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Monday, 30 March 2020

Naguib Sawiris channels his Inner Donald on the impact of social distancing on the economy

Naguib Sawiris dropped in to Al Kahera Alaan to offer his two cents on the state of the economy as the talking heads continued to chronicle the story of covid-19.

Al Kahera Alaan’s Lamees El Hadidi spoke to Egyptian bn’naire Naguib Sawiris last night, who voiced his thoughts on the current state of the Egyptian economy and the financial markets.

The inveterate goldbug channeled his Inner Donald on social distancing and the economy and threw in some stock tips for good measure:

  • Sawiris urged the government to allow employees to return to work within a week and warned in colourful terms that the economy would suffer sharply if social distancing measures aren’t scrapped soon. Shutting down entire sectors for an extended period would result in lay-offs and increasing rates of depression.
  • Go long on gold? Sawiris said that he has invested half of his capital in the precious metal and reiterated his confidence that the price of gold will rise due to the covid-19 crisis, despite it having recently eased.
  • The EGX hasn’t bottomed out: Sawiris cautioned investors against buying into the EGX. “We have not reached the bottom and we will see companies whose shares will be at least 10% in the coming days,” he warned.

You can watch the full interview here: (watch, runtime: 10:49).

Pay boost for healthcare workers: El Hadidi spoke with Health Minister Hala Zayed who discussed the latest covid-19 updates and President Abdel Fatah El Sisi’s initiative to provide additional pay allowances to healthcare workers and exceptional bonuses to quarantine and chest hospital workers (watch, runtime: 9:52). El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 2:59), Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 2:36), Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 0:59), and Min Masr’s Amr Khalil (watch, runtime: 2:32) also covered the news.

CBE limits withdrawals: Hany Genena, the head of research Prime Holding investments, told El Hadidi that the central bank had chosen to place new limits on withdrawals after EGP 30 bn was withdrawn from Egyptian banks in the past three weeks. He said that the decision should not distress depositors, who should only have cause for concern if they see banks prohibit or limit transactions between entities (watch, runtime: 14:49). El Hekaya’s Amr Adib (watch, runtime: 12:04), Masaa DMC’s Eman El Hosary (watch, runtime: 1:13) had the same story, while. Min Masr's Amr Khalil spoke with the head of Banque Misr, Mohamed El Etribi (watch, runtime: 7:04). We have more on the central bank’s announcement in this morning’s Speed Round, below.

Day labourers workers being tallied: El Hadidi also spoke with the Manpower Minister Mohamed Saafan who said that the ministry is currently vetting its lists of day labourers who applied for emergency relief, and that EGP 500 would be disbursed to 120k workers soon (watch, runtime: 4:38). Khalil had the same report (watch, runtime: 1:11).

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