Monday, 11 May 2015

New Cairo property prices up 10-15% since January. Hanafy savaged over rising food prices. Gov’t looks to up internet penetration rate. Sinai tribes joining war on terror. Salman + Hamad skip Washington summit. China cuts rates as economy slows.

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING TODAY

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain’s King Hamad will not attend the 13-14 May conference between GCC leaders and the United States, which U.S. President Barack Obama is due to open. The Saudi embassy in Washington released a brief statement noting that Salman would not attend “due to the timing of the summit, the scheduled humanitarian ceasefire in Yemen and the opening of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid.” The New York Times is spinning the decision as being “a signal of Saudi Arabia’s continued displeasure with the Obama administration over United States relations with Iran, its rising regional adversary.” The WSJ, meanwhile, is reporting that “Senior Arab officials involved in organizing the meeting said not enough progress had been made in narrowing differences with Washington on issues like Iran and Syria to make the Saudi ruler’s trip worth it.”

The gathering will include sit-downs at both the White House and at Camp David. The GCC’s ask at the meeting was best outlined by the WSJ in a piece we picked up early this month: Advanced weapons systems and surveillance equipment in return for quiet on a nuclear deal with Tehran. The Atlantic Council, meanwhile, says the White House is ill-advised to apply too much pressure to its GCC allies.

Crown Prince Mohamed bin Nayef will attend the meeting in Salman’s place; Obama and bin Nayef met in the White House this past December.

Also today: Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab begins a two-day visit to France, where talks are expected to focus investment and security cooperation.

WHAT WE’RE TRACKING THIS WEEK

The EBRD will hold its Annual Meeting and Business Forum on Thursday and Friday (14-15 May) in Tbilisi, Georgia. The bank will seek a mandate from shareholders to step up its response to persistent challenges in the transition economies that it serves.

The next session in the trial of a police officer charged in the shooting death of leftist activist Shaimaa El-Sabagh is scheduled for 14 May. The trial adjourned yesterday, with the officer being remanded to custody until the next session. He has not been charged with murder, but with “shooting protesters with birdshot to intentionally hurt them. The defendant did not have the intention of “murder”, however, the prosecution said,” according to Ahram Online.

Verdicts are expected in two separate trials of former president Mohamed Morsi on Saturday, 16 May: one for espionage and the other for his escape from prison in 2011.

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LAST NIGHT’S TALK SHOWS

Lamees El Hadidy’s studio guest last night was Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafy, who remained remarkably composed and eloquent despite the grilling that he received from both El Hadidy and viewers who called in to complain about rising prices.

“The first two people that the President met today as soon as he got off the plane were you and the Minister of Electricity. You also had a fire in your Ministry today. Is this symbolic of the prices that are on fire?” said El Hadidy.

“It’s true, the President is burdened by the high prices and we did have a fire on the fourth floor of the ministry, but contrary to what people are saying, the merchants that we are trying to crack down on didn’t come to burn us down. It’s true that the cost of living has gone up and citizens are suffering as their salaries have not gone up proportionally, but we must keep things in perspective. Not everything has gone up in price. For example, the price of rice, milk and eggs and many other staple goods has remained steady,” said Hanafy.

On the notion of the government intervening to bring down prices, Hanafy said, “We are a free market economy, so the assumption that the government has to interfere is a wrong one. That does not mean that we will stand by and do nothing. We are doing everything we can to make sure that limited income families have access to affordable products at government stores and cooperatives throughout the country.”

The Minister also encouraged consumers to call 19280, a complaints hotline that has been set up by the Ministry of Supply from a call center Smart village. “I follow up with these complaints personally and a I assure you the number of complaints is decreasing every day. We are all living in one country and we all have to cooperate with one another. We do not want to antagonize the private sector. We want to come up with a win-win scenario for everyone concerned.”

