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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Talking heads served up a mixed bag of nuts

It was a mixed bag on the airwaves last night, with the talking heads covering everything from the latest and greatest from the House of Representatives to new updates on ration cards. Topping the economic programing was our friend CIB Chairman Hisham Ezz Al Arab’s sit-down with Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal.

Ezz Al Arab discussed the global banking system’s shift towards digital platforms, noting that most banks around the world are moving towards cutting down the number of branches they operate and going digital instead. This paradigm is difficult to apply in Egypt, however, since it necessitates certain legislative and infrastructural changes, Ezz El Arab said (watch, runtime: 5:42).

On a separate note, Ezz Al Arab swiftly quashed rumors that CIB was recently involved in defrauding a retail client. The issue arose when a client of the bank lodged a complaint against a customer service employee, whom the client accused of fraud. The bank looked into the complaint and, after a thorough review of the client’s transactions, concluded that the issue is unrelated to the bank, Ezz El Arab said. He also dispelled a separate rumor that one of the bank’s branch managers had fled the country after stealing a sizeable sum from clients’ deposits at CIB (watch, runtime: 5:30 and runtime: 6:05).

Kamal also noted that the London Business School chose to feature CIB as the first regional company case study. This was largely because of its “use of data in day-to-day decision-making,” Academic Director of the university’s Leadership Institute Randall Peterson told Kamal. Peterson also lauded the bank and its leadership for the great strides it has taken in developing its services (watch, runtime: 11:51).

The House of Representatives “has no choice” but to approve the Madbouly government’s policy program, since there is no alternative to opt for, Rep. Moataz Mahmoud told Hona Al Asema’s Dina Zahraa (watch, runtime: 3:19). Talk about a vote of confidence. The House has prepared a 500-page report in response to the program, which shows the amount of effort invested in its review, Rep. Ahmed El Segeny said (watch, runtime: 2:13).

Elsewhere in parliament, several reps. are under threat of being stripped of their membership for “disrupting” parliament’s work, Rep. Salah Hasaballah told Zahraa. Parliament’s disciplinary committee is currently looking into reports filed against four representatives, and Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal will ultimately decide whether to bring the issue to a vote in the general assembly (watch, runtime: 7:43).

The Supply Ministry will allow subsidy benefactors to add newborns to their family data as of August, with the data updates expected to be reflected in each family’s monthly rations by the end of the year, ministry spokesman Ahmed Kamal said (watch, runtime: 4:23).

Egypt has made good progress on its reforms, despite the difficulties accompanying these measures, former executive director of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies Sherif El Diwany told Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal. El Diwany tipped his hat to the government for the reforms and the central bank for its monetary policy, saying that he has reason to believe inflation could drop below 10%. He also stressed the importance of increasing competition in the Egyptian market to raise the quality of goods and services provided, and called on Egyptians to take the lead in investing in the country (watch, runtime: 12:16).

Sudan’s ambassador to Egypt Abdel Mahmoud Abdel Halim touched on Egyptian-Sudanese relations ahead of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s upcoming visit to Khartoum in a phone-in to Al Hayah fi Masr. According to Abdel Halim, El Sisi and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir have met over 20 times during the past three years alone (watch, runtime: 4:26).

Antiquities Ministry’s Mostafa Al Waziri called on Yahduth fi Masr to talk about the recent discovery of a large black granite sarcophagus in Alexandria (watch, runtime: 4:15).

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