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Thursday, 3 November 2016

The FX policy is the belle of the ball on Last Night’s Talk Shows

It should come as no surprise that Wednesday night’s talk shows focused on the appreciation of the EGP on the parallel market, with the heroes of the day being the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, whose leaders blanketed the airwaves to claim credit for the development.

The Federation has seized the initiative with its boycott of the parallel market, and it’s now the Central Bank of Egypt’s turn to follow with devaluation as soon as possible, the Federation’s head Ahmed El Wakeel said in a call-in to Amr Adib’s “Kol Youm” on OnTV (watch, runtime: 6:36).

El Wakeel thinks prices should deflate following the strengthening of the EGP over the past few days, although he deflected Adib’s persistent and loud nagging over when, exactly, prices will fall. The head of the federation’s automobile division, Alaa El Saba’, told Adib that the automobile division has decided to reduce prices of cars by EGP 10-30,000 for vehicles with a price range of EGP 100-350K (watch, runtime: 3:25). No reports have emerged on how much the appreciation has affected basic commodities, but steel manufacturers have announced that they have reduced prices by EGP 1,200 per to EGP 7,348, AMAY reports.

Adib dedicated a small portion of the episode to praising Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid for the package of 17 investment incentives and tax breaks handed down by the Supreme Investment Council on Tuesday and her effort to rewrite the Investment Law (watch, runtime: 0:26).

Alaa Ezz, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce’s secretary-general, told CBC’s “Momken” with Khairy Ramadan that passenger cars were indeed included among the non-essential goods whose imports were being curbed over the coming three months. This appears to contradict statements made on Tuesday by the head of the federation’s importers division Hamdy El Naggar, who had stated there was no moratorium on car imports. He added that the organization might end the three-month initiative to reduce imports early if the exchange remains stable.

Samy on real estate investment funds: Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority head Sherif Samy also spoke on the show on the potential revenues real estate investment funds will bring in to the state if the government makes use of underutilized state-owned lands.

“People want to get rid of the USD and nobody wants to buy it now,” National Bank of Egypt Chairman Hisham, Okasha told host Ahmed Moussa on Sada El Balad’s “Ala Mas’uleety” (watch, runtime: 2:36). Okasha also credits the Supreme Investment Council’s decisions with contributing to the strengthening of the EGP. That concludes what we hope will be our final coverage of the cretin Ahmed Moussa for something other than satire.

Don’t expect the CBE to restrict deposits of USD sourced from the parallel market: Ahmed Sheeha, head of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce’s importers division, said recent talk was likely sparked by the CBE reinforcing existing guidelines on money laundering and terrorist financing. He urged the CBE to not interfere too much in the economy in a call-in to Al Asima TV’s “Kalam Bi Filoos” talk show (watch, runtime: 2:13). Then again, maybe you don’t want to put much stock in Mr. Sheeha’s analysis: He also said last night that he expects the EGP to strengthen to EGP 7 : USD 1 within a month.

A programming note: Lamees El Hadidy was off last night.

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