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Thursday, 7 June 2018

Gov’t to adopt measures to offset higher oil prices

CABINET WATCH- Gov’t looks to offset higher oil prices: The Ismail Cabinet gave the finance and oil ministries the green light to begin talks with international banks to adopt measures to counter rising global oil prices, according to an official statement. The statement isn’t exaclty clear on what that means, but our money is on some from of hedging strategy. This comes as the Finance Ministry leaves its projected average oil price in next year’s budget at USD 67/bbl despite the recent surge in oil prices, which saw Brent break the USD 80/bbl mark before retreating to just under USD 76 this morning. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy has said that it seems price growth has cooled and Egypt’s international oil agreements will help keep supply in Egypt stable.

El Garhy calls on state companies to pay overdue bills as oil prices go up: The ministries of oil and electricity are owed EGP 900 bn in overdue electricity and gas payments, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy reportedly said yesterday. The situation just cannot continue, especially in light of higher oil prices, he stressed. As we reported last month, cabinet has been pushing state-owned companies to pay overdue electricity and gas bills, going so far as to encourage liquidity-starved companies to start selling assets to the private sector, Al Ahram reports.

Also from the meeting — pension hikes, tax cuts to cost the state EGP 67 bn: El Garhy also commented on the tax breaks and pension increases announced earlier this week, will cost the state some EGP 67 bn, according to the newspaper.

The Council of Ministers also signed off yesterday on a USD 53.2 mn loan agreement with the OPEC Fund for International Development for phase two of a program to upgrade irrigation and sewage systems. It also approved a new Real Estate and Property Registration Law to replace the current 1964 law that created a numerical code-based system for land registration.

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