Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:30:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 28th Citadel Festival for Music and Singing embraces attendees with international troupes https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/28th-citadel-festival-for-music-and-singing-embraces-attendees-with-international-troupes/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:30:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705261 This year’s edition witnesses an increase at the tickets prices, reaching EGP 20 from EGP 15

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The timeworn, colour fading walls of Cairo’s spectacular Salah El-Din Citadel are witnessing the final preparations of one of the country’s biggest, most anticipated music festival. The 28th Citadel Music Festival for Music and Singing which kicks off in the heart of Cairo’s glorious antique palace, opens its doors on Sunday, welcoming attendees to indulge into an artistic voyage, with music from all genres, and origins.

The festival brings musical troupes from all over the world, to perform at the Citadel’s two stages. Over 15 days, the musical fiesta will host 42 concerts for local and international troupes and individuals, some of them mark their first visit to Egypt.

The festival is one of the most significant and oldest events organised by the Cairo Opera House, with the cooperation of the Ministry of Antiquities. It is considered an important cultural event that offers a platform for a diverse group of local artists to showcase their talents.

Egypt’s Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem said the festival is among the ministry’s summer activities that showcase a serious innovation attempts, in line with the country’s sustainable development goals, aiming to enforce the community and raise people’s cultural and artistic awareness.

The 28th edition of the festival comes also to celebrate Egypt’s presidency to the African Union, with the performances of artists from Tunisia, Algeria, Namibia, and Guinea.

“The Citadel Festival for Music and Singing is one of the prominent, and most important art festivals organised by the ministry of culture, that managed to obtain huge publicity, due to its enriching music diversity,” Abdel Dayem said.

This year’s edition witnesses an increase at the tickets prices, increasing to EGP 20 from EGP 15 last year. The increase was justified as a result of the growth in concerts, to reach three concerts per-day instead of two previously.

The ministry also told the local press that the allocated budget of the festival has increased due to the hike of the rent cost of needed equipment.

The Citadel Festival for Music and Singing is considered to be the country’s only festival reasonable ticket prices. The budget-friendly festival attendees reached the 100,000 mark in last year’s edition, and the 28th edition is expected to witness further increase in attendees, due to the diversity in this year’s musical performances.

This year’s edition witnesses concerts for Egyptian singers Mohamed Mohsen, Ali El-Haggar, Medhat Saleh, Hany Shaker, Dina El-Wedidi and Amr Selim band.

From the Middle East, comes the prominent Tunisian singer, Ghalia Benali, and the Lebanese artist Tania Kassis.

Sufi music fans would also have an appointment with the genre’s enchanter, Yassin El-Tohamy.

For the underground bands, Massar Egbari, and Cairo Band are to mark their performance at the festival, and musician Hisham Kharma is scheduled to mark his first participation in the festival.

For the first time in a popular festival, veteran musician Omar Khairat meets his fans at the closing ceremony of the festival, which takes place on 1 September.

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War drills threaten peace efforts between North Korea, the US and South Korea https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/war-drills-threaten-peace-efforts-between-north-korea-the-us-and-south-korea/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 10:00:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705201 Pyongyang protested against joint US-South Korea military drills, largely computer-simulated, calling them a rehearsal for war

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North Korea launched at least two short-range ballistic missiles on Friday, South Korea’s military said, shortly after Pyongyang described South Korea’s president as “impudent” and vowed that inter-Korean talks are over.

Pyongyang has protested against joint US-South Korea military drills, largely computer-simulated, which kicked off last week, calling them a rehearsal for war. It has also fired several short-range missiles in recent weeks.

Japan’s defence ministry said it did not see any imminent security threat from the latest projectile launch.

North Korea said on ٍSaturday that leader Kim Jong Un supervised a live-fire demonstration of newly developed, short-range ballistic missiles intended to send a warning to the United States and South Korea over their joint military exercises.

North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Saturday that Kim showed “great satisfaction” over his military’s recent testing activity and vowed to build up “invincible military capabilities no one dares to provoke.”

While discussions have begun between the US and South Korea, to get the latter to pay more for the cost of maintaining US troops in the region to guard against any threat from North Korea.

In early August, North Korea again expressed anger at US-South Korean military drills by launching new tactical guided missiles. They were fired from South Hwanghae province across the peninsula, travelled about 450 kilometres and landed in the sea to the east, KCNA said.

South Korea’s military had described those missiles as similar to the Russian-made Iskander, a solid-fuel, the nuclear-capable missile that is highly manoeuvrable and travels on low trajectories, improving its chances of evading missile defence systems.

This is North’s fourth provocation in less than two weeks, came amid stalled denuclearisation talks with Washington, although Washington and Seoul played down the tests.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday that he is tacitly giving North Korea permission to continue testing. “I say it again, there have been no nuclear tests. The missile tests have all been short-ranged — no ballistic missile test. No long-range missiles,” he stressed.

The United States has responded to this kind of warnings before when North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday.

This and the two similar missile tests last week, raised the stakes for US and South Korean diplomats hoping to restart talks on North Korean denuclearisation.

On Wednesday, a senior US defence official said it does not plan to make changes to a military drill with South Korea, despite a series of North Korean missile launches intended to pressure Seoul and Washington to stop joint exercises.

The US and South Korean militaries joint exercise which started on 11 August, known as Dong Maeng, which is believed to be a slimmed-down version of an annual drill once known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise, which included thousands of US troops. It is unclear how many US troops were involved this year, but the official noted that the exercise, as in the past, would have a large computer-simulated portion.

North Korea had earlier said that it will wait to see if this August exercises actually take place to decide on the fate of its diplomacy with the United States and also whether to continue its unilateral suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests, which leader Kim Jong Un announced last year amid a diplomatic outreach to Washington.

Earlier in August, Trump tweeted “It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was also a small apology for testing the short-range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end.”

Future of US-Korean alliance would carry a huge bill for Seoul

Since the end of the Korean conflict, when Washington fought alongside Seoul against North Korea, the US has had troops stationed in South Korea. The US has about 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea and another 50,000 in Japan.

Each year, the two countries conduct military drills, often also called war games. Seoul and Washington say the drills are defensive but Pyongyang sees them as a preparation for war.

Following the 2018 summit in Singapore where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump agreed on a vague denuclearisation statement, the US president also said he’d cancel the war games.

It is no doubt that the North Korean nuclear program represents a clear threat to both North Korea and its greatest ally, since the second world war, the United States.

And besides their shared disapproval for the North, US is South Korea’s second most important trading partner after China.

However, Trump has repeatedly said Seoul should bear more of the burden of keeping some 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea, where the United States has had a military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War. And US national security adviser John Bolton discussed the cost-sharing issue during his visit to Seoul in July, according to the Blue House.

South Korean and US officials signed an agreement in February, under which Seoul would raise its contribution to just under 1.04 trillion won ($927m), an increase of about $70.3m. The interim agreement was due to expire in a year.

Finally, nuclear activity appears to be continuing, however, and satellite images of North Korea’s main nuclear site last month showed movement, suggesting the country could be reprocessing radioactive material into bomb fuel.

The Korean War Timeline:

September, 1945: Korea divided between North backed by the Soviet and South backed by the US, after World War II

1949: A pro-Soviet puppet government is left in charge of North Korea with a vastly superior army to US-supported South

June 24, 1950: North Korea invaded South Korea

June 27, 1950: Truman orders air and naval support for South Korea & calls for UN intervention

September 15, 1950: In surprise landing behind enemy lines, US forces push North Korean army back north.

October 19, 1950:  Pyongyang falls to UN forces


November 4, 1950:  With increased opposition, UN offensive stalls and then collapses. Chinese troops push UN forces back across the 38th parallel and capture Southern capital of Seoul

1952: Korea becomes campaign issue in 1952 presidential election

July 27 , 1953:  Armistice formally re-established the division of Korea

January 21, 1968: a team of 31 North Korean commandos is sent to Seoul to assassinate President Park Chung Hee, but is intercepted by South Korean security. All but two are killed, and only one of those captured.

August 18, 1976: North Korean soldiers attack a work party trying to chop down a tree inside the demilitarised zone. Two US army officers are killed in what becomes known as the “axe murder incident”.

October 9, 1983: An attempt to kill South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan takes place when North Korea plants a bomb in a mausoleum in Yangon, Myanmar during a visit by Chun. He survives but 21 people, including some government ministers, are killed.

November 29, 1987: A bomb planted on a Korean Air flight explodes over the Andaman Sea, killing all 115 people on board. Seoul accuses Pyongyang, which denies involvement.

September 18, 1996: A North Korean submarine on a spying mission runs aground off the eastern South Korean port of Gangneung. After a 45-day manhunt, 24 crew members and infiltrators are killed.

June 15, 1999: South Korean and North Korean naval ships clash off South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island. North Korean casualties are estimated at around 50.

October 9, 2006: It carries out its first successful nuclear test. Since then it has come under a series of international sanctions.
March 26, 2010:
The South Korean corvette Cheonan sinks, killing 46 sailors. An international investigation concludes it had been torpedoed by a North Korean submarine. Pyongyang denies the charge.

