Air strikes against Daesh targets in Libya. OCI begins demerger. Juhayna reports earnings drop. Rafael warplane and frigate contract inked with France. Details of airport city, grains hub projects begin to emerge. USD 1.8 bn waste recycling project.
WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY
We expect news today to remain squarely focused on fallout from the murder of 21 Egyptians in Libya and Egypt’s subsequent air strikes. Europe is waking to the threat of an unstable Daesh base on its doorstep, and calls for European intervention are mounting. This is set against a complicated background for Egypt, given both the security implications and the natural desire of the Sisi administration to focus on preparations for the Sharm economic conference with less than a month left there before the curtain goes up. With news yesterday of specific mega-projects being groomed for Sharm, we expect more of the same in the days ahead.
LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS
“Egypt Fights Terrorism” is back as the theme of the night on the talk shows. Commercial breaks on CBC and ONTV included patriotic music, excerpts from President El Sisi’s speech, and footage of Egyptian Air Force F16s as they took off to conduct airstrikes against Daesh in Libya.
Amr Adeeb’s opening monologue was a direct appeal to President El Sisi to end relations with Qatar once and for all. After thanking President Abdelfattah El-Sisi for the rapid response taken against Daesh in Libya (Adeeb didn’t expect it to be so quick) he launched into a long diatribe against the Qataris.
“Mr. President, I beg you, please don’t put up with this. We have to confront the Qataris. They are an enemy like we have never known before. How long are we going to allow ourselves to suffer at the hands of the Qatari dogs? Do you have any doubt that they are responsible for everything that is happening to us? We don’t want them or their money. They cannot be allowed to participate in Economic Conference. End ties with Qatar now,” shouted Adeeb.
He also pointed out the fake photos of three dead Libyan children that appeared on Al Jazeera and later on Raasd were actually taken in Syria months ago. “They tried to claim that these children were killed by the Egyptian airstrikes. We have proof that they are photos from Syria. They aren’t even good liars,” said Adeeb.
[At least one Libyan news website claimed the image, of three dead children of elementary school age, were from an earlier incident in Libya. Enterprise will not be linking to the images.]
“I’m not criticizing you Mr. President. I’m simply trying to convey the sentiment on the street. Qatar is our enemy, they have declared war on us, we can no longer pretend that relations between our two countries can be normal.
“The coming period will not be easy and we may not be able to do it alone. We need allies and there are plenty of people who are willing to help us. The French, the Italians, the Saudis, the Emiratis, the Jordanians and, of course, the Russians…they all want to help. We need to finish what we started. If we have a strong coalition we can finish them off in a month, not three years like the Americans. The Americans are a different story, they benefit economically from these long, drawn-out conflicts. Let’s keep them aside for now,” said Adeeb.
Adeeb took a phone call from Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah Al Thani, who confirmed that the Egyptian Army has the full support of the Libyan government and that they plan to take part in any further airstrikes in the days to come.
Lamees El Hadidy hosted retired general and intelligence veteran Sameh Seif El Yazal, who provided commentary and details on the on the airstrikes.
“We were able to identify a number of the individuals that were directly involved in the barbaric murder of our citizens. We have confirmation that there were both Libyans and Sudanese involved in the beheading,” saidSeif El Yazal. “The leader of the group [the man dressed in camouflage, while the others were in black, and who spoke in American-accented English] goes by the name Al Kelkaa3 Ibn Omar. I have received confirmation that he has been killed. The homes of three additional Daesh families [well-known Libyan radicals] were also targeted. Two of those homes have been destroyed.”
“Is it true that civilians were killed,” asked El Hadidy.
“Yes, absolutely, we did kill civilians, these people, these mercenaries, these criminals, these cold-blooded killers were indeed civilians. They are not good enough to be military men. Military men do not conduct such cowardly acts of terror,” said Seif El Yazal. The normally calm and composed Seif El Yazal apologized for losing his cool. He confirmed that between 50-60 people were killed in the airstrikes.
