Monday, 9 February 2015

At least 30 dead in football violence. El-Sisi calls Salman, Al-Sabah. Putin arrives in Cairo today. EGP stable as market waits for sign from CBE. Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages to build Egypt factory. No increase in gas production this year?

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

Russian President Vladimir Putin kicks off his visit to Egypt today, with expectations that the wide-ranging talks could extend to include recent chatter about a potential Russian port at Alexandria and a nuclear reactor at Dabaa.

Also today: Spotlights after our Industry News roundups on the Munich Security Conference and the latest on Turkey.

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING THIS WEEK

Kuwait is hosting their 2015 Middle East Investment Conference on Tuesday, 10 February, sponsored by Citibank. (Read)

LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Last night’s talk shows covered events as they unfolded outside the Air Defense Stadium in New Cairo where the Zamalek football club was playing a Premiere League match against ENNPI. Clashes between security forces and the Zamalek White Knights have left more than 20 people confirmed dead (possibly more: at time of dispatch, Ahram Online was reporting “at least 30” dead) and at least 20 injured. Despite the chaos outside the stadium, the match went on as planned inside. Talk show hosts tried to make sense of the tragedy by interviewing numerous eyewitnesses, Zamalek football club board members, Football Association officials and sports writers.

“All that I want right now is for the people inside the stadium arrive home safely. There are still more than 5,000 people inside the stadium. It’s the same story over and over again. Maybe if the guilty parties receive their punishment, these shameful acts will come to an end,” said Amr Adeeb.

Egyptian Football Association spokesman, Azmi Megahed called in to explain that the clashes were a result of large groups of people (as many as 10,000 in total) trying to force their way into the stadium without tickets.

“The clashes had nothing to do with the match. Nothing happened inside the stadium,” said Megahed. “I’m not sure who is behind this, but we need to look at who is against the police, Putin’s visit and the economic conference. In whose best interest is this?”

“As usual we will never know how these people died. All we know is that these people didn’t kill themselves,” said Adeeb.

An eyewitness account of the clashes as told to Adeeb was as follows: “Large groups of youths came running down the street outside the stadium shouting, ‘We aren’t afraid of the police.’ They began to clash with the police, who were clearly outnumbered. The police fired tear gas to try and disperse the crowd. As a result of the large amount of tear gas, people were dropping right and left as if it was a war. They weren’t killed by the police, they were trampled. I saw no weapons being fired, only tear gas.”

SPEED ROUND

As noted in our talk show review above, dozens of fans were killed at a soccer match last night, many of whom died in a stampede as fans without tickets attempted to rush into the stadium. The New York Times put the number killed at 25, with other sources referring to Al Ahram’s count of 30. “Most of the dead were suffocated when the crowd stampeded after police used tear gas to clear the fans trying to force their way into a league match between two Cairo clubs, Zamalek and Enppi, doctors and witnesses said,” as reported by Reuters. Following the rioting the game commenced. “Huge numbers of Zamalek club fans came to Air Defense Stadium to attend the match … and tried to storm the stadium gates by force, which prompted the troops to prevent them from continuing the assault on the stadium facilities,” according to a statement by the MOI as quoted by German newspaper DW. The government has announced the indefinite suspension of the league.

International headlines on Egypt were dominated by the football news, with coverage in BBC, USA Today, Bloomberg, Al Arabiya, CNN, and The Guardian, among others. CNN’s link starts an autoplay video showing a mourning father who had to pick up his son from the morgue.

