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Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Last Night’s Talk Shows on the state’s privatization plans + El Sisi talks GERD with Somali counterpart

It was a business / econ-heavy evening on the airwaves last night as PM Madbouly’s economic adviser Gihan Saleh phoned in to Kelma Akhira to discuss the IMF negotiations, privatization and the Egyptian economy (watch, runtime: 4:23 | 4:48 | 5:22).

The latest on the IMF negotiations isn’t hugely encouraging: Asked by show host Lamees El Hadidi for an update on the negotiations with the IMF, Saleh said that technical talks are ongoing, but the two sides have different perspectives. She denied that there was any conflict in the talks when asked by El Hadidi. Egypt has been in negotiations with the Fund since March for fresh financing that will help it mitigate the pressures on its external position caused by surging food and energy costs, and rising interest rates.

Where do the state’s privatization plans currently stand? The government could “possibly” approve fresh sales on the EGX later this year, Saleh said. She blamed market conditions for the decision earlier this month to delay Banque du Caire’s IPO.

What does the Fed’s expected 75-bps rate hike mean for Egypt? The Madbouly government already expects the Fed to raise rates in response to inflation, Saleh said. An increase in US rates doesn't necessarily mean that Egypt will follow with an equivalent hike of its own, although a US rate hike would increase pressure on state finances and make it necessary to increase GDP and avoid a rise in the debt-to-GDP ratio.

El Sisi met his Somali counterpart and GERD was on the agenda: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud met yesterday in Cairo and the two discussed bilateral relations and the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Al Hayah Al Youm reported (watch, runtime: 8:36). Ala Mas’ouleety (watch, runtime: 2:03) also had the story.

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