“I just want to clarify that we aren’t being dragged into anything. We know exactly what were doing and our decisions are based on intelligence and careful assessments of the situation. Don’t underestimate the power of the Egyptian military,” said Seif El Yazal.
Ibrahim Eissa was a bit more difficult to please than the other talk show hosts, who were all fully on board with the course of action taken. While he was impressed with the speed with which the airstrikes were ordered, he continues to be angry that we are not addressing the root of the problem.
“We were fast to act in Libya, but we are still paralyzed when it comes to making changes at home at the heart of it all in Al Azhar. Unless there are fundamental changes made to the religious discourse and to the system of education that is helping to perpetuate extremist thought we will not be able to put an end to terrorism,” saidEissa.
“Didn’t the Americans bomb Afghanistan? Didn’t they kill Osama bin Laden? Didn’t they go to war in Iraq? Did that solve anything? We have to face the fact that terrorism was made in Egypt. Islamic fundamentalism was born here with Hassan El Banna and the Ikhwan and it has been perpetuated by the corrupt governments that have ruled us. It started here and it is up to us to end it here. The airstrikes are very important but we have to fight the ideology if we want to make a real impact.”
OCI to list construction unit in Egypt, Dubai after split: OCI N.V. has started its demerger of the company’s engineering and construction business from its fertilizer and chemicals business, which was previously announced by the Board of Directors on 6 November 2014. The demerged construction business will be dually listed on NASDAQ Dubai and the Egyptian Exchange. (Read the release)
Dairy and juice maker Juhayna reported a 48% fall in full-year earnings yesterday, citing rising input prices and foreign exchange losses as it noted a “negative impact on profit margins from a large increase in the prices of raw materials, which have not been fully passed on to the consumer, in addition to the rise in energy prices and currency rates.” Net earnings for the year stood at EGP 170.1 mn on sales of EGP 3.7 bn. The company’s board has recommended a dividend of EGP 0.10 per share, Reuters reports.
French defense minister in Cairo, signed deal for jets, frigate: French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Cairo yesterday and signed a EUR 5.2 bn arms deal with Egypt for 24 Rafale fighter jets and a frigate. President François Hollande called President Abdelfattah El Sisi yesterday morning to “renew the expression of his solidarity” after Daesh murdered 21 Coptic Egyptians in Libya. The two leaders agreed to make a joint appeal to the UN Security Council to meet to regarding Daesh. (Read)
EFG Hermes and CI Capital are reportedly working together to market to investors the proposed Airport City project during the investment conference in Sharm El Sheikh, according to Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal. The five-stage, 10 mn sqm project is expected to carries a price tag of c. EGP 24 bn. (Read in Arabic)
Beltone and KPMG to market the grain storage projects: The Sisi administration has reportedly tapped Beltone Financial and KPMG to market the Ministry of Supply and Domestic Trade’s project to create a regional grain storage hub, according to an unconfirmed report in Amwal El-Ghad. The project has an estimated investment cost of EGP 53 bn in total and will be presented at the Sharm investment summit, The ministry claims the project will create some 500,000 job opportunities and will be based in Damietta, as previously reported.
SODIC could invest an additional EGP 400-500 mn in 2015. The sum would be in addition to the EGP 2.3 bn the company previously estimated it would spend this year, SODIC Managing Director Ahmed Badrawy told DNE. Badrawy said the company is looking to diversify beyond residential projects in Cairo and has a particular interest in coastal areas and other cities including Alexandria and Mansoura. The company is also targeting expanding its portfolio of non-residential projects.
Importers to slowdown activities until after March? Al-Mal claims that the Importers’ Committee at the Federation of Chambers of Commerce is urging importers to slow their activities in a bid to ease pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves in the run-up to the Sharm El-Sheikh economic conference scheduled for next month.
