<![CDATA[rss-Business & Economics]]> All Rights Reserved for The Cairo post <![CDATA[Business & Economics]]>]]> 100 29 <![CDATA[Centamin reports better-than-expected Q1 gold output]]>
The company’s output totalled 116,183 ounces of gold for the three months ended March 31, above its forecast range of 105,000 to 115,000 ounces.

But that was lower than a year earlier when its production came in at 124,296 ounces of gold.

“Despite being the weakest quarter forecasted for 2019, it is encouraging to see the systems and process upgrades across all sections of the mine positively impacting performance,” Chief Executive Officer Andrew Pardey said.

Unit cash costs jumped 9 percent to $631 per ounce of gold produced, in keeping with its tone in February when it warned of higher costs due to increasing input costs and rising fuel, reagent and consumable prices. ]]>
4/24/2019 6:20:10 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends 4-session week in semi-collective rise]]>
This week witnessed the referendum on some constitutional amendments, and passed by passed by 88 percent with 44 percent turnout. Also, EGX will start official holidays’ session tomorrow starting by Thursday, April 25, in celebration of the liberation of Sinai from the Israeli occupation.

Trading will be resumed on Tuesday, April 30, to be off again on Wednesday, May 1, which marks Labor Day. Labor Day, also called International Workers’ Day, is a celebration of the working classes and occurs every year on May Day, an ancient European spring festival. EGX will back to trading normally on Thursday, May 2, according to EGX statement.

The benchmark EGX30 rose 0.85 percent, or 124.49 points, to close at 14,770.27 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.16 percent, or 3.55 points, to reach 2,286.37 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.05 percent, or 0.75 point, to 1,657.54 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.04 percent, or 0.25 points, to close at 649.27 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 3.78 billion, recording LE 805.61 billion, compared to LE 801.83 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 70.76 million shares, traded through 12,160 transactions, with a turnover of LE 391.83 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 41.71 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 41.12 million, and LE 597,769, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 32.83 million, and LE 3.28 million, respectively, while Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 5.3 million.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 8.28 million, and LE 44.99 million, respectively, while foreign organizations bought at LE 44.99 million.

Lecico Egypt, Mansourah Poultry, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals, were top gainers of the session by 6.91 percent, 6.08 percent and 5.07 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, National Housing for Professional Syndicates, Assiut Islamic Trading, and Alexandria Pharmaceuticals were top losers of the session by 9.04 percent, 8.17 percent, and 5.19 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Tuesday’s session in red, as EGX30 dipped 1.05 percent, EGX50 lessened 1.03 percent and EGX70 declined 0.08 percent, EGX100 decreased 0.28 percent.
]]>
4/24/2019 4:24:31 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to collect proceeds of LE 100B from state’s IPO program]]>
He added that the IPO program is expected to raise the market capitalization by LE 450 billion and to be implemented within 23 months from January 2019.

"The Egyptian government understands the importance of the stock exchanges in the development process," said Abdel Rahman during his speech at the 10th annual conference of the Arab Stock Exchanges Federation, noting that the program aims to support the market and increase the volume of trading and liquidity.

He also referred to the cooperation between the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) and Finance Ministry to put new trading system for sovereign debt instruments with fixed yields, adding that licenses should be granted to non-bank financial institutions to trade in sovereign bonds on the stock exchange, especially since the number of players in the primary bond market is estimated at 16 out of 30 banks.

The assistant minister of finance for capital market affairs said that the number of players in the bond market should increase and trading on the stock exchange should start, which will enhance transparency, thus increasing liquidity attraction to the market.
During December, the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) issued a decree allowing companies to offer and issue short-term bonds.

According to the decree, these companies included joint stock companies and shareholding companies, as well as companies authorized to engage in a non-bank financial activity after getting the authority's approval, with banks subject to the Central Bank's approval.
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4/24/2019 4:00:25 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s reform program aims to achieve sustainable growth through 3 axes]]>
Kojak pointed out that the Egyptian national economic reform program was supported by international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund by a loan of $12 billion to increase confidence in the program at the international financial institutions.

This came during his speech in a session entitled "The Challenges of Economic Reforms in the Arab Region" in the Arab Banking Conference in Beirut.

"The foreign reserves of Egypt reached unprecedented levels with balances of $44 billion, the highest level in its history, in addition to achieving a primary surplus in the state budget for the first time in a long time, along with the decline in the rate of inflation and unemployment," he said.

Kojak noted that Egypt is targeting a growth rate of 6 percent in the new fiscal year 2019/2020, from a current growth rate of about 5.5 percent, which is the second highest growth rate in the region.

Over the past three years, efforts have been coordinated between the Egyptian government agencies and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to ensure the success of the economic reform program and address the challenges of the exchange rate, unemployment, public debt and the deficit of the general budget, according to Kojak.

Earlier this month, Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it reviewed Egypt's draft budget for new fiscal year 2019/2020 in the Parliament, stating that the draft budget aims to increase the growth rate to about 6 percent, at a cost of LE 6.163 trillion.

Ma'it added that the new budget focuses on the growth of containment and sustainability to result in reducing inflation to 10.5 percent and the unemployment rate to 9 percent.

In the beginning of April, the Ministry of Finance issued the 2019/2020 preliminary budget draft and the Parliament will receive the draft at least 90 days before the start of the fiscal year on July 1 to have it signed into law by the end of June.

Following the announcement of Egypt's draft budget for 2019/2020, Moody’s Rating Agency said that Egypt’s budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 points to continued fiscal consolidation, describing it as credit positive. Moody’s expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2019/2020.
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4/24/2019 3:58:46 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, EAEU seek establishing free trade zone]]>
The talks were held for three days, said a statement by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The free trade zone comes in implementation of an agreement reached between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and head of the Eurasia economic commission Tigran Sargsyan during talks held in Moscow last October, according to the statement.

The talks took up the issues of customs cooperation, trade movement and rules of origin along with competition and prevention of monopoly, added the statement.

The agreement will help increase trade between Egypt and EAEU countries.

The EAEU, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kygryzstan and Russia covers the bulk of the Eurasian land mass and is geographically placed between the European Union and China. The EAEU has a population of some 183 million and a GDP of some US$5 trillion.]]>
4/24/2019 12:47:59 PM
<![CDATA[Hyundai Rotem to supply tunnels authority in Egypt with metro trains]]>
The meeting took up a contract to be signed between the National Authority for Tunnels and Hyundai Rotem, under which the South Korean company should supply the Egyptian authority with six metro trains to support the second metro line's fleet.

Hyundai Rotem had previously supplied the authority with 20 trains.

The meeting also took up a deal to import 32 new trains for the third metro line.

Under the signed agreements, Hyundai Rotem should continue to maintain the trains for eight years after the warranty period ends.]]>
4/24/2019 12:46:06 PM
<![CDATA[Oil falls from 6-month high on signs market not as tight as feared]]>
The International Energy Agency (IEA), a watchdog for oil consuming countries, said in a statement on Tuesday that markets are “adequately supplied” and that “global spare production capacity remains at comfortable levels.”

Also weighing on prices, U.S. crude stocks rose by 6.9 million barrels last week, more than expected, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday. EIA stocks data is due later on Wednesday.

Brent crude futures were at $74.18 per barrel at 0848 GMT, down 33 cents from their last close. It was the benchmark’s first fall after three days of rises, but it is still set for its fifth consecutive weekly gain.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $65.89 per barrel, down 41 cents from their previous settlement - not enough to steer them away from what is set to be their eighth week of gains.

Crude oil prices for spot delivery rallied after the United States said on Monday it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries halt oil imports from Tehran from May or face punitive action from Washington.

China, Iran’s biggest oil customer, has formally complained about the move.

The spot price surge has put the Brent forward curve into steep backwardation, in which prices for later delivery are cheaper than for prompt dispatch.

The United States has said it saw Saudi Arabia as a partner to balance oil markets.

“The (Saudi) kingdom will be relied upon to work with other producers to keep markets adequately supplied,” PVM said in a note.

But some analysts say the market was still fundamentally bullish.

“The factors that could lead to higher prices are overwhelming,” said Carsten Fritsch at Commerzbank, adding a push towards $80 a barrel was more likely than a fall below $70.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday its production in May will not vary greatly from previous months.

He added that Saudi Arabia will aim to stick to its output quota fixed in a deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and others, but that June numbers will be determined in a couple of weeks depending on customers’ needs.]]>
4/24/2019 12:16:22 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling at two-month lows as dollar and Brexit weigh]]>
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency versus a basket of six major rivals, hit a 22-month high overnight.

British Prime Minister Theresa May told her top team of ministers on Tuesday that talks with the opposition Labour Party aimed at finding a way forward on Brexit were serious but difficult in some areas.

The pound edged 0.1 percent lower at $1.2920, its lowest level since Feb. 19. Against the euro, the pound was broadly steady at 86.76 pence.

Some analysts saw some reason for optimism, given that a deal with the EU to delay Brexit until at least October had removed the imminent risk of Britain leaving the bloc without a deal.

“We are quite constructive about the outlook for the pound in the short term as a hard no-deal Brexit has been completely removed with the pound’s relative undervaluation becoming an attractive proposition,” said Nikolay Markov, a senior economist at Pictet Asset Management in London.

Data last week showed speculative net positions in the pound turned slightly in favour of holding long sterling positions for the first time since June 2018, according to data published by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Recent data has also been supportive for the pound. Data last week showed retail sales volumes surged by the most in nearly two-and-a-half years in annual terms, way above market expectations.]]>
4/24/2019 12:13:39 PM
<![CDATA[Samsung plans $116 billion investment in non-memory chips to challenge TSMC, Qualcomm]]>
The plan underscores the South Korean firm’s ambition to challenge bigger rivals - Taiwan’s TSMC in contract chip manufacturing and San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc in mobile processing chips - as the memory chip market contracts sharply after years of an unprecedented boom.

Global semiconductor makers are in a race to produce powerful chips to support new technologies such as fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, connected cars and artificial intelligence (AI).

In March, U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp agreed to buy Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies Ltd for $6.8 billion, beating rival Intel Corp in a deal that would help Nvidia boost its data center and AI businesses.

Samsung, which has expanded its chip business largely through organic investment, said on Wednesday its 133 trillion won ($116 billion) spending will comprise of 73 trillion won for domestic R&D and 60 trillion won for production infrastructure.

“The investment plan is expected to help the company to reach its goal of becoming the world leader in not only memory semiconductors but also logic chips by 2030,” it said in a statement.

Although Samsung does not disclose the breakdown of its investment in the semiconductor division, analysts said more than half of its total capital expenditure usually goes to memory chips.

In 2018, Samsung spent 29.4 trillion won in capital expenditure and four-fifths of the budget went to the semiconductor division where memory chips generated 96 percent of the operation’s profit.

“Samsung appears to be aggressive on the non-memory side given the size of the spending, but it is too early to tell whether this long-term plan will work out because it depends a lot on the demand situation and market conditions,” said senior analyst Song Myung-sup at HI Investment & Securities.

The aggressive investment plan in semiconductors also comes as Samsung’s smartphone business, once its biggest earnings generator, struggles to revive growth.

The world’s top smartphone maker decided this week to delay the launch of its widely anticipated foldable phone after several reviewers discovered problems with the display.

MORE JOBS

Samsung said the chip investment will create 15,000 jobs.

The firm’s heir apparent Jay Y. Lee, awaiting a Supreme Court decision on his bribery conviction, has been under pressure from the government to help create more jobs, as Asia’s fourth-largest economy is battling rising numbers of jobless college graduates partly due to slowing economic growth.

South Korea, the world’s biggest producer of memory chips thanks to Samsung and domestic rival SK Hynix Inc, also wants to reduce its reliance on memory chip sales to smoothen volatile export trends.

The government is preparing its own support program for the non-memory chip sector, an official at the industry ministry told Reuters by telephone on Wednesday, without giving further details. Local media have reported that the government announcement could come later this month.

“It is hard to figure out what Samsung really wants to focus on in terms of products, but I suspect it can be a foundry, or chips related to cameras or displays,” said Kim Sun-woo, an analyst at Meritz Securities.

With a 19 percent market share, Samsung is a distant second player in the foundry - or contract chip manufacturing - sector, trailing market champion Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), according to industry tracker TrendForce.

Samsung also produces processor chips for mobile phones in a market dominated by the likes of Qualcomm and Intel.

Shares in Samsung closed down 1 percent on Wednesday, broadly in line with the wider market’s 0.9 percent fall.

($1 = 1,150.4000 won)]]>
4/24/2019 12:11:57 PM
<![CDATA[World shares fall as China stimulus worries offset upbeat Credit Suisse earnings]]>
European shares followed Asia lower, pulling back from eight-month highs, with the pan-regional STOXX 600 index slipping 0.4 percent. Germany’s DAX was flat after a business survey showed German business morale deteriorated in April.

“The big picture is the tussle between Asia, which has pulled back, and America, where the markets made new highs, so Europe is probably going to be a bit torn between the two,” said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

“The positive for Europe is Credit Suisse’s earnings, which could reignite upbeat sentiment and show that some financials are doing well despite weak European economic sentiment and the problems from very low interest rates,” he added.

Credit Suisse’s shares rose 3.9 percent after the bank posted an unexpected rise in earnings and said it was cautiously optimistic about the second quarter following a challenging start to the year.

It posted a net profit of 749 million Swiss francs ($734 million) for the first quarter of 2019 as larger-than-expected wealth management gains offset investment banking declines.

Results from UBS Group AG and Barclays follow on Thursday and Deutsche Bank on Friday.

Top performers on the STOXX 600 were payments company Wirecard and business software company SAP, which also boosted the DAX.

Wirecard jumped 8 percent after Bloomberg reported that Japan’s SoftBank was looking to invest about 900 million euros ($1 billion) for a minority stake in the company.

SAP climbed 6 percent as the company set new medium-term profit targets after reporting a first-quarter operating loss that chiefly resulted from a restructuring charge.

In Asia, the biggest regional loser was South Korea’s KOSPI, which fell 0.9 percent, with Samsung Electronics down 1 percent.

Investors shrugged off the government’s proposed supplementary budget aimed in part at supporting exports from the country and focused instead on a warning from chipmaker Texas Instruments, which said it expects a slowdown in demand for microchips to last a few more quarters.

Chinese equities flitted between gains and losses as investors debated whether Beijing would slow its pace of policy easing following stronger-than-expected first-quarter economic growth.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, edged down 0.1 percent in early European trade.

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka’s main stock index traded at its lowest since December 2012 following the deadly Easter Sunday attacks that killed more than 350 people. Analysts have said the country’s economy might need IMF assistance to overcome the devastation from the incident.

The Turkish lira hit its weakest intraday level against the dollar since mid-October as investors worried about risks generated by challenges to Istanbul election results and strains in relations with the United States.

Market attention is also focused on the Turkish central bank’s rate-setting meeting on Thursday, when it is expected to keep its policy rate unchanged at 24 percent.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was flat at 97.644, near a 22-month high, following strong U.S. housing data.

After jumping to 2019 highs earlier this week, oil prices eased on Wednesday on signs that global markets remain adequately supplied.

Brent traded down 0.34 percent at $74.26 per barrel, while U.S. crude dipped 0.39 to $66.04 a barrel.

Gold prices dipped 0.1 percent to $1,270.60 per ounce, hovering around the four-month low touched in the previous session
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4/24/2019 12:08:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Cyprus discuss economic cooperation]]>
According to a statement by the Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ministry, the two sides focused on boosting cooperation in the energy and natural gas sector.

Mulla lauded distinguished relations between the two countries at all levels, said the statement.

He reviewed at the meeting mechanisms for enhancing cooperation among eastern Mediterranean countries in the natural gas domain.

The Cypriot speaker said strategic cooperation with Egypt especially in the natural gas sector is of special importance to his country.

There is much understanding between the two countries in this regard, he added.]]>
4/24/2019 11:41:27 AM
<![CDATA[Profits of affiliated companies doubled in 2017/18: min.]]>
Tawfik added his speech at the US Chamber of Commerce meeting to review investment opportunities in the public business sector that the total profit of the winning companies amounted to LE 18.5 billion while the total losses of losing companies hit LE 7.2 billion.

He pointed out that the net profits for the companies of the Ministry of Public Business Sector during the fiscal year 2017/2018 reached LE 11.3 billion, compared to LE 7.4 billion for the fiscal year 2016/2017, marking a growth rate of 52.2 percent.

The minister added that companies achieved revenues of LE 102.5 billion during the fiscal year 2017/2018, compared to LE 84.8 billion in the fiscal year 2016/2017, with an increase of 20.8 percent.

The volume of companies' exports and foreign activities increased 48 percent in a year on year basis, recording LE 16.5 billion.

The minister said that 119 companies are affiliated to the ministry as subsidiaries to eight holding companies, which are the Holding of Maritime and Land Transport, Misr Insurance Holding Company, Holding of Chemical Industries, Metallurgical Industries Company, Holding of Construction and Development, Cotton and Textile Industries Holding Company, the Holding Company for Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals and Medical Supplies and Holding Company for Tourism and Hotels.

Tawfik pointed out that the companies are working in many fields.
]]>
4/23/2019 5:24:22 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt expects borrowing needs to hit $48B in fiscal 2019/20]]>
The draft showed domestic borrowing would rise 45 percent to 725.2 billion pounds, while foreign borrowing would fall 36 percent to 95.6 billion pounds.

Egypt expects interest on debt to climb 23.8 percent to 541.7 billion pounds from 437.4 billion pounds a year earlier.

It plans to issue 435.1 billion pounds worth of treasury bills, against 350.8 billion pounds budgeted for the 2018/2019 fiscal year, a 24 percent increase, the draft showed.

It also foresees a 93 percent rise in treasury bond issuance to 290.1 billion pounds, from 150.3 billion.

The draft budget said decreasing interest rates on local debt would help expand the issuance of medium- and long-term bonds instead of bills.

Egypt also aimed to review the general rate of its value-added tax (VAT), the draft said, introduced as part of reforms tied to an International Monetary Fund loan. It will review the list of exemptions in the 2019/20 fiscal year.

An official at the Finance Ministry told Reuters that any change to the VAT regime would not be imminent.

“There is no intention to adjust the general price of the value-added tax in the coming period at all,” the official said. “The matter will be studied in the coming months and year. There is no specific vision or intention to adjust at the moment.”

The ministry said in a statement that “the draft budget for 2019/20 does not aim to amend or increase taxes in general”.

The document also said Egypt aimed to issue its first green bonds in the 2019/20 fiscal year to finance environmentally friendly projects.

It further aimed to raise tax revenue to 865.5 billion pounds from 759.6 billion pounds, a 13 percent increase, the document showed.

Egypt is targeting 67.1 billion pounds in revenue from taxes on cigarettes and tobacco, a rise of around 15 percent, the draft showed.]]>
4/23/2019 4:13:36 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends mid-week session red, market cap. loses LE 3.18B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 lessened 1.05 percent, or 155.48 points, to close at 14,645.78 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 1.03 percent, or 23.75 points, to reach 2,282.82 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.08 percent, or 0.51 points, to close at 649.52 points, and the broader index EGX100 declined 0.28 percent, or 4.58 point, to 1,656.79 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 3.18 billion, recording LE 805.02 billion, compared to LE 801.83 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 80.58 million shares, traded through 14,003 transactions, with a turnover of LE 476.81 million.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 101.66 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 30.82 million, and LE 70.84 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 6.35 million, and LE 615,055, respectively, while Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 23.99 million.

Arab and foreign organizations sold at LE 6.83 million, and LE 71.45 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations bought at LE 95.31 million.

El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, Arab Pharmaceuticals, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals, were top gainers of the session by 9.88 percent, 9.56 percent and 9.36 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Transport (EGYTRANS), Lecico Egypt, and Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE were top losers of the session by 12.18 percent, 8.12 percent, and 7.41 percent, respectively.

EGX showed a semi-collective regression during Monday’s session, as EGX30 dipped 0.25 percent, EGX70 lessened 0.68 percent and EGX100 declined 0.66 percent, while EGX50 rose 0.19 percent.
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4/23/2019 4:01:38 PM
<![CDATA[Electricity Min. links 19 solar plants with 920MW from Benban ]]>
He added that the total number of stations to be established is 32 stations with a capacity of 1465 MW.

Fathy told Egypt Today that the establishment of all the stations will be completed in September with a capacity of 1465 MW.

Ministry of Energy and Electricity told local newspaper earlier this month that Egypt will inaugurate in August Benban Solar Park - the largest solar power plant in the world- in Upper Egypt.

The construction of the park is being implemented in accordance with the schedule put by the government and the investors, and the park will be inaugurated by the end of this year.

In March, Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker said regarding adding Benban project’s production to the national grid that the ministry has completed the establishment of four stations to receive production from Benban.

Shaker described the project's achievements as unprecedented on the levels of investments, the volume of implementation and providing jobs to 10,000 workers, which has been confirmed by the World Bank.

Benban’s solar power project is considered one of the largest solar generation facilities in the world. The project targets to contribute to Egypt’s energy self-sufficiency. It is set to generate the equivalent of 90 percent of the energy produced by Aswan’s High Dam.
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4/23/2019 3:33:01 PM
<![CDATA[EGX attracts 0.04% foreign investment to Egypt in 2018]]>
Nasr added during her speech at the opening session of the 10th Annual Conference of the Union of Arab Stock Exchanges that the importance of the bourse is not limited to economic growth support but extends to good governance and companies disclosures, which puts it on the global investment map.

She also referred to the role of women in making decisions in the companies’ boards.
She further referred to the government’s efforts to configure the investment climate from the legislative point of view through legal amendments to the capital market and companies and investment law issuance, affirming the government’s keenness on supporting all reforms of Arab Stock Exchanges.

The 10th Annual Conference of the Federation of Arab Stock Exchanges was inaugurated by Nasr and Minister of Public Business Sector Hesham Tawfik, Chairman of EGX Mohamed Farid in the presence of First Vice President of the World Bank for the 2030 Development Agenda, and United Nations Relations and Partnerships Mahmoud Mohieldin and representatives from 34 countries.

The conference was held under the patronage of Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli as part of efforts to develop capital markets and increase the Arab stocks' role in achieving strong and sustainable economic growth that serves the Arab peoples.

Nasr called for enhancing joint cooperation to face obstacles that hinder the development of the Arab bourses to boost their role in developing and activating economy and remove all restrictions that prevent the promotion of inter-investments in securities and transfer of technology, which will strengthen the current efforts.

She also expressed hope that the conference sessions will contribute to the development of capital markets at the Arab level and increase the role of stock exchanges in attracting more investments.

For his part, Minister of Public Business Sector Tawfik elaborated that his ministry is on its way to offer one of its affiliate companies on EGX within the framework of cooperating with the private sector to develop these companies.

Moreover, Farid said that he will work with the union to make a shift in the Arab stock exchanges in light of the cooperation between the stock exchanges.

He pointed out the importance of stimulating companies and informing them of the importance of being listied in the stock markets.

Farid pointed out that one of the most important challenges facing the Arab stock exchanges is the unorganized competition with new markets, pointing out that the Arab markets have the most organized legislation.

Also, he stressed that he will work to support the companies of entrepreneurship during his tenure as the secretariat of the Arab Stock Exchanges, calling for investment in Capital markets.

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) showed a semi-collective regression during Monday’s session, as EGX30 dipped 0.25 percent, EGX70 lessened 0.68 percent and EGX100 declined 0.66 percent, while EGX50 rose 0.19 percent.

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4/23/2019 3:30:35 PM
<![CDATA[Chinese delegation visits Egypt to explore investment opportunities]]>
The delegation, headed by Zhang Guazi, includes more than 22 specialized companies in various fields including technology, mobile and electronic industries.

Head of Cairo Chamber of Commerce Ibrahim al Arabi stressed that the economic climate in Egypt improved during the last period, stating the availability of investment opportunities in several fields in the Egyptian market where Chinese investors can cooperate to benefit both countries.

Public and economic reforms applied by the Egyptian government work in favor of investors and encourage them to invest in Egypt whether through partnership or their own investments, Arabi noted.

He pointed out that the Cairo Chamber will provide all the data needed to enable the Chinese side to know the investment opportunities, the needs of the Egyptian market and ways to benefit both countries in the next phase.

For his part, Guazi said that Tong'an City is considered one of the most important industrial and investment zones in China, adding that a lot of industries have been developed especially those related to electronics, clothes, food, medical devices and medicines.

He added that his city owns more than 22 industrial fields out of 32 industrial fields in China, as well as 69,000 products, noting that the Chinese delegation includes businessmen and a specialized team to study the market.

According to the head of the Chinese delegation, their visit aims to explore the cooperation opportunities between the two countries especially since the economic climate has developed a lot in Egypt, encouraging investment.

He pointed out that the visit of the Chinese delegation to Al-Arabi Group gave them a good impression of the economy and the Egyptian climate.


]]>
4/23/2019 2:02:34 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar gains as FX volatility drops]]>
With 10-year U.S. Treasury yields up by more than 20 basis points over the past four weeks to a one-month high, demand for U.S.-denominated assets has grown.

Broader market moves were quiet as financial markets reopened after the Easter holiday.

The dollar index against a basket of six key rivals rose to 97.39, edging toward the 2019 high of 97.71 struck in early March.

“We are in a very range-bound market with the broader picture being more positive for the dollar relative to the euro after the weak eurozone PMI manufacturing data last week,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of FX strategy at Commerzbank.

Data released overnight showed U.S. existing-home sales fell more than expected in March. Figures for new-home sales will be released later in the day.

Those may provide some pointers to the state of the U.S. economy. A clearer picture should emerge from the gross domestic product report set for release on Friday.

Support for the dollar came amid a general drop in market volatility. Expected moves in the euro/dollar exchange rate over a one-month period held near a five-year low of 4.50 vol.

The dollar’s moves against the euro and sterling were small, with the single currency lower at $1.1243 and the pound up at $1.2986.]]>
4/23/2019 12:18:54 PM
<![CDATA[Oil hits highest since November as U.S. to tighten Iran sanctions]]>
Despite the move, spare capacity from other suppliers such as Saudi Arabia might be able to ensure oil markets cope with a cut in Iranian exports.

Brent crude futures were at $74.67 per barrel at 0855 GMT, up 63 cents or 0.85 percent from their last close, after hitting their highest level since November at $74.70.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures marked their strongest since October 2018 at $66.14 per barrel, up 59 cents or 0.9 percent from their previous settlement.

The United States on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.

Before the reimposition of sanctions last year, Iran was the fourth-largest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries at around 3 million barrels per day (bpd), but April exports have shrunk to below 1 million bpd, according to tanker data and industry sources.

U.S. President Donald Trump is confident that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will fulfill their pledges to make up the difference in oil markets, a U.S. official told reporters.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday that his country would “coordinate with fellow oil producers to ensure adequate supplies are available to consumers while ensuring the global oil market does not go out of balance”.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s top oil exporter and de facto leader of OPEC, which has led global supply cuts since the start of the year aimed at propping up crude prices.

The group is set to meet in June to discuss output policy.

Barclays bank said in a note that the U.S. decision took many market participants by surprise and would “lead to a significant tightening of oil markets”.

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4/23/2019 12:06:20 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling stuck below $1.30 as British parliament returns]]>
Volatility in sterling has fallen sharply in recent weeks after the European Union and London agreed to delay Britain’s departure date by up to six months, removing any immediate risks of a no-deal Brexit that would have hit the pound hard.

But the British currency has struggled to make much headway since, as traders doubt whether the talks will end in an agreement that can win the approval of lawmakers.

Data showing stronger than expected retail sales in March and a slight slowdown in inflation failed to move the pound much last week, as Brexit continues to dominate trading.

“PM (Theresa) May will again ramp up Brexit negotiations this week as the House of Commons sits again and pound volatility is set to increase,” MUFG analysts said in a note.

On Tuesday, sterling rose 0.1 percent to $1.2993 after earlier falling to as low as $1.2975, its weakest since March 11.

Against the euro it gained 0.2 percent to 86.555 pence per euro.]]>
4/23/2019 12:03:01 PM
<![CDATA[Stocks splutter as oil races to near six-month high]]>
News that the U.S. had told buyers of Iranian oil to stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions pushed Brent toward $75 a barrel and made for a lively return from the four-day Easter break for Europe’s markets. [O/R]

Oil and gas shares jumped more than 1.7 percent for their best start in six weeks, though almost every other sector suffered. So did bonds, as higher energy costs hung over profits and nudged up inflation expectations. [.EU][GVD/EUR]

Foreign-exchange market volatility was still largely absent. The dollar held near a three-week high, but the usual beneficiaries of higher oil prices, the Canadian dollar and Norwegian crown, dipped to $1.33 and $8.52 respectively. [/FRX]

“Oil is interesting, but the interesting thing for FX is that we are not getting the usual feed-through in the petrocurrencies,” said Saxo bank’s head of FX strategy, John Hardy, adding that might be caused by questions about Chinese stimulus.

Both the Canadian dollar and the crown had gained on Monday, and the Russian rouble, another petrocurrency, hit its highest against the euro in more than a year its highest against the dollar in a month.

Overnight, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares ended 0.1 percent higher and Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.2 percent. Oil and gas gains were offset by losses for airlines and other transport shares facing higher fuel costs.

The White House said after its Iran move it was working with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure oil markets were “adequately supplied,” but traders had already been worried about tight supplies.

Oil prices are up nearly 50 percent since late December, and before the re-imposition of sanctions last year Iran was the fourth-largest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, at around 3 million barrels per day.

Oil prices are “not so high that it crushes manufacturing by putting energy-price inputs up, but it is producing a nice boost to oil-producing nations,” said Robert Carnell, Singapore-based chief economist and head of research for Asia Pacific at ING.

Carnell sees Brent crude’s sweet spot at between $65 and $75 per barrel: “Above this, you may see some negative impact.”

SRI LANKA

Sri Lanka’s stock market and government bonds both fell as trading resumed after bombings had killed more than 300 people on Sunday. Tourism is likely to collapse, which would deal a serious blow to the island’s economy and financial markets.

The International Monetary Fund last month extended a $1.5 billion loan to Sri Lanka into 2020, a key step in keeping foreign investors involved in what so far this year has been a top-performing frontier debt market.

In China, major benchmarks dipped in and out of negative territory amid concern that Beijing will slow the pace of policy easing after unexpectedly strong first-quarter economic data last week.

China’s blue-chip stocks have surged over 30 percent so far this year on expectations of more stimulus and hopes Beijing and Washington will reach an agreement to end their nine-month trade dispute.

“We’ve had a fantastic run in Chinese equities year-to-date. Some profit taking is completely normal. I don’t think China is changing its policy that quickly,” said Stefan Hofer, chief investment strategist at LGT Bank Asia in Hong Kong.]]>
4/23/2019 11:56:58 AM
<![CDATA[Communications minister, WB delegation discuss promoting high-speed internet in Egypt]]>
The WB has been providing technical support for the Communications Ministry and the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) in Egypt to help them update their high-speed internet strategy.

WB experts are also helping with an economic model that, once developed, should determine areas where the IT sector could best contribute to economic growth in Egypt.

The WB has, meanwhile, organized a workshop to review success stories in the field of communications.

The workshop also pinpointed investments needed for Egypt to become a regional hub of digital infrastructure in Africa. ]]>
4/23/2019 11:00:52 AM
<![CDATA[Economic group reviews draft social insurance law, van initiative]]>
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Tourism Rania Al Mashat, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait, Minister of Trade and Industry Amr Nassar, Minister of Public Hisham Tawfiq Business Sector, alongside deputy governors of the Central Bank of Egypt Gamal Negm and Lobna Hilal took part in the meeting.

Opening the meeting, Madbouli praised Egypt's fresh Moody's rating, which reflects the the great development witnessed by the country's economic situation, and will have positive effect on the Egyptian economy and increase confidence to attract more investments.

He tasked the investment, finance and industry ministers with forming a working group to be responsible for attracting major investors worldwide, and facilitating their entry into Egypt.

The meeting reviewed a comprehensive database prepared by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, gathering international companies targeted for pumping fresh investments in oil and energy, furniture, fertilizer and petrochemical, automobile tire, food, cement, agricultural production and textile industries.

During the meeting, the minister of social solidarity reviewed objectives of the new social insurance bill.

The meeting also discussed a fresh project aiming at replacing auto rickshaws (tuk-tuks) with vans, studies related to the project, its economic feasibility and the expected effects on the target groups, especially in view of the project's ability to provide a more dignified and civilized transport service to the citizens. ]]>
4/23/2019 10:56:58 AM
<![CDATA[Cypriot investments in Egypt record $400M ]]>
Michael added that his agency is encouraging investors to pump new investments in Egypt.

This came during a meeting held between Egypt’s Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr and a delegation from Cyprus headed by President of the Cypriot Parliament Demetris Syllouris in the presence of Chairman of the board of directors of Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency and a number of members from the Cypriot Parliament.

The minister stressed Egypt's keenness to strengthen its relations with Cyprus and increase the volume of investment between the two countries, noting that the Egyptian government welcomes Cypriot investors in Egypt and has worked continuously on legislative reforms to improve the investment climate.

She noted that the Egyptian Parliament, headed by Ali Abdel Aal, supports the investment climate.

Nasr pointed to the areas of cooperation between the two countries, where three memoranda of understanding have been signed in the last joint committee between Egypt and Cyprus, including one to strengthen the bilateral investment relations between the two countries to facilitate foreign direct investment procedures and encourage parties to exchange business delegations and promote joint investment-related activities.

For his part, the president of the House of Representatives of Cyprus affirmed his country's full support for Egypt's efforts to achieve economic progress, emphasizing the strength of relations between the two countries.

He praised the development of the tripartite economic cooperation mechanism between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, which is a regional model for cooperation in economic, investment and development projects between the neighboring countries, benefitting the peoples of the three countries.

“We will cooperate to develop investments in both countries,” Syllouris said, elaborating that the Parliament encourages Cypriot investors to invest in Egypt, in view of the favorable environment for investors. He stressed that Egypt is a central partner of Cyprus and a key pillar for establishing security and stability in the region.

He also pointed out to his aspiration to take concrete steps that contribute to strengthening bilateral cooperation and friendship between the two countries and thanked Egypt for supporting Cyprus in all international forums.

