Sunday, 15 February 2015
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY
An otherwise quiet news weekend was shattered by reports out of Libya that will thrust the continued security vacuum there into the Egyptian political spotlight. First came photos in a Daesh magazine of 21 Egyptians — kidnapped in Sirte back in early January — wearing a version of the orange coveralls made recognizable by Daesh execution videos. That was followed by news that a further 21 Egyptians, this time allegedly fisherman from the Delta, had been kidnapped in Misrata.
The deepening crisis in Libya comes as word continues to emerge of contingency planning in partnership with Saudi Arabia in the event that Yemen’s Houthis should threaten Red Sea shipping.
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING THIS WEEK
Tuesday will see both the kickoff of the ‘Future of Energy in Egypt’ conference hosted by Al Ahram and the EBA at the Marriott in Zamalek as well as the CBE offering USD 1 bn in one-year Dollar-denominated treasury bills at auction. The two-day Egypt Oil & Gas Summit 2015 kicks off on Wednesday.
LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
We’re not sure if Valentine’s Day is to blame or if it was just a slow news weekend but there was very little of substance to report on from last night’s talk shows. Both Lamees El Hadidy and Amr Adeeb were off [readers: insert your own punch line here] and the story of the day was clear the fate of Egyptians kidnapped in Libya.
Qahira Al Yawm began with an on screen message: Happy Valentine’s Day for You.” Rania Badawy, dressed in a bright pink blazer and matching lipstick, launched into a segment about love — and then moved on to talk about the antithesis of love: Daesh and their religious philosophy. Sharia expert Saad El Din Al Hilali joined in the conversation to stress the importance of preaching love, not hate, and reassured viewers that it’s not haram to wish your loved ones a happy Valentine’s Day.
Youssef El Houssieny took issue with the manner in which the government has handled the kidnapping of the 21 Egyptians in Libya by Daesh. He stressed on the fact that they should be referred to as “Egyptians,” not “Coptic Egyptians.”
“The government has know about the situation in Libya since last month; what have they done? As usual they have been very slow to react. No action was taken until the weekend when the photos of the hostages were published, protests took place, and the President spoke out,” said El Housseiny.
“As I’ve said before we have seven ministers who are active and effective. Let’s save the salaries of the other 27. The seven who are active can just work directly with the President and everything will be fine,” he added.
El Houssieny hosted film director Khaled Youssef in his capacity as an independent candidate in the upcoming parliamentary election.
The fate of 21 Egyptian hostages in Libya remains unknown, following photographs emerging online of Daesh parading around a group of 21 Coptic Egyptian hostages in orange jumpsuits in their online magazine Dabiq. “This month, the soldiers of the Khilāfah in Wilāyat Tarābulus (Caliphate State Tripolitania) captured 21 Coptic crusaders, almost five years after the blessed operation against the Baghdad church executed in revenge for Kamilia Shehata, Wafa Constantine, and other sisters who were tortured and murdered by the Coptic Church of Egypt,” according to the magazine as reported by The Guardian. The 21 were taken hostage on or around 4 January and are believed to be construction workers from Upper Egypt. As of Friday, the Egyptian government had yet to receive any evidence of the alleged executions, and their fate continues to be unknown at this time. After reports surfaced online yesterday that the internationally recognized Libyan Parliament had confirmed the Egyptians were dead, an advisor to the Libyan National Army called in to 90 Minutes last night to say he believed the hostages were still alive, according to Al-Shorouk.
The Sisi administration has said that it is doing everything it can to secure their release and is offering to evacuate all Egyptians from Libya. All travel to Libya by Egyptian nationals has reportedly been banned, and the administration has reportedly shifted additional border control, intelligence and army assets to the border region in expectation of an influx of Egyptians returning home. Evacuation plans could be in the works, according to speculation in the local and international press.
All this comes as news that a further 21 Egyptians have been kidnapped in Libya: 21 Egyptian fisherman were reportedly kidnapped from Misrata by a Libyan group called Fajr, the Egyptian Fishermen’s Trade Union representative Ahmed Nassar said. The kidnapped fishermen are from Borg Maghazeel in Kafr El-Sheikh province. Nassar added that the fishermen had verified work permits issued by the Ministry of Labor via the Libyan Embassy in Cairo and that they had entered Libya legally, according to a piece in Youm7that has subsequently been picked up by other media.