Yesterday the World Bank in Egypt hosted an event to launch the release of their new 110-page report: A Roadmap to Achieve Social Justice in Health Care in Egypt. The Minister of Health & Population Dr. Adel El-Adawy was the keynote speaker, which also featured as speakers World Bank health specialists Dr. Alaa Hamed, Senior Health Specialist, WB; Dr. Amr Elshalakani, Health Specialist WB and Dr. Enis Baris, Practice Manager for Health, Nutrition & Population, MENA & Caribbean WB. The report was developed at the request of the current health minister El-Adawy and his predecessor Dr. Maha El-Rabbat. The roadmap’s timeframe is for the next 3-5 years, and outlines the objectives, challenges, recommendations and detailed descriptions of implementations to improve health services in Egypt with a special focus on the most disadvantaged segments of the population. Download the full report as a pdf here.
HSBC Bank Egypt informed its customers yesterday that it will no longer pay interest on USD savings accounts starting 01 March. This comes 10 days after the CBE imposed restrictions on hard currency deposits directing banks not to accept any deposits larger than USD 50k a per client per month.
Ancient Egyptians had state-supported health care: “Texts from a village dating back to Egypt’s New Kingdom period, about 3,100-3,600 years ago, suggest that in ancient Egypt there was a state-supported health care network designed to ensure that workers making the king’s tomb were productive … monthly ration distributions from Deir el-Medina are consistent enough to indicate that these workmen were paid even if they were out sick for several days.” (Read)
This startling chart from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and carried by The Washington Post shows, among other things, that the Iraqi army has shrunk from 210,000 members in 2009 to just 48,000, while the number of federal police has dropped from 120,000 to just 36,000 over the same span of time. The chart illustrates that militias have stepped in to fill in the vacuum. (View)
Erdogan: They’re all jealous of me. In difficult times such as these, we must be grateful for the small joys and quiet chuckles that the Caligula of Ankara provides on a daily basis. Question: does any other world leader have the time and energy to talk about another country on a daily basis? If you can think of one, please send us an email. Erdogan has recently made some comments in the Turkish press that we find mildly amusing: “I do not care about being alone in the world. What we care about is what our people think about us. As we all saw during the presidential elections, the people did not leave us alone. … It is the same for many peoples across the world. In the eyes of some leaders, isolation claims may exist, but the only thing behind this is jealousy.” (Read)
Stephen Green, former head of HSBC, is stepping down from TheCityUK financial services lobby group effective immediately. (Read)
Unexpected beneficiaries of low oil prices? European refiners. So says the Wall Street Journal, which notes that |as oil prices have slumped, refiners have benefited from lower costs for crude. Meanwhile, Europeans have—for now—become hungrier for the refined products they make, such as oil for heating homes in the winter and lower-priced gasoline.”
Finally, we have this morning news that talks over extending the terms of the bailout of the Greek economy “abruptly” broke down late yesterday, “demonstrating a wide gulf between Athens and its European creditors and triggering a new, heightened state of uncertainty about the country’s future inside the currency bloc.” See takes in the WSJ or the FT. Bloomberg, meanwhile, takes a look at how the nightmare scenario could unfold in ‘How a Liquidity Squeeze Could Push Greece Out of the Euro‘.
AIRSTRIKES ON DAESH TARGETS IN LIBYA
Egypt launched at least one airstrike against Derna, Libya, yesterday in retaliation for the killing of 21 Egyptian hostages, who were killed because of their Christian faith. Although Ahram Online noted that a second wave of airstrikes took place (a claim echoed on CNN and VOA), citing security officials, the NYT said that only one strike has thus far been confirmed by officials. The Libyan military associated with the internationally-recognized government in east Libya confirmed that Egypt’s airstrikes were carried out in association with the Libyan military, killing between 40-50 militants, and that strikes could continue today. So far, there has been no independent confirmation of the killed militants. (Read in Arabic in Libyan newspaperAl Wasat) Egyptian authorities released a brief cockpit video reportedly showing bombing runs on Daesh targets. (Watch, no audio, running time: 0:49)
There is another video of a jet leaving the hangar. (Watch, running time: 1:37)
Meanwhile, the Islamist rebels in Tripoli condemned the military action, calling Egypt’s airstrikes a terrorist act and a breach of sovereignty, according to Al Jazeera. “This horrible assault and this terrorism that’s been conducted by the Egyptian military represents a violation of sovereignty in Libya and is a clear breach of international law and the UN charter,” said Omar al-Hassi, head of the Tripoli government, which this Al Jazeera article falsely attributes as the head of the legally installed government in a gamble on the intelligence of its readers.
