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Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Covid-19, air travel suspension and CBE interest rate cut reviewed on talk shows

CBE interest rate cut: Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi spoke by phone with Hany Genena, head of research at investment bank Prime Holding, to discuss the Central Bank of Egypt’s unprecedented decision to cut interest rates by 300 bps. He lauded the timing of the decision saying it will help to preserve cash flow for businesses in the months ahead. He added that foreign investment in Egyptian bonds may not be affected as inflation is expected to decrease, ensuring returns remain attractive (watch, runtime: 4:22) and (watch, runtime: 5:20). Adib spoke by phone with the deputy head of the National Bank of Egypt, Yehya Aboul Fotouh, who said that the CBE’s decision was bold and presented a chance for SMEs to consider expansion (watch, runtime: 3:31). We have chapter and verse on the CBE’s announcement in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Flights suspended from Thursday: El Hadidi also spoke by phone with Tourism Minister Khaled El Anani who confirmed that the flights will be suspended from Thursday until the end of the month and that after that time, airports will allow the landing of empty planes to evacuate foreigners (watch, runtime: 6:34). She also spoke by phone with State Information Minister Osama Heikal, who said tourists will leave according to the scheduled departure dates unless otherwise requested. Land and sea ports will remain open to allow for the flow of goods. (watch, runtime: 3:37). Adib also covered the story (watch, runtime: 2:36).

WHO delegation to visit Egypt: Adib spoke by phone with Health Minister Hala Zayed, who said that a delegation from the World Health Organization will visit the country on 24 March to review the measures taken against the spread of covid-19 upon a request from Egypt. She added that since two covid-19 deaths were from Daqahliyah, some 300 families in the governorate have been quarantined for 14 days (watch, runtime: 33:02). Min Masr’s Amr Khalil (watch, runtime: 2:48) had the same report.

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