei CBG market share in Middle East and Africa is 21%, an increase of 31.25% when compared with the brand’s market share in December 2017. Huawei’s market share across countries in the MEA region exceeds 20%, including Levant at 37.4%, Oman at 30%, Saudi Arabia at 27%, Iraq at 25%, Egypt at 24%, Pakistan at 22.2% and the UAE at 20%.

Huawei is leading the innovation space in the smartphone industry. It is important to highlight that the company is the 6th biggest spender in R&D globally, with $45 billion spent over the last 10 years and a whopping $12 billion last year only.

The company’s efforts have clearly paid off as its latest products have received several accolades globally. Huawei leads Artificial Intelligence (AI) chipsets in smartphone industry and had launched the world’s first processor with built-in AI chipset - Kirin 970 in its smartphones. Its breakthrough flagship phone HUAWEI P20 Pro introduced an unprecedented 40-megapixel AI triple camera with stunning night shot photography features. Huawei P20 Pro found strong demand in the premium phone segment as P20 Series has exceeded 6 million phones shipped worldwide; just a few months after its launch.

Its recently launched nova 3 series is also a testament of Huawei’s strength in the premium mid-range market. HUAWEI nova 3 and HUAWEI nova 3i feature a revolutionary 24MP + 2MP dual AI front camera that is designed to provide a new AI Selfie experience, by distinguishing people from backgrounds and apply AI beautification for optimum results.

Huawei continues to showcase its commitment to innovation and customer service with the release of its "GPU Turbo" technology that allows users to effortlessly upgrade their devices and enjoy much-improved devices for an ultimate gaming experience at no cost.

The company recently announced that it was placed in Forbes' Most Valuable Brands for the second year in the row and is the only Chinese company on the list for 2018.

It is safe to say that Huawei has not ceased to amaze us as the company is close to leading the smartphone industry.
]]>
8/16/2018 6:24:41 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's bourse updates its website to lure more investors]]>
In a statement, the bourse said it added a new section under the name of "Join the bourse" to explain to companies how they can register their securities in a simplified way and point out to those who are not registered yet in the bourse how they can invest their money.

The section will present an updated map of the locations of all securities brokerage companies across the nation to help citizens trade public stocks and other securities.

Under the new updates of the bourse website, a page was created for every brokerage firm, both in Arabic and English languages, that includes all required data about the company, including its logo, address, telephone and fax numbers, email and website address.]]>
8/16/2018 5:23:02 PM
<![CDATA[3 new investment projects to be established in Ismailia's investment free zone]]>
In statements, Ismailia Governor Yassin Taher said that the projects include manufacturing plastic and clothing products as well as petroleum services that will be established on an area of 7,600 square meters.

The governor also said that he reviewed the implementation situation of infrastructure and delivering services to a number of areas in the zone in order to meet the expected demands of the new expansions. ]]>
8/16/2018 5:21:16 PM
<![CDATA[Southern Upper Egypt allocates LE 13B of Egypt’s investment plan]]>
The southern Upper Egypt region includes five governorates: the Red Sea, Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan.

Saeed clarified that about LE 2.245 billion of these investments are allocated to the Red Sea governorate.

This came during Saeed’s meeting with the governor of the Red Sea Ahmed Abdallah to discuss the necessary mechanisms for achieving integrated development in the governorate as well as discussing the investments earmarked for the governorate during current financial plan 2018/2019.

She pointed out that the medium-term sustainable development plan aims to complete a number of projects in the governorate concerning water projects, noting that the plan includes the completion of the desalination plant in Hurghada and the start of two desalination plants in Zafarana and Ras Ghareb as well as the desalination plant in Safaga.

She also referred that the government investments directed to the water sector in the current fiscal year amounted to LE 207 million of the total investments directed to the province, besides LE 117 million that were allocated to the sanitation sector in addition to transport projects which were targeted with total government investments that amounted to LE 579 million.

The minister added that the projects of the transport sector include completion of doubling roads of Safaga, Qusair, Marsa Alam and paving roads in Hurghada, Safaga, Halaib and Marsa Alam.

She further pointed to the area of land and projects proposed for tourism investment during the year 18/2019 in the Red Sea governorate which represents about 34.2 million square meters, providing about 26 investment opportunities in the region.

For his part, the governor said that the number of tourists to the province recorded 507,000 during July, stressing the keenness to maintain the pursuit of full development and upgrading the Red Sea and the city of Hurghada.

He said that there is an intention to establish a new tourist city between the cities of Hurghada and Safaga to extend from south of Hurghada and even the port of Safaga.

Planning minister said earlier that Egypt directed around LE 26 billion of the government’s investments in the new fiscal year 2018/2019 to develop Upper Egypt’s governorates.

The minister added that about LE 3 billion are directed to develop North and South of Sinai governorates.
]]>
8/16/2018 4:52:21 PM
<![CDATA[Total investment expenditure of Qarun Petroleum Company hits $206M]]>
He noted that 25 new wells were dug, thus contributing to upping daily oil production to 49,000 barrels by the end of June 2018.

The total annual output reached 12 million barrels of oil, he added.

He expounded that coping with up-to-date technology in digging and production processes contributed to rationalizing costs.

Petroleum Minister Tarek Molla - who chaired the company's general assembly meeting on Thursday - underlined the importance of the current action programs of petroleum companies operating in the Western Desert, especially with regard to expanding the use of modern technology to up production and reduce costs.]]>
8/16/2018 4:40:47 PM
<![CDATA[EGX inches down for 5th session in row, market cap. loses LE 2.5B]]>
EGX announced Tuesday that the bourse will be off for four days on the occasion of Eid El-Adha, starting from Monday, August 20 to Thursday, August 23, adding that trading will be resumed on Sunday, August 26.

MPC is going to meet Thursday, August 16, to take a decision on the interest rates.

CBE expected to keep interest rates Thursday

CAIRO - 16 August 2018: The Central Bank of Egypt is expected to keep interest rates unchanged during Thursday's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting. Despite the inflationary pressure which came in June as a result of implementing the economic program coinciding with Islamic events, Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr, investment banks see that the MPC will keep the rates at the current levels.




The benchmark EGX30 lost 0.40 percent, or 61.47 points, to close at 15,295.97 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 0.10 percent, or 2.51 points, to reach 2,523.08 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.02 percent, or 0.12 points, reaching 740.28 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.28 percent, or 5.31 points, closing at 1,899.55 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 2.5 billion, recording LE 858.03 billion, compared to LE 860.54 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 176.3 million shares, traded through 16,495 transactions, with a turnover of LE 472.43 million.

Electro Cable Egypt, Arab Real Estate Investment CO. (ALICO), and Arab Aluminum were top gainers of the session by 7.61 percent, 6.06 percent and 5.37 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, El Arabia Engineering Industries, Dice Sport & Casual Wear, and Prime Holding were top losers of the session by 9.97 percent, 6.25 percent, and 4.23 percent, respectively.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 62.7 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 8.49 million and LE 54.2 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 33.7 million and LE 728,445, respectively, while Arab individuals were net sellers LE 8.8 million.

Egyptian and Arab organizations were net buyers at LE 29 million and LE 313,504, respectively, while foreign organizations were net sellers at LE 54.95 million.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session in red, as EGX30 slipped 0.68 points, EGX50 declined 0.04 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.41 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.27 percent.
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8/16/2018 4:26:43 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD provides Beyti with loan worth $44M]]>
“The loan includes a committed tranche of up to LE 150 million and an uncommitted trancheof up to $35.5 million or the Egyptian pound equivalent,” EBRD clarified in a statement.

The statement read that the funding will enable the company to refinance existing short-term loans with a longer tenor loan more suitable for its investment and development phase.

It will also fund new investments to expand the company’s production and logistical capacities to cope with the rapidly growing national and regional dairy and juice sectors in Egypt, according to the statement.

The EBRD’s investment will also support market expansion of the dairy and juice sectors in Egypt by strengthening backward and forward linkages.

This includes increasing production of raw milk and fruit concentrate at local dairy farms and juice concentrate producers, and expanding Beyti’s logistical capacity in both sectors by increasing the number of distribution centres and delivery capacity, hence achieving a higher number of sales points in the country.

The statement referred to Beyti’s target to reduce its carbon footprint with more efficient use of water and energy and the deployment of renewable energy sources, noting that plans include shifting to the use of solar energy and improving waste water treatment which in turn reduces carbon emissions.

“We are very happy with our agreement with the EBRD that will create new opportunities for our business. Partnering with a financial institution that puts such focus on promoting environmentally and socially sound and sustainable development is of added value to any business,” Chief Executive Officer of Beyti Mohamed Badran said.

For his part, EBRD Head of Agribusiness for Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) Tarek el-Sherbini said: “We are extremely pleased with the signing of our first project with Beyti and with two major international shareholders, Almarai Company, and Pepsico. We look forward to increasing strategic cooperation in Egypt and other common countries of operations.”

Beyti is one of the largest producers of milk, juice and yoghurt in Egypt, targeting a rapidly rising population market of more than 90 million consumers and catering to different consumer profiles. The market size makes the development and further expansion of the Egyptian agribusiness sector crucial.

Almarai Company, food producer headquartered in Saudi Arabia, owns 52 percent of Beyti, while PepsiCo Inc., producer of beverages and snacks, owns the other 48 percent.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been a country of operations since 2012. To date, the bank has invested over €4 billion in 85 projects in the country. The bank has also provided technical assistance to more than 700 small and medium-sized local enterprises.
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8/16/2018 2:19:38 PM
<![CDATA[CAPMAS: 3.7% increase in applications submitted to Egyptian Patent Office in 2017]]>
The number of patents granted by the EPO in 2017 amounted to 581, compared with 450 patents that were issued in 2016, according to the annual bulletin issued by the office.

In 2017, out of the 581 patents, 485 patents were granted to foreigners and 96 to Egyptians.

In 2016, 377 patents were issued to foreigners and 73 to Egyptians.

United States citizens ranked first in the number foreigners issued patents by EPO, with 113 patents. Germans ranked second with 66 patents. ]]>
8/16/2018 2:13:22 PM
<![CDATA[NTRA grants license to pump LE600M to Silicon Waha]]>
The license is governed by the law regulating work of joint stock companies, limited by shares companies, limited liability companies and one person companies, the cabinet's media office said in a press release.

Silicon Waha is a leading joint stock company aiming at creating a series of specialized business and technology parks across second-tier cities in Egyptian governorates.

The Ministry of Communications and IT, the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and New Urban Communities Authority are stakeholders in the company. ]]>
8/16/2018 2:11:24 PM
<![CDATA[Strategic wheat reserve enough for 4 months: Supply min.]]>
During a press conference on Thursday, Moselhi added that the strategic reserves of sugar and edible oil are enough for 3.7 months.

Moselhi noted that for the first time the country's reserves of basic commodities are enough for more than three months.]]>
8/16/2018 2:06:19 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 16.7B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 364-day term and the second worth LE 8.2 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.]]>
8/16/2018 12:55:17 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling stuck near 14-month low despite strong retail data]]>
Hot weather and the World Cup boosted retail sales in July but the pound remained flat against the dollar around the $1.27 level.

A strong dollar and mounting fears that Britain will fail to secure an agreement before it leaves the EU in March have hurt the pound. It has shed 12 percent of its value since April and on Tuesday sank to $1.2662, its weakest since June 2017, falling against the dollar for a 12th straight day.

Few saw a Bank of England interest rate hike earlier this month as a vote of confidence in the economy, since Britain’s future, and access to European markets, remains in doubt.

“Future interest rate rises now seem a distant prospect and Brexit continues to cause uncertainty... even this good economic performance is unlikely to translate into a lasting boost for sterling,” said Lee McDarby, an executive at currency brokers Moneycorp.

Against a surging euro, the pound traded broadly flat at 89.47 pence per euro.]]>
8/16/2018 12:49:29 PM
<![CDATA[Euro rebounds from 13-month lows, dollar weakens on U.S.-China talks]]>
Many emerging market currencies also rose, clawing back some of Wednesday’s losses thanks to easing fears over the knock-on effects from a slide in the Turkish lira.

Global equity markets remained under pressure on Thursday, however, underlining how nervous investors remain.

“That China and the U.S. are beginning to talk again is supporting the market,” said Commerzbank currencies strategist Thu Lan Nguyen. “As the (Turkish) lira did not depreciate further, that has taken out some tension from the market.”

She also emphasised that the currency crisis in Turkey is far from over because authorities have yet to tackle the root causes.

More important for major currencies on Thursday were developments in the months-long trade conflict between the United States and China.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday that it had received an invitation from the United States for talks to be held with U.S. Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass.

The news that the world’s two biggest economic powers were showing a willingness to negotiate boosted investor sentiment after a worrying week.

The euro rose 0.3 percent to $1.1373, away from Wednesday’s lows of $1.1301.

The dollar, which has gained on bouts of investors jitters as traders seek safety in the higher-yielding and most liquid currency, fell on Thursday after a recent strong run. The dollar index slipped 0.2 percent to 96.554.

China’s offshore yuan, which has been rough barometer of risk sentiment and fallen in recent months on concerns about the impact on its economy of the trade conflict with the United States, gained 0.8 percent to 6.8945.

Among emerging market currencies that bounced were the South African rand, with a 0.6 percent gain after sliding more than 2 percent overnight, while the Mexican peso and Russian rouble also rose.

“Trade war fears had morphed into an opportunity for speculators, who had been selling the yuan and other currencies against the dollar. The news that pointed to a possible easing of U.S.-China trade tensions appears to have curbed such activity,” said Daiwa Securities’ chief FX strategist Mitsuo Imaizumi.

“But there is no guarantee that the trade discussions will end successfully. As such, the trade news may have stopped the speculators’ selling, but perhaps only for the time being.”

The yen, another perceived safe haven, paused after its bullish spell, with the dollar trading flat at 110.75 yen.

The Norwegian crown gained nearly 1 percent ahead of a central bank policy decision at 0800 GMT.

The Australian dollar, seen as a proxy for China-related trades, climbed 0.3 percent to $0.7262 after falling to $0.7202 on Wednesday, its weakest since January 2017.]]>
8/16/2018 12:47:25 PM
<![CDATA[CBE expected to keep interest rates Thursday]]>
Despite the inflationary pressure which came in June as a result of implementing the economic program coinciding with Islamic events, Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr, investment banks see that the MPC will keep the rates at the current levels.

Economic Reform Decisions and Inflation

The Cabinet announced on June 16 lowering the fuel subsidy to 25 percent, after cutting electricity subsidies on June 12, raising prices by an average of 26 percent in the fiscal year of 2018/2019 that began in July.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13 percent in July 2018, compared to 34.2 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.5 percent in July, compared to the previous month, to record 289.9 points, CAPMAS stated.

Moreover, CBE said that Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 8.54 percent in July 2018 from 10.9 percent in June 2018, according to a report.

On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 0.6 percent in July 2018, compared to 1.6 percent in June.

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

Research Associations and Investment Banks

Pharos Research expected CBE to keep interest rates at their current levels during their upcoming meeting in August.

Pharos attributed this expectation to the acceleration of inflation during August and September due to seasonal factors and fiscal reform measures, as well as the recent low rate of foreign ownership of treasury bills.

The report anticipated that monetary policy easing will be more cautious to avoid outflows of portfolio investment as a result of the rise of the dollar against emerging-market currencies, causing further global sell-offs in emerging markets, despite the Federal Reserve’s decision to stabilize interest rates at the last meeting.

It also added that the levels of interest rates at other emerging markets such as Argentina and Turkey put more pressure on the CBE.

HC Securities & Investment agreed with Pharos' forecasting that the interest rate will be unchanged during today’s meeting.

“We believe the MPC will likely keep interest rates unchanged at its upcoming meeting, expecting monthly inflation to start normalizing in August to 1 percent on the phasing out of first and second rounds' effects of fuel, electricity, and tax reforms, resulting in a nearly stable yearly inflation in August,” Chief Economist at HC, Sara Saada, said.

“We believe the local drivers of price inflation will stabilize in 4Q18, after which we may witness further monetary policy easing if exogenous factors, including international oil prices, exchange rate, and emerging market yields are favorable,” the chief economist added.

Saada noted that although the fuel subsidy reform, which typically affects the food and beverage inflation figure, and food and beverage price, was implemented in June, inflation in July was higher than the June figure.

HC expected earlier interest rates to take almost two years to return to pre-flotation levels.

Egypt floated its currency in November 2016, losing 50 percent of its value as a part of an economic reform program.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that includes floating its currency, cutting energy subsidies and introducing new taxes to cut the budget deficit.

Vice president and head of MENA strategy for EFG Hermes Mohamad al-Hajj told media outlets: “The outlook for interest rate cuts in the short-to-medium term, over the next 12 months, is uncertain. It’s unlikely that we’ll see an interest rate cut coming out of Egypt in the current environment, given where oil prices are, what’s happening with the rest of emerging markets, the rising dollar etc.”

Beltone Financial also came in line with other investment banks and research organizations, affirming that CBE will keep the interest rates unchanged during August meeting and the upcoming three meetings in 2018 as returns rose recently to 19.4 percent, which keeps the Egyptian fixed income market attractive among emerging markets.

"Inflation may rise a little further in July on the back of electricity price hikes that came into effect at the start of this month,” Capital Economics said in a report. “Even so, we doubt that higher inflation will prompt the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to raise interest rates at its meeting in mid-August."

“We expect another 350bp of rate cuts, taking the overnight deposit rate to 13.25 percent by the end of 2018,” according to Capital Economics.

The CBE cut interest rates twice earlier this year, in February and March by 200 basis points, and kept the rates unchanged during May and June meetings at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent for the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate, respectively.

]]>
8/16/2018 12:42:23 PM
<![CDATA[Trump's latest boost to the dollar: U.S.-Turkey spat]]>
The dollar this week rose to a 13-month high against a basket of currencies, getting an extra boost as emerging markets have sold off on concern about contagion from Turkey and investors sought a safehaven in the U.S. currency.

On August 10, Trump intensified the spat with Turkey over the detention in Turkey of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges by imposing higher tariffs on metal imports. The move sent the Turkish lira to a record low against the dollar and spurred declines in other emerging market currencies.

The U.S. dollar has risen against major currencies for several months, with the dollar index .DXY up nearly 8 percent over the last four months. On Wednesday, the index hit a fresh 13-month high.

“In a lot of ways some of his actions have amplified this risk-off type of environment, which has ultimately helped the U.S. dollar strengthen in the near-term,” said Charles Tomes, senior investment analyst and trader at Manulife Asset Management in Boston.

Robust U.S. economic data this year, even as Europe and other major economies have lost some steam, has helped keep the U.S. Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates twice more this year, which should boost the appeal of the dollar further.

“I think the dollar is strengthening as a result of diverging monetary policies,” said Oliver Pursche, Chief Market Strategist Of Bruderman Brothers In New York. “It’s fairly clear that the Fed is almost certain to hike in September and very likely to hike in December again, whereas other central banks are maintaining a status quo.”

Some analysts said that U.S. tax cuts passed last year by Congress which are boosting corporate earnings and economic growth have reinforced the reasons for raising interest rates. The $1.5 trillion tax cut and the $1.3 trillion spending bill enacted in March, have pushed forecasts for the fiscal deficit higher. The U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years in the second quarter.

“So now you have economic data warranting the Fed rate hiking cycle and expectations for other central banks pushed out a little bit,” said Tomes.

The administration’s move to impose import tariffs against China, Europe, Mexico and Canada is also expected to contribute to inflation, which tends to ramp up bets on a swifter pace of Fed rate hikes and, in turn, a stronger dollar.

Investors have also shown a preference for the greenback based on the expectation that the it will gain at the expense of emerging market currencies which are dependent on commodity exports.

“When the dollar turned in the second quarter we had a really weak EM market,” Said Haidar, founder and chief investment officer, at New York hedge fund Haidar Capital Management, said.

“You now have another huge selloff in EM, which has been exacerbated by Trump’s willingness to jam on more and more sanctions when countries are having trouble in the market – like adding to the sanctions on Turkey,” Haidar said.

MSCI’s emerging market currency index .MIEM00000CUS hit its lowest level since May 2017 on Wednesday as many major emerging currencies extended their selloff in the wake of Turkey’s currency crisis.]]>
8/16/2018 12:34:41 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish lira firms before finance minister's presentation]]>
The currency gained some support from the announcement late on Wednesday of a Qatari pledge to invest $15 billion (11.8 billion pounds) in Turkey and Albayrak will be looking to reassure investors in his conference call at 1300 GMT.

The lira, still down 34 percent against the dollar this year, firmed to 5.7903 by 0908 GMT from a close of 5.95. Other Turkish markets were less buoyant: the main share index dipped 1 percent and the 10-year benchmark bond yield rose to 21.37 percent from 21.02 percent.

After hitting a record low of 7.24 this week, the lira has benefited from central bank steps to underpin a currency hit by concerns at President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over monetary policy and a bitter dispute with Washington.

JP Morgan said moves by Turkish authorities showed they were committed to stabilising the currency with technical measures such as restricting foreign exchange swaps and cancelling repo auctions to push up the weighted average cost of funding.

“Yet at the same time (Turkish authorities) are reluctant to adopt orthodox policy frameworks,” JP Morgan said. “We suspect that there are diminishing marginal returns to additional technical measures so long as they are not accompanied by a fundamentally-oriented policy package.”

Investors said Albayrak’s conference call would test whether Turkey can persuade markets that its monetary policy is not hostage to political influence.

The White House said on Wednesday that it would not remove steel tariffs on Turkey, appearing to give Ankara little incentive to work for the release of Andrew Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges.

Washington wants the evangelical Christian freed but Turkish officials say the case is a matter for the courts.

President Donald Trump doubled tariffs on Turkish metals exports to the United States last week prompting Ankara, which says it will not bow to threats, to raise tariffs on U.S. cars, alcohol and tobacco by the same amount on Wednesday.

The pastor row is one of several between the NATO allies, including diverging interests in Syria and U.S. objections to Ankara’s ambition to buy Russian defence systems, that have contributed to instability in Turkish financial markets.

“ECONOMIC COUP ATTEMPT”

Erdogan has repeatedly told Turks to exchange gold and hard currency into lira, saying the country was involved in an economic war with enemies and a presidential official gave a similar message on Thursday.

“We are a fending off this economic coup attempt with the wisdom of the Turkish nation and the leadership of our president,” Fahrettin Altun, the president’s communications director wrote on Twitter.

Erdogan has called for a boycott of U.S. electronic goods and Turkish media have given extensive coverage to anti-U.S. protests, including videos on social media showing Turks apparently burning dollar bills and destroying iPhones.

Turkish Airlines and Turk Telekom have said they will halt advertising in U.S. media.

On Wednesday night, a group of Istanbul taxi drivers hung Turkish flags on their cars and sounded their horns as they drove in convoy to the U.S. consulate, laying a black wreath there in protest, the Demiroren news agency said.

On Wednesday Erdogan met for more than three hours with Qatar’s Emir, who approved a package of economic projects, investments and deposits worth $15 billion.

Earlier Erdogan doubled tariffs on imports of U.S. passenger cars to 120 percent, alcoholic drinks to 140 percent and leaf tobacco to 60 percent. Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

The White House called the Turkish response a step in the wrong direction and signalled a hard line.

“Pastor Andrew Brunson is an innocent man held in Turkey & justice demands that he be released. Turkey would do well not to test Trump’s resolve to see Americans who are wrongfully imprisoned in foreign lands returned home to the United States,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a tweet.

On Wednesday, a court rejected an appeal for Brunson to be released from house arrest. An upper court had yet to rule on the appeal, his lawyer told Reuters.]]>
8/16/2018 12:30:29 PM
<![CDATA[China, U.S. to hold lower-level trade talks in late August]]>
A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet U.S. representatives led by Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.

While the engagement was seen by analysts and business officials as positive, they cautioned that the talks were unlikely to lead to a breakthrough given they are among lower level officials and led on the U.S. side by the Treasury Department, not the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

There also remains a wide gap between the two sides over Washington’s demands that Beijing improve market access and intellectual property protections for U.S. companies, and slash a $375 billion trade deficit with China.

“The lower rank of the delegation suggests that both sides remain far apart, and an agreement reached for this visit is very unlikely,” Jonas Short, head of the Beijing office at investment bank Everbright Sun Hung Kai, wrote in a note.

News of the meeting gave a lift to the yuan and helped cap losses in China’s stock markets.

The world’s two largest economies have been locked in escalating rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs since the start of the year and have threatened further duties on exports worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The meeting would end what had been a lull in talks between the two sides, but it is unclear whether it will take place before or after Aug. 23, when Washington is due to activate additional tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods.

Beijing has said it will retaliate in kind.

The last official round of talks was in early June when U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing.

There was no immediate response from the U.S. Treasury to the announcement from Beijing.

LOW EXPECTATIONS

The upcoming meeting will be held at a lower-level compared with four earlier rounds of talks.

Having made little progress in the previous meetings, the White House said on Aug. 3 that the United States is open to further talks with China on how to resolve the festering trade dispute.

Four U.S. and Chinese sources in the business community said they had low expectations for the talks, particularly if officials from USTR were not involved. The invitation for talks may have been intended to steady markets, they said.

The U.S. Treasury Department led by Steven Mnuchin has been viewed as most opposed to tariffs among key Trump administration agencies, espousing a more moderate approach to China than trade hardliners such as USTR’s Robert Lighthizer.

After negotiations in Washington in May, Beijing believed it had assurances from the U.S. that tariffs were off the table, with Mnuchin saying the trade war and tariffs were “on hold”.

But less than 10 days later, the White House said it would push forward on planned tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports and press ahead with restrictions on investments by Chinese companies in the U.S.

“This looks like it will be a waste of time for the two govts (esp China’s)...Who thinks US Treasury Dept is empowered to make THE deal to end the trade war?”, Scott Kennedy, deputy director of the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote on Twitter.]]>
8/16/2018 12:13:40 PM
<![CDATA[Shares, emerging market currencies steady after fresh mauling]]>
Asian equities had hit one-year lows overnight as they tracked Wednesday’s global falls and Tencent results disappointed, but a fresh recent high for the FTSE and modest gains elsewhere pulled Europe up early on.

A dip in the dollar .DXY and the sight of the lira striding back above 6 per dollar TRYTOM=D3 and a higher Chinese yuan also steadied emerging market currencies like South Africa's rand, Russia's rouble and Mexico's peso.

EM stocks nudged lower again though after they had crossed the 20 percent peak-to-trough threshold that defines a ‘bear’ market. Metals markets clawed higher, however, after copper had also entered ‘bear’ territory.

“The Chinese are heading to Washington and yuan bounced, the Qataris are heading to Ankara and the lira bounced and has left everything else floating around really,” said Societe Generale’s global head of currency strategy Kit Juckes.

He added that it was still too early to sound the all clear around Turkey - its new finance minister and son-in-law of President Tayyip Erdogan will hold a global conference call later - and that the broader worries were still around the extent of China’s economic slowdown.

China on Thursday said a delegation led by its vice commerce minister would travel to the United States for talks in late August at the invitation of Washington.

That helped Chinese stocks pare losses, with both Shanghai Composite Index .SSEC and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index .HSI each down 0.8 percent. Earlier in the day, Shanghai was down as much as 1.9 percent while Hong Kong was off 1.7 percent.

Japan's Nikkei average .N225 closed 0.1 percent lower in choppy trade, with the benchmark falling as much as 1.5 percent before a brief swing into positive territory on China news.

The euro EUR= rose 0.3 percent and the offshore Chinese yuan CNY=D4 gained 0.8 percent following Sino-U.S. trade talk news. U.S. stock futures ESc1 rose 0.4 percent.

“The news (of the China-U.S. trade talks) triggered short-covering but I think fundamentally it is of limited significance,” said Yasuo Sakuma, chief investment officer at Libra Investments.

Sakuma said Turkey’s market swings reflect the fact that it is one of the more vulnerable parts of the global economy at this stage in the interest rate cycle, as the Federal Reserve seeks to normalize its monetary policy.

However, he noted there were arguably larger risks for investors, such as weak earnings from Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK).

The Chinese tech giant reported its first quarterly profit fall in nearly 13 years on weak gaming revenue - it holds a 40 percent stake in the U.S. firm that makes cult game Fortnite.

That had knocked other Asian tech firms with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), Asia’s third largest firm by market cap, down to a one-year low.

Though metals strengthened, oil prices were left flat after data showed a surprise weekly increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, compounding worries about a weaker global economic growth.

Brent was at just over $70 a barrel and U.S. crude oil CLc1 last stood at $65.12 per barrel, having fallen to two-month lows of $64.42 per barrel, following Wednesday’s 3.2 percent fall.

The tentative recovery in risk appetite also saw bond benchmark German Bund and U.S. Treasury yields, which move inverse to the bond’s price, nudge up. ]]>
8/16/2018 11:44:31 AM
<![CDATA[Otlob participates in Egypt’s initiative to reduce unemployment]]>
This initiative comes as part of the social responsibility of the private sector within the framework of supporting the state strategy to eliminate unemployment and provide job opportunities for young people, and the belief that the private sector should cooperate with the implementation of the state plan to employ youth.

The statement referred that this plan helped in reducing unemployment to 9.9 percent during the second quarter of 2018.

CAPMAS said Wednesday that Egypt’s unemployment rate fell to 9.9 percent in the second quarter of 2018, down from 10.6 percent during the first quarter of the same year and down by 2.1 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

It stated that this initiative came from Otlob as support for the youth and helps them find new job opportunities after unemployment rates reached 21 percent in Egypt, according to the latest estimates issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics.

In the context of the announcement of the Ministry of Social Solidarity to provide employment opportunities in partnership with the private sector, Otlob was keen to contribute to the training of new cadres in the current stage to deliver orders and deal with customers in a professional manner that suits the quality and value of restaurants available on its website.

On the same note, Otlob seeks to hire 5,000 delivery drivers through 2019 through new contracts and partnerships with other catering outlets to provide delivery service throughout the country.

The company calls the rest of the international and local companies to provide jobs for a large number of workers.

“This initiative came in partnership with a chain of famous restaurants to deliver food through a large number of young drivers, Otlob's Managing Director Walid EL Saadany said.

Saadany added that the reports of the Central Agency for Mobilization and Statistics on unemployment, especially in Upper and remote areas, as well as the directions of the state to create jobs, all of which push any institution to open employment areas for young people.

On the other side, Otlob announced launching a new significant partnership with McDonald's international, to deliver McDonald's orders utilizing Otlob's well-trained delivery agents and cutting edge delivery technology.

Otlob launched its own delivery service earlier this year for the first time in its 18 years of offering food ordering solutions in Egypt.

This service will expand to include more than 1,000 delivery riders in less than a year, covering dozens of restaurants across Cairo and beyond, according to the company’s statement.]]>
8/16/2018 12:30:00 AM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry to exempt taxpayers of tax due fine]]>
The minister clarified that the rates of exemptions range between 90 percent as the highest segment and 50 percent as the lowest segment in the framework of facilitating the industrial and investment sector.

This came during the minister's meeting, with deputy minister of finance for financial policies and institutional development, Ahmed Kajuk, and Deputy Minister of Finance for Public Treasury Affairs Ihab Abu Aish with the Board of Directors of the Federation of Investors Associations headed by Chairman of the Federation of Investors Associations Mohamed Farid Khamis and members of the Egyptian Federation.

Mai’t pointed out that the House of Representatives recently approved the law prepared by the Ministry of Finance to ease the burden on the tax community, which coincides with the initiative of the Central Bank to drop the benefits of loans to troubled projects, especially small and medium.

The minister explained that the law exempts the taxpayer from 90 percent of the delay penalties if he/she pays the main tax within 90 days and exempts the taxpayer from 70 percent if he/she pays the main debt within 45 days.

As for the person who paid the debt during the last 45 days of the six-month period allowed by the law, he will be exempted from his fine delay by 50 percent, he said.
The minister said that the ministry is working on the issuance of important legislative amendments, including a draft law to simplify and standardize the tax procedures, whether in income or value added.

He added that there is a new draft law sent to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Industries and Chambers of Commerce and that they are waiting for their comments.

As per the electronic bill, the minister said that there is a draft law that stipultes to apply the valud added taxes accurately and immediately to the electronic bills, adding that it will be applied in the chains of shops and supermarkets.

Ma’it said that the new act will be executed by the beginning of the year.

As of Jan. 1, 2019, all customers with government agencies will be required to pay amounts exceeding LE 100,000 using one of the electronic payment methods, with the application of a fine of 10 percent of the value of the amounts due in the case of cash payment or check, according to the minister.

Ma’it stressed that the government is seeking to develop tax and customs procedures to ensure uniformity of treatment in all ports and customs as well as the governance of these procedures.

“We are currently cooperating with Ernst & Young for the re-engineering of tax procedures as we will launch next September a general tender for the mechanization of these procedures and standardization, especially in income taxes and value added taxes.”

The minister pointed out that the Ministry of Finance is implementing the treasury single account (TSA) and the Government Fiscal Management Information System (GFMIS), which contributes to the greatest financial discipline.]]>
8/15/2018 7:28:47 PM
<![CDATA[FSA issues updated rules of Stock Exchange]]>
In a released statement by the Authority, he added that the rules were published on the Authority's website to be available for dealers on the money market.

These rules constitute the legal framework that is regulating the measures for registering or cancelling of securities on the Stock Exchange, he added.

He confirmed that the Authority is working to issue rules that are in line with the best international practices on this score.

One of the most important rules is revealing decisions and information of which any investor on the bourse should be aware along with protecting the rights of small investors.]]>
8/15/2018 6:06:20 PM
<![CDATA[Trade min. upgrades Abu Zenima industrial zone]]>
The project is carried out in cooperation with the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) and the National Organization for Military Production (NOMP).

In a statement, Nassar asserted the government's keenness on offering all support to major projects, particularly projects that help secure more jobs and enhance competitiveness of Egyptian products.

The minister further noted that Abu Zenima industrial zone is stretched over an area of 4,000 feddans and is rich in raw stone materials and minerals.

For his part, the governor said the project is expected to lure LE 5 billion in investments and secure 7,835 direct jobs and 23,505 indirect jobs.

On November 25, 2017, a memorandum of understanding was signed by IDA, NOMP, Sinai governorate and the Chinese Group CGCOC to develop the industrial zone in Abu Zenima.

Under the agreement, the Egyptian sides will benefit from the Chinese know-how in the management of export zones.

The industrial zone in Abu Zenima will significantly increase investment opportunities and create new job openings in South Sinai, a matter that will have a positive impact on Egypt's economy.]]>
8/15/2018 4:06:56 PM
<![CDATA[New services offered to owners of SMEs]]>
The website, which was set up by the Agency, is meant to provide all required information and services along with initiatives floated by governmental and non-governmental agencies for owners of small businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to start a new enterprise.

In a released statement, Gamei said that the website is offering a host of services in all domains for small investors including feasibility studies and plans of action along with suitable funding tools.

For his part, Sarhan noted that his company will add new services for supporting owners of medium and small-scale businesses.]]>
8/15/2018 3:55:52 PM
<![CDATA[ 57% of Egypt's crude oil production comes from Western Desert: Min.]]>
In a statement following a General Assembly meeting of Khalda Petroleum Company (KPC), Molla said his ministry is implementing an overall program to beef up oil and gas production from the Western Desert.

Speaking at the meeting about his company's achievements during the fiscal year of 2017/2018, KPC Chairman Khalid Mowafi said that his company, in cooperation with the US oil company Apache Corporation, drilled 59 wells (56 actively producing oil and gas wells and three water injection wells).

In July, the Petroleum Ministry announced that a new agreement to drill seven oil wells in the East Bahariya concession in the Western Desert was signed, with 9-million-dollar investments and a signature grant worth 30 million dollars.

The agreement was signed by CEO of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) Abed Ezz el Regal and Apache Egypt Regional Vice President and General Manager David Chi.]]>
8/15/2018 3:53:25 PM
<![CDATA[EGX flags in red for 4th consecutive session ]]>
EGX announced Tuesday that the bourse will be off for four days on the occasion of Eid El-Adha, starting from Monday, August 20 to Thursday, August 23, adding that trading will be resumed on Sunday, August 26.

The benchmark EGX30 lost 0.68 points, to close at 15,356.13 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 0.04 percent, or 1.08 points, to reach 2,526.51 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.41 percent, or 3.05 points, reaching 740.74 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.27 percent, or 5.10 points, closing at 1,905.98 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 51.04 million, recording LE 860.54 billion, compared to LE 860.49 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 175.07 million shares, traded through 18,939 transactions, with a turnover of LE 628.75 million.

Arabia Investments,Development,Fin. Inv. Holding Comp.-Cash, Arab Real Estate Investment CO.-ALICO, and Northern Upper Egypt Development & Agricultural Production were top gainers of the session by 5.05 percent, 4.76 percent and 3.99 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Egyptian for Developing Building Materials, Sharm Dreams Co. for Tourism Investment, and Egyptian Real Estate Group were top losers of the session by 8.89 percent, 5.74 percent, and 5.59 percent, respectively.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 66.2 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 66.05 million and LE 135,130, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foriegn individuals were net sellers at LE 12.44 million, LE 2.8 million and LE 1.39 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations were net buyers at LE 78.49 million and LE 2.9 million, respectively, while foreign organizations were net sellers at LE 64.79 million.

EGX ended Tuesday’s session in red, as EGX30 slipped 1.06 percent, EGX50 declined 1.03 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.26 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.71 percent.
]]>
8/15/2018 3:34:03 PM
<![CDATA[FRA: Credit scoring of bourse investors for new contracts only]]>
The current contracts will not be affected by the decision, he asserted in statements to MENA on Wednesday.

Nashaar noted that an investor's credit scoring will be examined at the time of inking a new contract with a brokerage company at the bourse without looking back to his/her history.

Buying on the margin is no more allowed for under-age clients, he said.

Meanwhile, he noted that credit rating of investors at the bourse is applicable in various stock markets of the world, expounding that the measure was meant to protect the market from crises and fluctuations of the capital market.

The brokerage companies will resort to the Egyptian Credit Bureau I Score to inquire after investors' credit scoring, he said.]]>
8/15/2018 3:11:18 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi affirms cement complex as part of Egypt, offers 13K jobs]]>
Sisi added during the inauguration of a number of mega projects in Beni Suef that the new cement complex is part of the Egyptian state and not separated from it.

“If we can meet all the demands of the Egyptian market, it will be a great opportunity for us as the import bill will be greatly reduced because we will produce what we need, and we will save a large part of the free currency we consume in importing our supplies,” Sisi said.

The president also noted that meeting the Egyptians' needs is a great opportunity to reduce the import bill, providing hard currency and thousands of jobs for young people.

Sisi emphasized the importance of meeting the environmental requirements in the cement factories in order to preserve the environment.

He pointed out that the extraction of marble in the new complex is not carried out using advanced methods to reduce waste.

The new project provides 3,000 direct job opportunities, and 10,000 indirect ones.

Sisi noted that the percentage of waste in the developed countries reaches a range of 5 to 10 percent, while it records 60 percent in Egypt, affirming that it’s not acceptable to waste Egypt's wealth.

"Marble production complexes will be completed in two years in five regions in Egypt, including six marble complexes in the marble city of the Jalala district."

Shaq al-Thaaban

Sisi appealed to the workers of the marble sector in the area of Shaq al-Thaaban to legalize their situation and cooperate with the state to develop the industry, saying: "Workers need to take the necessary procedures to legalize and regulate the organizations, factories and infrastructure of the sector, including plants that treat water that comes out of this industry."

Shaq al-Thaaban is considered one of the biggest places for manufacturing and exporting marble in the world; it includes 1,858 factories and workshops of marble, which comes from quarries of Ras Ghareb, Ain Sukhna, Minya and Jabal Al-Jalala in Suez, Red Sea and Aswan.

New Agriculture Project

During the inauguration, Sisi directed the state agencies and the engineering authority to remove the roads linking the islands on the Nile River and to remove the obstacles on the banks of the river immediately.

“We are developing a comprehensive plan for Upper Egypt's youth in the field of agriculture in Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut and Sohag,” Sisi said.

He also stated that a new agriculture project in four governorates will be announced in one or two months, adding that the government will hand the land to the youth of the four governorates of Beni Suef, Minya, Assiut and Sohag.

Sisi added that a number of major national projects will be opened in the upcoming weeks.

Public Companies

Sisi said that Egypt has more than 120 companies, noting that all obstacles facing these companies will be resolved which should turn them to an economic-added power of the state.

The president stated that the development of the public sector requires LE 150 billion.

He revealed that the subsidies bill reached LE 334 billion, saying that if there was no subsidy bill, we would have completed a number of investment projects in one year, but the bill is necessary to maintain the social balance amid the difficult economic conditions.

As per the losses and the closure of the Cement National Company, Sisi said that despite the loss that the factory recorded, the average salaries range from LE 12,000 to LE 14,000 per month, pointing out that reform is a difficult path and that Egyptians must cooperate to reach success.

The president also referred to floating the shares of the company on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) as a part of solving the difiiculties it faces.

The National Cement Company recorded a net loss of LE 744 million before taxes during the first nine months of fiscal year 2017/2018, compared to a loss of LE 615.6 million during the same period of 2016/2017.

The company’s financial indicators showed a total loss of LE 486.1 million during the same period of the current fiscal year, compared to LE 422.9 million in the nine months of the previous year.

National Mega Projects

Sisi arrived Wednesday in Upper Egypt’s Beni Suef governorate to inaugurate Egypt’s largest industrial complex for cement, marble and granite besides the inauguration of a new production line of Arish cement complex via video conference.

The industrial complex comprises three major cement factories producing 20 percent of Egypt's cement production.

The plants possess a total of six lines sufficient to produce more than 11 million tons of cement per year and more than 37,000 tons per day.

The project took 18 months to be completed on an area of 5 square kilometers. Sisi ordered the construction in May 2016.

The complex provides thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, mostly to citizens of Upper Egypt.

Many national and international companies have contributed in constructing the complex.

]]>
8/15/2018 2:55:27 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar vaults to year-high as Turkey crisis troubles euro]]>
Signs the U.S. economy remains robust ahead of an expected interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve next month have helped the dollar outperform other currencies recently.

So has a plunge in the lira which has hurt the euro because of European banks’ exposure to Turkey and driven demand for the dollar and other currencies such as the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen as safe-havens.

The dollar index that tracks the greenback against six currencies, rose above 96.9 for the first time since late June 2017.

“U.S. rates continue on an upward path ... That does provide fundamental support to the dollar in the medium term. We see scope for that move to continue,” said Sunil Krishnan, head of multi-asset funds at Aviva Investors whose team helps to run assets of £108 billion.