The Islamists moreover gave Egyptian workers a 48-hour deadline to flee the country, claiming the move was to “protect Egyptian workers from any revenge attacks on them, which will only create a dispute between two brotherly peoples,” Ahram Online reported. There could be north of 1 mn Egyptians still living and working in Libya, according to the International Organization for Migration, which noted in September 2014 that there were “approximately 2.5 million migrant workers in Libya, with nearly two-thirds of them being from Egypt, and a high number from Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.” (See full report in pdf)
Against that backdrop, the Sisi administration is reportedly drawing up plans to support the full-scale evacuation of Egyptians from Libya, Ahram Online reports.
The Libya Herald reported that in response to the airstrikes, up to 35 more Egyptians were rounded up and abducted by Ansar Al Sharia and Daesh. While the Libya Herald’s report has been picked up by other media outlets, no other source has been able to confirm or deny the report.
As for some long overdue good news, reports are emerging that the second group of 21 kidnapped Egyptians in Libya were not actually kidnapped at all, but are rather being detained by illegal immigration services in the Islamist capital of Tripoli and are alive and well. “Moftah Al-Baqar, the head of the Illegal Immigration Department in Misrata, denied the claims, adding that seven fishermen are held at the Illegal Immigration Department in Misrata, while the remaining 14 are in Tripoli. “We are ready to cooperate with the Egyptian Embassy in Tripoli to release the fishermen,” Al-Baqar said.” (Read)
There was also a great deal of controversy regarding a photograph released by Al Jazeera of three dead children reportedly killed in the airstrikes. Libyan newspaper Al Wasat contradicted the Qatari broadcaster and Islamists on social media, stating that the images were of children who had died of smoke inhalation months ago. Due to the graphic nature of the images, we won’t be linking to either the Al Jazeera claim or the Al Wasat tweet here.
A number of countries issued their condolences and support to Egypt, including France, the UK, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Russia. (Read in Ahram Online or in Reuters)
El-Sisi visited Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Abbassiya to pay his respects to Pope Tawadros II after ordered the morning air strikes, offering his condolences and “expressing his sympathy to the families of the victims, affirming that they will receive all necessary care and support from the competent state authorities,” Ittihadiya said in an emailed statement yesterday. The president also reportedly decreed yesterday theconstruction of a church in Samaloot, Minya, named for the 21 murdered Egyptians, to be named “The Church of the Martyrs for Nation and Faith.”
There seems to be some uncertainty over Italy’s view on how to best respond the crisis in Libya. Yesterday, Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said Italy could contribute 5,000 troops to lead a mission into Libya, while Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was quoted as saying that “prudence and a sense of the situation is required.”
Finally, there emerged overnight reports that the National Defense Council had ordered the Egyptian Army deployed to strategic locations nationwide to assist civilian authorities in the implementation of a beefed-up security plan. (See also this video — run time: 1:09 — on the Facebook page of the Official Spokesman for the Egyptian Armed Forces)
Now that Egypt has become more firmly embroiled in the Libyan civil war, a good background piece on General Haftar, his history and the Obama administration’s ideas on how to handle the unfolding chaos can be found in The New Yorker’s The Unravelling, by Jon Lee Anderson. While the article provides a good breadth of knowledge, obviously as it’s from an American perspective, details that are embarrassing or difficult to explain have been left out.
