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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

What we’re tracking this week

EXCLUSIVE- Egypt and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign contracts for their USD 1.6 bn electricity interconnection project “within days,” a senior government official told us yesterday. Egypt has completed all the necessary prep work for the project, which should see the two countries exchange up to 3 GW of power, but the Saudi side has yet to set a date for the signing, sources also told us yesterday. Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company boss Gamal Abdel Rehim said last week that the contracts would be signed in June.

LEGISLATION WATCH- The Ismail Cabinet could sign off on the executive regulations to the Universal Healthcare Act as early as the end of the week, Health Minister Ahmed Rady said on Sunday. Al Ahram claims to have obtained a leaked copy of the regs — which will set out prices for private healthcare under the act and regulate the role of private insurance companies. The regs should be followed by an announcement with details on the three new healthcare regulators that are being established under the new law, which should go into effect as of July in Canal governorates and expand to cover the rest of the country over the coming 15 years.

Also on the legislative front: The Housing Committee is expected to begin “within days” hearings on amendments to the legislation governing rent control. The House Planning and Budgeting Committee was supposed to complete its review of the proposed Auctions and Tenders Act yesterday, but we’ve heard nothing yet.

A Russian delegation is visiting Egypt later this week to resume talks on a Russian industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) that could attract investments worth as much as USD 7 bn, SCZone chief Mohab Mamish announced yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. Contracts for the zone could be signed “soon,” Mamish added. Talks on the RIZ — which had initially been announced in 2014 — ground to a halt last summer, have been back on since October.

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