Turkey on Wednesday doubled tariffs on some U.S. imports including alcohol, cars and tobacco in retaliation for U.S. moves, but the lira rallied further.

The lira has lost more than 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, hit by worries over President Tayyip Erdogan’s calls for lower interest rates and his fraying ties with the United States.

On Wednesday, it recovered some ground to trade briefly at 5.7503 to the U.S. dollar, before falling back to 6.1700 at GMT 11:05.

The rebound to below 6.0 against the dollar was driven by a banking watchdog step to limit swap transactions and by hopes of improved EU relations.

Turkey’s finance minister will also seek to reassure international investors in a conference call on Thursday.

Markets are concerned by Erdogan’s influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

The rally in the dollar prompted selling in both the euro and the British pound.

The single currency drifted down toward $1.13 for the first time since July 2017 and sterling dipped below $1.27 for the first time since June last year.

The euro is under pressure because of the impact of the Turkish lira collapse on euro zone banks with exposure to Turkey and due to concerns about a fiscal spending spree by the Italian government which is involved in a standoff with Brussels.

Some investors are worried that the market turbulence caused by Turkey’s economic meltdown might delay the ECB’s monetary normalisation timetable, said Commerzbank FX analyst Esther Maria Reichelt.

“The attractive rate advantage of U.S. bonds is strengthening demand for the dollar. Combined with doubts over the [monetary] normalisation efforts of the European Central Bank this limits the upside potential in EUR-USD for now,” said Reichelt.

The plunge in the lira has prompted capital outflows from other emerging markets that run hefty current account deficits and rely on foreign capital.

Emerging market currencies continued to reel on Wednesday with the South African rand down 2.5 percent ZAR=, the Russian rouble down one percent RUB= and the Mexican peso 0.8 percent MXN=.

Against the yen , the dollar edged down about 0.1 percent to about 111.165 yen.

The pound hit a 13-month low, dropping 0.2 percent to $1.2694 despite data showing Britain’s inflation rate picked up in July for the first time this year.


]]>
8/15/2018 2:00:08 PM
<![CDATA[China says U.S. solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint]]>
China has lodged a complaint to the World Trade Organisation to help determine the legality of the U.S. policies, saying they not only harm China's rights but also undermine the WTO's authority, the ministry said on its website late on Tuesday. (www.mofcom.gov.cn).

Washington announced in January that it was imposing what it called safeguard tariffs over four years - with a 30 percent tariff in the first year reduced gradually to 15 percent in year four.

“As the U.S. violations have severely distorted the global market for products like photovoltaics and seriously damaged China’s trade interests, China’s use of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism is a necessary measure to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and maintain multilateral trade rules,” the commerce ministry statement said.

The move is not expected to have an immediate impact on China’s major solar manufacturers, including GCL (0451.HK), Jinko Solar (JKS.N) and Canadian Solar CSOQ.O, as their exposure to U.S. markets was reduced after earlier trade disputes.

One Chinese executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that U.S. solar tariffs were a “sideshow” and had little effect on Chinese business.

Peng Peng, a researcher with the China Renewable Energy Industry Association described the dispute as “a microcosm of the big trade spat”.

“The solar problem has existed for years. I think China chose to bring it up in order to keep up the rhythm of the trade dispute,” she said.

The United States has accused China of using subsidies and bulk manufacturing capacity to drive down prices and put U.S. competitors out of business in a range of sectors.

According to figures from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA), U.S. solar module production capacity fell from 1.5 gigawatts in 2011 to 1 GW last year as a result of bankruptcies.

China claims its manufacturers have benefited not from direct subsidy but from a fierce competitive environment that has driven down costs.

This year, its firms are facing a new wave of closures after the country’s state planning agency announced plans to cap new capacity at just 30 GW this year, down from a record 53 GW in 2017.

Despite the policy shift, manufacturers have continued to ramp up production, with silicon wafer output up 39 percent in the first half.

From January to May, exports of solar products also surged 21 percent year-on-year. Only a fraction went to the United States, with India the biggest market.

“Solar is only a piece on the big trade chessboard,” said another Chinese solar executive, who also declined to be named.

“I don’t think the complaint is necessarily a good thing for Chinese solar industry since it adds more uncertainties to the big (trade) war,” he added.]]>
8/15/2018 1:56:48 PM
<![CDATA[Turkey doubles tariffs on some U.S. imports; Turkish lira rallies]]>
Ankara acted amid increased tension between the two NATO allies over Turkey’s detention of a pastor and other diplomatic issues, which have helped to send the lira tumbling to record lows against the dollar.

The rebound in the Turkish currency to stronger than 6.0 against the dollar was driven by a banking watchdog’s step to limit swap transactions and by hopes of improved relations with the European Union.

Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he had authorized higher tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Turkey.

A decree signed by President Tayyip Erdogan, doubled Turkish tariffs on passenger cars to 120 percent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent and on leaf tobacco to 60 percent. Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.

“The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the U.S. administration’s deliberate attacks on our economy,” Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter.

The United States was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey last year, accounting for $12 billion of imports, according to IMF statistics. Turkey’s exports to the United States last year amounted to $8.7 billion, making it Turkey’s fifth-largest export market.

The row with Washington has helped to drive the lira TRYTOM=D3 to record lows, with the currency losing more than 40 percent of its value against the dollar this year, prompting central bank liquidity moves to support it.

The lira firmed as far as 5.75 against the dollar on Wednesday and stood at 5.9350 at 0745 GMT in a move initially triggered by a Turkish court decision to release two Greek soldiers facing espionage charges.

A treasury desk trader at one bank said this “development showed relations with the EU could recover while tense relations continue with the USA”.

It was also helped by a step from the banking watchdog BDDK, cutting the limit for Turkish banks’ forex swap, spot and forward transactions with foreign banks to 25 percent of a bank’s equity.

The lira had already rebounded about 8 percent on Tuesday on news of a planned conference call on Thursday in which the finance minister will seek to reassure international investors.

Markets have been concerned by Erdogan’s influence over the economy and his resistance to interest rate increases to tackle double-digit inflation.

Erdogan has said Turkey is the target of an economic war, and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the currency. On Tuesday, he said Turkey would boycott U.S. electronic products. [L5N1V50FZ]]]>
8/15/2018 1:53:02 PM
<![CDATA[Stocks, emerging currencies, lick wounds as lira bounces for second day]]>
The lira bounced another 5 percent, sharply extending Tuesday's gains as authorities further tightened the screws on foreigners aiming to short the currency. The lira is now around 6 per dollar, off record lows beyond 7.24 TRY=D3.

However, it started 2018 at 3.75 and the rebound follows a 36 percent drop over the past month. Fear of full-blown crisis and debt defaults in the country of 80 million people is far from over as the central bank’s failure to tackle galloping inflation and Ankara’s diplomatic tiff with Washington keep investors wary.

“It has calmed down a bit, the reason is that the Turkish lira is appreciating and that is causing people to re-focus on country-specific fundamentals so the contagion effect naturally is less,” said Koon Chow a strategist at fund manager UBP.

He said however there had been little fundamental change to celebrate and added: “It’s only a temporary thing for Turkish markets, I’m not sure (volatility) is over.”

The Turkish worries have in recent days driven a capital exodus from across emerging markets, sending currencies from the Argentine peso to the Indian rupee to record lows, while emerging equities .MSCIEF have tumbled almost 20 percent from January highs.

There are also concerns about China’s slowing economy — reinforced by this week’s data on investment and industrial output — and the yuan’s weakening to 15-month lows against the dollar is also pressuring other Asian markets.

Indonesia, acting after the rupiah fell to three-year lows, raised interest rates for the fourth time since May

European shares opened flat, though liquidity was severely thinned by a holiday in many countries .

Earlier, Asian shares excluding Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slid more than 1 percent to one-year lows while MSCI’s all-country equity benchmark was a quarter percent lower .MIWD00000PUS. But it stayed off one-month lows reached on Monday.

Chinese shares .HSI .SSEC lost more than 1 percent, pressured by signs the world's second-largest economy is losing momentum amid a trade conflict with Washington. Japanese shares too dropped one percent .N225.

U.S. President Donald Trump has slapped hefty tariffs on a swathe of Chinese goods, prompting retaliation from Beijing.

Global trade tensions show little sign of easing, with Beijing now lodging a complaint to the World Trade Organisation to help determine the legality of U.S. tariff and subsidy policies.

Turkey too has raised tariffs on some U.S. products “in response to the U.S. administration’s deliberate attacks on our economy”, Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

President Tayyip Erdogan has called a boycott on U.S. electronic goods.

Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy at FXTM brokerage said the escalation of tensions between the United States and Turkey reminded investors “it is not just the United States and China that stand at the heart of the global trade war concerns.”

Wall Street closed higher on Tuesday, continuing to draw support from forecast-beating company earnings but New York stocks appear set for a weaker opening, futures show .ESC1.

SAFETY

The concerns have driven investors to embrace assets such as German and U.S. government bonds, the Japanese yen and Swiss franc, which are considered safer. German and U.S. 10-year yields are down more 10 bps this month DE10YT=RR US10YT=RR.

The other beneficiary has been the dollar. Already resurgent thanks to the high yield it offers, it has surged to 13-month peaks against a basket of currencies .DXY.

“In light of all the turmoil we’ve seen out of Turkey and the subsequent contagion into other emerging markets, the dollar is pretty much establishing itself as the safe-haven currency,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank.

“If you are going to park your money somewhere to stay away from the turmoil, the dollar is going to be the currency of choice.”

The strong dollar’s victims are of course emerging currencies — many of them remain under pressure despite the lira’s recent bounce. But the greenback’s rise has also pummelled euro and sterling.

The former has been hit also by jitters around euro zone banks' exposure to Turkey EUR=EBS. The single currency slipped another 0.2 percent to a new 13-month low versus the dollar and it also extended losses against the Swiss franc EURCHF=

Sterling meanwhile tumbled under $1.27 for the first time since June 2017, having lost ground for 11 days in a row, its longest losing streak since 2008 GBP=D3. The currency is being undermined by confusion around what trade deal it (the British government) will negotiate with the European Union ahead of Britain's planned exit next year from the bloc.

However, gold XAU=, the other traditional safe haven, sank to 18-month lows, also hurt by dollar strength.

“The dollar will continue to be the safe-haven asset of preference. As a consequence, gold prices are really going to struggle,” said Daniel Hynes, an analyst at ANZ Bank.]]>
8/15/2018 1:49:50 PM
<![CDATA[Cement mega project to produce 12M tons annually]]>
The general manager noted in his speech in the presence of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi that the complex contains 14 residential buildings for 1,600 individuals, besides green areas.

“The complex was implemented in accordance with internationally recognized standards and provides 1,800 direct job opportunities and 8,000 indirect ones for young people who have been recruited from Upper Egyptian governorates,” he stated.



He also noted that the expected domestic consumption of cement in Egypt by the end of 2018 is estimated at 59 million tons.

Amin added that the consumption will reach 86 million tons in 2022.

The general manager further announced the completion of lines number 3 and 4 of the second phase of the Arish cement planet to double the production capacity of the complex to 6.5 million tons annually.

He said that the provision of cement is one of the most important challenges facing the plans of housing, reconstruction and infrastructure projects.

According to Amin, the domestic production of cement reached 50.8 million tons in 2013 with consumption at 50.1 million tons, compared to the production of 54.9 million tons in 2017 and a consumption of 53.8 million tons.

He added that the private sector contributes to the production by 80 percent, while the public companies provide the other 20 percent.

Regarding the history of cement in Egypt, Amin pointed out that Egypt was one of the first countries to establish cement manufacturing plants, noting that the first cement plant was founded in 1911 in Helwan governorate.

The number of Cement plants in Egypt recorded 23 factories in 2017, he said.

Sisi arrived in Upper Egypt’s Beni Suef governorate to inaugurate Egypt’s largest industrial complex for cement, marble and granite besides the new production line of Arish cement complex via video conference.

The industrial complex comprises three major cement factories producing 20 percent of Egypt's cement production.

Each plant has production lines with a total of six lines sufficient to produce more than 11 million tons of cement per year and more than 37,000 tons per day.

The project took 18 months on an area of five square kilometers. Sisi ordered the construction in May 2016.

The complex provides thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, mostly to citizens of Upper Egypt.

Many national and international companies have contributed in constructing the complex.
]]>
8/15/2018 12:29:35 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi in Beni Suef to inaugurate mega cement projects]]>


The industrial complex comprises three major cement factories producing 20 percent of Egypt's cement production.

Each plant has production lines with a total of six lines sufficient to produce more than 11 million tons of cement per year and more than 37,000 tons per day.

The project took 18 months on an area of five square kilometers. Sisi ordered the construction in May 2016.

The complex provides thousands of direct and indirect employment opportunities, mostly to citizens of Upper Egypt.

Many national and international companies have contributed in constructing the complex.
]]>
8/15/2018 11:27:57 AM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt records net profit of LE2.1B in H1 2018]]>
The company clarified in a statement that the decline in its net profit came as a result of a decrease in investment income from Vodafone Egypt and the impact of higher financing expenses.

“H1 2018 net profit was weighed on by first quarter performance as the second quarter net profit increased 4 percent YoY and 66 percent QoQ thanks to operational growth offsetting the increase in D&A and finance expenses,” the statement read.

The statement revealed that its consolidated revenues hiked 16 percent on a year-on-year basis, crossing LE 10 billion for the first time.

The statement attributed the rise in revenues to the increase of the price of data services by 45 percent YoY, continuing to lead growth boosted by fixed broadband.

As per standalone results, the company marked an increase of 2.38 percent, recording LE 1.42 billion during the first half of 2018, compared to LE 1.39 billion in the first half of 2017.

“It is important to highlight that our strategy relies on targeted investments in order to fulfil our goals for the company and the country,” Group Chief Executive Ahmed el-Beheiry stated.

Beheiry referred that the company's main focus lies on three objectives which are: the successful integration and monetization of the newly established mobile business to boost growth, overhauling Egypt’s internet infrastructure to provide the best quality and induce revenue as well as economic growth, and the expansion of Egypt’s international network with the aim of enabling Egypt to become a digital hub.

“Our ambitious investment strategy, while long-term in nature, has already shown results in H1 2018 with operational profit growing by 11 percent YoY in such a critical phase of the company’s history,” he added.

Beheiry noted that the impact on Telecom Egypt Q2 2018 earnings release net profit in H1 2018 is an expected by-product of such investment strategy and the high interest macro environment.

In 2017, Telecom Egypt’s consolidated results increased 17.97 percent, recording LE 3.15 billion, compared to LE 2.67 billion in 2016, while the company’s standalone results declined to LE 558.34 million in 2017, compared to LE 3.39 billion in 2016, according to a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

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.
]]>
8/14/2018 7:39:02 PM
<![CDATA[Two ministries sign protocol for supporting entrepreneurship]]>
The agreement is also aimed at stimulating investment in emerging companies and enhancing technological innovations.

The project comes as part of efforts exerted by the Egyptian government for backing young business people through providing them with the necessary tools to enable them to compete on international markets.

According to the agreement, a joint technical committee will be formed for creating a business context for supporting an economy which is based on creativity via using information technology, said a statement by the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology.

The protocol calls for outlining a joint strategy for attracting foreign and local investments into the domain of information technology and telecommunication in Egypt.]]>
8/14/2018 4:50:46 PM
<![CDATA[Hosny expects boost in Egyptian exports to US]]>
Egypt's exports of ready-made clothes to the US rose by 10 percent to stand at dlrs 373 million from January and June in comparison with the correspondent period last year.

Hosny made the remarks on Tuesday within the framework of the participation of six Egyptian companies in the MAGIC trade show which is held in Las Vegas from August 13 through 15.

The exhibition is a highly anticipated event in the fashion industry and it attracts a wide variety of exhibitors from around the globe.

The exhibitors come from different sections of fashion industry and mainly comprise of manufacturers of casual clothing lines, dress materials, leather goods, garments and accessories. The wide variety of exhibitors present at the magic trade show provide a one stop shop for the buyers making the whole process extremely comfortable and convenient.

The semi-annual event is held in February and August.]]>
8/14/2018 4:48:35 PM
<![CDATA[EGX continues its downtrend for 3rd session in a row]]>
The benchmark EGX30 slipped 1.06 percent, or 164.71 points, to close at 15,356.81 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 1.03 percent, or 26.21 points, to reach 2,527.59 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.26 percent, or 1.94 points, reaching 743.79 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.71 percent, or 13.73 points, closing at 1,911.08 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 6.99 billion, recording LE 860.49 billion, compared to LE 867.48 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 135.12 million shares, traded through 18,991 transactions, with a turnover of LE 717.45 million.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 132.73 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 2.07 million and LE 130.66 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 42.32 million, and LE 3.64 million, respectively, while foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 313,549.

Egyptian and Arab organizations were net buyers at LE 175.05 million and LE 1.56 million, respectively, while foreign organizations were net sellers at LE 130.97 million.


Al Baraka Bank Egypt, Torah Cement, and Egyptian Real Estate Group were top gainers of the session by 4.38 percent, 3.56 percent and 3.11 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Sinai Cement, Minapharm Pharmaceuticals, and ELSWEDY ELECTRIC were top losers of the session by 9.72 percent, 4.95 percent, and 4.64 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in red, as EGX30 slipped 1.38 percent, EGX50 declined 1.97 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.67 percent, and EGX100 inched down 0.77 percent.]]>
8/14/2018 4:41:41 PM
<![CDATA[EGX announces 4-day holiday for Eid al-Adha]]>
EGX added in a filing to its official website that trading will be resumed on Sunday, August 26.

Eid El-Adha is also called the "Feast of Sacrifice" and is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year.

It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Abraham sacrificed his son, God provided a male goat to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the animal is given to the poor and needy; one third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and one third is retained by the family.

The last holiday for EGX was on July 23 on the occasion of July 23 revolution, and work resumed on July 24.

Meanwhile, The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced earlier on Tuesday that banks will go on an official holiday on the occasion of Eid El-Adha, starting from August 20 until August 23.

EGX ended Monday’s session in red for the second consecutive session, losing LE 9.9 billion of its market capitalization, amid Egyptian and foreign selling.

The benchmark EGX30 slipped 1.38 percent, or 216.82 points, to close at 15,738.34 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 1.97 percent, or 51.26 points, to reach 2,553.80 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.67 percent, or 5.05 points, reaching 745.73 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.77 percent, or 14.89 points, closing at 1,924.81 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 9.92 billion, recording LE 867.48 billion, compared to LE 877.39 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 229.28 million shares, traded through 23,246 transactions, with a turnover of LE 703.48 million.]]>
8/14/2018 4:37:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt signs 3 new agreements for oil, gas exploration]]>
The minister also signed grants of $55 million for drilling 15 new wells, an official statement revealed.

The first agreement is signed with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas), Tharwa Petroleum Company and Italian Company Eni in Noor marine area in the Mediterranean Sea to drill two wells with a total investment of $105 million.

The statement referred that the second agreement was signed with the Petroleum Corporation, Eni and Croatian multinational oil company INA-Industrija nafte in the Ras Qattara region in the Western Desert to drill nine wells with a total investment of $11.7 million.

The third agreement came between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), ENI and the British Company BP in the Nile Delta (Nidoko) to drill four wells with a total investment of $22.5 million.

Molla said that the oil sector will continue to hold more petroleum agreements as these agreements are considered to be the cornerstone for attracting more investments.

On July 30, the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation signed a new petroleum agreement with the British Company BP to explore and produce oil and gas in the northeast of Ramadan in the Gulf of Suez with investments of about $46 million, in addition to a $4 million grant to drill three wells.

The number of signed petroleum agreements reached 88 new agreements since 2014 and the authority is working on signing 13 new agreements.

Earlier in July, the Petroleum Ministry signed three agreements for oil and natural gas exploration and production in North Sinai and the Gulf of Suez.

The first agreement was signed with South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) and Britain's GHP Corporation to dig six new wells in the western Gebel El-Zeit Concession with total investments of $6 million.

Gebel El-Zeit is an isolated, elongate mountain that reaches up to 457 meters and overlooks the southern end of the Gulf of Suez.

The second agreement was inked with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to search for oil in Ras Fanar Concession in the Gulf of Suez, while the third one was signed with EGPC and Britain's Perenco Oil and Gas Company for exploring in North Sinai maritime concession.

Egypt’s production of natural gas increased in December 2017 to reach 3.4 million tons, up from 2.7 million tons in December 2016.

Egypt’s gas production currently stands at 5.5 billion cubic feet a day, after adding some 1.6 million cubic feet as a result of starting production from the aforementioned projects.
The country's total natural gas consumption is about 6 billion cubic feet per day, of which roughly 65 percent goes to the electricity sector. ]]>
8/14/2018 4:31:35 PM
<![CDATA[Banks off for 4 days on Eid El-Adha: CBE]]>
CBE added in a statement that work will resume on Sunday, August 26, noting that Friday and Saturday are the weekend of banks operating in Egypt.

Eid El-Adha is also called the "Feast of Sacrifice", and is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year.

It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Abraham sacrificed his son, God provided a male goat to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one third of the animal is given to the poor and needy, the second is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining one third is retained by the family.

The last holiday for banks was on July 23, on the occasion of July 23 revolution, and work resumed on July 24.

On Monday, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Central Bank of Yemen to boost cooperation in the banking sector, particularly in the field of skills exchange and training of workers in the sector, following talks between the presidents of both countries in Cairo.

]]>
8/14/2018 1:34:13 PM
<![CDATA[Pharos expects unchanged interest rate in August ]]>
Pharos attributed this expectation to the acceleration of inflation during August and September due to seasonal factors and fiscal reform measures, as well as the recent low rate of foreign ownership of treasury bills.

The CBE cut interest rates twice earlier this year, in February and March by 200 basis points, and kept the rates unchanged during May and June meetings at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent for the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate respectively.

The report anticipated that monetary policy easing will be more cautious to avoid outflows of portfolio investment as a result of the rise of the dollar against emerging-market currencies, causing further global sell-offs in emerging markets, despite the Federal Reserve’s decision to stabilize interest rates at the last meeting.

It also added that the levels of interest rates at other emerging markets such as Argentina and Turkey put more pressure on the CBE.

Regarding inflation, Pharos said that the high inflation rate during the last two months was an expected rise due to the financial reform measures taken by the Egyptian government at the beginning of the fiscal year 2018-2019.

The Cabinet announced on June 16 lowering the fuel subsidy to 25 percent, after cutting electricity subsidies on June 12, raising prices by an average of 26 percent in the fiscal year 2018/2019 that began in July.

“The rapid pace of inflation may ease after September, when the impact of economic reform measures is fully absorbed, and this reform is fully reflected in the prices of goods and services, as well as the end of the ‘return to school season’,” the report noted.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced on Thursday that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13 percent in July 2018, compared to 34.2 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.5 percent in July, compared to the previous month, recording 289.9 points, CAPMAS stated.

Moreover, the CBE said that Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 8.54 percent in July 2018 from 10.9 percent in June 2018, according to a report.

On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 0.6 percent in July 2018, compared to 1.6 percent in June.

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

]]>
8/14/2018 1:32:23 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish lira pulls back from record low, markets rattled]]>
The currency has lost more than 40 percent against the dollar this year, largely due to worries about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates, and worsening ties with the United States.

On Friday the slide turned into a crash: the lira dropped as much as 18 percent, hitting U.S. and European stocks as investors took fright over banks’ exposure to Turkey.

Another lira collapse on Sunday night hit Asian shares and drove global demand for the safe-haven dollar, Swiss franc and yen. Shares in Europe’s major banks also fell.

Analysts say the crisis has been a long time coming and reflects Turkey’s refusal to raise interest rates to curb double-digit inflation and cool an overheated economy.

Erdogan, rejecting economic fundamentals as the cause of lira weakness, said Turkey was the target of an economic war.

“The developments over recent weeks have shown that Turkey is under siege,” he told a meeting of Turkish ambassadors. “It is clear that these attacks will continue for a while.”

He also said he expected the exchange rate to return to a ‘rational level’ and that Turkey had an action plan in place.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said “no one has an interest in an economic destabilisation in Turkey” and that Ankara should ensure the central bank’s independence.

The bank, which surprised markets last month when it held interest rates despite the tumbling lira, announced measures on liquidity and reserves after Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said the economic action plan would start on Monday.

Bankers also said the central bank would meet banks’ lira liquidity needs at the overnight rate of 19.25 percent — 150 basis points above the benchmark weekly repo rate — though it might not use the overnight funding on Monday because needs were low.

They said that could be the first step towards tightening policy via an interest rate corridor, an instrument used in previous years, rather than increasing the benchmark rate.

The reserve requirement moves will free up 10 billion lira, $6 billion, and $3 billion equivalent of gold liquidity in the financial system, the bank said. It also pledged to provide “all the liquidity banks need”.

The lira pared losses after Albayrak’s comments and the central bank announcement, but dropped again during the day and traded at 6.978 per dollar at 1609 GMT.

Turkish bank shares fell to their lowest in dollar terms since November 2003 and their dollar bonds and sovereign dollar debt tumbled. Stocks dropped 4 percent, with the BIST blue-chip index down around 50 percent in dollar terms this year.

In an interview published on Sunday, Albayrak said the economic plan would ease investor concerns, stressing budget discipline and ruling out any seizure or conversion of dollar-denominated bank deposits into lira.

“We will be taking the necessary steps with our banks and banking watchdog in a speedy manner,” he said.

Kuwaiti news agency KUNA said Albayrak held talks in the Gulf State with his Kuwaiti counterpart on Sunday evening about economic developments in Turkey, but said there was no discussion about supporting the Turkish currency.

Market analysts broadly welcomed Albayrak’s published comments but said investors wanted action.

“Turkey needs a complete rebalancing of its economic business plan, and very sharp rate hikes and a strong commitment that the central bank will be independent,” Credit Agricole’s senior emerging markets strategist Guillaume Tresca said.

But a drastic rate hike was unlikely because of the damage it would do to Turkey’s corporate sector, while capital controls would close off access to foreign exchange for companies already short of dollars, Tresca said.

Raphael Marechal, head portfolio manager, emerging markets, Nikko Asset Management Europe, said rate hikes might make things worse, given the stresses in the economy. “But it would send a signal to external investors and to the market that the central bank is concerned about inflation.”

Speaking to Hurriyet newspaper, Albayrak echoed Erdogan — his father-in-law — describing the lira’s weakness as “an attack”. That view was shared by Adnan Bali, chief executive of Isbank, one of Turkey’s top private banks, who said. “I cannot explain the point we have arrived with economic fundamentals.”

The interior ministry said on Monday it was taking legal action against 346 social media accounts that had posted “provocative” comments about the weakening lira.]]>
8/14/2018 12:48:58 PM
<![CDATA[Euro edges up, but threat from Turkey remains]]>
The lira TRYTOM=D3 has fallen almost 30 percent this month on concerns about a diplomatic rift with the United States and President Tayyip Erdogan's reluctance to raise interest rates despite rising inflation.

The lira pulled back on Tuesday from Monday’s record low of 7.24 after the Turkish central bank pledged to provide liquidity in response to a meltdown that unsettled global markets.

The euro traded up 0.1 percent on Tuesday at $1.1420 EUR=EBS, having fallen to a 13-month low of $1.1365 on Monday. So far this month it has lost 2.4 percent.

“The euro’s fall on worries about European banks’ exposure to Turkey seems a bit overdone, considering that their scale is not that huge,” said Yukio Ishizuki, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

Other analysts said the euro’s gains were unlikely to last long.

“We did not see much of an uplift in the euro despite some decent German growth data. That suggests to me this relief rally may be pretty short-lived,” said Viraj Patel, a currency analyst at ING in London.

Investors remain nervous about the plunge in the lira, prompting capital outflows from other emerging markets that run hefty current account deficits and rely on foreign capital.

Emerging market currencies continued to reel on Tuesday with the South African rand down two percent ZAR=, the Russian rouble dropped 1.4 percent RUB= and the Mexican peso 0.8 percent MXN=.

Traders shifted into currencies deemed safer, such as the yen and Swiss franc, underlining market worries about Turkey, but on Tuesday those jitters appeared to subside.

The franc fell against the euro EURCHF=EBS after hitting a one-year high of 1.1288 francs on Monday. The yen weakened 0.4 percent versus the dollar to 111.145 JPY=D3.

But “until the crisis in Turkey is over or the market considers it to be an isolated problem, risk aversion is likely to remain elevated which will continue to benefit mainly the currency safe havens,” said Antje Praefcke, a currency strategist at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

The dollar was headed for its biggest daily decline this month and versus a basket of major currencies was down 0.2 percent at 96.230 .DXY. It had rallied since the Turkish lira crisis erupted last week.

Onshore Chinese yuan CNY=CFXS, which had retreated roughly 0.7 percent the previous day, falling along with its emerging market peers, was a shade firmer at 6.8851 per dollar.

The yuan’s bounce was limited following the release of downbeat economic indicators, and it remained in reach of a 15-month trough of 6.8965 set earlier this month.

China’s economy is showing further signs of cooling as the U.S. prepares to impose even tougher trade tariffs. Investment in the first seven months of the year slowed to a record low and retail sales softened, data released on Tuesday showed.]]>
8/14/2018 12:45:59 PM
<![CDATA[Venezuela gasoline prices should rise to international levels: Maduro]]>
“Gasoline must be sold at an international price to stop smuggling to Colombia and the Caribbean,” Maduro said in a televised address.

Venezuela, like most oil producing countries, has for decades subsidized fuel as a benefit to consumers. But its fuel prices have remained nearly flat for years despite hyperinflation that the International Monetary Fund has projected would reach 1,000,000 percent this year.

That means that for the price of a cup of coffee, a driver can now fill the tank of a small SUV nearly 9,000 times. Recently, the average price of a coffee with milk was 2.2 million bolivars, or about 50 cents, local media has reported.

Smugglers do brisk business reselling fuel in neighboring countries.

Maduro said the government would still provide “direct subsidies” to citizens holding the “fatherland card,” a state-issued identification card that the government uses to provide bonuses and track use of social services.

He said the subsidy was only available to those who registered their cars in a vehicle census being conducted by the state.]]>
8/14/2018 12:42:19 PM
<![CDATA[Shares regain footing as lira roars out of rout]]>
After three weeks of losses, Turkey's lira finally recovered as the country's central bank moved to ease pressure on the currency, triggering a 7 percent surge to 6.4 per dollar TRYTOM=D3. It still lost almost 10 percent on Monday alone and has shed more than two-fifths of its value so far in 2018.

The rot also stopped for the South African rand, the Russian rouble and the Argentine peso. Argentina’s central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by 5 percentage points on Monday. Even so, the peso hit a record low.

“These things get very volatile in both directions once you have had a really big move,” Saxo bank’s head of FX strategy John Hardy said. “To suggest this thing is over, you would have to see that Turkey is isolated. I’m not there yet and I don’t think the market is there.”

European shares also bounced back after two days of selling as anxieties over contagion from the Turkish currency crisis eased.

After falling to a 21-month low on Monday, euro zone bank stocks .SX7E rose 0.8 percent versus a 0.4 percent gain by the pan-European STOXX 600 cross-sector benchmark.

Data showed the region’s largest economy, Germany, picked up more steam than expected in Q2, although the bounce might have been stronger had surveys from China not proved softer than expected.

Chinese retail sales, industrial output and urban investment all grew by less than forecast in July, a trifecta of disappointment that underlined the need for more policy stimulus in China even as trade risks intensify.

The Shanghai blue-chip index .CSI300 was off 0.9 percent and weighing on MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS, which eased 0.25 percent.

Moves elsewhere were mixed. Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 2.3 percent and Australian stocks added 0.8 percent.

EMini futures for the S&P 500 ESc1 were still a fraction higher. Ten-year Treasury yields held at 2.88 percent US10YT=RR.

Investors were encouraged that U.S. declines were only minor overnight after the losses by the lira and other emerging-market currencies. The Dow .DJI ended Monday down 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.4 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC fell 0.25 percent.

“The more significant emerging-market concern relates to the risk that regional underperformance becomes a source of disruption through swings in capital flows and currencies,” said Matt Sherwood, head of investment strategy at Perpetual.

“While the focus at present is on Turkey, where currency depreciation and rising rates has translated into a marked tightening of financial conditions, it could spread to Mexico, Brazil and India.”

Sherwood cited the NAFTA negotiations as a key risk for Mexico and upcoming elections in Brazil and India as potential threats for those two markets.

Bond yields in Spain and Italy fell, although the euro was still struggling at $1.1407 EUR=D3, having touched its lowest since July 2017 on Monday.

It also reached one-year lows against the yen and Swiss franc, safe harbors in times of stress.

The dollar was a touch firmer at 110.95 yen JPY=, having hit a six-week trough around 110.10 on Monday. Against a basket of currencies, the U.S. currency .DXY rose to 96.289 in European trading.

In commodity markets, gold slid to its lowest since late January 2017. It was at $1,1195 an ounce XAU=.

U.S. government data last week showed that gold speculators had lifted their bearish bets to a record.

Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, New York’s SPDR Gold Trust GLD, have dropped about 10 percent from their April peak and are at their lowest since February 2016. HLDSPDRGT=XAU

Oil prices rose after a report from OPEC confirmed that top exporter Saudi Arabia had cut production to avert looming oversupply. [O/R]

Brent gained 60 cents to $73.22 a barrel LCc1. U.S. crude added 64 cents to $67.85 CLc1.]]>
8/14/2018 12:21:33 PM
<![CDATA[German investments in East Port Said worth €70M]]>
The two subsidiaries of the German Company are BAG East Port Said and Gerda Egypt, an official statement revealed.

The agreements were signed in the presence of Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Mamish and Chairman of East Port Said Development Company Karim Samy.
The first agreement was signed with BAG East Port Said Company, targeting a project on a land plot of 30,000 square meters with an investment cost of €55 million to offer new job opportunities for more than 300 workers.

BAG East Port Said is one of the German Business Avenue Group companies established in the economic zone for the production and marketing of irrigation systems with the latest technologies providing irrigation water and reducing the cost of irrigation systems.

The second agreement is signed with Gerda Egypt for a project on a land of about 20,000 square meters, with an investment cost of €15 million, to offer new job opportunities for more than 150 workers.

The company was established in the economic zone as a partnership between German company Gerda and Business Avenue Group.
According to the statement, these agreements came in the framework of the company’s developing allocated area by the Economic Zone to attract a number of foreign investments and the establishment of a number of projects in East Port Said’s industrial zone.

Mamish said that this is the first step to activate contracts signed between Egypt and Germany last year, especially given investments in East Port Said.
“The signing of these two contracts marks the beginning of the real development in East Port Said,” Mamish added.

Construction is expected to begin in early November after the Suez Canal Economic Authority handed over land to improve soil properties by the Engineering Authority.
East Port Said Development (EPSD) is the developer and promoter of the new industrial area in East Port Said Special Economic Zone.

The zone is located at Egypt’s most strategic location, the northern end of the Suez Canal. The company was established by the Industrial Development Group (IDG), the National Service Project Organization (NSPO) and SAMCRETE.

Last September, Mamish witnessed the signing of initial letters between the East Port Said Development Company and the German company Bavarian to establish five factories on an area of 40,000 square meters. Factories include the industries of tractors, buses, irrigation systems, armored doors factory and another to produce iron locks.

]]>
8/13/2018 7:38:01 PM
<![CDATA[Telecom Egypt to raise $500M syndicated loan led by UAE banks]]>
First Abu Dhabi Bank and Mashreqbank, mandated to jointly arrange the five-year facility, have begun syndicating the deal to other lenders, they said.

Telecom Egypt is 80 percent state-owned, with the remainder of its shares listed on the Egyptian and London stock exchanges.

The loan is the latest of a number of debt facilities raised by Egyptian borrowers over the past few months, suggesting improved business conditions in the country under a $12 billion three-year IMF loan programme tied to fiscal and economic reforms.]]>
8/13/2018 3:34:54 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt strategic sugar reserves at 6 months: supply ministry]]>
The country expects to produce about 2.3 million tonnes of sugar this year and consumes about 3 million tonnes, filling the gap with imports. ]]>
8/13/2018 3:18:09 PM
<![CDATA[EGX stays in red zone for 2nd session in row]]>
The benchmark EGX30 slipped 1.38 percent, or 216.82 points, to close at 15,738.34 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 1.97 percent, or 51.26 points, to reach 2,553.80 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.67 percent, or 5.05 points, reaching 745.73 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.77 percent, or 14.89 points, closing at 1,924.81 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 9.92 billion, recording LE 867.48 billion, compared to LE 877.39 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 229.28 million shares, traded through 23,246 transactions, with a turnover of LE 703.48 million.

Arab investors were net buyers at LE 4.58 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 3.5 million and LE 1.05 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 17.07 million, and LE 5.59 million, respectively, while Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 3.85 million

Egyptian and foreign organizations were net sellers at LE 20.6 million and LE 6.65 million, respectively, while Arab organizations were net buyers at LE 8.43 million.

Ismailia National Food Industries, Kafr El Zayat Pesticides, and AJWA for Food Industries Company Egypt were top gainers of the session by 9.01 percent, 5.19 percent and 4.09 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Extracted Oils, and Alexandria New Medical Center, were top losers of the session by 8.21 percent, and 7.95 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s session in red, as EGX30 slipped 1.17 percent, EGX50 declined 1.45 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.43 percent, and EGX70 inched down 0.72 percent.
]]>
8/13/2018 3:13:47 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, China sign grant for ‘EgyptSat-2' worth $45M]]>
The grant was signed by Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Ambassador of China to Cairo Song Aiguo, in the presence of Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghafar and representatives of the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.

The Ministry of Investment clarified in a statement that this grant comes to perfect the satellite collection project’s grant which amounted to $23 million, in cooperation with the Chinese Space Administration.

Nasr said that this grant affirms the strength of the strategic relationship with China especially in information technology and scientific research sector.

“This project aims at transferring Chinese technology in the satellite sector to serve the purposes of research projects and remote sensing,” she noted.

She emphasized the importance of cooperating with China in this field in light of the establishment of the Egyptian space agency.

Regarding the Egyptian-Chinese relationship, the minister stated that China is one of the closest partners to Egypt as it executes several development projects.

These projects are: Fish Collection and Integration Tests Center, a training center in the Suez Canal Economic Zone to provide a highly trained workforce to meet the requirements of industries and foreign investment in the Economic Zone, the Luxor Opera House project, and the development of the distance learning system "the first two phases".

Recently, the investment relations between the two countries witnessed a progress as the Chinese firms in Egypt are now ranking the first in fields of information technology, electricity, communication and transport with a total of 1,558 companies.

Minister of Higher Education Abdel Ghaffar said that the agreement stipulates to train a number of Egyptian cadres in China on remote sensing, and to construct a satellite gathering center in the Egyptian space city.

For his part, the Chinese ambassador to Cairo clarified that the upcoming period will witness a progress in the Chinese investments in Egypt, noting that China is keen to transfer its expertise in the field of satellite manufacturing and operation technology.

He added that the satellite project will contribute in supporting Egypt's regional leadership in the field of space and scientific research.

Aiguo also praised the improvement of the investment climate in Egypt which encourages the Chinese investors to pump new investments in the country during the upcoming period.

Egypt implemented an economic reform program and issued several new laws and regulations which encourage investments in Egypt.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program in 2014 that includes floating its currency to lose about 50 percent of its value, cutting energy subsidies and introducing new taxes to cut the budget deficit.

The new laws and regulations include: the new investment law and its executive regulations, the law of restructuring and reconciliation, bankruptcy and postponement of financing and privatization, and the amendments of the law of companies and the capital market and their executive regulations.

The new investment law provides investors with several incentives and treats men, women, Egyptian and foreign investors equally.

The law also stipulates that foreign employees should not exceed 20 percent of the total number of workers in the projects established by non-Egyptian investors.

Moreover, the bankruptcy law regulates the financial and administrative restructuring for failed projects and companies, eliminating prison sentences in bankruptcy cases and limiting punishments to a monetary fine.

It also aims to minimize the need for companies or individuals to resort to the courts and to simplify post-bankruptcy procedures.
]]>
8/13/2018 2:32:34 PM
<![CDATA[Finance minister approves LE4.5B in urgent allocations ]]>
The allocations include LE 3.75 billion to the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) for the ration cards and bread subsidies, LE 220 million to the National Media Authority to meet its commitments towards its employees and LE 61 million to the General Authority for Health Insurance to provide financial support to students and women breadwinners.

The allocations also cover the Supreme Council of Culture, the Holding Company for Cotton Spinning and Weaving, the Holding Company for Water and Waste Water and the Railway Authority.]]>
8/13/2018 2:26:56 PM
<![CDATA[High-octane fuel unit of ANRPC to start operation in Sept.:min.]]>
In a statement on Monday, Molla said the $233-million project is one of the ministry's projects which aim at upping local production of petroleum products and reducing imports.

He said the project will up ANRPC's output of octane 92 and 95 fuel by 850,000 tons annually, thus doubling the company's production.

This will also ratchet up the company's contribution to the local market from 10 percent to 21.5 percent, he said.

Butane gas production will reach 38,000 tons annually, he said.

ANRPC Chairman reviewed a number of future projects which the company plans to carry out.

The future projects will be in the industrial water recycling and treatment sector and include building an ammonia production unit and a methanation unit.]]>
8/13/2018 2:10:39 PM
<![CDATA[Promising investment opportunities in 4 major projects in 10th of Ramadan City]]>
The four projects are the Regional Services Center, the Knowledge City, the Central Money and Business Area and the New Zaqziq Area, Madbouli said in a statement.

The Tenth of Ramadan City's development agency is now working on providing these four projects with needed utilities, he said, urging investors willing to pump their money in these projects to come forward and present the feasibility study of their would-be projects and their companies' portfolios.

Tenth of Ramadan City has many promising investment opportunities given its distinguished location, good infrastructure and the full services it enjoys, Madbouli said.

Abdel Monsef Refai, head of the city's development agency, said the first project, the Regional Services Center, covers 1,430 feddans and it includes a huge center for regional services and retail trade, a hypermarket, factories' outlet stores, entertainment centers, international schools, a smart village and luxurious flats.

The project aims at turning the city into an investment hub and luring more investments to serve the residents of the city, he added.

The second project, the Knowledge City, covers 1,915 feddans and aims at setting up an educational city serving national industry, preparing high-level cadres operating in different industrial domains and establishing a hub for education and researches, Refai said.

The third project, the Central Money and Business Area, covers 765 feddans and aims at enhancing economic activities in the city. This area will be very important as it is located near important harbors and will provide 32,000 jobs, he added.

The fourth project, the New Zaqziq Area, covers 9,000 feddans and includes private universities, entertainment areas in addition to health, educational, sports, investment and housing services.