For example: “Benjamin Rhodes, the deputy national-security adviser and a close confidant of Obama’s, acknowledged that Libya’s situation was grim. “Getting the technocrats and the guys with the guns on the same page has been very difficult,” he said. “The first task is to get them in conversation where they can receive help from us. We’re doing this through a U.N. initiative, plus some quiet diplomacy behind the scenes.” He noted that there has also been occasional military action. Last June, Delta Force operatives abducted Ahmed Abu Khattala, an Ansar member who is suspected of leading the attack that killed Ambassador Stevens. Khattala is now awaiting trial in the U.S.”
What the article fails to note, however, is that Abu Khattala was seized in Benghazi, where he was living out in the open and which at the time was held, and is still partially held it seems, by the Islamist Libya Dawn, which the U.S. administration has painted time and again as a faction with which Libya’s secular forces much negotiate. (Read: The Unravelling)
ENERGY, RENEWABLE ENERGY & SUBSIDY REFORM
Tycoon Groups inks USD 1.8 billion deal to establish waste recycling industrial zone
Al Borsa | 16 Feb 2016
Tycoon Group has signed a USD 1.8 billion agreement to establish a 72-acre waste recycling industrial zone in 6th of October City. According to company chairman, Ramy Selim, the zone will comprise 35 plants which will recycle industrial, residential, and agricultural waste. The zone will reportedly take five years to complete. A total of six investors — Egyptian, Saudi Arabian, British, and Kuwaiti — are involved in the financing of the project. Nevertheless, names of the investors are not provided. (Read in Arabic)
Regulations to start renewable energy companies released
Al Borsa | 16 Feb 2015
The Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency issued the regulations to establish renewable energy companies in Egypt. At least 10% of the total investment cost must be used to start the project, with the remainder pumped in throughout the project’s lifetime. The leading member of an investment consortium must supply at least 30% of the capital with other members providing at least 10% each. The companies are then required to proceed with the establishment process in the light of the feed-in tariff scheme set by the cabinet. Chadbourne & Parke’s office in Dubai, in cooperation with Sharkawy & Sarhan Law Firm in Cairo, have a step-by-step primer for this renewable energy company establishment process with an explanation of the feed-in tariff system generally. (Read in Arabic)
OIL & GAS
Qalaa Holdings leading refining mega-project second only to Suez Canal, looks to generate USD 300 mn from exits this year
Al Borsa, Al-Mal | 16 Feb 2015
Qalaa Holdings’ USD 3.7 bn Egyptian Refining Company is one of the country’s largest projects, second only to the Suez Canal Expansion project, said Hisham El Khazindar, the company’s managing director, on Sunday. Upon completion, the refinery should be able to supply as much as 75% of Egypt’s diesel requirements. The refinery is slated to begin production in 2017. News also emerged yesterday that Qalaa plans to generate c. USD 300 mn from exits of non-core investments over the coming year, Al-Mal reported. Proceeds could be used, in part, to acquire additional stakes in core subsidiaries. (Read in Al-Borsa or in Al-Mal)
Petroleum ministry signs MoU with Cyprus to develop the Aphrodite gas field; aim for final import deal in 6 months
Cyprus Mail, Al Masry Al Youm | 16 Feb 2015
Cyprus and Egypt signed a MoU in Cairo for cooperation in oil and gas during the Cypriot energy minister’s visit to Cairo. The agreement allows for cooperation between Egypt and Cyprus in the development and exploitation of the Aphrodite gas field in block 12 and authorizes EGAS and the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company (CHC) to examine technical solutions for gas transfer via a direct marine pipeline to Egypt. A statement from Ittihadiya said the “undertaking will be carried out in cooperation with concerned stakeholders in upstream and LNG activities. The aim is to conclude an agreement within six months from the date of the signature of this MoU,” according to Cyprus Mail. (Read in Cyprus Mail, in Reuters regarding the 6-month timeframe, and in Arabic)