President Abdelfattah El Sisi made phone calls to both Saudi King Salman and Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Sabah to confirm their ongoing support of Egypt. According to a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency: “The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques confirmed to the President the stand of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the side of the government and people of Egypt, and that the Kingdom’s position towards Egypt’s stability and security is firm and never changes, adding that the ties binding the two sisterly countries are an example to be followed in the strategic relations and common cause. He also indicated that the relation between the Kingdom and Egypt is beyond any attempt to disrupt the distinguished and firm relations between them.” (Read, no direct link available, relevant statement is the second down from the top, or read the same statement in Arabic. See also Al-Masry Al-Youm and Al-Mal for how the calls are playing in local media, the Financial Times for a take from Borzou Daragahi, or Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, which carries an opinion piece by former editor-in-chief Tariq Alhomayed claiming that “Egypt is being targeted” by factions looking to drive a wedge between Cairo and Riyadh.)

Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb is in the UAE through Wednesday for the latter’s Government Summit 2015, having given a keynote address yesterday and gone out of his way to praise the UAE’s form of government in remarks carried by state-run UAE news agency WAM.

Imprisoned Al-Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed to begin retrial this Thursday: The family of former Al Jazeera English bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy are reportedly “devastated” that he will undergo retrial after having received assurances from the Canadian Foreign Ministry that Fahmy’s release was imminent. (Read) The AFP incorrectly reported the story as only Baher having to stand trial.

EGP stable at CBE auction, see-saws on black market. The greenback went for EGP 7.5301 at the fourth CBE currency auction in a row yesterday, Reuters reports, but was mixed on the black market, with Reuters reporting a currency trader quoted them EGP 7.74 while a second dealer contacted by Enterprise quoted 7.98, a sharp drop from 7.86 on Saturday.

RUNNING: As widely suspected would eventually happen, Ahmed Ezz has officially submitted paperwork to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections, as noted by The New York Times: ‘Tycoon and Mubarak Ally Seeks Return to Parliament.’

NOT RUNNING: El-Sewedy Electric chairman Ahmed El-Sewedy has no plans to enter politics, according to a short piece out late yesterday in Al-Borsa in which the paper claims the media-shy El-Sewedy is focused solidly on running the business, one of Africa’s largest integrated energy solutions outfits.

The new unified investment law could be public by the end of February, Egypt Independent reported yesterday, citing a story carried by sister publication Al-Masry Al-Youm that quoted Investment Minister Ashraf Salman. The report comes as word continues to percolate through the business community that while Salman is pushing for the law to be handed down before the Sharm summit, he allegedly faces opposition at the Cabinet table from Finance Minister Hany Demian, who reportedly objects to tax breaks and other incentives in the proposed legislation.

Palm Hills shareholders meeting at a general assembly have approved raising the real estate developer’s paid-in capital to EGP 4.34 bn from EGP 2.69 bn and hiking its authorized capital to EGP 6 bn from EGP 3.5 bn, Al-Borsa reports. The newspaper quotes a source close to the company as saying PHD will use the proceeds from the capital raising in part to acquire 100 feddans of land from the New Urban Communities
Authority for expansion projects; 32 feddans will be located in East Cairo. Among the projects the company is now eying: retail and commercial projects as well as a school.

It’s rare that health policy news makes it into an Egyptian business publication, but that’s exactly what happened late yesterday after a high-level Health Ministry advisory committee convened to discuss how to eliminate the waiting list for cardiac procedures at public hospitals and improve cardiac care nationwide. With the Sisi administration facing a constitutional requirement to spend 10% of GDP on health and education, we’re going to be looking for more news such as this going forward. Read more in Al-Mal.

New Governor of Alexandria Hany El-Messiry has become the object of significant affection online, Al-Arabiya reports, with photos of the former IFFO chief, professor and ex-Bank of America bankergoing viral.

Do massive container ships pose a threat to the Suez Canal? The Wall Street Journal has a piece looking at the risks posed by super-sized container ships to maritime navigation, the environment and the insurance industry, noting that “direct losses from a huge ship sinking or running aground, though potentially severe, could be dwarfed by the impact of a disabled ship blocking a major port or canal. A collision of two ships delayed traffic through the Suez Canal last September. Though the blockage was rapidly cleared and didn’t have much impact on costs, it illustrated what could happen.”