There are 2,056 projects in the area with investments of 28.1 billion pounds and a 34-billion-pound annual production.

Some 1,028 factories are now under construction in the area with an expected production of 2.7 billion pounds annually.]]>
8/13/2018 2:08:14 PM
<![CDATA[HC forecasts inflation to stabilize in August, unchanged interest rates]]>
HC said in a report Monday that Egypt’s headline inflation in July came higher than the expectations of HC Securities & Investment by 1.5 percent.

The report attributed the rise in inflation to the high monthly food and beverage inflation that recorded 2.1 percent, contributing to 1.15 percent of the total monthly inflation.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced Thursday that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13 percent in July 2018, compared to 34.2 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.5 percent in July, compared to the previous month, to record 289.9 points, CAPMAS stated.

Moreover, CBE said that Egypt’s annual core inflation rate declined to 8.54 percent in July 2018 from 10.9 percent in June 2018, according to a report.

On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 0.6 percent in July 2018, compared to 1.6 percent in June.

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

“We believe the MPC will likely keep interest rates unchanged at its upcoming meeting, expecting monthly inflation to start normalizing in August to 1 percent on the phasing out of first and second rounds' effects of fuel, electricity, and tax reforms, resulting in a nearly stable yearly inflation in August,” Chief Economist at HC, Sara Saada, said.

CBE cut the interest rates twice earlier this year in February and March by 200 basis points, and kept the rates unchanged during May and June meetings at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent for the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate, respectively.

“We believe the local drivers of price inflation will stabilize in 4Q18, after which we may witness further monetary policy easing if exogenous factors, including international oil prices, exchange rate, and emerging market yields are favorable,” the chief economist added.

Saada noted that although the fuel subsidy reform, which typically affects the food and beverage inflation figure, and food and beverage price, was implemented in June, inflation in July was higher than the June figure.

The Cabinet announced on June 16 lowering the fuel subsidy to 25 percent, after cutting electricity subsidies on June 12, raising prices by an average of 26 percent in the 2018-2019 fiscal year that began in July.

According to Saada, other major contributors to inflation were housing and utilities, with prices rising 5.2 percent m-o-m following a 14.6 percent increase in the prices of electricity, natural gas, and other fuel products, contributing to 0.56 percent of the total monthly inflation figure.

Additionally, the prices of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes were raised by7.2 percent m-o-m after cigarette prices increased 7.6 percent m-o-m upon cigarette tax reforms, contributing to 0.34 percent of the total monthly inflation.

HC expected earlier interest rates to take almost two years to return to pre-flotation levels.

Egypt floated its currency in November 2016, losing 50 percent of its value as a part of an economic reform program.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program in 2014 that includes floating its currency, losing about 50 percent of its value, cutting energy subsidies and introducing new taxes to cut the budget deficit.

]]>
8/13/2018 2:06:40 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 3B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 1.25 billion with a 10-year term and the second worth LE 1.75 billion with a five-year term.

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

Egypt targets an average of interest rate on the government debt instrument to reach 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. ]]>
8/13/2018 11:15:30 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling stuck near 2018 low on dollar strength, Brexit woes]]>
Sterling lost 2 percent of its value last week because of growing unease among investors that Britain was headed for a future where it lacked an established relationship with its largest trading partner, the EU.

On Monday, the British currency dropped 0.3 percent to a low of $1.2735, a fraction higher than Friday’s 13-month low.

That move was roughly in line with the dollar’s rise against a basket of major currencies, fuelled by investors rushing into safer assets on fears of market contagion from a dramatic slide in the Turkish lira.

Strong employment or inflation data — both reports are due this week — are unlikely to help the pound significantly, analysts said.

That is because of political uncertainty over Brexit and the fact markets are not pricing in another Bank of England interest rate increase until at least next year.

“The uncertainly of a ‘no-deal Brexit’ is likely to weigh on the pound, and traders could remain cautious until there is more clarity around the UK’s plans post leaving the EU,” said Societe Generale analyst Guy Stear.

Against the euro, the pound has held up better as demand for dollars has held back the euro.

The pound traded up 0.1 percent to 89.28 pence per euro, above its recent 2018 lows of 90.30 pence.

Sterling has been pushed lower as investors rush to protect themselves from further weakness in the run-up to Britain’s exit from the EU next March. Most investors still expect Britain to secure a trade deal with the EU, but the risk of no deal is rising.

Warnings this month from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and trade minister Liam Fox, that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit was growing, triggered the recent slide.]]>
8/13/2018 11:06:58 AM
<![CDATA[Oil dips as emerging market woes dim demand outlook]]>
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was down 25 cents at $72.56 per barrel by 0725 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 25 cents lower at $67.38 a barrel.

Turkey’s financial crisis has raised the risk of contagion throughout emerging economies, dragging down South Africa’s rand, Argentina and Mexico’s pesos, Russia’s rouble and emerging market stocks, and curbing growth and the outlook for oil demand.

This is compounding worries that a deepening trade war between the United States, China and the European Union will squeeze business activity in the world’s biggest economies.

“Trade protectionism and escalating tensions between the world’s largest economies (the United States and China) have cast a looming shadow on global oil demand growth in 2018,” brokerage Phillip Futures said on Monday.

Hedge funds and other money managers reduced their bullish positions in U.S. crude futures and options in the week ending on Aug. 7, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

Phillip Futures said hedge funds had cut bullish bets on oil because of “rising production levels from OPEC and the United States”.

U.S. energy companies last week increased their number of active oil rigs by the most since May, adding 10 rigs to bring the total count to 869, according to the Baker Hughes energy services firm. [RIG/U]

That was the highest level of drilling activity since March 2015.

Despite the cautious mood in oil markets, bullish sentiment found some support from expectations that U.S. sanctions against Iran would restrict Iranian crude exports, tightening global supply.

The United States has started implementing new sanctions against Iran, which from November will also target the country’s petroleum sector.

Iran is the third largest producer among the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

“With U.S. sanctions on Iran back in place ... maintaining global supply might be very challenging,” ANZ bank said on Monday, although it added that “the U.S. is doing its bit to increase production”.]]>
8/13/2018 11:05:10 AM
<![CDATA[Trump backs boycott of Harley Davidson in steel tariff dispute]]>
The Wisconsin-based motorcycle manufacturer announced a plan earlier this year to move production of motorcycles for the European Union from the United States to its overseas facilities to avoid the tariffs imposed by the trading bloc in retaliation for Trump’s duties on steel and aluminum imports.

In response, Trump has criticized Harley Davidson, calling for higher, targeted taxes and threatening to lure foreign producers to the United States to increase competition.

“Many @harleydavidson owners plan to boycott the company if manufacturing moves overseas. Great! Most other companies are coming in our direction, including Harley competitors. A really bad move! U.S. will soon have a level playing field, or better,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

Harley Davidson has repeatedly declined to comment on Trump’s remarks over the course of the dispute. The company could not be immediately reached for comment on Sunday.

Harley has forecast that the EU tariffs would cost the company about $30 million to $45 million for the remainder of 2018 and $90 million to $100 million on a full-year basis.

Trump met Saturday with a group of bikers who support him, posing for pictures with about 180 bikers at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on vacation.

Motorcycle companies based outside the United States include Japan’s Honda Motor Co Ltd (7267.T) and Yamaha Corp (7951.T), Europe’s BMW (BMWG.DE) and Ducati as well as India’s Hero MotoCorp Ltd (HROM.NS), Bajaj Auto Ltd (BAJA.NS), among others.]]>
8/13/2018 10:57:31 AM
<![CDATA[Tesla's slow disclosure raises governance, social media concerns]]>
Musk stunned investors last Tuesday by announcing on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private in a potential $72 billion transaction and that “funding” had been “secured.”

Tesla’s shares closed up 11 percent before retrenching after the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had asked Tesla why Musk announced his plans on Twitter and whether his statement was truthful.

Musk provided no details of his funding and as of Thursday Tesla’s board had not received a financing plan from Musk, Reuters reported, leaving investors and the broader market clamoring for more information.

Putting aside whether Musk misled anyone, the unorthodox manner in which he announced the news and Tesla’s failure to promptly clarify the situation with a regulatory filing is a corporate governance lapse that raises questions about how companies use social media to release market-moving news, securities lawyers said.

“Management buyouts or other take-private transactions already suffer from serious information asymmetry between management and public shareholders,” said Gabriel Rauterberg, a University of Michigan law professor.

SEC rules typically require companies to file an 8-K form within four business days of a significant corporate event.

While several securities lawyers said Musk’s tweets alone did not trigger this obligation, such a filing would be prudent given the unusual circumstances, David Axelrod, a partner at law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, said.

“An 8-K would provide some more details, it would say what stage negotiations are in, and provide more information than 53 characters in a tweet,” he added.

SEC guidelines published in 2013 allow companies and their executives to use social media to distribute material information, provided investors have been alerted that this is a possibility. Tesla did this in a 2013 filing.

But such disclosures have to be full and fair, meaning the information is complete and accessible by all investors at the same time, a bar that Musk’s tweets may not have met.

“Twitter is not designed to provide full and fair disclosure. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t, but in a series of 20 to 30 characters I’m not sure you’re getting full disclosure,” said Zachary Fallon, a former SEC attorney and principal at law firm Blakemore Fallon.

Tesla and the SEC did not reply to requests for comment on Sunday.

Securities lawyers said there was also a question mark over whether Musk selectively disclosed information on the possible terms of the deal when he subsequently replied to followers, two of whom claim in their handles to be investors.

Those tweets were not immediately visible to all followers of Musk’s main feed until he retweeted them.

The 47-year-old billionaire’ s history of joking about Tesla and using twitter to bait his critics, also appears to have undermined trust in Musk’s feed as a reliable source of company information, with many investors initially believing Tuesday’s tweet was a prank.

“Musk’s irreverence and showmanship is part of the Tesla brand, I get that, but I don’t think the securities laws do,” said Fallon.]]>
8/13/2018 10:54:43 AM
<![CDATA[Turkish lira pulls back from record low after central bank frees up liquidity]]>
The announcement came after Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said authorities would start implementing an economic action plan on Monday morning, following Friday’s lira crash, which has spread to global markets.

The central bank said it cut the lira’s reserve requirement ratio, a cash buffer held by banks, by 250 basis points for all maturity brackets and lowered reserve requirement ratios for non-core FX liabilities by 400 basis points for maturities up to three years.

These moves will free up 10 billion lira, $6 billion, and $3 billion equivalent of gold liquidity in the financial system, the bank said. It also pledged to provide “all the liquidity banks need”.

The lira TRYTOM=D3 hit a record low of 7.24 against the dollar during in Asia Pacific trade. It pared losses after Albayrak's comments and the central bank announcement, strengthening to 6.4, before weakening again to 6.92 to the dollar at 0543 GMT.

The currency has lost more than 40 percent against the dollar this year, largely over worries about President Tayyip Erdogan’s influence over the economy, his repeated calls for lower interest rates, and worsening ties with the United States.

The lira’s relentless fall turned to meltdown on Friday. It dropped as much as 18 percent at one stage, rattling U.S. and European stocks as investors took fright over banks’ exposure to Turkey.

The renewed lira collapse on Sunday night hit Asian shares, weakened the South African rand and drove demand in global markets for safe currencies including the U.S. dollar, Swiss franc and yen.

Finance Minister Albayrak said in an interview published late on Sunday that Turkey has drafted a economic action plan and will start implementing it to ease investor concerns.

“From Monday morning onwards our institutions will take the necessary steps and will share the announcements with the market,” he said, without giving details.

BlueBay Asset Management strategist Timothy Ash said the plan should have been ready before Asian markets opened.

“They are just always behind the curve, always catching up, always too late, and then the damage is done. Text book stuff of how not to manage a crisis,” he wrote on Twitter.

Albayrak said budget discipline would be the most important foundation of Turkey’s new economic approach and fiscal rules would be implemented for targeted indicators if necessary.

The minister also said a plan has been prepared for banks and the “real” economy, including small to mid-sized businesses which are most affected by the foreign exchange fluctuations.”We will be taking the necessary steps with our banks and banking watchdog in a speedy manner,” he said.

Albayrak dismissed any suggestion that Turkey might intervene in dollar-denominated bank accounts, saying any seizure or conversion of those deposits into lira was out of the question.

In the interview with Hurriyet newspaper, Albayrak described the lira’s weakness as “an attack,” echoing Erdogan - who is his father-in-law.

Erdogan, who has called himself an “enemy of interest rates,” wants cheap credit from banks to fuel growth, but investors fear the economy is overheating and could be set for a hard landing.

On Sunday, speaking to supporters in Trabzon on the Black Sea coast, Erdogan dismissed suggestions that Turkey was in a financial crisis like those seen in Asia two decades ago.

The lira’s free-fall was the result of a plot and did not reflect economic fundamentals, he said. “What is the reason for all this storm in a tea cup? There is no economic reason... This is called carrying out an operation against Turkey,” he said.

The central bank raised interest rates to support the lira in an emergency move in May, and again the following month. But it did not tighten monetary policy at its last meeting three weeks ago.

Turkey’s banking watchdog BBDK in a statement said it was limiting banks’ foreign exchange swap transactions.]]>
8/13/2018 10:42:43 AM
<![CDATA[Asian shares, euro trampled as Turkish rout spreads]]>
The run from risk dragged MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 1.5 percent to a near one-year low. Japan’s Nikkei lost 2.0 percent with every bourse in the region in the red.

EMini futures for the S&P 500 were off 0.3 percent, while 10-year Treasury yields dipped further to 2.85 percent. Spreadbetters pointed to a subdued start for European shares with London’s FTSE futures down 0.4 percent.

China’s blue chip index shed 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong stocks lost 1.5 percent as the local dollar fell to the limits of its trading band.

Much of the action was in currencies with the euro gapping lower as the Turkish lira took another slide to all-time lows around 7.2400.

The lira did find a sliver of support when Turkey’s central bank said it had lowered reserve requirement ratios for banks. It also said it would take all necessary measures to maintain financial stability.

Also helping was Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak’s comments the country had drafted an action plan to ease investor concerns while the banking watchdog said it limited swap transactions.

Yet the dollar was still up more than 9 percent on the day at 6.9743 lira. This time last month it was at 4.8450.

The currency has tumbled on worries over Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing control over the economy and deteriorating relations with the United States.

“The plunge in the lira, which began in May, now looks certain to push the Turkish economy into recession and it may well trigger a banking crisis,” said Andrew Kenningham, chief global economist at Capital Economics.

“This would be another blow for EMs as an asset class, but the wider economic spillovers should be fairly modest, even for the euro zone,” he added.

Kenningham noted Turkey’s annual gross domestic product of around $900 billion was just 1 percent of the global economy and slightly smaller than the Netherlands.

The Turkish equity market was less than 2 percent of the size of the UK market, and only 20 percent was held by non-residents, he added.

“Nonetheless, Turkey’s troubles are a further headwind for the euro and are not good news for EM assets either.”

BANKS EXPOSED

Indeed, the single currency sank to a one-year trough against the Swiss franc around 1.1300 francs, while hitting a 10-week low on the yen around 125.45.

Against the U.S. dollar, the euro touched its lowest since July 2017 at $1.13700. It was last at $1.1398 and still a long way from last week’s top at $1.1628.

The dollar eased against the safe haven yen to 110.31, and was relatively flat against a basket of currencies at 96.338.

The Argentine peso and South African rand were also caught in the crossfire, with the dollar adding 4 percent on the rand. Dealers said Japanese retail investors had been squeezed out of long positions in the rand sending the yen steaming higher.

“Contagion risks center on Spanish, Italian and French banks exposed to Turkish foreign currency debt, as well as Argentina and South Africa,” warned analysts at ANZ.

“Turkey’s massive pile of corporate debt denominated in foreign currencies, but a rapidly sliding currency – and inflation that’s threatening to go exponential – is a toxic combination.”

In commodity markets, gold found little in the way of safety flows and was last down at $1,209.4 an ounce.

Oil prices were mixed with Brent off 23 cents at $72.58 a barrel, while U.S. crude dipped 1 cents to $67.62.]]>
8/13/2018 10:37:22 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s potential as entertainment hub of the Middle east ]]>
Globalization has played an integral role in developing awareness of internationally-renowned family entertainment hubs, with ease of cross-border transportation. With significant global growth in the industry, the world has looked upon the opportunity within the Middle East to see new developments from international associations of attractions, to promote tourism and attract direct foreign investment. Egypt has seemingly received minimal attention from these new developers despite its progress in political stability.

This part of the region has endured the most skepticism by international tourists over the past decade. However, the region has bounced back and made significant progress, from the shorelines of Dubai’s waters to Egypt’s Pharaonic tombs. The UN World Tourism Organization Barometer reported a 13% increase in tourist arrivals in North Africa, and a 5% increase in the Middle East. Egypt’s GDP is expected to grow 5.5% in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, driven mainly by a recovery in tourism and rising natural gas output.

The entertainment business is vast and has increasingly proven to develop international touristic appeal. This market includes music, sports, gaming, fashion and theatrical performances—all of which have potential to be hosted in Egypt. The country promoted tourism by signing a sponsorship deal with FIFA World Cup as the first African Investor in 2018, however, limited efforts have been made in the field of family entertainment. The last time an international theatrical tour arrived in Egypt was in 2016 when the touring band of Ice Age visited Cairo.

Why is Egypt considered an untapped potential?

Egypt is a vast market, with a population surpassing 99 million people, and boasts safety conditions outranking both the US, the UK and the entire African continent (placing 16th out of 135 countries in global security ranking). Egypt’s strategic location in North Africa and closeness to the Arab Peninsula make it a transcontinental nation with the largest and most diversified economies in the Middle East. Should international investors decide to set up entertainment hubs in Egypt, there is potential to increase traffic from the GCC countries, African nations and Europe.

The existing progress of Egypt’s tourism leads to better apprehension of foreign investment opportunities. Egypt’s tourism revenues increased more than 80% in the first quarter of 2018 to $2.2 billion with 2.3 million tourists. The long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum, constructed by approximately 5,000 workers, will become the world’s largest museum devoted to a single civilization. The completion of this museum conveys the considerable investment the Egyptian government is capable of, contributing to world records and raising global standards.

Moreover, new development projects like the New Administrative Capital have showcased the conceivable success of state-of-the-art, topnotch infrastructure, facilities and services that are set to be well maintained. While 1,350 feddans are being developed, there should be considerable appreciation of the potential likely to materialize from entertainment and leisure attractions.

Commercial oversight from the entertainment industry

Substantial investments by commercial malls for entertainment options is a growing trend internationally, and the UAE has successfully established this with commercial investors. Advanced technological tools, international appeal and high-quality facilities all setting a benchmark for the region. Family Entertainment Centres have been considered as the main pillars of tourism attractions; continuous innovations including virtual reality gaming, 3D technology and traditional entertainment options visited by entire families with sentimental values from generations of visitors. The theme park and amusement market across the globe alone is projected to generate revenues of almost $32.1 billion in 2017, with remarkable growth set in the GCC region.

Millennials have been prioritized by entertainment and media companies, considered as the largest segment of society with purchasing power directed toward the industry. Live events—whether musical, theatrical or athletics—have trumped traditional commercial entertainment mediums amongst millennials in recent years. This may be a consequence of the intention to develop user-generated content on social networks, creating more shareable experiences playing into recognition and influence. Companies and their respective brands have leveraged these sources as an attractive mechanism to bring in fan recruitment, transforming the sales function into a social response to sustainable, profitable growth.

The future of Egypt’s economy is dependent on the diversity of investments in various disciplines. With tourism’s progress and the encouragement of foreign direct investment, there is distinct hope in the sustainability of progress and maturity of Egypt’s economy over the next decade. The entertainment industry is seemingly an untapped potential—a unique opportunity for the government and international investors to become regional leaders in the category, starting with Egypt’s vast market.
]]>
8/12/2018 4:58:53 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at major banks in Egypt]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at LE 17.78 for buying and LE 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr.

At Banque du Caire, the Commercial International Bank (CIB) and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the dollar price stood at LE 17.83 for buying and LE 17.93 for selling

At Alexandria Bank, the National Bank of Greece and the Arab African International Bank, it recorded LE 17.82 for buying and LE 17.92 for selling]]>
8/12/2018 4:46:06 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr: Egypt, Tunisia to set up coordination council to increase investment cooperation]]>
The minister's remarks were made during a meeting of the follow-up committee of the Higher Egyptian-Tunisian Committee in the presence of Tunisian Trade Minister Omar al Bahi, Minister of Industry and Trade Amr Nassar, Chief Executive Officer of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohsen Adel and senior officials of her ministry.

The meeting comes within the context of preparations for holding a meeting of the joint higher committee co-chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli and his Tunisian counterpart Youssef Chahed by the end of the year.

Nasr said the coordination council will help create joint investment opportunities especially in the sectors of excavation, exploration, real estate, tourism and financial services.

She also pressed the need for buttressing joint relations by taking a set of decisions that would remove any impediments standing in the way of achieving such target.

The Egyptian minister also greeted the Tunisian side over joining The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and invited the Tunisian trade minister to take part in the annual African Forum (Africa 2018) to be held in December in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi.

The Tunisian minister, for his part, asserted his country's keenness on promoting economic relations with Egypt as well as encouraging Tunisian businessmen to have investments in the Egyptian market.

He said the meeting provides a good chance for reviewing the achievements made by the Higher Egyptian-Tunisian Committee, calling for doubling efforts to increase the volume of trade between the two countries.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides agreed on organizing a joint investment week to motivate both countries' businessmen to exchange information on available investment opportunities and recent amendments to ease the establishment of investment projects.

The follow-up committee recommended activating the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in the fields of agriculture, fishing, electricity, renewable energy, gas, communication, tourism, information technology and culture.]]>
8/12/2018 4:42:44 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Tunisia agree on boosting trade, investment ties]]>
This came during a meeting of the 5th round of talks of the Egyptian-Tunisian trade and industrial committee which concluded on Saturday.

Egyptian Minister of Trade Amr Nassar and his Tunisian counterpart Omar al Bahi co-chaired the committee.

In a press statement on Sunday, Nassar said that the meeting targeted coordinating between the governments of both countries to facilitate trade movement and activate the role of the private sector and benefit from the resources of both countries to achieve integrated and effective economic partnerships.

Relations between Egypt and Tunisia witnessed big progress as the trade exchange reached $214 million during the first half of 2018, Nassar said.

Both sides agreed on activating the role of the Egyptian-Tunisian business council and intensifying exchanged meetings of their businessmen, he said.

An agreement was reached on inking a cooperation protocol between the Egyptian technological center and Tunisian technical centers in the food, agriculture, leather, shoe, textile, construction material, chemical and engineering industries and in the furniture, packing and packaging sectors, Nassar said.

The meeting asserted the importance of boosting Egyptian and Tunisian cooperation in diversified domains, he added.

On the other hand, Bahi said that his visit to Egypt reflects the keenness of the Tunisian government on furthering trade and economic ties with Egypt.

Bahi lauded the coordination between officials of the Egyptian and Tunisian trade ministries to handle any obstacles facing the trade flow between both countries.

Bahi said that the Tunisian government is working on increasing Tunisian exports to the Egyptian market.]]>
8/12/2018 4:38:44 PM
<![CDATA[Three ministers agree on removing impediments facing investors]]>
The trio also met with members of the Egyptian Union For Investors Associations.

During the meeting, the three ministers agreed that the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) will receive complaints and demands of investors as regards the VAT tax through the investors' service centers in Cairo and other governorates.

The Finance Ministry will be assigned, through its representatives in the investors centers, and through the Investment ministry website to follow up on the submitted complaints and respond to them.

The three ministers also agreed on coordinating efforts to ease the investment climate and remove any hardships facing investors to guarantee a bigger involvement of the private sector in ventures across the country as well as increase the map of investments in the industrial sector.]]>
8/12/2018 3:56:48 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends 1st session of week in red ]]>CAIRO – 12 August 2018: The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) ended Sunday’s session in red, losing LE 8.38 billion of its market capitalization, amid Egyptian and foreign selling.

The benchmark EGX30 slipped 1.17 percent, or 185.72 points, to close at 15,738.34 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 declined 1.45 percent, or 38.38 points, to reach 2,605.06 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.43 percent, or 3.28 points, reaching 750.78 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.72 percent, or 14.03 points, closing at 1,939.70 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 8.38 billion, recording LE 877.39 billion, compared to LE 885.77 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 166.41 million shares, traded through 17,067 transactions, with a turnover of LE 428.18 million.

Arab investors were net buyers at LE 25.5 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 15.49 million and LE 10.02 million, respectively.

Egyptian , Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 15.8 million, LE 6.51 million and LE 1.86 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations were net sellers at LE 31.32 million and LE 11.88 million, respectively, while Arab organizations were net buyers at LE 19 million.

El Obour Real Estate Investment, Electro Cable Egypt, and Kafr El Zayat Pesticides were top gainers of the session by 9.82 percent, 6.74 percent and 5.40 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, TransOceans Tours, Alexandria New Medical Center, and El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing were top losers of the session by 14.29 percent, 8.47 percent, and 6.73 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s session on a mixed performance, as EGX30 hiked 0.39 percent, EGX50 climbed 0.42 percent, and EGX100 increased 0.02 percent, while EGX70 inched down 0.07 percent.
]]>
8/12/2018 3:49:03 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian non-oil private sector hits 50.3 in July: PMI]]>
The neutral level of Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is 50 which delineates contraction and expansion in the non-oil private sector.


PMI July
Source: HIS Markit, Emirates NBD Research


Emirates NBD research said that the real GDP growth will strengthen in 2018/2019 as there is a greater recovery in the private sector, supported by gradual monetary policy normalization, improved political stability and a rebound in the tourism sector.

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.

“Although output remained contractionary at 49.3, it improved on the 2018 low of 48.2 recorded in June despite reported shortages in raw materials,” the report said.

It noted that the respondents to the survey cited as weighing on output were increased costs, and these were also reflected in input prices.

The input costs rose from 59.3 in June to 76.5 in August, the highest level since the last round of subsidy cuts at the start of the previous fiscal year in July 2017.

“The implementation of new subsidy cuts has seen electricity costs for factories rise by 42 percent and petrol by as much as 50 percent,” the report stated.

On June 12, Egypt cut its electricity subsidies, raising prices by an average of 26 percent in the 2018-2019 fiscal year beginning in July, followed by cutting the fuel subsidies on June 16, to support the energy by only 25 percent now.

According to the report, output prices rose from 54.2 to 57.0, marking the highest level since last August.

“At 49.8 this represented the slowest pace of job-shedding since mid-2015,” it noted.
Both new orders and new export orders were positive, at 51.2 and 50.5 respectively, over the next several months.

The report referred to the recovery in the tourism sector as investors recorded 8.3 million in 2017, marking an increase of 57.3 percent on a year on year basis, noting that the ministry of tourism expects this number to be exceeded this year.

Future output expectations among firms remains generally positive at 63.7, with 82 percent of respondents expecting that output will be the same or higher in 12 months’ time.

“The number of firms believing that this is as good as it gets has risen sharply, with 18 percent now expecting weaker output next year compared to 9.3 percent in June,” the report added.

In May, Egypt’s Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector hit 49.2.
]]>
8/12/2018 3:33:16 PM
<![CDATA[LE 30B directed to water resources over 4 years: Min.]]>
The minister also added the short term plan of the ministry for water resources will cost LE 40 billion.

“There is an ambitious project called ‘The Walk of the People of Egypt,’ to rehabilitate the course of the Nile and the establishment of a walkway for the use of water bridges,” Abdel Ati stated.

He clarified that the project, which is 100 kilometers long, was implemented at a cost of LE 220 million in several governorates.

Regarding the flood protection, he said that 29 industrial lakes, 140 mountain lakes, 253 ground tanks, 17 roadblocks, 70 obstruction dams at a cost of LE 1.4 billion have been implemented.

He added that they also protected of 27 kilometers on the coast of Egypt at a cost of LE 75 million, and the implementation of networks covered for 40,000 feddans.

He stressed that the covered system of agricultural drainage in Egypt is the largest in the world, pointing out that the water in the inlets of improved water and Bahr el-Bakar will be reused with investments exceeding LE 20 billion, in order to contribute to the availability of an additional resource of water.

“Egypt targets the efficiency of water use and aims for it to be the highest in Africa and the world,” the minister stated, adding that Egypt is the second largest country in the world in reusing water, as it spent LE 4 billion to restore and clearing a number of canals throughout the year.

“We will transform the Nile River into a corridor for trade, tourism and development, and cooperate with the Nile basin countries in the fields of digging wells and removing weeds,” he added.

The minister clarified that implementing the ministry's projects will help in protecting the country from the dangers of floods and droughts, as well as generating clean electricity, maintaining river navigation, increasing the capacity of river transportation and land transportation, and stimulating tourism.

Water Challenges

“Egypt faces huge water challenges, including increased demand, despite the fact that 97 percent of our water resources originate from outside the borders, as well as the population increase, which has led to an increase of 10 million in four years only,” the minister said.

Abdel Ati stated that the needs of these 10 million individuals amount to 1 billion cubic meters of water.

He added that among the challenges are climate change and its expected impact, which require different infrastructure, the preservation of watercourses from pollution, the management of investments, the control of infringements and the modernization of legislation.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived Sunday to Assiut Governorate to inaugurate the new Assiut barrage project; which is considered to be the third largest water project on the Nile, after the High Dam and Naga Hammadi barrage.

The new project was implemented by a consortium of international and national companies with a total cost of LE 6.5 billion.

It will contribute to improving the irrigation situation in an area of 1.65 million feddans in five governorates and developing the river navigation through the establishment of two marine locks (water navigations) at the highest technical level.

The New Assiut barrage includes a hydroelectric power station that produces 32 megawatts, which amounts to LE 100 million annually.

It is located 400 meters away from the old Assiut barriers, containing two navigation locks on the right side of the Nile, and eight slots of 17-meter-width with semi-diagonal gates, divided into three slots on the right side of the power station and the other five are on the left side of the power station, allowing water to flow to the other side throughout the year according to different needs.

]]>
8/12/2018 3:15:48 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt operates 25 underground solar wells in New Valley]]>
Arafan clarified in the presence of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi that the operation of these wells came in the framework of the state to use the clean and renewable energy, to save fuel and thermal energy expenditures.

“It also came in the framework of a program prepared by the Ministry of Irrigation to convert the operation of underground wells using solar energy instead of diesel, the first phase included 161 wells, 48 percent of which were completed,” he stated.

On a different note, Arfan said that the national project to develop Lake Manzala comes in light of the reduction of the area to 250,000 feddans, from 491,000 feddans in 1973, as a result of infringements and low productivity of fish due to pollution and overfishing. Arafan clarified that the development plan is divided into three axes.

The development of the lake works with more than 100 boreholes and water to carry out the completion of aquatic plants and encroachments with a total area of 31 million square meters, and the deepening of the inlets on the international coast road length of 18 kilometers, he said.

He also added that it contains the establishment of a road starting from the borders of Damietta and linking it with the axis of June 30, running 85 kilometer long.

“It is expected that after the development work, the lake's water level, free fishing areas, improvement of water characteristics, and the lake's production of fish will be increased to more than 100,000 tons annually, and the establishment of a security belt, which contributes to the elimination of infringements,” Arfan clarified.

Lake Manzala is located on northeastern Egypt on the Nile Delta near Port Said and a few miles from the ancient ruins at Tanis. It is the largest of the northern deltaic lakes of Egypt.

]]>
8/12/2018 12:52:46 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt allocates LE 40B to achieve 10bcm/yr of water]]>
Arafan clarified that this amount is different from the allocations for 2014/2015 projects in addition to solar energy projects with the development of the course of the Nile River, and the development of covered drainage systems.



He added that the state adopted an ambitious reform program, noting that the positive results of these reforms started to show up.

“Supporting the investment and construction wheel is one of the most important determinants of economic reform,” he pointed.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program in 2014 that includes floating its currency; losing about 50 percent of its value, cutting energy subsidies and introducing new taxes to cut the budget deficit.

Head of Administrative Control Authority also reviewed the stages of the construction of Sohag National Museum, noting that the museum’s idea came in implementation out of the state’s strategy to maintain the level, development and encourage Nile tourism.

“The foundation stone of the Sohag Museum was laid in 1989 until the president's instructions were to complete the project. It was completed on an area of 870 square meters at a total cost of LE 72 million,” Arfan stated.

Regarding the Grand Egyptian Museum, he said that it will be built on an area of 117 feddans, accommodating 5 million visitors annually, and will be opened in 2020, to be a pyramid IV.

The general supervisor of the Grand Egyptian Museum Tarek Tawfik (GEM) revealed earlier that the partial opening of the museum will be in the first quarter of 2019.

Tawfik explained that GEM’s first stage will be completed by the end of 2018. The Grand Egyptian Museum will witness for the first time the display of all Tutankhamun’s artifacts gathered in one place which amount to more than 5,000 pieces.

GEM’s lobby will host the statue of King Ramesses II and the column of his son King Merneptah, the grand staircase will include 87 royal statues and large architectural elements including a statue of Kings Khafre, Menkaure, Senusret, Akhenaten and Amenhotep III.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived Sunday to Assiut Governorate to inaugurate the new Assiut barrage project; which is considered to be the third largest water project on the Nile, after the High Dam and Naga Hammadi barrage.

The new project was implemented by a consortium of international and national companies with a total cost of LE 6 billion.

It will contribute to improving the irrigation situation in an area of 1.65 million feddans in five governorates and developing the river navigation through the establishment of two marine locks (water navigations) at the highest technical level.

The New Assiut barrage includes a hydroelectric power station that produces 32 megawatts, which amounts to LE 100 million annually.

It is located 400 meters away from the old Assiut barriers, containing two navigation locks on the right side of the Nile, and eight slots of 17-meter-width with semi-diagonal gates, divided into three slots on the right side of the power station and the other five are on the left side of the power station, allowing water to flow to the other side throughout the year according to different needs.

]]>
8/12/2018 12:35:46 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi arrives to Assiut to inaugurate New Assiut Barrage]]>


The new project was implemented by a consortium of international and national companies with a total cost of LE 6.5 billion.

It will contribute to improving the irrigation situation in an area of 1.65 million feddans in five governorates and developing the river navigation through the establishment of two marine locks (water navigations) at the highest technical level.

The New Assiut barrage includes a hydroelectric power station that produces 32 megawatts, which amounts to LE 100 million annually.

It is located 400 meters away from the old Assiut barriers, containing two navigation locks on the right side of the Nile, and eight slots of 17-meter-width with semi-diagonal gates, divided into three slots on the right side of the power station and the other five are on the left side of the power station, allowing water to flow to the other side throughout the year according to different needs.


67601-2--محطة-كهرباء-أسيوط-المائية




48263-قناطر-أسيوط-الجديدة-ومحطتها-الكهرومائية-(12)



61006-26--ابراج-الضغط-العالي-بمحطة-كهرباء-أسيوط-المائية-



65715-17---لوحة-بيانات-محطة-كهرباء-أسيوط-المائية-
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8/12/2018 11:23:00 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 16.2B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.2 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.]]>
8/12/2018 10:27:55 AM
<![CDATA[Real estate tax: Between validity and objection]]>
The confusion stems from the fact that Egypt has not almost had such a type of tax as owners of commercial units used to pay a tiny amount of cash every year. The new bill imposes tax on residential units above a certain value as well as any units that are finished but not occupied.

Tax Consultant Yasser Maharem says that real estate tax has been adopted in Egypt since 1847, and that amendments took place in 1954 and 2008. However, the last bill was not activated until2013. In 2017, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi endorsed the bill and it was activated.

Tax Calculation and Exemptions

The units are divided into four categories. Units that are finished and occupied, units that are finished and non-occupied, units that are unfinished but occupied such as units rented like garages or storehouses, and units that are unfinished and unoccupied. All have to pay except for the last. Finished means having facilities introduced. Also, the tax applies to lands used for commercial purposes such as parking lots but not to agricultural lands.

Residential units below the value of LE2 million ($112,360) are exempted; however, more expensive units can enjoy an exemption of LE 2 million out of the total value. Citizens who own more than one unit can receive an exemption on one unit they choose,which would be the cheapest one, and below LE2 million.

The tax value is 10 percent of the net rental value which is calculated as 3 percent of the capital value representing 60 percent of the market value that is evaluated by a central committee on the basis of the unit’s surface area and meter prices in the neighborhood. Evaluations take place every five years.

The net rental value is calculated by discounting 30 and 32 percent off rental value for residential and commercial units respectively as maintenance fees. The maximum increases every five years is 30 percent and 45 percent for residential and commercial units respectively. For commercial units, the maximum net rental value entitled for exemption is LE 1,200 ($67.4) per annum.

Tax Expert Mahmoud Gab Allah clarifies that the rental value is the base to set taxes using contracts, so when there is no contract, authorities must resort to such calculations because imposing taxes based on asset value is unconstitutional.

The tax is paid annually and it is calculated per unit so that owners of buildings divided into units or flats would not be taxed for the whole construction. Thus, adding new floors should be reported by December of the same year constructions are finished. Units that have damages inhibiting occupancy are exempted. Public and religious properties are excluded from the tax.

Citizens who own more than one unit would have to seek tax authority bureaus in different neighborhoods and governorates. Former owners are not approached by the authority, although it is their duty to pay taxes before they sell.

Penalty

Not submitting the declaration or providing false information incurs a fine between LE 200 ($11.2) and LE 2,000 ($112.2). Further, tax evasion results in halting the ability to sell or rent the units.

Not abiding by the deadline to pay the tax incurs a two percent fine in addition to interest rates set by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), currently at 17 percent, for every month, Accounting and Tax Professor at Shorouk Academy Nabil Abdel Raouf reveals. However, the tax drops five years after the citizen is notified, Abdel Raouf explains.

The new law may also be a way to combat tax evasion. Gab Allah says that an income tax on rentals is collected, if the owner reports to the Egyptian Real Estate Taxation Authority. This is not very common in Egypt, especially with residential units. Maharem adds that the real estate tax is deducted from income tax on property, if the latter is applicable.

Objections

The real estate taxes authority announced that its revenues had reached LE3 billion ($168,500), while 385,000 citizens made petitions. Commenting on protests over taxing units that are not used for renting, Gab Allah explains that expensive units derived their value from facilities provided by the state.

Gab Allah also reveals that chalets in North Coast used to be exempted as previous laws imposed the tax on buildings within urban conglomerations only while those were located beyond those.

Maharem says that the rationale behind such tax is that it is put on a real estate wealth whose value rises by time. However, Gab Allah clarifies that units subject to old renting law would not be subject to the new tax regulations as the revenues raised are very low.

Heads of industrial zones in Upper Egypt objected the tax and demanded exemptions because of overestimating meter prices and calculating the entire factories’ area and not just the building areas, representing around six percent of the total area.

Abdel Raouf agrees that real estate tax exemption should be endorsed for factories in order to encourage investment, while Maharem and Gab Allah disagree saying that factories used to pay real estate taxes in accordance with the 1956 law.

Answering how property owners would benefit of such tax, Gab Allah says that the bill allocates 25 percent of real estate tax revenues to municipal authorities in order to enhance and maintain facilities at all neighborhoods.

The new system is the same as France’s, the only difference is that a residence tax is paid by tenants in France. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has only rental tax up to 40 percent. In neighboring United Arab Emirates (UAE), tenants pay once five percent and 10 percent of the contract’s value for residential and commercial units respectively while owners do not pay anything.

The 2018/2019 budget aims to record a budget deficit of 8.4 percent, or LE 438.58 billion ($24.6 billion), down from 9.7 percent in the previous year. The revenues are projected to reach a total of LE 989.2 billion including taxes and tariff yields estimated at LE 770.3 billion. Expenditures would record a total of LE 1.41 trillion. Egypt has a huge informal sector constituting a big factor behind tax evasion estimated at 50 percent.
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8/11/2018 1:19:17 PM
<![CDATA[Petroleum ministry starts trial operation of Egypt's largest natural gas lab]]>
During an inspection visit to the lab, Minister of Petroleum Tareq el Molla said the petroleum sector is keen to apply modern techniques and optimize their use in carrying out businesses and increasing production.

The lab includes highly-precise, modern and developed equipment that enables engineers, chemists and technicians to make accurate measurements and do lab experiments for Zohr field. ]]>
8/11/2018 11:50:13 AM
<![CDATA[Turkish lira's free-fall rocks equity markets, euro falls]]>
European shares and a gauge of global equity markets fell more than 1 percent, while stocks on Wall Street were down about half as much. German stocks slid 2 percent.
The lira fell as much as 18 percent against the dollar in its worst day since Turkey's financial crisis of 2001. The plunge followed a deepening rift with the United States, worries about its own economy and lack of action from policymakers.

President Tayyip Erdogan told Turks to swap gold and dollars into lira as the currency tumbled after President Donald Trump doubled U.S. tariffs on metals imports from Turkey. The lira has fallen more than 40 percent this year, fanning worries about a full-blown economic crisis.

Bank shares across Europe fell and the euro slipped to its lowest since July 2017 as the Financial Times quoted sources as saying the European Central Bank was concerned about European lenders' exposure to Turkey. The country is not a member of the European Union but is economically linked to it.

The dollar rose as exposure to Turkey could impact European banks and spark a domino effect as people begin to pull out of those banks and into U.S. assets, said Gregan Anderson, macroeconomic strategist at brokerage Bulltick LLC.

The turmoil has made it difficult for global investors to justify remaining in Europe and is negative for emerging markets, he said.

Policy errors created the current situation, with the central bank's decision not to raise rates in their last meeting a key driver, said Charlie Wilson, an emerging markets-focused portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

"The lira has been weakening since and it's coming to a head today," Wilson said, adding the downward spiral will continue if Turkey insists on a soft landing.
"The only way to correct these policy mistakes is to really make some concrete changes on the fiscal and monetary side."

Shares in France's BNP Paribas, Italy's UniCredit and Spain's BBVA, the banks seen as most exposed to Turkey, fell 3 percent or more.

An index of regional banking shares closed down 3.2 percent while the pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1.2 percent.

The MSCI All-Country World index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was down 1.15 percent and erased all its gains for the week.

Wall Street also fell, but not as hard.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 185.66 points, or 0.73 percent, to 25,323.57. The S&P 500 lost 16.26 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,837.32 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 30.22 points, or 0.38 percent, to 7,861.57.

Investors piled into "safe" government debt, with German yields hitting three-week lows and the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note falling to 2.8768 percent as investors sought its safety.

The safe-haven Japanese yen hit a one-month high of 113.38 against the dollar.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a group of six major currencies, breached 96, taking it to its highest level since July 2017. It was last up 0.91 percent at 96.372.

Emerging market stocks lost 1.65 percent, while the Mexican peso, a proxy for emerging market currencies, shed 1.38 percent to the dollar.