Moreover, the Cypriot delegation visited the Investors Services Center and praised the speedy provision of the services by the center, which includes representatives from more than 65 entities, issuing all licenses and responding to investors' inquiries.

]]>
4/22/2019 5:15:14 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows semi-collective regression Monday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 lessened 0.25 percent, or 37.37 points, to close at 14,801.26 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.68 percent, or 4.48 points, to close at 650.03 points, and the broader index EGX100 declined 0.66 percent, or 10.99 point, to 1,661.37 points.

On the other hand, the equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.19 percent, or 4.39 points, to reach 2,306.57 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 562.69 million, recording LE 805.02 billion, compared to LE 804.46 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 72.54 million shares, traded through 12,548 transactions, with a turnover of LE 340.21 million.

Egyptian investors were net buyers at LE 16.75 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 15.77 million, and LE 974,218, respectively.

Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 16.99 million, and LE 2.37 million, respectively, while Egyptian individuals were net buyers at LE 8.81 million.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 7.94 million, LE 1.21 million and LE 1.39 million, respectively.

El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops, Arab Pharmaceuticals, and Sabaa International Company for Pharmaceutical and Chemical, were top gainers of the session by 9.11 percent, 8.72 percent and 8.28 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Oriental Weavers, Saudi Egyptian Investment & Finance, and Assiut Islamic Trading were top losers of the session by 13.90 percent, 7.60 percent, and 6.46 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s session in red, as EGX30 dipped 0.25 percent, EGX50 lessened 0.74 percent, EGX70 declined 0.64 percent, and EGX100 dropped 0.59 percent.


]]>
4/22/2019 4:29:32 PM
<![CDATA[CBE hosts 2 workshops to enhance integration of payment systems in Africa]]>
The CBE said in a statement on Monday that the three-day workshops focused on enhancing integration on the systems of regional payment and developing a strategy for regional integration on payment via mobile phones in Africa.

The workshops were held in the presence of payment directors of the 40 member banks of AACB and a host of regional and international banking experts.

Lobna Helal, CBE deputy governor, said hosting the workshops reflects the leading role played by the CBE to cement cooperation among the AACB members and strengthen coordination with international and regional institutions to improve the economic and banking systems.

Helal added that playing host to the workshops is meant to achieve development and integration of African economic ties in light of Egypt’s chairmanship of the African Union. ]]>
4/22/2019 4:10:12 PM
<![CDATA[Oil sector adopts integrated strategy to achieve Egypt 2030 vision]]>
He clarified during the opening of the second Egyptian Petroleum Sector Energy Efficiency Conference (EPEEC) 2019 that the strategy aims to increase the role of the sector in the overall development process, maximize the benefits of Egypt’s natural resources and assets and increase the proceeds.

Molla noted that a program for improving the efficiency of energy use was set within the developing project of the sector, which was able in two years to achieve numerous positive results, including saving in energy consumption by LE 350 million annually through rationalizing consumption in 13 oil companies.

The minister announced starting the implementation of energy conservation projects funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the two companies manufacturing oil and gas and to the near completion of the study to improve the efficiency of energy use and modernize production units at Alexandria Petroleum.

He further pointed out that the conference aims to exchange experiences and opinions to reach joint projects in the field of improving energy efficiency and producing promising results that will help achieve greater stability and sustainable economic growth.

Molla also referred to the importance of concerted efforts to agree on a unified program between the sector companies and foreign partners targeting sustainability of energy efficiency in the Egyptian petroleum sector.

The two-day conference will witness four sessions during its second day that will address in greater depth the latest technologies used in the field of energy efficiency, ways to develop a framework and policies for this vital area and reviewing models in the field of training in energy efficiency.
]]>
4/22/2019 2:35:44 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports of cement hit $19M in 2 months]]>
ECBM clarified in a report that cement exports in February recorded $8 million, compared to $9 million in the same months of 2018, noting that Egypt exported cement to 26 countries during February including five new countries which are: Japan, Cyprus, Slovenia, Spain, France and China.

The report pointed out that the Libyan market is ranked first in terms of cement importing countries by $2.9 million compared to $1.2 million during the same month of 2018, with an increase of 144 percent, followed by Yemen with $1.5 million, compared to $1.6 million, with a decline of 6 percent.

Cement exports to the United States amounted to $1.13 million, compared to $742,000 in February 2018, with an increase of 53 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia with $396,000, compared to $450,000 in February 2018, with a decrease of 12 percent.

Lebanon came in the fifth place with a value of $360,000, compared to $300,000 in the same month last year, with a rise of 20 percent.

The expected revenues of iron and cement in the upcoming budget of fiscal year 2018/2019 recorded LE 300 million ($17 million) of the total revenues of LE 989 billion.


]]>
4/22/2019 12:37:58 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.7B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a 10-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a five-year term.

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

The ministry said it will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth 4.75 billion, three-year bonds (maturing in June 2022)worth LE 2 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) for LE 5.75 billion, and seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) at LE 5 billion. It will also auction 10-year t-bonds (maturing in November 2027) at a total value of LE 1.5 billion, and 10-year t-bonds (maturing in May 2029) at LE 2.75 billion.

It also clarified that during April, it will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth 2.75 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) worth LE 2 billion, seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) for LE 2 billion, and ten -year bonds (maturing in November 2027) at LE 1.5 billion.

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Egypt conducted financial treatments of treasury bills and bonds' taxes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
4/22/2019 12:36:25 PM
<![CDATA[Dollar firm in thin post-holiday trade, loonie up as oil prices jump]]>
Financial markets in Australia, Hong Kong and many major countries in Europe are closed on Monday for the Easter holiday. Currency trading continues globally but volume is expected to be light.

The dollar was lackluster against the loonie as crude oil prices rose more than 2 percent following a Washington Post report the United States is likely to ask all importers of Iranian oil to end their purchases or will be subject to U.S. sanctions. [O/R]

The greenback has found support in recent weeks on the back of a gradual rise in U.S. 10-year Treasury yields and signs of strength in the world’s top economy, including better-than-expected retail sales in March, following a weak start to the year.

“It’s better to say that the euro has been weak rather than that the dollar is strong,” said Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities.

“Traders have mostly priced in the weakness of the euro zone economy by now,” Ishizuki said. “It’s a little bit difficult to see the euro weakening further from here, so I think it will be hard for the dollar to strengthen.”

The dollar index was last down a tenth of a percent at 97.383, drifting slightly lower after booking a 0.4-percent gain last week.

The index remained within striking distance of its 2019 high of 97.71 brushed in early March.

Investors’ immediate focus will be on U.S. existing home sales for March, due at 1400 GMT, for further clues on the health of the U.S. economy.

“Yields on U.S. bonds have picked up a bit. I think the dollar is bought to a certain extent in reaction to that,” said Kazushige Kaida, head of foreign exchange at State Street Bank.

In February, U.S. home sales surged to their highest in 11 months, as the housing market showed renewed momentum following a pause in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The euro gave up nearly 0.1 percent to $1.1240, adding to last week’s losses of nearly half a percent after data on Thursday showed that activity in Germany’s manufacturing sector shrank for a fourth straight month in April.

Sterling was last a shade lower at $1.2996, dipping below the $1.30 handle and nearly 0.4 percent off a two-month low of $1.2945 hit last month.

A Canadian dollar coin, commonly known as the "Loonie", is pictured in this illustration picture taken in Toronto January 23, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch
The Canadian dollar gained about a quarter of a percent to C$1.3360 on the back of the rise in crude oil prices following the Washington Post report.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was about 0.1 percent higher at 111.94 yen, within reach of this year’s peak of 112.17 hit on Wednesday last week.

Starting on Saturday, on Japan will have an unprecedented 10-day holiday from late April to early May to mark the ascension of the new emperor, Crown Prince Naruhito.

Daiwa’s Ishizuki said he expected currency trading by Japanese investors to remain relatively light as traders and companies are shifting into holiday mode.
]]>
4/22/2019 11:44:28 AM
<![CDATA[Asia stocks slip, oil near six-month peak as U.S. prepares to tighten Iran sanctions]]>
Brent and U.S. crude futures surged to nearly six-month highs on news reports that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce “that as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate.”

The potential disruption to Iranian supplies are expected to add to an already tight oil market.

“The U.S. chief Iran hawks indeed have the President’s ear as (Secretary of State) Pompeo and (National Security Advisor) Bolton are singularly focused on bringing Iran’s economy to its knees,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading at SPI Asset Management.

“Predictably oil prices are rising,” he said.

Following the Good Friday holiday, markets in Britain, Germany and France will remain closed for Easter Monday, while those in the United States will reopen.

The S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.19 percent.

Asian equities dipped after Chinese stocks retreated from a 13-month high as comments from top policymaking bodies raised investor fears that Beijing will slow the pace of policy easing after some signs of stabilization in the world’s second-largest economy. [.SS]

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.3 percent, edging away from a nine-month peak scaled last week after Chinese economic data beat expectations and eased concerns about the health of the world economy.

The Shanghai Composite Index was down 1.3 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI edged down 0.2 percent and Japan’s Nikkei was little changed.

In currencies, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was a touch lower at 97.391.

The index was still within touching distance of a 1-1/2-month peak reached on Thursday after steady U.S. retail sales data.

The euro was little changed at $1.1239, having taken a hit late last week after purchasing managers’ index (PMI) releases showed weak manufacturing activity in Europe.

The dollar was steady at 111.925 yen.

The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in risk sentiment, inched down 0.25 percent to $0.7137.

The Canadian dollar, on the other hand, added 0.25 percent to C$1.3363 thanks to a bounce in crude oil prices.

Brent crude futures were up 2.5 percent at $73.76 per barrel after brushing $74.31, the highest since Nov. 1, 2018.

U.S. crude futures climbed to $65.87 per barrel, highest since Oct. 31, 2018.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers. Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.

Crude extended gains from last week, when a drop in crude exports from OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and a draw in U.S. drilling rigs and oil inventories supported prices. [O/R]

Spot gold was up 0.26 percent at $1,278.11 an ounce, bouncing from $1,270.63 in the previous session - its lowest since Dec. 27, 2018. Gold is positively correlated to oil as the metal is often seen as a hedge against oil-led inflation. [GOL/]

]]>
4/22/2019 11:38:05 AM
<![CDATA[NBK to increase its share market in Egyptian retail sector]]>
He added in a statementthat the expanding will be in the retail sector – as an example- through transferring the bank's expertise in providing technological solutions to the biggest market in the region in terms of population.

Earlier in April, Saker said that there are several opportunities to invest in the different sectors of the Egyptian market, stating that the NBK Group intends to expand investments in the Egyptian market during the coming stage, he said.

In a TV interview, Saker said that the Egyptian market is a major market in the region.
"The NBK Group will expand activities in the sectors of retail, companies and small and medium-sized enterprises," he added.

NBK: Several opportunities to invest in Egyptian market

KUWAIT CITY - 16 April 2019: CEO of the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) Group Isam Jasem al Sager has said that there are several opportunities to invest in the different sectors of the Egyptian market. The NBK Group intends to expand investments in the Egyptian market during the coming stage, he said.



]]>
4/21/2019 5:04:42 PM
<![CDATA[Planning Ministry, AUC, KCL agree to upgrade skills of civil servants]]>
Egypt is keen on investing in human resources as part of its 2030 vision, said Planning Minister Hala el Saeed Sunday.

Under the deal, the AUC and KCL should implement a model program to train a number of senior officials of the different ministries, Saeid said, noting that this is meant to boost institutional reform in the country.

The Rowad 2030 project aims to spread the culture of entrepreneurship and free work. It is also meant to advance development, diversify sources of income, provide employment opportunities, provide assistance and develop youth capacities. ]]>
4/21/2019 3:36:02 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to experiment 5G during 2019 Africa Cup of Nations]]>
Talaat added that Huawei will apply the first experiments of this technology in Cairo Stadium during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations set to be held in Egypt.

This came during the meeting held between Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli and Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Huawei Investment & Holding Co. Li Jie, and Regional President of the company in North African Robinson Tsai, in the presence of CEO of Huawei Egypt Vincent Sun.

The prime minister pointed out the importance of Huawei's investment in this positive climate to boost its investment in Egypt, especially in the field of smart city technology and other fields that Egypt is paying increasing attention to.

For his part, Jie affirmed his company's increasing interest in the Egyptian market, stressing the company's keenness to contribute to enhancing development sectors in the country.

He said that Huawei is particularly interested in the field of training to hone skills of cadres around the world, adding that the company is willing to boost cooperation with Cairo to help the government and private sector achieve technological development.

]]>
4/21/2019 3:27:19 PM
<![CDATA[Arab individual selling pushes EGX into red zone Sunday]]>
The benchmark EGX30 lessened 0.25 percent, or 37.74 points, to close at 14,838.63 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 dropped 0.74 percent, or 17.19 points, to reach 2,302.18 points.

Moreover, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.64 percent, or 4.23 points, to close at 654.51 points, and the broader index EGX100 declined 0.59 percent, or 9.93 point, to 1,672.36 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 5.95 billion, recording LE 804.46 billion, compared to LE 810.4 billion in Thursday's session.

The trading volume reached 47.53 million shares, traded through 9,171 transactions, with a turnover of LE 190.65 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 14.41 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 13.51 million, and LE 899,878, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 24.15.75 million, and LE 181,911, respectively, while Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 19.93 million.

Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 5.53 million, and LE 717,967, respectively, while Egyptian organizations sold at LE 10.64 million.

United Housing & Development, EDRs Of Al Salam Holding Company, and Kafr El Zayat Pesticides, were top gainers of the session by 6.81 percent, 4.48 percent and 3.08 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, El Nasr for Manufacturing Agricultural Crops, Arabian Food Industries (DOMTY), and Sabaa International Company for Pharmaceutical and Chemical were top losers of the session by 7.82 percent, 6.31 percent, and 6.21 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday's session on mixed note, as EGX30 inched up 0.08 percent, EGX50 rose 0.10 percent, while EGX70 declined 0.68 percent, and EGX100 dropped 0.55 percent.
]]>
4/21/2019 3:22:41 PM
<![CDATA[Trade minister extends fees on crust leather exports for 1 year]]>
The decision is meant to meet local demands for crust leather, said Dr Amany el Wassal, head of the agreements sector at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Sunday, adding that this should also help increase the value added of national products.

Applicable since 2017, the fees have contributed to reducing prices of crust leather in Egypt and have positively reflected on final products, Wassal added.

Crust leather is the leather which is dried after tanning but has not yet been dyed. ]]>
4/21/2019 2:27:47 PM
<![CDATA[Pioneers starts compulsory purchase on shares of Egyptian Electric Cables ]]>
The compulsory purchase was submitted by the investment arm of Pioneers Holding Company for Financial Investments (SAMO Consultancy and FLORISH Investment &Wadi Consulting).

Pioneers Holding Company and its subsidiaries own 48.5 percent of Egyptian Electric Cables Company, which will rise to 68 percent after the compulsory purchase is completed.

The capital of Electric Cables Company reaches LE 711.45 million.

The company clarified in a statement that it will purchase around 134.43 million shares with a total value of LE 188.24 million.

In November, Pioneers announced its investment arm, Samo Consulting Company, offered a compulsory purchase on the supplementary percentage to 100 percent of shares of its subsidiary Egyptian Electric Cables Company at a price of LE 1.35 per share.

The company clarified earlier that this decision comes as part of the group’s strategy to increase its capital by LE 1.08 billion to consolidate the investments by adding and increasing direct investment in existing restricted or unrestricted investments to be reflected on the return of these investments.

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

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

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

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

It has 34 subsidiaries operating across North America, North Africa and the Middle East. Pioneers Holding is based in Cairo, Egypt and was established in March 2007.
]]>
4/21/2019 1:49:08 PM
<![CDATA[Aramco to buy Shell's stake in Saudi refining JV for $631M]]>
The purchase, which is part of Aramco’s strategy to expand its downstream operations, will be completed later this year, they said in a joint statement.

Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Co (SASREF), based in Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia, has a crude oil refining capacity of 305,000 barrels per day (bpd).

“Saudi Aramco will take full ownership and integrate the refinery into its growing downstream portfolio. SASREF will continue to be a critical facility in our refining and chemicals business,” Abdulaziz al-Judaimi, Aramco’s senior vice president of downstream, said in the statement.

Aramco aims to become a global leader in chemicals and the world’s largest integrated energy firm, with plans to expand its refining operations and petrochemical output.

For Shell, “the sale is part of an ongoing effort to focus its refining portfolio, integrating with Shell trading hubs and chemicals,” the company said.

Shell has sold over $30 billion of assets in recent years as it shifts its focus to lower carbon businesses such as natural gas and petrochemicals.]]>
4/21/2019 1:26:13 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17.2B 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 8.7 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April, t-bills come with matures of a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.

Finance Ministry to auction LE 184B in T-bonds, bills in April

CAIRO - 1 April 2019: The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April. The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.




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

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

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




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

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
4/21/2019 11:41:02 AM
<![CDATA[Scholarship’s share hit 3 billion in 2019]]>
Scholarship revenues of the fiscal year 2018/2019 hit 0.34 percent of the overall public revenues, and 0.24 percent of the public expenditure.

Other revenues hit LE 274 billion (about 4.4 percent of the GDP).The surplus of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation was about LE 19 billion with a rate of growth of about 75.9 percent in the fiscal year 2018/2019.

While the surplus of Suez Canal Authority reached LE 36.142 billion with a growth rate of 9.7 percent, compared to LE 32.96 billion in the previous year, according to the Ministry of Finance's official statement.

Egypt's economy has achieved its highest growth rate within a decade to reach 5.5 percent thanks to the economic reform program adopted by the government, Planning Minister Hala el Saaed said on the sidelines of the 44th annual meeting of Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) board of governors, held on April 5-6 in Marrakesh.

The decline of the monthly inflation rate to 11.1 percent in December 2018, the lowest in 33 months - since 2016, is among the positive indicators combined with the notable retreat of the average inflation rate in the first half of 2018/2019 to record 14.1 percent ,compared to 30.2 percent in the same period of 2017/2018, Saaed said.
]]>
4/20/2019 1:30:07 PM
<![CDATA[Shopping, news, inspiration: Top 3 things Egyptians are using the internet for]]>
A study performed by AOL looked at ‘why’ this is the case. Through the exploration of over 55,000 customer interactions with online content, they found that individuals engage with customers in eight different ways—the research refers to this as the “content moment.” These content moments rely on: The motivations for initiating the content experience, the emotions felt during the experience, the outcomes of the content, and the topic of the content. This is measured before customers go to use online platforms, during and after.

A look through Facebook, or other social media platforms, shows that there is an increasing number of groups that serve to allow people to chat and review products. Whether for car parts, hair products, vitamins, or so on, customers are now turning to the internet to answer the questions: What is your experience with this product? What is your review for this product? How do you use it? As research has show over the past couple of years, more and more companies have changed their habits and strategies in accordance with these behavioral changes, turning to putting their products online, giving offers for those who are willing to write reviews, and even paying people to try their products and write a review.

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%, and active mobile social media users are at 35 million, meaning about 36% 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% in April 2017, up from 27.37% 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% 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% in Egypt.

What do Egyptians use the Internet for?

Egypt Today interviewed 50 people in different shopping centers, 50 university students and 100 people on the street, from varied backgrounds, with the aim of finding out how much time they spend online, what they do online and which device they usually utilize when browsing the web.

Out of the 200 people surveyed, 82% indicated that they access the internet, 84% of whom said that they use the internet on a daily basis. All 50 university students indicated that they use the internet on a daily basis; interestingly, this also holds true for all those interviewed in shopping centers. Those who revealed that they do not use the internet cited reasons like not knowing how to use it or not being technologically-savvy. Northwestern University’s study reports that 33% of those who do not use the internet in Egypt do not find it useful or are not interested in its use, according to a survey they conducted.

All respondents in our survey who were internet users cited interacting with friends, partners and loved ones at home and abroad as a primary reason for using the internet. As it stands, the percentage of people taking part in online calls has now increased to 43%, up from 2015’s 37% and 2013’s 8%, as per the study carried out by Northwestern University. The second most-cited reason for using the internet was conducting research; meanwhile, the third and fourth most-cited reasons were checking news agencies and media outlets, and online shopping, respectively. Research carried out by other agencies and organizations support these findings.

In January 2018, SimilarWeb released its ranking of top websites accessed by Egyptians. The first 10 websites suggest, when aggregated, that the Internet is mostly used for searching information, followed by social media usage, checking news and media and online shopping. Alexa’s rankings of top websites visited reflected a similar result.

Meanwhile, consultancy and analysis platform GlobalWebIndex found that the average time Egyptians spend on social media platforms each day from all devices is three hours and nine minutes. Meanwhile, Egypt’s internet users spend about three hours and 19 minutes on average viewing broadcasts, streaming videos and playing online games. Meanwhile, Egypt’s internet users spend about an hour and 11 minutes on average streaming music every day. According to Facebook’s records, there are 39 million Egyptians registered on Facebook and 10 million active Instagram users.

Internet users also use the Internet for training and e-commerce. Research carried out by the Northwestern University found that 4% of Egyptians go online to participate in job training programs, online degrees or training and certification problems.

Reflecting somewhat similar findings, the Egypt Today survey found that 79.8% of those who use the internet have searched online for products and services or have visited an online retail store. Despite this high percentage, only about 30% actually purchase a product or service online, and barely any admitted to online banking. Speaking about why they do not buy online as often as they check for prices online and why they do not engage in online banking, many of those interviewed cited security and the lack of clear guidelines penalizing hackers.

A common belief among those surveyed was that information and money online are not safe and could be hacked. One of those interviewed gave the example of recent Bitcoin hacks, suggesting that e-banking, albeit useful and efficient, could be easily targeted. Thus, cybersecurity was cited as the main reason for not working online. This finding fits with that of the World Bank Global Financial Inclusion Data, which reveals that the percentage of the population aged over 15 participating in online banking services is limited and minimal. A mere 2% of male Internet users make use of Internet payments, while only 0.8% of women do so.

Fiber technology expected to increase internet penetration

On March 13, 2018, Egypt inaugurated two factories set to produce fiber optic cables with the aim of revolutionizing internet connection between cities, while also meeting local demand and exporting regionally. Sixteen cities, so far, are slated to be connected via fiber optic cables.

The move towards the production and export of fiber optic cables comes under the government’s smart cities move and President Abdelfattah al-Sisi’s “Egypt Produces Technology” initiative.

In cooperation with China, the smart cities will be built with advanced technological infrastructure based on fiber optical cables offering high speeds in the transmission of digital data and information ranging between 100 to 200 megabits per second, depending on the technological structure’s strength.

The factory aims to manufacture the “core” or mold, a thin ultra-clear glass transporting light, which is one of the most important components of fiber optical cables. Only a limited number of factories globally produce this material, meaning that Egypt is set to penetrate a critical market that enjoys very high demand.

The factory will also manufacture micro-trenching cables, a new technology that can be implemented without digging up the roads via a technique called blowing fiber. These cables, which save 30% in time and money, require only 10 centimeters below the surface of the ground.
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4/19/2019 2:00:18 PM
<![CDATA[The revival of inter-african trade]]>
The continent is also still posting good performance in terms of attractiveness for foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows, according to the African Union. Still, the economy is not without its shortcomings.

However, no continent is without its issues. Africa faces a huge challenge with connectivity, which, in part, comes as the result of the number of languages spoken in the continent, and a lack of infrastructure, which comes as a result of lack of funding, and leads to African countries not being able to trade with other countries in the continent. To deal with this issue, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) developed BizNet, an online platform that connects producers in different African countries, has launched three years ago in nine different countries. The BizNet is currently home to 3,000 buyers and sellers. The aim of the platform, according to Gallina Tembo from the CBC, is to connect companies, businesses and actors in different industries in Africa.

BizNet Dissected

According to Sandra Uwera, Chief Executive Officer of COMESA, “Egypt is expanding into the COMESA.” This is because, as Tasara Mazoroni put it, “the COMESA provides African countries with the opportunity for cheaper products and more profit as the products are not subject to duty upon import. Therefore, the free trade agreement between COMESA countries should make originating products cheaper, due to them having less cost.”

Mazorini also points out another two important consequences that will come as a result of BizNet. First, BizNet will provide an “Incentive for foreign direct incentives [FDIs].” Second, it will “increase intra-regional investments and increase small-scale cross border imports and exports,” both of which are expected to reflect positively on Egyptian GDP.

The project, according to experts, aims to increase local sourcing from growth sources. In doing so, the project aims to increase the income of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), increase the number of local sourcing by the buyers and to increase access to market and increase the number of contracts signed. The platform also aims to ensure an exchange of expertise occurs and that more ideas are thought of. The platform also serves as a portal for businesses and business personnel to seek information about the industry within which they work in different countries. Through increasing information potential, the platform creates business linkages and connects information-seekers with others who know market specifics and company specifics.

The project’s expected outputs have already started to materialize. SMEs have been trained, and continue to be trained, on HACCP, towards certification level, connect companies and SMEs, ensuring that companies are standing behind SMEs to ensure their growth and build more connected networks and higher output for gross domestic product (GDP).

So far, the project has had great success in all the countries that it has been implemented. It is expected, as per the COMESA and CBC, that the project, especially the BizNet platform, will increase economic development in Egypt significantly and connect it more to the continent.

Inter-trade challenges in Africa

“Africa needs investment. We need to work on ways to transform simple ideas to projects and to reality. Investment is the route for African economic transformation,” Director of Economic Affairs at the African Union Commission René N’Guettia Kouassi, tells Egypt Today. On the challenges facing Africa, Kouassi explains that the biggest challenge facing Africa’s economic development is infrastructure. “We have the challenge of infrastructure; we cannot invest when there is no infrastructure. Infrastructure is one of the conditions for having investment; whether roads, telecommunications or whatever. Africa needs to have infrastructure of all kinds. We also need to have an abundance of low-cost electricity. Africa needs to be more competitive in terms of producing quality goods at a low cost to ensure that our products are attractive; this is how to increase African attractiveness.”

However, infrastructure is not the only problem facing Africa. Of the annual $93 billion that the World Banks estimates needs to be invested in Africa to close the infrastructure gap, only about half is financed, explains Asfour. Confirming this, the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostics (AICD) estimates that only about $45 billion are spent annually, leaving a gap of about $48 billion. However, not everyone seems to think that Africa has a financing problem. On the vicious cycle of needing money to make money that many claim exists in Africa, Kouassi explains, “There is money in Africa—there is a lot of money—but we need to find ways to collect funding for the causes that we want to fund. There is a need to raise the fiscal revenue in Africa and mobilize this money into bettering Africa. We need to promote good governance policy, both political and economic; if we do not have it, no foreign direct investment will come to us.”

In line with the infrastructure issue, there also seems to be a connectivity issue caused by lack of solid and sufficient infrastructure, leaving countries unable to carry out business to their full potential. In previous statements, Sherif Al-Gabaly, Head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, said, “Egypt is the strongest industrial country in Africa.” As per Al-Gabaly, Egypt has great potential and the capacity to fulfil the import needs of African countries. However, there are two issues that stand in the way of African development; connectivity and industrial integration between countries. There needs to be a better connectivity system between African countries, as well as within the countries. Al-Gabaly gave the example of the highway being built from Egypt to South Africa, suggesting that more projects like this needs to be carried out. He added that COMESA Business Council should help ensuring the industrial integration between countries.

The bottom line remains for Harrison that Africa has a problem of poverty and underdevelopment, despite having significant natural resources and a young population; an overarching message that was discussed throughout the forum. “The continent continues to be characterized by all the features of underdevelopment, including a low level of human development, industrialisation, manufacturing and productivity as well as dependence on the primary sector. Africa’s private sector, on the other hand, is specifically characterized by small size and informality, weak linkages, low level of competitiveness and lack of innovation; however, it’s important to note that not all is groom,” says the Commissioner. It is time to invest in human capital and the population, is his key message.

The AU’s vision, “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena,” can only be realized with the full participation of all stakeholders and with people becoming key players in the equation.

CBC Intervention

Given the fact that Africa’s population will overtake those of China and India combined by 2060, as it is expected to reach 2.7 billion, the opportunity has not come to connect together and work together for a prosperous future.

This presents a great opportunity for investors to capitalize on a market characterized by a growing middle class of consumers of manufactured goods, set to reach 1.1 billion in 2016, an increase from 355 million in 2010. The population of those living in poverty is set to decrease, with the portion of the population living on less that $1.25 per day expected to decline to 33.3% in 2016 from 2010’s 44%. The signing of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by African Member States has led to an increasing interest in infrastructure investment, which is both directly and indirectly correlated with faster development, and is set to create attractive economic zones within Africa. Although intra-African cross-border investments have increased over the past decade, they still only account for 19% of total investments to Africa, and 12% of Africa’s total foreign investment, compared to 33% in Asia, according to Amany Asfour, Chairperson of the COMESA Business Council and World President of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW).

CBC is the recognized Business Member Organization (BMO) of the COMESA. It represents the private sector interests at the highest levels of the decision-making process and continuously pushes for positive change.

The CEO of the CBC told Egypt Today, “The CBC the only formally recognized business organization in the region. It is the only business council who are mandated to sit, discuss and influence the business decisions of the private sector.” The CBC organization does not merely observe, it also acts and influences positive change, she explained.

The private sector, Uwera pointed out, is the “backbone” of every economy, and an economy such as Egypt’s stands to benefit much from its expansion into the COMESA, something that the CBC has witnessed over the past few years. “Egypt is expanding into the COMESA,” stated Uwera during her opening speech.

Agreeing with Uwera on Egypt’s great power in the continent and the huge profits it stands to make from expanding into the COMESA countries, Sherif al-Gabaly, head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, said, “Egypt is the strongest industrial country in Africa.” As per Gabaly, Egypt has a great potential and has the capacity to fill in the import needs of the African countries. There is a need to cooperate more with African counties to increase business with them, explained Gabaly.

As it stands, the participation of Egyptian industries in the COMESA countries has numerous benefits; for example, the Egyptian exports to COMESA states have no added duty charges or fees, in addition the Egyptian businesses will pay less costs in deals made with the COMESA states, as logistical and shipping costs are less; however, the products will be sold at prices equal to or higher than their usual prices.
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4/19/2019 1:54:41 PM
<![CDATA[NOMP, EGAS ink cooperation protocol to manufacture smart gas meters]]>
The protocol aims at improving and producing prepayment gas meters that are smart and up to the international standards.

According to the protocol, the Ministry of Military Production will manufacture the prepayment smart gas meters, present technical support during the operation of the meters and give training courses to those working on the operation of the meters in EGAS.

The protocol aims at exchanging technical and technological expertise along with data related with producing the meters.

The protocol comes within the framework of cooperating with the Egyptian companies to support and encourage local industries and products.]]>
4/18/2019 6:03:58 PM
<![CDATA[Oil min. witnesses signing of gas project at New Administrative Capital]]>
The protocol, which was inked between Cairo Gas company and the Administrative Capital For Urban Development company, is aimed at completing the necessary basic infrastructure to supply natural gas service to government buildings at the district.

During the signing ceremony, el Molla said the latest positive developments at the New Administrative Capital affirm the deep insight of Egypt's political leadership on this mega national project.

The petroleum minister pointed out that his ministry is giving more time to accelerate the supply of natural gas to all vital national projects carried out by the state.

The aim behind speeding up the supply of natural gas to new housing projects is to meet the state's needs of continuous urban expansion of natural gas service, el Molla added.

For his part, Ahmed Zaki Abdeen, Chairman of the Administrative Capital For Urban Development company, said the project targets supplying natural gas to all government buildings stretching on an area of 153 feddans.

Also, Abdeen asserted the importance of cooperation with the petroleum ministry in this giant national project, especially with regard to work related to the supply of natural gas.

On his part, the head of Cairo Gas company said the pace of work at the project will be accelerated to compete the supply of natural gas to these buildings as per the set timetable. ]]>
4/18/2019 6:01:30 PM
<![CDATA[EETC, IFC to set up 700 megawatt solar plant west of Nile]]>
Sabah Mashaly, chairman of the EETC, said the deal comes as part of the electricity ministry's efforts to expand renewable energy projects and encourage the private sector to engage more in these investments.

This is the first project to be carried out under the Auction system, she added.

Other projects with the private sector were carried out under other systems, including BOO (build, own, operate), public–private partnership (PPP) and the the feed-in-tariff (FiT).

Director of the IFC PPP services Monier Fayrouzi expressed happiness over taking part in designing and executing the first solar power station tender.

He said the IFC will act as a consultant to the project in all dealings related to the EETC as it will work on building its successful program for renewable energy. ]]>
4/18/2019 5:59:50 PM
<![CDATA[Banque du Caire to be listed on EGX, int'l exchange during 2019]]>
Fayed added that it's expected to offer around 20 to 30 percent of the bank's shares on EGX before the end of this year for $300 to $400 million.

About the timing of the offering, Fayed said that it depends on the conditions of the global markets.

Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer told Bloomberg earlier that Egypt plans to offer a stake of Banque du Caire on EGX by the end of this year.

Banque du Caire is one of the largest public banks in Egypt and is wholly owned by Banque Misr, Egypt's second largest bank.

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

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

In 2018, Egypt delayed listing shares of state-owned companies on the Egyptian Exchange, such as the 4.5 percent stake of Eastern Company slated for October. The government attributed the delay to volatility in the global market, noting that if the shares had been floated, they would have failed to be covered at proper valuation.

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

As part of the economic reform program, the government targets offering 15-30 percent of stakes in state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX) to increase funding to Egyptian companies, maximize the benefit from state assets, and attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.
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4/18/2019 5:58:25 PM
<![CDATA[WB okays project worth $200 mln to support SMEs in Egypt]]>
The project is meant to increase the volume of credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for being a key source of economic growth.

In a statement released on Thursday, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said the project comes within the framework of ongoing cooperation between the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry and the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSME), with a view to backing entrepreneurs, especially women.

"Our partnership with the World Bank Group aims to enable women and young people to become successful entrepreneurs. This investment provides several opportunities for improving Egyptians' standard of living, through creating jobs and establishing a strong foundation for the country's economy," the statement quoted Nasr as saying.