Amr Adeeb and Khaled Abu Bakr gave ample praise to Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi, the ruler of Sharjah, who was in Cairo to attend the reopening of The Egyptian Scientific Academy, which was damaged in a fire two years ago.

“Not only did he donate the money to rebuild this national treasure of ours, he also donated a large number of rare manuscripts, maps and books from his own personal collection,” said Adeeb. “This is a man who truly loves and cherishes Egypt and Egyptian culture. When I visited him in his home in Sharjah, I was shocked by the amount of Egyptian art that he had on display. He loves to tell the story about his days as a student in Egypt and how his Egyptian bawab gave him money when he was a couple of days late with his rent. Amm Ibrahim, the bawab who had no idea who Qasimi was, put money in his hands and said, ‘Here’s a little something to help you out.’ This is the Egypt he loves and will never forget.”

Adeeb also made some observations about the UK elections during his visit to London last week:

  • The absence of signs and campaign posters, without a single piece of paper in sight; Adeeb was left wondering how people knew who the candidates were.
  • Voter turnout was 65% without a single catchy song played continuously on television to encourage people to go out and vote on a workday.
  • There were no lines and no complaints about rude judges despite the high voter turnout.
  • The media gives their opinion on who they want to win and who they think will win.

“When Amr Adeeb gives his opinion on an election result it’s the end of the world,” said Adeeb, speaking of himself in the third person. “In Egypt, media is expect to be unbiased but that’s not the case elsewhere.”

Adeeb appeared completely baffled by the appearance of all the candidates standing side by side in a show of unity only one hour after it was officially announced that Cameron won: “They all stood next to each other — all the candidates … the Conservatives, Labor and the poor Scottish lady.”

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SPEED ROUND

Egypt’s consumer inflation fell to 11.0% in April from 11.5% in March, CAPMAS said. Food price inflation increased from 9.15% in March to 9.8% in April.

BG Group’s earnings were impacted by lower commodity prices in 1Q2015 with profit before tax falling to USD 708 mn from USD 1.892 bn in 1Q2014. “The attractive [Shell] offer is now subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and completion is expected in early 2016. Until then, BG Group will operate independently and our teams remain focused on delivering our plans safely and efficiently,” CEO Helge Lund said. In Egypt, “BG Group will continue to hold rights to the Rosetta concession and may process future gas through the WDDM facilities.” The company announced that by 1Q2015’s end,Egypt owed BG Group USD 1 bn with USD 0.7 bn overdue. BG added that “discussions continue with the Egyptian government regarding potential future gas development programmes, subject to the negotiation of a higher domestic gas price and resolution of the outstanding receivables.”

Lower commodity prices drove Apache Corporation to a USD 4.7 bn loss in 1Q2015, but the company is preparing for a rebound. CEO John Christmann said “should oil prices stabilize at these higher levels, and cash flow increase accordingly, we are well-positioned to ramp up the drilling program in an efficient and cost-effective manner.” In Egypt “gross production was flat quarter-over-quarter as the region averaged 21 rigs and reported seven new discoveries in the Khalda area. Delineation-drilling results at the recent Ptah and Berenice oil discoveries have exceeded expectations thus far with current production of approximately 20,000 barrels of oil per day. Subsequent to quarter-end, Apache made several new field discoveries across multiple concessions that increase its confidence in Egypt’s production outlook for the remainder of 2015,” according to the earnings’ release.

EFG Hermes concluded on Sunday its advisory on Integrated Diagnostics Holdings’ (IDH) IPO on the London Stock Exchange, offering 43.5% of the company, excluding an additional 6.5% over-allotment option, according to an emailed statement. EFG acted as the joint global coordinator and joint bookrunner on the transaction. The IPO represents the first primary listing of an Egyptian healthcare business on the LSE. The offering raised total demand in excess of USD 3.7 bn, with  an oversubscription ratio of approximately 11.2x. The USD 290 mn offering excludes the over-allotment option and implies a market cap of approximately USD 668 mn at an offer price of USD 4.45 per share. Reuters has coverage here.