Adding to emerging market currency woes was the Russian ruble, which weakened to 66.515 to the dollar. Overnight it had retreated to its lowest since November 2016 on threats of new U.S. sanctions, weakening beyond the psychologically important 65-per-dollar threshold.

Oil prices rose more than 1 percent as U.S. sanctions against Iran looked set to tighten supply, but futures remained lower for the week as investors worried that global trade disputes could slow economic growth and hurt demand for energy.

Benchmark Brent crude oil rose 82 cents at $72.89 a barrel. U.S. light crude was 72 cents higher at $67.53 a barrel.

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8/10/2018 9:44:23 PM
<![CDATA[Brexit uncertainty is depressing UK growth - finance minister]]>
"Clearly that uncertainty is having a depressing effect on economic growth," Hammond told broadcasters during a trip to central England to announce 780 million pounds ($996 million)of public investment in high-tech industry.

Brexit proposals set out last month by Prime Minister Theresa May should lead to economic growth broadly the same as if Britain were to stay in the EU, he added.

Hammond said that in the long run he wanted to see growth rates faster than the year-on-year expansion of 1.3 percent recorded in the second quarter of 2018. ]]>
8/10/2018 4:00:00 PM
<![CDATA[No increase in electricity tariffs, sugar prices: IDSC]]>
The IDSC has contacted the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, which totally dismissed these reports, stressing that there is no new increase in the current electricity tariffs set for the 2018/2019 fiscal year, the center said in a report Friday.

All reports circulated in this regard are just rumors that aim to fuel the citizens’ anger for no reason, it added.

Meanwhile, the IDSC dismissed reports about the government’s intention to issue several decisions that will lead to lack of sugar supply and increasing its price.

The rumors spread in light of the minister of trade and industry’s decision to abolish EGP 3,000 export fees on each ton of sugar.

The IDSC said it has contacted the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade, which totally denied the reports, affirming that there is no surge in the current sugar prices.

The ministry urged all media outlets and people to verify the authenticity of any information and to contact the bodies concerned before publishing any groundless news. ]]>
8/10/2018 3:20:00 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish lira crashes to record low on worries over economy, U.S. row]]>
The sell-off has deepened concern about exposure to Turkey, particularly whether over-indebted companies will be able to pay back loans taken out in euros and dollars after years of overseas borrowing to fund a construction boom under Erdogan.

Erdogan's characteristic defiance in the face of the crisis has further unnerved investors. The president, who says a shadowy "interest rate lobby" and Western credit ratings agencies are attempting to bring down Turkey's economy, said in a speech overnight that Turks should "have no worries".

"If they have their dollars, we have our people, our God," he told the crowd in the Black Sea city of Rize.

That is unlikely to mollify investors who are also worried by a growing dispute with the United States. The NATO allies are at odds over the detention in Turkey of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson on terrorism charges.

The tensions with Washington have, for investors, underscored Turkey's authoritarian trajectory under Erdogan.

"The basic reason the exchange rate has gone off the rails is that confidence in the management of the economy has disappeared both domestically and abroad," said Seyfettin Gursel, a prominent economist and a professor at Turkey's Bahcesehir University.

"First of all, confidence needs to be regained. It is obvious how it will be done: since the final decision-maker of all policies in the new regime is the president, the responsibility of regaining confidence is on his shoulders."

Erdogan is due to give a speech in the eastern town of Bayburt at 1100 GMT.

The lira was at 5.93 against the dollar at 0954, GMT, down nearly 7 percent. It briefly fell as much as 14.6 percent -- its biggest one-day drop since early 2001 -- before paring losses. Shares of European lenders also dropped, hit by concern about their Turkish exposure.

DRASTIC

The currency has fallen more than 35 percent this year after losing nearly a quarter of its value in 2017. This week alone, it has lost about 15 percent. Such relentless depreciation drives up the cost of imported goods from fuel to food for ordinary Turks.

"The situation of Turkey cannot go on for much longer -- I think they will have to intervene," Cristian Maggio, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities, adding that the intervention needed to be "drastic".

"Turkey is playing a very dangerous game. They keep lagging behind the curve and the pace of the depreciation and the penalty that the market inflicts on Turkey when it sells off is increasing at a more than linear pace, almost exponentially."

Erdogan, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", wants cheap credit from banks to fuel growth, but investors fear the economy is overheating and could be set for a hard landing. His comments on interest rates -- and his recent appointment of his son-in-law as finance minister -- have heightened perceptions that the central bank is not independent.

The central bank raised interest rates to support the lira in an emergency move in May, but it did not tighten at its last meeting.

Finance Minister Berat Albayrak -- Erdogan's son-in-law, appointed last month -- is due to announce the government's latest plan for the economy at a press conference at 1130 GMT.

NO BREAKTHROUGH

"The focus is on what comes out of the conference by Finance Minister Albayrak today, but also what President Erdogan says to assure not only the domestic population but also global investors with respect to the lira," said Koon Chow, an emerging market strategist at UBP.

"If (Albayrak) can make a credible commitment to sizeable fiscal tightening and if that is accompanied by more interest rate hikes, people may give them the benefit of the doubt."

While Turkey and the United States disagree over a host of issues, the most pressing disagreement has been over Brunson and the detention of other U.S. citizens in Turkey. A delegation of Turkish officials held talks with their counterparts in Washington this week but there is no sign of a breakthrough.

While there was no statement from the Turkish side, U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said wide-ranging conversations had been held.

"I would say we would define progress as Pastor Brunson being brought home," Nauert said.]]>
8/10/2018 2:07:10 PM
<![CDATA[PM urges ministerial economic committee to reduce public debt]]>
Investment Minister Sahar Nasr, Planning Minister Hala el Saeed, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Trade Minister Amr Nassar and Hesham Tawfik, the Public Businesses Sector Minister, attended the meeting.

Madbouli said that the public debt is one of the vital issues which needs more concentration in the coming period in line with a comprehensive vision to reduce the debt and maintain the economic growth rate.

The meeting tackled suggestions on restructuring the debt and the strategy of dealing with it over the medium term.

Meanwhile, the planning minister reviewed Egypt's current economic situation and the expected developments in the next five years.

The finance minister, for his part, presented a number of ideas and suggestions of how to reduce the public debt. ]]>
8/10/2018 12:39:46 PM
<![CDATA[Investment, trade ministers meet with Egyptian-Chinese business council]]>
The meeting tackled means of activating the council's role in fostering and developing trade and investment relations between Egypt and China, the Trade and Industry Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

They also discussed current and coming activities of the council for boosting trade exchange, particularly increasing Egypt's exports to China and setting up joint investment ventures, the statement read.

Preparations for Egypt's participation in China-Africa cooperation forum that will be held in Beijing in September were mulled during the meeting.

The Egyptian officials reviewed the country's participation in the international exhibition for imports, set to be held in China in November with the participation of 100 countries in addition to a large number of Egyptian companies.

The meeting comes to lure more Chinese investments in the country and get more Chinese grants to support the development projects, said Nasr.

Nassar, for his part, said that the government is keen on strengthening Egyptian-Chinese cooperation as part of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

He underscored the importance of establishing joint investment projects in east and west Africa.]]>
8/10/2018 12:21:41 PM
<![CDATA[Manjung power plant: A safe way to generate energy from coal]]>
Energy giant General Electric (GE) managed to find a safe way to generate power from coal, and has decided to face all the challenges related to coal energy production by coal plants in a number of countries such as India, Pakistan, Malaysia and other southeast countries of Asia.

Egypt Today was invited by the American company to Malaysia’s Manjung coal-fired power plant, where we heard a detailed lecture about the latest developments in clean energy production.

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-09 at 5.48.22 PM (1)
Egypt Today's reporter at Malaysia’s Manjung coal-fired power plant - Press photo

“Global energy demand is expected to rise up by 40 percent in the upcoming 20 years,” officials told Egypt Today.

Dr. Sacha Parneix, Commercial General Manager of GE Power, explained the cost of a coal-generated energy during his lecture, saying that it depends on the location of the project, its closeness to the sea, quality of the coal used in the process, and its source.

He pointed out that Egypt is a pivotal country in the Middle East for General Electric; since it has lots of power plants, announcing a potential cooperation between GE and the Egyptian government in the future.



Manjung 4 Island

In 2011, Malaysia started using modern technology in generating energy, launching Manjung 4, the largest clean-coal power plant in Southeast Asia, with a production capacity of 1,000 megawatts to meet the energy demand in the limited-resources Asian country, according to GE’s official website.

Manjung 4, owned by the semi-governmental company Tenaga in cooperation with the technical partner General Electric, was built to achieve Malaysia’s strategy to diversify energy sources. It produces enough clean electricity for nearly two million houses and facilities across the country, and controls harmful carbon dioxide emissions, the GE website mentioned.

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-09 at 5.48.22 PM (3) Malaysia’s Manjung coal-fired power plant - File photo/Official website

“The world, especially Malaysia, requires accessible, reliable and sustainable energy, and GE can provide solutions in this sector,” the Managing Director of TNB Manjung 4 in Malaysia Datuk Shamsul stated.

“The plant has achieved extremely high availability, particularly during the second year of operation with a 97-percent availability, exceeding its target rate, while allowing TNB to reliably deliver full base load to the grid,” Datuk Shamsul added.

WhatsApp Image 2018-08-09 at 5.48.22 PM Malaysia’s Manjung coal-fired power plant - File photo/Official website
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8/9/2018 5:55:37 PM
<![CDATA[Mamish: SCZone achieved net profits of LE2.1B in 2017/18]]>
In a statement, Mamish said recent statistics showed that the SCZone ranked fifth on the list of the most profitable economic sectors, citing an increase in the revenues of the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) ports.

Also, he hailed efforts exerted by the Suez Canal Authority staffers to attract foreign investments through implementing flexible marketing and investment policies, which resulted in the signing of a contract to establish the largest petrochemical complex in the Middle East.

In this regard, Mamish affirmed that the applied policies are aimed at turning the SCZone into a global hub for trade and one of the World's most important logistic areas, which in turn would contribute to boosting Egypt's economy by 2025.

The SCZone serves the State's plans to attract Arab and foreign investments to secure more jobs for young people across the nation, establish technical and industrial training centers, as well as create new urban communities, he noted. ]]>
8/9/2018 4:51:46 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual core inflation hits 8.5% in July: CBE]]>
On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 0.6 percent in July 2018, compared to 1.6 percent in June.

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

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced earlier Thursday that Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13 percent in July 2018, compared to 34.2 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.5 percent in July, compared to the previous month, to record 289.9 points, CAPMAS stated.

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

Research and Economic Association expected the inflation to slightly rise during July 2018 as a result of lowering the fuel subsidy and increasing electricity prices.

The Cabinet announced on June 16 lowering the fuel subsidy to 25 percent, after cutting electricity subsidies on June 12, raising prices by an average of 26 percent in the 2018-2019 fiscal year that began in July.

Egypt's annual inflation falls to 13% in July

CAIRO - 9 August 2018: Egypt's annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13 percent in July 2018, compared to 34.2 percent in the same month of 2017 that rose due to the flotation of the Egyptian currency, state-statistics body said Thursday.



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8/9/2018 4:37:27 PM
<![CDATA[Taxpayers given until October 15 to pay their property tax: Finance Minister]]>
The decision has been taken after the approval of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli.

In a statement on Thursday, the minister said that the decision comes to make the process easier for the taxpayers and prevent overcrowding at offices of the Egyptian Tax Authority, pointing out that this is the last deadline for paying the real estate tax.

The previous deadline for paying the property tax was set to end on August 15.

Legal procedures will be taken against those who do not pay the taxes after the new deadline, the minister warned. He said that tax returns can be filed online as part of the Finance Ministry's digitalization and electronization program, which aims to save time and efforts of taxpayers.

Maait expounded that taxpayers can now log into "http://enquiry.rta.gov.eg" or contact the call center on "0235317323" to inquire about their tax and file their applications. ]]>
8/9/2018 4:22:48 PM
<![CDATA[CBE governor Tarek Amer first Egyptian to take over AACB presidency]]>
Amer will succeed Governor of South African Central Bank Lesetja Kganyago.

He will be the first Egyptian to preside over the Senegal-headquartered AACB since its foundation in 1963.

The AACB includes 40 African central banks.

Amer, who was serving before as the vice president of the AACB, will be assigned with putting into force the recommendations of the 41st meetings of the association, hosted by Egypt for the first time.

The idea of setting up the Association of African Central Banks was first introduced on May 25, 1963, at the Summit Conference of African Heads of State and Government held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Association has an Assembly of Governors (the governing body comprising all African Central Banks Governors), a Bureau (composed of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson of the Association and Chairpersons of sub-regional Committees) and sub-regional Committees (composed of Governors of Central Banks of the five sub-regions as defined by the African Union). ]]>
8/9/2018 4:21:07 PM
<![CDATA[More than 8K livestock heads, 1,200 tons of frozen meat in markets ahead of Bairam]]>
In a statement, the ministry said the frozen meat will be sold at LE 45 per kilo while 1,420 tons of frozen chicken will be released at price of LE 33 per kilo.

The new meat and chicken quantities will be available in more than 1,250 cooperatives and 56 marquees across the nation.

Also, sufficient quantities of sugar, rice, wheat, cooking oil and other basic commodities will be pumped into markets ahead of the feast. ]]>
8/9/2018 4:19:08 PM
<![CDATA[CBE denies plans to seize depositors' funds in return for real estate taxes]]>
The CBE did not take any decisions upon any instructions given by the Finance Ministry as regards the real estate taxes, Deputy CBE Governor Gamal Negm told reporters on the sidelines of meetings of the Association of African Central Banks.

As of Wednesday, social network websites began circulating rumors as regards CBE plans to seize bank clients' funds to get them pay real estate taxes.]]>
8/9/2018 4:17:06 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Thursday on mixed performance]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.39 percent, or 61.2 points, to close at 15,924.06 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 climbed 0.42 percent, or 11.14 points, to reach 2,643.44 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.02 percent, or 0.35 points, closing at 1,953.73 points.

Unlike the other indices, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.07 percent, or 0.53 points, reaching 754.06 points .

Market capitalization gained LE 240.06 million, recording LE 885.77 billion, compared to LE 885.54 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 272.63 million shares, traded through 25,481 transactions, with a turnover of LE 770.27 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 42.37 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 32.14 million and LE 10.23 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 34.71 million, LE 660,499, respectively, while Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 6.5 million.

Egyptian and foreign organizations were net sellers at LE 2.56 million and LE 43.03 million, respectively, while Arab organizations were net buyers at LE 16.74 million.

El Obour Real Estate Investment, Electro Cable Egypt, and Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad) were top gainers of the session by 7.54 percent, 7.23 percent and 6.53 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Cairo Educational Services, Obour Land For Food Industries, and Arabian Food Industries DOMTY were top losers of the session by 7.04 percent, 5.47 percent, and 5.08 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session in green, as EGX30 hiked 0.64 percent, EGX50 climbed 0.80 percent, EGX70 increased 0.36 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.28 percent.
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8/9/2018 4:09:24 PM
<![CDATA[Chinese Company to invest in Egypt by $100M]]>
This came during a meeting between Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and a delegation from the Hebei Provincial Government of China and eight Chinese major companies, as well as the Chinese company CFLD, which is specialized in the field of construction of new cities, during their visit to Egypt.

During the meeting, Chinese companies expressed their desire to inject new investments into the Egyptian market during the coming period.

They also praised the steps taken by Egypt to improve the business environment during the last period.

Nasr welcomed the Chinese investments in light of the appropriate economic climate and the economic and legislative reforms that have been done.

The Egyptian government supports the private sector to participate in Egypt’s mega-national projects, headed by the development project in Suez Canal, the New Administrative Capital and New Alamein, the minister stated.

She added that the Egyptian government is actively encouraging private sector investments as an engine for economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction.

"Egypt has therefore carried out major economic and investment reforms," she noted.

The minister reviewed the legislative and regulatory aspects of the issuance of several laws and regulations, namely the new investment law and its executive regulations, the law of restructuring and reconciliation, bankruptcy and postponement of financing and privatization, and the amendments of the law of companies and the capital market and their executive regulations.

She also noted that the new investment law includes a number of clear incentives and full guarantees for investors.

The new investment law provides investors with several incentives and treats men, women, Egyptian and foreign investors equally.

The law also stipulates that foreign employees should not exceed 20 percent of the total number of workers in the projects established by non-Egyptian investors.

Moreover, the bankruptcy law regulates the financial and administrative restructuring for failed projects and companies, eliminating prison sentences in bankruptcy cases and limits punishments to a monetary fine.

It also aims to minimize the need for companies or individuals to resort to the courts and to simplify post-bankruptcy procedures.



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8/9/2018 3:44:21 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s annual inflation falls to 13% in July]]>
On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.5 percent in July,compared to the previous month, to record 289.9 points, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) said.

CAPMAS attributed the increase in inflation on a monthly basis to the rise of some commodities' prices as vegetables by 8.8 percent, fruit by 3.5 percent, and alcoholic beverages and cigarettes by 7.2 percent.Additionally, the prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels hiked by 5.2 percent, while the prices of restaurants and hotels were raised by 4.8 percent.

In June, Egypt’s annual consumer price inflation fell to 13.8 percent in June 2018, compared to 30.9 percent in the same month of 2017.

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 easingsince July.

Research and Economic Association expected the inflation to slightly rise during July 2018 as a result of lowering the fuel subsidy and increasing electricity prices.

Inflation rates match expectations, back to downtrend in August

CAIRO - 11 July 2018: Egypt's statistic body announced Tuesday the inflation rate in June which represented a decline on a yearly basis and an increase on the monthly basis, matching the expectations of research and economic associations.




Pharos Holding attributed the monthly rise to the fuel subsidy cut that happened in mid-June, expecting the enacted fuel price increases to fully impact prices in July, in addition to the hike in electricity price that will reflect on July bills.

The Cabinet announced on June 16 lowering the fuel subsidy to 25 percent, after cutting electricity subsidies on June 12, raising prices by an average of 26 percent in the 2018-2019 fiscal year that began in July.

Pharos further anticipated the annual inflation rate to accelerate from 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017/2018 to 14.6 percent YoY in the first quarter of 2018/19, expecting it to decelerate again to 13.9 percent YoY in the second quarter of 2018/19.

Beltone Financial also agreed with Pharos that cutting subsidies pushed inflation rates up, expecting this quarter to witness a continued rise in inflation on a monthly basis due to seasonal Islamic and summer holidays, as well as a slower pace with relatively slower consumption as a result of pressures on income.

“We also expect an average monthly rise of 2 between June and September 2018,” Beltone stated.

It also believed that inflation in June will be the highest rate during the second half of 2018, which remains within the target range of the central bank at 13 percent (+/- 3 percent) by the end of 2018.

Agreeing with other associations, Capital Economics attributed the rise in inflation to subsidy cuts.

“Inflation may rise a little further in July in light of electricity price hikes that came into effect in the beginning of this month,” Capital Economics said in a report. "Even so, we doubt that higher inflation rates will prompt the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to raise interest rates inits mid-August meeting."

The report expected the inflation rate to return to its downtrend in August, allowing CBE to continue its easing cycle.

Fitch Rating also expected that inflation in Egypt will fall but will remain in double digits, averaging around 13 percent, assuming that subsidy reform in July will lead to energy price increases given the increase in oil prices.

“Egypt’s inflation is expected to temporarily rise in 2018/19, reflecting increases in fuel and electricity prices. However, inflation rate will move to single digits by next year,” the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Mission Chief for Egypt Subir Lall said on Twitter.



]]>
8/9/2018 11:57:48 AM
<![CDATA[Q&A about the New Suez Canal after 3 years of inauguration]]>
During the ceremony, Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish reviewed the project and what have changed in the old SuezCanal to have the new one, besides anticipating the upcoming changes in numbers.

Egypt Today presents a Q&A about the New Suez Canal after three years of its existence on the land of pharaohs.



Q: What are the characteristics of the New Suez Canal?

A: Three years ago, Egypt decided to have a new Canal by drilling about 35 kilometers, expanding and deepening 37 kilometers, with a total length of 72 kilometers.

Q: What is the importance of the project?

A: It aims at doubling the navigation lane, lowering ships transit time form 18 hours to 11 hours, increasing the capacity of the canal to 97 ships instead of 49 ships. Also, all sizes of ships can now cross the canal at any direction.

Q: What is the cost of the project?

A: Drilling the new canal amounted to around LE 20 billion.

Q: Who funded the project?

A: The Egyptians as they were the main contributor tothe New Suez Canal’s fund through paying LE 64 billion.

Q: What will the rest of the fund be used for?

A: It will be used to implement the developmental projects as the tunnels that connect the two banks together, the floated bridges, besides adding 12 ferryboats to Abour axes to Sinai, developing Ahmed Magdy tunnel under the Canal, and Working on a new tunnel at the north of Ahmed Hamdy tunnel.


Q: What are the national projects at the canal?

The national projects are:

- Fish Farming projects to achieve self-sufficiencyand to start exporting them abroad.
- Developing equipment and ships working on the Canal; including Ahmed Fadl ship which participates at Zohr gas Field.
- Building fish boats to improve the Egyptian fishing fleet.
- Developing East Port Said port.

Q: What is the current situation of the development project?

A: The development project is witnessing new advancesin the infrastructure of the basis of the development of six ports, and the establishment of industrial and logistics projects to be ready to work as soon as possible within the initiative of the belt and the road launched by China, making Egypt more able to benefit from the volume of world trade between east and west.

Q: How was the project implemented in just one year?

A: Egyptians helped in the provision of the project’s fund in a very short period. Egypt used about 75 percent of the world’s drills have been used in this project, recording the biggest drilling process in the history.

Around 40,000 workers participated in the drilling with 84 Egyptian companies participating in the project using 4,500 equipment.

The amount of sand drilled equals the size of 10 pyramids, 250 million cubic meter of dry sands, or 242 million cubic meters of sands filled with water.

Q: What is the financial outcome of the project?

A: The income of the canal will soar 259 percent in 2023, and the annual income of the canal will jump to $13.23 billion in 2023, compared to $5.3 billion in 2014.

Q: What are the main objectives of the New Suez Canal?

A: The main objectives of the new Canalwasto be prepared for dealing with the growth of the world trade movement and increase the dimensions and loads of transit ships, especially container vessels, increase the competitiveness of the canal and to raise its classification by increasing the length of double parts.

Q: What are the returns of the new canal during the last three years?

A: Since the opening of the new Canal in August 2015, it recorded a return of $15.8 billion (LE 219 billion).

The revenues of the Canal recorded the highest annual revenues in history during fiscal year 2017/2018 totaling $5.6 billion, with an increase of $600 million or 12 percent, compared to the prior year.

The revenues in the Egyptian pound during the fiscal year 2017/2018 reached an unprecedented record of LE 99.1 billion compared to LE 73.2 billion in the fiscal year 2016/2017, with an increase of LE 25.8 billion or 35 percent.

]]>
8/9/2018 11:41:50 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Jordan to amend gas agreements]]>
The Jordanian Ministry of Energy clarified in a statement that the new amendments will allow Jordan to import enough natural gas from Egypt to cover 10 percent of its electricity generation needs.

“These amendments will be carried out early 2019,” the Jordanian Energy Minister Hala Zawati said.

She also noted that these amendments came after the recent discoveries of natural gas in Egypt’s Zohr field, which started its production in December.

In 2015, Eni discovered Zohr gas field, the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean, with an estimated production of 30 trillion cubic feet.

The second phase of Zohr gas field will add around 2 billion cubic feet per day to Egypt's production and will be completed before the end of the year, according to the minister of petroleum.

Jordan needs about 330 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to generate electricity.

On Wednesday, Petroleum Minister Tarek el Molla discussed HalaZawati means of promoting the fruitful cooperation between both countries in oil and gas fields.

Molla announced in March that the Egyptian natural gas would be re-pumped to Jordan as of early 2019 after a four-year of suspension.

]]>
8/9/2018 11:31:25 AM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 16.7B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 357-day term and the second worth LE 8.2 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.]]>
8/9/2018 10:56:08 AM
<![CDATA[Supply worries lift oil prices as U.S. renews sanctions on Iran]]>
Brent crude futures were up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $72.48 barrel by 0644 GMT, following a decline of more than 3 percent on Wednesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures had gained 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $67.04 a barrel, after dropping 3.22 percent the previous session.

“The market is supported by concerns the sanctions on Iran are going to reduce Iranian supply,” said Tony Nunan, oil risk manager at Mitsubishi in Tokyo.

“The geopolitical risk from Iran is keeping a floor under the price,” he said.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions on some industries on Tuesday against Iran, third-biggest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The renewed sanctions won’t directly target Iranian oil until November, although U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants as many countries as possible to cut their imports of Iranian crude to zero.

China is imposing tariffs of 25 percent on a further $16 billion in imports from the United States, hitting trade goods from fuel and steel products to autos and medical equipment.

The ongoing trade war is rattling global markets and investors fear any slowdown in the world’s two largest economies would slash demand for commodities.

China’s crude imports recovered slightly in July after two months of decline, but were still among the lowest this year due to a drop-off in demand from smaller independent refineries.

China, the world’s top importer of crude, took 8.48 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up from 8.18 million bpd a year earlier and June’s 8.36 million bpd, customs data showed.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, meanwhile, reported that crude inventories fell 1.4 million barrels in the latest week, less than half the 3.3 million-barrel draw analysts had expected. [EIA/S]

Gasoline stocks notched a surprise rise of 2.9 million barrels, not the 1.7 million-barrel drop analysts had predicted in a Reuters poll.

In another sign that price gains might be capped, Iraq cut the official selling price for September cargoes of Basra Light crude for its Asian customers on Thursday.]]>
8/9/2018 10:53:00 AM
<![CDATA[Saudi Arabia reassures Canada on oil supplies as dispute drags on]]>
The world’s largest oil exporter has a “firm and long-standing policy” that petroleum supplies are not influenced by political considerations, Khalid al-Falih said in a statement.

“The current diplomatic crisis between Saudi Arabia and Canada will not, in any way, impact Saudi Aramco’s relations with its customers in Canada.”

Saudi Arabia, infuriated by Canada’s demand last week that jailed rights activists in the kingdom be released immediately, expelled the Canadian ambassador on Sunday, blocked imports of Canadian grain and ended state-backed educational and medical programs in Canada.

Bilateral trade between Canada and Saudi Arabia is worth nearly $4 billion a year. Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia were about $1.12 billion in 2017, or 0.2 percent of the total value of Canadian exports.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir ruled out any mediation efforts and called on Ottawa on Wednesday to “fix its big mistake,” saying the kingdom was considering implementing more measures against Canada for interfering in Saudi Arabia’s domestic affairs.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later appeared to extend an olive branch, saying he would keep pressing Saudi Arabia on civil liberties but also saying the Gulf Arab state had made some progress on human rights.

“Diplomatic talks continue ... we don’t want to have poor relations with Saudi Arabia. It is a country that has great significance in the world, that is making progress in the area of human rights,” Trudeau said.

Saudi Arabia has in recent months detained several women’s rights activists, some of whom had previously campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom’s male guardianship system, the latest to be swept up in a government crackdown on activists, clerics and journalists.

Since rising to power in 2015, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has courted Western allies to support his reform plans to modernize and open up the kingdom, offering billions of dollars of arms sales and promising to fight radicalism in the kingdom.

Prince Mohammed has launched a campaign of social and economic change, but has not eased the absolute monarchy’s total ban on political activism. He has taken a more aggressive stance toward arch-rival Iran, began a three-year war in Yemen and led a boycott of fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar.

In addition to the trade freeze, Riyadh has stopped sending patients to Canadian hospitals and suspended educational exchanges, moving Saudi scholars to other countries.]]>
8/9/2018 10:51:26 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling extends fall vs dollar, nears one-year low]]>
The currency traded as low as $1.2842, the weakest since August 25 2017. It is down for the sixth straight day, having lost almost half a percent on Wednesday and is set for its biggest weekly loss since May.

Against the euro, the pound was flat at 90.1 pence just off 10-month lows touched on Wednesday.

The pound also fell against the Japanese yen, down 0.2 percent to 142.87 yen.]]>
8/9/2018 10:49:05 AM
<![CDATA[Yen edges up ahead of U.S.-Japan trade talks, dovish RBNZ knocks down kiwi]]>
Elsewhere in the currency market, the New Zealand dollar slid as its central bank staked out a dovish policy.

While markets are still on edge over the brewing trade war between the United States and China, traders expected the main event on Thursday to take place in Washington, where Japan will enter talks seeking to avert steep tariffs on its car exports and fend off U.S. demands for a bilateral free trade agreement.

The yen has fallen about 4 percent against the dollar over the past six months, raising speculation that its depreciation could be an issue in the talks as the Trump administration has raised concerns over countries deliberately weakening their currencies.

The yen had received a lift on Wednesday following the release of minutes from a July 30-31 BOJ board meeting that showed one member wanted to allow long-term yields to move in an even wider band than the range indicated by the central bank.

In order to makes its easy policy more sustainable, the BOJ had tweaked its yield-curve control (YCC) scheme -under which it guides long-term rates around zero percent- and decided to allow the yield to move about 20 basis points on either side of the target.

Some saw last week’s policy tweak as a message of quiet surrender by the BOJ, an admission that it couldn’t stoke inflation and walking back steps intended to do so.

“The yen-buying trend has been gathering pace since early August and the moves generated on the latest BOJ news added further momentum,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

The speculation about the timing of an eventual exit from the BOJ’s ultra easy policy stance, along with caution ahead of the trade talks, led to the Japanese currency strengthening to 110.74 yen to the dollar, its strongest in nine days.

“It is a continuation of the unwinding of short positions made previously against the yen. But it still remains to be seen if there will be participants willing to begin going long on the yen once the short covering peters out,” said Koji Fukaya, president of FPG Securities in Tokyo.

KIWI STOOPS TO 2-1/2-YEAR LOW

A big mover in the G10 currency sphere was the New Zealand dollar, which fell more than 1 percent at $0.6665 , its lowest since March 2016.

The kiwi tumbled after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) on Thursday unexpectedly committed to keep interest rates at record lows through to 2020 on disappointing economic activity, a dovish turn that caught markets off-guard.

RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr told Reuters in an interview that the central bank will need to make sure it is “blowing wind into sails” of the country’s economy for some time yet.

Its antipodean peer the Australian dollar fared better, last trading up 0.2 percent to $0.7449 .

The Aussie had risen for the past two sessions, supported in part as a recent retreat by the Chinese yuan stopped for the time being.

Sterling was little changed at $1.2877 following a drop to $1.2854 the previous day, its lowest in a year. Against the yen, it slipped to an 11-month low of 142.34 .

The pound slumped on Wednesday as investors ramped up bets on Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement with Brussels on their future relationship. [GBP/]

The euro was a shade higher at $1.1616 after gaining about 0.1 percent on Wednesday. The single currency extended overnight losses to trade at 128.625 yen for a loss of 0.15 percent.

The Russian rouble retreated to its lowest since November 2016 overnight, weakening beyond the psychologically important 65 per dollar threshold, after Washington said it would impose fresh sanctions on Moscow.]]>
8/9/2018 10:42:44 AM
<![CDATA[Chances rise of 'no deal' Brexit that would hit sterling ]]>
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Friday Britain faces an “uncomfortably high” risk of leaving the EU with no deal, while on Sunday trade minister Liam Fox put the odds of such an outcome at 60-40.

But economists were far less pessimistic, giving a median 25 percent chance no agreement was reached. That was, however, higher than the 20 percent in a July poll.

A dozen of 27 common contributors between that poll and this upped their forecast. Thirteen left them unchanged and two cut them.

“Given the talk over recent weeks the perception of no deal has increased. Fundamentally our base case is still that some kind of deal is struck. A deal is more likely than no deal,” said James Smith at ING.

Sterling fell on Wednesday, slumping below $1.29 for the first time in almost a year, in a sell-off fuelled by investor concern Britain will crash out of the EU without a trade deal. The poll was largely taken ahead of this latest fall.

However, 80 percent of economists said the most likely outcome will be the two sides agreeing on an EU-UK free trade deal, as has been predicted since Reuters first began polling on this in late 2016.

But in an upgraded second place was leaving without an agreement and trading under basic World Trade Organization rules.

Slipping to third place, according to those polled, was the scenario where Britain would belong to the European Economic Area, paying to maintain full access to the EU’s single market.

Once again, their least probable scenario was a decision to reverse Brexit.

Peter Dixon at Commerzbank said: “Despite the apparent increase in the likelihood of a disorderly Brexit, it is not in the interest of either party that this should happen and as a result I hold to the opinion that the cliff edge can (and must) be avoided.”

But if that common view is wrong and the two sides part ways without a deal then sterling GBP= would fall to $1.20, according to the median forecast given by foreign exchange strategists polled in the past week.

Since the Brexit vote sterling is down nearly 14 percent versus the dollar. While it is unlikely to fully recoup those losses anytime soon, expectations for a deal have driven expectations for a strengthening pound.

In one month, cable will be stronger at $1.31 and then at 1.34 by end-January - just two months before Britain is due to leave the EU - the poll forecast.

By end-July next year, it suggested, sterling will have rallied to $1.38, probably supported by an expected rate hike from the Bank of England.

Last week, the nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted unanimously to push British interest rates above their financial crisis lows but signalled they were in no hurry to raise them further. That unanimity came despite widespread criticism by economists that it was not necessary.

Adding 25 basis points, they took the Bank Rate to 0.75 percent. Economists polled by Reuters largely agreed the MPC would take its time, with the next hike - also of 25 basis points - not expected until the second quarter, just after Brexit.

An overwhelming majority of respondents said the Bank was likely to raise rates within the next year and similarly agreed that it was unlikely to cut rates.

The European Central Bank, which last month reaffirmed plans to end its 2.6 trillion-euro stimulus programme this year, is expected to raise its interest rates in the quarter after the BoE does.[ECILT/EU]

So against the common currency the pound EURGBP= will move little. In one month one euro will get you 89.0 pence, in six months 88.0p and the same in a year, the poll found. It was trading around 90.0p on Wednesday.

British inflation jumped after the Brexit vote, largely driven by sterling’s fall, making imports more expensive, and it is only expected to be back at the central bank’s 2 percent target in the third quarter of next year.

With prices rising more sharply, and Brexit uncertainty unsettling business and consumer confidence, growth has steadily slowed. Britain’s economy was predicted to grow 1.3 percent this year and then pick up to 1.5 percent next, albeit still lagging its peers.]]>
8/9/2018 10:40:49 AM
<![CDATA[GM squeezes pounds and pennies to attack Ford's pickup profit machine]]>
The redesign of the Ford F-series trucks, launched in 2014, set a new standard for fuel economy and lightweight vehicle construction. But armed with stopwatches and trained eyes, the GM engineers believed they saw problems.

“They had a real hard time getting those doors to fit,” Tim Herrick, the executive chief engineer for GM truck programs told Reuters.

His team did more intelligence gathering. They bought and tore apart Ford F-series doors sold as repair parts. Their conclusion: GM could cut weight in its trucks for a lower cost using doors made of a combination of aluminum and high strength steel that could be thinner than standard steel, shaving off kilograms in the process.

These pounds and penny-based decisions will have major implications in the highest stakes game going in Detroit: dominance in the world’s most profitable vehicle market, the petrol-fueled large pickup segment. What’s more, GM is banking on strong sales of overhauled 2019 Silverados and GMC Sierras to fund its push into automated, electric vehicles – a business many investors see as the auto industry’s long term future.

The risks are high given the hits automakers have taken from U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade policies.

Rising aluminum prices spurred by Trump’s tariffs are driving up costs on the Ford’s F-series, while rising steel and aluminum prices drag on GM results. GM also has a significant risk should the United States, Mexico and Canada fail to agree on a new NAFTA trade deal, given GM trucks built at its Silao, Mexico factory could face a 25 percent tariff if NAFTA collapses.

Interviews with GM executives and a tour at its factory here in northwest Indiana provide a detailed look inside GM’s plan for the most important vehicles in its global lineup.

These big pickups are everything Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) Model 3 or a Chevy Bolt electric car is not.

The mostly steel body is bolted to the truck’s steel frame, rather than the one-piece body and frame electric vehicles. The majority of trucks will have a V-8 gasoline engine in front powering the rear wheels – like the classic GM cars of the 1950s. Some Silverados will have new four-cylinder engines, but there is no electric or hybrid offering as of now. The new Silverado - GM’s top-selling vehicle in the United States - is a technology achievement of a different kind.

It is taller and has a longer wheelbase than its beefy predecessor, which can help it more easily meet federal fuel efficiency rules. But it is 450 pounds lighter, and its V-8 engine achieves 23 mile per gallon on the highway that rivals smaller SUVs.

Wall Street investors give Tesla and its electric vehicles a higher value than GM’s shares. GM is betting that its core customers in the American heartland will keep paying premium prices - 27 percent of GM trucks sell for more than $55,000 - for these vehicles capable of hauling a trailer by day and substituting for a luxury sedan by night.

Large pickups generate at least $17,000 a vehicle in pre-tax profit for GM, the company has indicated in disclosures to investors. GM executives told Reuters that with the new trucks, GM will have a big cost advantage they can use to chop at Ford’s leading market share.

“We think we have thousands of dollars advantage (over Ford) just in the aluminum costs. It’s big,” said Herrick during a walk through the Fort Wayne plant, which began shipping the new Silverados and Sierras late last month.

He said GM plans to use its Silverado cost advantage to put more safety or entertainment technology in the trucks, fund programs such as a promised fleet of electric cars and return money to shareholders.

At Ford, truck marketing manager Todd Eckert said the company plans to stick to its game plan. For 41 years, the F-series trucks have been the best-selling single model line in the United States. For the first half of this year, the F-series line – which ranges from the light-duty F-150 to medium duty commercial trucks – has a 59,000 vehicle lead over the combined Chevrolet and GMC large pickups.

“There’s always been competition in this segment and there always will be,” Eckert said.

Ford’s purchasing director Hau Thai-Tang at an investor conference on Wednesday called the F-series pickup “one of our profit pillars,” and said Ford plans to increase the share of its 2018-2022 product development budget allocated to trucks and commercial vehicles to 29 percent from 24 percent in its prior 2015-2019 plan.

A LIGHT METAL DUEL

For decades, Ford and GM matched each other’s moves closely and built trucks that were similar in design, technology and capability.

With the launch of GM’s new trucks, the rivals’ technology strategies have diverged.

Ford in 2014 launched a new generation of F-series trucks with all-aluminum body structures for its big pickup trucks, and challenged rivals to find a better way match the fuel efficiency and towing power achieved using the lightweight metal and turbo-charged, six-cylinder engines.

Rising pressure from the U.S. government to slash carbon dioxide emissions made Ford’s move look smart.

The debate within GM over whether to follow Ford’s aluminum strategy “was a really hotly contested item for us,” said Herrick. He recalled skeptical questions when he sought approval from GM’s board for the billions of dollars required to launch the new Silverados at three factories.

“Son, it really costs this much to build all those trucks?” the 58-year-old executive recalled being asked by a member of the board.

Herrick, and Global Product Development chief Mark Reuss, said the shareholders’ billions would be better spent on what they call a “multi-material” strategy.

The new Silverado and Sierra got close to the Ford truck’s weight using seven different grades of steel in the cab, aluminum hoods, door exterior panels and tailgates. Reuss pushed development of a novel carbon fiber plastic that will be molded to make load beds for certain high-priced GMC models – and perhaps be used in different ways in future GM models, Reuss said.

Before GM’s direction was clear, a supplier to Ford sent Reuss a box of the rivets his competitor was using to fasten the F-series aluminum body panels together, anticipating he’d be ordering them, too.

“They’re still on my desk,” Reuss said in an interview.

The combination of weight reduction and engine technology produces a rear-wheel drive 2019 Silverado with a 5.3 liter V-8 and an eight-speed automatic transmission that averages 17 miles per gallon in the city and 23 on the highway, with a combined rating of 19 miles per gallon.

A Ford F-150 with a 3.5 liter turbo six cylinder is rated at 17 miles per gallon in the city, 21 on the highway and 19 combined, according to the government.

FOUR DOORS FOR PROFIT

In some crucial ways, GM is following Ford.

GM previously could not keep pace with demand for crew cab pickups – models with four, sedan-style doors in the cab. Ford used its lead in crew cab design to develop luxury truck models, such as the F-450 Limited, that have sticker prices as high as $100,000.

Average selling prices in the segment are around $42,000 to $45,000 - higher than the industry average.

GM has now dedicated two factories to building light duty pickups - in Fort Wayne and Silao, Mexico - which have the flexibility to build “darn near 100 percent crew cabs if we wanted,” Herrick said.

The GMC marketing division, meanwhile, is putting more emphasis on its Denali luxury truck brand, while Chevrolet will market more luxurious versions of the Silverado such as the frontier-themed High Country, which has leather seats and a Bose sound system. GM executives said they want to increase the company’s share of trucks sold at prices above $55,000 from the current 27 percent.

John Bergstrom, who owns a multi-brand network of dealerships based in Neenah, Wisconsin, said the new GM trucks should pull in buyers who currently don’t drive a pickup.

“We didn’t have the technology we needed,” Bergstrom said. With the new truck, “we’ve got that. They almost magically figured out how to get fuel economy out of these things.”]]>
8/9/2018 10:35:31 AM
<![CDATA[China stock rally steadies nerves, Russian ruble hammered]]>
Shanghai blue chips climbed 2.7 percent amid talk of possible government support for home-grown technology companies, just the latest in a series of growth boosting measures rolled out by Beijing as the trade dispute worsens.

Hopes for more Chinese infrastructure spending also underpinned industrial resources including iron ore and copper.

The gains in Chinese stocks helped MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan reverse early losses to nudge up 0.5 percent.

The relief had yet to spread to Europe with financial spreadbetters tipping London’s FTSE to open 8 points lower, Frankfurt’s DAX 4 points down and Paris’ CAC flat.

Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.2 percent, weighed in part by a shock slump in core machinery orders.

Shares in Mazda Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp and Yamaha Motor Co also fell on news they conducted improper fuel economy and emissions tests on their vehicles.

Japan will try to avert steep tariffs on its car exports and fend off U.S. demands for a free trade agreement at talks in Washington later in the session.

Early on Thursday, China’s state broadcaster said the country must counteract U.S. tariffs and that Beijing had the confidence to protect its own interests as well as the means to do so.

China had already announced additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of U.S. imports from fuel to autos. The tariffs will apply to billions of dollars in U.S. gasoline, diesel and other oil products, though not crude.

The oil market took the news hard on Wednesday, suffering losses of more than 3 percent.