Petroleum ministry considers listing five companies on the EGX
Al Masry Al Youm | 15 Feb 2015
The Ministry of Petroleum is planning on listing the government’s shares in five companies on the stock market. This follows news we covered yesterday of a meeting between the petroleum minister and the head of the EGX. According to Al Masry Al Youm, the companies the ministry is planning on floating are AMOC, SIDPEC, MIDOR, MOPCO, and ANRPC of which the government owns shares ranging from 25% to 97%. As mentioned yesterday, talks with the EGX also included the possibility of financial restructuring for some of the government’s holdings. (Read in Arabic)
Sino Tharwa in talks for a USD 30 mn loan from AAIB and NBE
Al Mal | 16 Feb 2015
Sino Tharwa drilling, a Sinopec JV in Egypt, is currently in talks with NBE and AAIB for a USD 30 mn loan. The loan will be used to finance the purchase of 10 new drilling rigs to allow the company participate in the “one million feddans” land reclamation project and drill irrigation wells. In total, Sino Tharwa says it will need 20 rigs, it currently owns 10 and will look to import the remainder from China. (Read in Arabic)
Shortage in natural gas leads to a fall in productivity
Investing | 16 Feb 2015
An ongoing shortage of natural gas has led to a fall in production for many of Egypt’s industries. Among the most affected, are the petrochemical, fertilizer, and steel industries, according to Gamal Al Garhy, the president of the Chamber of the Metallurgical Industries. In order to compensate for this shortage, many factories have opted to use diesel fuel as an alternative to natural gas. (Read in Arabic)
Gazprom and EGAS set to begin negotiations
Ajyal News | 16 February 2015
A delegation from Gazprom is arriving in Egypt today in order to commence negotiations with representatives from EGAS to ship natural gas to the country. According to preliminary reports, Gazprom will deliver a total of 35 shipments of natural gas to Egypt 2016 to 2020, seven shipments a year. (Read in Arabic)
BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES
Carrefour to increase outlets in Egypt to 40 in 2015
Al Mal | 16 Feb 2015
Carrefour is planning to increase the number of outlets in Egypt from 23 currently to 40 by the end of the year. The retail chain aims to open new outlets in Tanta, Assiut, Port Said, and Cairo, according to Herve Majidier, Carrefour’s country head in Egypt. Majidier targets expansion beyond Greater Cairo and Alexandria in a drive to pick up the annual revenue growth rates from their current levels at 8%. (Read in Arabic)
Full healthcare coverage to all citizens by 2019 – Minister of Health
Al Borsa | 16 Feb 2015
The World Bank is providing technical and financial support to the health ministry to allow it to extend full healthcare coverage to all citizens by 2019. The drive comes as part of the constitutional requirement to bring up budgeted healthcare spending to 3% of GDP. The health minister also noted that the government’s plans include a mandatory universal healthcare plan to be implemented by 2030, but the focus in the interim is to improve the quality of medical services and strengthen the social safety net by allowing an easier access to affordable healthcare. (Read in Arabic)
424 Egyptians in Beheira receive treatment for Hepatitis C
Al Masry Al Youm| 16 February 2015
Despite reports that the product is unavailable to the general public, 424 Egyptians have in the governorate of Beheira, reportedly received treatment for Hepatitis C, using miracle cure, Sovaldi. Of these patients, 142 had their treatment paid for by the government ,268 through private health insurance, and 14 using their own personal wealth. (Read in Arabic)
Etisalat Egypt secures USD 120 mn from HSBC NBAD
Reuters | 16 Feb 2015
Etisalat Egypt secured a USD 120 mn three year loan from HSBC and NBAD. The two banks will provide USD 60 mn each, Etisalat told Reuters. “The loans come in the context of our desire to diversify our sources of funding … to increase our competitiveness,” Etisalat Misr Chief Executive Saeed al-Hamli said in a statement. (Read)