The project targets increasing seed capital and early-stage capital, as well as capital risk available to innovative startups facing higher risks and newly-established SMEs with great potential for growth and job creation, the statement read.

ِUnder the project, around USD 50 million will be directed to private-managed risk management institutions, such as investment funds, business accelerators, venture capital funds and investment companies, for the purpose of outlining the initial stages of the Egyptian investment system, the statement noted.

For her part, Marina Weiss, Regional Director of the World Bank office in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, said "Egypt has shown a strong commitment to reforming its economy. Its reforms have begun to bear fruit, enabling the private sector to secure jobs which is an integral part of achieving a sustainable and overall growth".

Also, she added that the WB is proud to support entrepreneurs across the country, notably women and young people.

The new program hinges on the success of the existing project "Promoting Innovation for Financial Inclusion", which enables SMEs to get access to funding and promotes job creation in the private sector nationwide.
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4/18/2019 5:43:49 PM
<![CDATA[EGX adds LE 1B to market capitalization amid mixed performance]]>
The benchmark EGX30 inched up 0.08 percent, or 12.36 points, to close at 14,876.37 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 rose 0.10 percent, or 2.39 points, to reach 2,319.37 points.

On the other side, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.68 percent, or 4.48 points, to close at 658.74 points, and the broader index EGX100 lessened 0.55 percent, or 9.31 point, to 1,682.29 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1 billion, recording LE 810.4 billion, compared to LE 809.4 billion in Wednesday's session.

The trading volume reached 253.01 million shares, traded through 16,809 transactions, with a turnover of LE 887.83 million.

Arab investors were net buyers at LE 54.97 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net sellers at LE 51.06 million, and LE 3.9 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 124.75 million, LE 15.29 million, and LE 1.48 million, respectively.

Egyptian, and Arab organizations bought at LE 73.69 million, and LE 70.27 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 2.43 million.

Egyptians Housing Development & Reconstruction, Asek Company for Mining - Ascom, and Electro Cable Egypt, were top gainers of the session by 5.03 percent, 4.29 percent and 3.78 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Satellites (NileSat), El Arabia for Land Reclamation, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals were top losers of the session by 12.88 percent, 9.94 percent, and 5.38 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday in red for the third session in a row, as EGX30 decreased 0.73 percent, EGX50 lessened 0.73 percent, EGX70 declined 0.25 percent, and EGX100 dropped 0.32 percent.

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4/18/2019 3:52:39 PM
<![CDATA[3 listed companies on EGX to launch mortgage finance company]]>The three partners are TMG, GB Capital (the NBFI arm of GB Auto) and EFG Hermes Finance (the NBFI arm of EFG Hermes Holding).

The companies clarified in a statement that each of them will hold one third of the joint venture’s equity.

Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding Karim Awad said that this joint venture is the natural evolutionary step to help grow the mortgage business in Egypt and expand our non-bank financial services platform, which today includes leasing, microfinance, fintech-enabled consumer finance and factoring.

"The joint venture will have an initial paid-in capital of LE 150 million and is expected to be increased to LE 250 million as the business grows. It will offer mortgage finance to all consumers looking to buy move-in homes across TMG’s existing projects and potential developments," Awad clarified.

He added that the partners will appoint a chief executive officer to lead the new venture, which will be staffed by an independent management team.

According to Awad, the joint venture is targeting to fund a portfolio of units worth LE 450 million in its first 12 months of operations, adding that it will offer unrivalled mortgage solutions with the fastest turnaround time over 10-year tenures available for Egyptian clients at competitive interest rates.

EFG Hermes Investment Banking is acting as the sole financial advisor on the transaction, which is subject to the approvals of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and other regulatory approvals.

The joint venture will take place at the level of an existing mortgage finance company that is currently owned by TMG, where the parties will increase the company’s capital to allow each to have one-third ownership.

“The new joint venture will capitalize on TMG’s four decades of experience in real estate development and over 100,000 units across the group’s multiple projects. Our aim is to bring to the market real estate units with long-term and competitive financing solutions that would increase affordability and better align housing supply with Egypt’s large, growing population of homebuyers," Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of TMG Holding Hesham Talaat Mostafa said.

Mostafa added that the joint venture will be offering financial solutions for move-in homes in the existing projects as well as potential developments in TMG’s pipeline. "EFG Hermes and GB Capital are longstanding partners with whom we look forward to doing business for years to come.”

For his part,Chairman and CEO of GB Auto Raouf Ghabbour commented, “We know that several years of high inflation have eroded consumer purchasing power. And as Egyptians, we also know home ownership remains a cornerstone of a society that sees more than 900,000 couples marry and start new lives each year.We are bringing to the market a portfolio of easy-to-access financing solutions that will feature the fastest decision-making time in the industry."

The statement pointed out that Egypt is slated to become the world’s fastest growing mortgages market, according to a 2017 report from Euromonitor International. This is due to attractive fundamentals such as the magnitude of its population growth and number of marriages, which were expected to drive an 18.9 percent increase in home mortgages.

"In anticipation of this uptick in demand, the FRA has homed in on non-bank financial service operations in the country, setting a four-year strategy that would see the body take an active role in growing the volume of the country’s mortgage financing market."
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4/18/2019 3:24:11 PM
<![CDATA[Sisi approves cashless methods of payment law ]]>
The law was published in the Egyptian Gazette, which marks the start of its immediate operation. The law stipulates that all those addressed in the provisions of the law must adjust their situation according to its provisions within six months from the date of implementing its executive regulations.

In February, the House of Representatives approved the definition article of issuing a law regulating the use of non-monetary "cashless" means of payment.

The definitions included non-cash payment methods, which are all the means of payment such as deposit and transfer, and credit and debit cards. Payment will take place through mobile phones or other means approved by the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt.

The bank account, according to the article, is a contract according to which a person agrees with a bank registered with the Central Bank or one of the authorized entities to initiate the deposit or credit activity in Egypt.The account is used to record all transactions for payment, receipt and settlement of mutual payments in cash or through electronic cash units, such as: current account, savings account, time deposit account, mobile payment account, credit card and prepaid accounts.

Moreover, the article defined cash financing as financing by banks, mortgage finance companies, finance leasing or factoring, microfinance companies and associations, or any other authorized entity to work in this area.

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4/18/2019 2:41:22 PM
<![CDATA[WB announces $200M project to promote entrepreneurship in Egypt]]>
The project will focus on expanding the amount and access to credit for small and medium enterprises, which have proven to be a major source of growth and job creation.

The ‘Catalyzing Entrepreneurship for Job Creation’ project is designed to address the major obstacles that young people and women face when launching new businesses.

In an economy where the financial system is dominated by banks lending primarily to mature businesses, the project will channel 145 million dollars mainly through non-bank financial institutions offering loans to small businesses.

This project component will have established lending targets for women and youth-led businesses, first-time borrowers, and small business in less developed regions across Egypt.

The project will also fund coaching opportunities for new businesses through the entrepreneurial life cycle to build the necessary skills and capacity for success

"Entrepreneurs – and especially women- are a cornerstone for strong and stable economies.’’ said Investment Minister Sahar Nasr.

"Our partnership with the Word Bank Group aims to empower Egyptian women and youth to become successful entrepreneurs. This is an investment that offers many opportunities to improve the livelihoods of Egyptians through job creation and contributing a solid foundation for the country’s economy.’’

The project also aims to increase the supply of seed, early-stage, and venture capital going to riskier and innovative start-ups and young small and medium enterprises with high potential for growth and job creation.

To build up the early-stage investment ecosystem in Egypt, the project will invest 50 million dollars in privately managed risk capital intermediaries, such as angel funds, accelerators, VC funds, and investment companies.

A call for proposals will be issued, with international players encouraged to apply, and the funds distributed through a transparent and competitive selection process.

The aim is to leverage the technical capacity and know-how of the private sector in investing these funds.

"Egypt has shown strong commitment to reforming its economy.’’ Said Marina Wes, World Bank country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.

"While the reforms are beginning to bear fruit, enabling the private sector to create jobs is integral for achieving sustainable and inclusive growth. We are proud to be supporting Egypt’s entrepreneurs across the country, especially the women and young people who remain Egypt’s valuable yet most untapped potential.’’

The new program builds on the success of the ongoing ‘’Promoting Innovation for Inclusive Financial Access’’ project which provides small and medium businesses with access to finance and promotes private sector job creation across Egypt.

To date this project has created about 300,000 jobs, benefiting approximately 70,000 women and 56,000 youths.

The World Bank has a diverse package of support to Egypt focused on expanding social protection and social inclusion to all citizens, improving competitiveness and infrastructure in less developed parts of Egypt, developing a digital development strategy for the jobs of tomorrow, leveraging private sector investments for infrastructure, and reforms in the education and health sector to help build human capital.

The World Bank currently has a portfolio of 16 projects in Egypt with a total commitment of $6.69 billion.]]>
4/18/2019 1:15:06 PM
<![CDATA[Moody's upgrades Egypt's rating to B2 with stable outlook]]>
The rating agency attributed this decision to its expectation that ongoing fiscal and economic reforms will support a gradual but steady improvement in Egypt's fiscal metrics and raise real GDP growth.

It added in a statement that the upgrading also based on Moody's increasing confidence that factors such as Egypt's large domestic funding base support its resilience to refinancing shocks notwithstanding the government's very high borrowing needs and interest costs.

"The stable outlook balances the downside risks posed by very weak debt affordability and large financing needs alongside the longer-term challenges to a shift to a more inclusive, private sector-led growth model, against the possibility that strong reform commitment could deliver higher growth and lower borrowing needs and shore up resilience to changing financing conditions to a greater extent than currently assumed," it added.

Moreover, Moody's has upgraded Egypt's foreign currency senior unsecured ratings to B2 from B3, and its foreign currency senior unsecured MTN program rating to (P)B2 from (P)B3.

Moody's also changed Egypt's foreign-currency bond ceiling to B1 from B2, the foreign-currency deposit ceiling to B3 from Caa1, and the local-currency bond and deposit ceilings to Ba1 from Ba2. The short-term country ceilings for foreign-currency bonds and deposits remain unchanged at Not Prime (NP), according to the statement.

earlier this month, Moody’s Rating Agency said that Egypt’s budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 points to continued fiscal consolidation, describing it as credit positive, expecting Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2019/2020.
It also forecasted a fiscal deficit and a primary surplus of 7.5 percent, and 1.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively.

Moody's describes Egypt's 2019/20 budget as credit positive

CAIRO - 4 April 2019: Moody's Rating Agency said that Egypt's budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 points to continued fiscal consolidation, describing it as credit positive. According to the recent news published by domestic media, Moody's expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2019/2020.



]]>
4/18/2019 12:56:28 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18.5B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.5 billion with a 357-day term and the second is worth LE 9 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April, t-bills come with matures of a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.

Finance Ministry to auction LE 184B in T-bonds, bills in April

CAIRO - 1 April 2019: The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April. The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.




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

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

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




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

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
4/18/2019 12:36:20 PM
<![CDATA[Euro falls to a one-week low after weak manufacturing surveys]]>
Activity in Germany’s manufacturing sector shrank for a fourth straight month in April, while a similar survey from France also painted a bleak picture.

“Investors are worried about the health of the global economy and the eurozone and the fortunes of the euro are closely tied with that,” said Ricardo Evangelista, a senior analyst at ActivTrades in London.

The single currency was up as much as 0.1 percent before the data but fell 0.4 percent to its lowest level since April 10 to $1.1244 after the data releases.

A week ago, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi raised the prospect of more support for the struggling euro zone economy if its slowdown persist.

But the prospects of more stimulus has failed to lift the general gloom over the euro’s outlook.

The euro was still more than 2 percent below a 2019 high of $1.157. Investors have cut their holdings of the currency, with net short bets at their highest in more than two years, according to latest positioning data.

The euro’s decline comes amid a general drop in currency market volatility. A JP Morgan volatility index was near 2008 lows.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was nearly flat at 97.051, after dipping 0.05 percent the previous day.

Commodity-linked currencies sagged after a surge in crude oil prices ran out of steam.

The Australian dollar was flat at $0.7179 after briefly popping above $0.72 on strong jobs data for March.]]>
4/18/2019 12:20:55 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling slumbers on despite strong UK retail sales]]>
Wild swings in the pound subsided last week when European Union leaders granted Britain the Brexit delay to Oct. 31.

The currency is now at its least volatile in years as investors await a breakthrough in Britain’s EU divorce process.

British shoppers ignored worries about an impending Brexit deadline and spent heavily in March, official data showed on Thursday, beating all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.

The pound was little moved, though, edging up against the euro and barely shifting versus the dollar.

“Such data has been pushed into the backseat over recent months, quiet and insignificant, as markets focus instead on the drama of Brexit,” said Sebastien Clements, currency analyst at OFX.

Retail sales volumes surged by the most in nearly two-and-a-half years in annual terms, leaping by 6.7 percent.

The Bank of England has signalled it will lift interest rates to stop inflationary pressures from building, but it is highly unlikely to act until Brexit is resolved.

At 0900 GMT sterling was down 0.2 percent against the dollar at $1.301 and flat against the euro at 86.54 pence.

On Wednesday, a report in the Guardian newspaper that talks between the Labour opposition party and the ruling Conservatives to resolve a parliamentary deadlock over the terms of Brexit had stalled sent the pound tumbling. A spokesman for the Labour party denied that the talks had hit an impasse.]]>
4/18/2019 12:19:02 PM
<![CDATA[Oil prices slip, but supply cuts support]]>
Brent crude futures were at $71.49 a barrel at 0943 GMT, down 13 cents from their last close and further away from Wednesday’s five-month high of $72.27 a barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.71 per barrel, down 5 cents.

Both contracts traded slightly higher earlier in the day.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to April 12, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed on Wednesday.

The fall in oil prices came “despite a small w-o-w (week on week) draw on U.S. crude inventories as observed in the latest EIA data, partly since imports slumped back toward the 6 million barrel per day mark while implied crude supply numbers remain firm,” Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels, and distillate stocks, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 362,000 barrels, the EIA data showed.

Prices have been supported this year by an agreement reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, to limit their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).

Global supply has been tightened further by U.S. sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.

Iran’s crude exports have dropped in April to their lowest daily level this year, tanker data showed and industry sources said, suggesting a reduction in buyer interest ahead of expected further pressure from Washington.

Indian refiners are turning to other OPEC members, Mexico and the United States to make up for any loss of Iranian oil.

Spain’s Repsol has suspended its swaps of refined products for crude with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA, people familiar with the matter said, as U.S. officials weigh penalties for foreign firms doing business with Venezuela.

Growing U.S. oil production and concerns over the U.S.- China trade dispute are keeping prices in check.

U.S. crude oil output from seven major shale formations was expected to rise by about 80,000 bpd in May to a record 8.46 million bpd, the EIA said in its monthly report on Monday.

Surging U.S. production has filled some of the gap in supplies, although not all of the lost production can be immediately replaced by U.S. shale oil due to refinery configurations.]]>
4/18/2019 12:13:27 PM
<![CDATA[Stocks erase week's gains after weak manufacturing surveys]]>
After a subdued open, European markets fell further after French and German surveys of purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector for April showed activity continuing to contract.

Germany’s DAX more than doubled losses on the day to trade 0.3 percent lower after the release of the German survey, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.2 percent.

The euro fell to its lowest in over a week after the data, down 0.4 percent on the day to $1.1247.

German 10-year bond yields were lower three basis points at minus 0.5 percent, dropping further off Wednesday’s high of 0.10 percent. [GVD/EUR]

Activity in Germany’s services sector rose to a seven-month high in April, but investors focused on the 44.5 reading for the manufacturing sector, well below the 50.0 mark separating growth from contraction even if it was above the 44.1 reading last month.

“The reading was better than last month, but below expectations and we could see from the market report that once again it’s the core industry for Germany that’s the worry - the carmakers are struggling,” said DZ Bank analyst Sebastian Fellechner.

He said the performance of the German manufacturing sector, often referred to as the engine room of Europe, has ramifications for the bloc as a whole.

The weak surveys out of Europe added to a weak Japanese reading on manufacturing activity, which also showed new export orders fell at the fastest pace in almost three years.

MSCI’s All Country World Index, which tracks stocks in 47 countries, was down 0.3 percent on the day. It erased all gains for the week after the German data.

The VIX volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, inched up to 13.12, back to where it was at the start of the week. On Wednesday, the index had fallen to its lowest since August 2018.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 were down almost 0.3 percent.

Market participants are also eyeing signs of progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations.

Washington and Beijing set a tentative timeline for a fresh round of face-to-face meetings ahead of a possible signing ceremony in late May or early June, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The U.S. trade deficit fell to an eight-month low in February as imports from China plunged, data on Wednesday showed.

Separate figures from China earlier on Wednesday showed the world’s second-largest economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, defying forecasts for a slowdown.

Attention is now turning to how much more stimulus Beijing will apply without triggering more financial risks.

Elsewhere in currencies, the dollar was 0.3 percent higher against a basket of peers at 97.261.

The Australian dollar was 0.2 percent lower at $0.7163. It had earlier jumped to $0.7200 as traders wagered the Reserve Bank of Australia will not rush to ease rates even though the broader economy has seemingly lost momentum.

Oil markets fell despite a surprise decline in U.S. inventories, but the price drops were tempered by a smaller-than-expected reduction in gasoline stocks and ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts.

Brent crude futures were 0.5 percent lower at $71.24 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures were 0.44 percent lower at $63.48.]]>
4/18/2019 12:10:20 PM
<![CDATA[EGX stays in red zone for 3rd session in row ]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 0.73 percent, or 109 points, to close at 14,864.01 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.73 percent, or 17.15 points, to reach 2,316.98 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.25 percent, or 1.66 points, to close at 663.22 points, and the broader index EGX100 lessened 0.32 percent, or 5.37 point, to 1,691.6 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 4.09 billion, recording LE 809.4 billion, compared to LE 813.49 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 93.4 million shares, traded through 15,579 transactions, with a turnover of LE 437.39 million.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 11.69 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 9.67 million, and LE 2.02 million, respectively.

Egyptian, and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 54.61 million, and LE 2.19 million, respectively, while Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 5.29 million.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 42.9 million, LE 4.37 million and LE 22.63 million, respectively.

El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, Arab Pharmaceuticals, and Memphis Pharmaceuticals, were top gainers of the session by 9.37 percent, 4.38 percent and 4.23 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, National Bank of Kuwait- Egypt- NBK, Sharkia National Food, and Egyptian Gulf Bank were top losers of the session by 9.23 percent, 8.05 percent, and 6.80 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Tuesday in red for the second session in a row, as EGX30 decreased 0.55 percent, EGX50 lessened 1.08 percent, EGX70 declined 0.71 percent, and EGX100 dropped 0.70 percent.
]]>
4/17/2019 3:44:54 PM
<![CDATA[BMW to settle customs dispute by paying LE 55M to Egypt ]]>
Negm added that the Ministry of Finance is about to sign the agreement with the German company, which will get the company to send the list of prices for approval at customs outlets.

The company promised to inject new investments in the field of car manufacturing in Egypt, where the local market is considered a promising market and a center for access to African markets.

Under Egypt’s agreement with the European Union, BMW will enter the Egyptian market with no tariffs. Tariffs reached zero percent in the beginning of 2019.

The custom cuts of European cars come after Egypt started implementing the trade cooperation agreement with the European Union in 2010 as part of the Egyptian-European Agreement, so European car customs have begun to decline gradually.

The agreement, which came into force in mid-2004, stipulates establishing a free trade area during a transitional period of 12 years. It also liberalizes the Egyptian imports of industrial goods with European origins in a period of up to 16 years.

Among the European cars are Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Peugeot, Renault, French-origin Citroen, Fiat and Seat.

]]>
4/17/2019 3:19:11 PM
<![CDATA[Trade exchange bet. Egypt, Greece hits €1.8B in 2018]]>
Nassar clarified that Egypt’s exports to Greece increased 15.3 percent in the previous year, reaching €640 million, compared to €555 million in 2017.

The Ministry of Trade said in a statement that Egypt and Greece agreed to set up a joint working group to enhance economic cooperation between the two countries during the next phase, identifying the target sectors through the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Economic Development of Greece.

The working group aims to develop a specific plan of action to reach concrete results positively impacting the economic relations between Egypt and Greece, according to the statement.

It added that the Egyptian Trade Representation Office in Athens is the point of contact with the Greek Ministry of Economic Development and will follow up the implementation of the action plan.

This came during the meeting held between Nassar and Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Development Yannis Dragasakis during Nassar’s current visit to the Greek capital Athens. The two ministers discussed the future of economic cooperation between the two countries and a number of economic files on the global agenda during the current stage.

Nassar added that there are huge opportunities for trade cooperation between the two countries in the establishment of logistics centers and free trade areas, contracting, information technology, agricultural development, food industries and energy.

In March, a delegation of major energy investors in Greece expressed their interest in doing business in Egypt in a meeting with Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker, showing desire to implement wind and solar energy projects in the Red Sea and Minya governorates.
]]>
4/17/2019 3:17:22 PM
<![CDATA[Holidays’ season starts on EGX]]>
EGX elaborated in a statement that Thursday, April 25, will be a holiday in celebration of the liberation of Sinai from the Israeli occupation.

It added that trading will be off on Sunday, April 18, on the occasion of Easter. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.

Moreover, EGX will be off on Monday, April 29, in celebration of Sham Ennesim, which is an Egyptian national holiday marking the beginning of spring. It always falls on the day after the Eastern Easter.

Trading will be resumed on Tuesday, April 30, to be off again on Wednesday, May 1, which marks Labor Day. Labor Day, also called International Workers’ Day, is a celebration of the working classes and occurs every year on May Day, an ancient European spring festival.

EGX will back to trading normally on Thursday, May 2, according to EGX statement.
The last official holiday for Egypt’s bourse was on Thursday, January 24, in celebration of the National Police Day and January 25 Revolution.

EGX ended Tuesday in red for the second session in a row, as EGX30 decreased 0.55 percent, EGX50 lessened 1.08 percent, EGX70 declined 0.71 percent, and EGX100 dropped 0.70 percent.

]]>
4/17/2019 3:15:28 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt signs LE 10.5B contracts to supply equipment to spinning, weaving companies ]]>
The minister added in a TV program that this is considered the first development of the machines, as most of them have been working since the 19th – early 20th century.

Tawfik revealed that the development plan of the sector costs LE 21 billion, clarifying that new machines will arrive to Egypt during 2020, followed by another shipment 10 months later.

He pointed out that the textile industry is expected to return to its full strength in two and a half years, stressing the reorganization of 23 companies in the sector, to provide three centers for export.

In January, the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI) concluded the contract for the establishment of the first textile city in the Free Zones System in Minya Governorate and sent it to the State Council for review.

A Chinese company agreed to fund the new city, with an investment of $324 million. The city will be built on 306 feddans, a company will be established to manage the city and all parties will have equal shares in it.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Textile Museum, the only textile museum in the Middle East, celebrated its ninth anniversary in February .

The Textile Museum in Muizz Street in Cairo displays fine collections of textile from the Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras.

]]>
4/17/2019 3:13:34 PM
<![CDATA[ Amani Abou Zeid: 2018 Year of continental integration]]>
Abo Zeid assured that Egypt’s leadership and people are the main support of the African countries and that all the infrastructure initiatives in Africa will not come to effect without real and effective integration.

This came during the closing ceremony of the second ordinary session of the Technical Committee of Transcontinental Transport, Energy and Tourism, held under the title “Intelligent Developing of Infrastructure to Boost Continental Integration in Africa”.

“Continental integration is a must to guarantee success of the African infrastructure. Thus the Arab African International Bank supports the overall objectives of the Technical Commission,” Abo Zeid further stressed.

For his part, the representative of the Arab African International Bank thanked Egypt’s leadership and people for their peerless efforts in organizing the second session of the African meeting.

“Substantial transportation, tourism, and energy projects are prioritized by the Arab African International Bank. Thus, it finances African infrastructure projects and initiatives,” the representative of the Arab African International Bank stated.

Moreover, the representative of the Arab African International Bank said that the bank invested up to $80 billion in African infrastructure projects over the last 10 years, assuring that the bank will engage in more investments and projects in the coming period.
]]>
4/17/2019 1:48:44 PM
<![CDATA[Asia comforted by China data, Europe uninspired]]>
In early European trades, the regional Euro Stoxx 600 and German DAX were mostly unchanged while London’s FTSE was a shade weaker as near 5 percent drop in iron ore prices hit its heavyweight miners. [.EU]

Moves in Asian share markets had been mostly modest too, in part because they had already rallied hard since the start of the year.

Japan’s Nikkei closed up 0.25 percent after hitting a five-month peak while the Shanghai Composite made 0.3 percent to score its highest close since March 21, 2018 after jumping 2.4 percent on Tuesday.

Investors have been counting on better news from China and were not disappointed with first-quarter economic growth pipping forecast at 6.4 percent.

Importantly industrial output surged 8.5 percent in March from a year earlier, the fastest pace since July 2014 and well above forecasts of a 5.9 percent increase. Retail sales also pleased with a rise of 8.7 percent.

Investors reacted by buying the Australian dollar, often a liquid proxy for China plays, which pushed up 0.3 percent to a two-month top at $0.7206.

Allianz Global Investors strategist and portfolio manager Neil Dwane said the data had good enough to allay fears China’s economy was collapsing although the rest of the year remained in question.

“Beijing will now be in a wait and see mode to gauge whether it has done enough,” Dwane said. “To be bullish (on stocks) from here you would have to believe in a pretty strong global recovery in the second half... We are a bit more ho-hum.”

Still, the fact that there were at some green shoots appearing in world economy pushed benchmark government bond yields higher. German Bund yields hit a 4-week high, albeit at 0.1 percent they are still barely above zero. [GVD/EUR]

In currency markets, the U.S. dollar finally managed to top resistance on the yen at 112.13 to reach its highest since December at 112.16.

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar was a tad weaker at 96.908 but still within the 95.00 to 97.70 range that has held for the past six months.

The euro edged up a touch to $1.1315, recovering from losses driven by a Reuters report that several European Central Bank policymakers think the bank’s economic projections are too optimistic.

JUVENTUS THUMPED

One currency on the move was the New Zealand dollar which sank as far as $0.6668 after annual consumer price inflation came in well below expectations at just 1.5 percent for the first quarter. [L3N21Y4Y3]

The improved Chinese data gave it a helping hand back up to $0.6744 later but yields on two-year Kiwi bonds have already dived 9 basis points to 1.48 percent as investors wagered the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) would have to cut rates.

In commodity markets, the general improvement in risk sentiment saw spot gold slip to its lowest for the year so far. It was last up 0.2 percent at $1,279.25 per ounce.

Oil prices were buoyed again as fighting in Libya and falling Venezuelan and Iranian exports raised concerns over tightening global supply. [O/R]

U.S. crude was last up 48 cents at $64.53 a barrel, while Brent crude futures rose 34 cents to $72.06.

The big mover, however, was China’s Dalian iron ore futures which plunged after Brazilian miner Vale SA said it was preparing to resume operations at its huge Brucutu mine in the coming days.

The mine, with annual capacity of 30 million tonnes, has remained shut since early February after a tailings dam burst in late January, killing hundreds of people.

The most-traded iron ore futures for September delivery on the Dalian commodity Exchange sank as much as 4.7 and closed down 3.8 percent at 621 yuan ($92.86).

There were soccer drama too.

Italian soccer giant Juventus’ shares had to be suspended as they dropped more than 20 percent after being knocked out of Europe’s Champions League by Dutch club Ajax. Ajax’s shares celebrated with a 8.5 percent jump.

]]>
4/17/2019 12:38:30 PM
<![CDATA[Aramco in talks to buy stake in refining business of India's Reliance]]>
The Times of India reported earlier that Aramco was in talks to buy a stake of up to 25 percent, which could be worth around $10-15 billion, valuing the Indian company’s refining and petrochemicals businesses at some $55-60 billion.

Aramco’s discussions with Reliance were “serious”, one source said. Another source said talks with Reliance were so far for a 25 percent stake.

Aramco and Reliance declined to comment.

Reliance, controlled by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is India’s biggest refining and petrochemicals company and runs a 1.4 million barrels per day refining complex at Jamnagar in western India. It plans to expand capacity to 2 million bpd by 2030, according to plans shared with the Indian government.

Aramco is expanding its refining and petrochemical business globally by signing new deals and boosting the capacity of its existing plants.

Last year, Aramco and the United Arab Emirates’ national oil company ADNOC teamed up with state-run Indian refiners in a plan to build a 1.2 million bpd refinery and petrochemical project in Maharashtra state.

However, the planned refinery faces delays, as thousands of farmers have refused to surrender land for it and the Maharashtra government is looking to move the plant’s location.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited India in February and said then that he expected investment opportunities worth more than $100 billion there over the next two years.

Ambani has traveled to Saudi Arabia at least twice since December, discussing joint investment among other issues with Aramco’s chief executive, Amin Nasser.]]>
4/17/2019 12:36:48 PM
<![CDATA[Oil hits 2019 high above $72 on China growth, lower U.S. inventories]]>
International benchmark Brent crude futures were up 28 cents, or 0.39 percent, at $72 by 0910 GMT, having hit an intraday peak of $72.24.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.39 per barrel, up 34 cents or 0.53 percent and just shy of a 2019 high of $64.79 hit last week.

China’s economy grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter, official data showed, defying expectations for a further slowdown and assuaging global markets as a U.S.-China trade deal also appears near.

Refinery throughput in China - the world’s second-largest crude user - rose 3.2 percent in March from a year earlier to 12.49 million barrels per day (bpd).

“The demand side of the equation got a substantial fillip via today’s China data suggesting prices will continue to move higher on improving global growth and risk sentiment,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading at SPI Asset Management.

Prices have been supported this year by a pact reached by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, including Russia, to limit their oil output by 1.2 million bpd.

Global supply has been tightened further by U.S. sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran.

Iran’s crude exports have dropped in April to their lowest daily level this year, tanker data showed and industry sources said, suggesting a drawdown in buyer interest ahead of expected further pressure from Washington.

“Buyers are shying away in view of U.S. policy uncertainty regarding waivers to import Iranian crude oil,” BNP Paribas strategist Harry Tchilinguirian told the Reuters Global Oil Forum.

In June, OPEC and its partners will decide whether to extend their agreement, but Russia’s willingness to stick with the cuts now looks less clear.

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of Russian gas company Gazprom, expects the global oil deal to end in the first half of the year, a company official said on Tuesday.

An unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories also supported oil prices. Stockpiles fell by 3.1 million barrels in the week ended April 12 to 452.7 million barrels, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed.

Official data on U.S. inventories from the Energy Information Administration is due on Wednesday.]]>
4/17/2019 12:33:51 PM
<![CDATA[Loan, margin growth lift Emirates NBD quarterly net profit]]>
The bank made a net profit of $735.17 million (2.7 billion dirhams) in the three months ended March 31, it said, compared with 2.39 billion dirhams in the year-ago period.

Emirates NBD, which is 55.6 percent owned by state fund Investment Corp., and other banks in the United Arab Emirates benefited from a rise in interest rates in 2018.

The lender’s net interest margins grew 15 basis points from the corresponding period to 2.83 percent.

Net interest income grew by 14 percent during the first quarter, while non-interest income rose 18 percent.

The bank said a 9 percent increase in costs was due to investments in its digital transformation.
]]>
4/17/2019 12:05:27 PM
<![CDATA[French food group Danone keeps profit outlook despite weak Q1]]>
Danone, the world’s largest yoghurt maker, said first-quarter underlying sales had risen by a relatively modest 0.8 percent to $6.94 billion (€6.138 billion), marking a slowdown from 2.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The company nevertheless expected sales growth to accelerate in the second half of the year.

“The first quarter showed a start of the year in line with expectations ... We are pleased with the momentum of the business which will become increasingly visible from the second quarter. This gives us every confidence that we will meet our full year guidance,” CEO Emmanuel Faber said in a statement.

Danone reiterated it was targeting group like-for-like sales growth of around 3 percent and an operating margin above 15 percent for 2019.

Danone added it was on track to deliver on its 2020 goals for an operating margin above 16 percent of its sales and like-for-like sales growth of 4-5 percent.

Danone’s waters division and its dairy business put in solid performances over the quarter, but sales of Danone’s Early Life Nutrition products in China fell around 15 percent in the quarter, partly due to a lower birth rate in China.

This compared with a 10 percent decline in the fourth quarter 2018 and a 20 percent decline in the third quarter, in that division.

China is an important source of growth for Danone, contributing about 30 percent of sales of the Early Life Nutrition business, which makes infant formula and general baby food products.

Danone said it still expected the business in China to return to growth in the second half of 2019.

Danone also said its sale of Earthbound Farm, announced last week, would improve its recurring operating margins in 2019.]]>
4/17/2019 12:03:00 PM
<![CDATA[Investment minister stresses importance of African integration]]>
Commenting on the African Free Trade Agreement and its possible entry into force within months, the minister told CNN that the African integration is very important in the current phase through several infrastructure projects, interdependence and inclusiveness as Africa is lagging behind other continents with respect to sustainable development goals and indicators.

Egypt is always keen to consult and respond to changes in the global economy and the needs of the Egyptian people, Nasr said.

She said that the Egyptian people have realized what the country experienced over the past years

"This is very important," she stated.

"We make extensive consultations before applying any positive reforms. We talk with citizens, the private sector and civil society so that we could get the support of the Egyptian people," the minister said.

"We are making wide-ranging talks with lawmakers, and we are reviewing and revising several reforms," she added.]]>
4/16/2019 6:29:56 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt is moving forward to improve business environment: Min.]]>
Nasr added that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has put a ground vision for Egypt where investment will be driven by the private sector, so it's moving with all the required reforms to ensure their application and this is reflected in the indicators.

"The rating agencies have continuously improved their ratings for Egypt and the national financial institutions have also reflected that," she noted.

"In fact,the politics in the country have helped a lot in improving the business environment , and have opened the ground for more business to come to Egypt, which is reflected on the numbers of foreign direct investment (FDI)and overall private investment," according to the minister.