Prices steadied a little on Thursday, with U.S. crude edging up 12 cents to $67.08 per barrel, while Brent bounced 24 cents to $72.52.

MORE SANCTIONS

In currency markets, the Russian ruble sank after Washington said it would impose fresh sanctions because it had determined that Moscow had used a nerve agent against a former Russian agent and his daughter in Britain.

There were also reports of a new U.S. Senate bill that would impose widespread sanctions on Russia for election meddling.

The ruble duly slid to its lowest since late 2016, with the dollar buying 65.74 rubles having jumped 3.3 percent overnight.

The pound skidded to its lowest against the dollar and euro in almost a year as fears grew Britain might leave the EU without a deal on trade with Brussels.

Traders reported a significant increase in investors hedging against a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, an event which could send sterling into free fall and hurt the economy by raising trade barriers with Britain’s biggest export market.

Sterling was last trading at $1.2881, having dropped 0.4 percent overnight.

The Japanese yen seemed to be catching a bid as a traditional safe-haven, with the dollar easing to 110.95 yen after stretching as high as 111.44 on Wednesday.

The euro was relatively steady at $1.1610, while the dollar index was a shade firmer at 95.124.

The New Zealand dollar dropped 1.1 percent to a two-year trough at $0.6665 after the country’s central bank pledged to keep rates at record lows well into 2020.

“The risk of rate moves over the next 12 months is weighted more toward cuts than hikes, and financial markets will price the risk accordingly,” said Kiwibank chief economist, Jarrod Kerr.

Chinese exports accelerate even as Trump escalates trade war
“The good news here is interest rates and exchange rates will remain lower for much longer, assisting growth.”]]>
8/9/2018 10:32:37 AM
<![CDATA[CBE: Trade exchange between Egypt, world countries hit dlrs 65.6 bn in 9 months]]>
Imports stood at dlrs 46.8 billion, while exports at dlrs 18.8 billion, according to the CBE 's monthly bulletin, a copy of which MENA has received.

The UAE ranked as the top trade partner of Egypt's with trade exchange between the two sides at dlrs 4.5 billion in nine months.

China came in second position, followed by the US, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Germany and Britain.]]>
8/8/2018 4:50:53 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Jordan probe boosting petroleum cooperation]]>
The Jordanian minister visited GASCO, Petrojet and Enppi companies, which are key pillars of the petroleum sector, where she was briefed on the capabilities of these Egyptian firms as well as the latest technologies they use in the petroleum and natural gas domains, a statement by the Petroleum Ministry said on Wednesday. ]]>
8/8/2018 4:48:28 PM
<![CDATA[EGX continues its uptrend for 2nd consecutive session]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.64 percent, or 101.31 points, to close at 15,862.86 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 climbed 0.80 percent, or 21.02 points, to reach 2,632.30 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.36 percent, or 2.71 points, reaching 754.59 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.28 percent, or 5.47 points, closing at 1,953.38 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 4.43 billion, recording LE 885.54 billion, compared to LE 881.1 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 249.1 million shares, traded through 26,191 transactions, with a turnover of LE 860.11 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 14.31 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 6.65 million and LE 7.66 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 50.81 million, LE 10.64 million and LE 610,430, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations were net buyers at LE 57.46 million and LE 8.27 million, respectively, while Arab organizations were net sellers at LE 3.67 million.

International Agricultural Products, Ismailia National Food Industries, and Delta Sugar were top gainers of the session by 7.77 percent, 7.13 percent and 6.46 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Nozha International Hospital, Atlas For Land Reclamation and Agricultural Processing, and Amer Group Holding were top losers of the session by 7.03 percent, 4.87 percent, and 3.85 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Tuesday’s session in green, as EGX30 hiked 0.74 percent, EGX50 climbed 1.32 percent, EGX70 increased 0.67 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.67 percent.
]]>
8/8/2018 3:50:08 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s trade deficit reaches $3.8B in May]]>
In April, Egypt marked a trade deficit of $3.32 billion, compared to $3.19 billion in the same month of 2017, with an increase of 4.1 percent.

In its monthly bulletin on foreign trade data, CAPMAS said that exports increased 1.4 percent to reach $2.48 billion during the month of 2018, compared to $2.44 billion during the month of 2017.

The bulletin attributed the increase of exports to the jump in the exports of some goods, such fresh fruits, increasing by 113 percent, plastic (17.2 percent),miscellaneous edible preparations (5 percent), Medicaments and Pharma goods (13.9 percent).

Meanwhile, exports of some other commodities saw a decline in May such as crude oil, which decreased by 6.2 percent, readymade clothes (6.5 percent), fertilizers (8.8 percent), and fresh oranges (0.8 percent).

CAPMAS said earlier that Egypt’s exports in the first two months of 2018 recorded $4.5 billion, compared to $4 billion in the same period of 2017.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s non petroleum exports jumped 200 percent in the first two months of 2018, reaching $64 million, compared to $21 million in the same period of 2017.

As per imports, the bulletin showed an increase of 7.9 percent to hit $6.32 billion in May of the current year, compared to $5.86 billion in May 2017.

CAPMAS ascribed this hike to the increase of imports of raw materials of iron or steel by 74.3 percent, crude oil by 25.1 percent, chemicals, organic and non-organic by 10.7 percent.

On the other hand, imports of other commodities showed a decline; such as wheat by 26.9 percent, corn by 0.5 percent, engines and generators by 36.4 percent, and copper and articles thereof by 42.1 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.
]]>
8/8/2018 2:21:46 PM
<![CDATA[German amb. in Egypt lauds new Assiut barrage project]]>
Germany is proud of being an important partner of Egypt's in this successful project, Luy said, adding that it is the biggest developmental German project in Egypt with a financing contribution of more than 300 million euros.

In a statement of the German embassy in Cairo, Luy said that the project of Assiut barrage works on providing irrigation water for 690,000 hectares that will benefit five million Egyptians working in agriculture.

Cooperation between Egypt and Germany in this project comes after their cooperation in Nag Hammadi barrage project that was implemented between 2002 and 2008, Luy said.

Building the new Assiut barrage on the Nile River took six years of continuous work, he said, adding that the contribution of the German government in the project reached 311 million euros out of the total cost of 474 million euros.

The new barrage will provide irrigation water for the area and meet the needs of 130,000 families of clean electricity.
]]>
8/8/2018 2:13:37 PM
<![CDATA[Reform measures contribute in supporting Egypt’s economy ]]>
During a speech on behalf of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi at the annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the Association of African Central Banks, Madbouli affirmed that foreign reserves exceeded $44 billion in July 2018, and growth rate reached 5.2 percent in the first half of the current year.

“Egypt is keen to fully cooperate with Africa;the country worked on signing free trade area agreements between the continent's economic blocs and worked on other means of supporting economic cooperation,” Madbouli noted.

The prime minister stressedthe importance of carrying out the financial and structural reforms,and of boosting mutual cooperation to faceeconomic challenges of African countries through discussions of the annual meetings of the Association of African Central Banks held in Egypt.

"Together we can put Africa on the map of the world economy," Madbouli pointed out.

He affirmed that the economic reforms in Egypt were praised by the international agencies, noting that Egypt aims at sharing its expertise in this field with the African countries.

Egypt is involved in international trade deals that came into action in the recent period.

The Mercosur Agreement, which is a free-trade agreement signed by Egypt and Mercosur countries in 2010, includes immediate customs clearance for 63 percent of the exports of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to Egypt.

The Mercosur trade deal covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies; it was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members in 2010, but only came into force in 2017.

Another trade agreement that Egypt is involved in is the deal with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents a free trade area with 19 member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area, which had existed since 1981.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is another agreement to ease the trade exchange between countries that have signed it, according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is considered to be the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization was established; it was signed by 43 countries.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) hosts Wednesday the annual meetings of the Board of Governors of the Association of African Central Banks at its 41stsession in Sharm El-Sheikh under the patronage of President Sisi.

Holding the meetings in Egypt comes in line with the Egyptian efforts to enhance the relationship with the African countries and to expand the common cooperation especially in economy.

]]>
8/8/2018 1:17:43 PM
<![CDATA[Euro gains as dollar rally fades; yen rebounds]]>
The dollar has weakened since hitting a three-week high on Monday, when the prospect of a full-blown trade war increased demand for the U.S. currency. Traders said the dollar needed a fresh impetus or an escalation in trade tensions to justify a move higher.

“The Chinese trade data, coupled with the PBOC moves, is helping quieten markets, with range-bound trading,” said Valentin Marinov, head of G10 FX strategy at Credit Agricole. “The main driver for markets at the moment is dollar buying and selling.”

Marinov was referring to the People’s Bank of China’s imposing a reserve requirement on forex forwards to help stabilize the plummeting yuan.

The Chinese currency has since recovered some of its losses and traded up 0.1 percent at 6.8201 CNH=EBS in offshore markets on Wednesday, away from 6.9125 lows hit last week.

The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1618 EUR=EBS, up from Monday's low of $1.1530.

The dollar index fell 0.2 percent to 95.036 .DXY.

China’s July trade data, the first since the United States imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6, showed China’s exports and imports rose faster than expected, although the country’s trade surplus with the United States was little changed.

In a reminder of the growing trade disputes, however, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said late on Tuesday that the United States would begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion of goods it imports from China later this month.

The move is the latest by Washington to pressure China into negotiating trade concessions. China has vowed to retaliate to an equal degree.

“Market reaction to the headlines about the U.S.-China trade war is waning,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“If there are clear signs of a slowdown of the U.S. economy due to the tariffs imposed in July, then I think the market will begin to price in slower rate hikes or no rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.”

YEN GETS BOJ BOOST

The yen rose half a percent against the dollar after reports that Bank of Japan board members disagreed last week on how far interest rates should be allowed to move from the central bank's target. The yen rose to 110.84, a one week high JPY=.

The Australian dollar, seen as a proxy for China risk because of its reliance on Chinese demand for its exports, rose 0.1 percent to $0.7427 AUD=D3.

Britain's pound fell 0.1 percent GBP=D3 against the dollar. It also slipped versus the euro to a nine-month low of 89.84 pence EURGBP=D3 as Brexit worries weighed.]]>
8/8/2018 12:18:06 PM
<![CDATA[Oil dips on weak China imports, but Iran sanctions, weak U.S. stocks support]]>
Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $74.50 per barrel at 0651 GMT, down 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $69.15 per barrel, down 2 cents.

China’s July crude oil imports recovered slightly in July after falling for the previous two months, but were still among the lowest this year due to a drop-off in demand from the country’s smaller independent, or “teapot”, refineries.

Shipments into the world’s biggest importer of crude came in at 36.02 million tonnes last month, or 8.48 million bpd, up from 8.18 million bpd a year ago, and just up on June’s 8.36 million bpd, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

However, July imports were still the third-lowest so far this year.

Singapore-based brokerage Phillip Futures said on Wednesday that an escalating trade dispute between the United States and China has “unnerved investors on the prospect of lowered global oil demand growth.”

Markets were still supported by the introduction of new U.S. sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, which initially target Iran’s purchases of U.S. dollars - in which oil is traded - metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector.

From November, Washington will also target Iran’s petroleum sector.

Iran is the third-largest producer among the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). It shipped out almost 3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in September, equivalent to around 3 percent of global demand.

Beyond the sanctions, the oil market was focusing on the U.S. market, where the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday that crude inventories fell by 6 million barrels in the week to Aug. 3 to 407.2 million.

Official U.S. fuel storage data is due to be released later on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In terms of production, the EIA on Tuesday slightly cut its 2018 expectation for average 2018 U.S. crude output to 10.69 million bpd, down from its previous estimate of 10.79 million bpd.]]>
8/8/2018 12:10:42 PM
<![CDATA[Turkish lira weakens again, eyes on Washington talks]]>
A Turkish delegation is visiting Washington this week to discuss the friction between the NATO allies, according to reports on Tuesday. But the United States said the two remained at odds on its core demand that Ankara free American evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.

Those tensions have heightened investor concern over Turkey, where investors are most worried by what they see as Erdogan's influence over the central bank, which has not been as aggressive in raising interest rates as investors have hoped.

The president, a self-described "enemy of interest rates", wants to see borrowing costs lowered to fuel credit, new construction and growth. The appointment of his son-in-law as finance minister has deepened the concern.

"The central bank is behind the curve; it remains behind the curve," said Guillaume Tresca, senior emerging market strategist at Credit Agricole. "The lira keeps depreciating and we are seeing that the central bank is not ready to act."

The lira stood at 5.2925 against the dollar, more than 1 percent weaker on the day. It had gained on Tuesday on reports the delegation would visit Washington.

The currency has fallen some 27 percent this year and plunged as much as 5.5 percent on Monday to 5.4250 per dollar, an all-time low and its biggest intraday drop in nearly a decade. That decline came after Washington said it was reviewing access to the U.S. market for Turkey's exports.

The cost of insuring exposure to Turkish bank debt rose on Wednesday, with five-year credit default swaps (CDS) for Yapi Kredi up 1 basis point (bp) from Tuesday's close to 460 bps, according to IHS Markit, a record high.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have been strained by differences over Syria and by the trial in Turkey of Brunson, the pastor, for supporting a group Ankara blames for a 2016 abortive putsch. Brunson denies the charge. The United States is also seeking the release from detention of three locally employed embassy staff.

Washington last week imposed sanctions on President Tayyip Erdogan's justice minister and interior ministers, saying they played leading roles in organisations responsible for Brunson's arrest. Erdogan has said Turkey would retaliate against the sanctions.
]]>
8/8/2018 12:09:50 PM
<![CDATA[Iran's foreign minister: U.S. will not stop Iran oil exports]]>
U.S. officials have said in recent weeks that they aim to pressure countries to stop buying oil from Iran in a bid to force Tehran to halt its nuclear and missile programs and involvement in regional conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

“If the Americans want to keep this simplistic and impossible idea in their minds they should also know its consequences,” Zarif told the Iran newspaper.

“They can’t think that Iran won’t export oil and others will export.”

President Hassan Rouhani hinted last month that Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, if the U.S. attempted to stop the Islamic Republic’s oil exports.

U.S. President Donald Trump responded by noting that Iran could face serious consequences if it threatened the United States.

“The Americans have assembled a war room against Iran,” Zarif said. “We can’t get drawn into a confrontation with America by falling into this war room trap and playing on a battlefield.”

Trump re-imposes sanctions on Iran

Last month, Trump offered to meet with Iran’s leaders. Zarif said that Oman and Switzerland have acted as mediators in talks with America in the past but that there are currently no direct or indirect talks being held with the United States.
]]>
8/8/2018 12:05:49 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling falls to nine-month low against euro as investors hedge against Brexit]]>
Sterling has slumped recently due to traders hedging against what they see as the growing chances of the currency plummeting if Britain crashes out of Europe in less than eight months’ time.

The pound sank to an 11-month low versus the dollar on Monday after Britain’s trade minister Liam Fox suggested the UK could leave the EU in March without an agreement to ensure future relations with the bloc, its biggest trading partner.

“A lot of companies can’t wait for the [Brexit] negotiations outcome in October so a lot of course are trying to hedge against drop in the pound,” said Christophe Barraud, an economist at Market Securities brokerage in Paris.

Sharp rises in the euro and the dollar recently have exacerbated the pound’s woes.

Sterling fell 0.2 percent to as low as 89.84 pence, its weakest since the middle of November.

The pound also slipped to a fresh 11-month low against the dollar of $1.2912, falling below Monday’s low of $1.2920.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with fellow EU leaders in October to try to seal deals on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal.

“We remain bearish on the pound in the short term until the Brexit mess is out the way and look for the currency to enter a $1.27-1.28 range before the leaders summit,” said Nomura strategist Jordan Rochester.

The pound has fallen more than 10 percent since mid-April, and with the government yet to agree a divorce deal with Brussels, currency traders are growing edgy about its outlook.

Traders are now preparing for Friday’s reading of second-quarter British economic growth numbers for clues as to where sterling is headed next.]]>
8/8/2018 12:03:03 PM
<![CDATA[Syria imposes LE 25 on Ceramic meter exported from Egypt]]>
The Greater Arab Free Trade Area is an economic alliance between Arab countries for economic integration and low-tariff trade. The Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) came into force on January 1, 2005.

“The Syrian decision threatens the competitiveness of Egyptian ceramics in the foreign markets in general and the Syrian market in particular, which is one of the main promising markets for the Egyptian ceramic product,” member of the board of directors of the Ceramics Division of the Federation of Industries,Bahaa Abdel Majeed, said.

Abdel Majeed referred to Turkey, which is the biggest competitor to Egypt, saying that it cannot directly export to the Syrian market now.

He pointed out that Egypt’s exports of ceramics and tiles to Syria exceeded LE 500 million during the period between 2013 and 2017.

“The Syrian market comes in the seventh place in Egypt’s export list of ceramic and tile, representing 6 percent of the total exports of the sector to all countries," he stated.

Abdel Majeed affirmed that these fees will lead to a 50 percent increase in export priceswhich threatens the Egyptian ceramics to lose one of its most competitive advantages in foreign markets, especially the Syrian market, compared to exports of ceramics from competitorslikeIran, Turkey and some African countries.

Abdel Majeed called for supporting the cost of shipping to the Syrian market and providing grants for exports of ceramics, similar to the export support given to African countries and some sectors of Egyptian building materials.

He added that most countries competing withEgyptget an export support for shipping their products.

The Egyptian Ceramic Industry

Abdel Majeed stressed that the Egyptian ceramic industry is suffering from a large imbalance in marketing policies as a result of its policies in the competitive countries and the lack of a future vision that can help the industrycompete in international markets.

He added that the industry has become unstable especially after the hike in gas prices and production costs,and due to the industry's inability to compete internationally due to a difference in prices estimated at about $1.5 million per meter, which weakens the demand for Egyptian products.

"The industry has gone through a very critical phase, and some of the reform measures taken by the state have had a negative impact on many sectors. Therefore, we must listen to the manufacturers'demands to achieve the state's directives and increase exports," he said.

Abdel Majeedsaid that the decision to liberalize the exchange rate had positive results on exporters, butthe results were negative on the importers, which led to a large increasein exports and a reduction inimports.

He revealed that exports to Syria doubled 10 times and the rate of exports to some factories reached 40 percent, which confirms that the country is moving in the right direction and that the economic reform programis positively affectingthe market, but there are many variables that harm the future of Egyptian exports.

He called on the government to intervene in order tolimit the effects of these variables, primarily support shipping and support exporters.

Generally, ceramic exports recorded $55 million in the first four months of 2018, up from $43 million in the same period of 2017, with an increase of 26 percent.
]]>
8/8/2018 11:58:41 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Singapore trade exchange hit $220M in 2017]]>
This came during Nassar's meeting with Ambassador of Singapore to Cairo Premjith Sadasivan to discuss ways to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries and Singapore's current and future investment projects in the Egyptian market.

Nassar and Sadasivan also discussed the possibilities of increasing trade rates between the two countries in general and Egyptian exports to Singapore in particular.

Nassar pointed out that the most important items of Egyptian exports to Singapore last year included chemical products, fertilizers, agricultural crops and food industries, while the main items of imports included engineering, and electronic goods and building materials.

The minister said that there are huge investment opportunities for the Singaporean business community in the Egyptian market in the industrial, agricultural and service fields.

He also noted that there are a number of successful investment projects in the Egyptian market in the fields of agriculture, logistics, food products and water desalination.

Nassar referred to the importance of expanding the volume of trade exchangebetween the two sides, especially that the current rates do not reflectthe distinguished bilateral relations between the two countries or the enormous potential of the Egyptian and Singaporean economies.

He revealed that the meeting also discussed the importance of establishing Nassarnotedto the possibility of benefiting from the Egyptian commercial offices spread in a large number of capitals and major African cities and also benefiting from trade, free and preferential agreements signed with a large number of the African countries.

Egypt is involved in international trade deals that came into action in the recent period.

The Mercosur Agreement, which is a free-trade agreement signed by Egypt and Mercosur countries in 2010, includes immediate customs clearance for 63 percent of the exports of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay to Egypt.

The Mercosur trade deal covers food, cars, auto parts and industrial supplies; it was signed by Egypt and Mercosur members in 2010, but only came into force in 2017.

Another trade agreement that Egypt is involved in is the deal with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which represents a free trade area with 19 member states stretching from Libya to Swaziland. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area, which had existed since 1981.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is another agreement to ease the trade exchange between countries that have signed it, according to a scheduled timeline and not through an immediate activation of the agreement.

The African Continental Free Trade Area is considered to be the biggest deal ever signed since the World Trade Organization was established; it was signed by 43 countries.

“Egypt is keen to benefit from the Singaporean industrial expertise through the transfer of advanced industrial technologies to the Egyptian industry,” the minister said, calling on the Singaporean companies to exploit the opportunities available in the various investment sectors and benefit from the incentives provided by the Egyptian government in these sectors.

For his part, Sadasivan stressed his country's keenness to enhance joint economic cooperation with Egypt during the coming period.

He mentioned the possibility of benefiting of Singapore’s great expertise in the field of integrated industrial cities, saying it has established eight industrial cities, including four industrial cities in China, and two cities in each of Vietnam and Indonesia.

]]>
8/8/2018 11:53:56 AM
<![CDATA[IFC invests $1.23B in Egypt during 2017/18, plans additional $1B ]]>
Labadi affirmed in an interview with the sister magazine of Egypt Today, that IFC sees great opportunities in infrastructure projects in Egypt, renewable energy, especially in the wind sector.

He flagged agribusiness, manufacturing, services and tourism as top priority fields.
Labadi also revealed that his institution injected and mobilized above $1.2 billion in high-profile investments in pioneering projects in Egypt in FY2017/18, including a landmark investment of $653 million in building 13 solar power plants in Upper Egypt’s Benban solar complex that will be the largest solar installation in the world and will provide 752 megawatts of cost-effective and eco-friendly electricity to 350,000 residents.

For the current fiscal year, IFC is planning to pump around $1 billion in about the same number of projects like last year (about 15), Labadi discloses, who was part of IFC’s teams that financed power plants in Turkey and Egypt along with airports in Jordan, Tunisia, and Jamaica. He has also participated in and oil and gas investments in Egypt and Africa.

He further stated that economic reform needs to continue and private sector involvement needs to increase for Egypt to stay on the right track.

In April, the IFC announced its support to Egypt’s private sector by nearly $1 billion, affirming its commitment to boosting the Egyptian economy which came as a result of the strong economic reform measures implemented by the Egyptian government.

Meanwhile, IFC’s investments to support Egypt’s private sector recorded around $1 billion during 2017/2018, aiming to boost the Egyptian economy.


]]>
8/8/2018 11:36:45 AM
<![CDATA[Bumper U.S. earnings, China stimulus hopes keep world shares at one-week high]]>
U.S. equities now stand less than half a percent off record highs hit in January, testifying to the strength of the world’s biggest economy and corporate sector, which has seen average earnings grow 23 percent in the second quarter.

The picture in the rest of the world is less rosy, given slower economic momentum and the greater vulnerability of other big economies - from China to Germany - to U.S. trade levies. Washington is preparing to start collecting tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese goods.

But for now many markets, especially in Asia, are supported by the U.S. tech rally that recently saw iPhone maker Apple become the world’s first $1 trillion company.

MSCI’s index of stocks from 47 countries was marginally higher while Asian equities .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.3 percent, led by tech-heavy Taiwan .MITW00000PUS. Japan’s Nikkei ticked up 0.4 percent.

“Everyone is just focusing on U.S. earnings... and feeling the U.S. market will remain robust despite trade uncertainties, and that’s the main driver right now,” said Christophe Barraud, a strategist at Paris-based brokerage Market Securities.

Barraud said autumn could bring a reality check in the form of slower U.S. growth indicators, Italian politics, Britain’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union, U.S. mid-term elections and - above all - the risk of trade war escalation.

“Support from U.S. earnings could last until the end of August and when people are back in September they will focus more on other events....(The trade war) is not a short-term conflict about a trade deficit but a longer-term story.”

Indeed, support from company earnings is less evident elsewhere — a raft of weak results pushed European shares to trade just below flat.

Average European second quarter earnings growth is running at 9.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, healthy but significantly lagging Wall Street.

Chinese equities meanwhile fell 0.4 percent as news of the additional U.S. tariffs overshadowed strong trade data that showed exports rose more than expected in July. A rise in imports also suggested Chinese domestic demand remains resilient.

Trade fears were tempered somewhat by signs Beijing is unveiling further measures to support growth, such as increasing infrastructure spending and tweaking its monetary policy stance.. That lifted the yuan further off recent 15-month lows to the dollar.

Chotaro Morita, a strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities, said Beijing’s policy support was “starting to give some support to other major markets”.

But he predicted the impact would be limited. “The reason they have to do so is escalating trade tensions so you can’t expect much upside.”

S&P500 equity futures indicated a flat Wall Street opening.

BREXIT AND STERLING

While most currency markets were relatively calm, sterling came under renewed pressure, falling to 11-month lows against the euro, dollar and yen.

Its woes stem from mounting concerns that Britain could crash out of the European Union without a trade deal in place, raising fears of a serious hit to the economy. With the government still far off agreeing an exit deal with Brussels, currency traders are increasingly edgy.

Market players said they were seeing increasing moves by investors to hedge sterling risks.

“A lot of companies can’t wait until the (Brexit) outcome is clear... Many of them are trying to hedge against a drop in sterling,” Barraud of Market Securities said.

Elsewhere the dollar’s recent mini-rally appeared to have run out of steam, offering some respite to most emerging currencies including the yuan. The Turkish lira, the biggest mover in recent days, fell another 0.7 percent, though it stayed well off recent record lows

On oil markets, Brent futures held firm around $75 a barrel as U.S. sanctions on Iranian goods went into effect, intensifying concerns of looming crude supply shortages.

Brent is up 2 percent this week.]]>
8/8/2018 11:22:17 AM
<![CDATA[Chinese exports accelerate even as Trump escalates trade war]]>
In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on Aug. 23.

Wednesday’s Chinese data provide the first readings of the overall trade picture for the world’s second-largest economy since U.S duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect on July 6.

All the same, China’s exports for July rose a bigger than expected 12.2 percent year-on-year, showing little tariff impact for now and beating June’s 11.2 percent rise and analysts expectations in a Reuters poll for 10 percent growth.

Of more direct consequence in the Sino-U.S. trade war, China’s surplus with the United States shrank only marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June. Washington has long criticized China’s trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.

Those demands could get even more strident if the yuan’s sharp drop in recent months raises the ire of the United States, which has in the past repeatedly criticized Beijing for manipulating its currency to gain an unfair trade advantage.

Economists say China appears to be taking a more hands-off approach to the yuan, which marked its worst 4-month fall on record between April and July and has provided some reprieve for exporters in the face of the rising trade tensions.

ANZ senior China economist Betty Wang said Beijing will likely resist using its closely managed currency as a tool in the trade war.

“Currency devaluation, which may have helped exports to some extent, has been largely market-driven in our view and is not a preferred policy tool by Chinese policy makers as part of the retaliation measures,” Wang said.

China’s trade with the U.S. also continued to rise in July despite the tariffs, with exports up 11.2 percent year-on-year, and imports increasing 11.1 percent.

Analysts still expect a less favorable overall trade balance for China in coming months given it’s early days in the tariff brawl.

BEIJING BOOSTS LIQUIDITY SUPPORT

After a strong start to the year, growth in the world’s second-largest economy cooled slightly in the second quarter, partly hit by the government’s years-long efforts to tackle debt risks.

China’s imports rose 27.3 percent year-on-year in July, in a sign domestic demand remains solid, but the worry is that the escalating Sino-U.S. trade war, rising corporate bankruptcies, and a steep decline in the yuan could put a significant dent on the economy.

The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more “active” fiscal policy.

World financial markets have taken a battering in recent months as fears grow that Trump’s “America First” policies could derail a global economic revival.

Several large American companies have said they would adjust their supply chains to source outside of China if tariffs on Chinese goods impacted them, while China’s Haier Group (1169.HK) said rising steel prices amid hefty U.S. import tariffs was driving up costs for its business in America.

In a sign there may be more difficulties ahead, a private survey last week found that the business outlook among Chinese services firms was the second-weakest on record in July in part due worries about the trade war.

“STICK OF HEGEMONY”

China has repeatedly warned it will strike back against any further punitive measures by Trump, saying the United States is threatening the global free trade order with its protectionism.

Chinese state media, reflecting the government’s stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of U.S. threats.

The latest commentary from state media on Wednesday took a softer line after resorting to personal attacks against Trump earlier in the week, saying China could get through the storm but refrained from directly mentioning the U.S. president.

All China’s main state newspapers published a lengthy commentary by the official Xinhua news agency, entitled “declaration”, on their front pages.

“Certain people go against the tide for their own private ends and go against morality; the barrier of tariffs wantonly rise, and the stick of hegemony is raised all around,” the commentary said.

“Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems,” it said.

China has not yet given a date for its previously announced retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in U.S. goods, which will target commodities such as crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products.

The latest $16 billion list from the United States will hit semiconductors from China, even though many of the basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement they were disappointed and puzzled why semiconductors remain on the final tariff list.

“We have made the case to the Administration, in the strongest possible terms, that tariffs imposed on semiconductors imported from China will hurt America’s chipmakers, not China’s, and will do nothing to stop China’s problematic and discriminatory trade practices,” he said.]]>
8/8/2018 11:19:38 AM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Tuesday in green, market cap. gains LE 6.7B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.74 percent, or 115.99 points, to close at 15,761.55 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 climbed1.32 percent, or 34.05 points, to reach 2,611.28 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.67 percent, or 5.12 points, reaching 751.88 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.67 percent, or 12.93 points, closing at 1,947.91 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 6.75 billion, recording LE 881.1 billion, compared to LE 874.35 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 167.3 million shares, traded through 20,462 transactions, with a turnover of LE 632.02 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 45.71 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 27.87 million and LE 17.84 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 19.39 million, LE 19.13 million and LE 761,277, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations were net buyers at LE 47.26 million and LE 18.6 million, respectively, while Arab organizations were net sellers at LE 26.58 million.

Ismailia National Food Industries, El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, and Arabia Investments,Development,Fin. Inv. Holding Comp.-Cash were top gainers of the session by 7.93 percent, 6.82 percent and 6.59 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Prime Holding, Sues Canal Company for Technology Settling, and Sinai Cementwere top losers of the session by 9.60 percent, 9.23 percent, and 4.44 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session in red, as EGX30 declined 0.58 percent, EGX50 slipped 0.54 percent, EGX70 decreased 0.25 percent, and EGX100 dropped 0.41 percent.]]>
8/7/2018 4:42:34 PM
<![CDATA[Finance minister appoints Kamal Negm as new head of customs]]>
The minister handed the new head of Customs Authority his appointment decision in the presence of Deputy Minister of Finance of the Treasury Ihab Abu Aish, Assistant Minister for Revenue Amr al-Khouly, and Advisor to the Minister of Finance for Customs Affairs and former Head of the Authority Magdy Abdel Aziz.

The minister emphasized the important role played by customs officials in protecting the citizen's health, security and stability,stressing that they also play a role in protecting the country from drugs, crackers and harmful and illegal practices.

Ma’it affirmed his full confidence in the continued efforts of customs officials to support the country's plans and economic policies, and to activate the international trade movement of Egypt, affirming that Egypt needs to maximize those efforts to promote exporting and investment.

Negm was the head of the Central Administration of the Eastern Province in the customs operations sector.

He graduated from the Faculty of Commerce, Mansoura University in 1983 and joined the Customs Administration in 1985. He held several positions, including director general of Customs and Deposits Affairs at Port Said Customs in 2012 and head of the Central Administration of Damietta Customs in Eastern Province in Customs Operations Sector in 2016.

In July, former Head of the Customs Authority Gamal Abdel Azim was arrested in the headquarters of the department after receiving a financial bribe of LE 1 million from an importer of textiles in exchange for the termination of customs clearance procedures for certain imported goods.]]>
8/7/2018 2:13:28 PM
<![CDATA[Mulla: Luring investments, turning Egypt into energy center top priority]]>
He made the remarks on Tuesday while chairing a meeting of the high committee for the petroleum sector development project.

He said the project aims mainly at encouraging investment in oil prospecting and production, improving the oil refining industry and products' distribution, turning Egypt into an energy trade hub, developing human resources and using top-notch working mechanisms.

He underscored that human resources development is the cornerstone for realizing progress.

The meeting tackled challenges facing the oil sector and ways of realizing its aspired development goals. ]]>
8/7/2018 12:14:59 PM
<![CDATA[Authority of Land, Dry Ports achieves surplus of LE129M in 2017/18]]>
The ministry added in a statement that the authority executed 93 percent of its investment plan during last fiscal year, with a total of LE 155 million, which included the development of Taba Port and the first phase of securing the authority’s ports.

The statement revealed that Minister of Transport Hesham Arafat headed the meeting of the authority’s board of directors, discussing the final account and the budget.

They also discussed the upcoming projects of development in different ports.

The minister called for a continuous progress in the performance and development rates, in addition to the need to focus on training port workers, as the human factor is one of the most important factors contributing to the success of the system.

“The ministry has set a comprehensive plan for dry ports and logistic areas, planning to construct several dry ports and logistic areas to serve the commercial community, and maintain the road network,” Arafat said on the sidelines of the meeting.

He clarified that the goods will be transported to and from these ports via the rail network.

Arafat noted that the ministry considered the needs of Lower and Upper Egypt when deciding the destinations of these ports, and stressed that these sites were selected according to scientific foundations.

The dry ports and logistic areas will be established in the cities of 6th of October, 10th of Ramadan, Sadat City, New Borg El-Arab City, New Beni Suef City, Sohag New City, Arafat stated.

According to the minister, executive steps have already been taken to establish these ports. The project of constructing the dry port in the 6th of October city on 100 feddans area has been presented to the investors in an international tender to be conducted in partnership with the private sector.

Major alliances have been rehabilitated to enter this project and are now completing the process of placement and graduation.

The website of the authority stated that the main function of Land Port is the provision of facilities after the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) 1995 active World Trade movement, using new methods and concepts to reduce the overall costs.

It added that many concepts were developed, including the seaport, which was based on the geographical location, with a focus on the provision of handling services of goods and storage operations inside the port.

Egypt has six ports in the wilderness on the eastern, western and southern borders.]]>
8/7/2018 12:08:49 PM
<![CDATA[Rebound in Chinese shares, solid U.S. earnings support Asia]]>
Spreadbetters expected European stocks to open slightly higher, with Britain’s FTSE rising 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX advancing 0.15 percent and France’s CAC adding 0.13 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.35 percent.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4 percent as investors snapped up shares that were hit hard during a four-day losing run.

Chinese equities were expected to remain volatile as Beijing’s trade feud with Washington showed little signs of de-escalation.

South Korea’s KOSPI rose 0.3 percent and Japan’s Nikkei added 0.6 percent.

The three major U.S. stock indexes closed higher on Monday amid a strong U.S. earnings season, with results from Berkshire Hathaway impressing and Facebook lifting the Nasdaq after a report it was planning new services. [US/]

“Global markets are (being) buffeted by conflicting currents. The bottom-up view of the world from a corporate perspective is positive, led by U.S. companies,” wrote Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

“However, the increasing potential for trade disputes to slow the global economy is restraining investor enthusiasm.”

The dollar drew support from the persistent international trade tensions. Its index against a basket of six major currencies rose to a near three-week high of 95.515, before pulling back slightly to 95.335.

Some analysts see the trade conflict benefiting the U.S. dollar as the nation’s economy is better placed to handle protectionism than emerging markets, and as tariffs may narrow the U.S. trade deficit.

Weakness in its peers further bolstered the dollar.

The euro fell to a five-week low of $1.1530 overnight, weighed down by worries that Italy could ramp up spending and challenge European Union budget regulations and by a drop in June German industrial orders. The single currency last traded at $1.1556.

The pound was also on the back foot, driven on Monday to $1.2920, its weakest since September 2017, after comments by officials raised fears Britain would crash out of the EU without securing a trade agreement. Sterling stood at $1.2944.

The dollar was steady at 111.33 yen after edging up 0.1 percent overnight.

A big mover was the Turkish lira, which struggled near a record low plumbed on Monday after Washington said it was reviewing Ankara’s duty-free access to the U.S. market as tensions between the two NATO allies ramped up.

The lira has lost 27 percent of its value this year, battered primarily by concerns about President Tayyip Erdogan’s drive for greater control over monetary policy.

“Currently the impact of the lira’s slide is mostly contained within the country. But fears of a default will begin to increase if the currency keeps depreciating, and such a development could affect some European financial institutions,” said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

“The Turkish central bank will have to move quickly and raise interest rates to arrest the lira’s fall before it becomes too late.”

In commodities, oil extended the previous day’s rally after the imposition of U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran took effect on Tuesday. [O/R]

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures shook off earlier weakness and were 0.33 percent higher at $73.99 a barrel. They had gained 0.75 percent on Monday after OPEC sources said Saudi production had unexpectedly fallen in July.

Copper struggled under the combined weight of trade tensions and a firmer dollar. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $6,132.50 per tonne after retreating more than 1 percent on Monday. ]]>
8/7/2018 11:58:54 AM
<![CDATA[Oil up as U.S. sanctions on Iran expected to tighten supply]]>
Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were up 50 cents to $74.25 per barrel at 0928 GMT (5.28 a.m. ET) and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 29 cents at $69.30 a barrel.

A first batch of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which shipped out almost 3 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in July, officially came into effect at 12:01 a.m. U.S. Eastern time (0401 GMT) on Tuesday.

The reimposed sanctions target Iran’s U.S. dollar purchases, metals trading, coal, industrial software and its auto sector.

“It is a reality check that this is happening and that Iran’s oil exports will be hurt when the oil sanctions hit it in November,” chief commodities analyst at Commerzbank Bjarne Schieldrop said.

Many countries, including U.S. allies in Europe as well as China and India, oppose the sanctions, but the U.S. government said it wants as many countries as possible to stop buying Iranian oil.

“It is our policy to get as many countries to zero as quickly as possible. We are going to work with individual countries on a case-by-case basis, but our goal is to reduce the amount of revenue and hard currency going into Iran,” a senior U.S. administration official said on Monday.

“A full embargo seems unlikely and the oil market should remain well balanced in light of rising production and the emerging markets’ fuel inflation pains,” Norbert Rucker, head of macro and commodity research at bank Julius Baer, said.

HEAT IMPACTS OIL

Analysts also warned that a global heatwave could affect oil demand.

Much of the northern hemisphere has been gripped by extreme heat this summer, pushing up demand for industrial and residential cooling.

This mostly impacts demand for power fuels such as thermal coal and natural gas.

“With global demand remaining healthy and the global heatwave increasing oil demand, I think prices will remain well-supported in the near term,” Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM said.

But U.S. bank JPMorgan said a warmer-than-usual fourth quarter could stem from a potential El Niño weather pattern that “can cause droughts, flooding and other natural disasters across the globe, including heatwaves in the U.S. that affect commodities”.

“Past instances of El Niño have resulted in sharp drops in U.S. residential and commercial heating oil demand and prices,” it said.]]>
8/7/2018 11:56:46 AM
<![CDATA[Pound frail on worries over no-deal Brexit, dollar steady]]>
Comments from officials about a no-deal Brexit stoked fears Britain would crash out of the EU next year without securing a trade agreement.

Sterling sank as far as $1.2920 overnight, its lowest since early September, before making up some losses. It stood at $1.2942 at 0315 GMT.

The dollar stayed firm on Tuesday, with the index against a broad basket of currencies steady at 95.345.

Overnight, it edged close to the more-than-one-year high of 95.652 reached on July 19, before easing somewhat towards the end of the session.

Some analysts see trade tensions supporting the dollar as the United States economy is better placed to handle protectionism than emerging markets, and as tariffs may narrow the U.S. trade deficit.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty on the tariffs. We don’t know exactly how much will be implemented and how bad it can get,” said Shinichiro Kadota, senior FX and rates strategist at Barclays in Tokyo.

“If U.S. economic growth starts to slow down because of tariffs or because past tax-cut effects are waning, then I think the economic performance could fade, which could also lead to fading dollar strength,” he said.

Minori Uchida, chief currency analyst at MUFG Bank, said the dollar drew additional support from earnings-led gains on Wall Street.

“The correlation between the U.S. dollar and U.S. equities is becoming really strong,” he said, adding that the dollar “will continue to strengthen as long as U.S. stock markets remain bullish”.

The euro remained weak after slipping to a five-week low of $1.1530 overnight, as German industrial orders fell more than expected in June, posting their steepest monthly drop in well over a year. It last traded a tad higher at $1.1558.

The yen strengthened slightly against the dollar to 111.32 yen ahead of Thursday’s expected bilateral trade talks between the U.S. and Japan in Washington.

The talks “are seen as a factor that’s pushing up the yen,” said Uchida.

The offshore yuan last traded at 6.8625 yuan per dollar.

The Turkish lira firmed against the dollar after broadcaster CNN Turk, citing diplomatic sources, reported that a delegation of Turkish officials will head to Washington in two days to discuss an ongoing row between the two NATO allies.

The currency was trading at 5.2750 against the dollar at 0315 GMT on Tuesday.

It had plunged about 5.5 percent to a record low of 5.4250 overnight after the Trump administration announced on Friday that it was reviewing Turkey’s duty-free access to U.S. markets.]]>
8/7/2018 11:55:01 AM
<![CDATA[Fitch affirms Egypt’s IDR at ‘B’ with positive outlook]]>
The rating agency attributed the ratings to the progress in executing an economic and fiscal reform program, greater macroeconomic stability and improving external finances.
“The ratings are constrained by large fiscal deficits, high general government debt/GDP, and weak governance scores (as measured by the World Bank governance indicators),” Fitch added in its report.

It also stated that the Positive Outlook reflects improving trends across a number of Egypt's credit metrics in response to the reform program.

Fitch praised the Egyptian government’s commitment to its economic program in line with the IMF’s $12-billion loan approved in November 2016 to support the Egyptian economic reform program.

Since then, Egypt has floated its local currency, losing around 50 percent of its value. Other economic reforms included more widely imposing taxes such as a recently implemented value-added tax (VAT) and cutting energy subsidies in aims of trimming the budget deficit.

The report forcasted real GDP growth accelerating to 5.5 percent in 2018/2019 and 2019/2020, anticipating average inflation declining to 11.6 percent in 2019, from 13 percent in 2018.

Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed announced earlier that Egypt's growth rate for the 2017/2018 fiscal year hit its highest level in ten years as it recorded 5.3 percent against 4.2 percent the prior year.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) also announced that its annual consumer price inflation slipped to 13.8 percent in June 2018 from 30.9 percent in the same month of 2017.