Smart ID card project to begin “within weeks” – CIT minister
Al Borsa | 16 Feb 2015
Egypt will begin a project to introduced smart automated ID cards within weeks, according the CIT minister. The project will be undertaken in tandem with the interior ministry, the CBE, and the Ministry of Finance and will allow for a larger scope for automated payments and a digitization of personal records. (Read in Arabic)
IBM expands footprint in Egypt
Loghat Al Asr| 16 February 2015
IBM has recently expanded its presence in Egypt with the establishment of its new USD 3 million sales center The opening of the center, which wills serve IBM clients in both Africa and the Middle East, is part of a three-year agreement with the Egyptian government to provide more than 800 jobs to citizens. The new sales center aims to transform the ways in which IBM engages with clients in the region. In addition to serving as a sales center, the facility will also provide IT services to clients in Arabic, French, Portuguese, and English. (Read in Arabic)
BANKING & FINANCE
Banque Misr to restructure its Islamic finance operations
Al Borsa | 16 Feb 2015
Banque Misr began a restructuring process for its Islamic finance operations in Egypt. The process is not necessarily aimed at downsizing the operations, according to a source at the bank, but will be conducted according to sector-specific studies. Banque Misr is also considering introducing new Sharia-compliant products and services and the bank currently has 24 Islamic branches across Egypt handling EGP 28 bn in operations. (Read in Arabic)
Following restrictions, hard currency flows at banks reach USD 250 mn – CBE official
Al Borsa | 16 Feb 2015
Banks managed to sell USD 250 mn in the first working week following the CBE’s restrictions on hard currency deposits, according to an official at the CBE. The actions taken dried up supplies from the black market and the banks are now able to decrease clients’ waiting times for Dollars. Ahmed Shiha, from the Chamber of Commerce, casts doubts over this and believes importers’ operations are not running smoothly as they remain struggling to have access to hard currency. (Read in Arabic)
Zaazou meets with President of Croatia
Al Fagr | 16 Feb 2015
Egypt’s minister of Tourism, Hisham Zaazou met with Croatia’s recently elected president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, in order to discuss ways to enhance bilateral ties between the countries. Zaazou attended the presidents inauguration in Croatia on behalf of President Sisi who was purportedly busy fighting a war. (Read in Arabic)
EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS
Egyptian workers’ remittances recorded USD 19 bn in 2014 – Ramez
Al Shorouk | 15 Feb 2015
Hisham Ramez, the CBE Governor, gave a sneak peak of the 4Q14 balance of payments report as he noted that remittances reached USD 19 bn for the whole year during a phone call to a TV show. This implies that the 4Q14 alone registered an inflow of approximately USD 4.15 bn, slightly under the previous four quarters’ average inflow of USD 4.79 bn. On a slightly unrelated issue, Ramez refused to comment on the rumours that the GCC is going to increase its financial assistance to Egypt by an extra USD 10 bn, opting to praise them for their continuous support instead. (Read in Arabic)
World Bank intent on lending Egypt USD 1bn?
Al Borsa | 16 Feb 2015
Al-Borsa claims a source at the World Bank says the institution is preparing a USD 1 bn facility Egypt to support upgrades of sewerage infrastructure nationwide. The loan’s terms would reportedly include a seven-year grace period, a 30-year repayment period and an interest rate of 3%. (Read in Arabic)
BY THE NUMBERS
USD CBE auction (Monday 16 Feb): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Monday 16 Feb): 7.69 (+0.03 from Sunday 15 Feb)
EGX30 (Monday): 9,585.92 (-2.04%)
Turnover: EGP 572.0 mn (16 below the 90-day average)
WTI: USD 53.03 (+0.47%)
Brent: USD 61.95 (+0.90%)
TASI: 9,439.4 (-0.3%)
ADX: 4,647.2 (-1.0%)
DFM: 3,834.6 (-3.3%)
KSE Weighted Index: 450.7 (-0.2%)
QE: 12,605.5 (-0.7%)
MSM: 6,694.0 (+0.3%)