The still-unfolding crisis prompted President Abdelfattah El-Sisi to reach out to Pope Tawadros yesterday. The president assured the Pope that he is “personally following up on the matter and that all competent state authorities will spare no effort to ascertain a clear understanding of the situation,” according to an overnight statement from Ittihadiya.
The conflict in Libya and an order gap spurred Egypt’s purchase of 24 Rafale fighter jets from France, Reuters reports. “Egypt needs planes quickly,” said Patricia Adam, president of the French parliament’s defense committee. “You just need to take a look at what’s happening at its border. They are especially worried by what’s happening in Libya.” French media are reporting that half of the purchase will be financed by French banks underwritten with a French state Coface guarantee, with the other half fronted by Egypt, although a Gulf state may assist, according to French reports. (Read) The final deal is expected to besigned on Monday, with Cairo hoping to fly the jets and sail the frigate during the August inauguration of the Suez Canal expansion.
Yemen turmoil deepens as Saudi Arabia, Egypt eye intervention: Meanwhile, the AP is reporting that Saudi Arabia and Egypt are readying for a possible military intervention in Yemen. “Egypt has set up a special rapid deployment force that could intervene if the Houthis threaten shipping lanes in the strategic Red Sea, according to three Egyptian security officials. The force, they said, is drawn from the 3rd Army, which has been running security and intelligence operations in the Red Sea from its headquarters in Suez.” (Read)
Egypt is not currently in negotiations for more Gulf aid -Salman: ““We received strong support from several GCC states in the past period and we hope there will be more support not via grants or aid but through injecting more investments,” said Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman to Mubasher. (Read)
Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian and former bureau chief in Cairo for Al-Jazeera English, and freelance producer Baher Mohamed were ordered free on bail this past Thursday as their retrial continues. The two were released from prison on Saturday morning. The news was widely welcomed by international media.
World Bank selects K&M to help design proposed Egyptian clean energy fund: The World Bank has selected finance and engineering advisory firm K&M to help design a proposed renewable energy fund for Egypt, the firm said in a press release. The proposed fund would support the industry by providing technical and financial assistance. K&M will survey the existing market to determine the fund’s size, structure and offerings. (Read)
Mahlab meets ADIA chief during Dubai sojourn: PM Mahlab met with the head of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority during his trip to the UAE. Mahlab presented investment opportunities for ADIA’s consideration and also met with other UAE officials as well as the head of the Dubai International Financial Centre. (Read in Arabic)
Egypt to repay remaining USD 1 bn to Qatar in October: Egypt will repay the remaining USD 1 bn of the total USD 7 bn Qatar had deposited at the CBE to prop up the Morsi regime by October, according to CBE Hisham Ramez in remarks made last Thursday. (Read)
Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat imposed a gag order on the Shaimaa El Sabbagh case on Thursday, following announcements that a suspect was in custody whose identity has yet to be revealed. Media are restricted to reporting only those facts of the case as are made public by Barakat’s office. (Read)
Shorouk publishes final text of new draft civil service law: The draft law has been reviewed by the legislative assembly of the Judiciary’s State Council. The new law will out frameworks governing civil employee benefits, compensations, new evaluation criteria. (Read in Arabic in Al Shorouk for the full text of the draft law)
MOVES: Fund manager Elena Ogram has left her role on the Egypt-heavy Bellevue African Opportunities fund, according to Citywire Global. Ogram had co-run the fund Malek Bou-Diab and Havard Chi. (Read)
Italian prosecutors request trial for Eni and Saipem on Algeria corruption charges: Italian prosecutors are bringing charges against oil company Eni, its subsidiary Saipem, and former Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni, among others, over allegations of paying bribes to secure contracts in Algeria, according to judicial sources speaking to Reuters. (Read)
Apple has secretly been developing an electric car -WSJ: The Wall Street Journal has broken the news that a team of up to 1,000 employees at Apple have been working thus far in secret on a prototype electric car codenamed ‘Titan,’ according to sources speaking to WSJ. The article notes that the Financial Times had previously noted that the company had been working on automotive parts, but nothing on this scale at the time seems to have been assumed. (Read)
Ashton Carter has been confirmed as the 25th U.S. Secretary of Defense, Obama’s fourth in only six years. (Read)
Avant garde surrealist Tawfik Okasha deplores lack of advertising, asks staff to bring him livestock feed to eat, tells them they won’t be getting paid. (Watch, Arabic, autoplay, running time: 1:18)
Nicholas Carlson, chief correspondent for Business Insider (a denizen of the tech beat), treads into the Arab world for what we believe is the first time with an interview provocatively titled “An Arab billionaire shares his explosive views on Obama, Israel, ISIS, and why the Arab Spring failed.”
