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Thursday, 16 March 2017

EGPC to suspend all future fuel import tenders as Aramco agreement back on; House plenary vote on IMF loan agreement 26 March; Sameh Shoukry DMC interview

Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer was right on the money with his selection of topics last night, speaking with Oil Ministry spokesman Hamdy Abdel Aziz to get the details on the resumption of Saudi Aramco fuel shipments to Egypt (more on that in the Speed Round, below). Hamdy told Amer that Aramco’s product accounted for 35% of Egypt’s petroleum imports. He also said that the Egyptian General Petroleum Company will no longer tender for cargos to replace the Aramco shipments. He added that the EGPC is working on a new shipment schedule with Aramco that will factor in existing agreements signed to compensate for its boycott. Those include a one-year, 1 mn-barrel-per-month agreement with Iraq.

House Legislative Committee member Alaa Abdel Moneim chewed Amer’s ear off about the committee’s dislike of the USD 12 bn IMF loan agreement, which will be put to a vote in a plenary session no earlier than 26 March. Stressing that the committee was tasked with reviewing the constitutionality of the agreement, not its economic viability, Abdel Moneim said that most MPs (himself included) were grumbling about the fact the agreement was signed without parliament’s approval. Can we stop talking about this now? Please?

DMC’s Osama Kamal sat down with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who talked about diplomacy, tourism and travel bans. Shoukry said that Egypt has “strong historic ties” with the United Kingdom that were complicated by the Metrojet crash in late 2015 (watch, runtime: 2:41) and denied that the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia could be the reason Russia has yet to resume flights to Egypt (watch, runtime: 4:14). Shoukry said he does not believe the continued Russian and UK bans on flights are justifiable, saying Egypt has worked hard to meet their respective needs (watch, runtime: 3:00).

Over on Al Hayah Al Youm, Tamer Amin hosted Immigration Minister Nabila Makram to explain why the ministry backed away from a proposal to exempt Egyptian expats’ cars from customs upon their return to Egypt (watch, runtime: 2:44). Makram also said that a government committee is studying a proposal to provide Egyptians working abroad with insurance coverage, including offering compensation in cases of work-related injuries and arbitrary dismissal (watch, runtime: 7:18).

Amin then spoke with the Insurance Federation of Egypt’s (IFE) Managing Director Saeed Gabr, who said that the IFE wants the government to set a USD rate for the insurance sector, as it did with customs. According to Gabr, domestic insurance companies rely on FX in reinsurance transactions in their dealings with international companies, and the fluctuating FX rate is coming down hard on the sector (watch, runtime: 6:50).

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