On a monthly basis, inflation increased 2.9 percent in June, compared to the previous month, to record 282.7 points, CAPMAS said.

“Real GDP growth stabilized at 5.2 percent in the first half of 2017/2018, driven by tourism, construction and gas extraction,” the report stated.

It also noted that inflation dropped to 11.5 percent y-o-y in May, after averaging 29.5 percent in 2017. “In June, inflation increased to 14.4 percent following further subsidy reforms ahead of FY19. We forecast smaller current account deficits (CAD) in 2018-2020, averaging 2.5 percent of GDP, and maintenance of adequate FX reserves, covering on average six months of current external payments (CXP),” the report read.

Fitch said that reserves covered an average of 2.8 months of CXP in 2012-2016, noting that external debt/GDP increased sharply in 2017. It expected these levels to moderate in 2018-2020, and a large chunk remains on concessional terms.

“Public finances will remain a key weakness of Egypt's credit profile, but the trend is positive, with the budget deficit and government debt improving in FY18 largely in line with expectations,” it further stated.

It also estimated that general government debt/GDP fell to 93.6 percent in 2017/2018 from 103.1 percent the prior year.

“We expect further fiscal consolidation will help reduce general government debt/GDP to 88 percent in FY19, and in the longer term, to around 75 percent by 2022/2023, close to government debt levels at the time of the Arab Spring uprisings,” it also noted.

In January, Fitch has revised the Outlook on Egypt's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to Positive from Stable and affirmed the IDR at 'B'.
]]>
8/6/2018 6:10:39 PM
<![CDATA[Mamish: Suez Canal revenues hit $15.8bln in 3 years]]>
During a celebration marking the third anniversary of the New Suez Canal inauguration by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Mamish said 52, 199 ships transited the canal during that period with a load of about 3 billion tons.

He said the year 2017-2018 recorded the highest annual revenues in the history of the canal with a dlrs 600 billion increase over the previous year.

Mamish said the flexible marketing policies and incentives granted to navigation lines, along with the establishment of bridges and tunnels in the canal area contributed to the increase of revenues and the number of vessels crossing the waterway.

He thanked President Abdel Fattah El Sisi for the rapid response he showed to the Suez Canal project to achieve economic development in the country through launching such mega projects whose fruit will be borne by the current and coming generations.

He said SCzone is pregnant with investment projects, pointing out to the importance of the waterway location in the world and its role in serving international navigation.

Egypt will double its revenues from the canal by 2023, said Mamish, pointing out that the process of development in the country will start from the waterway.

He also said that the canal managed to during the past years to receive the biggest and most advanced ships in the world after a series of studies and measures to improve the its performance.
]]>
8/6/2018 5:15:06 PM
<![CDATA[Visa, General Federation of Chambers of Commerce launch Visa Security Week]]>
Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 16.05.55
Part of Infograph from Visa Security Week - Visa

Visa is also making a number of recommendations as part of Security Week for those using QR codes—the most advanced technological payment system yet—or making electronic payments, for example, it recommends shopping online only at well-known eCommerce sites, and reducing the amount of time spend using an unsecured, open WiFi connection which the survey found 45 percent of Egyptian consumers do at least once a week.

In preparation for this educational campaign, Visa surveyed consumers across Egypt, with research conducted by 4SiGHT Research & Analytics, providing compelling insights into the payment experiences, habits and attitudes of consumers.

For the purpose of understanding the market, 614 people were interviewed for 15 minutes each in April 2018, 74 percent of whom were males, while 26 percent were females, between the ages of 18-35 (71 percent) and 36 – 55 (29 percent). Almost half, 47 percent, of respondents lived in Grand Cairo, 12 percent lived in Giza, 16 percent in Alexandria and 25 percent live in a number of different cities. Each had a banking relationship in the country of residence, was a user of payment cards and had made at least one online payment in the past six months.

The study uncovered attitudes and adoption of new payment technology using QR (Quick Response) codes, such as Visa’s Scan to Pay, which enables consumers to make cardless purchases, pay bills and send or receive money both locally and internationally by scanning a QR code. Ninety-two percent of consumers surveyed liked the concept of QR mobile payments, with 79 percent trusting the concept.

Visa is also focused on where shoppers can improve their payments security – and its tips, posts and videos throughout the week will show them how to do this as part of the #VisaSecurityWeek social media campaign.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 16.05.53
Part of Infograph from Visa Security Week - Visa

Neil Fernandes, Visa’s Head of Risk for Middle East and North Africa, commented, “Digital payments such as Scan to Pay, our QR code mobile payment solution, are playing an ever more important role in offering consumers a safe and seamless way to pay. That’s why it is vital we continue to support merchants, consumers, and banks through responsible innovation, and help them to understand the benefits of new technologies. This will empower them to use their cards or mobile device with confidence to shop both online and in a physical environment. Our Security Week will once again help to raise awareness amongst our consumers, ensuring we provide them the tools to help them identify and prevent potential fraud.”

Building on this, Ahmed Al Wakil, Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce (FEDCOC), said, “Driving financial inclusion and spreading the digital payments culture will have a positive impact on commerce in Egypt and will empower consumers with various payment options. We are pleased to collaborate with Visa in launching the second chapter of the Security Week, as it will provide merchants and consumers with essential information on new payment channels. Mobile payments are gaining popularity in Egypt given the mobile devices and internet penetration.”

The Benefits of new payment technology being felt by consumers

In numbers, consumer opinions are largely positive when asked about QR based payments although it is still early days for the payment technology:

• 89 percent of consumers surveyed find them clear and easy to understand, and 77 percent view them as more convenient that cash or cards.
• 86 percent of consumers surveyed believe that QR code payments are more secure and confidential because no one can see card numbers, pins and passwords.
• While approximately two thirds of consumers believe that cash usage in Egypt is declining, 83 percent of consumers also revealed that they routinely visit shops and restaurants where only cash is accepted. Accordingly, 90 percent of aware consumers would like to see more retailers offering more ways to pay such as by QR codes.
• 23 percent who know how to pay with QR code are already using them and this figure looks set to grow with 90 percent of aware consumers likely to start using QR codes to pay. Helping consumers stay safe while shopping
• 80 percent of consumers find QR-based payments safer than cash, 87 percent find them safer than payments by check, and 77 percent find them safer than payments by debit or credit card.

Overall, it seems that the consumer’s attraction to staying safe online and cyber protection is encouraging them to use QR codes more and more, leading it to rapidly gain popularity in Egypt.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 16.05.48
Part of Infograph from Visa Security Week - Visa

Internet use in Egypt

As Internet users reach 49.23 million people in Egypt, penetration reaches almost 50 percent, seven percent less than the percentage of the population living in urban areas within the country, according to a report by We Are Social and Hootsuite titled Digital in 2018. Internet penetration is higher in Egypt than Africa; reaching 49.5 percent last December, according to Internet World Stats, compared to an overall penetration rate of 35.2 percent in the continent.

Digital in 2018 relies on information from the United Nations as well as official country-based and international statistics, statements from officials, regional research by international organizations, GSMA intelligence, reputable media sources and several analytical websites and agencies, like Kepios analysis. It puts active social media users at 39 million, which entails penetration is at approximately 40 percent, and active mobile social media users are at 35 million, meaning about 36 percent of the population use their mobile devices to visit social media platforms.

Similarly, a report by the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information technology reveals that internet users in the country reached 33.19 million in April 2017; a 7 million increase from the number of internet users a year earlier.

Subscriptions for ADSL, the high-speed internet service provider, reached an all-time high of 4.57 million, an increase from April 2016’s 4.05 million, according to the report. Similarly, mobile phone data users reached 33.22 percent in April 2017, up from 27.37 percent in April 2016. This significant and steady increase in internet users has led research organizations, like international statistics platform Statista, to suggest that internet user penetration in Egypt will reach 53 percent by 2019. More businesses are also expected to have online presence over the next few year.

The quick increases seen in the internet industry, coupled with the fact that Egyptian users have been on the internet for a shorter amount of time on average in comparison with other countries, suggests that the industry is set to continue growing at a high pace during the next few years. Egyptians have been on the internet for five years, versus the 7.6 years on average for citizens of other African countries, according to a report published by the Northwestern University in Qatar. The report that surveyed more than 6,000 people from six Arab countries puts penetration at 50 percent in Egypt.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 16.05.45
Part of Infograph from Visa Security Week - Visa
]]>
8/6/2018 4:23:56 PM
<![CDATA[EGX loses LE 4.5B of market cap on 2nd session of week]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 0.58 percent, or 91.49 points, to close at 15,645.56 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 slipped 0.54 percent, or 14.01 points, to reach 2,577.23 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 decreased 0.25 percent, or 1.85 points, reaching 746.76 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.41 percent, or 8.06 points, closing at 1,934.98 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 4.48 billion, recording LE 874.35 billion, compared to LE 878.83 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 159.97 million shares, traded through 16,971 transactions, with a turnover of LE 529.82 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 29.98 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 12.35 million and LE 17.63 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 24.19 million, LE 1.7 million and LE 1.43 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations were net buyers at LE 11.84 million and LE 31.4 million, respectively, while Arab organizations were net sellers at LE 15.9 million.

Atlas for Land Reclamation and Agricultural Processing, El Obour Real Estate Investment, and Egyptian for Developing Building Materials were top gainers of the session by 5.92 percent, 4.95 percent and 3.52 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Wadi Kom Ombo Land Reclamation, and Ismailia National Food Industries were top losers of the session by 6.52 percent, and 5.19 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s session on mixed performance, as EGX30 declined 0.44 percent, EGX50 slipped 0.33 percent, while EGX70 increased 0.07 percent, and EGX100 declined 0.03 percent.
]]>
8/6/2018 3:59:24 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi, CBE governor review banking sector activities]]>
They reviewed activities of the banking sector and its role in funding investment movement in Egypt, Presidency Spokesman Bassam Radi said.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's meeting with Central Bank of Egypt Governor Tarek Amer covered measures taken by the bank to help implement the economic reform program in Egypt and maintain financial and monetary stability, Rady added.

The meeting also covered a number of issues pertaining to the current economic conditions, he said.

They also reviewed the latest developments in the monetary policy and the activities of the banking sector particularly as regards creating job opportunities, boosting business activities and funding investments, he pointed out.]]>
8/6/2018 3:23:50 PM
<![CDATA[How to invest in Egypt’s protectorates?]]>
Fouad noted that the Ministry will start the offer by nature reserves of Nabq and Wadi Degla, noting that the offer will first be presented for local companies; foreign firms will be included at a further stage.

This offer aims to develop the infrastructure of the reserves to create value add and encourage investments in this field, the minister said, adding that Egypt is considered to be one of the least countries in the world spending on garbage.

She also revealed that Egypt spends $3 per citizen monthly on garbage collection and transport, compared to $7 in other countries, pointing out that amendments are being made to the current Environment Law to be presented to the House of Representatives soon.

Egypt owns 30 nature reserves, covering 15 percent of its total land.

Law No. 102 of 1983 protects natural resources and Egypt’s biological diversity to maintain an environmental balance. The law was reaffirmed by Law no. 4 of 1994.



Previous statements on investments in protectorates

In a previous Ministry statement, Khaled Fahmy, former Minister of Environment, had said that the Ministry has developed plans to sustainably develop natural protectorate, explaining that the aforementioned plan focuses on supporting the environment, keeping tabs on climate change and supporting visitors to enjoy the protectorates to the highest of levels. This plan, Fahmy has explained, will increase management development at the nature reserves and their resources.

Fahmy had also pointed out that the Petrified Forest Area in Maadi and Wadi Degla were involved in the two-stage development, which cost around LE 75 million, of which LE 68 was allocated to the Petrified Forest.

The former Minister also clarified that the law on protectorates stipiulates that no protectorate is publically declared except aftet it is presented to the Cabinet in order to avoid overlap of management and ownership; this will ensure that all sides are better connected and work together better.

During the statement, the Minister has also called on Scouts to help promote the protectorates through social media, saying, “We want you with us.” Protectorates, for Fahmy, were important treasures that needed to be utilized.

In comments, Fahmy had also pointed out that sustaining the environment would be achieved best through economic prosperity and creating investment opportunities and projects that are able to sustain protectorates. “Investing in protectorates is our hope for a practical solution that sustains protectorates and protects the environment,” he had said.

Environmental Tourism

Building on the work of Fahmy, Fouad took the move and put all of Egypt’s 30 protectorates in the market for investors to enjoy the right of use within them.

Given the rise of the now trendy environmental tourism, there is a need for Egypt to keep up with this trend and put itself on the environmental tourism map by finding innovative projects and entertainment opportunities for it tourisms.

The Ministry has previously explained that by nature there are different sides to environmental tourism, suggesting that the private sector will be able to develop them as the high amount of players in the sector and their different interests will ensure that all sides are targeted. The sector’s global revenue comes up to $7.6 trillion and provides 77 million jobs and business opportunities. Moreover, the sector’s global growth is significant, and this confirms that it is promising and can bring us high revenues.

About 8 million visitors go to protectorates in Egypt on a yearly basis, meaning that if these protectorates are developed, they will pose as a great business opportunity for the country, pushing it forwards even more towards a healthy economy.

Advertising our protectorates, putting Egypt on the environmental tourism map

As part of advertising them and prepping them for environmental tourism, the Ministry also worked on developing protectorates.

To develop protectorates to make them ready for investors—and more attractive for them too—Egypt has located millions towards protectorates, especially those that have recently been announced. In 2016, Egypt located some LE 38 million to 12 protectorates in Sinai.

Dr. Essam Saadallah, Director of Nature Reserves in Sinai, pointed out that the Ministry of Environment allocated LE 3 million to replacements and renovations, and improving services and securing reserves, adding 120 new sandbags around the coral reefs in the reserves of Ras Mohammed, Abu Jalum and Taba; they are also following diving and snorkelling activities to avoid any damaged that could happen to the coral reefs.

To develop and implement ideas that will meet the needs of visitors, explains Dr Adel Soliman, Former Director of Nature Reserved in the Ministry of Environment and Consultant to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), several governmental and international bodies researched and studied the kind of services that visitors will need in each reserve.

They reached the view that there is a need for environmental hotels, café, shaded areas for people to rest in for a while during their visit and washrooms. Although these developments first started in protectorates in Sinai, they then started to spread across all of Egypt’s protectorates.

Recently, Ahmed Salama, Head of Nature Protection Sector, Ministry of Environment, said that the Ministry is almost done developing nine out of 30 protectorates in Egypt. It is expected that developments will be finalized by the end of this year for these nine protectorates, in addition to Wadi Degla and the Petrified Forest.

Previous investment projects in protectorates

In line with the lack of resources, which only cover over 30 percent of the protectorates’ costs, according to the Ministry of Environment, the ministry looked for projects and supporting parties to fill the shortage in the budget of the Ministry of Environment.

In preparing the first portfolio for investments in the natural protectorates, which included the development of services on the beach Hanqorab and the environmental hotel and tourist restaurant in Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area, protected cultural and social educational centre in the Petrified Forest and cultivation of medicinal plants in Saint Katherine Protected Area in South Sinai and Wadi Al-Alaqi in Aswan.

Also, organic crops for visitors to see have been planted in Wadi El-Rayan Protected Area in Fayoum, in addition to preparing all the studies related to the Declaration of the General Commission for the Protection of Nature.

For his part, Dr Mohamed Talaat, Head of the Central Department of Nature Reserves, told Egypt Today that the new projects being implemented include the establishment of the Museum of Excavations and Climate Change Wadi El-Rayan protectorate, which is an architectural masterpiece that harmonizes with the unique geological formations of the area.

In addition to the establishment of an administrative building for Siwa park and the implementation of the full maintenance of the administrative building of Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area and the implementation of many of the infrastructure and vital facilities for the service and facilitate visits to the Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area.

Egypt’s 30 natural protectorates in the chronological order of their announcement

1- Ras Mohamed Protected Area and Tyran as well as Sanafir in South Sinai Governorate
2- Zaraniq Protected Area and El Bardwaeel Marsh in the North Sinai Governorate
3- Coast Marshes Area in Rafah North Sinai Governorate (Ahrash Protectorate).
4- Elba Natural Protected Area in the Red Sea Governorate
5- Elomayed Natural Protected Area in Matrouh Governorate
6- Saloga, Ghazal and the Small Islands in between (First waterfall) in Aswan Governorate
7- Ashtoom El-Gamil and Tenis Island Protected Area in Port Said Governorate
8- Saint Katherine Protected Area in South Sinai
9- Wadi Al-Alaqi in Aswan Governorate
10- The Petrified Forest Area in Maadi - Cairo
11- Wadi Al-Asioutty Protected Area in Asiout Governorate
12- Wadi El-Rayan Protected Area in Fayoum Governorate
13- Quaron Lake Protected Area in El-Fayoum Governorate
14- Hassana Dome Protected Area in Giza Governorate
15- Wadi Sanor Cave Protected Area in Beni Sueif Governorate
16- Nabq Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
17- Abu Gallum Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
18- Taba Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
19- El-Brolus Protected Area in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate
20- Nile River Islands Protected Area in Different Governorate
21- Wadi Degla Protected Area in Cairo Governorate
22- Natural Siwa Protected Area in Matrouh Governorate
23- Natural White Desert Protected Area in El Wady EL Gedid
24- Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area
25- Red Sea Northern Islands
26- El Gulf El Kebeer
27- El-Dababya
28- El-Salum
29- El-Wahat El-Bahreya
30- Mount Kamel Meteor Protectorate

Digesting protectorates

The first two protectorates that will be put forward for investors are: Nabq and Wadi Degla.

Nabq protected Area is characterized by a number of important environmental systems like: coral reefs, sea and land creatures, large dense mangrove woods. It includes environmental systems of desert, mountain and valleys, and animals like deer, mountain goat, hyena, reptiles and a lot of migrating and resident birds beside invertebrates, according to the website of the Ministry of Environment.

Meanwhile, Wadi Degla extends from east to west with a length of 30 km, passing through the limestone rocks that had remained in the marine environment during the Eocene Epoch in the eastern desert (60 million years). Therefore, it is rich with fossils. The height of these rocks alongside the valley is around 50 m.

The valley has a group of animals including mammals like dear, taital, mountain rabits, red fox, feather tailed rat, oviparous, barbed rat, and little tailed bat and others. Among the insects there are and many others. 18 species of reptiles have been recorded. The rain water dropping from the waterfalls affected the limestone rocks along the years and formed the so called canyon Degla, which resembles the Grand Canyon in the U.S.

But how did protectorates fund themselves?

The energy and environment committee of the House of Representatives approved a new draft law on February 18, 2018, to establish and safeguard nature protectorates. This draft law stipulates the main sources of safeguard nature funds.

The draft law stipulates that the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) will establish the bases and rules of nature protectorates visits. They shall determine the costs of getting approvals to visit the protectorates and practice activities there. It asserts the importance of compliance with all laws and decisions regulating the entry of prohibited and prohibited areas.

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Wadi Degla – Mohammed Said - Wikimedia commons

The EEAA is funded mainly from state’s budgets, grants, subsidies, grants and loans, in addition to half of the fees from visits and the money return of issuing licenses. The rest of money shall be deposited in favor of the Environment Protection Fund. The financial resources shall include the return of economic and training projects and the proceeds of the investments and activities of the Authority and against the works or services rendered to third parties and the equivalent of 50 percent of the proceeds from fines as well as damage to natural reserves.

Nonetheless, the tickets to enter nature protectorates are considered one of fund sources of protectorates, yet the prices of these tickets are still cheap. To visit Wadi el-Gamal and Wadi Al-Hitan protectorate, you have to buy a ticket by five pounds only if you are Egyptian citizen and forty pounds if you are foreigner. For camping, you will pay ten pounds if you are Egyptian citizen and eighty pounds if you are foreigner.

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Wadi al-Weshwashy – Official Facebook page of Best Places Egypt

Wadi Degla Protectorate is less expensive than Wadi el-Gamal and Wadi Al-Hitan. Wadi Degla is open every day until 6 pm. Entrance costs just three pounds for Egyptians and five for foreigners. If you are Egyptian riding a car, you will pay five pounds. Camping in Wadi Degla will cost you ten pounds.
Egypt currently has a total of 28 natural protectorates found across the country covering an area of around 150,000 square kilometers or approximately 15 percent of Egypt's land area.

A positive step

Despite a Member of Parliament saying that protectorates are not washrooms and should not be open for investment, it seems that investing in environmental sightseeing spots, cultural museums, or hotels that enable people to stay and enjoy protectorates will provide Egypt with the money to take care of these protectorates and save them, as Egypt has done so well, particularly during the past four years.

As one of the countries that enjoy a large number of natural protectorates, and one of the countries that has been praised worldwide for its ability to keep protectorates clean and safeguarded, it seems clear that any step taken to invest in protectorates is a positive step—and one that has been looked at, analysed and studied for a sufficient amount of time—towards more economic, social and environmental prosperity.
]]>
8/6/2018 3:18:44 PM
<![CDATA[Zohr’s gas production to reach 1.75 bcf/day by end of August]]>
This came during the minister’s visit to Port Said on Monday to stand on the progress of work going on at the offshore Zohr field.

The minister pointed out that the national companies executing the project are currently testing the operation of two new units in the gas processing plant, and areclose to ending the maritime work to pump the new gas production from deep water wells through a 30-inch pipeline being tested before the actual operation.

He emphasized the importance of accelerating the execution of this giant project as well asthe development of other gas fields to achieve self-sufficiency of natural gas before the end of 2018 and to stop importing it.

During the tour, the minister and his companions inspected the land station to process the production of thefield in the Gemayel area in Port Said to follow up the operation of the third and fourth treatment units.

Molla commented by saying that these units will increase the capacity of the plant to 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

He also reviewed the latest developments in the next phases of the project, which, after completion of their development, will reach apeak production rate of about 2.7 billion cubic feet per day.

He praised oil companies participating in implementing the project for doubling their efforts to meet the set schedules.

Mollaalso headed a meeting with chairmen of these companies, including Petrobel, Enppi, Petrojet and Marine Petroleum Services to follow up the progress achieved so far in all phases of the project to reach the targeted level of natural gas production.

In July, Italian Company Eni announced the activation of the fourth liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing facility of Zohr gas field’s gas-treatment plant, pushing Egypt’s gross production of LNG to 1.6 billion cubic feet of gas a day.

In 2015, Eni discovered Zohr gas field, the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean, with an estimated production of 30 trillion cubic feet.
]]>
8/6/2018 3:17:02 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, India cooperate in maritime cable domain]]>
As per the memo, the Indian company will get IRUs (Indefeasible Right of Use) on Middle East, North Africa Submarine Cable (MENA Cable) and TE North Cable Systems, Telecom Egypt said in a statement.

In addition, Airtel will also take large capacities on a long-term basis on two new hi-tech Cable Systems (SMW5 & AAE1).

The memo will enable Airtel to further diversify its global network to meet growing demands on data services, particularly in emerging markets across South Asia, Africa and Middle East.

It will also help the Indian company benefit from the favorable economic solutions presented by Telecom Egypt as regards existing wide cable systems network.

Telecom Egypt is Egypt’s first integrated telecom operator, and the partnership grants Airtel the right to use fiber pairs of MENA Cable from Egypt to India with access to Saudi Arabia and Oman, and other fiber pairs from Egypt towards Italy.

Under the agreement, Airtel will get the right to use a fiber pair from Egypt to France on TE North along with capacities on SMW5 and AAE1 cable systems.

“The partnership including MENA Cable and TE’s network will be a good addition to our global network portfolio and provide us with a high quality and diversified new route to Western Europe and the rest of the world,” Ajay Chitkara, Director and Chief Executive Officer – Airtel Business, said.

In particular, it will provide impetus to India’s emergence as a major regional Internet hub serving customers across SAARC region, with seamless global connectivity, he said.

Airtel’s global network portfolio includes ownership of i2i submarine cable system connecting Chennai to Singapore, consortium ownership of SMW4 submarine cable system connecting Chennai and Mumbai to Singapore and Europe, and new cable system investments like Asia America Gateway, India Middle East & Western Europe, Unity, EIG and East Africa Submarine System.]]>
8/6/2018 3:07:53 PM
<![CDATA[Planning Ministry announces different sectors' contributions to GDP]]>
In a statement, the ministry said the extractive industries sector contributed 17.6 percent to the GDP during the fourth quarter of FY 2017/2018 to be followed by the construction sector (10.9 percent), the transformative industries sector (9.9 percent), retail and the wholesale sector (8.7 percent), real estate activities (7.4 percent) and the agriculture sector (6.3 percent).

As for the entire FY 2017/2018, the extractive industries sector contributed 15.8 percent to the GDP to be followed by the transformative industries sector (12.2 percent), construction sector (10.3%), retail and the wholesale sector (9.6 percent), real estate activities (7 percent) and the agriculture sector (6.8 percent).]]>
8/6/2018 3:05:04 PM
<![CDATA[Gas production of 2 wells at 9B field to begin in October ]]>
“The whole project, including digging other productive eight wells and two exploration wells, will be completed in the third quarter of 2019 with an output of 400 million cubic feet per day,” the source added.

Minister of Petroleum affirmed the information on Friday by saying that the production of natural gas from two deep-water wells at Shell’s West Nile Delta field 9B in Egypt will begin in the first half of October.

The WDDM concession in the Mediterranean Sea comprises of 19 gas fields, of which 12 fields – Scarab, Saffron, Simian, Sienna, Sapphire, Serpent, Saurus, Sequoia, SimSat-P2, Sapsat-1, Sapsat-2 and Swan – are in production. The fields are located at water depths ranging from 700 to 850 metersand approximately 90 to 120kilimeters from the shore.

Molla announced earlier that Egypt may stop importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the fourth quarter of this year.

Egypt plans to turn into a regional hub of natural gas after the latest gas discoveries, including West Delta’s Taurus and Libra fields, as well as the Atoll and Zohr gas fields.

In 2015, Eni discovered Zohr gas field, the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean, with an estimated production of 30 trillion cubic feet.

Egypt expects to attract $10 billion both this year and next year in foreign investment in its oil and gas industry, he said.

Egypt produces 5.1 billion cubic feet of gas daily after several fields have started production. The country consumes around six billion cubic feet of gas a day, 65 percent of which go to the electricity sector.

]]>
8/6/2018 2:50:44 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt adopts clear vision for enhancing economic ties with Africa]]>
His remarks came while addressing the third session of annual meetings of the African Caucus for the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which kicked off on Sunday in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh under the theme "Lessons learned from export support and diversification".

The session, held under the aegis of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, was attended by Chairman of the Federation of Egyptian Industries Mohammed Al-Suwaidi, Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana and Chairman of Oxford International Consultants Nikhil Treebhoohun, among other regional and international representatives.

Over the past few years, Egypt has witnessed a remarkable growth thanks to the measures taken by the government to improve the business environment and facilitate trade licensing, Nassar told the audience.

The session took up several issues including the role of export councils in the enhancement of Egyptian exports and opening new markets especially in African countries, the minister said in statements after the meeting.

Nassar noted that the government seeks to make the optimum use of trade deals concluded with African states, underlining the government plans to market competitive products in more than 10 African countries.

The government also aims at encouraging several investors in certain sectors to invest in some African countries, Nassar pointed out.

Suwaidi referred during the session to some hurdles preventing the full and effective implementation of Egypt's trade agreements with its fellow African nations.

He emphasized the important role that can be played by the political leaderships in African nations in the furtherance of Egypt's trade and industrial cooperation with African partners.]]>
8/6/2018 1:51:48 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 3.5B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 1.5 billion with a seven-year term and the second worth LE 2 billion with a three-year term.

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

Egypt targets an average of interest rate on the government debt instrument to reach 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. ]]>
8/6/2018 11:38:24 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt to offer protectorates to right of use: Minister]]>
Fouad noted that the Ministry will start the offer with the nature reserves of Nabq and Wadi Degla, noting that the offer will be presented for local companies at first, and that foreign firms will be included at a further stage.

This offer aims at developing the infrastructure of the reserves to create value add and encourage investments in this field, the minister said, adding that Egypt is considered to be one of the least countries in the world spending on garbage index.

She also revealed that Egypt spends $3 per citizen monthly on garbage collection and transport, compared to $7 in other countries, pointing out that amendments are being made to the Environment Law to be presented to the House of Representatives soon.

Nabq is characterized by a number of important environmental systems like coral reefs, sea and land creatures, and large dense mangrove woods. It includes the environmental systems of a desert, mountain and valleys, and animals like deer, mountain goats, hyenas, reptiles and a lot of migrating and resident birds beside invertebrates, according to the website of the Ministry of Environment.

WadiDegla extends from east to west with a length of 30 kilometer, passing through the limestone rocks that had remained in the marine environment during the Eocene Epoch in the eastern desert (60 million years).The reserve is thus rich with fossils; the height of these rocks alongside the valley is around 50 meters.

The rainwatershave affected the limestone rocks along the years and formed the so called canyon,Degla, which resembles the Grand Canyon in the U.S.

The valley has a group of animals including mammals like dears, mountain rabbits, red foxes, feather tailed rats, oviparous, barbed rats, and little tailed batsamongothers. Eighteenspecies of reptiles have been recorded.

The following is a list of the 30 natural reserves that Egypt owns:

1. Ras Mohamed Protected Area and Tyran as well as Sanafir in South Sinai Governorate.
2. Zaraniq Protected Area and El Bardwaeel Marsh in the North Sinai Governorate.
3. Coast Marshes Area in Rafah North Sinai Governorate (Ahrash Protectorate).
4. Elba Natural Protected Area in the Red Sea Governorate
5. Elomayed Natural Protected Area in Matrouh Governorate
6. Saloga, Ghazal and the Small Islands in between (First waterfall) in Aswan Governorate
7. Ashtoom El-Gamil and Tenis Island Protected Area in Port Said Governorate
8. Saint Katherine Protected Area in South Sinai
9. Wadi Al-Alaqi in Aswan Governorate
10. The Petrified Forest Area in Maadi - Cairo
11. Wadi Al-Asioutty Protected Area in Asiout Governorate
12. Wadi El-Rayan Protected Area in Fayoum Governorate
13. Quaron Lake Protected Area in El-Fayoum Governorate
14. Hassana Dome Protected Area in Giza Governorate
15. WadiSanor Cave Protected Area in BeniSueif Governorate
16. Nabq Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
17. Abu Gallum Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
18. Taba Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
19. El-Brolus Protected Area in Kafr El-Sheikh Governorate
20. Nile River Islands Protected Area in Different Governorate
21. WadiDegla Protected Area in Cairo Governorate
22. Natural Siwa Protected Area in Matrouh Governorate
23. Natural White Desert Protected Area in El Wady EL Gedid
24. Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area
25. Red Sea Northern Islands
26. El Gulf El Kebeer
27. El-Dababya
28. El-Salum
29. El-Wahat El-Bahreya
30. Mount Kamel Meteor Protectorate

Former Minister of Environment Khaled Fahmy said earlier that the ministry has developed a plan to sustainably develop these nature reserves, according to a statement from the ministry.

The plan will focus on supporting the environment and visitors, which will increase management development at the nature reserves and their resources.
]]>
8/6/2018 11:31:47 AM
<![CDATA[Trump's trade 'extortion' won't work, China state media says]]>
China’s strictly controlled news outlets have frequently rebuked the United States and the Trump administration as the trade conflict has escalated, but they have largely refrained from specifically targeting Trump.

The latest criticism from the overseas edition of the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper singled out Trump, saying he was starring in his own “street fighter-style deceitful drama of extortion and intimidation”.

Trump’s desire for others to play along with his drama is “wishful thinking”, a commentary on the paper’s front page said, arguing that the United States had escalated trade friction with China and turned international trade into a “zero-sum game”.

“Governing a country is not like doing business,” the paper said, adding that Trump’s actions imperiled the national credibility of the United States.

The heated dispute between the world’s two biggest economies has roiled financial markets including stocks, currencies and the global trade of commodities from soybeans to coal in recent months. Last month, the International Monetary Fund warned that escalating trade conflicts following U.S. tariff actions on its trading partners threaten to derail the global economic recovery.

The United States and China implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods in July. Washington is expected to soon implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods, which China has already said it will match immediately.

On Friday, China’s finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States worth $60 billion.

That move was in response to the Trump administration’s proposal of a 25-percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

The trade war, rising corporate bankruptcies, and a steep decline in the value of the yuan versus the dollar have raised concerns that China’s economy could face a steeper slowdown.

Recent data showed growth has already started to cool. The government has responded by releasing more liquidity into the banking system, encouraging lending and promising a more “active” fiscal policy.

U.S. companies are putting in place measures to cushion the impact of the trade row, including price hikes, and a number of companies - from industrial firms to home furnishers and toymakers - have said they will move some sourcing and manufacturing outside of China.

China’s exports are expected to have maintained solid growth in July despite the new tariffs on billions of dollars of shipments to the United States, though the outlook has darkened as both sides raised the stakes in the trade brawl.

CHINA MARKETS TAKE HIT

The vitriol from the People’s Daily follows Trump’s comments on Twitter from Saturday in which he boasted that his strategy of placing steep tariffs on Chinese imports was “working far better than anyone ever anticipated”, and that Beijing was now talking to the United States about trade.

Trump cited losses in China’s stock market as he predicted the U.S. market could “go up dramatically” once trade deals were renegotiated.

China’s stocks were lower on Monday as Beijing’s latest tariff threats escalated the tit-for-tat Sino-U.S. trade war, while the yuan weakened after briefly edging up despite the central bank’s latest efforts to shore up the tumbling currency.

Michael McCarthy, Sydney-based chief market strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking, wrote in a note to clients that while China’s proposed new tariffs appeared proportionate, “White House tweets claiming an upper hand for the U.S. over the weekend risk another round of confidence sapping exchanges.”

A flurry of articles in Chinese state media emphasized the resilience of China’s economy and downplayed concerns about the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war.

“Market participants foresee a relatively stable Chinese currency in the near term, without fear of impacts from the U.S.-China trade dispute. They expect solid economic growth momentum amid policy fine-tuning,” an article in the official English-language China Daily newspaper said, citing Chinese economists.

On Friday, the People’s Bank of China said it would require banks to keep reserves equivalent to 20 percent of their clients’ foreign exchange forwards positions from Monday, in a move to stabilize the yuan.

“Leading China’s economy on a stable and far-reaching path, we have confidence and determination,” another commentary in the main edition of the People’s Daily said.

Trump has threatened tariffs on over $500 billion in Chinese goods, covering virtually all U.S. imports from the Asian giant, demanding that Beijing make fundamental changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, technology transfers and subsidies for high technology industries.

The nationalist Global Times, responding in an editorial late on Sunday to White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow’s remarks that China should not underestimate Trump’s resolve, said China did not fear “sacrificing short-term interests”.

“China has time to fight to the end. Time will prove that the U.S. eventually makes a fool of itself,” the Global Times said.]]>
8/6/2018 11:23:57 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar remains steady after U.S. jobs data, focus on yuan]]>
The dollar, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other major currencies, was about 0.1 percent higher at 95.259, crawling back to a more-than-one-year peak of 95.652 reached on July 19.

Investor attention has shifted to the yuan after the People’s Bank of China on Friday made it more expensive to bet against the currency, which helped it rebound from a near 15-month low against the greenback.

U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in July, but a fall in the unemployment rate suggested that labor market conditions were tightening.

“We’re seeing pretty consistent dollar strength across the board. The theme is there,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Bank.

“Although Friday maybe didn’t hit the target when it comes to the non-farm payrolls, it was still a positive number. It’s a good and strong number. If you line that up with previous releases, you see a trend,” he said.

The Fed kept rates unchanged as widely expected last Wednesday, and gave an upbeat assessment of the world’s biggest economy.

The euro was frail after slipping to a 4-1/2-week low against the dollar on Monday.

The single currency traded at $1.1563, near an intra-day low of $1.1557, its lowest level since changing hands at $1.15275 on June 28.

Offshore yuan was 0.14 percent higher on the day, trading at 6.8400 yuan per dollar.

The yuan pulled away from a near 15-month low against the greenback on Friday after China’s central bank said it would set a reserve requirement ratio of 20 percent from Monday on financial institutions settling foreign exchange forward dollar sales to clients, effectively raising the cost for investors betting against the yuan.

Kumiko Ishikawa, senior analyst at Sony Financial Holdings, said she thought it was likely China would allow the yuan to weaken further from its current level despite the move on Friday.

“The U.S. isn’t criticizing China very strongly on exchange rates, so for the time being it’s very likely the yuan will continue to depreciate,” she said.

The British pound ticked down to $1.2997, staying near a 2-1/2-week low of 1.2975 hit on Friday, while the Australian dollar was off slightly at $0.7394.

The yen weakened less than 0.1 percent against the dollar to 111.34 yen on Monday.

The yen had risen about 0.4 percent on Friday on worries about Sino-U.S. trade tensions after China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods such as liquefied natural gas and aircraft.

But State Street Bank’s Wakabayashi said the negative impact on markets from the trade tariff exchanges between Washington and Beijing is not as acute it had been previously.

“Whenever there is an imbalance in the market in terms of uncertainty, the initial flight to safety is probably to the dollar, which is the preferred currency right now,” said Wakabayashi.

“We could extend that a bit to the yen, but definitely the dollar is receiving a lot of support,” he said.]]>
8/6/2018 11:19:56 AM
<![CDATA[Iran announces plan to ease exchange rate rules]]>
The plan lifts a ban on the sale of hard currency at floating rates by exchange shops for purposes such as overseas travel. Exporters would be allowed to sell hard currency to importers, and there would be no limit on bringing currency or gold into the country.

Hard currency will be made available at a subsidised rate for purchases of basic goods and medicine, state television quoted a government statement about the plan as saying.]]>
8/6/2018 11:12:31 AM
<![CDATA[China state media attacks Trump on trade in unusually harsh terms]]>
Trump’s wish for others to play along with his drama is “wishful thinking,” the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily newspaper said in an editorial.

The editorial said the United States had escalated trade friction with China, and turned international trade into “zero-sum game”.

“Governing a country is not like doing business,” the editorial said, arguing that Trump’s actions imperiled the national credibility of the United States.]]>
8/6/2018 11:08:16 AM
<![CDATA[Oil rises as Saudi output dips, U.S. drilling stalls]]>
Markets also anticipated an announcement from Washington later on Monday on renewed U.S. sanctions against major oil exporter Iran. So-called “snapback” sanctions are due to be reinstated at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, according to a U.S. Treasury official.

Spot Brent crude oil futures were at $73.42 per barrel at 0653 GMT on Monday, up 21 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $68.68 barrel.

U.S. energy companies last week cut oil rigs for a second time in the past three weeks as the rate of growth has slowed over the past couple of months.

Drillers cut two oil rigs in the week to Aug. 3, bringing the total count down to 859, Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.

Many U.S. shale oil drillers posted disappointing quarterly results in recent weeks, hit by rising operating costs, hedging losses and a fall in crude prices away from 2018 highs reached between May and July.

Outside the United States, top crude exporter Saudi Arabia pumped around 10.29 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in July, two OPEC sources said on Friday, down about 200,000 bpd from a month earlier.

That drop came despite a pledge by the Saudis and top producer Russia in June to raise output from July, with Saudi Arabia pledging a “measurable” supply boost.

U.S. investment bank Jefferies said in a note that “the Saudi and Russian production surges appear to be more limited” than initially expected, adding that bullish market sentiment was also fueled by the imminent reinstatement of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Still, with Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia now all producing 10 million to 11 million bpd of crude, just three countries now meet around a third of global oil demand.

Despite the firm prices on Monday, traders said one relief to markets was an announcement by Saudi Arabia over the weekend that oil shipments through the Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb had been resumed

Saudi Arabia halted temporarily oil shipments through the lane on July 25 after attacks on two oil tankers by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta, said the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China was also holding back crude prices.

The trade dispute intensified late last week when China proposed retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods on Friday, which included oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG).]]>
8/6/2018 11:02:37 AM
<![CDATA[U.S. bond market takes looming Treasuries deluge in stride]]>
The Treasury Department is having to sell more debt to finance the government’s ballooning deficit, stemming from the massive federal tax overhaul in December and the spending deal passed in February. Still, bond yields have remained in a narrow range, suggesting investors may not be fretting about the swelling debt supply.

“There will be no relief from supply especially from bills going into October,” said Tom Simons, money market strategist at Jefferies & Co in New York. Supply is expected to run high at least until the Treasury provides updated forecasts on its borrowing needs, next due in November - and might even accelerate further.

This week, the Treasury will sell $34 billion in three-year notes, with $26 billion in 10-year debt on Wednesday and $18 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday. It will also auction $51 billion in three-month bills and $45 billion in six-month bills, together with an expected $65 billion in one-month bills.

The supply will fall short of a record week of $294 billion set in March but continues a trend higher since February.

Analysts, who said the market would have no trouble digesting this week’s offerings, see the government as becoming increasingly dependent on private investors for cash as the Fed further reduces its bond holdings. The goal is to shrink a balance sheet that had grown to more than $4 trillion from three massive rounds of asset purchases to combat the previous recession.

“I think they will go fine,” Matt Freund, head of fixed income strategies at Calamos Investments in Chicago, said of this week’s debt auctions.

Analysts projected that supply will continue to climb, and that March’s record-setting weekly amount would be eclipsed in the coming weeks.

The Treasury said on July 30 it expected to borrow $56 billion more during the third quarter than its earlier estimate, resulting in issuing $329 billion in debt securities during this period.

FOCUS ON OTHER RISKS

The government’s rising debt load is a long-term concern for investors, but it is not atop their list of pressing worries.

The trade dispute between Washington and Beijing and the pace of Federal Reserve’s interest rate increases pose far graver threats to markets and the economy than more government IOUs, analysts said.

“It is a really, long-term powerful narrative, but when is it going to bite?” Calamos’ Freund said.

As long as the U.S. economy hums along and its bond yields are higher than most of its peers, appetite for U.S. Treasuries should remain solid in the foreseeable future, according to most analysts. Mild inflation and the Fed staying on a gradual rate-hike path also support U.S. bond demand, the analysts have said.

“From an absolute yield perspective, where else are you going to go?” said Eric Souza, senior portfolio manager at SVB Asset Management in San Francisco.

On Friday, benchmark 10-year Treasury yield slipped over 3 basis points at 2.952 percent following a mixed July payrolls report. Yields move inversely to prices.

The U.S. 10-year yield is running 2.50 percentage points above its German counterpart and 2.85 points higher than Japanese 10-year yield.