She clarified that when looking at FDI in Egypt, it should be put in the international context so what is happening globally must be watched.

"Despite the slowdown of the international economy and the crunch in the emerging markets, Egypt's share of FDI continuously rises, at 4 percent right now, and Egypt is ranking among the top performing countries in the region based on the outlook by both the World Bank and IMF," she stated.

According to the minister, Egypt is attracting FDI that will create jobs, added-value to the economy that would bring in management and technology that will be export-oriented, and will be able to generate foreign currency. "That's the quality investment we are aiming for."

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced earlier that FDI declined to $2.8 billion during the first half of 2018/2019, compared to $3.7 billion during the same period of 2017/2018.

Regarding private investments, Nasr said that it has been picking up at 26 percent and the number of companies that have been established everyday increased 27 percent. "These numbers make us optimistic about how investment is going in Egypt."

President Sisi has put a ground vision for Egypt in terms of moving forward with a very bold and courageous economic reform program, which has been accompanied by conditional cash transfers to the social safety net, she added.

"We have a new investment law that offers all the needed guarantees to the private sector and provides tax and non-tax incentives to re-position Egypt on the global investment map," Nasr noted.

She added that the government has led major reforms like sectorial reforms on gas laws and renewable energy laws and transportation, commenting that all these new laws made a difference in the private sector, which resulted in the number of companies expanding or established.

Nasr pointed out that the Egyptian people are part of the reform program and are very supportive of it.

]]>
4/16/2019 6:10:15 PM
<![CDATA[NBK: Several opportunities to invest in Egyptian market]]>
The NBK Group intends to expand investments in the Egyptian market during the coming stage, he said.

In a TV interview, Sager said that the Egyptian market is a major market in the region.

The NBK Group will expand activities in the sectors of retail, companies and small and medium-sized enterprises, Sager said. ]]>
4/16/2019 5:20:19 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Minister reviews Egypt's 2019/20 budget in the parliament]]>
Ma'it added that the new budget focuses on the growth of containment and sustainability to result in reducing inflation to 10.5 percent, and the unemployment rate to 9 percent.

The minister stated that it also aims at reducing the total budget deficit to about 7.2 percent of GDP compared to 8.4 percent in FY17/2018.

Moreover, he said that public debt is planned to reach 89 percent of GDP, achieving a primary budget surplus of 2 percent.

The budget deficit is anticipated to hit 7.2 percent of GDP, down from 8.4 percent of 2018/2019, announcing that the government will allow new borrowing of LE 445.1 billion in the next fiscal year, according to the speech.

In the same context, the minister noted that revenues are foreseen to record LE 1.13 trillion, compared to the current FY's expected revenues of LE 969 billion, with an increase of 17 percent. The budget revealed that LE 856.6 billion go for tax collections with an increase of 13 percent and other earnings rise 30 percent to LE 277.8 billion.

Egypt's total resources in the new budget recorded LE 1.979 trillion, representing 31 percent of GDP, distributed over three main categories which are: revenues (LE 1.134 trillion, representing 18.47 percent of GDP), receipts from the acquisition of financial assets amounting to LE 24 billion by 0.4 percent of GDP, and Borrowing and issuing securities amounting to LR 821 billion (representing 13.3 percent of the GDP).

Regarding the targeted fiscal policies reforms during the coming year, the minister said that they include reforms related to public expenses, noting that expenses will only raise 12.2 percent, in conjunction with working on pushing economic activities to find more real opportunities, improving the quality of public services and raising the efficiency of expenses on social protection programs.

By the beginning of April, the Ministry of Finance issued the 2019/2020 preliminary budget draft and the Parliament will receive the draft at least 90 days before the start of the fiscal year on July 1 to have it signed into law by the end of June.

Egypt issues 2019/20 preliminary budget

CAIRO - 1 April 2019: The Ministry of Finance issued the 2019/2020 preliminary budget draft and the Parliament will receive the draft at least 90 days before the start of the fiscal year on July 1 to have it signed into law by the end of June.




Following the announcement of Egypt's draft budget for 2019/2020, Moody’s Rating Agency said that Egypt’s budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 points to continued fiscal consolidation, describing it as credit positive. Moody’s expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2019/2020.

Moody's describes Egypt's 2019/20 budget as credit positive

CAIRO - 4 April 2019: Moody's Rating Agency said that Egypt's budget for fiscal year 2019/2020 points to continued fiscal consolidation, describing it as credit positive. According to the recent news published by domestic media, Moody's expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2019/2020.




]]>
4/16/2019 5:14:58 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian organizations selling keep EGX in red for 2nd session in row ]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 0.55 percent, or 82.41 points, to close at 14,973.01 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 1.08 percent, or 25.44 points, to reach 2,334.13 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.71 percent, or 4.76 points, to close at 664.88 points, and the broader index EGX100 lessened 0.70 percent, or 11.99 point, to 1,696.97 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 5.9 billion, recording LE 813.49 billion, compared to LE 819.43 billion in Monday's session.

The trading volume reached 137 million shares, traded through 19,947 transactions, with a turnover of LE 681.85 million.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 25.17 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 3 million, and LE 22.16 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 9.9 million, LE 14.47 and LE 470,266, respectively.

Egyptian organizations sold at LE 15.23 million, while , Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 17.48 million, and LE 22.63 million, respectively.

National Housing for Professional Syndicates , Sues Canal Company For Technology Settling, and El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, were top gainers of the session by 7.75 percent, 6.70 percent and 3.69 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, El Kahera Housing, Credit Agricole Egypt, and East Delta Flour Mills were top losers of the session by 8.06 percent, 6.75 percent, and 6.07 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday's session in red, as EGX30 decreased 0.09 percent, EGX50 inched down 0.55 percent, EGX70 declined 0.48 percent, and EGX100 dropped 0.42 percent.

]]>
4/16/2019 3:22:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, UN discuss activating $1.2B strategic agreement]]>
The meeting was held between Egypt's Minister of Investment
Sahar Nasr and UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohamedon the sidelines of the 2019 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development follow-up (FfD Forum) at the UN Headquarters in New York.

The discussed development projects included supporting development in Sinai and Upper Egypt, supporting and developing a water and sanitation systems, developing the education system, health, women's empowerment and social responsibility, according to the Investment Ministry's statement.

The UN deputy secretary general praised Egypt's economic reform program, stating that this program contributed to improving the economic performance which resulted in the positive indicators of the last period.

Mohamed highlighted the pivotal role Egypt plays on the regional and international levels in light of its presidency of the African Union, which helps in discussing several cooperation opportunities between Egypt and the UN. These opportunities include supporting development projects in Egypt, the UN's role in financing private sector projects to achieve development objectives and deepen the economic relations through joint investments and intra-trade.

She clarified that the United Nations considers Egypt a pioneer in economic reforms, especially in the African continent, where Egypt comes first in the rate of increase of foreign direct investment.

The meeting discussed the role of the United Nations and international institutions in financing projects, and the participation of the private sector in achieving development goals.

For her part, the minister emphasized the government's interest in boosting the role of the private sector in a number of public development projects, shedding light on the major legislative reforms that are set to enhance the investment climate.

Nasr pointed out that, besides the economic reform, the social aspect has been taken into consideration and support has been provided for the neediest groups. "The government is continuously working to support the neediest classes through direct and indirect support programs."

Nasr stressed that the UN programs and framework should focus on the poorest and neediest areas in Egypt, referring to the importance of partnership with the United Nations, which comes at an important and strategic time.

The minister also met with Administrator of the United Nations Development Program Achim Steiner, where it was agreed to support Egypt's program during President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's presidency of the African Union. Also,strengthening and deepening the strategic partnership between the African Union and the United Nations Development Program, especially in the field of development in the African continent and the promotion of integration projects and regional integration, was agreed upon.

The two sides also agreed to cooperate in the field of entrepreneurship, as the fund works to support development projects and encourage investments that contribute to the achievement of development goals in areas such as poverty reduction, job creation and renewable energy.

Steiner stressed the keenness of UNDP to strengthen cooperation with Egypt to establish development in the African continent, to achieve economic integration and regional integration, and to advance the African common action.

The minister asserted Egypt's keenness to establish partnerships with various United Nations organizations to contribute to attracting investments to the African continent, stressing the importance of setting a priority to increase support for the private sector to participate in development, and stimulate the growth of emerging companies in the continent.
]]>
4/16/2019 2:14:13 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt engages in trade cooperation with Portugal]]>
The meeting comes within the framework of efforts to boost mutual cooperation, especially in the field of defense industries, attracting foreign investments and sealing new deals between the two sides.

Taras discussed with Krauwenho ways to localize technology,benefiting from the advanced industrial database of the Arab Organization for Industrialization, specifically in the field of aircraft maintenance, artificial intelligence, insurance and manufacture of communication and electronic devices.

Taras affirmed Egypt’s willingness to boost cooperation and exchange experiences with "brotherly" Portugal,aiming to hold a joint committee to discuss fields of cooperation.
“Egypt’ stability and chairmanship of the African Union urged Portugal to engage in more projects. Mutual cooperation will result in high quality products with competitive prices able to penetrate all markets in the region,” Taras said.

For his part, the Portuguese minister of defense assured his keenness to coordinate and engage in trade with Egypt. Krauwenho lauded Egypt’s accomplishments and peerless efforts made over the last 5 years to achieve economic reform and grasp foreign investors.

“We aspire to open up new horizons of investments and joint manufacturing with Egypt. The Arab Organization for Industrialization owns massive devices and tools sufficient to meet the Egyptian Armed Forces’ needs. "

The Portuguese ambassador to Cairo and the chairman of the Holding Company of Portuguese Defense Industries praised the Arab Organization for Industrialization for using its surplus in manufacturing new products and taking part in implementing national and development projects.
.



]]>
4/16/2019 2:07:43 PM
<![CDATA[Cabinet denies news of looming economic crisis in Egypt]]>
News of a looming economic crisis as a result of terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and increasing interest rates on debt is baseless, the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) said in a report Tuesday

The IDSC said it had contacted the Finance Ministry to verify the news and was assured that, to the contrary, the economic landscape is improving.

Several international institutions have spoken highly of a successful Egyptian economic reform program, the IDSC noted

The IDSC report touched upon a tangible improvement in all global ratings of Egypt's economy.

The circulated news is only a rumor meant to shake confidence in the now recovered and stable Egyptian economy, the report assured.]]>
4/16/2019 1:39:54 PM
<![CDATA[EU funds 2 programs in Egypt by €50M]]>
During the opening session of the fifth conference on corporate social responsibility, Serkus explained that in the field of ready-made garments, 400 scholarships have been offered to female students, and 200 students have been employed during the employment forum.

He pointed out that the EU is committed to supporting Egypt and regional companies to enhance competitiveness, with the ultimate aim of creating jobs in Egypt and the region.

Serkus noted that in June 2017, Egypt and the EU agreed to implement a development project until 2020 in the economic field, entrepreneurship, supporting the private sector,small and medium enterprises, training, the legislative environment, improving skills, financing and innovation.

In the area of legislative reform, the European Union supports the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the area of SME policy, Serkus said, adding that Egypt is supported in the development of infrastructure and in international trade and trade agreements.

He also referred that as the European Union ambassador in Egypt, in cooperation with the European Union, he put in place programs designed to finance small and medium enterprises through an efficient energy use.

Serkus noted that the third component of cooperation is to obtain better funding.He added that the union supports small and medium enterprises and a conference will be organized during November for the private sector in the Suez Canal area, on the occasion of Egypt's 100th anniversary, to open the Suez Canal.

]]>
4/16/2019 12:34:17 PM
<![CDATA[Informal economy exceeds 50% of Egyptian economy]]>Tawfik pointed out that the integration of small, medium and micro enterprises (SMEs) is an urgent necessity to activate the Egyptian economy.

He added that the new SME law, which was recently approved by the Council of Ministers, will create an appropriate platform for the incorporation of these enterprises into the formal economy.

This came during his speech in a conference on corporate social responsibility organized by the Federation of Industries.

The Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Deputy Governor Gamal Negm said previously that the informal sector accounted for about 40 to 50 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

On the law of the Federation of Industries, Tawfik explained that the new law confirms that the state lifted its hand from civil society, where the union includes about 65,000 establishments.

“Egypt has completed the first phase of the economic reform program and achieved great success,” he said.

He clarified that the second phase of Egypt's reform program will focus on improving the Egyptian economy at the global level.

Tawfik said that the state will not be able to keep pace with the rapid technology and address the large gap between the availability of competencies and the needs of the labor market, so partnership with the private sector has become urgent.

He noted that solving the problem of the gap between the needs of the market and the availability of competencies requires work strongly on the training file in the coming years.
]]>
4/16/2019 12:05:07 PM
<![CDATA[Australia dollar struggles after RBA caution, other currencies tread water]]>
The Australian dollar was the surprise loser after Australia’s central bank left the door ajar for a possible cut in interest rates.

Market volatility has eased to multi-year lows in recent weeks. Moves have been limited, though optimism over U.S.-China trade talks and strong Chinese economic data seem to be pushing investors out of safe havens and into riskier currencies, seeking higher yields.

The yen remained close to 2019 lows against the U.S. and Australian dollars.

The dollar edged up against a basket of other major currencies on Tuesday, with investors cautious as they looked for signs of stabilization in the global economy. The dollar index was last up 96.950 after ending the previous session little changed.

“The higher yielding dollar, with its interest rate differential vs the average of G10 foreign exchange being close to a two-decade high, continues to retain support,” analysts at ING said in a note to client.

“For low-yielding major currencies it is difficult to go against the dollar’s meaningful interest rate differential at this point,” said the note.

The Reserve Bank of Australia believes cutting interest rates would be “appropriate” if inflation stays low and unemployment rises, the central bank’s April board meeting minutes showed.

“That fuels expectations that not only will the next move be a cut, but that it will come this year,” Societe Generale analyst Kit Juckes said.

The Australian dollar lost 0.4 percent to $0.7144 after the release of the minutes, coming off Friday’s near seven-week high.

Markets are now focused on European and Chinese data for more evidence on the health of the global economy.

The data include Germany’s ZEW economic index for April, due around 0900 GMT, and China’s gross domestic product on Wednesday. Chinese exports and credit data last week signaled some stabilization in economic conditions.

The euro was down at $1.1307, erasing the previous session’s gain.]]>
4/16/2019 11:44:56 AM
<![CDATA[Oil slips to $71, hit by talk of higher OPEC+ production]]>
Analysts on average expect U.S. crude stockpiles to have risen by 1.9 million barrels last week, the fourth straight increase. The first of this week’s stockpile reports is due at 2030 GMT from the American Petroleum Institute. [EIA/S]

“We have already seen these inventories going higher in the last week’s print,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at TF Global Markets in London.

“The rising inventory data has raised many questions for investors - no one wants to see the oil glut again.”

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 12 cents at $71.06 a barrel at 0801 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 6 cents to $63.46.

While OPEC-led supply cuts have boosted Brent by more than 30 percent this year, gains have been limited by worries that slowing economic growth could weaken demand for fuel.

Oil also fell on Monday after comments from Russia raised concern the OPEC-led supply-cutting pact may not be renewed. Russia and the producer group may decide to boost output to fight for market share with the United States, TASS news agency сited Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia, an alliance known as OPEC+, have been cutting output since Jan. 1. They decide in June whether to continue the arrangement.

“There is a growing concern that Russia will not agree on extending production cuts and we could see them officially abandon it in the coming months,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.]]>
4/16/2019 11:42:41 AM
<![CDATA[Trump on China trade spat: 'We're going to win either way']]>
“We’re going to win either way. We either win by getting a deal or we win by not getting a deal,” Trump said during a visit to a business roundtable in Burnsville, Minnesota.

The world’s two biggest economies are nine months into a trade war that has cost billions of dollars, roiled financial markets and upended supply chains.

Trump’s administration has slapped tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports of Chinese goods to press demands for an end to policies that Washington says hurt U.S. companies competing with Chinese firms. China responded with its own tit-for-tat tariffs on U.S. goods.

Trump’s Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said earlier on Monday that trade negotiators are making a lot of progress. He told Fox Business Network there is more work to do, however, including enforcement.]]>
4/16/2019 11:39:20 AM
<![CDATA[Stocks march on as European volatility vanishes]]>
European shares followed their Asian counterparts and opened marginally higher, leaving the Euro STOXX 600 within a whisker of eight-month highs. Germany’s DAX gained half a percent, while Britain’s FTSE 100 also strengthened.

The recent rally comes as a degree of calm has descended across financial markets, with European stock volatility falling to its lowest since January 2018, exacerbated by a shortened trading week for the Easter holidays.

Natixis Cross Asset Strategist Florent Pochon said investors were mainly focused on U.S. earnings, especially after the first flurry of bank results made for mixed reading.

“After the strong rally we have seen in equities, people are now waiting for the next catalyst,” Pochan said. “We do expect some more positive data from Europe which should give a bit of fresh air (to European assets)”

The U.S.-China trade dispute, signs of slowing global corporate earnings and weaker business investment have all put pressure on riskier assets in the past year, but investors have been quick to seize on positive news.

All eyes are now on Chinese quarterly GDP data due on Wednesday. After a worrying start to the year, Chinese data have been more positive as authorities ramped up stimulus measures, soothing investor fears about a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, edged up 0.1 percent in early European trade.

LIRA RECOVERS

Turkey’s lira recovered slightly after closing at its weakest level since October on Monday. The Turkish currency was hit by data showing a surge in unemployment, a higher than expected budget deficit and tensions with the United States.

Turkey’s finance minister said on Monday he had held productive meetings in Washington with international financial institutions, but that failed to much lift the currency.

By 0800 GMT, the lira had firmed 0.2 percent to around 5.79 lira per dollar.


After a rally to five-month highs this month, crude oil paused on the prospect of Russia and OPEC boosting production to fight for market share with the United States. [O/R]

U.S. West Texas Intermediate was flat at $63.46 per barrel after losing nearly 0.8 percent the previous day.

Oil has been surging on tightening global supplies, as output has fallen in Iran and Venezuela amid signs the United States will toughen sanctions on those two OPEC producers, and on the threat that renewed fighting could stop production in Libya.

Currency markets were generally quiet, although the Australian dollar took a dive lower after the Reserve Bank of Australia signaled in policy minutes that an interest rate cut would be appropriate should inflation stay low and unemployment trend higher.

The Aussie shed 0.4 percent to $0.7140.

The U.S. dollar was unchanged, its index at 96.908, while the euro and yen both rose slightly.

Many investors are now waiting on Chinese gross domestic product (GDP). A Reuters poll forecast first-quarter growth to have cooled to 6.3 percent, the weakest pace in at least 27 years, but a flurry of measures to boost domestic demand may have put a floor under slowing activity in March.

“The outlook for Asia critically hinges on the outlook of China’s growth and the ongoing U.S.-China trade talks,” wrote strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “On both fronts, policymakers and investors believe that the outcome of these two issues is turning more positive.”]]>
4/16/2019 11:37:43 AM
<![CDATA[All you need to know about protection fees on iron billets, steel rebar]]>
Egypt Today reviews the details of this decision:

-The minister of trade and industry issued decree no. 346 of 2019 imposing temporary protective measures on imports of steel rebar.

-The fees are 15 percent for billets and 25 percent for steel rebar in all its forms such as bars, rods, rolls or chopsticks, besides its semi-finished products as billets.

-Ministry of Trade and Industry directed the Customs Authority to implement the decree starting from April 15. 2019.

-The resolution will be imposed for 180 days (6 months).

-Article 1 of the minister's decision stipulates that imports of the steel rebar category are classified under the customs item (7214, 7213) of the tariff coordinated to draw temporary protective measures for 180 days at a rate of 25 percent of the value.

-The second article states that imports of semi-finished products of iron or non-alloy steel (billet), which are classified under the customs item 7207, shall be subject to the tariff for the temporary protective measures for a period of 180 days.

-The protection fee shall be calculated on the basis of the prices sent by the commercial processors sector to the Customs Authority at the end of each month.

-The fees shall be directed to the Export Development Fund (the Consolidated Treasury Account).

-The decision is imposed by 25 percent on rebar for building purposes only, and semi-finished products of iron or steel other than "billet" alloys.


Egypt imposes temporary fees on iron billets, steel rebar

CAIRO - 15 April 2019: Egypt's Ministry of Finance started Monday, April 15 collecting temporary protection fees on Egypt's imports of iron billets and steel rebar for 180 days. The ministry clarified that the fees are 15 percent for billets and 25 percent for steel rebar in all its forms such as bars, rods, rolls or chopsticks, besides its semi-finished products as billets.



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4/15/2019 5:23:53 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank is keen to intensify cooperation with Egypt]]>
Diop added that Egypt is a very important country in terms of the bank's fields of operation.

He also expressed the bank's aspiration to intensify cooperation with Egypt in various fields, namely transport and cooperation in the field of energy, entrepreneurship and digital transformation, during the country's presidency of the African Union.

This came during his meeting with Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr at the end of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank in Washington.

The two sides discussed the acceleration of the bank's support for the implementation of infrastructure projects in the African countries in light of Egypt's chairmanship of the African Union this year, and within the framework of the bank’s allocation of $57 billion to support Africa over the next three years.

They also agreed to cooperate in the development of regional integration projects with African countries, especially in the development of river navigation projects to promote trade and transport between the countries of the continent.

The discussions tackled the future cooperation between Egypt and the World Bank in the areas of infrastructure development to support economic development efforts and attract and stimulate private sector investment.

For her part, Nasr affirmed Egypt's keenness on benefiting from the World Bank's expertise in the field of digital transition in light of the bank's allocation of $25 billion to support digital transformation.

The two sides discussed areas of cooperation in developing the entrepreneurship sector, especially in the fields of technology, and the importance of activating cooperation in exchanging experiences with Silicon Valley to increase the ability of the emerging Egyptian companies to compete globally.

“It was agreed that the bank supports the transport sector as a priority sector,” according to the Investment Ministry’s statement.

The minister stressed the need to look at this sector strategically through the integration of the various sub-sectors of railways and roads and sea ports and rivers.

Nasr announced earlier that the World Bank’s investment portfolio in Egypt includes 16 projects with a total value of $6.7 billion.

Previously, the World Bank expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.5 percent during 2019, marking the second highest growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa behind Djibouti, which tops the forecasts by 7 percent.
]]>
4/15/2019 3:42:40 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt to float stake of Banque du Caire on EGX by end of 2019]]>
Amer clarified that the to-be-floated stake will be 20 percent and might go up to 30 percent of the bank.

“It’s not about money,” Amer said. “We have a plan to support the stock exchange with new issues. There is a lot of demand.”

Banque du Caire is one of the largest public banks in Egypt and is wholly owned by Banque Misr, Egypt's second largest bank.

Earlier this week, the bank decided to change its logo under its development plan. It accomplished profits of LE 2.5 billion after taxes during 2018, with growth exceeding 200 percent.

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

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

In 2018, Egypt delayed listing shares of state-owned companies on the Egyptian Exchange, such as the 4.5 percent stake of Eastern Company slated for October. The government attributed the delay to volatility in the global market, noting that if the shares had been floated, they would have failed to be covered at proper valuation.

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

As part of the economic reform program, the government targets offering 15-30 percent of stakes in state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX) to increase funding to Egyptian companies, maximize the benefit from state assets, and attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

]]>
4/15/2019 3:41:21 PM
<![CDATA[EGX flags in red by end of Monday’s session]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 0.09 percent, or 13.54 points, to close at 15,055.42 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.55 percent, or 13.08 points, to reach 2,359.57 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 dipped 0.48 percent, or 3.23 points, to close at 669.64 points, and the broader index EGX100 lessened 0.42 percent, or 7.14 point, to 1,708.96 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 3.79 billion, recording LE 819.4 3billion, compared to LE 823.23 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 77.73 million shares, traded through 16,397 transactions, with a turnover of LE 581.03 million.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 12.51 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 380,273 and LE 12.13 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 25.34 million, and LE 24.58 million, respectively, while foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 1.78 million.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 12.83 million, LE 24.96 million and LE 10.35 million, respectively.

El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries, National Housing for Professional Syndicates, and Al Tawfeek Leasing Company-A.T.LEASE, were top gainers of the session by 8.92 percent, 8.16 percent and 6.52 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt - In EGP, Housing & Development Bank, and Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt - In US Dollars were top losers of the session by 8.30 percent, 7.14 percent, and 7.01 percent, respectively.
EGX ended Sunday’s session on mixed note, as EGX30 decreased 0.24 percent, EGX50 inched down 0.09 percent, while EGX70 rose 0.55 percent, and EGX100 hiked 0.49 percent.
]]>
4/15/2019 3:39:24 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt imposes temporary fees on iron billets, steel rebar]]>
The ministry clarified that the fees are 15 percent for billets and 25 percent for steel rebar in all its forms such as bars, rods, rolls or chopsticks, besides its semi-finished products as billets.

The ministry hopes this decision increases the growth rate of production and sales of the local industry and supports the Egyptian manufacturers as the proceeds of these fees will be placed in the account of the Export Development Fund of the Central Bank. This will help increase the activity of the Egyptian export sector and thus will provide more employment opportunities for young people.

Ministry of Trade and Industry decided in December to maintain tariffs on steel rebar from China, Turkey and Ukraine for five years, extending a temporary tariff imposed in June 2017.

Upon 2017’s decision, the tariff was set at 17 percent for Chinese steel, 10 to 19 percent for Turkish steel and 15 to 27 percent for Ukrainian steel.

Steel Tariffs Extended

CAIRO - 19 January 2018: Ministry of Trade and Industry
decided early December to maintain tariffs on steel rebar from China, Turkey and Ukraine for five years, extending a temporary tariff imposed in June 2017. Although commended by the Industries Federation and welcomed by steel companies as a way to support the local industry, the decision is still raising concerns over possible price increases.



]]>
4/15/2019 1:04:51 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling rises back towards $1.31, Brexit talks in focus]]>
Volatility in the pound has collapsed since European Union leaders and the British government last week announced Brexit would be delayed for up to six months.

That removed the immediate risk of a no-deal Brexit but also raised the possibility of months of political uncertainty in Britain as politicians struggle to agree over how best - or whether at all - to leave the EU.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Monday that talks between the government and the opposition Labour Party to find consensus over a Brexit plan are more constructive than people think.

Goldman Sachs analysts said they believed there was still more upside than downside for the pound so long as the market focused on Brexit negotiations rather than macroeconomic news.

“Another extension to the Article 50 deadline lowers the probability of a quick resolution to the Brexit impasse, but we think the market seems to be taking this too far,” they wrote in a note sent to clients.

“While slow, we see signs of progress in the negotiations, so there remains a meaningful chance that there is some resolution before the May 22 deadline.”

Sterling rose 0.2 percent to $1.3106 by 0840 GMT. Against the euro the pound was little changed at 86.385 pence per euro.

This week will offers more clues as to how the British economy is holding up in the face of prolonged British uncertainty.

On Tuesday, labour market data is published while Wednesday sees inflation numbers for March released.

RBC’s Head of Asia FX strategy, Sue Trinh, said in a note that “The UK labour market remains tight which should be reflected in the data on Tuesday.”]]>
4/15/2019 12:29:12 PM
<![CDATA[EMERGING MARKETS-Emerging shares rise on trade hopes, China data; Turkey's lira drops]]>
MSCI’s index of emerging market shares rose 0.1 percent in an Easter holiday-shortened week, but pared some gains as China shares closed lower.

Over the weekend, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he hoped U.S.-China trade talks were approaching their final lap. Meanwhile, Chinese data showing exports rebounded in March to a five-month high while new bank loans jumped by far more than expected.

“U.S. and China have been actively keeping alive hopes that a trade deal is within reach. This, coupled with better-than-expected China data in March,” took shares higher, DBS analysts wrote in a note.

While most Asian shares rose - with trade-reliant indices in South Korea and Taiwan rising more than 0.4 percent each, mainland China stocks reversed gains of more than 2 percent each to end lower as analysts warned that the data is backward looking.

“It (the lending) has already happened, so there can’t be sustained support for share prices,” said Cao Xuefeng, a Chengdu-based analyst at Huaxi Securities. Investors now look to first-quarter economic growth data due Wednesday for further clues on the economy.

Equities in South Africa and Turkey also slipped, but Russian shares added nearly 0.3 percent.

Among currencies, a weaker dollar helped some Asian currencies make small gains.

Elsewhere in the developing world, South Africa’s rand climbed 0.3 percent, while Russia’s rouble firmed 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s lira extended losses to a third straight session, down 0.6 percent.

Official data showed that Turkey’s unemployment rate surged to 14.7 percent in the December-February period, its highest level in almost 10 years.

The currency, still recovering from a crisis last year, has been pressured recently by a cocktail of negative factors - worsening ties with the United States, a recount of local elections re-confirming President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party loss in Istanbul, and rising inflation.

On Friday, ratings agency Moody’s said that a reform package that Turkey presented last week provided little detail and was vague on a timetable for helping revive an economy plagued by inflation and recession.
]]>
4/15/2019 12:27:36 PM
<![CDATA[New World Bank president hopes to work closely with Sisi]]>
This came during his meeting with Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the World Bank.

The meeting was attended by Vice President of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)Farid Belhadj, Executive Vice President of the World Bank Keiko Honda, Director of the bank in Egypt Mirza Hassan, and Executive Director of the bank in Egypt Raji Al-Atarbi.

The two sides discussed supporting Egypt in transport and infrastructure projects, small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurship, focusing on women's projects and attracting foreign investments to Egypt.

The meeting also tackled the participation of the World Bank in supporting infrastructure projects in the African continent in light of President Sisi's chairmanship of the African Union during the current year.

During the meeting, Nasr reviewed the efforts exerted by the government in the economic and legislative reform and the establishment of major national projects such as the Suez Canal axis, and the New Administrative Capital. That is in addition to implementing projects in the fields of transport, education, and communication in cooperation with the private sector to improve the standard of living of citizens.

]]>
4/15/2019 11:39:26 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt postpones issuing green, Asian bonds to next fiscal year]]>
“We are not going to issue any new debt in the international market in the current fiscal year," he added, saying that no decisions have been made regarding the size of the offerings or their timing.

According to Ma’it, the issuances were planned to take place in the current fiscal year but were postponed to give the government more time to prepare and to comply with Euroclear regulatory requirements.

On April 5, Ministry of Finance announced that Egypt has put up for sale international bonds at a value of €2 billion in two tranches.

The statement noted that Egypt issued 6-year bonds worth €750 million, maturing on April 11, 2025 in addition to 12-year bonds at a value of €1.25 billion, maturing on April 11, 2031.

Ma'it said previously that Egypt will return to the international bond market before the end of the current fiscal year 2018/2019, clarifying that the upcoming issuance will be in currencies other than dollar or through new products.

The Ministry of Finance announced earlier that Egypt issued international bonds worth $4 billion in three categories that was five times oversubscribed.

The dollar-denominated bonds came with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years in a sale and will be offered at high revenues, as the subscriptions exceeded $21.5 billion.

In October 2018, Ma'it launched a pan-Asian road show to promote its international bonds in the South Korean capital, Seoul. The promotion campaign continued in November in several important Asian markets, topped by Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan.

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4/14/2019 5:13:27 PM
<![CDATA[Planning, environment ministers confer on integrated waste management system]]>
This integrated system should counter the negative impact of waste pileups on streets, not to mention diseases caused by open-air burning, Saeed said in a statement Sunday.

She also touched upon big losses in terms of the value added of such wastes.

The Planning Ministry, Saeid added, will provide funds needed to establish the infrastructure of the integrated waste system through investments in governorates totaling 9.3 billion pounds over five years.

The new system should also create 1.25 million jobs through merging the informal sector, the minister noted.

Fouad, for her part, said the system would contribute to securing some 2.7 billion pounds annually and save another 300 million dollars that would otherwise go to importing three million tons of coal.

She added that the system is meant to reduce air and water pollution, let alone visual pollution caused by pileups.

The system will also secure 6 billion dollars - the annual cost of environmental degradation, Fouad further said. ]]>
4/14/2019 5:11:13 PM
<![CDATA[Electricity minister praises Africa's promising chances]]>
The minister's statements came during the inaugural session of the second ordinary session of the African Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET)

Shaker asserted the importance of utilizing the energies of African youths and supporting their ideas through allowing the finance of productive projects which provide job opportunities, support their economy and empower women economically with eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination against women.

The minister praised the development projects Egypt is carrying out in all fields especially the mega infrastructure projects to achieve sustainable development and integration and cooperation with all African countries.

He pointed out to Egypt 2030 vision which put the country among the world's top 30 largest economies by 2030, pointing out that the country introduced a serious program for economic reform based on several axes including monetary and sociopolitical ones to attract more foreign investments in mega projects.

Minister Shaker said that Egypt managed to make important progress in the renewable energy domain in cooperation with the private sector, pointing out that 32 agreements in the energy domains had been signed.

He said that Egypt is carrying out the biggest solar energy station in the world south of Aswan with a total capacity of 1465 megawatts.

Shaker signed on Sunday with Amany Abu Zeid, the African Union Commissioner for infrastructure and energy, the host country agreement for organizing STC-TTIET.

He said Egypt's hosting of the second session would be a great opportunity for Cairo to play a leading role in developing Africa's infrastructure.]]>
4/14/2019 4:37:24 PM
<![CDATA[Electricity Ministry: Egypt seeks to achieve integration with Africa in energy field]]>
In statements to Extra News TV channel, Hamza said the meetings of the second ordinary session of the African Specialized Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental and Interregional Infrastructure, Energy and Tourism (STC-TTIIET) will be hosted by Egypt later on Sunday.

He pointed out that the committee is deeply interested in outlining strategies for the coming phase as regards infrastructure projects in the fields of transport, tourism and energy.

Recommendations of the committee will be referred to the African Union meetings to be implemented for the best interests of Africa, he added.

The main objectives of the second session will be, first and foremost, to evaluate implementation of the updated STC Plans of Action as well as address the challenges and, finally, agree on the way forward, he said.