November 23, 2010: North Korea fires 170 artillery shells at Yeonpyeong, the first attack on an area populated by civilians since the war: four are killed, including two civilians. South Korea’s troops fire back with cannon.

August 20, 2015: South and North Korea trade artillery fire across their border.

September 21, 2017: South Korea’s new President Moon Jae In tells the United Nations he does not want the “collapse” of North Korea but warns against tensions becoming “overly intensified” and “accidental military clashes”.

November 2017: Seoul imposes new unilateral sanctions, putting 20 North Korean organisations including banks on a blacklist. The measures are in addition to fresh sanctions by the UN.

January 3, 2018: the Koreas reopen a cross-border hotline, shut down for two years, after Kim Jong Un suggests Pyongyang could send a team to next month’s Winter Olympics in the South.

January 5, 2018: North Korea accepts the South’s offer of talks to take place on January 9, the first since 2015.

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EFG Hermes earnings reach EGP 304m on operating revenues of EGP 1.1bn https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/efg-hermes-earnings-reach-egp-304m-on-operating-revenues-of-egp-1-1bn/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 09:00:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705257 Large private company to be offered on EGX by November

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Daily News Egypt learned that EFG Hermes is preparing for IPO of a large private company on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), where Hermes was hired as the offering’s financial advisor to determine the value of the offer which is expected to take place in November. It comes in parallel with Hermes’ preparation for offering another big company on the London Stock Exchange during the last quarter of this year.

With regard to the government’s IPO programme, sources at Hermes said the offering has been heavily promoted, but some legal procedures are being finalised, expecting to announce the offering soon.

Hermes is also competing for offering a stake in Abu Qir Fertilizer Company, which is expected to be implemented in 2020.

In terms of acquisitions, Hermes is close to execute about three new deals in the next few months, including a deal for a large desalination company.

Hermes reported earnings of EGP 304m in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019 on operating revenues of EGP 1.1bn. The group’s total assets stood at EGP 38.6bn at the end of Q2 of 2019.

“Another buoyant quarter for EFG Hermes, with the Group growing its bottom line by roughly 50% for Q2 and the first half (H1) of the year. The Group’s net profits crossed EGP 300m for another quarter, reporting a net profit after tax and minority interest of EGP 304m in 2Q19, up 49% year-over-year, driven by higher net profit reported by the Investment Bank and the NBFIs,” the group said in a statement.

It added that the group’s revenues increased 13% y-o-y to reach EGP 1.1bn in 2Q19, driven by strong revenue growth delivered by the NBFIs platform, which contribution to the group’s revenues reached 31% in 2Q19.

Fees and commissions, which represented 75% of the Group revenues in 2Q19, rose 15% y-o-y to EGP 784m, underpinned by Tanmeyah’s robust revenue growth.

Moreover, it added that the NBFIs platform continues to deliver strong results, with its revenues climbing 73% y-o-y to EGP 322m in 2Q19. Tanmeyah was the main contributor to that growth with its revenues increasing 83% y-o-y to EGP 275m in 2Q19.

Sell-side revenues inched up 4% y-o-y to EGP 364m in 2Q19, on higher brokerage revenues and despite lower investment banking revenues.

Furthermore, the buy-side revenues declined 31% y-o-y to EGP 98m in 2Q19, despite private equity’s revenues climbing on higher management fees, as asset management revenues declined on lower incentive fees.

Capital markets and treasury operations revenue contribution to the Group’s total revenues came at 25% in 2Q19, with its revenues increasing 6% y-o-y to EGP 267m. Revenues were supported by net interest earned.

Hermes noted that the increase in the Group’s operating expenses was confined to a single digit, increasing 9% y-o-y to EGP 672m in 2Q19, on higher employee expenses and other operating expenses related to Tanmeyah’s headcount expansion, the increase in its portfolio and higher number of branches as compared to a year earlier. Moreover, employee expenses to operating revenues came at 45% in 2Q19.

The group’s revenue growth surpassing the increase in expenses, for a second quarter, thus reporting a net operating profit of EGP 379m, up 21% y-o-y in 2Q19 and a net operating profit margin of 36%.

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TMG’s sales score EGP 11.7bn in 1H2019, shares up 37% https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/tmgs-sales-score-egp-11-7bn-in-1h2019-shares-up-37/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 08:30:32 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705252 Naeem expects cooling down of sales in Celia during 2019

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Revenues of Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) grew during the first half (H1) of this year by 25% to reach EGP 4.9bn compared to EGP 3.9bn in the corresponding six months of 2018. The company’s real estate revenues amounted to EGP 3bn, up from EGP 2.8bn in the comparison period.

The group’s total sales during H1 of 2019 reached EGP 11.7bn against EGP 12.9bn in the same period last year, including EGP 1bn deal of selling four schools in Rehab and Madinaty cities.

The balance of selling TMG’s clubs’ memberships and units reached EGP 48bn in H1 of 2019 against EGP 38bn in 2018. These sales will be marked as revenues when the units are delivered to customers between 2019 and 2023.

The total share of the owner companies in the revenues of Four Seasons hotels at Nile Plaza, Sharm El Sheikh, and San Stefano, as well as Kempinski Nile hotel was about EGP 784m.

The company achieved EGP 852.23m profits in the first six-month period ending in June, against EGP 774.2m in the same period in 2018, a growth of 10%.

During H1 of 2019, TMG stock rose by 37.1%, from EGP 7.9 to EGP 10.83, while the EGX30 Index grew by 4.6% only, which reflects the good performance of the company’s shares over the main index.

Naeem Research views that TMG’s preliminary results for the second quarter of 2019 are positive, with sales beating its estimates, on the back of successful launch of Privado which contributed alone by EGP 4.8bn of total contracted sales, despite the current market condition.

Moreover, Naeem expected a cooling down of sales in Celia during 2019. “We take note that more than 50% of 2018 sales were generated from Celia, TMG’s new mixed-use development located on 500 feddan in the New Administrative Capital; one of the best-selling projects in Egypt during 2018. According to our calculations, c.40% of Celia’s total saleable BUA was sold during the first six months of its launch. We expect TMG to ration the launches of the remaining inventory over the next two-to-three years,” it added.

TMG’s non-residential BUA sales amounted to EGP 2.9bn during 2018, versus EGP 3.6bn in 2017. Naeem expects it to amount to EGP 3.6bn in 2019.

Naeem continues to recommend buying TMG shares with a target price of EGP 13.6 / share.

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Eastern Company increases cigarette prices to cover fuel, electricity price hikes https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/eastern-company-increases-cigarette-prices-to-cover-fuel-electricity-price-hikes/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 08:00:26 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705255 Prices of the company's products to increase by EGP 1 after the approval of new tax, says Fouad

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Eastern Company announced it will increase the prices of some of its products in accordance with the application of the value-added tax (VAT) law, by rates ranging between 4.5-6% as of 14 August, excluding popular types of cigarettes, which represent more than 99% of consumption in the Egyptian market.

The company added in a statement that it was decided to increase the prices of all Mondial types from EGP 16.5 to EGP 17.5.

It was also decided to increase the prices of Black Label cigarettes from EGP 22 to EGP 23.

Osama Fouad, head of Financial Accounts Sector & IRO, said the decision was driven by the increase in production costs, especially after the recent hike in electricity and fuel prices.

He explained that the price increase, which was only EGP 1, will be imposed on two types of local cigarettes, and will be divided into 50 piasters to be added to the company’s revenues and 50 piasters for the state. Fouad said the price increase is not linked to the planned tax on cigarettes, which is expected to be discussed by the Parliament in its upcoming legislative round starting in October, to balance out costs and revenues.

Fouad revealed that his company will increase the prices of cigarettes again this year by EGP 0.5-1 for the pack, after the approval of the new tax, and the increase will be divided into 50 piasters in the company’s revenues and 50 piasters for the tax.

As for the rest of the cigarettes, they witnessed stability in prices, as Mondial cigarettes costs EGP 17.5, Black Label for EGP 23, Cleopatra Box for EGP 17, Cleopatra Queen Soft for EGP 16, Cleopatra Super for EGP18, blue and yellow Merit for EGP 42, L&M for EGP 29, and Golden West for EGP 22.

Boston Light Belmont costs EGP 17.5, Marlboro (Red-Gold) for EGP 39, Kent and Davidoff for EGP 37, Marlboro Medium for EGP 35, Dunhill for EGP 40, Camel for EGP 34, Lucky Strike for EGP 29, Rothman and Winston for EGP 27, Next for EGP 25, and Pall Mall for EGP 24.

Cigarette prices over the past five years has seen several increases, as President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued the Law No. 58 in July 2014, imposing a tax of 50% on the selling price of cigarettes for consumers; 175 piasters per pack on cigarettes whose prices do not exceed EGP 9, 225 piasters per pack on cigarettes whose prices range between EGP 9-15, and 275 piasters per pack on cigarettes whose prices exceed EGP 15.

After applying these increases, Cleopatra Box (Red, Blue, white, and silver) to be sold for EGP 8 instead of EGP 7, and the Super Star’s price increased to EGP 8.5.