Foreign Minister arrives in Ethiopia for talks: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry arrived in Ethiopia for bilateral talks on Thursday on the invitation of Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom. (Read)
Turkish officials deny Brotherhood channels are broadcast from Turkey; other Turkish officials confirm channels operate in Turkey: An official from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a denial that Egyptian Brotherhood channels inciting violence broadcast from Turkey, in what is apparently very carefully-worded language. It is possibly an evasion from denying that the channels are in fact based in Turkey but do not directly broadcast their content from the country. This is corroborated first by the fact that the location of these channels is an established fact (even the Western media finally wised up). This possibility is also supported by another Turkish official speaking Turkish media outlet Hürriyet Daily News that the television stations in question are located in Turkey. (Read)
President Abdelfattah El-Sisi received yesterday credential letters from 12 new ambassadors to Egypt, according to a statement from Ittihadiya, completing the diplomatic formalities associated with their respective appointments. The new ambassadors include:
Iran has not been formally invited to attend the Sharm economic conference, according to Amb. Khaled Omara, head of the Egyptian mission in Tehran, as quoted by Al-Mal.
WHAT YOU CLICKED ON LAST WEEK
The five most-clicked stories in Enterprise during the week of 8 February were:
EGYPT IN THE NEWS
The publication by Daesh of photographs as many as 21 kidnapped Egyptians dominated international news about Egypt overnight last night and into this morning, with reports of the purchase of 24 Rafale fighter jetsfrom France coming in a distant second, with a particular tilt toward ‘the France arms buy is a message to the USA’ (see, for example, the technicolor embarrassment that is now Time). The former has prompted a long look by the New York Times’ David Kirkpatrick and Eric Schmitt at Daesh’s regional expansion in ‘Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base‘
No longer in the headlines is the now nearly-anticlimactic release of former Al-Jazeera English bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and freelance producer Baher Mohamed, who were ordered free on bail on Thursday as their retrial got underway. The Associated Press has all the facts.
Meanwhile, an interview Fahmy gave to The Independent’s Robert Fisk blaming now-former Foreign Minister John Baird (and inaction on the part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper) for his continued presence in Egypt has touched off a political tempest in Canada. Fisk quotes Fahmy as saying, “When [then Canadian foreign minister John] Baird came here, he said in public that if I was sent to Canada, I wouldn’t have to serve the rest of my prison sentence. Of course I wouldn’t. But this was a diplomatic error. Egypt is saying Peter and I are to be deported to finish our sentences abroad, there’s a lot of face-saving for Egypt. Then Baird goes and says this.” See pickups by the Canadian Press and the Toronto Star for more.
ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY & SUBSIDY REFORM
Nuclear delegation heads to Russia
Al Ahram | 14 Feb 2015
An Egyptian delegation of nuclear experts and officials left on Saturday for a week-long trip to Russia in order to visit nuclear sites and build upon talks for further Egyptian-Russian nuclear cooperation. The Egyptian delegation includes the heads of Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority, Atomic Energy Authority, the deputy of the Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority and officials from the Ministry of Electricity. (Read in Arabic)
OIL & GAS
Apache to maintain Egypt operations for now
Reuters | 12 Feb 2015
Apache Corp said it does not plan to sell or spin-off its businesses in Egypt or the North Sea for the time being as the projects continue to be cash generators as oil prices remain low. “Clearly in this price environment it would not make sense to monetize them and they complement things very nicely so at this point, there are no plans to sell or spin them,” Chief Executive John Christmann announced during an earnings call, according to Reuters. (Read)
Oil Minister: The MOP will sign a natural gas import contract with Russia this month
Al Masry Al Youm | 15 Feb 2015
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sherif Ismail announced that by the end of this month, the government is expected to meet with a delegation from Gazprom and the Russian ministry of petroleum to sign a contract to import 35 shipments of natural gas. According to Ismail the shipments will be evenly distributed over 5 years and are expected to begin next year. (Read in Arabic)
Oil loadings delayed at Sidi Kerir port due to poor weather conditions
Reuters | 13 Feb 2015
Oil loadings at the port of Sidi Kerir were delayed due to poor weather conditions, according to sources speaking to Reuters on Friday. Poor weather conditions throughout the region this week led to a delay in shipments, helping to drive the price of Brent crude to USD 61 per barrel according to Reuters. (Read)
Petroceltic’s CEO sure he’ll survive shareholder vote, dissenters believe Egypt production could be increased
Proactive Investors, Petroceltic | 11 Feb 2015
Petroceltic’s CEO, Brian O’Cathain, believes he will survive a shareholder vote at the company’s EGM on 25 February. Worldview Capital, the company’s largest shareholder, called for the vote to remove O’Cathain. Worldview believes expansion plans should be more aggressive, and Petroceltic’s production in Egypt could be increased by 30-40% in months. O’Cathain disagrees, citing restrictions imposed as national oil companies have a say in operational agreements given the partnership agreements in Egypt as well as Algeria. (Read inProactive Investors and Petroceltic’s release)
EGAS to issue tenders for E&P in four sites
Al Mal | 12 Feb 2015
EGAS is preparing to issue tenders for natural gas exploration in four sites. The concession sites include locations in the Mediterranean, the Western Desert, onshore Nile Delta, and the Gulf of Suez. Khaled Abdel Badie, the head of EGAS, refused to issue more details about the upcoming tenders, but noted they are not part of the projects that will be made available at the Sharm conference. (Read in Arabic)
Circle Oil performing well, benefitting from improved payment structure from Egypt
Financial and Operating Update | 12 Feb 2015
Circle Oil is “performing well in a challenging environment,” says Chairman Steve Jenkins. The company benefitted from an improved payment schedule for oil sales from Egypt where production continues in line with expectations. Circle Oil’s Egypt gross output is currently at 9,100 to 9,200 barrels oil and 10 mcf of gas per day and the company is expected to begin digging three new wells in 2H15. Circle Oil is also in process of hiring a new CEO as the Chairman notes the company is “taking the steps needed to ensure the future growth of the business, widening and strengthening the skill set of the board.” (Read)
BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES
Moscow refuses to exempt Egypt from paying wheat export tax
Sputnik | 12 Feb 2015
Despite comments made by Minister of Industry and Trade Mounir Fakhry Adel Nour (link), Russia has declined Egypt’s request to be exempted from paying wheat export tariffs, according to Russia’s Agriculture Ministry of Thursday. The tariff duty is in effect from 01 February – 30 June 2015, and is equivalent to 15% of the customs price plus EUR 7.5 per metric ton, or no less than EUR 35 / metric ton. (Read)
Steel factories’ demands for cheaper gas unreasonable –petroleum ministry source
Al Shorouk | 12 Feb 2015
Demands by steel factories for cheaper natural gas are unreasonable, according to a source at the ministry of petroleum speaking to Al Shorouk. Steel producers were calling for cheaper energy after the ministry reduced the prices of bitumen – which the source said was irrelevant. The source noted that reducing energy subsidies to energy-intensive industries should be considered, especially since heave industry often sells the output domestically at international price and sometimes even higher. (Read in Arabic)
Iron & Steel Company losses drop 37% in past 6 months
Youm7 | 14 Feb 2015
During the first half of the fiscal year 2014-2015, the Egyptian Iron & Steel Company lost EGP 326.29 mn compared to EGP 519.86 mn losses during the same period from 2013 to 2014, which amounts to a 37 % drop in losses. In the first quarter of the same fiscal year, the company registered EGP 124.9 mn net loss compared to EGP 111.7 mn the previous year. Net losses for the Iron & Steel Company were EGP 1.3 bn for the 2013-2014 financial year. (Read in Arabic)
L’Oréal to export 90% of the Egyptian factory’s production