HSBC bank ‘helped clients dodge millions in tax’: The BBC, along with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which includes over 50 media outlets, have learned that documents leaked in 2007 and which were later investigated by UK Revenue and Customs in 2010, have only produced one prosecution from allegations that HSBC aided its clients in avoiding paying taxes. The story is getting wide play in the UK press (the Guardian has by far the most extensive take we’ve yet seen), but has yet to cross over into the financial press. HSBC has told the Guardian in a statement that it was essentially playing by the same rules as everyone else when the alleged incidents took place, saying, “standards of due diligence were significantly lower than today.” The bank has recently been under investigation for potential complicity in tax evasion in France, Belgium and Argentina.

DAY ONE: PRESIDENT PUTIN’S STATE VISIT TO EGYPT

Ahram conducted an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Egyptian-Russian relations in light of his first visit to Egypt in over a decade. The website has a condensed version of this, referring readers to a more detailed account of the interview in this morning’s print edition. Of note, Putin states in the interview, in remarks picked up by the Russian media, that Russia and Egypt may soon exclude the US dollar and instead use their national currencies in the settlement of accounts in bilateral trade. (Read the condensed summary of the interview in Arabic in Al Ahram and quotes in RT)

President Abdelfattah El Sisi’s interview with Russian state news agency TASS: President El Sisi sat down yesterday for an interview with the Russian news agency TASS on the occasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Egypt. “The Egyptians appreciate Russia’s support to Egypt, especially if we speak about enterprises it built, such as the Aswan Dam, textile factories, a metallurgical works, and its military assistance. This is what is remembered by the Egyptians,” he said. “In the recent months, of special importance has been President Putin’s position, when he supported Cairo in anti-terrorism efforts. He understands the real state of things in our country – so, our further relations should be built on such understanding.” (Read) An SIS statement regarding the same interview noted that the President also praised the contributions of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait, and that he also recently conducted an interview with German magazine Spiegel. (Read the SIS release and the interview in Spiegel in German, paywall. Ahram has a transcript of the interview in Arabic)

ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY & SUBSIDY REFORM

Cairo Solar plans EGP 80 mn Dollar IPO on the EGX
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
Cairo Solar is planning an IPO on the EGX this year, according to company chairman Hisham Tawfik. The company will list the equivalent of EGP 80 mn on the EGX to be traded in USD and targets paid-in capital of EGP 125 mn – down from a previously planned EGP 300 mn. Tawfik said the listing will be in U.S. dollars as 85% of the company’s outlays are dollar-denominated. Cairo Solar is a venture that includes the Egyptian Consultants Group (ECG) and EMC, among others. (Read in Arabic)

Ittihadiya: President, Minister of Electricity meet to discuss energy efficiency
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
President Abdelfattah El-Sisi met yesterday with the Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker to discuss progress on the ongoing overhaul and capacity expansion of the national electricity grid. Shaker has several times pledged that there will be no repeat of the power crisis that plagued the nation in the summer of 2014. The two reviewed progress on the addition of new power stations to the grid as well as plans to replace street lighting with more energy efficient bulbs. (Read in Arabic)

OIL & GAS

Crude imports from Kuwait to increase to three million barrels per month
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
EGPC reached an agreement with Kuwait to add an extra one million barrels to Egypt’s monthly imports of Kuwaiti crude, bringing up the total imported quantity per month to three million barrels. The agreement was reached during the visit of the Egyptian delegation, headed by PM Mehleb, to Kuwait with payment scheduled on relaxed terms over nine months. Egypt also asked for petroleum products including 770-800 thousand tons of diesel, gasoline, and fuel oil and Kuwait is currently assessing the request. In return, EGPC offered Kuwait extra facilities and storage capacities at SUMED’s terminals in El Ain El Sokhna and Sidi Kreir. (Read in Arabic)

