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Thursday, 12 April 2018

Ismail Cabinet signs off on EGP 200 bn Egypt sovereign wealth fund

MOST EPIC CABINET WATCH EVER- Ismail Cabinet signs off on a EGP 200 bn Egypt sovereign wealth fund: The Ismail Cabinet on Wednesday signed off on legislation establishing an Egyptian sovereign wealth fund, charged with investing state funds locally and abroad across all vehicles and assets, according to a statement from the Ismail Cabinet. The fund will have an authorized capital of EGP 200 bn and a paid in capital of EGP 5 bn, Planning Minister Hala El Saeed said in a press conference following the Cabinet meeting, according to Al Masry Al Youm. The board of directors will be made up of representatives from Egypt’s various ministries including the finance and planning ministries, she added. The fund will also manage some of the state’s under-utilized assets as well as various assets belonging to state-owned companies. “We will be working with our regional partners to help establish a governing framework for the fund,” El Saeed said, without really delving on the nature of such a partnership.

Background: Sources had said last month that the Justice Ministry was finalizing the text of the proposed bill and had hired international consultants to advise on setting up the fund’s goals and strategies. Public Enterprises Minister Khaled Badawi had also stated last month, at the EFG Hermes One-on-One in Dubai, that a sovereign wealth fund was in the works, but implied that was more of a long term plan.

Thanaweya Amma as we know it, is done in September: The Ismail Cabinet, which had a busy meeting yesterday, also approved the implementation of reforms to the state’s primary education and Thanaweya Amma systems as of September this year. While the statement did little to elaborate on what these changes entail, beyond “advancing through training and technology,” Education Minister Tarek Shawki had said that the new system would part from traditional exams and scoring systems with a new GPA-based framework with coursework and electronically-graded multiple choice exams. The curriculum is also getting a facelift and will reduce the importance of rote memorization. Primary education reforms include doing away with awarding primary-level education certificates to students after the sixth grade.

World Bank support for Takaful, Karama extended for three years: Also on the social front, the Cabinet approved the terms of extending a USD 500 mn World Bank program to fund the Takaful and Karama programs for another three years.

Cabinet finally approves the OC / Engie / Toyota Tsusho Gulf of Suez wind farm: The meeting also looked at some pressing business matters, including signing off on the contracts that would see a consortium of Orascom Construction, Engie, and Toyota Tsusho Corporation develop wind farms in the Gulf of Suez. The statement was scarce on details, saying only that the government okayed the project’s price tag.

Other decisions taken by the Cabinet yesterday include:

  • Setting a price of EGP 600 per ardib for buying domestic wheat this harvest season. Naturally, wheat farmers are not happy with the price and are threatening to grow other crops instead next year, Reuters Arabic reports. The government plans to import 6 mn tonnes of wheat this fiscal year, Supply Minister Ali El Moselhy said yesterday, according to the newswire.
  • Approving USD 258.5 mn in funding from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for development and infrastructure projects in North Sinai.
  • Approving the building of an offshore floating platform to receive liquefied propylene and propane gas, which will be run by the he Egyptian Propylene and Polypropylene Company.
  • Approving the EUR 205.6 mn EU Cross-Border Cooperation in the Mediterranean program for 2014-2020.

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