Property prices up 10-15% in New Cairo’s Fifth District since January: Prices are rising as homeowners and renters alike awake to the upscale district’s improved infrastructure  and “abundance of high-end residential compounds, commercial outlets, and educational institutions.” Also driving up prices: Plans announced at EEDC to build a new administrative capital east of Cairo. (The story appears in the print edition of Al-Mal; we’ll see tomorrow if it’s posted to their website and provide a link if available.) And speaking of the new capital: Housing Minister Mostafa Madbouly says the government has appointed an unnamed international firm as its legal advisor for the new capital project. The firm will be responsible for preparing all documentation and contracts pertaining to the mega-project. (Read in Arabic)

Marketing and events firm Entourage was awarded the Egypt Tourism Authority account for the second year in a row, having been selected to promote the ‘Masr Orayba’ campaign. The Dubai-based firm has offices in Jordan and Saudi Arabia and claims clients including Google, Coca-Cola, Volvo and du among its clients. (Read)

MOVES- John Frijns was appointed as BASF’s Head of Emerging Markets Middle East & Egypt. He previously headed the Regional Business Unit Plastic Additives Europe located in Basel, Switzerland. Steve Bertamini will replace the outgoing Suleiman bin Abdul Aziz al-Zabin as CEO of Saudi’s Al Rajhi Bankeffective 18 May, according to Reuters.

An Etihad Airlines flight from Cairo to Abu Dhabi landed at a U.E.A. military base for unspecified “security reasons” yesterday. There were no injures an no reports of terrorist suspects, weapons or explosive devices being found after the plan and passengers were searched. The landing came after “Twitter accounts associated with sympathizers of the Islamic State group tweeted out messages overnight threatening airplanes, with one mentioning the Etihad flight specifically,” the Associated Press reported.

Airport security at Hurghada Airport almost caused a diplomatic crisis after stopping the Swiss ambassador to Egypt Markus Leitner from boarding a flight to Cairo, suspecting ancient Egyptian artifacts were being smuggled. After 25 minutes of searching the belongings, the authorities cleared Leitner, his wife, and their daughters and allowed them to board. Turns out, the “artifacts” were just souvenirs.

Sinai Tribal Federation announces plans to combat insurgents: The Sinai Tribal Federation issued a statement after it held its first meeting on Sunday to discuss ways to tackle the insurgency in Sinai. After declaring that it would seek to cooperate and coordinate all its efforts with the security forces and agency, the Federation added that all its efforts must be autonomous, with policies being directed by the federation in order to maintain tribal unity. The federation agreed to form two groups of youth volunteers, one of which would help security forces gather information on suspected militants, and monitoring smuggling routes, while the second would participate in the military campaign alongside Egypt’s armed forces, among the biggest in the Middle East. (Read in Arabic, or check out Ahram Online’s ‘New front in Sinai: Will tribes join the ‘war on terrorism’?’)

Nilesat and YouTube cut off Houthis: Operators of the Nilesat satellite have cut off the broadcasts of the official Houthi channels. This comes as the movement’s official channel on YouTube has been blocked due violations of YouTube policies. (Read in Arabic)

IOM aids 800 vulnerable Yemenis stranded in Egypt: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided assistance to over 800 Yemeni nationals stranded in Egypt due to the ongoing conflict, according to an IOM statement on Friday. We’d noted a piece from AP which at the end of April had put the number of stranded Yemenis somewhere between 4,700-5,800 nationals, with more being stranded at an estimated rate of 200 per day. ”The immediate priority of all Yemenis is to return home and the Embassy is in negotiation with national and international partners to expedite their return, despite the difficult circumstances in Yemen,” said Ambassador Alhaisami. He noted the Embassy’s commitment to protect its nationals, adding that stranded Yemenis in Egypt do not intend to seek asylum.”