EGPC to assign state-owned E&P companies to dig irrigation wells for 1 mn Feddans Project
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
EGPC said it will issue directives assigning state-owned companies the task of digging irrigation wells for the 1 mn Feddans Project. The ministries of agriculture and irrigation are turning to EGPC to ensure the project remains on time and the drilling is completed in a safe manner. Companies assigned to the project will receive 25% of their payment in advance, with the rest paid after the project is delivered. (Read in Arabic)

No increase in gas production in FY 2015/2016, says EGAS
Daily News | 08 Feb 2015
Gas production volumes will remain unchanged next year at a maximum of 5 bcf per day as a result of international E&P companies postponing projects as they wait for the Sisi administration to finalize repricing of gas. This comes despite a 50% drop in the cost of drilling due to falling global demand for rigs, the newspaper says, citing an unnamed EGAS official. (Read)

BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES

Saudi’s Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages plans USD 500 mn investments regionally, to build factory in Egypt
The National, Zawya | 08 Feb 2015
Saudi Arabia’s Aujan Coca Cola Beverages Company (ACCBC) announced plans to invest USD 500 mn across its regional footprint over the next three years in capacity improvements, innovations in new packages and consumer occasions, as well as IT infrastructure upgrades. The company plans on building a state-of-the-art factory in Egypt to supply ACCBC brands domestically. Coca Cola bought a 50% stake in ACCBC, which produces the Rani and Barbican drinks in the Middle East, for USD 980 mn in 2012. (Read and here)

MANUFACTURING

Investment and finance ministries consider increasing incentives to Upper Egypt investors
Al Borsa | 08 Feb 2015
The Ministry of Investment is in talks with the finance ministry to extend tax incentives to investors in Upper Egypt. Lower tax rates are being considered for cement factories that will operate in Upper Egypt. The incentive scheme, according to the Minister of Investment, will not be generalized but targeted to increase investments in underprivileged areas. (Read in Arabic)

Import tariffs on cars reach USD 3 bn in 2014, says AMIC
Youm7 | 08 Feb 2015
According to Mustafa Hussein, Chairman of AMIC, the automobile industry saw an impressive performance in 2014 achieving sales worth EGP 30 bn. These sales have translated into a substantial revenue boost to the state as sales taxes for auto sales reached USD 2 bn, while import tariffs grew to USD 3 bn in 2014. (Read in Arabic)

FEI Division to establish smaller textiles manufacturing units in Upper Egypt
Youm7 | 08 Feb 2015
The ready-to-wear clothing division of the Federation of Egyptian Industries plans to implement a strategy whereby smaller ready-to-wear manufacturing facilities will be established in high density population centers in Upper Egypt to augment the production capacities of well-established larger factories. According to statements made by Mohamed Abdel Salam, head of the division, each facility will receive financing of up to EGP 300,000 from a state welfare fund, adding that the project will provide a major boost to the industry and help decrease unemployment. (Read in Arabic)

HEALTHCARE

Nigeria requests Egyptian doctors to work in the State of Katsina
Al Borsa | 08 Feb 2015
The Nigerian health ministry submitted a request to Egypt to send English-speaking doctors to work in the country. The doctors will be seconded to the emergency departments in hospitals in the State of Katsina. (Read in Arabic)

REAL ESTATE & HOUSING

New Dabaa’ nearing completion
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
High level representatives of the community of disenfranchised residents of Dabaa, Marsa Matrouh, have announced that they had been given reassurances by the army that the new residential city designed for their housing will completed mid-2015. The new city, which spans 23,000 feddan, represents the culmination of decades’ long dispute between the Dabaa residents and the government over the appropriation of their property to build a nuclear power plant. (Read in Arabic)

Bidding to develop 219 residential buildings in Minya to commence in June
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
The government of New Minya City expects to launch the bidding to develop 219 apartment buildings in June. According to Mohamed Al Qosry, a leading official in the municipal government, bidding to develop a further 245 buildings will launch by the end of 2015. (Read in Arabic)

