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Monday, 30 May 2022

External debt up 6% in 2Q 2021-2022

External debt rose 6% to USD 145.5 bn during 2Q FY2021-2022, up from USD 137.4 bn during the first quarter, according to central bank data (pdf) released yesterday. This is equivalent to 33.2% of GDP, up from 32.6% the previous quarter. The debt “remains within manageable limits,” the CBE said, citing its “favorable” structure and a lower debt-to-GDP ratio than the average in other regions of the world. Long-term debt accounted for more than 90% of Egypt’s total debt during the quarter.

AfDB launches climate adaptation facility — and some of it could head our way: The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a new facility that will channel funds into sustainable small businesses and promote regulations that encourage the circular business model, the bank said at the weekend. The Africa Circular Economy Facility (ACEF) has received an initial EUR 4 mn from Finland and the Nordic Development Fund, which will be deployed in countries across Africa over five years. It’s not yet clear how the facility will be divided among African countries and what kind of support could be in line for.

What’s a circular economy? Simply put, it’s a business model that tries to limit waste and puts sustainability at the heart of production and consumption. Reusing and recycling waste, limiting pollution, and regenerating natural environments are all key “circular” concepts.

The Egyptian American Enterprise Fund (EAEF) invested USD 28 mn in Egypt in 2021, it said in its annual impact report (pdf). The EAEF made fresh commitments to Algebra Ventures Fund and Ezdehar Management Fund II during the year, taking its total investment since 2015 to USD 250 mn. The fund has invested in 10 companies and four funds over the seven-year period, and attracted another USD 657 mn in FDI into the country.

Other things we’re keeping an eye on this morning:

  • Fantasy football startup Eksab has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Egyptian Premier League. (Statement)
  • The Transport Ministry has begun trialing its new Talgo trains along the Cairo-Alexandria line, and will soon launch trials on the Cairo-Aswan rail line. (Statement)
  • The Cairo Chamber of Commerce greenlit the establishment of a local and international commercial arbitration center. (Al Borsa)
  • IT systems provider Select International is looking to invest EGP 330 mn in Egypt in 2022. (Statement, pdf)
  • Evolve Investment Holding and Azimut Egypt have launched a gold-backed investment fund. (Al Borsa)
  • Acting leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mahmoud Ezzat and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the former Islamist leader-turned-centrist presidential candidate, have been sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of spreading false news and inciting against the state. (Youm7)
  • Authorities have ordered the release of several detainees, including a journalist and a researcher, who have been detained for two years without charge. (Ahram Online)

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