Ominous news for those pinning hopes to a recovery in oil + commodity prices? China has cut interest rates in which the international financial press is billing as the Hermit Kingdom’s latest bid to “shore up a weakening economy.” The 25 bps rate cut is the third time Beijing has slashed interest rates in six months, Reuters notes. Calling the Chinese slowdown “worse-than-expected,” the WSJ says authorities are “scrambling to ease the heavy debt burdens of companies and governments. … Senior Chinese officials are growing more fearful that the mountain of debt from the rapid expansion of credit over the past few years is weighing on efforts to pick up the world’s second-largest economy.” If you’re among those who draws links between commodity prices and the health of the Chinese economy, the very comprehensive WSJ piece is a must-read briefing this morning.

In an effort to encourage people to visit museums, Tehran’s mayor replaced billboard ads with artworks by renowned local and foreign artists including the likes of Pablo Picasso, René Magritte, and Henri Matisse. The Guardian has pictures of how Iran’s capital turned “into a giant urban art gallery.”

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A MESSAGE FROM PHAROS HOLDING

Are we heading for a major equity market rally in 2H2015?

It’s being billed as a “routine visit,” but the now-confirmed visit to Egypt of an IMF technical delegation in early June 2015 leaves us expecting a major equity market rally in the second half of this year — one that could push the EGX to our 2015 target of 10,500, if our interpretation of the chain of events is on target. We see the government in general (and the Central Bank in particular) selling an IMF facility to a skeptical opposition not as a necessity, but as a national right. And if past precedent is anything to go by, we anticipate both a further interest rate cut and devaluation of the EGP just prior to the delegation’s arrival, with the latter looking more like a managed float. Click here for more — including why the capital gains tax and limits on FX deposits might just make sense in this context.

BONUS CONTENT: Sell Ezz Steel on a brittle industry outlook. We have been bears on Ezz Steel (ESRS) since early 2014 on the back of domestic energy shortages; a global plunge in steel prices; and the likely cancellation of phase two of its DRI expansion. We remain sellers today and are cutting our fair value for ESRS shares to EGP 10.70: still prices look brittle on peaking Chinese demand, excess capacity in China, and the ramp-up of lower-cost capacity in Australia and Brazil — to say nothing of energy costs and availability in Egypt remaining dubious at best. Click here for more.

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VIDEO

If, like this writer, you’re not a fan of Cairokee’s music, you may still want to watch their latest video with the sound turned down to appreciate the artwork of Ahmed Hefnawi and Muhammad Mustafa. (Watch in Arabic, running time: 4.5 minutes)

One of the best ongoing skits in Portlandia is the feminist bookstore. Watch as one of the owners gets a visit from her son who tries to convince her to babysit her 3-month old grandson for a few hours. “We don’t want to know the gender of the baby-” “I don’t know your gender. I don’t know Candace’s, I don’t know mine.” (Watch, running time: 1 and a half minutes)

DIPLOMACY

The Iran Deal, Camp David, and nuclear nonproliferation in the Middle East: Former foreign minister Nabil Fahmy argues in the Atlantic Council, with regard to this week’s meeting between GCC leaders and President Barack Obama at Camp David: “Offering a US nuclear umbrella or sophisticated hardware and defense systems will not suffice or respond to Arab concerns. Nor will tactical responses … Neither of these approaches will respond adequately to Arab concerns over and above what the Arabs receive in security assurances and guarantees at Camp David and the Arabs accepting them as enough would be a major mistake.” (Read)

EGYPT IN THE NEWS

The BBC takes modern-day alarmist / sensationalist headlines on Egypt and applies them to a story on ancient Egyptian artifacts to produce their latest set of articles: ‘Egypt’s animal mummy ‘scandal’ revealed‘ [scandal = one third of animal mummies are empty, ok sure, scandal, why not] and ‘70 million animal mummies: Egypt’s dark secret’ [same article, different headline]. The main theory put forward in both articles is that animals were mass-bred in ancient Egypt specifically for the purpose of mummification, and that religious pilgrims knew they were buying only partially preserved or empty animal mummies.

