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Thursday, 4 August 2022

Is Russia using Egypt to export its crude? Plus: El Sisi establishes disability fund

Russia appears to be using Egypt as a transit route to sell its crude, ahead of the introduction of western sanctions on its energy exports later this year, Bloomberg reports. Tracking data seen by the business newswire showed a vessel depositing 700k barrels of oil at the El Hamra oil terminal on Egypt’s north coast, some or all of which was picked up a few hours later by a second ship. The move, described by Bloomberg as “unusual,” makes oil flows more difficult to monitor and provide opportunities for Moscow to blend its crude with other grades.

The 19-member board of trustees of the National Dialogue process wrapped its fourth meeting yesterday with a decision to form seven committees to coordinate the dialogue’s economic agenda. The board will form committees for inflation and high prices; public debt, budget deficit and fiscal reform; general investment priorities and policy of state ownership; local and foreign private investment; industry; agriculture and food security; and social justice.

The board decided to form five committees for the social agenda earlier this week, and three committees for the political agenda a few weeks earlier. It has now finished forming the dialogue’s committees and has set the priorities for the political, economic and social tracks.

The board will hold its next meeting on 27 August, where it will choose the rapporteurs for all of the committees and subcommittees of the social, political and economic tracks, and prepare the agenda and topics of discussion for the dialogue.

President Abdel Fattal El Sisi has set up a fund designed to support people with disabilities, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette yesterday. A board of trustees will be formed to set up a detailed plan for the “Differently-Abled Fund”, which El Sisi had called to be set up last year as part of efforts to improve inclusion of individuals with disabilities in society and the economy.

In detail: The fund will help better integrate individuals with disabilities into the economy by financing various training programs to help them enter the job market, partnering up with different groups to help provide them with jobs, and providing financial support to SMEs led by people with disabilities. It will also establish specialized institutes that can set up programs aimed at boosting social inclusivity, and will help finance the construction and operation of hospitals, health units and care centers catered to people with disabilities.

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

  • Emirati buy-now-pay-later fintech Tabby plans to enter Egypt, after raising USD 150 mn in debt financing in what it says is the largest credit facility raised by a fintech in the Gulf region. (Bloomberg)
  • The Financial Regulatory Authority has directed life ins. companies to begin using the first locally-produced life tables, which are used for calculating the probability of death over a person’s life. (Statement)
  • Palm Hills Developments and an education provider will partner with Maastricht University to provide Badya University graduates with a supplementary certificate from the Dutch university. Our friends at Palm Hills hold 40% of Badya University. (Statement, pdf)
  • German manufacturer Knorr-Bremse will equip 15 high-speed Siemens trains in Egypt with braking and entrance systems. (Statement)
  • Seventeen people were killed and 4 others injured after a microbus collided with a truck on a highway in Sohag province. (Associated Press)

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