Last night’s talk shows for Tuesday, 29 October 2019
The economy dominated the airwaves last night, after the IMF threw a few good words in our direction in its latest regional outlook, and Planning Minister Hala El Said announced that the economy grew at a 5.6% clip in 1Q2019-2020. We have chapter and verse at the top of this morning’s Speed Round, below.
On the IMF report: Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr highlighted the progress in the natural gas and tourism sectors, which the fund expects to continue to support growth. He also drew attention to the fund’s estimate that Egypt will need to create at least 700k jobs a year if it is going to cope with the rapidly growing population (watch, runtime: 2:20). Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary, meanwhile, phoned economist Abdel Moneim El Sayed, who said that Egypt’s status as the region’s fastest-growing economy speaks volumes about the economic reforms (watch, runtime: 7:20).
A closer look at the market with Lamees and Noman Khaled: Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi phoned CI Capital’s Noman Khaled for his take on how the reforms are playing out on the ground. Khaled said that there are many factors that could explain the surprising fall in inflation over the past few months.
Why hasn’t the EGP float boosted exports? El Hadidi put the question to Khaled, who said it was wrong to assume that Egyptian products will suddenly become competitive on the back of the float. Solving this will require more than a currency devaluation, he said, calling on the government to focus more on sectors where we have a competitive advantage. Egypt’s non-oil exports grew by 3% in the first nine months of the year, which we recap in full in this morning’s speed round below. You can catch the Khaled interview here (watch, runtime: 9:09).
EGP continues to strengthen: The central bank’s buy price reached EGP 16.06 against the greenback yesterday, Al Hayah Al Youm’s Khaled Abu Bakr (watch, runtime: 2:28) and El Hekaya’s Amr Adib noted (watch, runtime: 3:49). The pound rallied to a new two-and-a-half year high at the end of last week, extending year-to-date gains of 9.9% against the USD.
The Personal Status Act got some airtime: El Hadidi hosted a live debate on the draft amendments recently drawn up by Al Azhar. Egypt’s highest religious authority has been criticized on social media and in the House of Representatives for doing legislative work beyond its purview. Islamic research academy member Abdullah Al Naggar, defending Al Azhar, and lawyer and chair of the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights Nehad Abou El Qomsan, offering a counterview, were on board for the debate (watch, runtime: 35:52).
The World Radiocommunications Conference opens in Sharm: Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hossary took note of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s inaugural remarks at the month-long event.
Man killed in Tanta train accident: A man died and another was injured after they were forced out of a train for not having a ticket, El Hadidi reported (watch, runtime 22:21). Eyewitnesses say the manager ordered the passengers to jump from the train while it was moving.