The Daily Beast just found out about the alleged ‘Sisileaks.’ (Read)

Former Al Jazeera English bureau chief tells Robert Fisk of The Independent everything he doesn’t want to hear: “I agree with what el-Sisi did in uprooting the Brotherhood,” Fahmy says. “I witnessed first-hand the cancer of political Islam and how it was eradicating the modernity of the Egypt I know. Waiting four years [for the next elections] and using ‘experimental drugs’ on a cancer patient will leave him dead. We had to extract the tumour.” (Read)

OIL & GAS

Maintenance operations at Apache’s Salam field
Al Borsa | 09 May 2015
100 mcf of production was put on hold from Apache’s Salam field, according to EGAS. The field, operated by Apache’s JV Khalda Petroleum, underwent maintenance operations for 24 hours on Saturday. A source at EGAS said maintenance was delayed until after the LNG shipments arrived. (Read in Arabic)

EGAS receives preliminary approval to tender four offshore sites
Al Shorouk | 08 May 2015
EGAS has received preliminary approval to tender four new sites for E&P in the Mediterranean, according to an unnamed source. EGAS now awaits approvals relating to national security before officially tendering the concession areas. The four new sites will either be include with the current tender, which already includes eight sites, or will be tendered separately. EGAS is also awaiting security approvals for three onshore sites in the Delta. (Read in Arabic)

Ganope to issue shale oil tender in 2H2015
Al Mal | 07 May 2015
Ganope announced it is going to issue a tender for shale oil exploration in 2H2015. Ganope estimates there are approximately 4 bn barrels of shale oil that could be produced from the area and anticipates significant interest in the concessions. The company acknowledges that the purchase of shale oil is more expensive than from conventional sources and says contracts may require amendments to the purchase price. (Read in Arabic)

ANRPC in talks to borrow USD 200 mn
Al Mal | 10 May 2015
The Alexandria National Refining and Petrochemicals Company began negotiations with domestic banks to borrow USD 200 mn. The borrowing will be to finance expansion plans to double production capacity to 540 thousand tons through improving the naphtha reforming complex to bring the refining capacity up to 490 thousand tons annually along with 35 thousand tons of hydrogen and 15 thousand tons of butane. The project has an investment cost of USD 300 mn. (Read in Arabic)

BASIC MATERIALS & COMMODITIES

ECA suspects collusion drove the price increases of tomatoes and potatoes
Al Masry Al Youm | 10 May 2015
Collusion amongst traders of tomatoes and potatoes might have caused the dramatic increase in the staple food items’ prices, the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) suspects. The ECA is currently investigating issue driving the price increase but face a challenge from the length and complexity of the supply chain network, according to the ECA’s head Mona El Garf. El Garf warned that poor transportation networks could also contribute to the price increases domestically. (Read in Arabic)

Farmers’ subsidy to be channeled through smart cards
Al Borsa | 09 May 2015
The Ministry of Agriculture is preparing to channel subsidies through a smart card system similar to the oil and supply ministries’. An agriculture ministry spokesperson said the ministry is planning on selling fertilisers and seeds at market prices once the smart card system is in place. E-Finance, the company implementing the fuel smart card system, said it will submit a bid to provide the agriculture ministry with smart cards once a tender is issued. (Read in Arabic)

Cairo court adjourns cotton subsidy lawsuit to 16 June
Daily News Egypt | 05 May 2015
Last week, a Cairo administrative court adjourned a lawsuit filed against the state for its decision to eliminate cotton subsidies to 16 June, reports DNE. According to lawyer Samir Sabry, the removal of subsidies will harm the country’s cotton industry and “is an unfair measure against farmers.” Earlier this year, Egypt’s Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation announced the government’s plans to eliminate subsidies for cotton farmers and spindles by next season (Read).

