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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Crowding out of private sector behind decline in building materials prices?

No single topic dominated airtime last night, though the economy did feature prominently on the airwaves, including a discussion on Hona Al Asema with EFG Hermes’ Mohamed Abu Basha on the improvement in the PMI. We have the full coverage in the Speed Round below. (China also features prominently, but again, nothing new to report)

Is the so-called crowding out of the private sector behind a drop in the price of building materials prices? Falling prices of building materials made an appearance again on the airwaves. Ahmed El Zeiny, head of the building materials division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, thinks that the drop has something to do with the government crowding out the private sector in the construction industry. He tells Yahduth fi Masr that most major development projects are carried out by the state, which can source its own building materials. This has led to a decline in demand for them from the private sector.

Food for thought #3- A better question is whether a slowdown in new housing starts has had anything to do with collapsing prices.

He also claims that stricter enforcement of zoning and building codes has also contributed to a decline in demand, as it becomes tougher to build (watch, runtime: 1:14).

The Madbouly Cabinet’s plan to fix up the textiles industry received coverage on Al Hayah fi Masr. The plan calls for the cultivation of more short and medium staple cotton in Upper Egypt to meet factory needs, Agriculture Ministry spokesman Hamed Abdeldayem said. He noted that long staple cotton is usually exported (watch, runtime: 6:55).

Also on the economy, Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal sat down with Semaf chairman Abdel Rahman Hussein to discuss the factory’s output in light of the railway revamp underway (watch, runtime: 29:18). Kamal also spoke with MP Mohamed Al Morshedy and deputy of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce Fathy Morsi to talk about trade ties between Egypt and Turkey. Morshedy voiced rejection of the free trade agreement with Turkey saying it lacks parity (watch, runtime: 5:47).

The Armed Forces is looking to get in on the e-ticketing business: The ministers of military production and youth and sports met yesterday to discuss developing an e-ticketing platform to sell Egyptian Premier League tickets, Youth and Sports Ministry spokesman Mohamed Fawzy told Hona Al Asema. Fawzy noted that the plan would help the state monitor and, if need be, regulate attendance at stadiums, which have been open to spectators since the beginning of the month. The move would help bring in substantial revenues for the stadiums, said Fawzy (watch, runtime: 6:01).

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