In February 2015, President Al-Sisi issued a decree No. 12 of 2015 amending some provisions of the General Sales Tax Law No. 11 of 1991, increasing the value of the tax imposed on cigarettes.

Marlboro, Merit, Kent, Dunhill, Davidoff, and Camel were sold for EGP 23, while Rothman, Gauloises, and Winston cost EGP 16 per pack. The price of Next and P&S reached EGP 15. Prices of Viceroy and Rothman (a pack of 10 cigarettes) reached EGP 13 and EGP 8, respectively, while the prices of Cleopatra Golden – Florida paper (Light – Florida – Mondial – Belmont – Boston – Hollywood – Capital) reached EGP 9.

The price of Cleopatra Box (white, blue, red, and silver) reached EGP 9, while Cleopatra Black Label reached EGP 13, and Super Star reached EGP 10, while Cleopatra Box Queen reached EGP 10.

In 2016, the price of Cleopatra rose from EGP 8.50 to EGP 10.50; Cleopatra Queen from EGP 9 to EGP 10.50; Cleopatra Super from EGP 10 to EGP 12.50; and Boston, Light Belmont, and Mondial from EGP 9.50 to EGP 12; and Cleopatra Black from EGP 13 to EGP 16.

In 2017, the prices of cigarettes rose more than once. In February, Eastern Company raised the price of Cleopatra Box by 75 piasters as the price of white Cleopatra Box rose from EGP 12 to EGP 12.75, and increase West price by 50 piasters as the prices of red and blue West rose from EGP 14.50 to EGP 15.

In March of the same year, Eastern Company announced that it raised the selling prices of Cleopatra Box by 75.75 piasters, to reach EGP 12.75. Afterwards, in July of the same year, the company announced increasing the prices of two other types: Viceroy Light from EGP 17 to EGP 18, and Viceroy filter from EGP 17 to EGP 18.

On 21 November 2017, the Parliament approved a new price increase, with a tax of 350 piasters per pack, on cigarettes whose prices range between EGP 18-30, and 650 piasters per pack on cigarettes whose prices exceed EGP 30.

In July 2018, the price of Cleopatra Box rose to EGP 17 per pack instead of EGP 15.5, and the price of Cleopatra (regular) by EGP 16 instead of EGP 14.5. This type of cigarettes is the cheapest in Egypt. Additionally, the prices of Black Label cigarettes increased by EGP 3 from EGP 19 to EGP 22.

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Nine private banks in Egypt gain EGP 14.941bn net profits in 1H2019 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/nine-private-banks-in-egypt-gain-egp-14-941bn-net-profits-in-1h2019/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 07:00:38 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705253 CIB – Egypt tops the list by EGP 5.355bn profits, QNB Alahli comes second by EGP 4.217bn

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Nine private banks operating in the Egyptian market gained about EGP 14.941bn net profits during the first half (H1) of 2019.

According to the performance indicators of banks in Egypt during the last period, the Commercial International Bank (CIB) – Egypt ranked first among the nine banks surveyed by Daily News Egypt recording EGP 5.355bn net profits.

QNB Alahli came in second place with net profits of EGP 4.217bn, followed by Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt by EGP 1.376bn, Credit Agricole – Egypt by EGP 1.3bn, then the Housing and Development Bank (HDB) by EGP 1.07bn.

Other banks included in the survey were Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) – Egypt, Al Baraka – Egypt, Suez Canal Bank, and Union National Bank (UNB) – Egypt.

CIB – Egypt

CIB – Egypt gained EGP 5.355bn net profits in H1 of 2019, against EGP EGP 4.424bn in H1 of 2018, growing by 21%.

The bank’s profit before tax (PBT) was EGP 7.39bn in H1 of 2019, up from EGP 5.925bn in the same period last year, a growth of 40.4%.

The bank said in a statement that its net income from returns jumped by the end of H1 of 2019 by about 17% to around EGP 10bn, against EGP 7.853bn in H2 of 2018.

The bank’s revenues from fees and commissions fell 38% to EGP 805m, against EGP 1.296bn.

The bank’s capital adequacy rate stood at 25.82% at the end of H1 of 2019.

The bank said that this level of capital adequacy ratio supports the bank’s ability to cope with market volatility.

It pointed out that the ratio of non-performing loans reached 4.96% of the total loan portfolio at the end of June 2019, pointing out that the coverage rate of these loans amounted to about 200%, reflecting the bank’s ability to absorb any unexpected increase in the size of those loans.

In line with the bank’s risk management policy, CIB made provisions of EGP 795m at the end of June 2019, compared to EGP 1.291bn at the end of June 2018.

The total size of the loan portfolio at CIB – Egypt reached EGP 123.317bn at the end of June 2019, compared to EGP 119.503bn at the end of December 2018, up by 3%.

The bank’s deposit portfolio rose by 7% to reach EGP 305.563bn, compared to EGP 285.297bn in the comparison period.

According to the bank, its investments in government securities and treasury bills reached EGP 147.743bn at the end of June 2019, against EGP 157.744bn at the end of December 2018, down by 6%.

The total assets of the bank amounted to EGP 361.313bn at the end of H1 of 2019, compared to about EGP 342.461bn at the end of 2018, a growth of 6%.

QNB Alahli

The consolidated net profit of QNB Alahli reached EGP 4.217bn during H1 of 2019, an increase of 22% compared to H1 of 2018.

The bank said in a statement that the portfolio of loans and advances recorded EGP 142bn at the end of June 2019, after deducting the provisions.

The bank’s market share of total loans in the banking sector stood at 7.82% until the end of March 2019, according to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).

It added that the ratio of facilities granted to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) reached 22.3% of its total facilities at the end of June 2019.

According to the bank, the ratio of non-performing loans reached 2.76% of the total loan portfolio at the end of June 2019, which is one of the best ratios in the Egyptian banking sector.

The bank has shown good asset quality according to IFRS 9, the new accounting standard on loan loss provisioning, starting from 2019, while the coverage ratio for non-performing loans reached 171%.

The bank’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 19.5 %, with credit policies optimised and the bank’s investment portfolio free of any risk assets. The bank said its consolidated assets totalled EGP 253bn at the end of June 2019.

Customer deposits reached EGP 204bn at the end of June 2019, bringing the bank’s market share of total deposits in the Egyptian banking sector to 5.17% until the end of March 2019, according to the CBE.

The bank’s total loan to deposit ratio was 73%, compared to average 47% in the banking sector in March 2019.

Beltone Financial said QNB Alahli scored strong annual net income growth of EGP 2.2bn in H1 of 2019, an increase of 18.4% compared to the second quarter (Q2) of 2018, and 8.5% compared to Q1 of 2019.

In a research note, Beltone explained that this growth was the result of strong growth in net income from returns by 31.4% to reach EGP 3.5bn, which is mainly due to the increase in net interest margin (NIM) by 101 basis points in addition to the increase in average yielding assets.

Beltone said it continues to favourably view the bank’s planned growth in lending activities due to ample capital levels, with a capital adequacy ratio of 19.5% in H1 of 2019.

It added that QNB Alahli managed to reduce its investments in government treasury bills in light of the new tax amendments, which led to a decrease in treasury bills by 35.1% since the beginning of the year and used the excess liquidity in the interbank where it increased by 43.6% since the beginning of the year.

Moreover, QNB Alahli marked a decline in the cost of deposits by about 73 basis points on a quarterly basis, as a result of higher low-cost individuals deposits.

Beltone noted that interest margin on loans increased by about 40 basis points thanks to increased local currency lending.

Meanwhile, Beltone believes that the high cost of credit risk is not worrying due to the ample coverage of the provisions of non-performing loans at the bank by 170% until the end of H1 of 2019, in addition to containing the rate of non-performing loans at 2.76%.

Beltone stressed that the bank’s increased exposure to SME loans needs to be carefully monitored.

It pointed out that the return on average assets of QNB became stronger, recording 3.4% in H1 of 2019, its highest level since December 2009, resulting in a higher return on average equity.

Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt

The net profits of Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt in H1 of 2019 amounted to EGP 1.376bn, up by EGP 36.624m from EGP 1.340bn in H1 of 2018, marking a growth of 2.7%.

The bank explained in a disclosure to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) that this increase in the net profits of the bank is mainly due to the increase of savings by EGP 2.9bn, where it reflected positively on the bank’s employment of deposits, thus it increased its profits. This also had a positive impact on the application of IFRS 9.

It pointed out that the bank has achieved revenues of EGP 4.575bn in H1 of 2019 against EGP 4.168bn in H1 of 2018, up by EGP 407.874m, rising by 9.8%.

The total equity of the bank was EGP 11.989bn at the end of June 2019, against EGP 11.743bn at the end of December 2018, increasing by EGP 245.567m (2.1%).

The bank’s paid-up capital settled by the end of June 2019 at EGP 1.775bn, unchanged from December 2018.

Crédit Agricole – Egypt

Credit Agricole – Egypt’s financial statements for H1 of 2019 showed a 19.5% year-over-year rise in net profits.

