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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Ride-hailing apps act to be voted on today

The airwaves were chock-full of economic and business topics last night, with the highlight being a debate on Kol Youm on the Ride-hailing apps act.

Ride-hailing Apps Act comes up for a vote in the House of Representatives today, MP Mohamed Badawy said, explaining that the act will provide Uber and Careem with a legal framework to operate in Egypt.

MP Ahmed Badawy (we’re not sure of his relation to Mohamed) argued the finer points of the law with Uber representative Mohamed El Refai. Badawy appears to have been in favor of controversial clauses that stipulate companies need to keep user data in Egypt — and share it with government bodies. The pair also debated the soundness of forcing hired cars to sport a sticker identifying their association with an app. Badawy also revealed that wildcats operating in the ride-hailing ‘space’ without a license could face prison and fines of up to EGP 5 mn (watch, runtime: 7:49).

Banks will start paying out interest today on high-yielding certificates of deposit they issued following the devaluation, according to Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi. The 20% CDs drew in deposits of EGP 676 bn, said Lamees. She called for new savings certificates be made available to help draw down liquidity in the market and move it to the banking system (watch, runtime: 23:24).

National Bank of Egypt (NBE) Deputy Head Yehia Aboul Fotouh said that his bank will be paying depositors EGP 188 bn in the two months for their CDs. He expects the bank’s clients to reinvest the money in other savings instruments offered including the three-year certificates with yields of 15% and others with variable interest rates (watch, runtime: 4:20).

Competition for funds from real estate? Economist Reham El Desouky expects those who have little disposable income who have bought into the 20%-yield CDs to likely reinvest in other instruments. She expects real estate to compete for the newly available funds (watch, runtime: 7:00).

Amr Adib has oil on the brain: Eni’s new oil discovery in the western desert exhilarated Kol Youm’s Amr Adib who suggested that the company be allowed to explore for gas in all of Egypt. Adib even called on the antiquities minister to stop with excavations for antiquities. “We do not want antiquities any more. We have too many of them,” he said. “I want an oil or gas field” (watch, runtime: 4:33). (We have more Eni’s discovery in Energy, below.)

The new education system continued to attract plenty of attention on the airwaves, with Education Minister Tarek Shawky making the rounds. He was Hona Al Asema’s guest for more than one and a half hours to delve into the highlights of the strategy and to address all concerns levelled from parents or students (watch, runtime: 7:24). He also called in to Al Hayah Al Youm to address these same issue (watch, runtime: 9:34).

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