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Tuesday, 22 March 2022

The float of the EGP, interest rate hike and expansion of the social safety net dominated the airwaves last night

Egypt’s airwaves were dominated by yesterday’s policy blitz (if you don’t know what we’re talking about here get out from underneath your rock — or just scroll to the top of the issue). Let’s jump right in.

New price caps on unsubsidized baladi bread and fino loaves have been introduced with immediate effect, head of the bakeries division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Attia Hamad told El Hekaya’s Amr Adib in a phone-in (watch, runtime 4:52). Awareness campaigns are currently underway to notify all bakery owners of the caps, which they have to abide by within the next three days or face criminal proceedings, he said. We have all the details on the price controls in this morning’s Commodities section, above.

Some 10.8 mn people stand to benefit from the hikes in pension payouts announced by the government yesterday, said Social Solidarity Minister Nevine El Kabbaj in a phone-in with Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime 11:06). The raises will take effect starting 1 April — three months earlier than initially planned, she said, which will cost the state around EGP 8 bn. Pensioners will see a 13% price hike, with a minimum of EGP 120, and no maximum amount, said National Council for Wages member Magdy El Badawy in a phone-in with Sada El Balad’s Salet El Tahrir (watch, runtime 5:05).

And around 28.5 mn workers will be made newly exempt from income tax after the government yesterday raised the threshold to EGP 30k, from EGP 24k previously, said Tax Authority advisor Ragab Mahrous, in a phone-in with Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime 6:58) You can read more about the newly announced packages and incentives in our Economy section above.

Banque Misr’s CDs are proving popular: Savers put EGP 4 bn into the state-owned bank’s

new 18% certificates of deposit, which were announced yesterday following the rate hike and EGP devaluation, Treasury and Financial Institutions Head Moustafa Gamal said in a phone-in with Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa (watch, runtime 19:06).

And the winner of the EGP devaluation is… the EGX, which recorded the largest ever daily increase in market cap yesterday — around EGP 31 bn — following the central bank’s announcement, EGX boss Mohamed Farid told Taht El Shams’ Moataz Abdelfattah (watch, runtime 3:25).

In other news: More people are complaining about the Consumer Protection Agency’s recent decision to require companies to include expiration dates on product labels. On Sunday it was manufacturers, and last night it was the head of the electrical and home appliances division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, who called one companies in the sector to be exempt from the rule (watch, runtime 7:31).

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