Al Mal | 12 Feb 2015
Investment Minister Ashraf Salman attended the opening of L’Oréal’s production plant in Cairo. The plant will employ 200 workers on site, with another 100 at the management headquarters. Benoit Julia, L’Oréal’s country managing director in Egypt, said the plant will be exporting 90% of its output. (Read in Arabic)
IDA chooses winning bid on technical planning for the Red Sea “Golden Triangle” project
Al Borsa | 14 Feb 2015
Gen. Ismael Jabber, head of the Industrial Development Authority, announced that the IDA has chosen the winning company bidding to undertake technical planning of the “Golden Triangle Development Project” in the Red Sea Governorate and Upper Egypt. The project will see the construction of a sizeable industrial and commercial complex, in addition to a number of tourist facilities in and around the Red Sea. Gen. Jabber refrained from naming the winner, stating that final negotiations are underway. (Read in Arabic)
Health ministry to implement 207 awareness projects in underprivileged areas
Al Borsa | 12 Feb 2015
The Ministry of Health announced it will implement 207 projects to increase awareness on health and medical issues. The project will be focused on the country’s poorest areas and will create investment opportunities for females aged 18-29 years old. The initiative is part of a host of projects implemented by the Social Fund for Development and financed by the World Bank and the European Union. (Read in Arabic)
Ministry of Health contemplating amending pricing scheme for drugs
Al Borsa | 14 Feb 2015
Minister of Health, Adel Adawy, announced that meetings across all departments in the ministry in charge with regulating medicines are underway to decide on a new pricing scheme for drugs and pharmaceuticals in Egypt. In a statement made during the opening of the Aug Pharma drug manufacturing facility, the minister added that studies will be undertaken to access the viability of the scheme and new regulations governing cosmetics. (Read in Arabic)
Ministry of Housing to sell 3,183 plots of land in dollar-denominated auctions
Al Mal | 13 Feb 2015
The Ministry of Housing announced it will put 3,183 plots of land for sale on 23 February. The sale will be done in dollars and directed entirely to Egyptians living abroad. Expected prices in New Cairo will be USD 450 per sqm and USD 610 per sqm in Sheikh Zayed. The Ministry is targeting revenues of USD 1.17 bn from the land sales. (Read in Arabic)
Cable disruptions caused poor telecom quality in 4Q14 –NTRA
Amwal Al Ghad | 12 Feb 2015
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) attributed the drop in service quality from mobile operators to problems with telecommunications cables in 4Q14. Only Mobinil was found to be below the allowed percentage of dropped calls, with Vodafone being the worst violator. (Read in Arabic)
Travco aims to bring 60k tourists to Egypt, focus on Eastern European markets
Al Mal | 12 Feb 2015
Travco aims to expand operations in Eastern Europe in 2015 as it seeks to expand operations in Poland and the Czech Republic. The tour operator aims to bring 60 thousand tourists to Egypt in 2015. The company is currently is focusing on Arab markets but, as it expects the tourism sector to rebound in Egypt, Travco has its eyes on the UK, Germany, Italy and Russia. The general manager of Travco praised the government’s actions to promote investment and believes the economy is headed in the right direction. (Read in Arabic)
BANKING & FINANCE
CBE asks banks for a daily report on the volume of USD deposits
Al Borsa | 12 Feb 2015
The CBE has issued a directive asking all banks to report details about clients depositing USD following the restriction on hard currency deposits. The measure aims to assess the foreign currency supply level in the market following the CBE’s actions. (Read in Arabic)
QNB to build Egypt HQ in Tahrir Square
Al Borsa, Argaam | 14 Feb 2015
QNB signed an agreement to build its Egypt headquarters overlooking Tahrir Square. The land, previously acquired by Accor and NSGB to build two hotels, was returned to the Holding Company for Tourism, Hotels, and Cinema after difficulties encountered during the development phase. Argaam reports that this deal will cost QNB EGP 418 mn, of which 40% paid in advance with the remainder paid in quarterly installments. (Read in Arabic, and here)
Muhammad Yunus presents Grameen Bank model in Cairo
Al Shorouk | 14 Feb 2015
An economic conference in Cairo will host Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Bank founder, on Sunday to present the bank’s model. The conference is titled “The role of business for enabling Egyptian women economically.” Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006, was the first person to promote micro-financing through the Grameen bank with a special focus on women. Yunus visited Egypt twice before receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Egypt has passed a law that facilities micro-loans, a primary responsibility of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). (Read in Arabic)
OTHER BUSINESS NEWS OF NOTE
Degrémont to operate wastewater plants in Cairo as part of a EUR 84 mn contract
WaterWorld | 11 Feb 2015
Suez Environment subsidiary Degrémont was awarded a four-year contract to maintain and operate two wastewater treatment plants at Gabal El Asfar in Cairo. The EUR 84 mn contract was won in a consortium with three Egyptian companies: DHCU, ARCOM, and ICAT. Gabal El Asfar is the biggest wastewater treatment facility on the east bank of the Nile and includes a cogeneration plant fuelled by anaerobic sludge. (Read)
Investment banks will be required to market projects that will be excluded from the investment summit
Al Borsa | 12 Feb 2015