The bank said in a statement to the EGX that it achieved net profits of EGP 1.3bn during six months ending June 2019, compared to EGP 1.09bn in H1 of 2018.

Net income from returns during H1 of 2019 rose to EGP 1.5bn, compared to EGP 1.4bn in H1 of 2018.

On a quarterly basis, the bank made a profit of EGP 610.5m compared to EGP 489.5m in Q2 of 2018.

Housing and Development Bank

The Housing and Development Bank (HDB) announced that its total profits for H1 of 2019 increased by EGP 77.9m to EGP 1.07bn, against EGP 994.2m at the end of June 2018, up 7.8%.

The bank said in a statement to the EGX that customer deposits increased during the first six months of this year by EGP 3.1bn to EGP 37.2bn at the end of June 2019, compared to EGP 34.1bn at the end of December 2018, a growth of 9%.

The loans portfolio increased by EGP 1.2bn to reach EGP 14.8bn at the end of June 2019, compared to EGP 13.6bn at the end of December 2018, a growth of 9.1%.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank – Egypt

The consolidated financial indicators of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) – Egypt for H1 of 2019 showed an increase in net profits by 74.1% on an annual basis.

According to the bank, it recorded net profits of EGP 658.6m since the beginning of January until the end of June 2019, compared to EGP 378.2m during H1 of 2018.

As for the independent indices of the bank, the profits rose to EGP 601.2m during H1 of 2019, compared to EGP 368.46m in H1 of 2018.

Al Baraka Bank – Egypt

Al Baraka Bank Egypt’s independent financial statements for H1 of this year revealed a 30.8% y-o-y rise in net profits.

The bank said in a statement to the EGX that it recorded net profits of EGP 537.6m during H1 of 2019, compared to EGP 410.93m during H1 of 2018.

The bank’s net income from returns was EGP 986.27m compared to EGP 871.13m.

Beltone said that the financial statements of Al Baraka in Q2 of 2019 showed good growth in net income, recording EGP 271m, a growth of 27% y-o-y.

Return on average equity of the bank increased slightly by 1% y-o-y to 31.6% due to lower cost of risks.

According to Beltone, Al Baraka’s financial position continued to show good growth, with customer deposits up 8.9% YTD, up 5.2% q-o-q, to EGP 59.4bn in Q2 of 2019.

Net loans increased 1.5% YTD, down 0.5% q-o-q, to EGP 16.0bn until the end of June 2019, although it remained almost unchanged compared to Q1 of 2019.

It pointed out that Al Baraka has amended the employment of its assets after the implementation of the new income tax law, which led to the fall of treasury bill investments by 61.3% since the beginning of the year.

The bank’s asset quality remains a concern as non-performing loans (NPL) registered 7.7% until the end of June 2019, up from 7.3% and 4.3% in Q1 of 2019 and Q4 of 2018, respectively, while NPL coverage saw a decline, recording 96.3% compared to 162%.

Suez Canal Bank

Suez Canal Bank’s financial statements for H1 of 2019 showed a 12% y-o-y rise in profits.

According to the bank, it made net profits of EGP 235.4m in the six-month period ending in June 2019, compared to EGP 210.05m in the same period of 2018.

The bank’s net income from returns increased to EGP 620.8m during H1 of 2019, compared to EGP 415.5m in H1 of 2018.

On a quarterly basis, the bank’s profits rose to EGP 106.9m, compared to EGP 94.78m in Q2 of 2018.

Hussein Refaey, chairperson and managing director of Suez Canal Bank, said that the total budget reached EGP 51.6bn in June 2019, a growth of EGP 4bn (9%) from December 2018.

Refaey added that the growth was supported by an increase in customer deposits by 16% to EGP 44.9bn in June 2019, compared to EGP 38.6bn in December 2018.

He pointed out that the bank’s loans portfolio increased by 4% to about EGP 14.1bn in June 2019 against EGP 13.5bn in December 2018.

Union National Bank – Egypt

The financial statements of the Union National Bank (UNB) – Egypt during H1 of 2019 showed that its profits increased by 40.5 %, y-o-y.

The bank said in a statement to the EGX that it made net profits of EGP 191.4m during the six-month period ended June 2019, compared to EGP 136.2m in H1 of 2018.

The bank’s net income from returns rose to EGP 462.2m in H1 of 2019, compared to EGP 435.3m in H1 2018.

On a quarterly basis, the bank made net profits of EGP 81.7m, compared to EGP 76.16m in Q2 of 2018.

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Mubasher International Securities launches a new version of trading app https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/mubasher-international-securities-launches-a-new-version-of-trading-app/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 06:30:44 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705245 "These updates will increase the level of trading through the app by adding the latest technologies in the world," said Ehab Rashad, vice-chairperson of Mubasher International Securities.

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Mubasher International for Securities has launched additional updates for its mobile trading app MTrade Plus, the company announced on Saturday.

“These updates will increase the level of trading through the app by adding the latest technologies in the world,” said Ehab Rashad, vice-chairperson of Mubasher International Securities.

Additional updates include a ‘watch list’ providing real-time quotes, online trading, news and announcements. In order to keeping users in touch with the mobility of the financial market, such as the availability of all shares traded on the EGX 30 Index, the possibility of sorting shares in any watch list and the possibility of selecting a particular sector to show stocks in it, as well as the possibility of View stocks in Nile Stock Exchange.

The MTrade Plus application provides the user with additional updates, including the possibility of a comprehensive analysis of the performance of the portfolio and analysis of profits and losses in addition to displaying a chart of the performance of the portfolio and comparing them with the main index, as well as providing the user with a summary of transactions, which contains a summary of all the financial values of buying or selling stocks and deposits and withdrawals. It also displays the final value of the available balance.

Now, users of the application can take advantage of the list of recommended stocks, which displays the recommended stocks for the user during the last six months as well as the relevant news, research, trading consulting and technical signals for those stocks are now displayed in alerts.

MTrade Plus users will also get an overview of the market and key information such as the value of trades, volume of trades, day-to-day trades, as well as an overview of the various sectors according to trading value and market capitalization.

Furthermore, the app users can now view the top stocks in terms of technical analysis, fundamental analysis and performance.

As for the settings, the user will be able to control which notifications they receive from the app on their phone or email to including search notifications, watchlist notifications and market alerts.

A new feature added to the confidentiality of MTrade Plus users is the ability to log in via a smartphone’s fingerprint instead of entering a username and password.

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EGP likely to strengthen further over next 6 months: Fitch Solutions https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/egp-likely-to-strengthen-further-over-next-6-months-fitch-solutions/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 06:00:47 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705246 Budget deficit will narrow to 6.9% of GDP in FY2019/20, government debt remains high

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The Egyptian pound (EGP) will most likely see some further strength over the next 6

months, building on its 3.9% appreciation the dollar in the year-to-date, according to Fitch Solutions in its “Africa Monitor: North Africa” report recently released.

The report forecasts that EGP will make further gains against the dollar in 2019, ending the year at EGP 17 against the US dollar, down from EGP17.16 per US dollar at the time of preparing the report. However, the Egyptian currency will face some further upside pressure as the real interest

rate gap between Egypt and the US widens over the coming months.

Furthermore, Fitch Solution believes that since the devaluation, the impact of these movements has been dulled by the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) use of a ‘repatriation mechanism’ – a facility that pays guaranteed foreign currency returns to debt investors from a dedicated share of currency reserves.

With this facility being eliminated for new investors since 4 December 2018, Fitch Solutions expects changes to Egypt’s real interest rate to begin having a more material impact on currency inflows.

“CBE likely to step in to avoid a strong appreciation that could increase import demand and

damage the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector,” the report asserted.

The pound is likely to slowly depreciate from 2020 onwards as real rates once again become

less attractive vis-à-vis the US, the report mentioned, adding that the pound’s long-term depreciation to be gradual, forecasting it to finish at EGP 17.30 against US dollar in 2020, just 1.8% lower than end-2019 forecast.

Moreover, the report cites that trade tensions would continue to pose a danger to global growth, with the US Trump administration once again hardening its rhetoric against both China and the EU after months of relative calm.

Increased punitive measures could spark another bout of risk-off sentiment, which would hit emerging markets especially hard. Fitch Solutions expects that this would trigger some degree of capital flight from Egypt (especially of volatile short-term debt instruments) and exert downside pressure on the pound.

Moreover, the report expected Egypt’s fiscal deficit to continue to narrow over the FY2019/20, noting, “We expect the budget shortfall for the fiscal year (ending June 30 2019) to come in at 8.5% of GDP. This is 0.6% points (pp) above our previous forecast, a revision we made due to the

government’s decision to substantially hike public sector wages in February.”

Fitch Solutions believes the deficit will narrow to 6.9% of GDP in FY2019/20 – well below the average of 10.2% observed between FY 2008/09 and 2017/18 – while the primary balance will remain positive.

According to the report spending restraint will contribute the most to the deficit’s reduction, citing the government decision to implement another round of subsidy cuts in mid-2019, targeting petrol, diesel, kerosene and fuel oil which will bring domestic fuel prices in line with international ones.

