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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

On the horizon

The Central Bank of Egypt will review interest rates at a meeting of its Monetary Policy Committee on 28 December. Keep an eye on monthly inflation figures due out any time in the coming few days

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is expected to visit Egypt and deliver a speech at the House of Representatives sometime this month. Egypt and Ethiopia are locked in a war of words over use of Nile water. Whatever Desalegn has to say could fall on deaf ears, with 19 MPs having already signed a letter saying they would not attend his speech, Al Masry Al Youm reports.

We hope he doesn’t take it personally, as not attending sessions is a mainstay of our representatives. And Desalegn may not fare better with those in attendance: House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal was recently forced to turn on cell phone scramblers to stop MPs from answering phones during sessions, Al Shorouk reports.

MPs’ attendance records have apparently gotten so bad that Abdel Aal had to specifically ask them to (pretty please) attend today’s plenary session to vote on pending legislation, Ahram Gate reports. Among the bills that have been stalled due to lack of quorum: The contentious Labor Unions Act, the Youth Institutions Act — which bans political activity in public youth clubs — and the ban on drones.

IMF to sign off on Egypt loan tranche in third week of December: Finance Minister Amr El Garhy expects the IMF to sign off on disbursing Egypt’s USD 2 bn loan tranche in the third of week of December, the minister said yesterday, according to Al Borsa. Egypt has already received two tranches worth a combined USD 4 bn out of its USD 12 bn extended fund facility from the IMF.

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