The U.S. budget gap is forecast to hit $1 trillion in fiscal year 2020, compared with $804 billion in the fiscal 2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Given the growing deficit, the government has ramped up its issuance of bills and shorter-dated coupon debt to meet its funding needs after the suspension of the federal debt ceiling earlier this year.]]>
8/6/2018 10:54:16 AM
<![CDATA[Asian stocks trim gains as China, Japan swing to red, trade fears weigh]]>
Spreadbetters pointed to a tentative start for European shares with futures for London’s FTSE FFIc1 up 0.07 percent. E-Minis for the S&P 500 ESc1 were up 0.08 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS climbed 0.3 percent, after having risen about 1 percent earlier in the day.

Chinese shares turned negative with the blue-chip share index .CSI300 and Shanghai's SSE Composite .SSEC down more than 1 percent each. Japan's Nikkei .N225 and South Korea's Kospi index .KS11 slipped 0.1 percent.

Among the gainers, Australian shares added 0.6 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index .HSI rose 0.5 percent.

The trade dispute remains a live issue for markets with China proposing tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods on Friday, while a senior Chinese diplomat cast doubt on prospects of talks with Washington to resolve the bitter trade conflict.

That was followed by a report in China’s state media saying Friday’s retaliatory tariffs were “rational” while accusing the United States of blackmail.

At the same time, U.S. President Donald Trump said his strategy of placing steep tariffs on Chinese imports is “working far better than anyone ever anticipated”, citing losses in China’s stock market. He predicted the U.S. market could “go up dramatically” once trade deals were renegotiated.

“The drip feed of escalating tariff threats from Trump and counter threats from China continues,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at AMP Capital.

“With a 25 percent tariff on...(some) Chinese imports likely to commence soon, Trump is clearly ramping up the pressure on China but China is digging in,” Oliver added.

“A tariff of this magnitude will start to have a significant economic impact on China’s growth, potentially knocking up to 0.5 percent off growth, and probably also on the U.S.”

At the same time, China is stepping up measures to support its currency, which has been hit by the worsening trade skirmish.

Late on Friday, the People’s Bank of China raised the reserve requirement on some foreign exchange forward positions, making it more expensive to bet against the Chinese currency and helping pull the yuan away from 14-month lows.

The move boosted the Australian dollar AUD=D3, which is often played as a liquid proxy for the yuan. The Aussie came off two-week lows to climb as high as $0.7412 after the announcement, and was last at $0.7386.

“Leaning against bearish CNY sentiment is important because a rapidly weakening currency risks triggering residential outflows and destabilizing domestic asset prices,” JPMorgan analysts said in a note.

“Our economists think that PBOC likely will take further action if CNY depreciation continues or capital outflow pressure increases.”

Wall Street indices gained on Friday, helped by strong corporate earnings, although gains were capped by worries over the escalating trade tensions.

According to Bespoke Investment Group, mentions of tariffs in S&P 500 company earnings reports for the second quarter have more than doubled from the first quarter of this year.

While the risk of a trade war was the main worry for investors, other factors were weighing on sentiment too.

“Investors are also closely watching the rising value of the U.S. dollar, slowing global economic growth and the risk of the Federal Reserve tightening short-term interest rates too quickly and dampening domestic economic growth,” said Lachlan McPherson, Senior Investment Consultant at Charles Schwab Australia.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other currencies, has risen 3.4 percent so far this year with strong rallies since April when Trump first announced the tariffs. The index was last up 0.2 percent at 95.32.

Traders see further upside in the dollar as they maintained a significantly large long position on the currency, while net short bets on the Aussie were their largest since November 2015.

The British pound GBP= hovered near 11-day lows at $1.287 following remarks by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney that Britain faced an "uncomfortably high" risk of a "no deal" Brexit.

The euro EUR= inched down to more than 5-week lows of $1.155.

Gold XAU= bounced from near 17-month lows after weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data, and was last at $1,212.53.

Meanwhile, Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 10 cents to $73.31, while U.S. crude oil futures CLc1 added 16 cents to $68.66 a barrel. ]]>
8/6/2018 10:47:50 AM
<![CDATA[IPF to reduce by 50% fees paid by investors -- Official]]>
Addressing the opening ceremony of a workshop on approaches to regulate money markets Sunday, Mohamed Omran reviewed a study outlined with the aim to expand IPF coverage to include more investors.

The workshop is meant to also improve transparency and counter-corruption levels, better manage risks, and stabilize the financial system, Omran said.

He urged all media representatives to attend the workshop and cover the event.]]>
8/5/2018 6:07:52 PM
<![CDATA[Agriculture Bank’s yields of Aman Certificate reach LE 183M in 5 months]]>
Kosair said earlier that his bank issued 153,000 Aman certificates with a total yield of LE 172.5 million in the first three months of its issuance.

The Aman Certificate is available at four Egyptian banks, which are the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and the Agriculture Bank of Egypt.

By June, yields of the Aman Certificate for temporary and seasonal workers were raised in three banks; Banque du Caire, National Bank of Egypt and the Agriculture Bank of Egypt, to record LE 320.5 million ($17.87 million) in three months since the issuance of the certificate on March 4.

The segments of the Aman Certificate are LE 500, LE 1,000, LE 1,500, LE 2,000 and LE 2,500. The duration of the certificate is three years at a rate of 16 percent, and it can be redeemed at any time.

At the beginning of March, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi ordered the completion of an insurance policy for temporary and seasonal workers within 15 days.

In response to Sisi's directions, Former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail affirmed that the Aman Insurance Certificate for temporary employment has no procedures or administrative documents, adding that it is worth LE 500 and can be increased until it reaches LE 2,500.

Ismail clarified that the Aman Certificate’s monthly installment starts from LE 4, and its highest monthly installment is LE 20, with a benefit period of five years or 10 years.
]]>
8/5/2018 5:01:47 PM
<![CDATA[International analysts praise Benban’s revolutionary technology]]>
Most recently, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and former Democratic Party presidential nominee for the 2018 Presidential Election in the United States posted on his official Facebook profile, “While Trump is ending America's commitment to combatting climate change, Egypt is building the world's largest solar farm in the middle of the desert. This is the kind of revolutionary technology we should be taking advantage of to grow our economy and sustain our planet for future generations.”



Egypt has, according to officials, started on a path from the second-most polluted large city on the planet—Cairo—to an environment-friendly, solar-energy-producing country.

In similar vein, Benjamin Attia, a solar analyst with U.S.-based Wood Mackenzie, said, “This is a big deal. I can’t think of another example where so many big players have come together to fill the gap.” The gap he is refurring to in is the one that existed in Egypt in renewable energy.

Benban in brief

On March 13 2018, the world witnessed the inauguration of the first of 32 stations in the world’s largest solar power station in Egypt.

Infinity station is set to be the first station in the Benban solar park to start operating on March 13, 2018.

Engineer Mohamed Amara, Project Manager of Infinity Station at Benban solar park, Aswan, told Egypt Today that there are currently some 650 workers at the station, which has started operating December 2017. Amara pointed out that the technological system used in the production of energy works to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide.

Amara also explained that the advanced technology is set to ensure that the systems continuously follow the sun, meaning that the most amount of energy will be collected.

Amara further revealed that the company has agreed with the Ministry of Electricity to work on the plant and benefit from it for 25 years.

Inside Benban solar park - Egypt Today
Inside Benban solar park - Egypt Today

The Benban solar park is set to generate the equivalent of 90 percent of the energy produced by Aswan’s High Dam. Already home to the most important electricity production plant in Egypt, Aswan is set to bear and implement Egypt’s dream of having 20 percent clean energy by 2022.

Benban solar park, named after a Nile River village close to the power plant, is set to be the largest solar plant in the world. The power plant will cover Egypt’s electricity needs and edge it forward on its path to becoming the region’s energy hub.

Benban, built in the eastern region of the Sahara Desert, is set to produce between 1.6 and 2.0 GW of solar power by mid-2019. Engineer Ahmad Fathy, Head of Projects Sector in Upper Egypt in the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, told Egypt Today that after the effective launch of Infinity, work will start on Vas Station.

According to Fathy, the park is set to start working at its full capacity at the start of 2019.

As it stands, the project has received no incentives. Still, it has signed a 25-year contract with the state-owned Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC), who will buy its electivity at a rate of 7.8¢/kWh, pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar.

Currently, 29 projects have been financed at a total of $1.8 billion, producing almost 1.5 GW of solar power, on the 14.3-square-mile plot of land.

Built on an area that receives some of the best sunlight on the planet, Benban is arguably the second best spot for solar power plants, behind the Chilean desert highlands.




By producing a huge power plant, Egypt is set to reduce the costs of costly power lines, power substations and expensive hardware, which, in turn, is set to lower the cost of electricity.

Benban solar park - Egypt Today
Benban solar park - Egypt Today

According to the project’s original analysis, Benban 1.8 GW PV Solar Park, Egypt – Strategic Environmental & Social Assessment, released February 2016, “NREA (New and Renewable Energy Authority) has in turn divided the site into 41 separate but contiguous plots, which it is making available to developers/companies to implement individual projects (the Benban Projects). … Once constructed, Benban will be the world’s largest solar PV park, at an estimated total cost of between $3.5 and $4 billion.”

The report continues, “The 41 projects on the Benban site will be connected to the Egyptian high-voltage network through four new substations, which will be constructed on the site by EETC. These substations will in turn connect to an existing 220 kV line, which passes nearby the Benban site at a distance of approximately 12 km. At a later stage, EETC may also construct an additional connection to the neighboring 500 kV line. EETC will construct the high-voltage connections. NREA has prepared site access roads and on-site roads for the Benban project area.”


In Brief:



- 41 Solar photovoltaic plants; total installed capacity 1.8 GW.
- Related infrastructure including roads, administrative buildings and four high voltage substations.
- A high voltage interconnection.
- Sharing costs, reducing overall price of electricity for government and citizens.


The project’s analysis also looks into the environment, employment, local villages nearby and the effect of the project on them, water supply and usage, and many other factors, concluding that the power plant will have an overall effect on the aforementioned topics.




According to the report, Egypt is expected to generate 20 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2022.

“The potential is endless,” says Lamya Youssef, head of the EETC, adding, “Because of the enormous increase in (Egypt’s) population, we need large investments in infrastructure, which the government cannot afford on its own. That’s why we need private sector investments.” For Youssef, Egypt can easily generate the 20 percent by 2022.

In July, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) approved $660 million in funding to 13 feed-in tariff (FiT) projects in Benban, near Aswan, according to a statement from the Ministry of International Cooperation. These projects are worth a total of $730 million and have a total capacity of 500 MW.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is also expected to finance a total of 16 solar projects in Egypt at a total capacity of 750 MW. It pledged $500 million in funding framework for the FiT project.

More than 325 MW of Benban is designed to use NEXTracker’s single axis trackers and 64 MW of single axis trackers will be deployed by German Group Mounting Systems GmbH.

Inside the control room inside Benban 1 - Egypt Today
Inside the control room inside Benban 1 - Egypt Today

The Benban plant has managed to jump-start economic growth, especially in the region where the project is being built.

With unemployment levels particularly high in that region, the Benban project has led to a decrease in unemployment by opening up the opportunity for more than 10,000 people to work in the construction site. Engineer Ahmed Hany, a researcher specialized in the solar energy sector in the Renewable Energy Authority, under the authority of the Ministry of Electricity, told Egypt Today that some 10,000 to 12,000 workers are present and working on a daily basis in the power plant.

After the project’s completion, the operating park is set to employ some 4,000 people, many of whom will be from this region.

Thus, not only will the plant lead to cheaper electricity and help Egypt on its path to becoming the regional energy hub, it will also lead to economic prosperity and the decline in unemployment rates.



The Benban project is also building confidence in Egypt, with Sunil Kulkarni, chief executive officer of Shapoorji Pallonji, an Indian company specializing in renewable energy that is building one of the plants, calling the project “revolutionary”.

Kulkarni explained, “In many emerging markets, there is always a question about whether a project will go through, but the way (this project) was carried out gave us confidence. Our experience so far has been very good.”

'Infinity' solar power pannels, one of the pannels in Benban solar park - Egypt Today
"Infinity" solar power panels, one of the panels in Benban solar park - Egypt Today

In terms of development, the project will also decrease Egypt’s carbon footprint by decreasing the levels of carbon dioxide emission. According to the IFC, the project is “expected to avoid 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year, the equivalent of taking about 400,000 cars off the road.”

Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC director for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “This project will help Egypt tap into its massive potential for solar energy and scale back its use of expensive and polluting fossil fuels. That’s especially important with the specter of climate change looming.”


]]>
8/5/2018 4:55:43 PM
<![CDATA[African Caucus aims to outline unified policies to face challenges]]>
The Egyptian finance minister, while addressing the African Caucus 2018 Sunday, said the conference will focus on means by which to push forward comprehensive growth in Africa and increase the contribution of private sector investments, as well as African exports.

African countries will also review unified demands submitted to international institutions, atop of which the IMF and WB, Maeit added.

He told the gathering the Egyptian government is keen on completing its comprehensive economic reform programs, noting that Cairo will build on previous success stories that saw growth rates increase to 5.3 percent in 2017-2018 and unemployment rates drop to 10.6 percent in March 2018.

Foreign currency reserves have also upped to unprecedented and satisfactory rates, exceeding 44 billion dollars, the minister further said.

Following directives of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the government will continue to work on upgrading the health and education sectors, Maeit assured.

Besides this, the government will also be working to boost the competitiveness of the Egyptian economy through adopting a flexible exchange rate system, the minister said.

It will act to remove all obstacles facing the private sector and export activities, he added.

He touched upon efforts to improve the infrastructure and services offered to citizens, using the financial surplus that was the direct result of reforms applied to revenues and expenses.

Maeit told the conference the government is seeking to quickly implement its adopted policy with the aim to activate the Egyptian Stock Exchange and enhance its market value.

This, he added, should also help attract more investments, secure sources of income and improve the governance and transparency system.]]>
8/5/2018 3:42:40 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Sunday on mixed note, market cap. loses LE 1.5B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 declined 0.44 percent, or 69.33 points, to close at 15,737.05 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 slipped 0.33 percent, or 8.54 points, to reach 2,591.24 points.

While the small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.07 percent, or 0.54 points, reaching 748.61 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.03 percent, or 0.58 points, closing at 1,943.04 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 1.54 billion, recording LE 878.83 billion, compared to LE 880.37billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 125.6 million shares, traded through 17,418 transactions, with a turnover of LE 446.76 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 10.49 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 2.43 million and LE 8.06 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 15.74 million and LE 3.83 million, respectively, while foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 553,960.

Egyptian and foreign organizations were net buyers at LE 18.16 million and LE 7.5 million, respectively, while Arab organizations were net sellers at LE 6.65 million.

Atlas for Land Reclamation and Agricultural Processing, Alexandria Flour Mills, and Orascom Development Egypt were top gainers of the session by 8.81 percent, 6.58 percent and 5.79 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, El Kahera Housing, El Obour Real Estate Investment, and El Ahram Co. for Printing and Packing were top losers of the session by 9.99 percent, 9.14 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s session on mixed performance, as EGX30 hiked 0.87 percent, EGX70 rose 0.04 percent, and EGX100 increased 0.24 percent, while EGX50 declined 0.06 percent.
]]>
8/5/2018 3:33:57 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank current portfolio in Egypt exceeds $8B]]>
Etreby said that the bank still supports the development programs whether for the government or the private sector through International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) projects.

He noted that IFC’s projects contribute to the financing of huge projects in the fields of new and renewable energy by more than $1 billion, in addition to supporting education by $500 million.

He also praised the harmony between the Egyptian government and the World Bank and the coordination between them, which reflected positively on the bank's support for Egypt and the efforts of Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Governor of Egypt to the World Bank, Sahar Nasr.

In April, the IFC announced its support to Egypt’s private sector by nearly $1 billion, affirming its commitment to boosting the Egyptian economy which came as a result of the strong economic reform measures implemented by the Egyptian government.

Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation also announced that the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors unanimously approved supporting Egypt’s national education strategy to develop pre-university education with $500 million.

The bank finances projects in key sectors including energy, transport, water and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation, housing, social protection, as well as health and education.
]]>
8/5/2018 2:47:24 PM
<![CDATA[Nasr: Sisi laid down ambitious vision for placing Egyptian economy on right track]]>
She made the remarks during annual meetings of the African Caucus for the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which kicked off on Sunday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh under the patronage of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli.

She said international institutions, including the WB and the IMF, have lauded the constitutional, institutional and structural mechanisms for improving the investment climate and business environment in Egypt.

The government seeks to realize national goals and at the same time is giving top priority for the development in Africa, she said, stressing commitment to the African Union's agenda for achieving the 2063 global development goals.

She said Egypt is furthering cooperation with fellow African countries under certain programs for economic integration.

She added that the meetings offer an opportunity for forging a unified vision for promoting cooperation among African states, the World Bank and the IMF.

Egypt - as the head of the African group at the WB and the IMF - urges international financing institutions to play a larger role in supporting economic development in Africa, she said.

She added that the meetings should support national programs and projects as well as economic and trade cooperation.

She called for focusing on power linkage projects as well as new and renewable energy resources in order to magnify the harnessing of natural resources for sustainable development.

She also invited the attendees to partake in the Africa 2018 conference due to be held under the patronage of the president in Sharm el Sheikh to promote investment as well as women's role at the economic level. ]]>
8/5/2018 2:43:56 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to record growth rate of 7% in 2021/22: Minister]]>
This came during Ma’it’s speech at the annual meetings of the African Caucus for the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), held in Sharm El-Sheikh.

The minister affirmed that several legislations and procedures were recently issued to support the Egyptian economy, including the settlement of tax disputes and the provision of tax incentives for small and medium enterprises, the improvement of the payment of electronic taxes within the framework of initiatives to support electronic payments and the issuance of the unified tax law.

“The Egyptian government has been implementing a program of economic reform since 2016 to achieve sustainable growth, improve the business climate, support social protection networks, face the challenges that the Egyptian economy has suffered over decades, support the private sector to create jobs and empower young people and women,” Ma’it stated.

The annual meetings of the African Caucus for the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are held in Sharm El-Sheikh on August 5 and 6, under the patronage of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli.

These meetings are organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), and in the presence of representatives from 40 countries from inside and outside the African continent.

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

The state’s IPO program comes in light of the economic reform program adopted by Egypt and is conducted under the supervision of the Ministry of Investment.

It covers a period of three to five years, aiming to offer partial stakes in some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX). It will serve as a main tool to attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

It also aims to increase funding to Egyptian companies and maximize the benefit from state assets.

Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed said earlier that Egypt's growth rate for 2017/2018 hit its highest level in ten years as it recorded 5.3 percent against 4.2 percent in the prior year.

The economic growth rate reached 5.4 percent during the third and fourth quarters of 2017/2018 fiscal year, she added.


]]>
8/5/2018 1:30:21 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar price stable at leading banks in Egypt]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at LE 17.78 for buying and LE 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the rate stood at LE 17.77 for buying and LE 17.87 for selling

At Banque du Caire, Alexandria Bank, the National Bank of Greece and the Arab African International Bank, it recorded LE 17.82 for buying and LE 17.92 for selling.

The price stood at LE 17.83 for buying and LE 17.93 for selling at the Commercial International Bank and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
]]>
8/5/2018 1:02:23 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian company to start gas imports from Israel next year, sources say]]>
“Imports will start in small quantities first and will gradually increase to reach their climax in September 2019,” one source told Reuters. The source gave no details on prices or quantities.

Partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore gas fields said in February they would supply the private Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings with around 64 billion cubic metres of gas over a decade. Half will come from each field, and the proceeds will be split equally, they said. No date was set for the start of exports.

The deal has stirred controversy in Egypt, which until a few years ago exported gas to Israel.

Egypt hopes the imports will help in its efforts to become a regional energy hub.]]>
8/5/2018 11:57:32 AM
<![CDATA[IMF: Egypt overcame most difficult stage of economic reform]]>
On the sidelines of a reception held for participants in the annual meetings of the African Caucus of the World Bank (WB) Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Saturday, Beblawi pointed out that the Egyptian government had accomplished the reforms called for by the IMF.

He also thanked the government for such reform measures.

Holding the annual meetings this year in Sharm El Sheikh reflects the trust in the Egyptian economy, he added.

The IMF program in Egypt will end in 2019, the IMF official noted, adding that another economic reform program could be implemented in case of a request submitted by the Egyptian government.

He also said that Egypt executed all commitments required during the ongoing economic reform program. ]]>
8/5/2018 11:47:24 AM
<![CDATA[Annual meetings of African Caucus for WB, IMF kick off]]>
The two-day meetings, organized by the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), are attended by representatives from 40 countries from inside and outside the African continent.

Ministers of Investment and International Cooperation and Finance Sahar Nasr and Mohamed Maeit respectively will chair the annual meetings of the African Group, in the presence of representatives of the major international institutions, the Investment Ministry had said in a statement on Friday.

The meetings will bring together a number of international cooperation and finance ministers, as well as governors of central banks, along with high level officials from the WB and the IMF, the statement said.

The investment minister said Egypt's hosting of these meetings comes within the framework of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s directives to support issues related to the African continent at all international gatherings.

She further asserted that Egypt will exert utmost efforts to back interests and priorities of the African development plan during her chairmanship of the African Caucus for 2018, the statement added.

For his part, the finance minister said that hosting the international event reflects the deeply-rooted ties between Egypt and its fellow African countries.

The Egyptian-African relations have witnessed unprecedented development over the past few years, mainly after Egypt’s membership in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), he added.

He asserted Egypt’s keenness on engaging in the development efforts of the African continent and boosting economic ties with African countries.

The list of attendees at the annual meetings includes First Vice President of the World Bank Mahmoud Mohie Eddin, Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the Middle East and Africa Sergio Pimenta and Chief Executive Officer of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) Keiko Honda.

The event will be attended by ministers of international and financial cooperation and central bank governors from the following African countries: Algeria, Sudan, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Comoros, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Congo, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Sao Tome and Principe Islands.]]>
8/5/2018 11:44:14 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s BOT rises by 15 percent in 1st half of 2018]]>
Imports and exports increased by 14 and 16 percent, respectively. The top sectors achieving growth in terms of exportation are chemicals and fertilizers (26 percent), handicrafts (17.8 percent), healthcare industry (16.4 percent), textile industry (11 percent), and books and artistic works (38 percent).

The sectors that recorded the highest amounts of imports are furnishings (75 percent), leather products (44 percent), handicrafts (39.3 percent), building materials (29 percent), and clothing (27 percent).

Minister of Industry and Trade Amr Nassar said that the positive indicators of the country’s external trade showcase the recovery of the national economy and Egypt’s restoration of its place on the world trade map. He added that measures will be taken to accelerate trade pace and boost external exports.

In the fiscal year 2017/2018, economic growth went up to 5.3 percent from 4.2 percent in the precedent fiscal year, recording the highest rate in 10 years, the Ministry of Planning, Follow-Up, and Administrative Reform indicated Wednesday in its official Facebook account.

Investment and exports make up 74 percent of that growth. The last quarter of the past fiscal year experienced 5.4 percent of economic growth, compared to 5 percent at the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Egypt’s budget deficit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year was 9.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), down from 10.9 percent the previous year, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kojak said in July.

Egypt achieved a primary fiscal surplus for the first time in 15 years, making LE 4 billion ($224 million), Kojak said in a press conference.

Egypt’s tax revenues increased by 36 percent in fiscal year 2017-2018, to LE 628 billion, he added.

Egypt increased subsidies on fuel to LE 121 billion, up from previous projections of LE 110 billion, Kojak pointed out.

The Egyptian government is seeking to improve the business environment to attract local, Arab and foreign private sector investments, newly appointed CEO of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohsen Adel said on Tuesday.

Adel pointed out that the past period witnessed a transformation in the economic structure, adding that the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation led several legislative amendments and a strong configuration of investment infrastructure in Egypt.

]]>
8/5/2018 11:38:15 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 16.7B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.2 billion with a 273-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit. ]]>
8/5/2018 11:27:26 AM
<![CDATA[Huawei in British spotlight over use of U.S. firm's software]]>
The fact that the British misgivings stem in part from Huawei’s relationship with a U.S. company shows how trade wars and heightened national security concerns are making it harder for technology firms and governments to safeguard products and communication networks.

A report last month by a British government oversight board charged with analyzing Huawei equipment said it had found technical and supply chain “shortcomings” which exposed the country’s telecoms networks to new security risks.

One of those is due to Huawei’s use of the VxWorks operating system, which is made by California-based Wind River Systems, said three people with knowledge of the matter, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity when discussing details which were not made public in the report.

The sources said the version of VxWorks being used by Huawei will stop receiving security patches and updates from Wind River in 2020, even though some of the products it is embedded in will still be in service, potentially leaving British telecoms networks vulnerable to attack.

“Third party software, including security critical components, on various component boards will come out of existing long-term support in 2020, even though the Huawei end of life date for the products containing this component is often longer,” the July report, which did not name VxWorks, said.

U.S. and Australian lawmakers have said Huawei’s products can be used to facilitate Chinese espionage operations, an allegation the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment has repeatedly denied.

All three sources said there was no indication that the VxWorks mismatch was deliberate. There is also no suggestion that the software itself represents a security risk.

Reuters was not able to establish which Huawei products were involved or what steps the Chinese company was taking to address the issue.

A spokeswoman for Wind River Systems said she was unable to comment on Huawei, but said the company often helped customers upgrade to newer software versions. “Wind River offers migration routes and paths for its customers, which should be pretty well known and understood in the industry,” she said.

A Huawei spokesman declined to comment on specific issues in the report but said the company would address any areas for improvement which were raised by British authorities.

“Cyber security remains Huawei’s top priority, and we will continue to actively improve our engineering processes and risk management systems,” he said.

LEGITIMATE CONCERN

While the United States and Australia have moved to restrict the use of its gear due to security concerns, Huawei has been deepening ties with Britain, supplying broadband equipment to its largest telecoms provider, BT Group (BT.L), and mobile networks for wireless giant Vodafone Group (VOD.L).

Consultant Edward Amoroso, a former chief security officer at AT&T, said Huawei’s experience in Britain showed the challenges of securing international supply chains.

Although no one should dismiss Huawei as a supplier solely because of its geographical location, reliance on software that is going out of support is a legitimate concern, Amoroso said.

“I don’t care if it’s from China, Indiana or the moon, it speaks badly for them,” he added.

The globalized nature of the technology industry has come under increasing scrutiny as countries seek to limit the use of equipment from nations they regard as adversaries.

In the United States, the Pentagon is working on a “do not buy” list to block vendors who use software code originating from Russia and China, and Moscow has had problems implementing a data storage law without relying on foreign technology.

By contrast, London says it effectively addresses any security issues presented by the use of Huawei products as part of Britain’s critical national infrastructure by having the equipment reviewed by staff at a special company laboratory.

This is overseen by British government and intelligence officials who report annually on its work. In addition to the issue with VxWorks, this year’s report also cited technical issues which limited security researchers’ ability to check internal product code.

Many in the cybersecurity industry say efforts to bar equipment or software on grounds of nationality are futile because of the deeply inter-dependent nature of the global technology business.

“There’s a real dilemma for policy makers, for politicians,” said Robert Hannigan, former director of Britain’s GCHQ spy agency and now executive chairman for Europe at cybersecurity services firm BlueVoyant.

“How do we find a way of taking advantage of foreign technology in a way that we don’t think compromises our security? That’s a really difficult balance to get.”]]>
8/5/2018 11:03:17 AM
<![CDATA[Canada 'very keen' on wrapping up year-old NAFTA talks]]>
Talks to modernize the 1994 trade pact started in August 2017 but have dragged on much longer than expected as Canada and Mexico pushed back against far-reaching U.S. demands for reform. President Donald Trump has said he will walk away from NAFTA unless major changes are made.

In a renewed push, Mexican and U.S. cabinet ministers held a series of meetings in Washington over the past week in a bid to work out their differences. One Mexican official expressed optimism that some kind of agreement could be reached by the end of the month.

“I and Canada are very, very keen to get it done as quickly as possible,” Freeland told reporters on a conference call. She did not answer directly when asked whether the end of August was a realistic deadline.

Mexican and U.S. officials are due to meet again next week to work on contentious issues such as wages and rules governing how much North American produced content an automobile must contain to qualify for duty-free status.

Freeland said she was ready to join the talks at any time but did not give details. Canadian officials dismiss speculation that she is being sidelined.

“While this is a trilateral agreement ... there are also significant bilateral trading issues between each of the countries,” said Freeland, adding that she welcomed bilateral talks between Canada’s two NAFTA partners.

The Trump administration, which complains NAFTA caused hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs to move to plants in low-wage Mexico, wants Mexican workers to be paid more and is demanding more North American content in cars and light trucks produced in the NAFTA nations.]]>
8/5/2018 10:57:18 AM
<![CDATA[China won't accept U.S. trade 'blackmail': state media]]>
Late on Friday, China’s finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, with the extra levies ranging from five to 25 percent on a total value of goods less than half of that proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

The response follows the Trump administration’s proposal of a 25-percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“China’s countermeasures are rational,” the Global Times, a tabloid run by the official People’s Daily, said in a commentary.

“China will not rush to compete with U.S. numbers,” it said, echoing comments made by state television.

The United States and China implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of each others’ goods in July. Washington is expected to soon implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods, which China has already said it will match immediately.

“The White House’s extreme pressure and blackmail are already clear to the international community,” said a state television commentary. “Such methods of extreme blackmail will not bear fruit against China.”

TRUMP TOUTS TARIFFS, SAYS THEY ARE WORKING

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Trump disagreed.

“Tariffs are working far better than anyone ever anticipated,” he claimed, citing a big drop in China’s stock market. “They are really hurting their economy.”

Trump also claimed that China was talking to the United States about trade, but he provided no details. He said his administration would continue to employ tariffs if other nations were unwilling to come to the table on trade. “We are using them to negotiate fair trade deals,” Trump said.

China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods, representing the vast majority of China’s annual imports of American products. Last year, China imported about $130 billion in goods from the United States. Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on over $500 billion in Chinese goods, covering virtually all U.S. imports from China.

“The U.S. has repeatedly resorted to threatening and deceitful routines, trying to force China to compromise, both overestimating its own bargaining power and underestimating China’s determination and ability to defend its national dignity and the interests of its people,” said a commentary in the official Xinhua news agency.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, remained staunch on Washington’s push for fairer trading conditions with China.

“President Trump inherited an unfair trade regime where American workers and American companies were not treated reciprocally or fairly by the Chinese, and the efforts of the Trump administration are to right that, to correct that,” Pompeo told reporters on the sidelines of a regional forum in Singapore.

Pompeo added that he had discussed trade issues with Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi on Friday. Wang said on Friday they did not get into details.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said he met Pompeo in Singapore and that his message was clear.

“My objective was quite straightforward: I think I need to inform him that we are very concerned,” said Saifuddin.

Countries like Malaysia form an integral part of Chinese exporters’ supply chains, and analysts have warned a trade war could knock billions of dollars off their economic growth in coming years.]]>
8/5/2018 10:51:11 AM
<![CDATA[Indonesia lobbies U.S. to maintain special tariff treatment]]>
“President Joko Widodo has delivered Indonesia’s hope that the U.S. will maintain the country’s GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) facility,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters after meeting Pompeo.

In April, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said it was reviewing the eligibility of Indonesia, along with India and Kazakhstan, for the GSP based on concerns over compliance with services and investment criteria.

“Around 53 percent of the goods covered by the GSP are commodities with links to products the U.S. exports, while 35 percent are related to the production process of U.S. products,” Marsudi said.

Under the GSP, Indonesia gets reduced tariffs on about $2 billion worth of exports to the United States, including some agricultural, textile and timber products, the Indonesia’s employers association told Reuters in July.[L4N1U5205]

Total exports to the United States were $17.8 billion data in 2017 from Indonesia’s trade ministry showed. Indonesia ran a $9.7 billion trade surplus with the United States last year.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said Indonesia has asked the United States to exempt its aluminum and steel products.

The minister said he and Marsudi had met U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington in July and agreed to raise the value of annual U.S.-Indonesia trade to $50 billion. Lukita said Pompeo had agreed on the need to increase economic ties and increase the countries’ strategic partnership.]]>
8/5/2018 10:48:18 AM
<![CDATA[North Korea, U.S. trade blows over nuclear deal at Singapore reunion]]>
The discord was the latest reminder of the difficulties that have long impaired efforts to negotiate an end to North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes, despite the June commitment made in Singapore by the leaders of the North and the United States.

"The DPRK stands firm in its determination and commitment for implementing the DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement in a responsible and good-faith manner," North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told a regional forum held in Singapore on Saturday.

DPRK refers to his country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"What is alarming however is the insistent moves manifested within the U.S. to go back to the old, far from its leader's intention," Ri said.

Ri made the statement after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had left the conference for Indonesia, a State Department spokeswoman said.

At the summit on June 12, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who is seeking relief from tough sanctions, committed to work towards denuclearisation, but Pyongyang has offered no details on how it might go about this.

Pompeo pressed Southeast Asian nations in Singapore this week to maintain sanctions on North Korea but said he was optimistic that the deal to end the North's nuclear programme would work out.

"We have initiated goodwill measures of, inter alia, a moratorium on nuclear tests and rocket launch tests and dismantling of nuclear test ground," Ri said in a statement delivered to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum.

"However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions against the DPRK and showing the attitude to retreat even from declaring the end of the war, a very basic and primary step for providing peace on the Korean peninsula."

Pompeo suggested on Friday that continued work on weapons programmes by North Korea was inconsistent with Kim's commitment to denuclearise.

On Saturday, he stressed diplomatic and economic sanctions on the North must be maintained in order to achieve a complete end to the nuclear programme, carried out in defiance of U.N. Security resolutions.

He also said Washington took very seriously any relaxation of U.N. sanctions, calling out Russia for possibly violating a U.N. resolution by issuing work visas to North Korean workers.

"I want to remind every nation that has supported these resolutions that this is a serious issue and something that we will discuss with Moscow," he said.

"We expect the Russians and all countries to abide by the U.N. Security Council resolutions and enforce sanctions on North Korea."

Russia has denied a report by the Wall Street Journal that said Moscow was allowing thousands of fresh North Korean labourers into the country and granting them work permits in a potential breach of U.N sanctions.

Russia's ambassador to North Korea also denied Moscow was flouting U.N. restrictions on oil supplies to North Korea.

TRUMP LETTER

Pompeo attended meetings of the foreign ministers of ASEAN as well as China, Russia, Japan and South Korea. Ri attended one of a series of conferences.

At a group photo session, Pompeo walked up to Ri and shook hands and exchanged words and smiles. He told Ri: "We should talk again soon," according to the State Department.

"I agree, there are many productive conversations to be had," Ri replied, according to the State Department.

U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim handed Ri a letter from Trump for North Korean leader Kim in Singapore, the State Department said.

Pompeo, who has been leading the U.S. negotiations to get the North to abandon its nuclear programme, had primarily engaged with Kim Yong Chol, a top North Korean party official and former spy agency chief, and not Ri.

Following his trip to Pyongyang in July, the North accused Pompeo of "gangster-like" diplomacy, casting doubts about the future of the discussions, but Trump later hailed progress after receiving a note from Kim.

Sung Kim, who has long been a key negotiator on the nuclear issue, said earlier he had no plans to meet the North Koreans in Singapore.

On Monday, a senior U.S. official said U.S. spy satellites had detected renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

According to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters on Friday, North Korea has not stopped its nuclear and missile programmes and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through increased ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products as well as coal transfers conducted at sea.

On Saturday, Pompeo was more upbeat about making progress on the denuclearisation agreement, saying: "We've been working since then to develop the process by which that would be achieved."]]>
8/4/2018 5:19:22 PM
<![CDATA[Ethiopia's PM Abiy sets up team to advise on privatisation]]>
Since becoming prime minister in April, 41-year-old Abiy Ahmed has turned Africa's most populous after Nigeria on its head with his plans to reshape politics and the economy.

"PM Abiy Ahmed has set up an Advisory Council on the privatisation of large state-owned enterprises," Fitsum Arega, Abiy's chief of staff said on Twitter late on Friday.

"The Council will ensure the process is managed with utmost transparency and accountability."

Abiy's government has said that it is open to selling off a host of state-owned firms, either partially or entirely, as part of economic reforms designed to “unleash the potential of the private sector”.

The government was tendering for advice from global business consultancies including McKinsey and PwC, the country's information minister told Reuters in July.

Ethiopia has achieved one of Africa’s fastest growth rates over the past decade, averaging up to 10 percent a year.

But investors complain about its stifling and antiquated socialist bureaucracy, where the default answer from fearful civil servants is “no” and importing something as mundane as cotton can take six or 12 months.

Besides his stated desire to attract foreign capital into one of Africa’s most closed states, Abiy has brokered peace with Eritrea, with whom Ethiopia fought a border war two decades ago. ]]>
8/4/2018 5:16:18 PM
<![CDATA[No increase in train tickets prices until service is satisfying – Min.]]>
The minister made the remarks during his inspection visit to the construction site of the fourth phase of the Cairo Metro Line 3, which stretches for 5.15 km and includes four underground stations and one above the ground.

The first part of the fourth phase is set to be inaugurated in December, he said.

In the same regard, Arafat noted that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued directives not to hike up the train tickets prices before finalizing the development plans of Egypt’s railway system.]]>
8/4/2018 3:50:38 PM
<![CDATA[Two committees formed to help remove obstacles facing investors]]>
The minister’s remarks were made during a periodic meeting with investors representing 17 firms in the presence of CEO of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohsen Adel.

Nasr said she is looking forward to developing GAFI in the coming stage, particularly in light of Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli’s decision to restructure the authority.

Meanwhile, GAFI chief executive officer noted that removing obstacles facing investors is a top priority for the authority.
]]>
8/4/2018 12:14:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to host annual meetings of African Caucus of WB, IMF on Sunday]]>
The meetings will be held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort city of Sharm el Sheikh, under the patronage of Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli, with 40 countries participating.

The meetings are organized by the investment and international cooperation and finance ministries, in cooperation with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

Ministers of Investment and International Cooperation and Finance Sahar Nasr and Mohamed Maeit respectively will chair the annual meetings of the African Group, in the presence of representatives of the major international institutions, the Investment Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The meetings will bring together a number of international cooperation and finance ministers, as well as governors of central banks, along with high level officials from the WB and the IMF, the statement said.

The investment minister said Egypt's hosting of these meetings comes within the framework of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s directives to support issues related to the African continent at all international gatherings.

She further asserted that Egypt will exert utmost effort to back interests and priorities of the African development plan during her chairmanship of the African Caucus for 2018, the statement added.

For his part, the finance minister said that hosting the international conference reflected the deeply-rooted ties between Egypt and African countries.

The Egyptian-African relations have witnessed unprecedented development over the past few years, mainly after Egypt’s membership in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), she added.

He asserted Egypt’s keenness on engaging in the development efforts of the African continent and boosting economic ties with African countries.]]>
8/3/2018 4:40:08 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt denies claims of reducing wheat-cultivated lands for more imports: IDSC]]>
The IDSC, which is a subset of the Cabinet, quoted the supply ministry as saying that wheat will be cultivated this year on a land of 3 million feddans as agreed on previously, and that the government is seeking to increase the size of the cultivated land to fill the gap between production and consumption.

The ministry went on explaining that wheat is being purchased as per an adopted plan aiming to guarantee a strategic reserve of wheat, which is sufficient to cover the country’s needs for four months, according to the statement.

Last year, Egypt cultivated 3.1 million feddans of wheat, and purchased 6.5 million tons.
Reuters quoted the ministry on Friday as saying that Egypt is seeking to buy 6.5 million tons of wheat during the fiscal year 2018-2019, which is the same amount purchased last year.

In June, Reuters said the government has tried to promote its local crop as a way to reduce its world-topping level of imports.

Egypt is the world's largest importer of wheat and is the destination of roughly one-third of Russian wheat exports. In July, Egypt and Kazakhstan discussed boosting the trade exchange of wheat and meat.

Egypt’s fiscal year starts in July and ends on June 30.]]>
8/3/2018 2:38:04 PM
<![CDATA[China tariffs threaten European capital goods supply chains]]>
Makers of machines that rely on thousands of small parts from around the world - from Swedish lawnmower maker Husqvarna to wind-turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa - are feeling the effects on their supply chains.

Carmakers, directly in the firing line with tariffs on cars built in the United States for export to China hiked to 40 percent, have already raised the alarm on profits and price hikes.

But analysts estimate that between 65 and 80 percent of the $34 billion of affected goods shipped from the United States to China are not sold directly to consumers but are rather key components used in other products.

"While some of the 'direct' financial exposures are quite limited, we believe that it is the 'indirect' effects that could be more meaningful," Morgan Stanley capital goods analysts Ben Uglow and Lucie Carrier wrote in a note published this week.

"So far, most companies have not provided much details regarding the risks related to these tariffs whether this is in terms of their supply chain or direct exposure - and we see this situation as an overhang to our sector currently."

Investors in European capital goods companies, which have been riding a wave of global economic growth, have not really flinched so far.

After the U.S. announced steel and aluminium tariffs on March 8, investors fled industrial funds during March and April. But they made a U-turn and returned in May, Thomson Reuters Lipper data showed. https://tmsnrt.rs/2n5vxCu

Furthermore, the Dow Jones European industrial goods and services index has outperformed the wider European stocks index by 2 percent since the latest tariffs were imposed on July 6.

RISK RISING

Michael Nicol, European equities investment manager at Scottish asset manager Kames Capital, is an outlier, having significantly cut exposure to the industrial sector over the past nine months, also due to already-full valuations.

"It is impossible to accurately predict the final outcome of the various proposed tariffs but for the portfolio manager clearly market and stock specific risk has increased," he said.

Morgan Stanley estimates that machinery, engineering and lighting groups are most vulnerable to tariffs among European capital goods companies.

It singled out Wartsila, Siemens, GEA , Kion, IMI, Rotork, Osram , Weir, Senvion, Schindler, Signify and Zumtobel

The new U.S. tariffs impose duties of up to 25 percent on 818 categories of Chinese goods ranging from plastic tubings and parts used for connectors to printed circuit boards and medical imaging equipment.

Supply for electrical goods firms is most at risk, Morgan Stanley says, as China makes nearly half of the world's printed circuit boards, used in computers to transformers to medical equipment, and a fifth of all electronics.

German industrial group Siemens said on Thursday it saw a risk that its customers would slow spending because of supply-chain issues.

"We see potential clouding on investment dynamics due to geopolitical tensions in some areas," finance chief Ralf Thomas told analysts.

"In particular, threats to free trade by tariffs are an area of concern. The global supply chains are deeply interconnected, and it's of utmost importance to have reliable framing conditions to foster confidence and economic growth,"

EARLY SIGNS

A few firms have started to indicate how they may handle the new reality.