The government expects these measures to reduce fuel subsidy costs by EGP 36bn in FY2019/20 – equivalent to 4.1% of total non-interest spending in the previous year – implying substantial savings, said the report.

On the other hand, strong revenue growth will also help slim deficits down, the report mentioned, noting, “the Egyptian economy continues to grow apace and we forecast real GDP growth to come in at 5.4% in FY2019/20, slightly above the 5.3% recorded in the past fiscal year.”

However, Egypt’s government debt remains high, standing at 89.5% of GDP by end FY 2017/18, while most of the government’s debt (50.6%) has a maturity of or below one year, the report said.

Tax revenues should continue to grow at a healthy clip in FY2019/20, the report mentioned, adding that the government also plans to resume listing stakes in state-owned enterprises, with Minister of the Public Enterprise Sector, Hesham Tawfik, having said that, shares in eight to ten companies will come up for sale before end-2019.

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NI Capital to launch tender for HHD’s 15% stake offering bookrunner in September: sources https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/ni-capital-to-launch-tender-for-hhds-15-stake-offering-bookrunner-in-september-sources/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 22:52:36 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705236 HHD opens door for real estate developers to compete for managing company’s portfolio of assets

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Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development (HHD) aims to offer 14-15% of its assets on the Egyptian Exchange through public offering and private placement, Sahar El-Damaty, managing director of financial affairs at HHD, told Daily News Egypt on Saturday.

NI Capital will launch a tender during September for investment banks to choose the offering’s bookrunner, according to sources.

Meanwhile, HHD opens the door for real estate developers to compete over managing the company’s portfolio of assets and land.

Moreover, the Minister of Public Enterprises Sector, Hisham Tawfik, told Daily News Egypt that the prospectus to select the managing company will be announced after the company’s general assembly on 26 August. He added that the most important conditions in the prospectus are having good technical expertise in the field of real estate development and management of development companies, providing a management plan for the company during the management contract period, and finally the good solvency of the bidder to ensure the purchase of 10% of HHD.

The current market value of HHD is estimated at EGP 11bn, meaning that the strategic investor will have a share worth EGP 1.1bn.

Tawfik said that in the event of contracting with an alliance of strategic investor and real estate developer, the tender will include the obligation to submit any decision related to the disposal of the company’s assets to a general assembly as a netting contract.

Tawfik pointed out that the trade-off in the financial offers will focus on the percentage that the management company will receive annually from HHD capital for management services.

For her part, El-Damaty said that the upcoming general assembly will see the first steps of choosing the new management company by receiving the approval of the shareholders.

She explained that a committee formed by the Holding Company for Construction and Development (HCCD), the HHD, and real estate experts will begin to develop a prospectus for the management of HHD, noting that the experience will be a major determinant for the selection, whether the bidder is a strategic investor or an alliance between a real estate developer and a strategic investor.

She added that the process of offering 25% of the shares of HHD includes the allocation of 10-11% to the management company, as a private equity or an alliance between a strategic investor and a real estate development company,

The contractual terms announced in accordance with the general assembly’s call set the main objectives of the management contract to raise the company’s competitive capabilities, increase profits and sales, as well as qualify the current management structure and appoint cadres capable of leading the company after the expiration of the management contract, as well as the development of investor relations management.

The contractual conditions set the composition of the Board of Directors of seven members, including two members from the company’s management, two representatives of the HCCD, and three non-executive members representing the other shareholders. The management company is to commit to supervise the executive management and restructuring of the company.

The conditions included three performance indexes, equal in relative weight to reward management, with a minimum of 20% annual growth in sales, and 20% of minimum profit growth, and 20% minimum for the growth of the market price of shares, which will reward the company undetermined percentage UTD of HHD capital shares per index.

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Egypt allocates EGP 6bn to stimulate exports in FY 2019/20 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/18/egypt-allocates-egp-6bn-to-stimulate-exports-in-fy-2019-20/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 22:46:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705241 Country's non-oil exports record $13.037bn in 1H19, says GOEIC

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Egypt has allocated EGP 6bn in the budget of the fiscal year (FY) 2019/20 to stimulate exports through a new programme to solve the challenges faced by Egyptian exports, according to the Minister of Finance Mohamed Moeit on Saturday.

The allocated amount is divided into EGP 2.4bn in cash assistance, EGP1.8bn to be deducted from the exporting companies’ obligations to the Ministry of Finance, and EGP1.8bn from the allocations of stimulating exports to support infrastructure needed for exports, in order to ensure the presence of the local component in various industrial sectors.

On Friday, the General Organization for Export and Import Control (GOEIC) stated in its report that Egypt’s non-oil exports recorded $13.037bn during the first half (H1) of 2019.

The GOEIC has further explained that the agricultural export council topped the list of exporting councils which witnessed the increase, explaining that the agricultural exports hiked to $1.575bn during the first six months of 2019, up from $1.446bn during the same period last year.

“Followed by the exports of the Egyptian Export Council for Printing, Packaging, Paper, Literary, and Artistic Work, with the exports of books and artistic work hiked to $7.156m during the period from January to June 2019, up from $6.67m during the same period in 2018,” according to the report.

The report noted that the exports of the Food Export Council came third, in which the exports of food industries recorded $1.559bn during the H1 of 2019, compared to $1.469bn during the same period of last year.

Then came in the fourth place the exports of the ready-made garments in which it rose to $800m during the H1 of 2019, then came in the fifth place the exports of medical industries reached $261m during the same period.

On the other hand, the minister said that the government has allocated also EGP 5bn in the budget to establish 13 industrial complexes.

He assured that the government is paying special attention to the small, medium and micro enterprises, noting that the new draft law for the small, medium, and micro enterprises, includes tax and customs incentives; explaining that this vital sector plays a great role in supporting the national economy.

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Egypt targets to reduce public debt-to-GDP to pre-2011 level by end of FY2021/22 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/egypt-targets-to-reduce-public-debt-to-gdp-to-pre-2011-level-by-end-of-fy2021-22/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 19:26:40 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705239 Ratio aimed to reach 77.5% by end-June 2022

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The Ministry of Finance announced that the government aims to decrease the public debt-to-GDP ratio gradually over the next three years, to reach less than its level in 2011 by the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2021/22, the ministry stated in a press statement.

It added that the government targets to reduce the public debt-to-GDP to record 77.5% by the end of June 2022, which will subsequently ease the burden on the country’s debt service bill.

“The reduction in Egypt’s debt will help the government to allocate more funds to human development requirements, including education and health sectors,” the ministry stated.

It continued that the reduction of Egypt’s debt will also help the country in achieving higher growth rates, in addition to creating more jobs, which will subsequently improve the living standards for the citizens.   

The ministry mentioned that the government succeeded in reducing the public debt-to-GDP ratio from 108% in June 2017 to 98% in June 2018, then to 90.5% a year later.

It continued that the government target to reduce this ratio to 82.5% in June 2020, and to decline further to 77.5% in June 2022.

The ministry assured that the government is working on achieving annual growth rates of at least 6% on average, along with 2% sustainable primary annual surplus until FY 2021/22.

A few days ago, the World Bank unveiled that Egypt’s external debt hiked year-over-year recording

$106.2bn during the first quarter of 2019, up from $88.16bn, an increase of 20.4%.

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Eight Greek companies to participate in Big 5 Construct Egypt 2019 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/eight-greek-companies-to-participate-in-big-5-construct-egypt-2019/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 19:13:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705234 Companies to discuss possible future cooperation with local counterparts, says embassy official

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Eight Greek companies will take part in the second Big 5 Construct Egypt 2019 to be held on 2-4 September at Egypt International Exhibition Center, Pantelis Gassios, counsellor for economic and commercial affairs at the Greek embassy in Cairo, said.

The Greek companies will hold business-to-business meetings with their Egyptian counterparts to discuss possibilities of future cooperation, Gassios added.

“Greece is, again this year, present at the second Big 5 Construct Egypt 2019 through a national participation, organised by Enterprise Greece Invest & Trade, which is the official Investment and Trade Promotion Agency of Greece, under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Development, that promotes export trade and facilitates private investment,” Gassios mentioned.

Daily News Egypt received the full list of the Greek companies that will participate in the exhibition. The list includes Kamaridis Global Wire, that will be present through Nikolaos Mpoutsikas.

Kamaridis Global Wire operates in panels, roll formed metal sheets, translucent sheets, purlins, composite slabs, wire products, tubes for construction hollow sections, concrete reinforcing steel, wire rods, wire mesh, beams, and merchant bars.

The list also includes Maris Polymers, that will be represented through Elias Kalampalikis. The company works in waterproofing systems, floor coating polyurethane & epoxy systems, coatings & sealers, joint sealants, adhesives, solvents, and various other products.

Mathios Refractories company will participate in the exhibition through Walid Abdulrahman. The company operates in the field of refractory materials, decorative stone, glass blocks, flooring materials, and thermal insulation materials.

The list also includes Planet Sol – M Charalampidou & Sia. Maria Charalampidou will represent the company that operates in the field of solar water heaters, tanks, collectors, floor standing boilers, components, complete forced systems, buffer tanks and big volume tanks.