Refrigerated trucks to deliver subsidized goods to poor areas
Al Mal | 10 May 2015
A fleet of refrigerated trucks will be delivering subsidized staple foods, including to fruits and vegetables, to poor areas throughout Egypt, said Khalid Hanafy, the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade. The goods will be sold at discounted rates with subsidies on some products reaching 25%. (Read in Arabic)

Titan Group reports strong performance in first quarter of 2015
Global Cement | 08 May 2015
Titan Group’s consolidated turnover rose by 12.7% y-o-y in the first quarter of this year, climbing to EUR 284 mn. The company attributed this growth to its, “continuing recovery in the US and the improvement in the Greek market due to the continuation of public works and the higher profit margins on exports had positive effects on operating results.” That said, the company’s reported a decrease in profitability in Egypt due to, “prolonged gas shortages.” The company, however, remains optimistic with regard to its operations in the country, where demand for building materials is expected to remain high. As a result of recent operational improvement related to fuel consumption, “the group expects to recover production and sales volumes in 2015.” (Read)

REAL ESTATE & HOUSING

Housing ministry finalizes EGP 1.2 mn loan deal with AFESD
Al Borsa | 10 May 2015
The Ministry of Housing signed an EGP 1.2 mn loan deal with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) in what minister Moustafa Madbouli hailed as the fastest deal signed in the ministry’s history. The loan will be directed towards funding sewage projects in rural Giza. AFESD’s loan is repayable over 25 years with a five-year grace period. (Read in Arabic)

Housing ministry awaits reconstituted Arabtec board’s decision on “mn home” contract
Al Borsa | 10 May 2015
The Housing Minister is currently awaiting the results of a probe by the newly reconstituted board of Arabtec on the merits of the “mn homes” project. This is the second time the board of directors had changed since the announcement of the project. The change also saw the removal of Khadem Al Qobaisy as head of the company. Al Qobaisy had been one of the architects of the deal with the ministry. (Read in Arabic)

SODIC amends loan deal with AAIB
Al Mal | 10 May 2015
SODIC has amended the terms of an EGP 900 mn loan agreement with AAIB to include other pieces of land that are part of the SODIC West project, according to Al Mal. The amendments did not change the value of the loan that was signed in 19 December 2013. (Read in Arabic)

TOURISM

Minister of tourism meets with ABTA
Al Mal | 10 May 2015
Minister of Tourism, Khaled Ramy, met with representatives of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the head of the tourism chamber of commerce on Sunday, to discuss plans to maximize the promotion of Egypt in Britain. The minister stated that following the cancellation of tourist visas on arrival, the ministry plans to launch an “electronic visa” system to streamline process. (Read in Arabic)

TELECOMS & ICT

Government aims for 50% internet penetration rate, CIT minister says
Al Shorouk | 10 May 2015
The government is hoping internet penetration will reach 50%, Khaled Negm, the CIT minister said. Negm said TE and Mobinil have already submitted their proposals for reduced prices, noting that the minimum will be set a speed of 1 Mbps at a monthly cost of EGP 50. Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Egypt are expected to present their proposals this week, the minister added. (Read in Arabic)

New guidelines limit participation of telecoms in national telecom infrastructure network
Al Borsa | 10 May 2015
The ministry of defense has issued an amended version of the articles of incorporation of a new national entity governing the national telecommunications infrastructure. Under the new guidelines, the role of big telecoms will be greatly limited both in terms of stake in the entity and its participation. The old guidelines, which were rejected by the ministry of defense and probably led to the sacking of the old telecoms minister, the shareholder structure of the entity would see the telecoms own 40%, while the ministry of defense and other ministries would own 30% and 20% respectively. Citing the importance of national infrastructure being outside the purview of the private sector, the ministry’s plan will see ownership of the new entity reduced to 20% while the MOD will own 60%. Furthermore, the telecoms’ role would only be to pay for usage of the infrastructure. (Read in Arabic)