INFRASTRUCTURE

Ministry of Housing announces implementation of 30 June Mehwar Road
Al Mal | 8 Feb 2015
The start of construction on the southern part of the 30 June Mehwar is set to take place in the beginning of March, the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development announced. As part of the National Roads Project, which costs EGP 1.8 bn, the implementation of the southern end of the Mehwar will stretch 105 kilometers from Al Salam Canal to Al-Ismaliyah road. The Minister of Housing Mostafa Madbouli said that the Ministry is currently holding talks with 7 companies that will finance the project. “The final designs, along with land maps, are being completed after the approval Ministry of Defense’s General Secretariat,” Madbouli added. (Read in Arabic)

Cairo Governorate allocates EGP 30 mn to alleviate traffic congestion in Matariya
Al Mal | 8 Feb 2015
The Director of Roads and Bridges Directorate in Cairo Ashraf Helmy said that EGP 30 million will be spent on improving road conditions and traffic congestion in Matariya. In a statement, Helmy said that The Arab Contracts and General Nile Company for Roads and Bridges have already started paving freight corridors, the most vital corridor in Matariya. Matariya’s City Councilman Ahmed Fawzy will hold a meeting tomorrow with the Urban Planning and Development Directorate to set a timetable for the completion of the improvement project. The improvements will be carried out on 4 stages, including the development of the freight corridor that connects with Horreya St until Old Mostorod and the fourth phase which will develop a connecting road between Masala Square and Mashrou’ Bridge. (Read in Arabic)

BANKING & FINANCE

Al Baraka Bank earmarks EGP 500 mn to finance Suez Canal projects
Al Shorouk | 08 Feb 2015
Al Baraka Bank announced it is earmarking EGP 500 mn to finance projects that will become available at the Suez Canal development corridor. The financing schemes planned will be Sharia compliant and aim to increase employment opportunities. (Read in Arabic)

Health insurance sector payouts reach EGP 666 mn
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
According to an EFSA report obtained by Al Mal, insurance companies in Egypt paid EGP 666 mn in health insurance indemnities in the 2013/2014 fiscal year, up from EGP 641 mn in the 2012/2013 year. Misr Insurance carried the bulk of that load, contributing 47.8%, followed by BUPA and Delta insurance, who paid-out 31.6% and 7.4% respectively. (Read in Arabic)

OTHER BUSINESS NEWS OF NOTE

Government creates a USD 250 mn fund to support tourism at the investment summit
Al Ahram | 07 Feb 2015
The ministries of tourism and planning have submitted a request to EFSA to create a USD 250 mn fund to support the tourism sector. The fund will be called Papyrus and will be created with the support of Ayadi, according to the planning minister. Ultimately, the fund will be able to increase investments in the sector and generate a rapid economic return. (Read in Arabic)

Manpower minister redefines the legal procedures for labor strikes
Amwal Al Ghad | 07 Feb 2015
Minister of Manpower Nahed El Ashry denied claims that she changed the laws regulating labor strikes. Rather, El Ashry says she redefined the procedures strikers have to go through, stressing that throughout the period, striking employees are not entitled to pay and are only allowed to strike following failed negotiations with the employer. El Ashry added that the only reason why a minimum wage was not imposed on the private sector was the absence of an agreement between the employees and labor unions about the adequate value of the minimum wage. (Read in Arabic)

Round four of the Pioneer-Lactalis battle over Arab Dairy commences
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
Sources within the El Nour company, a subsidiary of French Lactalis, revealed that the latter will raise its bid to acquire Arab Dairy to EGP 66 per share, besting Pioneer, its competitor in the acquisition, by 2%. The move comes in response Pioneer announcing that it had increased its bid to 64.50 per share after receiving regulatory approval from EFSA on Thursday, intensifying the bidding war for Arab Dairy. (Read in Arabic)

EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS

Lazard sets 15 Feb as a deadline to receive projects’ executive summaries for investment summit
Al Mal | 08 Feb 2015
Lazard set 15 February as a deadline for the government to provide it with executive summaries for the investment projects’ prospectuses that will be presented at the Egypt Economic Development Conference next month in Sharm El Sheikh. After having excluded about 10 projects on time concerns, the Minister of Investment, expects 28-30 projects to be presented at the conference. Lazard provided the government with a unified form to present each project’s prospectus in order to be able to provide analytical and promotional material before the conference. (Read in Arabic)

JICA financed USD 80 mn in projects in Egypt in 2014, to increase financing to USD 360 mn in 2015
Amwal Al Ghad | 08 Feb 2015
The head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) Cairo office said that they financed USD 80 mn in projects in Egypt in 2014. JICA has earmarked USD 360 mn for Egypt in 2015 for projects including investments in improving the electricity distribution network and building a new passenger terminal at the Borg El Arab Airport in Alexandria. JICA also expressed its interest in learning more about the investment opportunities that will be on offer at the Sharm investment summit in March. (Read in Arabic)

New amendment to law governing customs rates announced
Al Mal | 07 Feb 2015
President Abdelfattah El-Sisi issued a decree amending law 184 for the year 2013 establishing the rates and brackets for import tariffs. The amendment, which is aimed at shaking up and fixing the customs system would see the no import tariffs on medication for chronic or incurable diseases and a milieu of other health related products. The amendment will also seek to close gaps and loopholes which have allowed for inefficiencies in the import tariff systems. The article carries an Arabic copy of the decree. (Read in Arabic)

REGIONAL

Sonatrach moves forward with shale gas exploration
Sky News Arabia | 08 Feb 2014
Sonatrach CEO Saeed Sahnoon announced today that the company will move forward with its planned shale gas exploration operations in the Ein Saleh site, despite local opposition and protest at the site halting operations. Sahnoon revealed the company would re-commence operations within the coming days. He went on to stress Algeria’s need for energy will reach 50 bn cubic meters of gas by 2050. (Read in Arabic)

MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE

The annual Munich Security Conference wrapped up its two days of debates and addresses today. The theme of the conference this year was the collapse of the international order, especially with regard to the events in Ukraine and the Middle East. Among the notable highlights from today:

Israeli minister urges West to give more arms to Egypt, among others: Israeli Minister of Intelligence, International Relations and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference today, said that Western states should provide “More support with weapons and also financial support to more moderate groups, Islamic forces, like for example the Kurds, like the Free Syrian Army and like moderate Arab states, like Jordan, like Egypt.” (Read in Aswat Masriya)

Israeli Intelligence Minister in heated exchange with representative of rogue statelet: The Jerusalem Post reports on a tense exchange taking place at the conference between the aforementioned Israeli Minister Steinitz and the Atari representative Khalid Mohamed A. Al-Attiyah on a panel discussing the Arab “Spring.” “The tones between the two men were raised when Steinitz asked why Qatar ‘is supporting a Jihadist organization like Hamas or Islamic State, instead of putting all its efforts into eliminating such jihadi organizations, whether they are working in Iraq, Gaza, Africa or elsewhere.’” (Read in The Jerusalem Post)

EVEN TURKISH PEOPLE ARE SICK OF ERDOGAN

Erdogan is beginning to feel some heat from political rivals and / or just reasonable people who are beginning to chafe at the erratic leader’s remarks and strategy that have left Turkey increasingly isolated from both Europe and the Arab world.