Investment banks contracted to market projects at the Sharm investment summit will also be required to continue studies and market projects that will not be presented at the conference, according to the Ministry of Investment on Thursday. The Minister of Investment had announced that only around 30 projects will be presented at the conference at a projected investment cost of USD 25 bn, with 10 projects being excluded. The Ministry will only present projects that have completed studies. (Read in Arabic)
EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS
Qatari investments welcome, politics irrelevant –investment minister
Al Masry Al Youm | 12 Feb 2015
The Minister of Investment issued a statement saying Qatari investments are welcome in Egypt and that the ministry has no qualms dealing with Qatari investors. Politics were irrelevant, the minister said, citing the example of Qatari Diar’s project overlooking the Nile in Cairo. (Read in Arabic)
Suez Canal corridor development projects to be taxed at 10%
Al Mal | 13 Feb 2015
Investment projects at the Suez Canal corridor will be taxed at 10%, according to the Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman. The area will be considered a specialized economic zone and thus will not be subject to normal tax rates. Salman also noted the government’s plan to bring tax rates down from 30% to 25% after three years. (Read in Arabic)
Gov’t issues payments to families of Egyptian hostages in Libya
Al Borsa | 14 Feb 2015
The ministry of social welfare has begun issuing payments to the families of Egyptian workers taken hostage in Libya, with each family receiving EGP 1,200 per month, according to minister Ghada Wali. (Read in Arabic)
Egypt’s exports grow EGP 6 bn
Al Mal | 14 Feb 2015
Egypt’s exports jumped EGP 5.9 bn in the period between July and November 2014 to EGP 57.8 bn, according to a report by the ministry of finance. Manufactured goods were the leading generator of export revenues which amounted to EGP 20.8 bn, followed by petroleum products which generated EGP 13.4 bn. (Read in Arabic)
First oil tanker docks at Libyan port after strikes end; pipeline bombing halts flow to port
Reuters| 12-14 Feb 2015
Greek-registered tanker Minerva zoe was finally able to dock at the east Libyan port of Hariga after a security guard strike and a storm both ended this week, according to a port official speaking to Reuters on Thursday. The guards had been striking due to unpaid salaries resulting from a budget crisis stemming from decreased oil production and export. However, just as operations had seemingly resumed, an oil pipeline from El Sarir field was bombed, halting flows to Hariga port. In a separate incident, government buildings were stormed and seized in Sirte, where a large Daesh presence, among that of other Islamist militants, has taken hold. (Read about the re-opening of the Hariga port only to have it shut down again by a pipeline bombing)
Yemen LNG exports ongoing despite maintenance
Reuters | 12 Feb 2015
France’s Total lifted a 2-week force majeure last month following the collapse of the Yemeni government as it was overrun in a coup by Houthi rebels. LNG exports are currently operating normally despite one production plant undergoing maintenance. Full exports should resume once maintenance is complete, according to sources speaking to Reuters. (Read)
Two suicide car bombs wound six in north Sinai: Two suicide car bombs wounded six people (two security personnel and four civilians) on Saturday when officers fired on the vehicles as they approached a police station Sheikh Zuweid, north Sinai, according to officials speaking to the AFP. (Read)
Policeman dies of gun wounds in Kafr El-Sheikh: Policeman Sherif Abdel-Latif succumbed to his wounds on Saturday, five days after gunmen shot him in the head on the Kafr El-Sheikh International Road. (Read)
American television program Inside Edition used the Chapel Hill killings to segue into a segment on how to find parking at the mall: The American media, channeling the Egyptian media’s insanity and lack of self-awareness, have taken a very unique approach to covering the story of the killing of three young Muslims in North Carolina by a man who had posted comments on social media that were hateful to both Christians and Muslims. ‘Inside Edition’ decided to use the tragedy as a transition to a segment on tips on how to find a good parking space. (Watch, running time: 2 minutes)
Meanwhile, American leadership seemed not to fare much better in their handling of the aftermath of the killings. Even though the attacks occurred last Tuesday, it was only after national and international outcry that Obama deemed it necessary to make a statement last Friday, describing the killings as “brutal” and saying that “no one should be targeted for their religion.” Despite the dubious Islamist links of some of the public advocacy groups in the United States — who are capitalizing on the recent tragedy for their own political ends — the public outpouring of grief and support in the Chapel Hill community and around the United States was somewhat reassuring. But on the Reuters article that carries Obama’s statement, at the time of writing of this issue, there are over 10,000 comments so far almost all of which are incredibly hateful toward Muslims and which express outrage at Obama’s condemnation of their killing as a potential hate crime. (Read) Now, while internet comments are generally vile as a rule, the volume and intensity of anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States — removed from the liberal political and media elite — should not be dismissed out of hand. What people write behind the cloak of anonymity is often time more insightful than outward public displays of respect and condolences.