More than 500 participants, including the ministers of transport, energy and tourism from African countries as well as experts of regional and international foundations and business leaders will attend the meetings.]]>
4/14/2019 3:42:26 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Sunday on mixed note]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 0.24 percent, or 37 points, to close at 15,068.96 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.09 percent, or 2.06 points, to reach 2,372.65 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 rose 0.55 percent, or 3.67 points, to close at 672.87 points, and the broader index EGX100 increased 0.49 percent, or 8.42 point, to 1,716.1 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 1.13 billion, recording LE 823.23 billion, compared to LE 824.37 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 86.23 million shares, traded through 13,089 transactions, with a turnover of LE 380.18 billion.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 22.8 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 12.03 million and LE 10.77 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 699,626, and LE 760,765, respectively, while Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 319,847.

Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 12.35 million, and LE 10 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations sold at LE 23.5 million.

El-Nile Co. for Pharmaceuticals and Chemical Industries , Cairo Educational Services, and Misr National Steel - Ataqa, were top gainers of the session by 7.98 percent, 6.95 percent and 5.66 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Nozha International Hospital, Sinai Cement, and E Electro Cable Egypt were top losers of the session by 7.97 percent, 4.61 percent, and 4.40 percent, respectively.


]]>
4/14/2019 3:16:54 PM
<![CDATA[World has confidence in Egypt's economy, Inflation fell to less than 10%.: CBE Governor]]>
This came during his interview with Egypt Today at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC.

The CBE governor said that Egypt is adopting liberal policies in light of the country's aim to boost economic growth via depending on various funding sources and not only the domestic savings.

The unemployment rate has reached 13 percent, Amer said, adding that the budget deficit, in only two years, declined to LE 6 billion from LE 20 billion. He noted that about LE 160 billion have been allocated for investments by the Finance Ministry.

Amer also said on Friday that foreign cash flows from different sources have recorded $130 billion since the Egyptian pound exchange rate liberation in November 2016, stressing that this is an important indicator that reflects the improvement of the Egyptian economic situation. The amount includes dollar bonds, loans, treasury bills and stock market flows.

As for economic policies, Amer said that it is important to support sources of foreign currency by increasing Egyptian exports abroad and job opportunities at home, enhancing the competitiveness of Egyptian products, raising the rate of domestic production and maximizing tourism resources.

The tourism sector is an essential element in achieving monetary and price stability in Egypt, he said, asserting that the strategic objective of Egypt is to increase the growth rate of tourism sector to reach $20 billion annually, which means the sector will grow by 10 and 15 percent annually.

The oil sector is one of the important sectors supported by the Central Bank of Egypt and banks during the past years, whether in Egyptian pound or foreign currency. The foreign partners' fees have been paid in petroleum. We also need to support foreign direct investment to boost the balance of payments.

As for the new banking law, he said that it provides rules and foundations to assist in development, enhance the role of banks in development, support employment opportunities and maintain internal stability.

In attempt to increase support for the SME sector in the coming period, Amer said that Egypt is taking steps in the SME sector.

"To support small and medium-sized enterprises and innovation, the Central Bank has been working on the development of several initiatives including financial coverage, banking technology, mobile and internet banking, electronic footprint, small enterprise support through tax incentives and an independent integrated system to support small and medium enterprises 2019. The Central Bank of Egypt also supports the SME sector through low interest rates." he said.
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4/14/2019 2:59:32 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, UK agree on boosting economic cooperation]]>
The talks, which were held on the sidelines of World Bank (WB) Spring Meetings, taking place in Washington on April 9-14, were attended by minister Nasr's advisers.

According to a statement issued by her ministry on Sunday, Nasr underscored Egypt's keenness on fostering strategic relations with the UK alongside enhancing economic and investment cooperation in various spheres such as education, health, SMEs and entrepreneurship.

The meeting tackled bolstering cooperation within the UK's Arab Partnership Fund that dedicates some six million pound sterling annually to projects between Egypt and the UK in many domains serving comprehensive economic growth.

Cooperation within the framework of the new partnership initiated by the WB with the UK's Department for International Development towards upgrading the mechanism by which governments can follow up the quality of their education system figured high during the talks as well.

Meanwhile, secretary Rycroft said that this partnership is part of an international effort that targets boosting investment in the human element, with a view to consolidating justice and economic growth.

The UK is keen on backing President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's initiative on investing in human capital, especially in the fields of education and medical care, Rycroft added.

He went on to say that Egypt's current economic status encourages the British business community to pump more investments into the Egyptian market.
]]>
4/14/2019 2:28:06 PM
<![CDATA[ICD invests $230M in various sectors in Egypt]]>
Segeny clarified that these investments included up to $75 million in the food industry and $75 million in the renewable energy in Benban Power Station.

This came during Segeny's meeting with Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr on the fringe of Spring Meetings of the World Bank currently being held in Washington.

“In the financial sector, a leasing company was established in partnership with Arab Investment Bank and another company, and Egypt obtained a loan of $25 million for Banque Misr as part of a collective funding estimated at $350 million,” he added.

Moreover, Segeny noted that ICD participated in financing petroleum Services Company by $20 million.

Both sides discussed activating the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the organization and Investment Ministry on the cooperation to develop ad finance infrastructure investment in the framework of the partnership between public and private sectors. That is in addition to supporting and expanding investors of the private sector in Egypt.

According to a statement of the Ministry of Investment, this will contribute to financing infrastructure projects, mega projects, education and renewable energy projects as well as investing in the Sugar Company during the coming period.

Nasr said that there are vast opportunities for investment in Egypt especially in the Suez Canal Development corridor, the New Administrative Capital and New Alamein.

She noted that the ministry is working on increasing the volume of foreign direct investment (FDI), configuring the right climate for the private sector to increase investments in Egypt, and support international institutions to invest in national and development projects.


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4/14/2019 2:03:29 PM
<![CDATA[Arab Labor Conference discusses preserving water bodies, empowering disabled ]]>
The conference runs from April 14-21 in Cairo under the auspices of Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

The conference will address the report of the director general of the Arab Labor Organization, entitled "Labor Relations and the Requirements of Sustainable Development", to discuss the future of the Arab labor markets and the situation of the workforce, the role of the real partnership between the three parties of production represented by governments, employers, and workers.

The conference will also discuss technical issues including the importance of preserving and managing water bodies in order to optimize their investment, which can consequently provide many jobs, especially since Arab countries have thousands of kilometers of coastline.

While the second issuefocuses on the role of modern technology in involving people with disabilities in the labor market, as achieving comprehensive and sustainable development requires the integration of all components of society.

This year, the conference will witness the election of the director general of the Giza-based Arab Labor Organization and a special session on the situation of Palestinian workers and people. Also, a number of successful Arab entrepreneurs are set to be honored.


The Arab Labor Conference is an opportunity for the three parties to meet, said Mariam al-Aqeel, chairman of the Arab Labor Organization and Kuwait's minister of state for economic affairs, in her speech in the conference.

The conference gives the three parties represented in governments, employers and workers, the opportunity to consult and discuss labor issues, combat unemployment, and review modern modes of operation.

Aqeelsaid that the current technological development prompts to discuss advanced methods of upgrading the Arab labor markets to achieve sustainable development andtransition to a green economy.

The green economy aims to reduce environmental risks and achieve sustainable development.

"… To be green, an economy must not only be efficient, but also fair. Fairness implies recognizing global and country level equity dimensions, particularly in assuring a just transition to an economy that is low-carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive," the 2011 UNEP Green Economy Report says.

Aqeel pointed out that the conference will witness a special session to expose the negative practices of the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinian people and the right of the Palestinian people tohaveJerusalem as their capital.
]]>
4/14/2019 2:01:19 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.5 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.5 billion with a 273-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April, with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.

Finance Ministry to auction LE 184B in T-bonds, bills in April

CAIRO - 1 April 2019: The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April. The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.




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

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

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




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

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
4/14/2019 12:00:35 PM
<![CDATA[WB allocates $82 bln for investment projects in Africa]]>
The move came on Saturday during a session on Africa's digital economy on the fringe of the Spring Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), held in Washington, D.C.

Egypt is the first country in the Middle East and Africa which has a strategy for digital transformation and e-trade, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr said.

The country is working on luring foreign investments in the fields of information technology and start-ups, Nasr noted. ]]>
4/13/2019 3:39:59 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Minister: State exerts strenuous efforts to sustain economic growth rates]]>
This could be achieved through keeping working on reducing the public debt-to-GDP and deficit-to-GDP ratios, the minister said at a meeting with the heads and directors of the international investment banks on the fringe of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C.

Economic reforms implemented by the Egyptian government had a positive impact on the State budget performance and economic growth rates, which are targeted to hit 5.9% in the coming fiscal year, Maait said.

The government as well seeks achieving a primary budget surplus of 2% of the GDP, Maait noted.

The government receives positive reactions from the domestic and international investment communities, he said, adding that the success of the economic reform program contributed to increasing the investment requests from all over the world.

The Egyptian economy has enjoyed the confidence of the credit rating institutions and investors, he confirmed.]]>
4/13/2019 3:16:56 PM
<![CDATA[Foreign cash flows hit $150 bln in 30 months - CBE governor]]>
This is an important indicator that reflects the improvement of the Egyptian economic situation, Amer told MENA on the sidelines of the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington.

The amount includes dollar bonds, loans, treasury bills and stock market flows, he added. ]]>
4/13/2019 12:11:29 PM
<![CDATA[CBE governor: Egypt is not in need of new program with IMF]]>
The IMF's board of governors expressed keenness to cooperate again with Egypt, the CBE governor confirmed.

In statements to MENA on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF in Washington, the CBE governor said that Egypt is adopting liberal policies given the country's aim to boost economic growth via depending on various funding sources, and not only the domestic savings.

The unemployment rate has reached 13%, Amer said adding that, the budget deficit, in only two years, declined to EGP 6 billion from EGP 20 billion.

EGP 160 billion have been allocated for investments by the Finance Ministry, Amer noted. ]]>
4/13/2019 11:44:19 AM
<![CDATA[Investment minister urges WB, IMF to support developing countries]]>
The remarks were part of a speech the minister delivered at the the Group of 24's ministerial meeting in Washington, held on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The meeting was attended by CEO of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

The minister underscored the importance of the efforts made by strong international financial organizations and all development partners to help reform and diversify economies of the Group of 24, a bloc of emerging and developing market nations.

Nasr noted that strong economic reforms have been implemented in Egypt and contributed to developing its economy.

She added that concrete steps have been taken to provide a climate attracting investments, a matter which she said instigates the private sector to direct its investments to Egypt.

The minister said job opportunities can be provided through the empowerment of women and youth, improving business climate in addition to promoting the private sector’s participation in investment in the neediest areas.

These are among the Egyptian government’s key targets of its economic reform program, she added.]]>
4/12/2019 2:14:35 PM
<![CDATA[IFC willing to expand activities in Egypt]]>
IFC chief operating officer Stephanie von Friedberg made the remarks at a meeting with Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr on the fringe of the Spring Meetings of the WB Group in Washington.

The two sides discussed beefing up the IFC's support to Egypt's private sector mainly in the transport, renewable energy and entrepreneurship sectors with regard to the country's portfolio in the international corporation which hits $2 billion, the IFC's largest investment portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa region, the Investment Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Nasr underscored the IFC's great role in supporting several mega projects in Egypt, noting that the corporation's investments in Egypt hit a record high in 2017-2018 fiscal year after reaching $1.2 billion.

For her part, Friedberg pointed out that the IFC has pumped more than $165 million as investments in Africa and the Middle East region over the past few years]]>
4/12/2019 12:14:09 PM
<![CDATA[EGP 18bn allocated to drinking water, sanitation projects in FY 19/20: minister]]>
The minister’s remarks came after a delegation from the ministry and the National Investment Bank made a two-day tour of the three Suez Canal governorates of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia to inspect drinking water and sanitation projects, the ministry said in a statement Friday.

The investments include about EGP 4.6 billion for drinking water projects with the aim of providing full access to potable water, Saeed said, adding that a sum of EGP 13.4 billion will be allocated to sanitation projects.

The tour comes within the framework of the planning ministry’s keenness to follow up projects of a social and environmental dimension, in addition to those having a direct effect on the people’s health.

The statement noted that those endeavors are among the main targets of Egypt’s Vision 2030.]]>
4/12/2019 12:11:44 PM
<![CDATA[EGX loses EGP 6.9 bln over past week]]>
The market capital declined to EGP 823.2 billion, compared to EGP 830.3 billion last week, the EGX said in its weekly report.

The EGX 30 benchmark index decreased 0.93 percent, standing at 15,105.96 points, while the EGX 70 index of the small and mid-cap enterprises fell 1.31 percent, registering 669.2 points.

According to the report, the all-embracing EGX 100 index also slumped 1.32 percent over the past week, closing at 1,707.68 points]]>
4/12/2019 11:36:36 AM
<![CDATA[PM holds meeting to follow NAC mega projects]]>
This came on Thursday during a meeting of the main committee following up the projects implemented in the NAC in preparation for moving to it.

The meeting was attended by Planning Minister Hala el Saeed, Housing Minister Essam el Gazzar and Transport Minister Kamel el Wazir in addition to board chairman of the company of New Administrative Capital for Urban Development, deputy planning minister for administrative reform, chairman of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority and officials from the Ministry of Communication.

Madbouli said that this meeting aims at following up the measures of moving the ministries to the NAC.

Madbouli gave directives to swiftly finish furnishing the offices of the employees who will be transferred to the NAC.

During the meeting, Gazzar said that the Housing Ministry is preparing a full design for the six residential neighborhoods and the central business area in NAC.

Also, Wazir said a full study will be referred to the prime minister on the transport system of the NAC employees.]]>
4/11/2019 6:26:52 PM
<![CDATA[Gatjed launches as a gateway to Egypt]]>
“Our project is trying to enhance Egyptian industry by serving manufacturers operating in different sectors including textiles, fashion, heavy machinery and equipment,” Founder and CEO of Gatsub, the owner of gatjed.com, Ahmed Rasekh told Egypt Today.

final logo - 2

gatjed also offers a service called “iConnect” through which manufacturers seeking certain industrial components can send an inquiry online to find potential suppliers, Rasekh explained. “They can get a sample and make an order. Even if that service reduces imports by one percent, it is still a huge amount of money,” Rasekh explained.

Gatjed’s goal is to boost the sales and distribution of Egyptian products locally and globally, reducing the import rate of industrial components as well as digitizing the trade and distribution processes by bringing the demand and supply into one online marketplace.

The platform focuses on solving two major problems that hinder Egyptian products from selling more locally and globally: limited global access to Egyptian manufactured products and poor awareness of the quality and diversity of local products as well as the capabilities of the Egyptian manufacturers.

“Egypt has a large and diversified industrial sector that is totally capable of replacing imported products. That sector can directly contribute to the reduction of both the trade deficit and outflow of foreign currency,” Rasekh added.

As for how the deals can be closed, Rasekh explained, “It depends on every single deal. There are standard payment methods globally such as the issuance of letters of credit that ensure the buyer's products are shipped and that the manufacturer receives the payment. We will ensure that the relationship between the buyer and the seller is on the right track.”

Made in Egypt_Gatjed poster

“Advanced payments can only be done locally, but no exporters of Egyptian materials or equipment will be paying in advance for products they did not see, test or check at the manufacturer's facility. In very rare cases, it can happen by bringing in buyers involved in big deals to visit the manufacturer's facility, inspect it, take samples of the products and maybe make a down payment,” Rasekh added.

The platform has identified numerous products that have high export potential. “We have conducted a very robust market research that covered Egypt, some countries in the Middle East, and others in Africa as we will start by targeting those markets. It was all positive because those countries trust our textile products, and our fast fashion products such as bags and women’s accessories. Egypt came on top as an exporter of those products, so that is a good sign to sell those products,” Rasekh said, adding he is “confident that there are plenty of manufacturers who produce other types of products and who were not able to receive proper attention to sell their products more.”

Clarifying what has been achieved since the foundation of Gatsub in September 2018, Rasekh said that contracts were signed successfully with around 100 manufacturers and designers. “We still have a long way to go, as there are 42,000 licensed manufacturers in Egypt in addition to other small businesses that are still striving. It is our responsibility to help small businesses grow and increase the chances of the larger ones,” Rasekh added.

“We have a competitive edge. We will be the gateway for any Egyptian manufactured product. If a consumer or a manufacturer seeks an Egyptian product we will be the number one choice for them,” Rasekh said.

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4/11/2019 5:47:16 PM
<![CDATA[Iraq keen to benefit from Egyptian expertise in electricity]]>
During the meeting, Iraq’s Electricity Minister Louay al-Khatib affirmed his country’s keenness to benefit from the Egyptian experience in developing the electricity sector and the relevant infrastructure, according to official reports.

Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker presented during the meeting the projects implemented in the country, including a project to establish three major power plants with a capacity of 14.4 GW in cooperation with German Siemens within 28 months, besides Benban, the biggest solar project in the world.

In the Rebuilding and Construction Conference which kicked off in Baghdad in April, Iraqi Ministry of Trade First Secretary Haitham Gamil said that the Iraqi government is keen on benefiting from the expertise of the Egyptian companies and businessmen in the reconstruction of Iraq.

The remarks were made before representatives of more than 50 Egyptian companies specialized in the field of contracting and construction materials.

He said Egypt will be on top of the countries that will join the reconstruction operations of Iraq, asserting that foreign investments are vital to revive the Iraqi economy.

The Iraqi official invited the Egyptian companies participating in the conference to effectively contribute to reconstruction and investment in Iraq, voicing his admiration of the Egyptian expertise in building new areas under the sponsorship of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
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Electricity Ministers of Egypt and Iraq discuss means to enhance bilateral cooperation in the fields of electricity and renewable energy – Press photo
He said the targeted growth rate for 2018/2022 is 7 percent worth $75 billion of investments in the various economic sectors.

The Iraqi official voiced hope that the Building and Reconstruction Conference would mark a new phase in the partnership between the Iraqi companies and ministries and their Egyptian counterparts.

He also said Iraq targets the expansion of crude oil production from 4.5 million barrels per day to reach 6 million barrels by 2020.


MENA contributed to the reporting
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4/11/2019 5:12:20 PM
<![CDATA[WB dedicates dlrs 200 mn to support entrepreneurship in Egypt: Nasr]]>
It has been widely proven that companies run by women are one of the fastest growing small sized companies, she added.

The Investment Ministry seeks encouraging businesswomen to make investments, as well as empowering women to get funds, Nasr said while addressing a session of the World Bank spring meeting under the theme "A New Economy for the Middle East and North Africa".

She highlighted the importance of boosting support offered by the bank to the private sector, along with encouraging innovation in the Arab region.

Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) fund plays a key role in supporting women-run projects like "Mastora" project which targets breadwinning mothers, Nasr said, pointing out to the ongoing coordination between her ministry and the SMEs development program.

Meanwhile, World Bank Group Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj praised progress achieved by Egypt in the domains of empowering women and supporting SMEs, along with the domain of communication and information technology.

Belhaj also commanded the digital conversion adopted by Egypt's government bodies along side efforts of the government to turn itself into a digital one through creating a digital participatory environment among state ministries and institutions.

Meanwhile, the two sides asserted the importance of joint regional cooperation with the aim of enhancing the regional economic integration that targets improving the pro-emerging projects business climate.]]>
4/11/2019 11:58:15 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s balance of payments shows positive results]]>
Egypt Today reviewed these positive results, which included the export of goods that jumped 18.4 percent by $2.2 billion to record $14.3 billion during July - December 2018 compared to $12.1 billion dollars in the same period.

It also included the decline in payments on petroleum imports by 2.1 percent to record $5.8 billion due to the decrease in the quantities imported from petroleum products and crude oil, and to achieving self-sufficiency of natural gas.

The balance of oil trade achieved a surplus for the first time in more than four years, amounting to $150.8 million, compared to a deficit of about $2.2 billion.

The surplus in the services balance rose by 36.7 percent to about $7.3 billion, compared to about $5.3 billion, and the surplus in the travel balance increased to about $5.4 billion dollars, compared to about $3.8 billion.

The data also showed that the Suez Canal receipts rose 5.8 percent to reach $2.9 billion dollars, compared to $2.8 billion, and capital and financial accounts achieved net inflows of $1.8 billion.

“Foreign direct investment in Egypt recorded a total inflow of about $6.6 billion, compared to $6.57 billion, and total outflow was about $3.8 billion, compared with about $2.8 billion, to reach a net of $2.8 billion,” data revealed.

The usage of long-term and medium-term loans and facilities fell to about $2.2 billion, down from about $4.7 billion.

While total repayments rose to $1.3 billion from $1.2 billion, resulting in a net of $872.3 million compared to $3.5 billion.
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4/11/2019 11:53:58 AM
<![CDATA[Branch International raises $170M million Series C Financing]]>
Branch and Visa will team up to offer virtual prepaid debit card numbers to customers around the world. This enables unbanked Branch customers the option to receive credit at any physical ATM, bypassing the need for a bank account.

“We started Branch in Kenya, where M-Pesa gives anyone with a phone -- including the unbanked -- access to digital credit. Unfortunately, mobile money isn’t available in most countries. With the help of Visa, now we can send cash to any ATM and reach the underserved around the planet,” says Matthew Flannery, CEO and co-founder of Branch.

Traditional barriers such as a credit score and bank account make financial accessibility a challenge for over 2 billion people in the world. Yet many in underserved markets have a financial tool right in their pocket -- their mobile phone. By tapping into the rise of mobile technology worldwide, Branch aims to radically expand financial access, making full global inclusion a reality in our lifetime.

“At Visa we believe financial empowerment is an essential passport out of poverty,” said Bill Sheedy, Executive Vice President of Strategy at Visa. “Our partnership with Branch provides Visa a key distribution mechanism to reach people that were previously out of reach and help shape the future of microfinance.”

Today, Branch is also announcing the close of its Series C financing, a $170M round led by Foundation Capital and Visa. And joining this round of investment are existing investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, Formation 8, the IFC, CreditEase, and Victory Park as well as new investors, Greenspring, Foxhaven, and B Capital.
“I’ve known the Branch team since right after the company was founded,” said Charles Moldow of Foundation Capital, who will be joining the Branch Board of Directors. “After tracking them for years, it has become clear to me that emerging markets are one of the biggest growth areas for fintech. Our history of successful fintech investments is evidence that we know how to spot true innovators, like Branch. The team has executed incredibly well and is poised to become the cross-border financial super-app.”


ABOUT BRANCH INTERNATIONAL:

Founded in 2015, Branch delivers world-class financial services to the mobile generation. With offices in San Francisco, Lagos, Mexico City, Mumbai and Nairobi, Branch is a global, socially conscious company that uses the power of data science and mobile technology to reduce the barriers of delivering financial services in emerging markets. With over 3 million customers and 13 million loans processed, Branch International has disbursed over $350 million. In addition to credit, Branch intends to roll-out to high-yield savings accounts to customers this year.
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4/10/2019 10:30:05 PM
<![CDATA[CBE: Annual inflation rate falls to 8.9% in March]]>
On a monthly basis, core inflation recorded 0.5 percent in March, compared to 1 percent in February. ]]>
4/10/2019 4:21:29 PM
<![CDATA[Industry minister probes with China's Huajian group investment plans in Egyptian markets]]>
The discussions came during a meeting Nassar held with the group's president, Zhang Huarong, in the presence of Commercial Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Cairo Han Ping and head of Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) unit Ashraf El Rabiey, said a statement issued by the Ministry.

The minister said the Chinese company intends to direct its investments to Egypt's markets during the coming phase especially in the leather industry in Robeky industrial area.

He added the company plans to establish an integrated industrial zone near an airport to set up light industries including textiles, electronics and household appliances.

For his part, the Chinese company boss praised Egypt's economic reforms and the mega projects the Egyptian governments carried out especially the new administrative capital.

He said he visited the textile zone in Sadat city to get acquainted with investment chances in the city which he described an major industrial edifice reflecting the progress of Egypt's industry.]]>
4/10/2019 3:15:09 PM
<![CDATA[Nissan South Africa to invest $213 mln to build new Navara model]]>
The investment will increase production capacity by 300,000 and add 400 permanent jobs at the plant in the town of Rosslyn, close to Pretoria, Mike Whitfield told reporters. ]]>
4/10/2019 12:45:47 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling stuck as EU set to grant Britain a second Brexit delay]]>
Brussels is expected to grant Prime Minister Theresa May another delay to Brexit at an emergency summit on Wednesday but the bloc's leaders are likely to demand she accepts a longer extension than she proposed, and with conditions.

May wants to postpone the departure date to June 30 from April 12, but in Brussels a flexible extension until the end of the year or until March 2020 was shaping up to be the most likely option, EU diplomats said.

"We understand why this is being met with limited enthusiasm in the FX markets. Firstly, no-deal risks were already marginal with the EU never realistically going to reject the UK's request," said MUFG analysts in a note. "Secondly, a potential longer extension opens up a Pandora's Box of uncertainties that aren't particularly attractive."

The pound was helped higher by better-than-expected economic growth numbers. Britain's economy grew at 0.2 percent in February, against a forecast of no growth in a Reuters poll of economists, thanks to pre-Brexit stockpiling.

Sterling rose 0.3 percent to hit the day's high of $1.3086 , before settling around $1.3070. That leaves the pound firmly within the $1.29 to $1.32 range it has traded within for the last two weeks.

Against the euro, the pound strengthened 0.1 percent to 86.19 .

Implied volatility gauges for the British currency - market expectations for price moves - over the next week and month have come down sharply .]]>
4/10/2019 12:43:52 PM
<![CDATA[IMF commited to support Egypt, its people: managing director]]>
This comes as President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has visited Washington, to promote bilateral relations and enhance strategic cooperation between the two countries, where he also met his American counterpart.

Lagarde said in a statement released by her that she affirmed the Fund’s commitment to support Egypt and its people, adding that she discussed with President Sisi progress under the IMF-supported Egyptian economic reform program.

President El Sisi and I discussed progress under Egypt’s economic reform program supported by the IMF’s US$12 billion Extended Fund Facility. The program has progressed well and the final review is planned for the coming months. The economy continues to grow robustly, unemployment is at its lowest level since 2011, foreign exchange reserves are at comfortable levels, and public debt is on a downward trajectory supported by growth-friendly consolidation efforts, the statement said.

“We agreed on the importance of continuing with the authorities’ structural reform agenda, which aims to support inclusive growth and address constraints to private sector development. These reforms will help achieve more sustainable, inclusive, and private-sector led growth, which will create jobs for Egypt’s young population. It is also important to ensure that adequate resources are available for social protection. I reiterated the Fund’s commitment to support Egypt and its people.”

imf2 ]]>
4/10/2019 12:16:44 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s economic outlook in World Bank’s report]]>
Egypt Today reviews the most significant economic indicators for Egypt in the report, which are:

- The bank expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.5 percent during 2019, marking the second highest growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa region behind Djibouti, which tops the forecasts by 7 percent.

- It foresaw Egypt’s growth rate to hit 5.8 percent in 2020 and increase to 6 percent in 2021.
- The World Bank’s report also expected real GDP per capita growth to record 3.7 percent in 2019, 4 percent in 2020, and 4.3 percent.

- It anticipated current account balance to reach -2.5 percent of GDP in 2019, and -2.6 percent in 2020, returning back to -2.5 percent in 2021.

- It thought that Egypt’s fiscal balance would record -8.6 percent, -7.5 percent, and -7 percent of GDP in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively.

- Egypt will be one of the top performers among MENA oil importers, with a growth rate forecast at 5.5 percent for 2019, the strongest since 2008, according to the report.

- The bank also noted that the state’s primary fiscal balance is expected to reach a surplus of 1.8 percent of GDP in 2019.

- The report referred that oil importers, as a group, are expected to grow 4 percent in 2019, up from a 3.8 percent growth in 2018, referring that tourists flocked back to the region, especially to Egypt and Tunisia.

- It stated that the uptick in tourism helped to modestly reduce trade imbalances and current account deficits.
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4/10/2019 12:01:53 PM
<![CDATA[Realme Egypt: The official gold sponsor for Jumia Mobile Week]]>
Realme 2 Pro is the brand’s flagship model and will be available during Jumia Mobile Week. The 2 Pro is equipped with 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM or 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM storage and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE Processor for a low-energy, high performance experience.

The 16MP + 2MP rear camera and 16MP front camera provide professional-grade picture clarity. With a ColorOS 5.2 based on Android 8.1 system, the 2 Pro is a unique smartphone that caters to alternative users who value individuality and practicality.

C1 is another of Realme Egypt’s smartphones that will be displayed during Jumia Mobile Week. The model is set at a competitive price without compromising performance. The C1 features a large 19:9 display and powerful 4230mAh battery housed in an attractive, modern casing. The 6.2” screen coupled with a dual 13MP + 2MP rear camera and 1080P video recording capabilities make this phone a perfect model for connected users. The C1 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 Octa-core Processor and storage of 16GB ROM + 2GB RAM.

Prior to this partnership, Realme Egypt and Jumia have already shared a successful relationship with Jumia holding the title of an Authorized Distributor of Realme Egypt, selling over 1000 units of the Realme 2 Pro during the model’s local launch.

Andro Nabil, official Spokesperson for Realme Egypt stated that both brands’ partnership is one of the key drivers behind Realme Egypt’s success and was created based on the importance of e-shopping and how it revolutionized the landscape of online retail.

p1

One major success gained by Realme Egypt through Jumia is marked by the sales achieved by the 2 Pro 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM where Realme Egypt received 11M EGP in overall online sales during 3 flash sales. The 2 Pro 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM achieved sales of 3M EGP on Jumia and the C1, 7M EGP.

Realme Egypt will provide Jumia with exclusive distribution rights during the launch of Realme 3 on the 21st of April. Realme 3 is the brand’s latest competitively priced model and comes in an innovative, 3D Unibody Gradient Design and two variants, the 3GB RAM or 4GB RAM. The smartphone is also equipped with a dual rear camera and comparatively longer battery life.

p2 ]]>
4/9/2019 5:24:56 PM
<![CDATA[Finance minister heads for US to take part in WB, IMF meetings]]>
A statement released by the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday said Maait will meet with IMF Director General Christine Lagarde, a number of governors of central banks and finance ministers along with heads of regional funding institutions in the Middle East region and representatives of the civil society organizations and senior officials of the private sector from various world countries.

On the fringe of IMF, WB spring meetings, Maait will also meet with the finance and economic planning minister of South Sudan to discuss means of bolstering relations along with peace-related issues.

The minister is also set to meet with UN deputy secretary general to probe means of funding sustainable development objectives and reviewing reform plans and funding strategies.

Maait and his accompanying delegation will take part in the round-table meetings with international organizations and companies and also attend the special meetings of the Group of 20.

The minister is also scheduled to meet with a number of international credit foundations such as Fitch, Standard and Poor's and Moody's.

The Egyptian delegation will also meet with a group of investors and banks including Standard and Chartered, BNP Paribas and Merrill Lynch to review the outcome of the Egyptian economic reform program and its positive impact on the performance reports issued by various financial credit rating foundations.]]>
4/9/2019 2:32:22 PM
<![CDATA[Inside Egypt’s tourism sector]]>
CBE announced that Egypt's revenues from tourism during the first half of the current fiscal year increased 36.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

The surplus in the travel balance increased to about $5.4 billion, compared to about $3.8 billion, according to the data.

Regarding travel receipts, CBE noted that they reached about $6.8 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year, compared to $4.9 billion in the same period of the prior year.

Meanwhile, World Travel &Tourism Council (WTTC) stated earlier that tourists spent LE 218.1 billion (12.2 billion) in Egypt during 2018. It also expected the number of tourists to increase to 11.7 million during the current year.

The travel and tourism sector's contribution to the Egyptian gross domestic product (GDP) hit 11.9 percent of the total economy during 2018, according to WTTC.

The report elaborated that this contribution amounted to LE 528.7 billion ($29.6 billion), adding that the travel and tourism sector grew 16.5 percent during 2018.

In August, a government official told Reuters that Egypt’s tourism revenues jumped 77 percent in the first half of 2018 to amount to $4.8 billion, compared to the same period of the previous year.
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4/9/2019 1:01:31 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt is 18th AfCFTA ratification instrument depositor ]]>
The ambassador added that four remaining states have to sign for the agreement to go into effect.

Fifty two out of 55 member states in the African Union signed up to AfCFTA that must be ratified by 22 states to come into force. Gambia is the 22nd African state to ratify the agreement as its Parliament approved the endorsement last week.

The agreement will go into effect 30 days after the ratification documents are filed with the African Union Chairperson’s office.



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4/8/2019 5:31:35 PM
<![CDATA[Bourse loses EGP 3.4 bn, all indexes fall back]]>
The market capital lost EGP 3.4 billion, registering EGP 821.3 billion, after transactions that totaled EGP 1 billion.

The EGX 30 benchmark decreased 0.16 percent, closing at 15,111.09 points.

The broader EGX 70 index of the leading small and mid-cap enterprises (SMEs) went down 0.3 percent, standing at 673.19 points.

The all-embracing EGX 100 index also dropped 0.29 percent, recording 1,717.64 points. ]]>
4/8/2019 4:44:32 PM
<![CDATA[Gelita contemplates building Halal gelatin factory in Egypt ]]>
Gelita is a German firm that owns 21 factories worldwide, and has a global market share of 22 percent. Gelita representatives met with the minister of industry and trade several times. They are coordinating with the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure veterinary supervision and issuance of veterinary certificates required for animal products in Egypt.

Mehrez presented during the meeting the measures taken throughout the past two years to keep a record of cattle in Egypt. The records include the health status, numbering, and registration of 4.4 million cattle in Egypt. Mehrez also displayed the plan set to develop slaughterhouses.

The factory will be established in Robeiky city as a partnership between Gelita, the Cairo National Company for Investment and Securities, and a number of private tanneries. Meetings with Egyptian officials have been ongoing since August. ]]>
4/8/2019 3:14:55 PM
<![CDATA[Egyptian consortium may execute 1st phase of 4th metro line]]>
A tender lodged among Japanese companies was cancelled as only one offer was submitted. The offer was made by a Japanese consortium and the costs indicated surpassed the project’s estimated budget. Also, a technical offer to execute the second sector of the same phase was rejected.

