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Monday, 6 March 2023

Chinese investors are looking at the Sokhna Industrial Zone. PLUS: Jordan electricity link, another Sawiris football acquisition, and more


SCZone talks with Chinese investors: A high-level delegation from one of China’s largest industrial areas discussed potential investment in the Sokhna Industrial Zone and support for ongoing Chinese projects with representatives from the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) yesterday, according to a SCZone statement. The two sides are coordinating to put in place incentives to attract Chinese companies to the zone.

SCZone heads east next month: SCZone CEO Walid Gamal El Din was invited by the delegation to return the visit in April. A delegation of major Chinese companies is also planning to come to Egypt soon to study potential projects, the statement read. Gamal El Din last month said he could be making his way to China soon for a roadshow.


More electricity for Jordan? Egypt could increase the capacity of its electricity line with Jordan to up to 3 GW from its current 550 MW, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly told Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al Sudani yesterday, according to a cabinet statement. The two sides have been in talks to raise the capacity of the link to 1 GW since early 2022.


One step closer to Tarboul Industrial City: Real estate developer GV Developments and Qalaa Holdings’ Taqa Arabia have signed an agreement to set up a company to build the infrastructure at the Tarboul Industrial City in Giza, according to a press release (pdf). Tarboul Infra will be responsible for building and operating utilities at the planned city.


Not another Ever Given debacle: A Liberia-flagged container ship en route to Portugal ran aground in the Suez Canal yesterday for a hot minute before four tugboats managed to refloat it, the Suez Canal Authority said. Traffic at the canal was not affected by the incident, with ships passing through the waterway normally.

SPEAKING OF WHICH Two years later, Ever Given is still making headlines: Dutch marine response firm SMIT Salvage, the firm responsible for refloating Ever Given after it ran aground in the Suez Canal, is suing the ship’s owner Ever Green claiming it didn’t receive the appropriate financial compensation for its work, according to Bloomberg. This comes as we approach the two-year anniversary of the giant container ship blocking the vital trade artery for almost a week.


Sawiris is getting a chunk of Vitoria SC: Nassef Sawiris’ holding company V Sports will purchase 46% of the Portuguese Vitoria SC for EUR 5.5 mn, after the club’s shareholders voted for the acquisition, the club said in a statement yesterday. Some EUR 2 mn of the money V Sports will invest in the club will go towards its infrastructure.

This will be the company’s second club: V Sports, owned by Sawiris and American bn’aire Wes Edens, bought a 55% stake in Premier League club Aston Villa in 2018.


Cabinet’s IDSC hears from experts on macro matters: The cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) held a forum on financial policy and debt sustainability attended by 22 senior bankers, economists, officials, and business owners, according to a cabinet statement. The forum touched on the IMF-backed reform program and privatization strategy, ways to boost FX inflows, steps to integrate the informal economy and widen the tax base, and our sovereign sukuk issuance last month, among other topics. The IDSC is set to incorporate the experts’ contributions in a forthcoming research project on how to handle global economic challenges this year and next. This is the eleventh such forum it has run of a planned 20.


A fresh World Bank grant to tackle waste: The World Bank will grant the government’s Greater Cairo pollution reduction project a USD 9.1 mn grant to improve the management of e-waste and healthcare waste disposal systems, according to a cabinet statement. The funding will be disbursed by the lender’s Global Environment Facility.

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