B.Tech Chairman Mahmoud Khattab made himself the poster boy for importers struggling after the float of the EGP, appearing last night on MBC’s Yahduth Fi Masr with Sherif Amer. “The floatation was a must, but a number of other procedures should have also followed… and the move should have been better coordinated with investors,” Khattab said. “Investors wanted to repay their LCs before the float, but banking regulations didn’t allow for it since there was a cap on USD deposits.”
Amer also waded into the pharma fray, saying Health Minister Ahmed Rady reportedly insisted on getting Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s approval before allowing manufacturers to raise prices. A local pharma producer told Amer that domestic manufacturers have asked that Rady review med prices every six months to ensure that the companies are able to cope with the fluctuations in the EGP-USD exchange rate.
Police to secure churches, malls, cinemas over Christmas holidays: Amer also reported that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and five of his minister agreed on Saturday to deploy 150k policemen to secure churches, as well as malls and cinemas, during the Coptic holidays.
Heinz exonerated, but Egypt lost export opportunities? Lamees El Hadidy kicked off Hona Al Assema on CBC with the Industry Control Authority (ICA)’s report on Heinz Egypt, which concludes that the company’s products are up to the required health and safety specifications (more on that in Speed Round). The company’s lawyer, Mohamed Hammouda, told Lamees he’s waiting for the nod from his client to seek state compensation for the damage to its reputation done after state inspectors raided its plant (watch, runtime 9:22). Ashraf El Gazayerli, who represents food exporters at the Federation of Egyptian Industries, told El Hadidy that Egypt lost export opportunities as a result of the incident (watch, runtime 5:46).
Kol Youm’s Amr Adib covered President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to Uganda and started things off with a segment on water consumption in Egypt and the impact of Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam on the country’s water resources (watch, runtime 2:42). Adib then moved on to discuss Switzerland’s decision to extend the freeze on Hosni Mubarak’s assets, urging the Egyptian government to “reach a settlement with Mubarak to appropriate 50% of his assets abroad,” which rightfully belong to the people (watch, runtime 1:45). Yes, that’s right, folks: It’s Hot Tub Time Machine, the 2011 edition: We’ll have all the USD we can eat and be swimming in roz, if only we could recover Mubarak’s missing bns.
Adib also let his inner Nasserist out in his coverage of president Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s inauguration of 2,000 kilometers of national roadways along strategic corridors. “The bns invested in these roads will be wasted if the government does not build fuel stations, hospitals, and police stations on these roads….maybe the state can consider a partnership with the private sector for that,” Adib said (watch, runtime 6:10). Or, uhm, maybe just let the private sector lead, ya Amr?
Ibrahim Eissa is grumpy: Ibrahim Eissa spent a chunk of the episode criticizing a statement issued by the GCC Secretary General Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani that failed to recognize Qatar’s role in terrorist acts committed in Egypt (watch, runtime 5:59). Eissa then went on to criticize the Arab League and accuse the organization of being a puppet “to whoever’s got the funding,” referring to GCC states.