Watera Hellas, will be present at the exhibition through Michail Metaxas. The company operates in water treatment technologies, systems, equipment, and services.

Aluminco, which operates in the architectural aluminium systems, architectural design screens, aluminium railing systems, aluminium outdoor systems, aluminium entrance doors & panels systems, and aluminium industrial profiles will participate at the exhibition through Effie Karras.

Interplast, one of the Greek companies participating in the exhibition, operates in the field of plastic pipes for use in water supply, heating, and sewerage systems. It is covering a wide range of applications in the areas of house construction, technical projects, and industrial facilities.

Temak will be present through Stahis Matos. The company offers expert solutions in the field of water treatment and fluid control equipment. The company also offers design, development, production, storage, installation, servicing and sales of water treatment systems, chemical products, and industrial equipment.

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14.5% increase in electricity selling tariff from NREA projects https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/14-5-increase-in-electricity-selling-tariff-from-nrea-projects/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 18:02:00 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705231 Electricity Ministry buys a kw/h from solar, wind energy plants for 55 piasters

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The Egyptian Electric Utility & Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptERA) has agreed to increase the selling tariff of electricity produced from the projects owned by the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) by 14.55%.

Sources at the Ministry of Electricity told Daily News Egypt that it was approved to sell the energy produced from solar and wind stations owned by NREA for 55 piasters per kw/h instead of current 48 piasters.

This increase is the second, as NREA used to sell the production of Zafarana and Kuraymat energy projects for 34 piasters which was increased in August 2018 by 41% to 48 piasters and was further increased this month to 55 piasters. It was agreed to conduct a study every year to calculate production costs and determining prices based on variables.

The sources explained that this increase will help NREA reduce losses it incurred due to previous low tariffs compared to the private sector projects, and pay its accumulated debts owed to the National Investment Bank (NIB), the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), and other entities.

NREA has settled EGP1.85bn of its debts to the NBE and the NIB until last June.

NREA needs EGP 150m to complete the settlement of its debts before the end of this year, bringing the total repayments to EGP 2bn. It comes in line with the Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli’s decision to resolve the financial entanglements between ministries and government authorities as part of the country’s economic reform plan.

The sources added that EgyptERA has completed the necessary studies to determine the mandatory percentage of renewable energy and its cost, provided that the cabinet is responsible for approving, modifying, or applying it to specific sectors.

The sources added that the percentage is determined based on the renewable energy capacities expected to be produced from existing plants and expected to be operated during the year, including the projects of NREA.

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Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib refuses to visit Israel https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/congresswomen-rashida-tlaib-refuses-to-visit-israel/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:58:19 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705228 “Visiting my grandmother under oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in” says congresswomen

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Democratic congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib announced that she would not visit Israel after granting the permission to enter the country, the permission which based on humanitarian grounds to allow Tlaib to visit her family in the West Bank.

Israel have prevented the two congresswomen, Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, from entering the country, after Tlaib send later on Thursday requesting for a personal visit to her my grandmother, who is in her 90s and lives in Beit Ur Al-Fouqa.

US President Donald Trump support the prevention saying “it would show great weakness if Israel allowed the congresswomen Omar and Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel and all of the Jewish people.”

However on Friday, Tlaib has granted been the approval to inter the country on the condition that she pledges not to promote boycotts against Israel. But she announced that, she decided not to visit her grandmother under what she described as “oppressive conditions,” which “stand against fighting  racism, oppression and injustice.”

She added that “Silencing me and treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” she said of her grandmother in Twitter “It would kill a piece of me.”

Commenting on Tlaib’s decision, Trump described it as obnoxiously, claiming that Tlaib request to visit her grandmother was “a complete setup.”

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Libyan Sebha’s airport re-opens for 1st time since 2014 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/libyan-sebhas-airport-re-opens-for-1st-time-since-2014/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:53:33 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705226 LNA strikes targeted GNA’s patrol in Murzuk Desert 

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Libya’s Sebha airport re-open to air traffic in 16 August, after five years from its closure in January 2014, due to security problems, the Libyan Airport Authority said on its Facebook page.

For the first time, the airport in the main southern city of Sebha has received a commercial flight which landed from Benina airport in Benghazi.

Due to the ongoing clashes between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Libyan National Army (LNA), the Southern Libya is suffering from insecurity and chaos.

The LNA announced in its Facebook page that the air force have targeted a moving patrol of the GNA, nine kilos away from the small town of Taraghin in the Murzuk Desert in 17 August.

In a different context, although the cease-fire truce proposed by the UN and accepted by the country’s warring sides, aiming to halt combat in the capital Tripoli during Eid al-Adha holiday. Libya has witness skirmishes in the past week.

In 10 August, a bomb-laden vehicle exploded in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, targeted a convoy for the United Nations Support Mission (UNSMIL), killing at least two UN security staff, injuring nine people including a 3-year-old child.

In 11 August, the Salahaddin area has been exposed to tank and artillery fire, whole three Grad rockets were also launched from southern Tripoli towards Mitiga Airport, and two rockets striked the airport causing material damage to the runway. However the third rocket hit a residential building in the adjacent neighborhood, injuring four civilians. Moreover Kasirma area north of Tripoli International Airport faced tank and artillery fire, there were  overflights by unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over the city of Misrata.

In 12 August, clashes took place in the Tweisheh area south of Tripoli International Airport, in addition to overflights by unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over the city during the day.

The UNSMIL announced in its official site, that  the truce was not respected in Murzuq, due to the ongoing clashes between the Tebu tribe and al-Ahali community, killing seven individuals and wounding 54 others.

The mission received reports in 12 August, about burned houses, looting and retaliatory attacks, which displaced approximately 5,000 individuals to Wadi Ettebah and around 200 to Al-Gatroun area.

In 15 August, the LNA has claimed responsibility for the strikes against Mitiga airport, which killed a security guard and injuring others, as well as the strikes targeting Zuwarah International Airport, which allegedly used for the Turkish drones, according to the LNA’s official Facebook page.

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Houthis claim attack on Saudi Arabia’s Shaybah oil field https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/houthis-claim-attack-on-saudi-arabias-shaybah-oil-field/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:51:08 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705223 The facilities attacked included a refinery and oil storage, Al Masirah said, citing a military spokesman. It did not say when the attack took place.

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Houthi forces in Yemen have made a drone attack on oil facilities at Shaybah in Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni movement’s Al Masirah television said on Saturday, according to Reuters

There was no immediate Saudi confirmation or comment.

The facilities attacked included a refinery and oil storage, Al Masirah said, citing a military spokesman. It did not say when the attack took place.

Shaybah, operated by state-oil company Saudi Aramco, is located in the east of the kingdom, close to the United Arab Emirates border.

The Houthis, who control Sanaa and most of Yemen’s other populous areas, have stepped up attacks against targets in Saudi Arabia in recent months.

In response, the Saudi-led coalition has targeted military sites belonging to the group, especially around Sanaa.

The attacks are said to complicate the UN led peace efforts.

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore a Yemeni government ousted from power in Sanaa by the Houthis.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

In a recent development, the Saudi-led coalition warplanes fired flares over Yemen’s Aden last Saturday near camps occupied by southern separatist fighters who last week seized control of the port city which had been the interim seat of the government.

The coalition renewed a call for the separatist forces to withdraw from all sites they have recently captured in Aden.

The seizure of government military bases by separatist fighters a week ago has complicated United Nations efforts to end Yemen’s war and has exposed strains in the Sunni coalition formed four years ago to battle the Iran-allied Houthi group.

The separatists, backed by coalition member the United Arab Emirates, are a major component in the anti-Houthi alliance. But the war has rekindled old strains between north and south Yemen – formerly separate countries until 1990.

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Gibraltar releases Iranian tanker, US wants it seized again https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/gibraltar-releases-iranian-tanker-us-wants-it-seized-again/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:47:34 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705213 Gibraltar authorities announced that Iran vowed that the tanker will not unload in Syria 

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The Supreme Court in Gibraltar ordered on Thursday the seized Iranian tanker “Grace 1” to be released despite the US request to keep capturing the tanker. 

Gibraltar authorities announced that Iran vowed that the tanker will not unload in Syria. 

Meanwhile, a US court ordered capturing the Iranian tanker upon a request from the US government. 

The Iranian tanker “Grace 1” was captured by the British Royal Marines off Gibraltar early in July, because of transporting 2.1 million barrels of Iranian oil to the Syrian regime in contravention of EU sanctions.

Capturing the Iranian vessel caused a political conflict in the Gulf region between Iran in a side, and the US and the UK in the other side, when Iran which controls navigation in the Strait of Hormuz responded by capturing British and European tankers.

Last week, London announced intention to join a proposed US military mission to safeguard maritime navigation in the Gulf. 

On Wednesday, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran and the other Gulf countries are able to safeguard the Gulf. Rouhani stressed his previous statements that there is no need for foreign troops in the Gulf.

Rouhani’s statements came just one day after the UK has sent the warship HMS Kent to the Gulf on Monday to join the US-led mission in the region.