The source clarified that an Egyptian consortium accomplished the fourth phase of the third metro line extending from Nozha neighborhood to Al-Salam City, and that is the reason the authority considers giving the project to local companies that have experience in metro works. ]]>
4/8/2019 1:36:01 PM
<![CDATA[Orascom Investment to raise its capital to LE6.25B]]>
The company clarified in a filing to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that it will invite the general assembly to vote for the capital increase after the completion of the acquisition transaction.

It noted that the increase in the proposed capital will only take place after the approval of the shareholders of the company at the meeting of the general assembly.

The filing elaborated that the capital hike will be implemented with the nominal value.

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

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

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


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4/8/2019 12:47:48 PM
<![CDATA[EBRD invests €2.2B in Egypt in 2 years]]>
Chakrabarti clarified that the bank’s investments in Egypt during the last two years included the contribution of €150 million to the solar energy project in Bennab in Aswan, and projects in the areas of transport and sanitation, including the bank of the Kitchener project worth €148.3 million.

EBRD’s president added that his bank’s investments in Egypt are worth €4.8 billion through 91 projects.

This came during a meeting between Chakrabarti and Egypt’s Minister of investment and international cooperation Sahar Nasr on the sidelines of the 10th World Economic Forum on the MENA Region being held in Jordan.

He pointed out that the bank is working to increase its investments in Egypt, especially in the areas of infrastructure and renewable energy in light of the process of comprehensive development, and work to support the private sector.

For her part, Executive Director of EBRD for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean Region Janet Hackman announced that the board of directors of the bank approved a new private sector support in Egypt for LE 7.5 billion as part of the City Center Almaza partnership in coordination with the Ministry of Housing.

The board also approved to invest LE 100 million in Alexandria port which is affiliated to the Ministry of Housing, She added.

Janet added that these steps came as a sign of EBRD’s trust in the investment climate in Egypt, and the financing of new investments in it.
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4/8/2019 12:44:57 PM
<![CDATA[Investment min. lauds profound Egyptian-Jordanian relations]]>
She made the remarks during a meeting with a business delegation comprising a number of CEOs of Jordanian companies working in Egypt, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation said in a statement on Monday.

During the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the ministerial committee's talks in Jordan, the investment minister called on Jordanian businesses to increase their investments in Egypt, as they currently stand at USD 600 million, the statement added.

In this regard, Nasr told Jordanian CEOs that the investment ministry and the General Authority for Investment have launched an initiative dubbed "Investment without Challenges", for considering investors' proposals and problems, the statement noted.

For its part, the Jordanian business delegation hailed the investment ministry's efforts to resolve a raft of Jordanian investors' problems in the country, as well as the recent economic reforms taken by the government to improve Egypt's investment climate, the statement read.

Ayman Hatahet, the general manager of Jordan Carbonate Company (JCC), said the promising Egyptian market is characterized by the lowest cost of production and its low price goods, noting that the company has investments of USD 100 million in Egypt, according to the statement.

For his part, Michael Sayegh, the board chairman of Sayegh Group, said the company's investments in Egypt hit USD 30 million in the fields of paints and chemicals, adding that they are seeking to pump more investments into the country over the coming period.

Also, Hassan Smadi, the chairman of Giant Industrial Group, said his company looks forward to establishing investment projects worth USD 7 million in Egypt in the industry of detergents.]]>
4/8/2019 12:10:01 PM
<![CDATA[Kuwaiti investments in Egypt estimated at 4.7 billion dollars - paper]]>
Seven Kuwaiti companies are operating in the petroleum sector, 73 in the financial sector, 220 in the manufacturing domain, 286 in the construction sector, 118 in the tourism field, 403 in the services sector and 125 in the real estate and technological domain, the paper said.

Based on data till December 30, 2018, there are 14 Kuwaiti trade representation offices in Egypt with Kuwait ranking the fourth in terms of countries pumping their investments into Egypt.

The number of Egyptian companies with Kuwaiti contribution reached 364 from April 2014 till December 2018 with a total capital of 918 million dollars while the number of Kuwaiti companies listed on the Egyptian Exchange hit 21 till June 2018.

The number of projects co-financed by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development in Egypt reached 50 from 1964 to 2018 at a total value of 3.2 billion dollars.

About 20 projects were financed in Egypt by loans from the Kuwaiti Development Fund at a total value of 1.28 billion dollars in addition to 19 technical grants at a value of 48 million dollars in the housing, health, irrigation and electricity domains.

Kuwaiti investors' confidence in the Egyptian market runs in tandem with international trust as the International Monetary Fund expected in its latest report that Egypt's economy would achieve 5.9 percent growth rate in 2019/2020 compared to 5.5% in the current fiscal year.]]>
4/8/2019 12:05:10 PM
<![CDATA[Local development ministers stresses support for poorest villages]]>
The Local Development Ministry is acting to upgrade the infrastructure of houses of poor families by extending sanitation and drinking water services to them, Shaarawy said in a statement Monday.

Those families are also given priority in terms of small and micro loans offered by the Local Development Fund, he added.

So far, the Ministry has extended 40,000 drinking water and sanitation connections to 66 villages in Upper Egypt, Alexandria, Cairo and Giza, as well as the Delta and Canal regions, Shaarawy said, adding that that cost some 153.5 million pounds.

This is done as part of a "Decent Accommodation" initiative that is being implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of Awqaf, he made it clear.]]>
4/8/2019 11:47:09 AM
<![CDATA[Significant figures of Egypt’s economy in IMF’s report]]>
Egypt Today reviews the most significant figures in the IMF’s report, which are:

- The expected growth rate for Egypt’s economy during fiscal year 2019/2020 is 5.9 percent, compared to 5.5 percent during current fiscal year 2018/2019.

- Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Egypt are expected to hit $11.2 billion in 2019/2020, compared to $9.5 billion during 2018/2019.

- Inflation rate to drop to 10.7 percent by the end of next fiscal year, compared to the expected 14.5 percent by the end of the current fiscal year.

- IMF also expected Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) to hit LE 6.458 trillion in 2019/2020, compared to LE 5.414 trillion during the current fiscal year.

- Foreign reserves are expected to rise to $45.5 billion in 2019/2020, compared to $44.9 billion in 2018/2019.

- The average unemployment rate is anticipated to decline to 8.3 percent in the coming fiscal year, compared to the expected 9.6 percent in 2018/2019.

- The report also forecasted Egypt’s population to rise to 101.5 million during 2019/2020, compared to 99.2 million in 2018/2019.
Egypt’s fiscal year starts in July 1, and ends in June 30 of the next year.

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4/8/2019 10:38:45 AM
<![CDATA[EGX starts week in red, market cap. loses LE 5.5B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 dropped 0.74 percent, or 112.34 points, to close at 15,135.47 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 decreased 0.55 percent, or 13.25 points, to reach 2,402.87 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 declined 0.42 percent, or 2.86 points, to close at 675.23 points, and the broader index EGX100 lessened 0.46 percent, or 7.94 point, to 1,722.6 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 5.56 billion, recording LE 824.69 billion, compared to LE 830.25 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 144.84 million shares, traded through 15,005 transactions, with a turnover of LE 346.51 billion.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 14.7 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 6.07 million and LE 8.63 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 20.53 million, and LE 3.88 million, respectively, while foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 5.31 million.

Egyptian and foreign organizations sold at LE 14.46 million, and LE 9.39 million, respectively, while Arab organizations bought at LE 4.75 million.

Egyptian Real Estate Group, Arab Polvara Spinning & Weaving CO., and International Agricultural Products, were top gainers of the session by 8.07 percent, 4.85 percent and 3.48 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, WadiKomOmbo Land Reclamation, AJWA for Food Industries Company Egypt, and Egyptian International Tourism Projects were top losers of the session by 8.17 percent, 6.44 percent, and 5.48 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s sessionin green, as EGX30 hiked 0.33 percent, EGX50 increased 0.13 percent, EGX70 inched up0.17 percent, and EGX100 climbed0.20 percent.

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4/7/2019 6:09:36 PM
<![CDATA[Industry min. convenes with representatives of key int'l companies]]>
In a statement on Sunday, the Trade and Industry Ministry said Nassar had talks with the CEO of the Japanese company Sumitomo Electric Industries on the company's future plans to expand its activities in Egypt, especially in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

He underlined the government's keenness on luring more investments into various industrial sectors to upgrade the national industry and, hence, up Egypt's exports.

The Japanese company's CEO asserted keenness on pumping more investments into Egypt which is a promising market, hailing the economic reforms introduced by the Egyptian government in the past few years.

The minister also had talks with the North Africa regional director of Johnson & Johnson company on the firm's future plans.

Nassar had talks as well with Bishoy Azmy, the CEO and Executive Director of ASGC Group which is a leading construction company in Dubai.

The talks tackled the company's expansion plan in Egypt.

He also conducted talks with the regional directors of Procter & Gamble and Royal Philips on their investments in the Egyptian market.]]>
4/7/2019 3:01:19 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17.5B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.7 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.7 billion with a 266-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April, with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.

Finance Ministry to auction LE 184B in T-bonds, bills in April

CAIRO - 1 April 2019: The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April. The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.




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

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

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



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

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
4/7/2019 11:37:01 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt's economic growth hits 5.5%, highest in decade: min.]]>
Minister Saeed made the remarks while reviewing Egypt's economic reform program with Adviser to Pakistan's Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Hussain on the fringe of the 44th annual meeting of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) board of governors in Morocco, taking place on April 5-6 in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.

The decline of the monthly inflation rate to 11.1 percent in December 2018, the lowest in 33 months - since 2016, is among the positive indicators combined with the notable retreat of the average inflation rate in the first half of 2018/2019 to record 14.1 percent compared to 30.2 percent in the same corresponding period of 2017/2018, Saaed said.

Egypt's national economic and social reform program mainly targeted attaining inclusive and sustainable growth through undertaking structural reforms for several sectors, namely the sector of power through rationalizing subsidy and chiefly directing to those who deserve, a statement issued by the Planning Ministry quoted the minister as having said.

She pointed out to the parcel of legislative and institutional reforms implemented by the government - to enhance the competitive abilities and retain the trust of investors - like the liberalization of the exchange rate, boosting foreign currency reserve and bringing down both the deficit of state budget and public debt.

The Pakistani ministerial adviser voiced his country's eagerness to get acquainted with Egypt's successful national economic reform experience.

He also expressed keenness on the continued communication between the two sides with the aim of boosting cooperation. ]]>
4/6/2019 1:18:04 PM
<![CDATA[Reform of fuel subsidies in Egypt on track: IMF's report]]>
"The authorities are committed to reaching full cost recovery by the end of 2018/19 for all fuel products, except for LPG and fuel oil used in bakeries and electricity generation", the statement added, according to the fourth review of the Egyptian economy's performance.

The report noted that the external environment has shifted in recent months, posing new policy challenges. "The tightening of global financial conditions and heightened global risk aversion have contributed to a pullback by investors from emerging markets."

However, the statement asserted that the Egyptian authorities maintain their commitment to meeting the reform program’s objectives despite the new challenges.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that included the introduction of taxes, such as the value-added tax (VAT), and cutting energy subsidies, with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

The country floated its currency in November 2016 before it clinched a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). ]]>
4/6/2019 11:43:44 AM
<![CDATA[IMF expects Egypt's debt to decline to 74% of GDP by 2022/2023]]>
The figure is expected to be driven by the recovery of tourism, construction, expansion in the gas extractives and investment sectors and proceeding with the implementation of strong structural reforms.

In its statement released on Saturday on the fourth review of Egypt's Extended Fund Facility arrangement, the IMF said that the country's economic growth is still expected to reach 6 percent in the medium term.

Meanwhile, Egypt's inflation rate is expected to range between 13 and 14% by the end of the current fiscal year, the IMF added.

Monetary policy remains anchored by the medium-term objective of bringing inflation to single digits. The recent pick-up in headline inflation reflected temporary increases in food and energy prices, but a restrictive monetary policy stance has helped to reverse the increase and keep core inflation well anchored.

The authorities have taken important steps to deepen the foreign exchange market and allow greater exchange rate flexibility, including by eliminating the repatriation mechanism.

While the outlook remains favorable, a more difficult external environment poses new challenges as global financial conditions have tightened. Egypt has successfully weathered recent capital outflows, but consistent policy implementation will be essential to further strengthen policy buffers, including by containing inflation, enhancing exchange rate flexibility, and reducing public debt.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that included the introduction of taxes, such as the value-added tax (VAT), and cutting energy subsidies, with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

The country floated its currency in November 2016 before it clinched a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). ]]>
4/6/2019 11:42:12 AM
<![CDATA[IMF: Promoting social protection Egypt’s priority since start of economic reforms]]>
“The authorities have been gradually expanding better-targeted social programs. These include Takafol and Karama— cash transfer programs to the poorest households, the coverage of which has been expanded to more than 10 million people,” the IMF said in a press release about the fourth review of the Egyptian economy’s performance.

The IMF noted that Cairo is taking additional measures to compensate the impact of the reform program, including “lump-sum public wage bonuses, a 15-percent increase in pensions, and progressive tax credits”.

In the same regard, the statement pointed out to Forsa program that helps create job opportunities, Mastoura program, which helps with microcredit for women, in addition to Sakan Karim, a program that promotes access to clean drinking water and sanitation.]]>
4/6/2019 11:41:04 AM
<![CDATA[Egyptian natural gas to Jordan to be resumed]]>
Tarek al-Mala, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and his Jordanian counterpart, Hala el Zawati signed Sunday a set of agreements and memorandums of understanding with Jordan. As per to the signed agreement, Egyptian gas supplies will increase to cover 50 percent of Jordan’s natural gas needs instead of only 10 percent in 2018.

Following Revolution of 2011, the Egyptian-Jordanian gas pipeline in Sinai has been repeatedly ruptured, causing dangerous harm for the two sides.

The Jordan Kingdom’s need for natural gas is estimated at about 300 million cubic feet per day to generate electricity.
The signed agreements organize the natural gas selling and purchasing cycle between the two countries, in terms of operating the pipelines and networks of natural gas.

“The agreements with Jordan come in line with the strategic cooperation between the two countries in the fields of oil, gas and energy”, El Molla said after the signing.

“Resumption of natural gas to Jordan will reduce the cost of the energy bill in Jordan, which has been a burden on the budget of the Kingdom,” said Hala el-Zwati.

Egypt has supplied Jordan with around 250 million cubic feet of gas per day since 2014, but these quantities have declined since the end of 2009 and have been suspended since 2011.

After the interruption of the Egyptian gas, Jordan imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the port of Al-Sheih in Sabah in Aqaba since mid-2015.

Jordanian power plants are supplied with Egyptian natural gas through the Arab gas pipeline, which runs from the south of El Arish in northern Sinai to Jordan.


]]>
4/5/2019 5:08:49 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt issues international bonds worth €2 billion in 2 tranches]]>
The statement noted that Egypt issued 6-year bonds worth €750 million, maturing on April 11, 2025 in addition to 12-year bonds at a value of €1.25 billion, maturing on April 11, 2031.

There is an increasing demand for Egypt's international bonds, the statement said, noting that Cairo receives about €9 billion worth of offers for the six- and 12-year euro-denominated bonds, representing more than four times of the bonds value]]>
4/5/2019 1:49:10 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s exports of food products exceed $ 408 M]]>
GOEIC published a list of all exported agricultural and processed food products, classifying them into three groups: first, fresh and dry citrus, potatoes, cheese, wheat, and chocolate.

Second: frozen vegetables, onions, garlic, dried and fresh Mango, guava, figs, dates, synthesized tobacco, and sugarcane.

Third: peanut, pastries, fruit juices and fresh tomatoes.

In a similar vein, Egypt's exports of fresh strawberries reached 22,400 tons during the period from January 1 to March 16, and are being shipped and exported, Head of the Central Department of Agricultural Quarantine at Ministry of Agriculture Ahmed al-Attar said.

Attar added that all exports of fresh strawberries are subject to all the procedures and requirements of quarantine, adding that the procedures for exports of agricultural products, especially for vegetables and fruits, are continually stressed to be enforced in all markets of the world.

For his part, Head of the Central Department of Horticulture and Agricultural Crops at the Ministry of Agriculture Mahmoud Atta said that since the beginning of the season of strawberry exports, there has been a mandate for all technical committees to follow up the state of the strawberry crop in various governorates, within the plan of the Ministry of Agriculture to increase exports of strawberries as one of the most popular agricultural exports.

The Agriculture Ministry, represented by the Central Administration of Agricultural Quarantine, continues to expand in new markets within the framework of the efforts to increase agricultural exports in accordance with international export quality standards, and to apply export traceability systems during the stages of agriculture, production, packaging and exportation.
]]>
4/4/2019 6:53:23 PM
<![CDATA[Suez Canal's revenues increase by 10 percent in 2018 ]]>"The Suez Canal Authority has no debts to be paid and its revenues increased by 10 percent in 2018. Such news has nothing to do with reality and aims to incite public violence," the authority's chairman Mohab Mamish stated.

New Suez Canal Project played an important role in upgrading the Suez Canal Economic Zone's classification and opened new horizons to benefit from the goods passing through the canal annually which exceed 1 billion tons.

It is worth mentioning that the Suez Canal contributes 10 percent to the total international trade, 24.5 percent to international containerization trade and 100 percent to Asian and Europe containerization trade.

In a similar vein, the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone announced that it is closed to finalize contracts with international companies to operate new quays at the East Port Said port.

Mamish announced on Friday that negotiations are underway with other major international companies to do business at the port and that these new docks will be operational by mid-2020.

Mercedes will be among the international companies that will provide logistic services at the harbor's quays, Mamish added.

He further noted that the authority has signed a contract with the French company Ecoslops to establish a plant for oil residues treatment.

He revealed the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) plans to make expansion at the harbor.
]]>
4/4/2019 6:46:57 PM
<![CDATA[Moody’s describes Egypt’s 2019/20 budget as credit positive]]>
According to the recent news published by domestic media, Moody’s expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.8 percent in 2019/2020.

It also forecasted a fiscal deficit and a primary surplus of 7.5 percent, and 1.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), respectively.

The report attributed the reduction of the deficit to a reduction in expenditures, and in particular involves the share of subsidies, grants, and social benefits.

“We project a decline to 5.4 percent of the GDP in FY 2019/20, from an expected 6 percent in FY 2018/19.” the report read.

It further foresaw that Egypt’s general government debt/GDP ratio would reduce to 82.3 percent in FY 2019/20, from an expected 86.3 percent in FY 2018/19, and an actual of 92.6 percent in fiscal FY 2017/18.

Moreover, the report said that petroleum spending will reach an estimated 0.7 percent of the GDP from 1.7 percent in FY 2018/19, following the completion of fuel subsidy reform by the coming June. It added that the continued reduction in electricity subsidies will create some fiscal space to expand spending for targeted income transfers and social welfare payments, including an increase in pension transfers to 1.3 percent of the GDP from 1.2 percent in FY 2018/19.

Egypt’s 2019/2020 preliminary budget stated that gross domestic product is expected to hit about LE 6.163 trillion in 2019/2020 budget, compared to the expected LE 5.256 trillion of the current fiscal year.

The budget deficit is anticipated to hit 7.2 percent of GDP, down from 8.4 percent of 2018/2019, announcing that the government will allow new borrowing of LE 445.1 billion in the next fiscal year.

The 2019/2020 budget aims to increase growth rates to 6 percent, focusing on comprehensive inclusive growth. The government is also seeking to create jobs for youth and reduce unemployment rates to 9.1 percent.

Egypt issues 2019/20 preliminary budget

CAIRO - 1 April 2019:
The Ministry of Finance issued the 2019/2020 preliminary budget draft and the Parliament will receive the draft at least 90 days before the start of the fiscal year on July 1 to have it signed into law by the end of June.



]]>
4/4/2019 6:41:05 PM
<![CDATA[Industry min. hails Egypt's construction market as one of regional key markets]]>
He made the remarks at a meeting with First Vice President of DMG Events Chris Kilbee and his accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the latest preparations for hosting the second edition of the Big 5 Construct Egypt at Egypt International Exhibition Center from September 2 to 4.

The show includes eight main sectors that cover construction materials, construction machinery and equipment, mechanics, electricity, health engineering, doors and windows, building facades, finishes, air conditioning systems and concrete work, the minister said.

Nasar told Kilbee the construction sector is one of the country's key exporting sectors, as it enjoys significant competitive advantages and has a great opportunity to get access to regional and global markets.

For his part, Kilbee said the second edition of the Big 5 Construct Egypt will see a high participation of around 300 world exhibitors from Egypt, the UK, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, France, Turkey, Spain, China, Canada and Switzerland.

The exhibition is aimed at attracting international buyers into the Egyptian market, which in turn could contribute to boosting Egypt's construction industry, the senior DMG Events official added. ]]>
4/4/2019 6:39:03 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Jordan discuss work progress in joint gas projects]]>
During the meeting, the two ministers probed the possibility for making good use of Egyptian companies' expertise and capacities to upgrade the basic infrastructure for natural gas in different Jordanian cities, given that Egypt is one of the pioneering countries in natural gas uses, the oil ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Following the meeting, el Molla and Zwati inaugurated a project to develop a key natural gas compressor station in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, the statement added.

The station, which is considered the main linking point for natural gas trade between Egypt and Jordan, includes four compressors, with a total production capacity of 22 megawatts, the statement read.

While inspecting the main natural gas line in Aqaba, the two ministers said the coming period is expected to witness a fresh impetus for joint energy projects, which represent the base for pushing forward bilateral economic ties, the statement noted. ]]>
4/4/2019 5:45:59 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends week in green, market cap. gains LE 1.35B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.33 percent, or 49.97 points, to close at 15,247.81 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.13 percent, or 3.18 points, to reach 2,416.12 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 rose 0.17 percent, or 1.14 points, to close at 678.95 points, and the broader index EGX100 climbed 0.20 percent, or 3.51 point, to 1,730.54 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1.35 billion, recording LE 830.25 billion, compared to LE 828.89 billion in Wednesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 149.44 million shares, traded through 19,617 transactions, with a turnover of LE 1.09 billion.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 60.29 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 16.49 million and LE 43.79 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 238.58 million, LE 19.63 million, and LE 679,967, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 298.88 million, and LE 3.13 million, respectively, while foreign organizations bought at LE 43.11 million.

Arab Polvara Spinning & Weaving CO., Heliopolis Housing, and AJWA for Food Industries company Egypt, were top gainers of the session by 7.20 percent, 5.18 percent and 5.16 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Asek Company for Mining - Ascom, Ezz Steel, and Natural Gas & Mining Project (Egypt Gas) were top losers of the session by 3.59 percent, 3.29 percent, and 3.23 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Wednesday’s session on mixed note, as EGX30 hiked 0.21 percent, EGX50 increased 0.05 percent, while EGX70 inched down 1.42 percent, and EGX100 dropped 1.16 percent.

]]>
4/4/2019 5:15:42 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt raises Eurobond program to $30B from $20B]]>
In February, Egypt issued international bonds worth $4 billion in three categories that were five times oversubscribed. The dollar-denominated bonds came with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years in a sale and will be offered at high revenues, as the subscriptions exceeded $21.5 billion.

Egypt issues $4B int'l bonds in 3 categories

CAIRO - 20 February 2019: Egypt issued international bonds worth $4 billion in three categories that was five times oversubscribed, the Ministry of Finance announced. The dollar-denominated bonds come with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years in a sale and will be offered at high revenues, as the subscriptions exceeded $21.5 billion.




Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it announced earlier that Egypt will return to the international bond market before the end of the current fiscal year 2018/2019 to issue bonds in a currency other than the dollar.

Egypt to issue more int'l bonds by end of June: Minister

CAIRO - 20 February 2019: Egypt will return to the international bond market before the end of the current fiscal year 2018/2019 to issue bonds in a currency other than the dollar, Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma'it told Reuters Wednesday. Ma'it clarified that the upcoming issuance will be in currencies other than dollar or through new products.




Meanwhile, Ma’it announced in January that the Ministry of Finance obtained the approval of the Council of Ministers to issue international bonds and the procedures started with a value of not less than $3 billion and not more than$7 billion.

In October 2018, Ma'it launched a pan-Asian road show to promote its international bonds in the South Korean capital, Seoul. The promotion campaign continued in November in several important Asian markets, topped by Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Also, a source said that Egypt could be included in JPMorgan’s emerging-market bond indices in March, clarifying that this step would support the government’s strategy to cut borrowing costs and boost inflows from the debt market.

In October 2018, Egypt planned to contact JPMorgan Chase & Co. for inclusion in its emerging-market bond indices to boost inflows from overseas institutional investors into its domestic debt market, three people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

]]>
4/4/2019 4:46:43 PM
<![CDATA[Profits of Orascom Investment jump 91% in 2019]]>
The company’s financial indicators revealed that the operating revenues reached LE 1.75 billion in 2018, compared to LE 1.48 billion in the prior year.

As per standalone results, Orascom Investment accomplished profits of LE 58.79 million in 2018, compared to LE 606.14 million in 2017, with a decline of 90.3 percent.

During the first nine months of 2018, the company achieved consolidated profits of LE 1.07 billion, compared to LE 239.9 million in the same period of 2017.

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

Orascom Investment Holding works in the fields of GSM, media, cables and mobile communications in Egypt, North Korea and Lebanon.
]]>
4/4/2019 2:14:17 PM
<![CDATA[Orascom Investment to acquire Nile Sugar by LE3.76B]]>CAIRO – 4 April 2019: Orascom Investment Holdings’ (OIH) board of directors ratified the approval of the independent financial advisor’s report (BDO Financial Consultants), which set the fair value of the share capital of Nile Sugar Company SAE at LE 2.84 per share with a total value of LE 3.76 billion.

Negotiations between Orascom’s Vice-Chairman of the board Akil Bashir and the shareholders of Nile Sugar were held about the mechanism of acquisition of their shares in Nile Sugar, the purchase price and the terms of payment to the best interest and benefit of the company.


Bashir announced that the results of the negotiations included the number of shares to be sold totaled 1.326 billion representing 100 percent of the issued share capital of Nile Sugar to be acquired by the company.

He noted that IFA valuation recorded LE 3.761 billion, pointing that the purchase price hit LE 3.59 billion as the total amount of the transaction, in addition to settlement of the current shareholders’ loan with an aggregate amount of approximately LE 70 million.

Regarding the structure and terms of payment, the company said that the payment of 10 percent of the total purchase price amounting to LE 359.13 million in addition to settlement of the shareholders’ loan amounting to approximately LE 70 million will be paid upon the closing of the transaction.

“The remaining 90 percent of the purchase amounting to LE 3.23 billion shall be recorded as debt on the company’s financial statements,” the statement read.

The company clarified that the company will issue promissory notes with the amount of the remaining 90 percent of the purchase price as a guarantee for payment in favor of the sellers. “The promissory note is payable on demand. However, OTMT (Orascom’s major shareholder) acquisition is committed not to request the cash payment of the remaining purchase price.”

“In the event of the OIH proposed Capital Increase is declined by the competent regulatory authorities, the parties agreed that the transaction shall be reversed. Each party shall take all requisite actions required to implement the transaction reversal,” the company stated.

Orascom Investment Holding works in the fields of GSM, media, cables and mobile communications in Egypt, North Korea and Lebanon.
]]>
4/4/2019 2:10:39 PM
<![CDATA[Britain facing long Brexit delay as stalemate puts divorce in doubt]]>
Brexit is now in mired in doubt, nearly three years since the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting 52 percent to 48 to leave the bloc. Supporters fear betrayal and opponents are pushing for another referendum.

May, who has already delayed Brexit once, is now trying to find a way to get a divorce deal approved by courting opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn who wants to agree a much closer post-Brexit economic relationship with the EU.

"The important thing now is that in any extension that we get from the EU, we have an absolute clarity that as soon as we've done the deal, we are able to bring that extension to an end," finance minister Philip Hammond told ITV.

When asked if he was comfortable about a long extension, he said he was not comfortable about it, but that the defeat of May's deal on Friday, the very day that Britain was due to have left the EU, meant "we are where we are."

Corbyn, a veteran socialist campaigner whom May has repeatedly derided as unfit for office, said on Wednesday that she had not moved far enough in talks which continued, at a lower level, on Thursday.

Labour's Brexit point man, Keir Starmer, and Corbyn's strategy chief, Seumas Milne, were seen entering the Cabinet Office with May's Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay on Thursday. May's de-facto deputy, David Lidington, will also attend.

The aim, May's spokesman said, was to have intensive discussions. A further meeting between May and Corbyn will happen when there is a reason for one, her spokesman said.

Hammond said that if talks failed, the government would present some ideas from the discussions to parliament. Lawmakers may have to sacrifice some of their Easter holidays, the government said.

The Brexit vote exposed deep fractures in British society, though the crisis it triggered has also shown a political system in dire need of reform. It is unclear how, when or if Britain will leave the EU.

BREXIT CHAOS

The chaos has raised fears of a disorderly exit that would shock the British economy, roil financial markets and even hurt global trade. The European Central Bank has warned that markets need to price in a no-deal Brexit.

Concern about Brexit is slowing the German economy, leading top economic institutes to slash their forecasts for 2019 growth by more than half on Thursday.

The House of Commons on Wednesday approved legislation which would force May to seek a Brexit delay to prevent a no-deal departure on April 12.

"If passed ... this bill would place a severe constraint on the government's ability to negotiate an extension," May's spokesman said.

After more than two years of tortuous discussions about the minutiae of the separation, EU leaders are weary of London's failure to agree its own divorce and patience is wearing thin.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in Brussels that Britain would not get any further short delays unless its parliament ratified a deal by April 12 - the date set by EU leaders as the effective cut-off for avoiding the European Parliament elections.

The EU is discussing different options: a delay until the end of the year, next Spring or the end of 2020 though in recent days discussions have focused mostly on a one year delay.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet residents who live along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland during a visit to Dublin on Thursday to discuss Brexit to learn what impact any return of frontier checks would have on their lives.

Merkel will use her trip to meet Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to consider the border situation and how to prevent a no-deal "hard Brexit".

UBS Wealth Management said it was unlikely the parliamentary deadlock would be broken in the near term so a long extension to the divorce window, known as Article 50, was likely.

"Failure to secure the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days would result in a long extension to Article 50," UBS said. "This extension will be granted by the EU27, with conditions." ]]>
4/4/2019 2:02:22 PM
<![CDATA[Natural gas to be extended to 1.2 million households by end of this year]]>
Petroleum Minister Tareq el Molla said Egypt is witnessing a boost in natural gas production and is seeking to realize self-sufficiency, noting that this will have a positive impact on citizens nationwide.

He made the remarks while chairing a periodical meeting to follow up the national project on extending natural gas to households, the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

He urged natural gas companies to remove any obstacles hampering extending natural gas to households, noting that people had embraced an initiative to pay in installments to get the service.

The meeting also reviewed starting the manufacture of prepaid meters that will be used in new areas to which natural gas will be extended. ]]>
4/4/2019 12:51:26 PM
<![CDATA[EETC, Elsewedy sign contract for establishing power transmission line of Benban]]>
The 195-kilometer-long line will be set up within six months, the ministry said, noting that the company has secured the needed funds for the line's establishment.

She noted that the solar complex is about to operate in full power, adding that this falls within the framework of the state's strenuous efforts to develop electricity transmission networks nationwide.

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 is set to be the largest solar plant in the world. It 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.]]>
4/4/2019 11:21:33 AM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 18.5B in T-bills Thursday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 9.5 billion with a 357-day term and the second is worth LE 9 billion with a 182-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April, with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.

Finance Ministry to auction LE 184B in T-bonds, bills in April

CAIRO - 1 April 2019: The Finance Ministry will auction treasury bonds and bills at a total value of LE 184 billion during April. The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.




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

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

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




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

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
4/4/2019 11:02:51 AM
<![CDATA[Euro stuck near $1.12 after weak German data]]>
The euro has remained in a range of $1.12-$1.16 in 2019 despite a slowdown in the euro zone economy that has prompted new stimulus from the European Central Bank.

The euro began to rise at the start of April amid tentative signs of economic recovery and news that talks on trade between the world’s two biggest economies appeared to be making headway. But caution returned on Thursday after data showed German industrial orders dropped in February.

The euro was trading at $1.1235, flat on the day. It has fallen in six of the previous eight sessions.

“While the euro will receive no support from the interest rate side, the better equity environment could prove positive. The currency looks quite well supported near $1.12 today, but may struggle at $1.1250/80,” ING analysts said.

Investors were focused on minutes from the ECB’s March meeting — especially for details on the ECB’s plans to issue new cheap loans to banks and a debate about tiering interest rates.

In addition to optimism about U.S.-China trade negotiations, hopes of a softer British exit from the European Union have weakened the appeal of defensive assets. The safe-haven yen touched a two-week low of 111.575 yen against the dollar late on Wednesday.

The lower house of the British parliament on Wednesday approved legislation that would force Prime Minister Theresa May to seek a Brexit delay to prevent a departure on April 12 without a deal.

The pound last stood at $1.3180, up 0.2 percent on the day.

Positive risk sentiment this week has helped boost the commodity-linked Australian and New Zealand dollars.

]]>
4/4/2019 10:54:29 AM
<![CDATA[Brent edges further away from $70 level on build in U.S. stocks]]>
Brent futures were down 3 cents at $69.28 a barrel by 0603 GMT. Brent fell 6 cents on Wednesday, after touching $69.96, highest since Nov. 12, when it last traded above $70.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $62.38 a barrel. The contract dropped 12 cents in the previous session after briefly hitting $62.99, also the highest since November.

Global benchmark Brent has gained nearly 30 percent this year, while WTI has gained nearly 40 percent. Prices have been underpinned by tightening global supplies and signs of demand picking up.

“There is a clear bias to the upside with the supply restrictions,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, pointing to supply cuts by OPEC and others, along with sanctions on Iran.

“And there’s a much-better-than-expected demand picture after the recent China and U.S. PMI numbers, along with a potential kicker from any U.S.-China trade agreement,” he said.

The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 54.4, the highest since January 2018 and up from February’s 51.1, a fourth-month low, a private business survey of China’s service sector showed on Wednesday.

Trade talks between the United States and China made “good headway” last week in Beijing and the two sides aim to bridge differences during further talks, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday.

