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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Interest rate hike still dominating the airwaves

The Central Bank’s decision to hike interest rates by 200 bps still preoccupied the nation’s talking heads on the airwaves last night.

On Masaa DMC, Prime Holdings Head of Research Abu Bakr Imam told Osama Kamal that the interest rate hike’s cons far outweigh its benefits, explaining that Egypt’s elevated inflation levels are a result of higher production costs on the back of the float of the EGP and not higher demand (watch, runtime: 2:30). Kamal also spoke to veteran research analyst Hany Genena, who said he believes that the CBE’s decision was a move in the right direction (watch, runtime: 5:21).

Over on Hona Al Asema, MP and Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) chief Mohamed Elsewedy complained to Lamees Al Hadidi about how “these repeated interest rate hikes” will harm industry, explaining that manufacturers around the world — “our foreign competitors” — are given special interest rates as incentives (watch, runtime: 4:47).

Lamees also spoke to Egyptian Gulf Bank Executive Director Nidal Assar, who said that the bank has no plans to raise interest rates on CD but will be gradually increase rates on savings accounts. As for his view on the hike, Assar said people need to understand that it’s only a temporary measure that should dissipate once Egypt’s inflation levels begin to cool further (watch, runtime: 4:31).

Lamees then moved on talk about the new furniture city in Damietta, where work officially started yesterday. Trade Minister Tarek Kabil told the host that the city will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to help the city — home to two-thirds of Egypt’s furniture industry — improve its production capabilities (watch, runtime: 7:21).

Meanwhile on Kol Youm, Amr Adib spoke to MP Mostafa El Gendy about the struggle to reclaim state-owned land from trespassers, which El Gendy said has been a long time coming (watch, runtime: 4:58). Adib said that President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s speech today about the issue made it sound as though “some people in high places” believe themselves to be above the land reclamation campaign (watch, runtime: 10:51).

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