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Ministry of Environment has a plan for “black clouds season” https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/ministry-of-environment-has-a-plan-for-black-clouds-season/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:45:31 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705219 Plan includes coordination with Ministry of Agriculture to collect and recycle rice straw

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Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad reviewed on Friday, her ministry’s plan to combat the black cloud and the preparations for the Rice harvest season and its impacts on the quality of air.

Egypt faces a cloud of smog every year dubbed “black clouds” following the rice harvesting, in summer months. The black cloud is a result of burning huge amounts of rice straw in the cultivated land in the Nile Delta.

During a meeting with the ministry’s officials, Fouad discussed procedures for combating severe air pollution periods. These procedures include coordination between governorates to stop activities that contaminate the environment, inspect industrial buildings, and prevent waste burning.

The plan also includes coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture to collect and recycle rice straw, as well as guiding farmers on how to benefit from rice straw.

During a meeting with the heads of the ministry’s sectors, Fouad stressed the importance of implementing the agricultural waste recycling system, to exploit the maximum available benefit from it through innovative tools and solutions.

The ministry is working on setting rules to enable youth and private sector to engage in the environmental sector, raising the environmental awareness, providing job opportunities, and providing funds for environmental investment, in addition to pointing out to stories of success in the environmental work. 

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Too early to estimate Nile’s flooding volume: Irrigation Ministry https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/too-early-to-estimate-niles-flooding-volume-irrigation-ministry/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:38:30 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705216 Three weeks ago, the ministry declared water emergency over expected drop in rainfall

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Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation denied the news about the estimated volume of the Nile River flood this year. Some Egyptian local media outlets said that the volume of flood this year will be high, which is not correct according to the ministry.  

In a statement on Friday, the ministry stressed that data and information about water issues in Egypt should be released only from the ministry’s officials. 

The ministry stressed that it is too early to estimate the volume of the Nile’s flood this year as we are still at the beginning of the water year which starts in August, while the volume of the flood will be estimated in October.

Egypt depends on the Nile flow (55.5bn cubic meters) to provide about 97% of its existing water needs with only 660 cubic meters per person, one of the world’s lowest annual per capita water shares. Meanwhile, Ethiopia is constructing the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is believed to threaten Egypt’s water security. 

Three weeks ago, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation announced that the rainfall in the upstreams of the river Nile will be declined by the end of the current water year, decreasing Egypt’s share of water by about 5 bn cubic meters of water. 

The ministry declared a state of emergency over the water situation. 

The ministry said that the Nile Forecast Center (NFC) has reviewed, analysed and evaluated the flood situation over the years through mathematical models, extrapolating the results and extracting predictions of Nile flooding as a major water resource in Egypt. 

Spokesperson of the ministry of irrigation Mohammed Sebaey told Daily News Egypt that the Nile Forecast Centre estimated the expected amount of rainfall in the upstream countries of the Nile river basin and found a decline in the amount of rainfall in the upstream countries where Egypt gets its water. 

Sebaey said that the Supreme Committee of the Nile Water Flow has set several measures as part of the national strategy for water to cope with these changes. He added that these measures include decreasing the amount of water used in agriculture by decreasing the area of some crops which consumes high amounts of water such as rice and sugarcane. 

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Sudanese army, opposition sign power-sharing agreement for transitional period https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/sudanese-army-opposition-sign-power-sharing-agreement-for-transitional-period/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:21:20 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705212 Prime Minister Madbouly headed to Khartoum to attend the ceremony

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Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Saturday attended the signing ceremony of a constitutional declaration for power-sharing between Sudan’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council, paving the way for a three-year transitional period following the overthrow of long-time leader Omar Al-Bashir.

The military council and the main opposition alliance, known as the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), have been negotiating the power-sharing deal for months.

The military council is formed of seven members, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Its most prominent member, however, is his deputy General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The driving force in the FFC has been the Sudanese Professionals Association, which rose to prominence coordinating the protests against Bashir. It has no leader or strict hierarchy, though top members include Mohammad Naji al-Assam and Ahmed al-Rabie.

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Al-Sisi inaugurates 2nd phase of water-preserving national greenhouse project https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/al-sisi-inaugurates-2nd-phase-of-water-preserving-national-greenhouse-project/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:12:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705205 President also opens factory for packaging of agricultural products in Marsa Matrouh

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi inaugurated 1,300 greenhouses at Mohamed Naguib military base on Saturday morning, as part of the national agricultural project, marking the largest greenhouse complex in the Middle East.

The second phase of the greenhouses project was established on an area of 10,000 feddan.

Defence Minister Mohamed Zaki, Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal, and other senior officials have attended the inauguration ceremony.

The first phase of the project was opened in February 2018 to grow agricultural products using less water for irrigation than traditional farming.

The project is part of the 100,000 feddan greenhouses project, including the 10th of Ramadan city in Cairo, Abu Sultan and El-Amal village in Ismailiya governorate, El-Lahun village in Fayoum governorate, El-Fashn town in Beni Suef governorate, and El-Adwa village in Minya governorate.

Meanwhile, the president also opened a new factory for packaging of agricultural products in Marsa Matrouh.

The project is executed by the National Company for Protected Agriculture affiliated to the National Service Projects Organization. 

Al-Sisi said that the new phase’s productivity is estimated at around 184,000 tonnes of vegetables annually.

The greenhouse projects will contribute to achieving food security and bridging the gap between production and consumption in the country, maximising the use of available land for agricultural activities while rationalising water usage, establishing integrated agricultural communities, providing high-quality products free of pollutants, and creating new job opportunities.

Last week, President Al-Sisi made an inspection tour to monitor the progress of the greenhouse project.

The president made some remarks on market control during the inauguration ceremony. He said that state cannot take side of consumers against traders and the opposite. He also highlighted when the state previously interfered to control prices of meat, the profits of small farmers were impacted, therefore the state’s interference should be balanced.

“We want all of us to move together to achieve balance, where consumers get products at reasonable prices while preserving farmers’ rights,” Al-Sisi said.

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Osama Rabie appointed new chairperson of the Suez Canal Authority https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/17/osama-rabie-appointed-new-chairperson-of-the-suez-canal-authority/ Sat, 17 Aug 2019 17:12:25 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705200 Yehia Zaki was appointed as the Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) per the decree. 

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Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi appoints Admiral Osama Rabie as the new chairperson of the Suez Canal Authority succeeding Mohab Mamish, whose term ended. Mohab Mamish, the former head of the authority, was appointed as a presidential adviser for the Suez Canal axis projects and seaports.

Rabie was born in 1955 and graduated from the Egyptian Naval Academy in 1977. He become commander of the Egyptian Navy in April 2015 before he was appointed vice-chairman of the Suez Canal Authority in December 2016. Yehia Zaki was appointed as the Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) per the decree. 

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First destination of EgyptAir’s sixth B787-9 Dreamliner is Beijing https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/16/first-destination-of-egyptairs-sixth-b787-9-dreamliner-is-beijing/ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 20:13:46 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705194 EgyptAir said the Dreamliner arrived to the Cairo International Airport from Seattle marking the last delivery of aircraft contracted between EgyptAir and Boeing since March. The $6bn deal was signed in 2018 for modernising EgyptAir’s fleet.

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EgyptAir, the flag carrier airline of Egypt, on Wednesday received the sixth and last Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jet, as part of the country’s deal with American company to support its fleet with new aircrafts of different models. The new jet’s first destination is set to be China’s Beijing on Sunday, 18 August.

EgyptAir said the Dreamliner arrived to the Cairo International Airport from Seattle marking the last delivery of aircraft contracted between EgyptAir and Boeing since March. The $6bn deal was signed in 2018 for modernising EgyptAir’s fleet.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has 309 seats divided into 279 seats in the economy class and 30 Super Diamond seats, which can turn into full-flat beds. The plane can fly for a distance ranging from 14,800 to 15,700 km without transit.

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Samih Sawiris lays foundation stone of El Gouna Cultural Center https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/16/samih-sawiris-lays-foundation-stone-of-el-gouna-cultural-center/ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 20:05:45 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705193 New centre to host El Gouna Film Festival in 2020

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Samih Sawiris, Chairperson of Orascom Development Holding, on Thursday laid the foundation stone for El Gouna Culture Center.

It is the second phase of the cultural complex in the resort city which includes a concert hall, a plaza, and monumental colonnades.

The centre is set to be create an iconic destination and cultural hub in El Gouna. It will also host El Gouna Film Festival in 2020.

It will include a concert hall and conference centre. The concert hall is expected to accommodate 600 persons and a 120-musician orchestra. The conference centre will include meeting rooms and VIP rooms to host seminars and conferences from across the globe, with a capacity of 2,000 people.

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Egypt’s IDA, Chinese SEU University discuss increasing industrial cooperation https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/16/egypts-ida-chinese-seu-university-discuss-increasing-industrial-cooperation/ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 19:56:42 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705192 The two sides discussed ways of boosting bilateral cooperation in industrial fields, promoting investment opportunities, and benefiting from the Chinese experience.

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Head of Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Magdy Ghazi, received a delegation from the Chinese Southeast University (SEU), including a team of university professors and consultants, headed by Wang Shengping who is responsible for conducting a survey on Chinese industrial zones abroad.

