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Monday, 10 July 2017

CBE’s move to hike interest rates still tops the airwaves

The CBE’s decision to hike interest rates by 200 bps last Thursday was still in the limelight on the airwaves last night. Also catching our attention is the Transport Ministry backtracking again on previous statements that the metro ticket prices were rising.

CIB is yet to decide if it will change its interest rates in response to the CBE’s rate hike, Chairman Hisham Ezz El Arab told Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi, explaining that most banks will not respond in the same way they did after the last interest rate hike by changing their rates.

Ezz El Arab also chatted with Lamees about the CIB winning the Euromoney award for best emerging market bank, explaining that the competition was fierce as it included institutions from India, Malaysia, and Brazil, to name a few (watch, runtime 8:11).

There might be a temporary hike in the rates for short-term certificates of deposit, Banque Misr Chairman Mohamed El Etreby told Lamees. high-yielding certificates of deposit, however, are likely to remain at their current 20% given their 1.5-3-year duration. Investors know the hike is temporary, El Etreby also said, explaining that people should instead focus on the CBE’s achievements, such as the fact that banks are now freely buying USD from the interbank system, for example (watch, runtime 6:00).

Emirates NBD might follow suit, raising the rates only for short-term deposits, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Risk Officer Sahar El Damati told Lamees. The bank is still weighing its options though. As for the impact of fiscal policy on investors, Damati suggested that the government lower the fixed custom exchange rate to EGP 13 from EGP 16.5 to ease some of the pressure on the business community.

Lamees then moved on talk about the EGX with CI Capital’s Executive Chairman and CEO Mahmoud Atallah, who confirmed that 24% of CI Capital’s shares will be offered on the EGX by 4Q2017 and GDRs are also a possibility.

From there she discussed whether real estate is still a safe haven for investors with Al Ahly Real Estate’s Chairman Hussein Sabbour. The price of sold units will continue to rise as long as the government is the sole authority concerned with issuing and tendering land, Sabbour said (watch, runtime 31:08).

Meanwhile on Masaa DMC, Transport Minister Hisham Arafat appears to be playing the usual game of hinting at price increasing then denying it to the public. The minister said that the there were no plans to hike metro and railway ticket prices “at this time”(watch, runtime: 5:41). We’ve been through this song and dance geared for public consumption with the metro plenty of times, only to see the price increase.

Over on Kol Youm, Amr Adib seemed upset that Egypt is moving forward with the Dabaa nuclear power plant contracts when Russia has still not re-launched air travel between Cairo and Moscow, a highly perceptive notion from the boisterous one (watch, runtime 1:03).

He then followed up on Friday’s terror attack on Rafah, chatting with Ahram Center researcher Ahmed El-Behairi about the dynamics of terror and militancy in North Sinai (watch, runtime 11:14).

Yahduth fi Misr’s Sherif Amer was also on about the same issue, speaking to security analyst Khaled Okasha, who blamed the Rafah terror attack on the diplomatic rift between Qatar and other Arab states.

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