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Monday, 29 May 2017

Eurobonds, private school tuition, and Qatar’s media war on Egypt dominate the debate on the airwaves

Even on semi-hiatus, Lamees Al Hadidy is still on form with an interview with Finance Minister Amr El Garhy on last week’s successful USD 3 bn eurobond sale. Lamees is currently anchoring two nights a week on CBC Extra News during Ramadan while her show is on break. Her lesser half will continue to grace our sets for the holy month at 11 pm.

El Garhy said total demand raised for the combined USD 7 bn offered via the issuances in January and again last week stood at USD 24.5 bn. Proceeds from last week’s sale should hit state coffers by 31 May.El Garhy also told Lamees that strong demand for Egypt’s eurobond offering reflects the international community’s confidence in the country’s economy.

El Garhy breaks down demand: 46% of subscriptions were for 30-year bonds, 34% were for 10-year bonds, and 20% were for year five-year maturities. He suggested that Egypt’s eurobonds are due for a rating upgrade: The volume of trading in the bonds is more in line with that expected of bonds that hold a ‘B+’ rating, and not ‘B-’ as is the case with Egypt.

Proceeds from the issuance will be used to bolster foreign reserves and repay debt due in the near-term. Coupled with the next tranches from the USD 12 bn IMF extended fund facility and a separate USD 3 bn World Bank loan, as well as treasury bonds, should help Egypt bridge its budget deficit in FY2017-18. Watch the full interview (runtime: 9:08).

Lamees also spoke to the head of the Education Ministry’s private education division, Abeer Ibrahim, about the ministry’s decision last week to cap tuition fee increases for private schools (watch, runtime 3:41).

Meanwhile, Kol Youm’s Amr Adib spent last night talking about Qatar’s media war on Egypt, which seen newspapers and media outlets in the Gulf (particularly in KSA) criticizing Doha (watch, runtime 2:20).

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