Medical technology company Siemens Healthineers is changing its supply routes to ship parts from its European factories instead of its Chinese factories to the United States, where it assembles final goods.

"We have the ability to redirect supply from China via Europe to U.S. so (that) we do not see a significant impact from the tariffs topic," CFO Jochen Schmitz told journalists on a results call on July 30.

For example, Healthineers has two sites where it manufactures the superconducting magnets used in its MRI systems: one in Oxford in England and one in Shenzhen in China.

Husqvarna is seeking to switch sourcing for lawnmower components and engines that it imports from China and other Asian countries, while food-processing equipment maker GEA said it would look at reshuffling its procurement of Chinese parts used in its new equipment and service units.

The most common response so far, however, is raising prices, especially among those who require large amounts of steel and aluminium, which have become more expensive in the United States because of tariffs on Chinese and European metals.

Lighting maker Signify, lock maker Assa Abloy, construction equipment and trucks maker AB Volvo, steel wire maker Bekaert and Scottish engineering company Weir have all said they will adopt this strategy.

Electrical equipment maker Schneider Electric flagged some shortages of electronic components in its secured power business and forecast that first extra costs linked to U.S. tariffs could reach 20 million euros.

"We have inflation popping up everywhere in our procurement... and we need to make sure that we absorb the impact of tariff increase," Deputy CEO Emmanuel Babeau told analysts. "We are going to accelerate further on price increases."

But that is a dangerous strategy with a risk of hurting demand.

Siemens Gamesa, already hit by the phasing out of government subsidies, said it was unlikely to be able to pass on the higher steel costs for wind turbine generators.

"We are operating in very competitive markets," CFO Miguel Ángel López told analysts during an earnings call last week. "The likelihood that we can pass through the effects into prices - I would consider this one rather low."]]>
8/3/2018 1:27:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt's financial conditions stable, showing better performance - IDSC affirms]]>
In its report on Friday, the center said that it had contacted the Finance Ministry which refuted as "baseless" the news.

The Finance Ministry affirmed that Egypt's current economic conditions are stable and its economic indices are showing better performance, read the report.

Egypt’s foreign currency reserves increased to reach dlrs 44.314 billion at the end of July, up from dlrs 44.258 billion in June, said the report.

The ministry highlighted a number of indications showing that the Egyptian economy has been recovered, topped by the great foreign investments which have hit dlrs 60 billion in two years.

The ministry urged all media outlets to be accurate while publishing any reports. ]]>
8/3/2018 1:17:06 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, EBRD ink €205 million deal to renovate oldest metro line]]>
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Transport Hisham Arafat witnessed the signing of the deal between Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr from the Egyptian side, and Janet Heckman, Managing Director, Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) at the EBRD, said a Thursday statement by the Investment Ministry.

Madbouly assured the government’s keenness to upgrade the transport system, citing the efforts exerted to develop the subway system given that millions of commuters are using it across Cairo.

Inaugurated in 1987, Marg-Helwan line is considered the first metro line in the Egyptian subway system.

The renovation project aims to restructure the railway infrastructure of the first line, railway tracks and renovating the stations. It also includes developing lighting, electromechanically, communication and central control systems.

Transport Minister Arafat explained that the development works of the first line is divided into two phases. As per the agreement, the first phase will cost €751 million: €205 million from EBRD and €350 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB); €50 million from the French Development Agency (AFD) and €146 million will be funded locally.

While the second phase of the renovation includes purchasing mobile units at a cost of €650 million.

In the same context, Arafat discussed on Thursday with Italian Ambassador to Egypt Giampaolo Cantini cooperation in the sectors of railways and metro transportation.

"Egypt's transport sector is witnessing a major development across all its aspects," Arafat said during the meeting that was attended by his advisers.

As the talks touched on cooperation in the metro sector, Arafat shed light on the promising opportunities for Italian companies in this field, namely Metro Line 5.

An urgent and comprehensive plan worth LE 32 billion to raise the efficiency of the oldest metro line running from El-Marg to Helwan, south of Cairo, has been announced last month.

Since May, Cairenes have been charged for using the subway based on the length of each commute. The new fares are LE 3 ($0.17) for the first nine stops, LE 5 for up to 16 stops and LE 7 for more than 16 stops. Before increasing the metro’s fare, the price of the underground tickets had previously been doubled in July 2017 from LE 1 to LE 2 as part of reforms that cut subsidies after the inflation.

The recent move comes as part of the Egyptian government’s austerity measures linked to the three-year loan worth $12 billion secured with the International Monetary Fund.

More than 3.5 million passengers of Greater Cairo’s 21 million residents rely on the subway for their daily travel, according to estimates by the NAT. Ongoing metro extensions are expected to increase the number of commuters to nine million per day.

Nourhan Magdi and MENA contributed to this report
]]>
8/3/2018 11:43:55 AM
<![CDATA[CBE: Egypt's foreign reserves rise to dlrs 44.314 bn in July]]>]]>8/2/2018 9:44:03 PM<![CDATA[EIB provides NBE €375M to support Egypt’s SMEs]]>
The European Bank clarified in a statement that this agreement is expected to sustain over 20,000 jobs in Egyptian firms, noting that a percentage of the financing will target firms owned or run by women (“Women in Business”) as well as enterprises located in less-developed areas of Egypt.

According to the statement, this agreement aims at enhancing the prospects for more resilient and inclusive growth in Egypt through financial inclusion and the creation of sustainable employment opportunities, particularly for women and in less-developed areas.

“The new agreement will help to provide the finance needed for private sector development in most governorates of Egypt. It will also seek to empower women and improve their access to finance,” Director of EU Neighboring Countries at the EIB Flavia Palanza said.

“As the bank of the European Union, our aim is to contribute to building a stronger and more resilient economy in Egypt, as well as in the region, that creates more opportunities resulting in additional jobs and increased prosperity for the population,” Palanza added.

For his part, Chairman of NBE Hisham Okasha said that this loan will assist in creating new job opportunities in the private sector as well as contribute to greater inclusion.

“NBE’s policy continues to be geared towards supporting the private sector with special focus placed on the growing SME sector, where our portfolio has reached a high of approximately LE 44 billion as of June 2018,” Okasha added.

On June 25, EIB and Bank of Alexandria (Alexbank) signed Monday a financing agreement worth €20 million to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt.

Since 2009, the European Investment Bank provided financing of €1.3 billion for SMEs and mid-caps in Egypt, 56 percent was for the manufacturing sector.

The EIB’s portfolio in Egypt represents €4.2 billion in public and private sector financing.
]]>
8/2/2018 5:52:15 PM
<![CDATA[Global Telecom’s profits decline 65.5% during H1 2018]]>
The company revealed that its standalone results turned into profitability during the first half of the current year by $413.1 million, compared to a loss of $59.4 million during the first six months of 2017.

“In Q2 2018, GTH continued to add customers and grew by 4.3 percent YoY, reaching 102.9 million, driven by customer additions in Pakistan and Bangladesh, which was supported by the stabilization of the customer base in Algeria,” Chief Executive Officer, Vincenzo Nesci, said.

“Total revenues for the period decreased organically by 1.7 percent YoY to $693 million. EBITDA grew organically by 1.2 percent YoY to $304 million,” Nesci added.

“GTH continued to achieve a solid EBITDA margin of 43.8 percent, 0.9 percentage point higher YoY. Data revenue showed strong organic growth of 44.8 percent YoY, driven by the increase in data customer base and data usage,” he stated.

During the first quarter of 2018, the company accomplished a net profit of $38.2 million, compared to $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Global Telecom operates within the telecommunication services sector, focusing on wireless telecommunication services.

It has 116 subsidiaries operating across Southern and Central Asia, North America, British Islands, Western Europe, Northern Africa, Eastern Africa, Middle East and Southern Europe.

It was established in Egypt in July 1998.
]]>
8/2/2018 4:25:50 PM
<![CDATA[EGX gains LE3.1B Thursday, transcations reaches LE913M]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.87 percent, or 136.20 points, to close at 15,806.38 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 increased 0.04 percent, or 0.29 points, reaching 748.07 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.24 percent, or 4.60 points, closing at 1,942.46 points.

Unlike other indices, the equally weighted index EGX50 declined 0.06 percent, or 1.56 points, to reach 2,599.78 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 3.1 billion, recording LE 880.37 billion, compared to LE 877.25 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 173.46 million shares, traded through 21,930 transactions, with a turnover of LE 913.39 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 230 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 212.61 million and LE 17.39 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 26.73 million and LE 6.18 million, respectively, while foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 2.22 million.

Egyptian and Arab organizations were net sellers at LE 185.88 million and LE 11.2 million, respectively, while foreign organizations were net buyers at LE 227.78 million.

Arabia Investments,Development,Fin. Inv. Holding Comp.-Cash, Suez Canal Bank, and Orascom Development Egypt were top gainers of the session by 6.02 percent, 4.84 percent and 4.50 percent, respectively.

On the other hand, Palm Hills Development Company, and National Real Estate Bank for Development were top losers of the session by 6.82 percent and 4.49 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session in green, as EGX30 hikked 0.58 percent, EGX70 rose 0.44 percent, and EGX100 increased 0.40 percent.
]]>
8/2/2018 3:32:13 PM
<![CDATA[CIB records profits of LE 4.4B during H1 2018]]>
The financial indicators showed that the consolidated revenues increased 33 percent and the loans’ portfolio jumped 15 percent, compared to the first six months of 2017.

As per standalone results, CIB’s profit rose 22.45 percent during the first six months of 2018, to LE 4.41 billion, compared to LE 3.6 billion during the same period of the previous year.

The standalone operating income recorded LE 9.14 billion at June 2018, compared to LE 7.17 billion at June 2017, with an increase of 27 percent.

The bank’s profit in 2017 increased 25 percent, recording LE 7.5 billion after taxes, compared to LE 6 billion after taxes in 2016.

The Commercial International Bank - Egypt (CIB) is a public company, listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since February 1995.

Founded in 1975, CIB operates within the banks sector focusing on Diversified Banks. It has 24 subsidiaries operating across Egypt and the United Kingdom.
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8/2/2018 2:02:57 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar prices stable at major banks in Egypt]]>
The dollar exchange rate settled at LE 17.78 for buying and LE 17.88 for selling at the National Bank of Egypt.

At Banque Misr, the rate stood at LE 17.77 for buying and LE 17.87 for selling

At Banque du Caire, it recorded LE 17.82 for buying and LE 17.92 for selling.

The rate stood at LE 17.83 for buying and LE 17.93 for selling at the Commercial International Bank and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.

At Alexandria Bank, the National Bank of Greece and the Arab African International Bank, it recorded LE 17.82 for buying and LE 17.92 for selling. ]]>
8/2/2018 2:00:33 PM
<![CDATA[Trade min., ILO delegation discuss sustaining competitiveness of firms]]>
During their expanded session of talks, the two sides discussed developing ILO programs in Egypt, as well as the future of cooperation between the Egyptian government and the ILO.

In a statement, the minister said that the meeting focused on means of beefing up Egypt's exports, as well as creating conducive investment climate and decent job opportunities for youth in the country.

Nassar voiced his great confidence in ILO programs in Egypt that played a major role in promoting economic development.

He further noted that Egypt is applying the ILO's Better Work Program, adding that conducted evaluations found that 90% of the ILO program was completed in the country, a matter that reflected all-out efforts exerted by the Egyptian government on this score.

The ILO programs include Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) training, which is a practical training and in-factory counselling program that improves productivity and working conditions in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

According to a report posted on the website of the United Nations agency dealing with labor problems, particularly international labor standards, social protection and work opportunities, SCORE is assisting governments, industry associations and trade unions in Africa, Asia and Latin America to develop export and domestic industrial sectors, with a particular focus on competitiveness and decent work in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The report noted that outside the program, ten additional countries have piloted or rolled out SCORE Training as part of other programs or national initiatives: Egypt, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Maldives, Myanmar, Paraguay, Peru, Sri Lanka and Turkey. This demand provides evidence that SCORE Training is increasingly recognized as an effective tool for SME development, it stressed. (MENA)]]>
8/2/2018 1:57:37 PM
<![CDATA[Bank of England raises rates above crisis lows, signals no rush for next hike]]>
The BoE’s nine rate-setters were unexpectedly unanimous in their vote to raise rates to 0.75 from 0.50 percent, the level at which they have spent most of the past decade apart from 15 months after the Brexit vote when they were cut even lower.

Economists polled by Reuters had mostly expected a 7-2 vote in favour of raising rates.

The BoE said Britain’s economy, while growing more slowly than in the past ahead of Brexit, was operating at almost its “speed limit,” or full capacity, raising the prospect of more home-grown inflation pressure ahead.

But the message for interest rates remained one of gradual and limited increases as the central bank saw inflation only a fraction above its 2 percent target over the next few years.

The forecast was based on bets by investors who only expect another rate hike in late 2019 or early 2020 with Bank Rate creeping up to 1.1 percent in late 2020. That was a fraction lower than a projection of rates of 1.2 percent the last time the BoE published forecasts for the economy in May.

The world’s fifth-biggest economy has slowed since the referendum decision in 2016 to leave the European Union.

With less than eight months until Brexit, London and Brussels — as well as key members of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party — remain far apart on what the future trading relationship should look like.

The BoE said the economy “could be influenced significantly by the response of households, businesses and financial markets” to news on Brexit.

However, the BoE continued to stress that Britain’s economy was at risk of too much inflation even with its slow growth.

The central bank said inflation in two years’ time was likely to be 2.09 percent, above the BoE’s 2 percent target.

The BoE said it expected Britain’s economy would grow by 1.4 percent this year, unchanged from its forecast in May, but it nudged up its forecast for growth in 2019 to 1.8 percent from a previous projection of 1.7 percent.

Wages were likely to be growing by an annual 2.5 percent at the end of this year, a bit slower than forecast in May, before picking up to 3.25 percent in 2019, unchanged from before.

Several private-sector economists have challenged the BoE’s view that inflation pressures are building and say raising rates now only risks a U-turn by the central bank if Britain fails to get a Brexit deal.

BoE Governor Mark Carney has said all bets on future BoE rate hikes would be off if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Some investors think the risk of a global trade war is another reason for caution by the BoE.

In its statement on Thursday, the central bank said it saw “tentative signs that actual and prospective protectionist policies were starting to have an adverse impact” on global trade.

It also fleshed out its thinking on how far it is likely to go with its planned rate hikes by publishing a new long-term forecast for what it called Britain’s trend real interest rate, or “R*”, of zero to 1 percent, more than 2 percentage points below its pre-financial crisis level.

Adjusted for the BoE’s inflation target, this would imply Bank Rate of 2-3 percent to keep growth and inflation rates stable when the economy is running at full capacity.

In the shorter term, the Bank Rate implied by a so-called equilibrium real interest rate, or “r*”, was likely to be somewhat lower, the BoE said but it did not give an estimate.

Carney was due to give a news conference to explain the central bank’s latest thinking at 1130 GMT.]]>
8/2/2018 1:22:25 PM
<![CDATA[Gold miner Centamin's core earnings beat expectations, shares rise]]>
Shares of the Egypt-focused company climbed 4 percent in morning trading on the London Stock Exchange.

Centamin stuck to its annual output target of 505,000-515,000 ounces, first forecast in May, when the miner was forced to cut its production estimate and raise its cost forecast due to lower grade ore at its Sukari mine in Egypt.

The company sold 97,628 ounces of gold in the second quarter, it said on Thursday, higher than the quarter’s production volume of 92,803 ounces, reported last month.

The beat was driven by sales volumes exceeding production and better-than-expected cash costs, Jefferies said.

Cash costs came in at $714 per ounce, compared with Jefferies estimate of $896 per ounce.

The miner expects significantly stronger production in the second half, driven by continued improvements in grade from the open pit in the Sukari mine, it said on Thursday.

Its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 27.9 percent to $45.8 million, in the quarter ended June 30, about 36 percent ahead of Goldman Sachs estimate.

The company’s quarterly revenue fell 18.1 percent to $123.9 million, while production dropped 25.5 percent.

Centamin also declared an interim dividend of 2.5 cents per share on Thursday, higher than the consensus of 2.1 cents per share, according to Jefferies analysts.]]>
8/2/2018 11:53:33 AM
<![CDATA[6 Reasons to invest in the New Administrative Capital]]>
They key, however, is the location of the property and the best time to buy and sell; getting both right ensures the safest investment with the highest possible money turnover. Lately, there’s been growing interest to invest in the New Administrative Capital, and if you’ve been considering putting a few of your eggs in that basket; here is our analysts’ lowdown on why this is a good option.

The experts argue that the new hub is a sound investment decision for small and large businesses, as well as homebuyers. “For businesses looking to invest their money in a good location and ensure bug returns, the New Administrative Capital is perfect; this is if one is buying and if the business is large-scale, says Mohamed Khaled, a commercial real estate consultant.

When it comes to small-scales businesses, Khaled explains that renting in the New Administrative Capital would ensure solid profits, event if rent is higher than other areas in Cairo. “Anything is expected to make money in the New Administrative Capital. Even if you make a kiosk for Koshri, it will make good money. The new capital is a great business opportunity for everyone and for Egypt.”

And for the homeowner, they would be in the middle of it all, with solid appreciation prospects, Khaled maintains.



Here are six reasons why you should consider investing:

1- Appreciation: Unlike Cairo, where appreciation is expected to decline, the New Administrative Capital’s prices are expected to be on an upward trajectory. As the CEO of the New Administrative Capital for Urban Development Company Ayman Ismail said at the Euromoney Conference last September, housing prices in Cairo will decline significantly in the coming years due to the rise of supply in the market after the planned 350,000 housing units are completed. Prices in the New Capital, however, are only expected to go up from here. Property consultant Hesham Mohamed tells Egypt Today, “I can easily tell you that the New Administrative Capital poses the best real estate opportunity in terms of future location, as well as appreciation,” which brings us to our next point: Location.

2-Location, Location, Location: It falls strategically close to Cairo, Sokhna and Ras Suder, and it will the hub of everything governmental. Mohamed explains that residents of the New Capital will be better connected to services and administrative facilities once ministries, and government and civil administrative services move.

3- Infrastructure and Quality: It is a smart city, with state-of-the-art top-notch infrastructure, facilities and services to ensure the city is well maintained on the long runs and avoid deterioration, argues Hesham. “Some of the areas that are being privately-built around Cairo may be using cheaper material or things that are not as good as the ones that the government ensures that developers use in the New Administrative Capital, therefore, investing there would not only mean your mind being at peace because you know that the quality is great, it also means that you would be getting more for your money because you are getting a higher quality for a lower price or, at the very least, a similar price.”

4- A Green City: Another benefit of investing in the New Administrative Capital is the green lifestyle that comes with it. In a televised interview, Ismail explained that the New Administrative Capital is set to be a sustainable and smart city, with a green lifestyle. “The capital will also be home to the world’s largest theme park, three times as big as the New York Park,” Noura Samy, a property consultant, explains. “It [the New Administrative Capital] has facilities that, if kept in good condition—as I expect they will be—would ensure higher appreciation and a vibrant living scene.”

5- It’s government-supported: Need we say more? Mahmoud al-Adl, Chairman of Master Builder Groups, says that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s endorsement of the project adds value and increases the project’s worth, urging investors to invest in multiple opportunities in the New Capital, or what he calls: “The Project of the future.”

6- It’s in-demand and booming: “There is a growing demand for the New Administrative Capital that will continue to rise in 2018,” Mohamad Banany, Senior Vide-President at Coldwell Banker tells Egypt Today. Building on this, Mohamed Nawar, a property consultant operating in Cairo adds, “The growing demand for the New Administrative Capital makes it a safe haven for investors, and ensures that their money will not be in danger.”



Developed by the New Administrative Capital for Urban Development after the launch of the idea in 2015, the new capital, which is spread over 1,133 feddans, is the government’s solution to accommodating Egypt’s ever-growing population and expanding urban areas. Speaking at last September’s Euromoney Conference, Ismail noted that, “Cairo is facing a challenge with government institutions and offices being centred in downtown, and the plan here is to relocate these offices to the project in the ‘government district’ while also serving an economic purpose of acquiring revenues worth $10 billion by 2030, and being in proximity to Cairo and the SCZone.”

The new capital is set to see the headquarters of all banks in Egypt, as well as the buildings of the ministries, parliament and administrative affairs.

The government district will be finalized this year and state institutions will relocate in 2019, according to Ismail. The headquarters of the Egyptian presidency will also be moved to the new capital by June 2019, according to the Chairperson of the New Administrative Capital for Urban Development Ahmad Zaki Abdeen.

Comprising a total of 20 residential neighbourhoods worth $15 billion, the project’s first phase is estimated at $8 billion and spans over 12,500 feddans, featuring 25, 000 residential units (eight of the 20 residential unit) and infrastructure projects, according to Minister of Housing and Urban Communities Moustafa Madbouly. The residential areas in the project will include an array of accommodation units, including apartments, villas, town houses, offices spaces and commercial areas.

The project will also be equipped with an international airport and facilities that include educations and healthcare facilities, accommodation and hotel, entertainment and transportation. The project will also be home to 20 towers, one of which will be the tallest tower in Africa with a record height of 345 meters, according to Madbouly.
New Administrative Capital, Property in Egypt, Property in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, Real Estate, Real Estate in Egypt, Real Estate in Cairo]]>
8/2/2018 11:39:24 AM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 17.2B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills are to be offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 182-day term and the second worth LE 8.7 billion with a 364-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit. ]]>
8/2/2018 11:28:07 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt achieves highest economic growth in 10 years]]>
Investment and exports make up 74 percent of that growth. The last quarter of the past fiscal year experienced 5.4 percent of economic growth compared to five percent at the same period in the previous fiscal year.

That is the highest quarterly growth achieved in Egypt over the past 10 years with investment and exports making up 76 percent.

Egypt’s budget deficit for the 2017-2018 fiscal year was 9.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), down from 10.9 percent the previous year, deputy finance minister Ahmed Kojak said in July.

Egypt achieved a primary fiscal surplus for the first time in 15 years, making LE 4 billion ($224 million), Kojak said in a news conference.

Egypt’s tax revenues increased by 36 percent in fiscal year 2017-2018, to LE 628 billion, he added.

Egypt increased subsidies on fuel to LE 121 billion, up from previous projections of LE 110 billion, Kojak said.

The Egyptian government is seeking to improve the business environment to attract local, Arab and foreign private sector investments, newly appointed CEO of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) Mohsen Adel said on Tuesday.

Adel pointed out that the past period witnessed a transformation in the economic structure, adding that the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation led several legislative amendments and a strong configuration of investment infrastructure in Egypt.

]]>
8/2/2018 11:23:10 AM
<![CDATA[Heliopolis Housing to float 32.25% of its shares on EGX]]>
The extraordinary and ordinary general assemblies of the Holding Company were headed by Minister of Public Business Sector, Hisham Tawfik, in the presence of the chairman and members of the board of directors and general assembly, as well as representatives of the Central Auditing Organization.

Tawfik said the implementation of the IPO program will not affect the rights of workers, and the development is expected to be reflected in the performance of companies after the proposal, in light of the private sector's contribution in the management to stabilize and improve the situation of workers.

He also pointed to the importance of partnership with the private sector to benefit from the technical, administrative and marketing expertise, positively affecting the high return on investment in subsidiaries.

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

The state’s IPO program comes in light of the economic reform program adopted by Egypt and is conducted under the supervision of the Ministry of Investment.

It covers a period of three to five years, aiming to offer partial stakes in some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX). It will serve as a main tool to attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

It also aims to increase funding to Egyptian companies and maximize the benefit from state assets.

On another note, the general assembly of the Holding Company for Construction and Development approved the draft consolidated budget of the company and its subsidiaries for 2018/2019 with target revenues of LE 19.2 billion.

The statement added that the target revenues rose 63 percent of the actual revenues of fiscal year 2016/2017.

The company also targets a net profit of LE 1.4 billion, with an increase of 25 percent, compared to 2016/2017.

The ordinary general assembly also approved the restructuring of the Holding Company's board of directors as of July 14, 2018.

The minister stressed the need to focus on training employees as they are the real capital of the company, reiterating that investing in humans is not less important than investing in equipment.

The Holding Company for Construction and Development is one of the Ministry of Public Business Sector's companies working in construction industry.

The company owns 20 companies, categorized as follows: nine contracting companies, one foundation company, one company for designs and engineering consultations, three housing companies, two electric companies, one company for agricultural projects management, and three companies that returned to the state upon judicial rulings: Omar Effendi, Al-Arabia Foreign Trade Co., United Company For Trade.


]]>
8/2/2018 11:19:39 AM
<![CDATA[China urges U.S. to return to rationality on trade]]>
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the comment at a daily news briefing in Beijing.]]>
8/2/2018 11:14:03 AM
<![CDATA[Delivered hot: Starbucks bets on Alibaba tie-up to revive China sales]]>
Starbucks flagged in June that it was pursuing such a tie-up after reporting a sudden slowdown in China sales growth, which it blamed partly on a crackdown on third-party delivery firms that had previously helped drive orders at its cafes.

“I consider this strategic partnership to be one that ... will just be rocket fuel for Starbucks’ growth and continued expansion in China,” Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson told reporters in Shanghai on Thursday.

The Seattle-based company will pilot delivery services from 150 Starbucks stores in Beijing and Shanghai and plans to expand that to more than 2,000 stores across 30 cities by the end of the year, Starbucks and Alibaba said in a joint statement.

Starbucks expects to start seeing some of the benefits from the partnership in the next quarter and the full impact in 2019, Johnson said.

The companies will collaborate across businesses within the Alibaba group, including delivery platform Ele.me, supermarket chain Hema, online retailers Tmall and Taobao, and mobile and online payment platform Alipay. Starbucks will also open a virtual store on Alibaba’s platforms where customers can buy Starbucks merchandise, they said.

The delivery program will leverage Ele.me’s 3 million registered riders, with an aim of delivering orders within half an hour. Starbucks will establish “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” inside Hema stores and use the supermarket’s delivery system to fulfill Starbucks delivery orders.

Starbucks had no formal online delivery in China before this deal.

Instead, unapproved third-party delivery services had filled that gap by picking up bulk orders for their own customers. Analysts have said an official delivery arrangement would push up costs for Starbucks.

Starbucks said its delivery menu will only contain items that can meet its half-hour deadline, but did not specify whether it will charge for the deliveries. Its pilot delivery program in Manhattan and Seattle a few years back fizzled partly because it charged too much: $5.99 per delivery.

Luckin Coffee, a local startup that wants to go toe-to-toe with Starbucks, charges less than $1 per order and has said its deliveries took an average of 18 minutes.

Starbucks and Alibaba did not give financial details of the partnership and declined to say whether the companies had discussed taking equity stakes in each other.

Some parts of the agreement, including the Ele.me tie-up was exclusive, while others were not, Starbucks executives said. The partnership had been discussed for more than a year, the companies said.

OPPORTUNITY = COMPETITION

China has offered Starbucks rich pickings in recent years, thanks to a burgeoning cafe culture which has helped offset saturation in the United States. It has 3,400 stores in the country and plans to almost double that number by 2022.

But there is pressure from local companies such as Luckin, which has expanded rapidly and offers cheap delivery, online ordering, big discounts and premium pay for its staff.

Luckin said on Wednesday it planned to more than double its number of stores in China to 2,000 by the end of 2018.

Johnson acknowledged the competition but added that the significant opportunity in China made that unsurprising.

Starbucks’ move to offer delivery “is in part to make sure they don’t fall behind Luckin Coffee in terms of offering high quality delivery services” to a customer group of young office workers who do not want to stand in line, said Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research Group.

The partnership is also a leg up for Ele.me in its race for market share in the Chinese delivery market against Meituan-Dianping, which is backed by gaming giant Tencent Holdings (0700.HK).

Ele.me said last week that it will spend more on subsidies at a time when Meituan is preparing for a $4 billion Hong Kong listing.]]>
8/2/2018 11:10:36 AM
<![CDATA[Trump's overture to emerging Asia drowned out by trade war]]>
Analysts say the $113 million of technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives trumpeted by Mike Pompeo earlier this week - the first concrete details of U.S. President Donald Trump’s vague ‘Indo-Pacific’ policy - may be hard to sell to countries that form an integral part of Chinese exporters’ supply chains.

It may even further inflame tensions with Beijing, which has been spreading money and influence across the region via its Belt and Road Initiative development scheme.

“The Southeast Asian capitals are more worried about any blowback effects for them of U.S.-China trade tension than they are about how much they can benefit from this $113 million initiative,” said Malcolm Cook, senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.

“Pompeo has a hard selling job. There is still no real positive trade story for Asia coming out of the United States.”

Hot on the heels of Washington’s new economic plan for emerging Asia came reports the United States could more than double planned tariffs on $200 billion of imported Chinese goods from dog food to building materials. China called it “blackmail” and vowed retaliation.

After a brief meeting with new Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in Kuala Lumpur, Pompeo will fly to Singapore - a global trading hub that could be one of the hardest-hit in the region by a trade war - for a sit-down with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Friday.

Singapore’s biggest bank, DBS, estimates that a full-scale trade war - defined as 15-25 percent tariffs on all products traded between the U.S. and China - could more than halve Singapore’s growth rate next year from a forecast 2.7 percent to 1.2 percent. Malaysia’s growth rate in 2019 could fall from an estimated 5 percent to 3.7 percent.

“We are all acutely aware of the storm clouds of trade war,” Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said at the opening of an ASEAN foreign ministers meeting on Thursday that precedes meetings with the United States and other nations.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said earlier this year that a trade war would have a “big, negative impact” on the country.

Ratings agency Moody’s said this week that an escalation of trade tensions in 2018 had become its “baseline expectation”, and that Asia was “especially vulnerable” given the integration of regional supply chains.

SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA

As well as trade, Friday’s meeting will also cover security issues such as South China Sea disputes and North Korea’s nuclear disarmament. The United States will press Southeast Asian leaders to maintain sanctions on Pyongyang following reports of renewed activity at the North Korean factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

Pompeo will also travel to Indonesia during his trip - Southeast Asia’s biggest economy which under Trump faces losing some of the trade preferences given by Washington for poor and developing countries.

Few officials around the region offered comment on the Indo-Pacific strategy when contacted by Reuters for this story. One said that the ASEAN meeting in Singapore would be an opportunity “to have clarity and a more unified position” on the vision.

One reason for caution is that the region has been wrong-footed by U.S. advances before.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia went on the backburner after Trump won the 2016 election promising to put “America First”. One of his early acts in office was to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, which involved four Southeast Asian states.

The result was that across Asia, more and more countries were pulled into China’s orbit: softening their stance on territorial disputes in the South China Sea and borrowing billions of dollars from Beijing to develop infrastructure.

The Philippines is one example of a country which has taken a more conciliatory approach to China despite a bitter history of disputes over maritime sovereignty.

Its President Rodrigo Duterte frequently praises Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and in February caused a stir when he jokingly offered the Philippines to Beijing as a province of China.

Thailand, one of Washington’s oldest allies, is another major regional power perceived to have moved closer to China after U.S. relations came under strain because of concerns about freedoms under its military-dominated government.

Thai foreign ministry spokesperson Busadee Santipitaks told Reuters the country was proceeding with “a balanced approach” towards the United States and China.

U.S. officials said the Indo-Pacific strategy does not aim to compete directly with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Yet, in an apparent reference to China, Pompeo said Washington will “oppose” any country that seeks dominance in the region.

While Chinese officials have not criticized the U.S. approach, its influential state-run tabloid the Global Times said in an editorial on Tuesday: “Belt and Road is destined to continue to flourish. This has nothing to do with certain forces that are selfish and engage in petty practices and make jibes.”]]>
8/2/2018 11:06:07 AM
<![CDATA[Asian shares slide on fresh trade worries, bonds fragile]]>
European shares are expected to fall, with financial spread-betters see Britain’s FTSE, France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX opening 0.4 percent lower.

Japan’s Nikkei declined 1.1 percent while MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 1.5 percent, dragged down by a 2.2 percent fall in Chinese H-shares.

The CSI 300 index of China’s A-shares dropped 3.0 percent to 2,741, near its 1 1/2-year low of 2,691 set on July 6. Shares of export-dependent electronics firms fell 4.1 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 2.5 percent to 10-month lows while an index of Chinese start-up firms sank 3.5 percent to its lowest level since January 2015.

“Market sentiment was dampened by renewed trade war fears,” said Zhang Quan, an analyst at Huaan Securities. “But investors need not be overly pessimistic as China is taking steps to hedge the risks from trade frictions with the United States, including monetary and fiscal policy easing.”

The U.S. administration on Wednesday increased pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“If it had not been for the sideswipe on trade, markets would have been in much better shape this week. Apple’s earnings were super, helping to quell concerns about high-tech companies,” said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“The BOJ’s policy tweaks weren’t much of a tightening, and did little damage,” he added.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe is down 0.45 percent so far this week, reversing gains from the previous four weeks, with Chinese shares accounting for the bulk of that.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 lost 0.10 percent on Wednesday, but the Nasdaq Composite added 0.46 percent to extend its recovery from Monday’s three-week low.

While industrial stocks fell 1.3 percent on trade worries, technology shares were boosted by strong earnings from Apple.

The world’s largest company by market capitalization rose 5.9 percent, boosting its value to close to $1 trillion.

The Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, as expected, characterizing the U.S. economy as strong and staying on track to increase borrowing costs in September and likely again in December.

While that surprised nobody, U.S. bond yields rose, with the benchmark 10-year yields breaking above 3 percent to 2-1/2-month highs, after the U.S. Treasury said it would boost borrowing in the bond market in the coming quarter.

LOOSENING GRIP

Global bond markets were also rattled by sharp rises in Japanese bond yields since the Bank of Japan loosened its grip on long-term yields on Tuesday.

The 10-year Japanese government bond yield rose to a 1-1/2-year high of 0.145 percent. It last stood at 0.120 percent. The BOJ conducted an unplanned buying in 10-year JGBs in the afternoon, curbing rise in the yields.

Worries that higher yields in Japan may prompt Japanese investors to repatriate funds hit European bonds, boosting German and French yields to seven-week highs on Wednesday.

In the foreign exchange market, major currencies were little moved.

The euro changed hands at $1.1650, while the yen stood at 111.56 yen to the dollar.

The British pound was steady at $1.3101 ahead of an expected rate hike by the Bank of England later in the day.

The Chinese yuan held relatively stable at 6.8308, almost flat on the day.

Oil prices climbed a tad after two days of heavy losses on a surprise increase in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Brent crude futures rose 0.3 percent to $72.63 per barrel after a 2.5 percent fall the previous day.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged up 0.2 percent to $67.78 a barrel after Wednesday’s 1.6 percent fall.]]>
8/2/2018 11:03:34 AM
<![CDATA[Oil steadies to trade higher after losses]]>
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $72.55 a barrel by 0503 GMT, after dropping 2.5 percent on Wednesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures increased by 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $67.72 a barrel. They fell 1.6 percent in the previous session.

Oil prices are feeling the effects of ongoing tensions over global trade, with markets concerned about any slowdown in growth around the world.

“A clear definition around the macros is what the market is looking for and until we get that, it is likely to be volatile in the range,” said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance in Sydney.

U.S. President Donald Trump has sought to ratchet up pressure on China for trade concessions by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

China said it would hit back if the United States takes further steps on trade.

Brent prices fell more than 6 percent in June and U.S. crude slumped about 7 percent, the biggest monthly declines for both benchmarks since July 2016.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are also supporting the market, Barratt said.

The United States believes Iran is preparing to carry out a major exercise in the Gulf in the coming days, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington, U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of an international nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran has angered Tehran. Senior Iranian officials have warned the country would not easily yield to a renewed U.S. campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.

“There are a lot of escalation points that could occur very quickly and that worries me,” Barratt said.

U.S. crude inventories USOILC=ECI rose 3.8 million barrels last week as imports jumped, the government’s Energy Information Administration said. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a decline of 2.8 million barrels. [EIA/S]

However, there were some bullish elements in the report. Gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI declined by 2.5 million barrels, while crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for WTI futures USOICC=ECI fell 1.3 million barrels, EIA data showed.]]>
8/2/2018 10:58:10 AM
<![CDATA[China's yuan weakens on renewed Sino-U.S. trade tensions, despite firmer fixing]]>
U.S. President Donald Trump is looking to ratchet up pressure on Beijing for trade concessions by proposing a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

“Besides the prospect of a protracted U.S.-China trade conflict, we would note that CNY valuations are not compelling even after the recent sell-off ... China’s share of global goods exports has trended lower,” said Jonathan Cavenagh, head of currency strategy for emerging Asia at JPMorgan Chase in Singapore.

Prior to market opening on Thursday, the People’s Bank of China increased the midpoint rate for the first time in five days to 6.7942 per dollar, 351 pips, or 0.5 percent, firmer than the previous fix of 6.8293.

In the spot market, the onshore yuan opened at 6.8080 per dollar and was changing hands at 6.8170 at midday, 20 pips weaker than the previous late session close and 0.34 percent softer than the midpoint.

Yuan traders said market sentiment had been weighed down by the renewed risk of trade war, with expectations the Chinese currency would trade in a range of 6.8 to 6.85 per dollar in the near-term.

Deutsche Bank economists said in a note that trade tensions would likely put “persistent” pressure on China’s current account in the next few years, revising their forecast for the yuan to trade at 6.95 per dollar at year-end, compared with a level of 6.8 touted previously.

They now expect the yuan to finish 2019 at 7.4.

Some market participants also noted that a firmer dollar in overseas market has put the yuan under additional downward pressure.

The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept its interest rates unchanged as widely expected but characterised the economy as strong, keeping it on track to increase borrowing costs in September.

The global dollar index, a gauge of the unit’s strength against six other major currencies, had risen to 94.722 by midday, from the previous close of 94.624.

Market participants have speculated the yuan may be allowed to weaken more over the rest of the year as the government has so far been uncharacteristically hands-off in its approach to the rapidly declining currency.

The Thomson Reuters/HKEX Global CNH index, which tracks the offshore yuan against a basket of currencies on a daily basis, stood at 93.32, firmer than the previous day’s 93.28.

The offshore yuan was trading 0.22 percent weaker than onshore spot at 6.832 per dollar.

Trump to bump up proposed Chinese tariff

Offshore one-year non-deliverable forwards contracts (NDFs), considered the best available proxy for forward-looking market expectations of the yuan’s value, traded at 6.8608, 0.97 percent weaker than the midpoint.

One-year NDFs are settled against the midpoint, not the spot rate.]]>
8/2/2018 10:48:51 AM
<![CDATA[Dollar rallies on renewed trade war worries and upbeat Fed]]>
The euro fell to a one-week low as the dollar gained in early European trading. The escalation in the trade row also put pressure on the yuan and Aussie dollar, both of which have been vulnerable to a worsening trade conflict.

The safety bid for the U.S. currency was further bolstered by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

After ending its two-day policy meeting, the Fed left interest rates unchanged, as expected, and said U.S. economic growth has been rising and the job market had continued to strengthen.

Analysts said the meeting was mostly uneventful although the central bank was more positive on the economy.

“Indeed, the only change even worth highlighting from the statement was a slightly more upbeat view of growth in economic activity, which the Fed now regards as “strong” as opposed to “solid” previously,” Deutsche Bank analysts said.

U.S. administration officials said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump is proposing a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, rattling global financial markets. Equity markets fell.

The dollar index, which measures it against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.3 percent to 94.863, off last week’s 3 1/2-week low of 94.084.

The euro fell as low as $1.1626, or 0.3 percent, its weakest since July 27.

The dollar slipped 0.1 percent against the yen to 111.66 as benchmark Japanese government bond yields touched a 1 1/2-year high.

The yen’s gains were limited after it dropped on Tuesday, following the Bank of Japan’s pledge to keep rates low for an extended period.

“The yen has weakened as a result of the BOJ’s new forward guidance, but it’s not that anything major has changed,” said Minori Uchida, chief currency analyst at MUFG Bank.

“Nobody really believed anyway that the BOJ’s quantitative easing would be ended this year or next year. I think the view that the yen will weaken as a result of the BOJ’s forward guidance is fading,” he said.

The British pound fell 0.4 percent to $1.3078 before the Bank of England’s policy meeting later on Thursday. Markets widely expect it to raise rates for the second time since the global financial crisis.

The Australian dollar, seen as a proxy for Chinese growth because of Australia’s export-reliant economy, slipped 0.4 percent to around $0.7377.

China’s offshore yuan fell 0.2 percent to 6.8372.

The Mexican peso initially found support from growing optimism about the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but later fell half a percent to 18.675 as the dollar gained.]]>
8/2/2018 10:46:26 AM
<![CDATA[Sterling hits nine-day low as markets look beyond expected BoE rate hike]]>
The BoE looks set to pass a post-financial crisis milestone by finally raising interest rates above emergency levels set more than nine years ago. [nL5N1US52B]

But markets will mainly focus on comments following that decision from Bank Governor Mark Carney, especially as to whether this marks the start of a series of tightening moves.

“The balance of risks is skewed to the downside for the pound from the BoE’s policy meeting,” said Lee Hardman, a currency strategist at MUFG. “A rate hike is almost fully priced in and the BoE is unlikely to deliver a hawkish policy signal now because of softening inflation and heightened Brexit uncertainty.”

The pound fell to $1.3068, a nine-day low, and at 0815 GMT it was down 0.4 percent. Against the euro, it traded flat at 88.85 pence.

Markets are pricing in a close to 90 percent chance of a 25 basis point rate increase aimed at curbing inflation.

But sterling has fallen for three consecutive weeks against the dollar, amid worries that Britain will fail to secure a trade deal with the European Union before it exits the bloc.

London and Brussels, as well as members of Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, remain far apart on what the future trading relationship should look like.

Carney has signalled that even if Britain’s economy is growing only modestly, it risks overheating unless borrowing costs rise from their crisis-era emergency lows. But he has also stressed that all bets on where BoE rates are headed will be off, if Britain fails to get a trade deal.

Economists have challenged the need for a rate hike now, given the Brexit risks and the potential for an escalating tariff conflict between Washington and Beijing to hit the global economy.

“We continue to view even the tentative tightening embarked on since late 2017 as an unnecessary risk, and see several reasons why a hike is not justified at this point,” John Wraith, a strategist with UBS, told clients in a note.]]>
8/2/2018 10:40:36 AM
<![CDATA[Bourse gains LE3.6B, all indexes up]]>
The market capital gained LE3.6 billion to reach LE877.2 billion, after transactions that hit LE922.7 million.

The EGX 30 benchmark index went up by 0.58 percent to close at 15,670.18 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading smaller and mid cap enterprises (SME) increased by 0.44 percent to 747.78 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index rose 0.40 percent to close at 1,937.86 points.]]>
8/1/2018 4:01:12 PM