Crude oil is also supported by an agreement between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, a group known as OPEC+, to reduce oil output by about 1.2 million bpd this year.

U.S. pressure on Iran is increasing, with a senior Trump administration official saying earlier this week that Washington is considering more sanctions on the Middle Eastern country.

The refinery maintenance season is also drawing to a close and that will provide further demand for crude, said Virendra Chauhan, oil analyst at Energy Aspects in Singapore.

“The physical market is very strong and we are now starting to trade post-turnaround barrels, which should mean physical markets strengthen and flat prices should follow,” he said.

Still, crude oil inventories in the United States rose by 7.2 million barrels last week, as net imports climbed, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday. Analysts had forecast a decrease of 425,000 barrels.

U.S. crude production climbed 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a record 12.2 million bpd, after hovering around 12 million to 12.1 million bpd since mid-February, according to the EIA data.]]>
4/4/2019 10:52:24 AM
<![CDATA[Tesla deliveries drop due to challenges shipping to Europe and China]]>
But the Silicon Valley carmaker reaffirmed its guidance to deliver between 360,000 and 400,000 vehicles this year, and said U.S. orders for its new Model 3 - which was recently made available for $35,000 - outpaced what the company was able to fulfill in the quarter.

Tesla, whose delivery numbers missed analysts’ expectations, said it had only delivered half of the quarter’s numbers by March 21, with 10,600 vehicles still in transit at the end of the quarter. By comparison, only 1,900 vehicles were in transit at the end of the fourth quarter.

“Overall, the Street was expecting an apocalyptic quarter and Model 3 deliveries were better than feared by many,” said Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives, who noted the overall number was “clearly rocky.”

Lower deliveries in the first quarter had been expected, as Tesla shifted for the first time to delivering its new Model 3 to China and Europe in January and February, amid a slowdown in demand in North America and after a $7,500 tax credit was cut in half at the end of 2018.

On Wednesday, Tesla said net income in the quarter would be negatively impacted by the lower delivery and recent price cuts. The company warned in February that it would post a first-quarter loss.

Tesla delivered 50,900 Model 3s in the quarter, falling short of analysts’ estimates of 58,900, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Tesla delivered a total of 63,000 vehicles, including 12,100 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs. That was less than half the 27,550 Model S and Xs delivered in the fourth quarter.

Analyst Ives called S and X numbers poor, with Tesla focused on Model 3.

Total production fell 10.92 percent to 77,100 vehicles from 86,555 vehicles in fourth quarter. The company churned out 62,950 Model 3s, up from a total of 61,394 Model 3s in the fourth quarter.

The Model 3 is the linchpin of Tesla’s growth strategy and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is under pressure to deliver the vehicle to new international markets efficiently, while guarding working capital.

Musk has been engaged in a public battle with U.S. regulators stemming from his tweets about Tesla’s production estimates and a judge will hear the case on Thursday.

Although Tesla said in late February that it would soon begin selling its originally promised $35,000 version of its Model 3 sedan to its North American customers, the change came too late to make a marked difference in its quarterly deliveries.

NEW CHALLENGES

Delivering its Model 3 to international markets posed new challenges for Tesla. Musk tweeted that the company encountered “many unexpected challenges” when Model 3s came through the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in early February. More recently, misprinted labels delayed Model 3s entering through Shanghai.

The arrival of the Model 3 in Norway led to a surge in market share for Tesla in that country, with the car the biggest seller in Norway in March.

Still, some analysts have questioned the sustainability of global demand as European rivals roll out competing electric vehicles.

Too many vehicles in transit can put a strain on Tesla’s working capital. Before Tesla’s release, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi estimated that working capital could be tapped by as much as $800 million in the quarter due to such vehicles.


Tesla said it ended the quarter with “sufficient cash on hand.”

As the company strives to improve margins and post profit later in 2019, the company has laid off workers, including about half of the team hired to deliver cars in the United States, and said it would close stores to lower costs. It has since said it would keep higher-volume stores open, while announcing a 3 percent price increase on some models.

Shares of Tesla closed up 2 percent on Wednesday to $291.81, before the announcement.]]>
4/4/2019 10:51:12 AM
<![CDATA[Asian shares struggle near eight-month highs on trade jitters]]>
Spreadbetters pointed to a subdued start for European shares with futures for London’s FTSE off 0.3 percent while those of Germany’s Dax and Eurostoxx each fell 0.1 percent. E-minis for the S&P 500 were a shade weaker.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.4 percent after five straight days of gains took it to the highest since late August. Losses were led by Australia and New Zealand while Hong Kong, Philippines and Indian markets were also in red.

Chinese shares were firmer with the blue-chip index up 0.6 percent while Japan’s Nikkei paused near a recent one-month top.

Analysts pointed to investor fatigue and a lack of fresh headlines on the Sino-U.S. trade talks for Thursday’s sell-off while disappointing U.S. economic data this week also hung heavy on sentiment.

“It would take some significant breakthrough, such as a total removal of tariffs implemented last year, to give the markets fresh momentum,” said J.P. Morgan Asset Management Asia Pacific Chief Market Strategist Tai Hui.

Risk sentiment has otherwise been supported this week by signs of progress in Sino-U.S. trade talks. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday the two sides aimed to bridge differences during talks, which could extend beyond three days this week.

Investors are keen to see if ongoing talks lead to an earlier-than-anticipated meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign an accord.

“Also an important question would be whether an agreement would be sufficient to revive business sentiment and the global trade cycle,” JPMorgan’s Tai added.

“We believe on the margin it would help, but practically all investors we’ve spoken to in Asia in the past six months believe friction will still flare up from time to time between the two sides.”

Bloomberg reported on Thursday the U.S. wanted to set a 2025 target for China to meet trade pledges.

The plan would see China committing to buy more U.S. commodities, including soybeans and energy products, and allow full foreign ownership for U.S. companies operating in China as a binding pledge.

Traders were also squaring off positions ahead of U.S. jobs data due on Friday after earlier disappointments this week. Wednesday’s figures showed services sector activity hit a more than 19-month low in March while private payrolls grew less than expected, hinting at softness in the world’s largest economy.

In the foreign exchange market, moves were modest after bigger swings overnight when all major currencies gained against the safe-haven yen.

On Thursday, the greenback was a tad lower against a basket of currencies at 97.06 although it nudged up against the yen.

The euro was 0.1 percent higher at $1.1246 while sterling gained to $1.3185 after British Prime Minister Theresa May held talks with the opposition Labour party in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock that may lead to a softer departure deal with the EU.

The lower house of Britain’s parliament late on Wednesday also narrowly passed legislation which would force May to seek a delay to Brexit in order to prevent the risk of leaving without a deal on April 12.

In commodity markets, spot gold nudged up to $1,292.96 per ounce.

U.S. crude eased 9 cents to $62.37 while Brent crude rose 4 cents to $69.27.]]>
4/4/2019 10:49:51 AM
<![CDATA[Egypt exports increase to hit $14.3b]]>
Suez Canal’s passage fees, which an average of 10 percent of the world's trade ships pass through, Egyptian expatriates’ exchange, investments, tourism, and different sources of foreign currencies exchange have the lion share for this huge increase.
Egypt’s foreign exchange receipts hiked 19.9 percent during fiscal year 2016/2017, recording $104.3 billion, compared to LE 87 billion in 2015/2016, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPAMS) said.

CAPMAS attributed this increase to the growing demand on Egyptian treasury bonds and bills by non-residents, which reached $7.5 billion, compared to $19,000 in the previous year.

It added in its annual bulletin that around $43.3 billion of the receipts came from the Arab League member states. Saudi Arabia came at the top of the list with $19.2 billion, followed by the United Arab Emirates with $10.5 billion.

Meanwhile, receipts from European countries reached $24.2 billion, headed by the United Kingdom with $9.1 billion, followed by Germany $3 billion.

According to the bulletin, the structure of foreign exchange receipts was affected by the liberalization of the exchange rate, as receipts from various investments rose to 27 percent during 2016/2017 compared to 19.3 percent in the prior year.

The receipts of goods exports fell to 16.2 percent compared to 17.5 percent, and Arab bank accounts accounted for 12.8 percent compared to 15.6 percent in the previous year. The contribution of remittances from Egyptians abroad amounted to 16.7 percent compared to 19.6 percent in 2015/2016.

“The main items of receipts accounted for 72.7 percent of total receipts in 2016/2017,” the bulletin read.

]]>
4/3/2019 6:17:08 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s foreign reserves reach $44.11B by end of March]]>
In February, Egypt issued international bonds worth $4 billion in three categories that were five times oversubscribed. The dollar-denominated bonds came with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years in a sale and will be offered at high revenues, as the subscriptions exceeded $21.5 billion.

Egypt issues $4B int'l bonds in 3 categories

CAIRO - 20 February 2019: Egypt issued international bonds worth $4 billion in three categories that was five times oversubscribed, the Ministry of Finance announced. The dollar-denominated bonds come with maturities of five, 10 and 30 years in a sale and will be offered at high revenues, as the subscriptions exceeded $21.5 billion.




Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it announced earlier Wednesday that Egypt will return to the international bond market before the end of the current fiscal year 2018/2019 to issue bonds in a currency other than the dollar.

Moreover, Egypt received its fifth tranche of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund IMF loan, raising its total endorsement to around $10 billion, after the approval of the executive board of IMF to give Egypt the fifth installment of its $12 billion loan ($2 billion).

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

Foreign currencies in Egypt’s foreign reserves include the U.S. dollar, euro, Australian dollar, Japanese yen and Chinese yuan.

The main function of the foreign exchange reserve, including its gold and various international currencies, is to provide commodities, repay the installments on interest rates of external debt, and to cope with economic crises.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that included the introduction of taxes, such as the value-added tax (VAT), and cutting energy subsidies, with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

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

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

]]>
4/3/2019 4:35:19 PM
<![CDATA[Non-petroleum exports record $4.1B in January, February]]>
In statements on Wednesday, head of the authority Ismail Gaber said that member states of the Arab League received 37.3 percent of the Egyptian non-petroleum exports in January and February, which were worth $1.532 billion.

He added that the EU came next by $1.228 billion, followed by the US by $290 million.
]]>
4/3/2019 4:33:58 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s economy ‘on track’ with lowest unemployment rate since 2011: IMF]]>
Lall added that foreign reserves hit good levels and public debt is declining as a result of public financial management.

He referred that economic reform policies will tighten the inflation rate, which will be a big support for the neediest citizens.

Lall clarified that applied policies included reducing budget deficit, provision of industrial lands and boosting competitiveness, as well as improving the management of State’s organizations.

IMF’s Egypt Mission Chief added that perseverance in applying the reforms is necessary to create new job opportunities and supporting middle classes.

The main purpose of the reforms is the guarantee of having stable economic environment, improving Egyptians’ life standards, and finding a climate for the private sector to create job opportunities, according to Lall.

He also pointed to the IMF’s mission, which will come to Cairo in May to carry out the final review of Egypt's implementation of its economic reform program before the final disbursement of the loan.

Lall added that the IMF committee is scheduled to review the procedures of the Egyptian economic reform program and evaluate the latest governmental procedures and their financial and economic effects in the framework of the procedures for approving the disbursement of the second installment of the third tranche.

In February, the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to give Egypt the fifth installment of its $12 billion loan ($2 billion). The review allowed Egypt to receive its fifth tranche of a $12 billion loan, raising its total endorsement to around $10 billion.

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.
]]>
4/3/2019 3:58:20 PM
<![CDATA[Automotive market sales fall 5.2% in February]]>
AMIC said that passenger car sales dropped 9 percent to 6,980 cars, compared to 7,703 cars in the same month of 2017.

On the other hand, bus sales rose 4 percent on a year-on-year basis to 1,304 buses, and Truck sales climbed 3 percent to 2,573 trucks, according to the report.

Observers believe that the decline in sales in the passenger car sector in February comes as a result of the slowdown caused by the reluctance of a sector of consumers to buy on the back of calls for the purchase pending until the reduction of car dealers margins, which is a campaign called “let it rust”.

On “let it rust”, auto expert and editor-in-chief of Auto Arabia Mohammed Shata questioned the accuracy of AMIC's data and described the car market as completely paralysis.

He stressed in a TV program that the campaign "let it rust" had a significant role in the decline in car sales.

During the program, Head of the General Division of cars Federation of Chambers of Commerce Omar Balbaa, said that there is regression in the car market, adding that the decline of the custom dollar is expected to move the car market.

AMIC announced earlier that total sales in January rose 10.8 percent, reaching 11,467 units, compared to 10,407 units in the same month of 2018.

]]>
4/3/2019 3:56:29 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends Wednesday on mixed note, market cap. loses LE804.8M]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.21 percent, or 31.38 points, to close at 15,197.84 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.05 percent, or 1.13 points, to reach 2,412.94 points.

On the other hand, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 declined 1.42 percent, or 9.76 points, to close at 676.95 points, and the broader index EGX100 dropped 1.16 percent, or 20.35 point, to 1,727.03 points.

Market capitalization lost LE 804.83 million, recording LE 828.89 billion, compared to LE 829.7 billion in Tuesday’s session.

The trading volume reached 134.29 million shares, traded through 20,706 transactions, with a turnover of LE 854.09 million.

Foreign investors were net buyers at LE 61.03 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net sellers at LE 60.97 million and LE 61,809, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 19.16 million, and LE 431,192, respectively., while Arab individuals were net buyers at LE 4.54 million.

Egyptian and Arab organizations sold at LE 41.8 million, and LE 4.6 million, respectively, while foreign organizations bought at LE 61.46 million.

AJWA for Food Industries company Egypt, Heliopolis Housing, and Cairo For Investment And Real Estate Development were top gainers of the session by 6.90 percent, 4.68 percent and 3.88 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Ezz Steel, Misr Fretilizers Production Company - Mopco, and ARAB Polvara Spinning & Weaving CO. were top losers of the session by 6.38 percent, 3.10 percent, and 3.10 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Tuesday's session in green, as EGX30 hiked 1.42 percent, EGX50 increased 0.73 percent, and EGX70 inched up 0.33 percent, and EGX100 rose 0.44 percent.
]]>
4/3/2019 3:52:11 PM
<![CDATA[Petroleum Ministry signs MoU with IFC on funding infrastructure projects]]>
The MoU targets to support turning Egypt into a regional hub for petroleum and natural gas trade across the East Mediterranean region through boosting the infrastructure of gas activities and improving energy efficiency, as well as taking advantage of the associated petroleum gas (APG) in production fields.

It also aims at supporting the expansion of the refining and petrochemical industries by studying the possibility of participating in the planned new complex in the Alamein area, as well as contributing to the development of warehouses, pipelines and ports, and preparing training programs for young cadres.

This falls within the framework of supporting Egypt's strategy to turn into a regional hub for petroleum and natural gas trade, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said that this MoU reflects the trust of the international funding organizations on the Egyptian economy, especially after the success of the economic reform program, which encouraged international organizations to enhance their strategic partnership with Egypt.

For his part, IFC Country manager in Egypt, Libya and Yemen Walid Labadi said the IFC backs Egypt's efforts to realize energy security, thorough boosting capacities, having strong energy infrastructure, provision of job opportunities, increasing the contribution of the private sector to the economy.

According to Labadi, the IFC's investments in Egypt recorded $1.5 billion during 2017/2018, noting that this contributed to providing jobs, improving the infrastructure and boosting economy.
]]>
4/3/2019 2:51:50 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank’s investment portfolio in Egypt worth $6.7B]]>
Nasr clarified that the investment portfolio focuses on the expansion of social security, improving competitiveness and infrastructure in less developed areas, in addition to setting a development strategy for digital development to rehabilitate the youth for jobs.

The minister added that it also works on directing investments of the private sector to infrastructure projects, and the application of reforms on education and health sectors to build a human capital.

This came during the meeting of Egypt’s Minister of Investment with the United States’ candidate to assume the chairmanship of the World Bank Group, David Malpass, during her visit to Washington.

They both discussed the bank’s support to the Egyptian efforts in the economic and social transformation process, and its help in attracting foreign investments to Egypt, in addition to the bank’s participation in supporting infrastructure in light of the Presidency of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi to the African Union.

Earlier, the World Bank expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.5 percent during 2019, marking the second highest growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa region behind Djibouti, which tops the forecasts by 7 percent.

World Bank expects Egypt to hit 2nd highest growth rate in MENA

CAIRO - 2 April 2019: The World Bank expected Egypt to achieve a growth rate of 5.5 percent during 2019, marking the second highest growth rate in the Middle East and North Africa region behind Djibouti, which tops the forecasts by 7 percent.




It also praised Egypt's efforts into fighting corruption, governance, counter terrorism, and its economic and social reform program, which contributed to increasing the rate of growth and injecting new investments.

World Bank praises Egypt's efforts to fight corruption, terrorism

CAIRO 1 April 2019: The World Bank praised Egypt's efforts into fighting corruption, governance, counterterrorism, and its economic and social reform program, which contributed to increasing the rate of growth and injecting new investments. This came during a meeting between the World Bank representatives with Egyptian officials in Washington.




]]>
4/3/2019 2:17:29 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt, Finland seek boosting industrial cooperation]]>
In a statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that the meeting reviewed a Finnish industrial project in Egypt in the field of producing flexible packaging materials which will be inaugurated this month.

The new project serves the local market and will export its products to markets in Africa, Europe and the Arab world, Nassar said.

The ministry supports all investments in Egypt in general and the Finnish investments in particular specially in the fields of developing the medium and small industries sector in Egypt to promote national economic growth rates, he said.

Meanwhile, the Finnish ambassador lauded the economic reform program that is implemented by the Egyptian government. ]]>
4/3/2019 1:27:06 PM
<![CDATA[Investment, housing ministers discuss infrastructure projects with WB official]]>
A statement by the Housing Ministry said Wednesday that the WB had contributed to the first phase of a social housing project and the first phase of a sustainable sanitation program, each worth $500 million.

It also supported the second phase of the sanitation program, which cost $300 billion, the statement added.

Gazzar offered a detailed explanation of the different development projects currently being implemented in Egypt, including one to upgrade the national road network and another to develop the Suez Canal Corridor, it noted.

Nasr, for her part, stressed the importance of cooperation with the WB to support the infrastructure sector in order to improve the living conditions of Egyptians, as well as the investment climate, the statement said. ]]>
4/3/2019 1:22:19 PM
<![CDATA[Trade talk optimism fuels gains in Aussie, yuan]]>
Reports of progress in trade talks between the United States and China, as well as reassuring factory activity data from both countries, has supported markets in recent days and sent Asian stocks to seven-month highs.

For currency markets, that meant a rebound in the Aussie, long seen as a proxy for China given Australia’s export industries, and China’s yuan.

The Aussie rose 0.7 percent to $0.7119, recovering most of the losses it suffered on Tuesday after a central bank meeting. The New Zealand dollar also firmed.

The yuan rose 0.2 percent in offshore markets to 6.7115, with analysts citing both improved optimism about momentum in the Chinese economy and the trade negotiations with the United States.

“The conclusion is that the trade talks this week is crucial – either a deal can be done, or the negotiation will be extended again to June at least,” Commerzbank analysts said in a note.

Sterling adding to its overnight gains after Prime Minister Theresa May announced talks with the opposition Labour party in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock that may lead to a softer departure deal with the EU.

The euro rose 0.3 percent as the dollar pulled back from its recent highs, touching $1.1240 as the European session got underway. The single currency had fallen below $1.12 on Tuesday, nearing a 21-month low, as worries over the relative weakness in the euro zone economy sent investors into dollars.

The greenback dropped against its rivals, with its index down 0.3 percent to 97.053 after climbing to a 3-1/2-week peak of 95.517 the previous day.

Central banks have turned more dovish this year as they look to avert an economic slowdown, led by the Federal Reserve.

JP Morgan Asset Management’s currency chief investment officer Roger Hallam said that if the European Central Bank decided to reduce interest rates further, “such an outcome would likely push EURUSD below $1.10.”

Against the yen, however, the dollar rose 0.2 percent as the rally in risk assets undermined demand for a currency that investors typically buy when they want safety.

The Japanese currency dropped to 111.525 yen per dollar.

With risk appetite recovering, the Swiss franc also fell, putting it at 1.1201 francs per euro. It had strengthened below 1.12 earlier in the week.]]>
4/3/2019 12:09:52 PM
<![CDATA[Brent nears $70 as oil prices rise for fourth day]]>
Brent futures gained 38 cents, or 0.55 percent, to $69.75 by 0900 GMT. They earlier reached $69.96 - the highest since Nov. 12, when they last traded above $70.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 20 cents or 0.32 percent to $62.78, having hit $62.99, the highest since Nov. 7.

“The psychologically important $70 a barrel threshold has proved a tough nut to crack for the Brent benchmark over the past few weeks,” PVM oil broker Stephen Brennock said.

“Underpinning this latest bout of upward pricing pressures is the positive afterglow from surveys pointing to another sizeable fall last month in OPEC output. Reduced supplies from the producer group will go a long way to cementing the tighter fundamental backdrop.”

Oil prices have been supported for much of 2019 by efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, who have pledged to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply this year.

Supply from OPEC countries hit a four-year low in March, a Reuters survey found this week. [OPEC/O]

Oil production from Russia fell to 11.3 million bpd last month, but missed the country’s target under the supply deal.

“We assume that OPEC crude oil production will average 30.1 million bpd in 2019 ... down from 31.9 million bpd in 2018,” BNP Paribas said in a note, reducing an earlier forecast for this year by 200,000 bpd.

Three of eight countries granted waivers by Washington to import oil from Iran have cut such purchases to zero, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, adding that improved oil market conditions would help reduce Iranian crude exports further.

Despite also being under U.S. sanctions, Venezuela’s state-run energy company, PDVSA, kept oil exports near 1 million bpd in March, PDVSA documents and Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

U.S. crude stocks rose unexpectedly last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories declined, the American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday.

Official numbers from the U.S. Department of Energy are due later on Wednesday.]]>
4/3/2019 12:07:41 PM
<![CDATA[World stocks rally to six-month highs on U.S.-China trade optimism]]>
Oil neared the key $70 per barrel mark — a multi-month high — on supply concerns.

Sterling extended its gains after British Prime Minister Theresa May said late on Tuesday she would seek another Brexit delay to agree an EU divorce deal with the opposition Labour Party leader, raising hopes of a “softer” Brexit.

Signs of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and decent factory activity data from China and the United States in recent days has lifted investor sentiment and taken the edge off world recession fears.

Europe’s stock markets rose almost 0.8 percent to their highest since August, tracking strong overnight gains in Asia where MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed to a seven-month peak.

Hopes for a deal to end the trade war between the world’s two largest economies were fanned by fresh comments from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that Washington expects “to make more headway” in talks this week.

“We’re being told that we’re 90 percent of the way there which is obviously encouraging but the final 10 percent — which apparently includes the enforcement mechanism and the removal of tariffs — could take some time to iron out,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London.

“Investors are happy to be patient here in the hope that the two sides get this right and put an end to a trade war that has clearly taken its toll on markets.”

Germany’s stock market rose 1 percent to its highest level since October, while in Paris, French stocks scaled a similar high. The stronger tone to the pound, however weighed on London’s FTSE index, which was a touch lower.

Generally strong world stocks and hopes of a softer Brexit sparked a sell-off in safe-haven government bonds, pushing yields off recent lows.

U.S. 10-year Treasury yields rose almost 4 basis points to 2.52 percent.

Germany’s benchmark 10-year German Bund yield rose to 0.005 percent. A week ago it hit a 2-1/2 year low at around minus 0.09 percent on concern about the weak economic growth backdrop.

“What we’re seeing is that markets have climbed a world of worry but there is progress on trade, a recession is unlikely, central banks have made nods to more dovish policy,” said Chris Bailey, European Strategist at Raymond James. “If you put that into the mix I’m not surprised risk assets have moved up.”

Oil prices stood near multi-month highs amid concerns about supply. Brent crude rose to as high as $69.92 per barrel, its highest since November and near the psychologically important level of $70 per barrel.

It was last up 0.6 percent at $69.80. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 0.34 percent to $62.79 per barrel.

News that the United States is considering more sanctions against Iran, the fourth-largest producer of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the halting of production at a crude terminal in Venezuela threatened to squeeze supply and pushed oil prices up on Tuesday.

BREXIT ROLLER COASTER

Sterling rose further as traders welcomed news that Britain’s May would begin cross-party talks with the opposition Labour party as a signal that Britain will end up with a “softer” exit from the European Union.

The pound strengthened 0.4 percent higher at $1.3196, its highest since March 28. The British currency had slipped below $1.30 on Friday on growing fears of a no-deal Brexit.

The dollar strengthened 0.2 percent against the yen to 111.54 and the euro added 0.1 percent to buy $1.12170.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, eased 0.19 percent to 97.176.

Cryptocurrency bitcoin, which surged 18.7 percent on Tuesday following a major order by an anonymous buyer, extended its gains by another 1.6 percent to $4,977.48.

Spot gold dipped 0.08 percent to trade at $1,291.31 per ounce.]]>
4/3/2019 12:06:23 PM
<![CDATA[Ministry: E-payment of gov't service fees applicable as of May 1]]>
According to a statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Tuesday, these services will include also taxes and customs duties.

The measure comes in implementation of the National Council for Payments' decisions shifting the society in Egypt to a digital society and achieving financial inclusion, added the statement.

Adopting E-payment methods is part of the national program for economic reform and the State's orientations towards shifting the society into a digital one, according to the statement.

Up to 7,000 ATMs were set in all governmental sites including the real estate, traffic departments and universities to empower the citizens to pay their fees, the statement indicated.

Also, ATM cards will be issued in cooperation with the banking sector and the National Authority for Egyptian Post to ease up the measure for citizens, added the statement.]]>
4/2/2019 5:13:33 PM
<![CDATA[PM: 4 central wholesale markets to be established in Egypt]]>
The prime minister, in a meeting with Supply Minister Ali Moselhi earlier Tuesday, said this should be done through developing the infrastructure and achieving a quantum leap in terms of logistics.

He also talked about a national project to build new roads and upgrade the existing network, noting that this should ease transport movement between the different governorates.

The meeting also focused on a plan to establish four central wholesale markets, as well as logistics zones.

Madbouli directed Moselhi to immediately act to build the markets in Giza, Delta, Upper Egypt and Canal regions.

The meeting also took up a plan to establish 54 logistics zones across Egypt until 2030, said Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad.

Moselhi said work is underway to establish eight of them at total investments of six billion pounds.

The projects are expected to secure 20,000 direct and indirect jobs for youth, he added.]]>
4/2/2019 5:11:19 PM
<![CDATA[EGX ends mid-week session in green, market cap. gains LE 8.24B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 1.42 percent, or 212.32 points, to close at 15,166.46 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.73 percent, or 17.46 points, to reach 2,411.81 points.

The small and mid-cap index EGX70 rose 0.33 percent, or 2.24 points, to close at 686.71 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.44 percent, or 0.44 point, to 1,747.38 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 8.24 billion, recording LE 829.7 billion, compared to LE 821.46 billion in Monday’s session.

The trading volume reached 159.03 million shares, traded through 18,270 transactions, with a turnover of LE 837.02 million.

Foreign investors were net sellers at LE 83.79 million, while Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers at LE 70.25 million and LE 13.54 million, respectively.

Egyptian, Arab and foreign individuals were net sellers at LE 85.45 million, LE 6.39 million and LE 2.38 million, respectively.

Egyptian and Arab organizations bought at LE 155.7 million, and LE 19.93 million, respectively, while foreign organizations sold at LE 81.41 million.

National company for maize products, Paint & Chemicals Industries (Pachin), and Mena Touristic & Real Estate Investment were top gainers of the session by 10 percent, 7.46 percent and 6.33 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Pyramisa Hotels, Mohandes Insurance, and Alexandria Cement were top losers of the session by 9 percent, 8.20 percent, and 5.81 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Monday’s session on mixed note, as EGX30 hiked 1.47 percent, EGX50 increased 0.04 percent, and EGX100 inched up 0.09 percent, while EGX70 inched down 0.06 percent.
]]>
4/2/2019 4:46:35 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s balance of payment records deficit of $1.8B in H1 2018/19]]>
Data issued by CBE showed that the balance of payments deficit was the outcome of the $3.8 billion deficit of the account of current transactions up from $3.5 billion in the compared period. The capital and financial account surplus fell to $1.7 billion from $10.4 billion.

CBE also attributed the deficit to the net outflows from the investment portfolio worth $5.9 billion, while portfolio investments recorded an inflow of $8 billion in the first half of the last fiscal year (July-December 2017).

On the other side, the balance of payments data revealed positive results, including the increase in the export of goods jumped 18.4 percent by $2.2 billion to record $14.3 billion during July - December 2018 period compared to $12.1 billion dollars in the comparison period.

It also included the decline in payments on petroleum imports by 2.1 percent to record $5.8 billion due to the decrease in the quantities imported from petroleum products and crude, and to achieve self-sufficiency of natural gas.

The balance of oil trade achieved a surplus for the first time in more than four years, amounted to $150.8 million, compared to a deficit of about $2.2 billion.

The surplus in the services balance rose by 36.7 percent to about $7.3 billion, compared to about $5.3 billion, and the surplus in the travel balance increased to about $5.4 billion dollars, compared to about $3.8 billion.

The data also showed that the Suez Canal receipts also rose 5.8 percent to reach $2.9 billion dollars, compared to $2.8 billion, and Capital and financial accounts achieved net inflows of $1.8 billion.

“Foreign direct investment in Egypt recorded a total inflow of about %6.6 billion dollars, compared to 6.57 billion, and total outflow was about $3.8 billion, compared with about $2.8 billion, to reach a net of $2.8 billion,” data revealed.

The usage of long-term and medium-term loans and facilities fell to about $2.2 billion, down from about $4.7 billion.

While total repayments rose to $1.3 billion from $1.2 billion, resulting in a net of $872.3 million compared to $3.5 billion.]]>
4/2/2019 3:57:54 PM
<![CDATA[IFC invests up to $100M in MEGM to boost manufacturing, create jobs]]>
IFC clarified in a statement that this finance is to support the firm’s capital expenditure program, create new jobs, and boost Egypt’s manufacturing sector.

The statement noted that this finance will help MEG ramp up production of its containers, expand its international footprint and continue to grow its annual exports, expand locally, and create and preserve thousands of jobs.

“The financing package is part of a larger effort by IFC to support Egypt’s manufacturing sector, which is a major employer and, through exports, a key source to foreign currency,” it read.

Upon the financing package, IFC’s advisory services arm will help MEG substantially reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The statement clarified that this is part of an IFC push to bolster resource efficiency in the manufacturing sector and help companies compete internationally.

The financing protocol was signed by IFC Global Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services Tomasz Telma, on behalf of IFC and Abdel Galil Beshr, Chairman of MEGM.

IFC Global Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services Tomasz Telma said that their strategy in Egypt focuses on investing in companies with strong export potential, which boosts the local economy and helps create jobs.

“Supporting a leading Egyptian manufacturer, like MEG, will ensure it continues to contribute to Egypt’s economic development,” Telma added.

Egypt’s Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said that manufacturers like MEG are a crucial part of Egypt’s economy.

“Not only are they creating jobs and opportunities locally, but by branching out internationally, they are demonstrating the attractiveness of the Egyptian business environment and that Egyptian companies have the potential to make a mark on the world,” She added.

For his part, Chairman of MEG, Abdel Galil Besher said: “This investment is a testimony to our talented, high-performance workforce led by a disciplined, innovative management team who continues to drive our 38-year journey and constantly transform the business by providing all of our customers, in Egypt and in our export markets, with superior service and high-quality, competitively priced products.”

In fiscal year 2018, IFC invested $1.5 billion in Egypt’s private sector to help create jobs, improve local infrastructure, and boost economic growth. That figure, which includes funds mobilized from other investors, represents a record for IFC in Egypt. The investments have been geared towards helping private sector companies grow, expand and create jobs.
]]>
4/2/2019 3:01:31 PM
<![CDATA[World Bank expects Egypt to hit 2nd highest growth rate in MENA]]>
In a report about the economic outlook for the MENA region, the bank foresaw Egypt’s growth rate to hit 5.8 percent in 2020 and increase to 6 percent in 2021.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s 2019/2020 preliminary budget targets Gross domestic product (GDP) to hit about LE 6.163 trillion in 2019/2020 budget, compared to the expected LE 5.256 trillion of the current fiscal year. It also aims to increase growth rates to 6 percent, focusing on comprehensive inclusive growth.

The World Bank’s report also expected real GDP per capita growth to record 3.7 percent 3.7 percent in 2019, 4 percent in 2020, and 4.3 percent.

It anticipated current account balance to reach -2.5 percent pf GDP in 2019, and -2.6 percent in 2020, returning back to -2.5 percent in 2021.

Moreover, it thought that Egypt’s fiscal balance would record -8.6 percent, -7.5 percent, and -7 percent of GDP in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively.

“The World Bank anticipates that Egypt will be one of the top performers among MENA oil importers, with a growth rate forecast at 5.5 percent for 2019, the strongest since 2008,” the report read.

It elaborated that this strong performance is driven by rising natural gas production, revitalized tourism, and higher government investment spending. “Because rising revenues from VAT and income taxes have outpaced expenditures and subsidies have been cut several times, the fiscal deficit in Egypt has been narrowing for the past two years.”

It also noted that the state’s primary fiscal balance is expected to reach a surplus of 1.8 percent of GDP in 2019, clarified that the improvement in the fiscal accounts has also been aided by the improvement in growth itself. “This synergy between growth and fiscal reforms is expected to continue in the near term.”

According to the report, oil importers, as a group, are expected to grow 4 percent in 2019, up from a 3.8 percent growth in 2018, referring that tourists flocked back to the region, especially to Egypt and Tunisia.

The report stated that the uptick in tourism helped to modestly reduce trade imbalances and current account deficits.

In October, the World Bank expected Egypt’s growth to hit 5.6 percent during fiscal year 2018/2019, supported by private consumption, a recovery in tourism sector and the operationalization of recently discovered gas fields.

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

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



Regarding MENA region, World Bank economists expect economic growth to continue at a modest pace of about 1.5 to 3.5 percent during 2019-2021, with some laggards and a few emerging growth stars.