Last week, former ally turned greatest rival Fethullah Gulen wrote an op-ed for The New York Times titled ‘Turkey’s Eroding Democracy.’ “It is deeply disappointing to see what has become of Turkey in the last few years … Turkey’s rulers have not only alienated the West, they are also now losing credibility in the Middle East. Turkey’s ability to assert positive influence in the region depends not only on its economy but also on the health of its own democracy … In the past the Turkish people have rejected elected leaders who strayed from a democratic path. I hope they will exercise their legal and democratic rights again to reclaim the future of their country.” (Read)

Meanwhile, in what had been thought to be a move closely coordinated with the Turkish presidency, Erdogan has spoken out against his former spy chief’s recent decision to resign and run for parliament.“I do not view Hakan Fidan’s candidacy positively,” Erdogan said in televised comments at Istanbul airport, as reported by Al Arabiya, saying that the Turkish prime minister would have the final say. “I cannot interfere,” Erdogan added. According to Al Arabiya, it had been assumed that former spy chief Hakan Fidan’s resignation had been part of a plan by Erdogan to help him secure a supermajority in the upcoming parliament as part of his bid to amend the constitution to shift Turkey into a presidential system. (Read)

A voice of reason has emerged from within Turkey in the form of opposition Republican People’s Party deputy Faruk Logoglu. According to Al Monitor: “Logoglu placed the issue of Rabia, Misr al An, Al Sharq and Mukemmelin on the parliamentary agenda. In his query, Logoglu warned, ‘Turkey’s hosting of transmissions terrorizing Egyptian people and threatening foreigners in that country adds to questions about Turkey’s position in international platforms.’ He also said to the news site that while he does not foresee relations between Egypt and Turkey improving in the near future, he insisted that it was important, as the Turkish “government’s current Egypt policy is marginalizing Turkey in the region. We have to speak with more constructive language.” (Read)

ON YOUR WAY OUT

The Ministry of Interior set up a unit to combat violence against women, according to the deputy minister for human rights affairs. (Read in Arabic) Note: It’s our understanding that this unit was actually established a couple of years ago but had not yet begun operating.

24% of Gulf companies have experienced data or IT security breaches in the past year, according to a report by Kaspersky Labs picked up by Al-Mal late yesterday.

Misr Hotels Company approved a request to legally change the name of the Nile Hotel (formerly the Nile Hilton) to the Nile Ritz Carlton Hotel. (Read in Arabic)

The natural gas pipeline to Israel was attacked last night for what media are reporting is the twenty-ninth time since 25 January 2011.
Advanced Computer Technology (ACT), will be supplying E-Finance, Engineering Consultants Group, and the Arab Contractors’ Group with Microsoft bundles. (Read in Arabic)

Rift Valley Railways tests new passenger train in Uganda: The Kampala Capital City Authority and Rift Valley Railways have tested a new passenger train in Uganda last Thursday to help relieve congested traffic conditions. “This is the beginning of decongesting the city,” Ms Jennifer Musisi, the executive director of Kampala Capital City Authority, said at the event marking the train’s test run. Qalaa Holdings is the majority shareholder in RVR. (Read)

In news that has the potential to greatly impact humanity, the White House’s new budget finally gives firm and continued support to realize a mission to the ice moon of Europa in orbit of Jupiter, where it is speculated that life may exist underneath nearly a mile of ice. The bad news: Obama is trying to cut the allotted amount to a Europa mission from USD 100 mn to USD 30 mn. However, some observers argue this will not pass and the full funding, or close to the originally requested amount, will come through. (Read)

BY THE NUMBERS

USD CBE auction (Sunday 08 Feb): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday 02 Feb)
USD parallel market: 7.98 (+0.12 from Saturday 07 Feb)

EGX30 (Sunday): 9,957.93 (-0.08%)
Turnover: EGP 482.3 mn (29% below the 90-day average)

WTI: USD 52.29 (+1.16%)
Brent: USD 58.13 (+0.57%)

TASI: 9.345.3 (+1.8%)
ADX: 4,621.6 (+0.3%)
DFM: 3,893.4 (+0.2%)
KSE: 449.2 (+0.3%)
QE: 12,623.9 (+0.8%)
MSM: 6,725.5 (+0.6%)

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