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Monday, 9 May 2022

Last Night’s Talk Shows: Talking heads mull what’s driving demand for the USD

Leading the conversation on yesterday’s talks shows: Saturday’s terrorist attack in Sinai, which met yesterday with condemnation from Arab and world leaders. The attack, which Daesh yesterday claimed responsibility for, resulted in the deaths of at least 11 soldiers. ِAl Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 2:39), Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 13:15) El Kahera w Nas (watch, runtime: 4:39) and Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 1:41) all covered the story. We have more in this morning’s Diplomacy section, below.

Are expectations of a fresh devaluation sparking more demand for the USD? More people are rushing to buy the greenback due to “rumors” in the market, Ali El Hariri, secretary-general of the Foreign Exchange Bureau Division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 3:57). Lamees attributed demand for the USD to speculation that the central bank could further devalue the EGP in the coming days in response to growing pressure caused by rising US rates and fallout from the war in Ukraine.

The good news? A weaker EGP could help make our exports more competitive abroad, economist and former deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El Din told Al Kahera W El Nas’s Hadith Al Qahera (watch: runtime: 14:04).

This isn’t a given, though: Exporters are going to need the support of the government to improve local production and marketing, especially given the downward trend in global growth, he said.

The bad news: Bahaa El Din doesn’t see the global economy settling anytime soon, estimating that it might take another year or two before conditions normalize.

The state is going to have to up its subsidy spend next year as global prices rise: The government will raise its subsidy spend by around EGP 35 bn in the coming fiscal year, and increase allocations to the health and education sectors, Yasser Omar, deputy chairperson of the House Budget Committee, told Salet Al Tahrir’s Azza Mostafa (watch, runtime: 3:32). “It’s difficult, because we don’t know when the crisis will end,” Omar said.

No new taxes will be imposed on citizens, he stressed, adding that the new budget sees higher tax revenues without placing further pressure on the public.

Also getting a mention on the airwaves last night:

  • Car dealers are facing losses due to a recent decision by the Consumer Protection Agency to clamp down on the “overpricing” of cars, the head of the Egyptian Automobile Dealers Association, Osama Abou El Magd, told El Hadidi (watch, runtime: 4:21). The decision has forced the closure of several showrooms, according to Abou El Magd, who said that suppliers are due to meet with the CPA head to voice their complaints.
  • The Giza Plateau redevelopment project could be inaugurated in July or August, Masaa’ DMC’s Ingy Al Qadi said last night (watch, runtime: 2:22). Tuk-tuks have now been banished from the site ahead of the unveiling, she said. We have more on the overhaul of the area here.
  • In related tourism news: President El Sisi has issued a decree reshuffling the board of the Supreme Council of Tourism. Per the decree, the new board will be headed by the president, and will include several key ministers. Masaa DMC has the details (watch, runtime: 22:54).

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