BANKING & FINANCE

Banque Misr lends EGPC USD 400 mn
Al Shorouk | 10 May 2015
Banque Misr is lending EGPC USD 400 mn to finance its purchase of Kuwaiti crude, sources told Al Shorouk. The credit facilities were guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance and will be directed towards importing crude oil from Kuwait to be refined in Egypt. (Read in Arabic)

CIB lends New Giza EGP 250 mn to build university
Al Shorouk | 10 May 2015
CIB agreed to lend New Giza EGP 250 mn to build a university at their development. The project is expected to cost EGP 400 mn, according to Al Shorouk. New Giza had already borrowed EGP 500 mn from CIB to finance the construction of the residential part of its project. (Read in Arabic)

OTHER BUSINESS NEWS OF NOTE

GB Auto to deliver first batch of buses to refurbish Alexandria’s public transport
Al Mal | 10 May 2015
Alexandria is beginning the first phase of its project to refurbish the city’s bus network. The phase includes the commissioning of 50 new buses before the end of June. In total, Alexandria signed a deal with GB Auto to supply it with 150 Volvo buses. The second phase of delivery is set to begin in FY2015/16. A planning professor told Al Mal that 150 buses are not enough considering demand in Alexandria. (Read in Arabic)

EGYPT POLITICS + ECONOMICS

EFSA and ECA sign cooperation protocol on non-banking financing
Al Ahram | 10 May 2015
EFSA and Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) have signed a cooperation protocol on non-banking financing agreeing to clamp down on any monopolistic practices in the sector. (Read in Arabic)

Suez Canal tunnel boring machine to arrive in November
Amwal Al Ghad | 10 May 2015
Arab Contractors said the first tunnel boring machine to be used to dig new tunnels underneath the Suez Canal is set to arrive in November. The second machine is scheduled to arrive in February. Mohsen Salah, Arab Contractors’ Chairman, said the tunnels planned will have an internal diameter of 11.4 meters and an external one of 12.6 meters. The tunnels will be dug 20 meters below the Suez Canal. (Read in Arabic)

ON YOUR WAY OUT

Al-Watan off the streets for Sisi-related story: Al-Mal quotes unnamed “media sources” as claiming the 11 May edition of Al Watan newspaper has been pulled from newsstands after authorities objected to a listicle on individuals and institutions the newspaper reportedly claims wield more power than the president. (Read in Arabic)

A new (disgusting) animal torture story has emerged in Egypt. Six recently born puppies were killed by an unknown assailant in Alexandria on Sunday, reports Youm7. We apologize for the graphic images.

WANTED: Someone stole an eighth of Moldova’s economy. Thousands filled the streets of the country’s capital in protest, Global Post reported. A businessman has been placed under house arrest “after US private auditors found he used three Moldovan banks to issue massive loans to companies under his control.”

Working on that six-pack in preparation for Sahel season? According to the internet’s most recent viral trend, you may be wasting your time. Women (at least American women) no longer find the chiseled ‘greek-god’ physique desirable. Instead, they now yearn for its pudgier counterpart: the ‘dadbod’. What is the dadbod? Simply put, “it’s a nice balance between a beer gut and working out.” (Watch, running time 2:36)

BY THE NUMBERS

USD CBE auction (Sunday, 10 May): 7.5301 (unchanged since Monday, 02 Feb)
USD parallel market (Sunday, 10 May): 7.68 (unchanged from Saturday, 09 May)

EGX30 (Sunday): 8,692.00 (-0.58%)
Turnover: EGP 212.3 mn (62% below the 90-day average)

WTI: USD 59.34 (-0.08%)
Brent: USD 65.43 (+0.06%)

TASI: 9,710.5 (-0.1%)
ADX: 4,575.8 (+0.5%)
DFM: 4,147.3 (+1.1%)
KSE Weighted Index: 430.3 (-0.3%)
QE: 12,285.5 (flat, +0.03%)
MSM: 12,285.5 (-0.1%)

 

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