El Sisi’s UNGA visit continues to dominate talking heads’ agendas
President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to New York for the UN General Assembly continued to dominate the conversation on the airwaves last night.
Journalists on the ground in New York called in to recap the president’s visits yesterday (we have the details in What We’re Tracking Today, above), but provided little by way of analysis (watch, runtime: 6:46 and runtime: 12:11). Former Assistant Foreign Minister Mohamed Hegazy noted that El Sisi’s time in the US should be positive for investment in Egypt, as he is due to meet with American businessmen and investors (watch, runtime: 9:15).
Also highly anticipated is El Sisi’s scheduled meeting with US President Donald Trump, El Hekaya’s Amr Adib said (watch, runtime: 1:51).
Masaa DMC had a chat with former US national security advisor Robert McFarlane, who had plenty of praise for Egypt’s efforts to fight terrorism, and stressed the importance of supporting Egypt’s economic recovery (watch, runtime: 37:33).
**#8 Welcome to amateur hour. (Or: Why you should never trust anyone other than Lamees El Hadidy to talk about the economy on the airwaves). Hona Al Asema featured last night one of the most insipid, ham-handed discussions of the economy we’ve sat through in ages — and that’s saying something.
On the subject of whether there’s a bubble forming in the real estate market, ARDIC CEO Ashraf Dowidar argued that that’s “not necessarily” the case, adding that he sees real estate prices continuing on an upwards trajectory as long as FX rates remain at their current levels. The head of the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ real estate division, Tarek Shokr, also sees the sector as “strong and stable,” as is evidenced by (wait for it) its sizeable contribution to the country’s GDP. Economist Abeer Rashdan, meanwhile, is concerned that the real estate sector is somehow growing faster than other sectors that “better serve” the economy (watch, runtime: 13:33 and runtime: 10:20).
(Not that the depth of reporting on the web is any better: The real estate sector is bouncing back from the challenges it faced post the float of the EGP and is poised for further growth, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Middle East Edition says. The sources? An Oxford Business Group analyst and a 1Q2018 Jones Lang LaSalle report that together declare that real estate has retained its position as one of Egypt’s fastest-growing industries despite the pains of fiscal and policy reforms. Caveat lector: The Middle East edition of Bloomberg Businessweek appears to be a licensed publication, written and edited by folks other than the good people who bring you the business information service’s terminals, websites and the principal edition of Bloomberg Businessweek.)
Meanwhile: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly visited Assiut yesterday, during which he visited several informal settlements, schools, and hospitals. The prime minister — who also remains the housing minister — spoke on access to clean water and sanitation, according to Hona Al Asema’s correspondent (watch, runtime: 6:45). Madbouly also ordered the relocation of an organic fertilizers plant away from residential areas, Assiut Governor Gamal Nour El Din told Al Hayah fi Masr (watch, runtime: 6:42).
All of the woes attendant to the first day of school were hot topics for several talking heads, including Hona Al Asema’s Reham Ibrahim (watch, runtime: 48:21), El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 1:41), and Masaa DMC’s Eman Al Hosary (watch, runtime: 5:36).