The two sides discussed ways of boosting bilateral cooperation in industrial fields, promoting investment opportunities, and benefiting from the Chinese experience.

The meeting was attended by a delegation from Jiangyin Changjiang Investment Group, affiliated to the Chinese Mankai Investment, to showcase the position of the company’s business with regard to the development of China’s textile zone in Sadat City, and discuss ways to overcome all obstacles that hinder the zone’s development.

Ghazi said that the IDA will submit a report explaining the situation of industrial zones in Egypt to be used in the study being carried out by the Chinese side and to present ways to develop those areas and promote investment in China and the Silk Road countries.

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Alexandria’s Summer Opera Festival kicks off Friday https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/15/alexandrias-summer-opera-festival-kicks-off-friday/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 16:14:57 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705130 During the inauguration ceremony, Abdel Dayem will honour the head of the Egyptian Opera House, Magdy Saber, along with a number of artists who have enriched the musical scene in Egypt over decades.

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While festivals, parties, and concerts reach peak season, Egypt’s Ministry of Culture continues holding summer festivals which give a chance for thousands of people to enjoy all possible music genres. The Minister of Culture, Inas Abdel Dayem, is to inaugurate Alexandria’s Summer Opera Festival on Friday at Sayed Darwish Theatre.

The festival kicks off with a number of musical concerts for both prominent and amateur singers. At the timeworn building which has witnessed the glory of the Mohammed Ali’s architecture revolution, the festival aims to spread the classic music among young generations.

During the inauguration ceremony, Abdel Dayem will honour the head of the Egyptian Opera House, Magdy Saber, along with a number of artists who have enriched the musical scene in Egypt over decades.

The minister expressed in a press release her keenness in raising the people’s awareness about all sorts of arts at different governorates, assuring that she targets youth mainly, as “they are the power of the future.”

She added that honouring artistic figures is the country’s payback to their efforts.

Veteran artist Samir Sabry will be among the hounoured artists.

The festival runs until 6 September with 10 concerts for several artists from the Middle East. Tunisian singer Ghalia Bin Ali will be among the performers on 30 August. From Egypt, singers Mohammed Mohsen, Khaled Selim, and Medhat Saleh are planned to meet their fans throughout August with the musician Amro Selim at the piano and his band.

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Economic, educational legislations will top fifth parliamentary round https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/15/economic-educational-legislations-will-top-fifth-parliamentary-round/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:30:03 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705123 MP Yasser Omar said the Egyptian economy needs continuous strengthening efforts, noting that economic laws are of great importance, most notably customs and taxes.

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Parliamentary members revealed the laws and topics of concern to be discussed during the fifth round scheduled to begin in October.

The planned laws included economic, community, and educational topics.

MP Yasser Omar said the Egyptian economy needs continuous strengthening efforts, noting that economic laws are of great importance, most notably customs and taxes.

“There will be a great attention to the laws related to chambers of commerce, businesspersons and investors’ associations, the revival of Egyptian industries, and other topics that concern the economic committee,” he added.

MP Mahmoud Mohi El-Dein, member of the housing committee, said, “We need a variety of laws, but we were asked in the last round to focus on laws offering public services, most notably the special housing laws and correcting rents situation.”

He added that among the important topics to be discussed is the amendment of Egypt’s old rent law for shops and non-residential purposes.

MP Medhat El-Sherif, member of economic affairs committee, stressed the need to pay attention to educational laws in general and technical education in particular because they are really essential for progress and renaissance.

“We need laws that introduce strategies to combat corruption and such legislation will be the key to the implementation and activation of all other economic, investment, social, and even sports laws,” El-Sherif said, adding that he demands more attention to youth through introducing legislation that will help them to find the right job and launch successful projects.

 

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New Alamein to host Amr Diab concert on Friday https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/15/new-alamein-to-host-amr-diab-concert-on-friday/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 10:00:55 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705120 The new party venue can accommodate up to 20,000 people in different categories ranging from regular to seated and lounges for corporate and VVIP guests. 

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Egypt Calendar, entertainment event organiser, revealed that the long awaited summer concert of Egyptian singer Amr Diab will be held on Friday 16 August at the Music Arena of Al-Masa New Alamein hotel.

The new party venue can accommodate up to 20,000 people in different categories ranging from regular to seated and lounges for corporate and VVIP guests. 

The super concert has over the years earned the status of being the most prominent landmark in the Egyptian summer music scene, and this year is no exception with fans awaiting new releases from Amr Dian’s latest Album “Ana Gheir” (I’m Unique). 

Egypt Calendar has strategically placed this year’s concert just a week after Jennifer Lopez’s historic performance in Alamein and the mega concert by the international American DJ Russ that had the youth flocking in from all over Egypt and the region. 

Egypt Calendar has set a goal to promote Egypt through big events and concerts. The one-year-old project has gained momentum and made headlines when they hosted “French Montana” in Cairo earlier together with other international names. The “Secret Calendar” with megastars and concerts in the pipeline is yet to be revealed but already this is turning to be one of the hottest summers in the North Cost of Egypt and it is transforming the resort area into the newest trend of the region.

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Egypt calls on UN to engage in dialogue with Libyan elected representatives https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/15/egypt-calls-on-un-to-engage-in-dialogue-with-libyan-elected-representatives/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 09:30:46 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705118 Egypt urged all Libyan parties to take a clear stance and be far away from terrorist and criminal groups, he said, condemning the recent suicide blast in Benghazi and expressing his condolences to the victims' families.

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Egypt has called on the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to further cooperate and engage in dialogue with the Libyan elected representatives to crystallise a roadmap that is required for getting over the current crisis in the country, according to a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

Cairo also lauded the recent humanitarian truce declared by Libyan parties on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, which it considers a step on the right track for building confidence among them, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Hafez said on Tuesday.

Egypt reiterated that a comprehensive political solution remains the only way for restoring stability in Libya, Hafez added.

The spokesperson called for initiating an inclusive settlement process in Libya based on addressing all fundamental issues in a comprehensive way, atop of which is achieving justice in distributing resources in the North African country and proceeding with efforts for unifying state institutions as well as disarming militias.

Egypt urged all Libyan parties to take a clear stance and be far away from terrorist and criminal groups, he said, condemning the recent suicide blast in Benghazi and expressing his condolences to the victims’ families.

Earlier this week, a car bomb explosion in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi killed three UN staff members and two other mission members, the United Nations said.

The attack came as the United Nations was brokering a truce in the capital Tripoli, where the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) launched a surprise attack in April, part of the chaos in Libya since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

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July’s Inflation reading heralds interest rates cut at CBE’s next meeting: Beltone https://dailynewsegypt.com/2019/08/15/julys-inflation-reading-heralds-interest-rates-cut-at-cbes-next-meeting-beltone/ Thu, 15 Aug 2019 09:00:51 +0000 https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/?p=705115 Inflation continued to slow in July despite subsidy reforms influenced by its reading in the comparative period and its low reading in June

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Beltone Financial said July’s inflation reading confirmed its view that the June’s record low of 9.4%, despite its temporary nature, provided sufficient support for the expected inflationary pressures, which will have a strong impact on inflation readings during the second half of 2019.

Beltone indicated a possible 100bp cut in the interest rate at the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Monetary Policy Committee meeting on 22 August.

Egypt’s year-over-year (y-o-y) inflation slowed by 8.7% in July, down from Beltone’s forecast and June’s reading of 9.4%, as monthly inflation rose 1.8% versus expectations for a 2.5% rise and monthly inflation cut in May of 0.8%.

According to Beltone, the slowdown in the annual inflation reading was supported by a slight increase in food prices by 9%, compared to 10.3% in June, due to the monthly increase in food prices by 0.8%, which came in accordance with the investment bank’s expectations of a slight impact of high fuel prices on consumer goods.

Meanwhile, the housing, utilities, and transport sectors saw an increase of 9.8% and 8.7% y-o-y, reflecting the new 18% average increase in fuel and electricity prices at the beginning of July.

It added that although the two sectors are experiencing the highest increase on a monthly basis, their low CPI (3.3%) contributed to a slight rise in overall inflation on a monthly basis.

The catalysts from the comparative periods and the pound’s strength are expected to continue to support good annual inflation readings until the end of the year, which will keep inflation rates within the CBE target range at 9% (±3%) by the end of 2020, especially in the absence of factors affecting prices and inflation in next period. It pointed out that domestic fuel prices will be reviewed by the end of September 2019. It is also expected that prices will remain unchanged following the strength of the pound, in addition to the current decline in fuel prices below the budget price set at $67 a barrel.

Beltone believes that the US Federal Reserve’s rate cut by 0.25% to the 2-2.25% range on 31 July will support CBE’s resumption of its monetary easing policy. With regard to the second most important element of the interest rate decision.

Beltone expects treasury yields to remain attractive even after interest rate cuts, supported by a strong Egyptian pound and higher real interest rates due to slowing inflation.

It pointed out that among emerging markets with similar returns, Egypt is still characterised by improved macroeconomic indicators and GDP growth of +5%.

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