It explained that its expectation of real GDP growth in the MENA region to continue at a modest pace of 1.5 percent in 2019 on average down from an estimated growth of 1.6 percent in 2018, come under the clouds of weaker global growth and global financial-market volatility.

“The expected growth is led by developing oil importers, such as Egypt, which accounts for roughly 8 percent of MENA’s GDP. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ growth is expected to be stable while Iran’s economy is expected to contract further,” it stated.

]]>
4/2/2019 1:59:25 PM
<![CDATA[Oil hits 2019 high on OPEC cuts, concerns over demand ease]]>
The United States is considering more sanctions against Iran, whose oil exports have been halved by existing measures, an official said. A key crude terminal in Venezuela, also under U.S. sanctions, has halted operations again.

Brent crude rose 10 cents to $69.11 a barrel by 0826 GMT, having touched $69.50, the highest since mid-November. U.S. crude was up 11 cents at $61.70 after rising above $62 for the first time since early November.

“The supply cuts have been there for a while but Venezuela is not improving,” said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix. “That is taking a lot of oil away from the market.”

Further supply losses from Iran and Venezuela could widen an OPEC-led production cut that took effect in January, designed to prevent a price-sapping rise in inventories.

Supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries hit a four-year low in March, a Reuters survey found, because top exporter Saudi Arabia cut more than it had agreed to and due to the involuntary declines.

This week’s reports on U.S. supplies are expected to show crude inventories fell, a sign that the OPEC curbs are having the impact producers intended.

Six analysts polled by Reuters estimated, on average, that crude stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels in the week to March 29. The first of this week’s supply reports, from the American Petroleum Institute, is due at 2030 GMT.

Oil’s pattern on the price charts could lead to further gains. Brent is trading just below the 200-day moving average and a move above this mark would provide additional technical support, Jakob said.

Healthy data on the world’s biggest economies, the United States and China, also bolstered prices.

Figures showing a rebound in U.S. factory activity in March and a return to growth in Chinese manufacturing eased concern that an economic slowdown could weaken oil demand.

“China’s PMI number was the most significant monthly increase since 2012, which should ease concerns around a potential threat to oil demand,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading and market strategy at SPI Asset Management.]]>
4/2/2019 12:51:41 PM
<![CDATA[Bitcoin soars past $5,000, mystery buyer seen as catalyst]]>
The original and biggest cryptocurrency soared as much as 20 percent in Asian trading, surpassing $5,000 for the first time since mid-November. By mid-morning, it had settled at around $4,800, still up 16 percent in its biggest one-day gain since April last year.

Bitcoin surged to near $20,000 in late 2017, the peak of a bubble driven by retail investors that pushed cryptocurrencies onto the agenda of mainstream financial firms. But wide interest waned as prices collapsed, and now trading is mostly powered by smaller hedge funds, tech firms and wealthy individuals.

Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie, chief executive of London-based cryptocurrency firm BCB Group, said the move was likely triggered by an algorithmic order worth about $100 million spread across major exchanges - U.S.-based Coinbase and Kraken, and Luxembourg-based Bitstamp.

“There has been a single order that has been algorithmically-managed across these three venues, of around 20,000 BTC,” he said.

“If you look at the volumes on each of those three exchanges – there were in-concert, synchronized, units of volume of around 7,000 BTC in an hour”.

For a graphic on Bitcoin price, see - tmsnrt.rs/2VadrPe

Outsized price moves of the kind rarely seen in traditional markets are still common in cryptocurrency markets, where liquidity is thin and prices highly opaque.

So orders of large magnitude tend to spark buying by algorithmic traders, said Charlie Hayter, founder of industry website CryptoCompare.

As bitcoin surged, there were 6 million trades over an hour, Hayter said - three to four times the usual amount, with orders concentrated on Asian-based exchanges.

“You trigger other order books to play catch up, and that creates a buying frenzy.”

Bitcoin’s surge sent smaller cryptocurrencies, known as “altcoins,” trading higher. Ethereum’s ether and Ripple’s XRP, respectively the second- and third-largest coins, both jumped by more than 10 percent.

Price moves of smaller coins tend to be correlated to bitcoin, which still accounts for just over half of the value of the cryptocurrency market.

“Usually bitcoin is the leader of the market and altcoins tend to follow, as far as direction and sentiment is concerned,” said Mati Greenspan, an analyst at e-Toro in Israel. “Today bitcoin is in the driving seat.”

Cryptocurrency markets have been relatively calm so far this year, with bitcoin trading until today between around $3,300 and $4,200.

There have been few catalysts for big price moves of the kind seen last year. In 2018, fears of regulatory clampdowns and declining interest from retail investors saw bitcoin slump by about three-quarters.]]>
4/2/2019 12:49:51 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt’s banking net foreign assets hit $14.35B by end of February]]>
CBE’s data showed that surplus of net foreign assets of the banking sector recorded an increase of $6.037 billion during February.

The data read that this increase came by the support of foreign assets in banks which recorded $19.328 billion, compared to $13.978 billion, with an increase of $5.4 billion.

It added that during February, banks received huge inflows from foreign customers to invest in governmental debt instruments, in addition to the increase of the remittances of the Egyptian expatriates.

Foreign assets in the central bank rose to $42.877 billion by the end of February, compared to $41.676 billion in January, with an increase of $1.2 billion.

Egypt received that fifth tranche of the IMF-loan worth $2 billion in February.

As per foreign liability, it reached $47.856 billion by the end of February, compared to $47.522 billion by the end of January.

Liabilities at the Central Bank of Egypt recorded $28.349 billion in February, down from $28.76 billion by the end of January, while liabilities at banks hit $17.462 billion by the end of February, compared to $18.761 billion by the end of January.

]]>
4/1/2019 5:12:05 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows sem-collective rise, market cap. gains LE 4.9B]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 1.47 percent, or 216.26 points, to close at 14,954.14 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.04 percent, or 1.05 points, to reach 2,394.35 points, , and the broader index EGX100 inched up 0.09 percent, or 1.63 point, to 1,739.79 points.

On the other side, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 declined 0.06 percent, or 0.42 points, to close at 684.47 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 4.9 billion, recording LE 821.46 billion, compared to LE 816.54 billion in Sunday’s session.

The trading volume reached 125.55 million shares, traded through 18,957 transactions, with a turnover of LE 831.59 million.

Egyptian investors were net sellers at LE 60.23 million, while Arab and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 12.6 million and LE 47.63 million, respectively.

Egyptian individuals were net sellers at LE 40.93 million, while Arab and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 9.03 million, and LE 341,954, respectively.

Arab and foreign organizations bought at LE 3.58 million, and LE 47.28 million, respectively, while Egyptian organizations sold at LE 19.3 million.

National company for maize products, ARAB Polvara Spinning & Weaving Co., and Universal For Paper and Packaging Materials (Unipack) were top gainers of the session by 10 percent, 6.75 percent and 5.74 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, Development & Engineering Consultants, B Investments Holding, and Egypt Aluminum were top losers of the session by 4.98 percent, 3.06 percent, and 2.54 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Sunday’s session on mixed note, as EGX30 hiked 0.49 percent, EGX50 increased 0.14 percent, while EGX70 inched down 0.15 percent, and EGX100 declined 0.06 percent.

]]>
4/1/2019 3:27:41 PM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry to auction LE 184B in T-bonds, bills in April]]>
The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 42.5 billion, LE 44 billion, LE 42.75 billion, and LE 46.5 billion, respectively.

Moreover, the ministry said it will auction three-year treasury bonds (maturing in January 2023) worth 2.75 billion, five-year bonds (maturing in April 2024) worth LE 2 billion, seven-year bonds (maturing in April 2026) for LE 2 billion, and ten -year bonds (maturing in November 2027) at LE 1.5 billion.

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

The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion, respectively.

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

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

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

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




The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, issued LE 1.75 billion in treasury bonds earlier on Monday, April 1.

Net foreign investments in government debt instruments jumped 21.6 percent in January, recording LE 233.8 billion, compared to LE 192.2 billion in December, according to CBE.

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.
]]>
4/1/2019 3:06:24 PM
<![CDATA[Egypt keeps custom dollar at LE 16 for essential commodities in April]]>
The minister said that the custom dollar rotates around 90 percent of the prevailing dollar price in the banking market.

The custom dollar for non-essential products will be at LE 17.385.

By the end of November, Ma’it announced raising the custom dollar to LE 18 for non-essential products, including cars, some kinds of shoes, furniture and cigarettes.

Ma’it said that the changes of the exchange rate and other economic factors affected some aspects of the Egyptian economy negatively, so the ministry had to take actions to protect employment and job opportunities.

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

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




The government targets to provide job opportunities as the employment can be affected by any change that happens in the society, the minister clarified.

The Egyptian pound has remained relatively stable during morning transactions at major banks on Tuesday, trading at around LE 17.26 for buying and LE 17.38 for selling.

The custom dollar is the price by which the proportion of customs duties and taxes on imports of goods from abroad are calculated.

Egypt started setting a monthly fixed customs exchange rate in January 2017 after the flotation of the Egyptian pound in November 2016, which was followed by an increase of 80-100 percent in the value of the custom dollar.

]]>
4/1/2019 2:04:46 PM
<![CDATA[ Egypt issues 2019/20 preliminary budget]]>
According to the draft, Gross domestic product is expected to hit about LE 6.163 trillion in 2019/2020 budget, compared to the expected LE 5.256 trillion of the current fiscal year.

The budget deficit is anticipated to hit 7.2 percent of GDP, down from 8.4 percent of 2018/2019, announcing that the government will allow new borrowing of LE 445.1 billion in the next fiscal year.

The 2019/2020 budget aims to increase growth rates to 6 percent, focusing on comprehensive inclusive growth. The government is also seeking to create jobs for youth and reduce unemployment rates to 9.1 percent.

Revenues are foreseen to record LE 1.13 trillion, compared to the current FY's expected revenues of LE 969 billion, with an increase of 17 percent. The budget revealed that LE 856.6 billion go for tax collections with an increase of 13 percent and other earnings rise 30 percent to LE 277.8 billion.

Expenditures came at LE 1.57 trillion, compared to LE 1.4 trillion in the current fiscal year, with an increase of 12 percent. The spendings included debt service payments are expected to hit LE 569 billion, with an increase of 6.5 percent on a year on year basis.

Investment rates increase 19 percent by 2019/2020, in which government investment will rise 42.2 percent to LE 211.2 billion.

Spendings on subsidies and social welfare payments will hike 3.8 percent to LE 327.7 billion, electricity subsidies will fall 37.5 percent to LE 10 billion and spending on petroleum products will be cut by 42 percent.

Moreover, Public debt is planned to reach 89 percent of GDP, achieving a primary budget surplus of 2 percent.

The exchange rate came within the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) average the first two weeks (March 1 to 15) in which the dollar records LE 17.46.


]]>
4/1/2019 1:49:54 PM
<![CDATA[CBE issues LE 1.75B in T-bonds Monday]]>
The T-bonds were offered in two installments, with the first valued at LE 750 million with a seven-year term and the second worth LE 1 billion with a three-year term.

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

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

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

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

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




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

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

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




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

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

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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

]]>
4/1/2019 12:40:13 PM
<![CDATA[Sterling rises as May faces pressure to go for soft Brexit]]>
May’s deal was voted down for a third time by lawmakers on Friday, sending sterling plunging to below $1.30.

But the British currency has held at or above that level since, suggesting some investors have priced out the prospect of Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal and instead expect a long delay to the exit or Brexit to emerge eventually where closer ties are maintained to the trading bloc.

“There is a growing expectation that a (House of) Common’s majority could coalesce around a softer Brexit that includes a custom’s union but she is facing more threats from cabinet members to resign if she decides to pursue a softer Brexit,” MUFG analysts said.

Sterling rose 0.4 percent to $1.3083, also finding support from better-than-expected manufacturing survey data.

The pound gained 0.1 percent to 85.980 pence per euro.

The analysts at MUFG said that while a no-deal Brexit on April 12 remained a risk for the pound, an emergency EU summit on April 10 could - if British lawmakers cannot agree anything this week - see a long delay to Brexit.

Parliament will vote on different Brexit options on Monday and then May could try to bring her deal back to a vote in parliament as soon as Tuesday.

But May’s government and her party remain in open conflict.

Marshall Gittler, a strategist at ACLS Global, said he considered a no-deal Brexit “as a higher possibility, even though it’s officially been ruled out, simply because I don’t see any of the other endings as particularly possible.”

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index in at a reading of 55.1 for March, above the 51 level forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

The survey showed that factories in Britain stockpiled for Brexit at a frenzied rate last month, pushing manufacturing growth to a 13-month high.]]>
4/1/2019 12:27:42 PM
<![CDATA[Saudi Aramco gets first credit ratings ahead of bond debut]]>
Aramco will start meeting international bond investors this week for its debut in the international capital markets, opening its books to investor scrutiny for the first time. Given Aramco is fully state owned, its ratings are in line with the credit rating of Saudi Arabia.

Aramco generated earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) of $224 billion in 2018, Fitch said on Monday, surpassing ExxonMobil, the world’s largest listed oil firm.

“Saudi Aramco has an extremely strong liquidity position,” Moody’s said. As of the end of 2018, it had $48.8 billion in cash against $27 billion in reported debt, it said.

Aramco intends to issue its first U.S. dollar-denominated bonds, expected to be for at least $10 billion, after completing a bond “roadshow” this week.

It will meet with investors in Asia, Europe and the United States through until Friday, April 5, ahead of a multi-tranche dollar bond, according to a document issued by one of the banks leading the deal and seen by Reuters.

The debt sale will help it finance its acquisition of a stake in SABIC, the world’s fourth-largest petrochemicals maker.

Last week, Aramco said it would buy a 70 percent stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) from the kingdom’s wealth fund for $69.1 billion, in one of the biggest deals in the global chemical industry.

At the end of 2018, Aramco’s cash balances exceeded its balance-sheet debt, Fitch said.

“The company’s balance sheet leverage has been conservatively managed,” said Moody’s on Monday.

According to Moody’s, Aramco has $46.8 billion of bank facilities, of which about $25.5 billion remains available.

“We project that Saudi Aramco’s leverage will remain low, even after the recently announced acquisition of SABIC, which we expect to be predominantly funded from the company’s free cash flow (FCF),” Fitch said.

Credit ratings allow investors to compare and assess the credit quality of bond issuers and their debt securities, and are important in determining how much borrowers have to pay.

Aramco has hoped to match the ratings of Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell, a source familiar with the matter has told Reuters. Exxon is rated triple-A by Moody’s and AA+ by its rival S&P, putting it on par with the rating of the United States.

As a standalone business, Aramco could outweigh its international peers, but most of its assets are in Saudi Arabia and it is tightly linked to Saudi Arabia’s economic policies.

“Saudi Aramco’s rating is constrained by that of Saudi Arabia (A+/Stable). This reflects the influence the state exerts on the company through taxation and dividends, as well as regulating the level of production in line with its OPEC commitments,” Fitch said.

The rating agency said it put Saudi Aramco’s “standalone credit profile (at) ‘AA+’”.

“Saudi Aramco has many characteristics of a Aaa-rated corporate, with minimal debt relative to cash flows, large scale of production, market leadership and access in Saudi Arabia to one of the world’s largest hydrocarbon reserves,” said Rehan Akbar, a vice president and senior credit officer at Moody’s.

Aramco is by far the world’s biggest oil producing company, ahead of regional peers like Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and listed oil majors Shell, Total and BP, said Fitch.

But it is “less integrated into natural gas and downstream than some of its international peers, such as Shell and Total, which makes it more exposed to oil prices although this is mitigated by low cost of production, its downstream expansion strategy, and the acquisition of SABIC.”

Aramco’s liquids production and total hydrocarbon production averaged 11.6 million and 13.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, respectively in 2018, said Fitch.]]>
4/1/2019 12:26:07 PM
<![CDATA[Global shares surge on China factory rebound, trade hopes]]>
European stocks posted their best daily gains since mid-February, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index up 0.8 percent in early deals. Germany’s trade-sensitive DAX outperformed with a 1 percent rise helped by gains in auto maker stocks. [.EU]

MSCI’s All-Country World Index, which tracks shares in 47 countries, was up 0.4 percent on the day. It had just posted its best quarter since 2010.

“Investors’ sentiment seems to be tilting to the side of optimism at the beginning of the second quarter, following a robust manufacturing report from China,” said Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADSS.

China’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) released on Sunday showed factory activity unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months in March.

A private business survey, the Caixin/Markit PMI, released on Monday also showed the manufacturing sector in the world’s second biggest economy returning to growth.

“This news helps ease market participants’ worries over the odds of an upcoming recession on a global scale, even though there are plenty of signs suggesting caution,” Anthis said.

Recent signals from bond markets have alerted investors to the possibility of an imminent slowdown in the global economy.

Yields on short-dated government bonds in the United States had temporarily fallen below those of longer-dated bonds - a phenomenon known as yield curve ‘inversion’, which has preceded every major recession.

The 3-month/10-year yield spread has since pulled back from negative territory and stood around 3 basis points.

TRADE OPTIMISM

Earlier in Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index rallied 2.6 percent.

Australian stocks climbed 0.6 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI gained 1.3 percent and Japan’s Nikkei advanced 1.4 percent.

“The rebound likely reflects both the resumption of production after the Chinese New Year break and renewed stimulus and policy easing,” UBS strategists wrote in a note to clients.

“We expect China to continue easing policy, with signs of economic stabilization backing our overweight position on offshore Chinese equities in our Asia portfolios.”

Stocks in Asia also took their cues from Wall Street, with the S&P 500 posting its best quarterly gain in a decade on Friday amid trade optimism. [.N]

The United States and China said they made progress in trade talks that concluded on Friday in Beijing, with Washington saying the negotiations were “candid and constructive” as the world’s two largest economies try to resolve their drawn out trade war.

In currencies, the dollar fell 0.2 percent against a basket of currencies to 97.104.

The greenback had benefited from the flagging pound, which was on track to post its fourth day of losses in the wake of the Brexit saga.

But sterling was 0.2 percent higher to the dollar at $1.3060 on Monday, after taking its latest knock after British lawmakers rejected Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal for a third time on Friday.

The Australian dollar advanced 0.45 percent to $0.7127, also benefiting from the China data. The Aussie is sensitive to shifts in the economic outlook for China, the country’s main trading partner.

The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1239 while the dollar gained 0.2 percent to 111.005 yen.

Oil prices rose, adding to gains in the first quarter when the major benchmarks posted their biggest increases in nearly a decade, as concerns about supplies outweigh fears of a slowing global economy.

Crude oil prices added to Friday’s gains, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures gaining 0.9 percent to $60.69 per barrel. Brent was 1.3 percent higher at $68.46 per barrel.]]>
4/1/2019 12:24:21 PM
<![CDATA[Ad hoc committee keeps Octane 95 price at LE7.75 in Q2 2019]]>
The committee decided to keep the price at LE 7.75 per liter during the second quarter of 2019.

This decision came after the committee reviewed the actual developments of the basic elements affecting the cost of making available and selling gasoline (95), which includes the development of the price of the pound against the dollar in light of the official data of the Central Bank of Egypt for the first quarter of 2019, and the evolution of world prices of Brent crude oil during the same period.

In January 2019, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek al-Molla said that automatic fuel pricing will start in April to be applicable on Octane 95 only.

The minister said that the price is expected to either remain the same or change by 10 percent up or down.

In June, Octane 95 prices went up from LE 6.6 ($ 0.37) per liter to LE 7.7, while 92 octane gasoline prices amounted to LE 6.75 instead of LE 5 per liter. Prices of Octane 80's liter increased to LE 5.5 from LE 3.65.

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

The price of the cooking gas cylinder rose to LE 50 instead of LE 30 and the commercial gas cylinder's prices surged to LE 100 from LE 60.

Egypt embarked on a bold economic reform program that included the introduction of taxes, such as the value-added tax (VAT), and cutting energy subsidies, with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.

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

The IMF loan helped the state’s foreign reserves to rebound by receiving the first three tranches of the loan with a total value of $6.08 billion.
]]>
4/1/2019 11:53:26 AM
<![CDATA[Finance Ministry issues preliminary financial statement for 2019-2020]]>
Gross domestic product is planned to reach some 6.163 trillion pounds in 2019-2020 budget compared with 5.256 trillion during this fiscal year, the statement read.

The 2019-2020 budget aims to increase growth rates to six percent, while focusing on comprehensive inclusive growth, according to the statement.

It added that the government is seeking to create jobs for youth and reduce unemployment rates to an average of 7 to 8 percent. ]]>
4/1/2019 11:48:00 AM
<![CDATA[Production index for transformative, extractive industries falls9.7% in Jan.]]>
The index of chemical materials and products industry recorded 144.36 during January 2019, compared to 137.24 in December 2018, with an increase of 5.2 percent, as a result of non-stop work- without vacations- and lower inventories, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

CAPMAS added that the index of rubber and plastic products reached 77.06 in January 2019, compared to 39.29 in December 2018, with an increase of 96.1 percent due to the presence of export contracts.

The index of the food industry reached 93.05 in January 2019, compared to 144.49 in December 2018, reaching 144.49, with a decrease of 35.6 percent, according to the availability of raw materials, lack of liquidity and the low quantity of ground wheat.

CAPMAS also pointed that the index of ready-made garments fell 12.7 percent, reaching 296.67 during January 2019, compared to 339.94 in December 2018 due to the decline of export contracts.
]]>
3/31/2019 5:44:19 PM
<![CDATA[EGX shows mixed performance during March’s last session]]>
The benchmark EGX30 hiked 0.49 percent, or 72.07 points, to close at 14,737.88 points.

The equally weighted index EGX50 increased 0.14 percent, or 3.23 points, to reach 2,393.3 points.

On the other side, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 declined 0.15 percent, or 1.01 points, to close at 684.89 points, and the broader index EGX100 inched down 0.06 percent, or 1.05 point, to 1,738.16 points.

Market capitalization gained LE 1.8 billion, recording LE 816.54 billion, compared to LE 814.74 billion in Thursday’s session.

The trading volume reached 109.64 million shares, traded through 15,339 transactions, with a turnover of LE 528.69 million.

Arab investors were net sellers at LE 89.49 million, while Egyptian and foreign investors were net buyers at LE 53.89 million and LE 35.61 million, respectively.

Arab individuals were net sellers at LE 18.73 million, while Egyptian and foreign individuals were net buyers at LE 38.49 million, and LE 1.33 million, respectively.

Egyptian and foreign organizations bought at LE 15.39 million, and LE 34.27 million, respectively, while Arab organizations sold at LE 70.76 million.

Natural Gas & Mining Project (Egypt Gas), National Housing for Professional Syndicates, and WadiKomOmbo Land Reclamation were top gainers of the session by 8.62 percent, 8.05 percent and 6.68 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, SocieteArabeInternationale De Banque (SAIB), MisrBeniSuef Cement, and Alexandria Spinning & Weaving (SPINALEX) were top losers of the session by 9.98 percent, 7.52 percent, and 7.47 percent, respectively.

EGX ended Thursday’s session in green, as EGX30 hiked 0.76 percent, EGX50 increased 0.40 percent, EGX70 inched up 0.33 percent, and EGX100 rose 0.42 percent.
]]>
3/31/2019 3:37:49 PM
<![CDATA[Nile Stock witnesses largest offering in history Sunday]]>
This share represents 13 million shares of the company's share capital at LE 3.57. The company is specialized in medical laboratory.

Chairman and Managing Director of Speed Medical Mahmoud Lashin affirmed that the main aim of the offering is to expand investment in the medical field in Egypt, as the company’s board seeks to increase the capital to more than LE 100 million, with the aim of establishing new projects such as hospitals to complete the medical system established by Speed Lab and outpatient clinics.

Lashin pointed out that Speed Lab has so far reached 51 labs spread over nine governorates, where the client can obtain the results of the analysis within 3 hours of the analysis.

NILEX is an Egyptian stock exchange within the Egyptian Exchange (EGX). It is the first market in the Middle East and North Africa region for the listing and trading of small and medium-sized companies. The Nile Stock Exchange provides financing and growth opportunities for companies with promising potential in all fields and from all countries in the region, including family businesses.
]]>
3/31/2019 2:01:59 PM
<![CDATA[Domty’s profits surge 151% in 2018]]>
The financial indicators published at the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) revealed that the company’s sales rose to LE 2.58 billion, compared to LE 2.25 billion in 2017.

As per standalone results, the company achieved profits of LE 139.4 million, compared to LE 49.98 million in 2017.

Domty recorded profits of LE 132.8 million during the first nine months of 2018, compared to LE 28.47 million during the same months of 2017.

In December, the company signed a deal with the US-based AMF Bakery Systems to supply and install a new bakery production line at a cost of $4 million to produce 400,000 pieces a day.

Arabian Food Industries Co. operates within the food, beverage & tobacco sector focusing on packaged foods & meats.
]]>
3/31/2019 1:54:56 PM
<![CDATA[CBE to issue LE 17.5B in T-bills Sunday]]>
The T-bills will be offered in two installments; the first installment is valued at LE 8.7 billion with a 91-day term and the second is worth LE 8.7 billion with a 273-day term.

T-bills are issued every Sunday and Thursday.

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

The ministry clarified that treasury bills (T-bills) will be auctioned with a 91-day term, 182-day term, 273-day term and 364-day term worth LE 750 billion, LE 110 billion, LE 250 billion, LE 114 billion, LE 111 billion, LE 750 billion, and LE 120 billion, respectively.

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

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



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

CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March

CAIRO - 28 March 2019: The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively, during March's meeting.




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

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

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




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

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

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

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




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

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

Upon the board's approval in November, Egypt floated its currency, losing around 50 percent of its value, as part of the economic reform program which imposed taxes, including the value-added tax (VAT), and cut energy subsidies, all with the aim of trimming the budget deficit.
]]>
3/31/2019 12:04:59 PM
<![CDATA[Trump eyeing stepped-up Venezuela sanctions for foreign companies - Bolton]]>
“We’re moving exactly in that direction,” Bolton said when asked whether Trump would consider what are known as “secondary sanctions.”

“We are even now looking at a series of additional steps we could take,” Bolton said in the interview.

The United States and most other Western countries have thrown their backing behind Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who invoked the constitution in January to declare himself interim president, arguing that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate.

Oil provides 90 percent of export revenue for OPEC member Venezuela. The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA in January, preventing U.S. companies from dealing with it unless revenues went to a fund available to Guaido.

The Trump administration has not yet slapped sanctions on companies from other countries that do business with PDVSA - but U.S. officials have been having “conversations” with oil trading houses and governments around the world to convince them to scale down their dealings with Maduro, Trump’s Venezuela envoy Elliott Abrams said earlier on Friday.

MONROE DOCTRINE
Russia and China support Maduro, who has said Guaido is a puppet of Washington. Maduro retains control of state functions and the loyalty of the country’s military.

Bolton said he was not concerned that the push to oust Maduro was losing momentum.

“I can tell you there’s a lot going on beneath the surface. The opposition is in constant contact with large numbers of admirals and other supporters within the Maduro administration,” Bolton said.

“It’s a struggle against an authoritarian government and it’s obviously going to take some time,” he said.

Trump is looking at options - including sanctions - to respond to Russia’s growing military presence in Venezuela, Bolton said. Two Russian air force planes carrying nearly 100 military personnel landed outside Caracas on Saturday.

“We’re not afraid to use the phrase ‘Monroe Doctrine’ in this administration,” Bolton said, referring to the 1823 policy established by then-President James Monroe, widely seen in Latin America as a justification for U.S. armed intervention in the region.

“And one of the purposes of the Monroe Doctrine was to prevent foreign interference and even recolonization,” Bolton said.

Slideshow (4 Images)
“If you look at the presence of Cuban and Russian forces in Venezuela, you have to ask when will the people of Venezuela get to choose their government rather than foreigners?” he said.

Venezuela’s economic crisis, which has caused shortages of food and medicine, has pushed millions of people to flee the country.

Trump is considering granting temporary protection from deportation to the more than 70,000 Venezuelans believed to be in the United States, but wants to focus first on ensuring there is a transition in the government of the country, Bolton said.

“We want to be sure that people are not put back into a difficult position if they’re opponents of the Maduro regime. On the other hand, there are many families of Maduro regime supporters in this country that wanted out of Venezuela to be safe,” Bolton said.]]>
3/30/2019 4:03:48 PM
<![CDATA[UK government bond prices jump as parliament rejects Brexit deal]]>
The yield on 10-year gilts dipped below 1 percent as investors sought the safety of government bonds and gilt futures rallied by more than 30 ticks on the news.
]]>
3/29/2019 7:47:50 PM
<![CDATA[CBE keeps interest rates unchanged during March]]>
During the first meeting in 2019, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) cut the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate to 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent, respectively.

Senior economist at Shuaa Securities Esraa Ahmed believed that CBE could prefer to keep rates unchanged for some time.

Ahmed attributed this belief to the recent inflation hikes which were mainly pushed by food items, and the need to keep foreign inflows in shape, especially before imports pick up in the upcoming season, in addition to global oil prices.

She clarified that although oil prices fluctuate on a daily basis, their general trend exhibits a gradual and steady increase. Also, Asian countries rejecting shale oil cargoes could boost prices. “This is particularly important ahead of setting the fuel re-pricing mechanism in motion and cutting subsidies.”

“CBE may pick another time to cut rates, it at all, during the year. This may come after the inflationary wave starts to cool and the base effect turns more favorable,” she noted.

Other experts anticipated CBE to cut rates during the meeting as a result to the strengthening of the Egyptian Pound, foreign inflows into treasuries and the positive outlook of the Egyptian economy.

Macroeconomist, Fiscal Policy and PFM expert Moheb Malak said that it is indeed a tough call, referring that the targeted inflation is 9 percent (+/- 3 percent) during the fourth quarter 2020. “It is difficult to assess whether the current inflation level is consistent with achieving that target or not.”

Malak added that the inflation outlook is further clouded by the potential supply shocks to inflation arising from the expected fiscal measures early in the coming fiscal year including petroleum products and electricity price hikes.

“It is probably true that the CBE would rather maintain a gradually declining path to interest rates rather than cutting too hastily and then having to reverse the path of interest rates to hit the target. That means that the CBE would rather err on the hawkish side,” according to Malak.

“Still, in my opinion, due to the transitory nature of the recent shocks to inflation and the continued weakness of domestic demand, it is more likely than not that the MPC would cut rates by another 100 bps in the coming meeting on Thursday,” he added.

Malak pointed out that this MPC is the last opportunity for the Central Bank to cut rates in the coming six months before the seasonal rise in inflation ahead of Ramadan (May) as well as the impact of fiscal measures expected around the beginning of the new fiscal year (June – July). “In other words, if the Central Bank missed this window, it will have to wait until at least September to ease rates, which it may not afford given the weakness in domestic demand.”

Earlier this month, Fitch Ratings upgraded Egypt's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to B+ from B, with a stable outlook.

“The consolidation will mostly come from lower interest payments because of the disinflation trend, lower interest rates and lower debt as well as another round of subsidy reforms, including the introduction of an automatic fuel tariff adjustment mechanism. Further moderation of the wage bill/GDP and continued efforts to improve the tax administration will also contribute,” the report clarified.

Bloomberg said that the Federal Reserve has handed Egypt another reason to proceed with what could be the world’s deepest series of interest-rate cuts.

It added that the U.S. central bank’s surprise forecast for no rate increases in 2019, combined with a rally in Egypt’s currency, means policy makers may deliver a reduction in borrowing costs for the second straight month on Thursday. Renaissance Capital’s global chief economist Charles Robertson expects another cut of 100 basis points “due to a dovish fed and to counter rapid pound appreciation.”

According to Bloomberg, Renaissance Capital’s global chief economist Charles Robertson expects another cut of 100 basis points “due to a dovish Fed and to counter rapid pound appreciation.”

“Domestic demand is fragile, non-food inflation is low and globally central banks are shifting to an easing bias,” he said.

Most economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict the central bank will cut by a percentage point. Five analysts see the benchmark staying at 15.75 percent.

Mideast economist at Bloomberg Ziad Daoud said: “It is a close call, but we expect the Central Bank of Egypt to keep rates on hold instead of cutting them further. The surge in inflation last month should tip the balance toward holding.”

“Rates will be down in support of the debt control strategy given that foreign investors continue to be super interested in Egypt’s treasury investments, in light of a stronger exchange rate and an attractive carry trade,” said Radwa el-Swaify, head of research at Cairo-based Pharos Holding.

“Relatively stable core inflation and stronger capital inflows, combined with our view that the Central Bank of Egypt may want to loosen policy before upcoming subsidy cuts means that an interest-rate cut seems more likely than not,” senior economist at Capital Economics Jason Tuvey said.

Egypt which targets to hit average interest rates on the government’s debt instrument of 14.7 percent in the current budget, compared to an expected average of 18.5 percent in FY2017/18 budget, kept the overnight deposit rate and the overnight lending rate at 16.75 percent and 17.75 percent, respectively, during December’s meeting for the sixth time in 2018.
]]>
3/28/2019 7:48:18 PM
<![CDATA[Nigeria's Naira more likely to follow Egypt’s playbook]]>
Both Egypt’s and Ghana’s central banks cut their main interest rates earlier this year, surprising most analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

But their currencies reacted differently. The Egyptian pound has since strengthened against the dollar and is one of the world’s best-performing units this year.

But Ghana’s cedi has tanked.

Nigeria’s Naira has the potential to go the way of the Egyptian pound. Among the key factors are the steep rise in Brent oil prices this year to almost $70 a barrel and the $6 billion that has flowed into the Nigerian fixed-income market since last month’s general elections. Nigeria’s reserves, at $44 billion, are the highest since September, giving central bank Governor Godwin Emefiele plenty of firepower should he need to defend the currency.

Like Egypt, Nigeria’s yields remain attractive. The Abuja-based central bank has kept rates high for the past six months or so using short-term instruments known as open-market operations to rein in liquidity.

Average yields on Naira bonds of 14.4 percent are the fourth-highest among large emerging markets, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.]]>
3/28/2019 5:29:22 PM