On the same day, a Texas mosque burned to the ground (no one was inside at the time) and while the official cause has yet to be determined, mosque-goers believe it may have been arson. (Read)
With regard to the aforementioned piece regarding Obama’s statement, a number of angry commenters (rightfully) asked why the American president was ready to accept the possibility of a hate crime in the Chapel Hill killings, only to have his administration fumble and attempt damage control following Obama’s describing Islamist militant Amedy Coulibaly as “randomly” shooting patrons of a Paris kosher deli last month. The misfortunately-named Josh Earnest, White House spokesperson, tried spinning Obama’s “randomly” remark as “meaning” that the killer had not targeted anyone by name, and that there were non-Jews at the Jewish deli.
Despite attempting to insult the collective intelligence of the entire world, there are significant real-world consequences of the West’s inability to form a coherent response to all forms of terrorism. It’s with growing concern that one notes the open hostility being expressed to two visible minority groups in the West: Muslims and Jews. As the incidents of Islamist terror pile up, it is only obvious to assume that this will be reflected in general anti-Muslim sentiment in the West, while at the same time both Muslims, Jews and people of different faiths are increasingly being targeted by Islamist militants, who may or may not have even a passing familiarity with the actual tenets of the religion. As witnessed in the United States, the response has been underwhelming and incomprehensible, A synagogue in the German town of Wuppertal was firebombed by two Palestinians, with the judge ruling that the act of arson was a “protest.” The last time the synagogue was attacked was during the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938.
And if readers may scoff at drawing parallels at the shared vulnerabilities of Muslims and Jews living in the West, one only needs to take a cursory look at the growing anti-immigrant / anti-Islam PEGIDA movement in Germany seems to be merging with neo-Nazis, who simply don’t differentiate in their hatred of Muslims and Jews.
Yesterday, a lone gunman opened fire at a free speech event in Copenhagen which resulted in one death and the injury of three police officers. The event featured Swedish artist Lars Vilks, the gunman’s likely target, who has faced threats in the past for caricaturing the Prophet. The gunman is still at large at the time of writing. (Read) Following the attack, an unidentified individual opened fire at a Copenhagen synagogue, with three injuries including a bullet to the head. Danish police are uncertain if the two incidents are related. (Read)
ON YOUR WAY OUT
New bird flu death in Cairo: A 35-year old man in Cairo succumbed to H5N1 to become the 11th death from bird flu in Egypt this year, according to the Ministry of Health. (Read)
BY THE NUMBERS
USD CBE auction (Thursday 12 Feb): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Saturday 14 Feb): 7.70 (+0.04 from Wednesday 11 Feb)
EGX30 (Thursday): 9,747.36 (-0.24%)
Turnover: EGP 540.8 mn (21% below the 90-day average)
EGX30 (Last week): -2.2%
EGX 30 (Year-to-date): +9.2%
WTI: USD 52.78 (+3.07%)
Brent: USD 61.52 (+3.78%)
TASI: 9,257.5 (+1.4%)
ADX: 4,626.9 (+0.03%)
DFM: 3,903.4 (+0.1%)
KSE Weighted Index: 449.9 (+0.3%)
QE: 12,607.6 (-0.6%)
MSM: 6,657.9 (+0.04%)
Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.
Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID: 553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.