Last Night’s Talk Shows on 18 February 2018
An interest rate cut and the resignation of Ethiopia’s prime minister kept the talking heads busy last night.
Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi spoke to National Bank of Egypt (NBE) Deputy Head Yehia Aboul Fotouh about the interest rate cuts, which he said would help banks lower the cost of borrowing. Aboul Fotouh said the bank will now offer 17% certificates of deposit in place of the infamous 20% predecessors, while its entry in the 16% CD space will now yield 15% (watch, runtime: 6:11)
Interest rates could drop by another 400 bps by the end of 2018, CI Capital economist Hany Farahat told Lamees (watch, runtime: 3:54).
The MPC’s decision is a step in the right direction, but its impact will be limited, our friend Hani Berzi phoned in to say. The Edita boss said the current lending rate is still unattractive to businesses and that a fair level would be around 12% (watch, runtime: 5:45).
Lamees then shifted over to regional politics, speaking to Hany Raslan from Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies to talk about the Ethiopian PM’s resignation. Raslan said Desalegn’s resignation could make Ethiopia more flexible where negotiations over its grand dam are concerned (watch, runtime: 5:11)
Over on Kol Youm, Amr Adib also zeroed in on the resignation, railing on and on about Egypt needing an action plan mapping out the future of talks over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (watch, runtime: 12:44).
Back on Hona Al Asema, Lamees attempted to verify reports that Sudanese authorities have asked members of the Ikhwan to leave the country. The host commended the move, describing it as a “positive” development in Egyptian-Sudanese relations if true (watch, runtime: 3:24)
Adib was equally unsuccessful in confirming the report (watch, runtime: 1:46) and spent the rest of his time discussing regional tensions between Mediterranean countries (watch, runtime: 2:15) and following up on the latest in the arrests of ex-top auditor Hisham Genena (watch, runtime: 5:50) and ex-presidential candidate an Ikhwan member Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh (watch, runtime: 4:56).
Lamees also got in on a bit of that action, saying that Aboul Fotouh is still prominent within the brotherhood despite his resignation ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. She said that his political party Strong Egypt also carries Islamist undertones, which is illegal under the constitution. She said the Salafist Al Nour Party is also unconstitutional (watch, runtime: 1:49:46)
Meanwhile, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Nahawand Serry (watch, runtime: 20:00) and Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hossary (watch, runtime: 8:15) both spoke to Nasser Military Academy advisor, Gen. Mohamed El Ghobary for updates on the military’s ongoing anti-terror campaign in North Sinai.