Daily News Egypt https://dailynewsegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:32:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Saudi hospitality market to watch major upcoming developments: Colliers International https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/saudi-hospitality-market-watch-major-upcoming-developments-colliers-international/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/saudi-hospitality-market-watch-major-upcoming-developments-colliers-international/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 14:32:45 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634146 A report conducted by Colliers International for the hospitality market in Saudi Arabia has expected major upcoming developments in the next few months, which should enhance the market’s performance. The report has shed the light on the market performance in the big five cities of the kingdom in the second quarter of the year. As …

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A report conducted by Colliers International for the hospitality market in Saudi Arabia has expected major upcoming developments in the next few months, which should enhance the market’s performance.

The report has shed the light on the market performance in the big five cities of the kingdom in the second quarter of the year.

As for Riyadh hospitality sector, the market continued to slide in terms of revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the three months ended in June.

The report attributed the drop in revenues to a fall in demand and continued rate sensitivity from the key corporations and governmental segments.

But the report also noted that the market outlook in the capital city could be on an upward trend, driven by new projects like the planned entertainment city, which could spur the demand in the sector.

Moving to Jeddah, the report noted that the market showed resilience in Q2 despite a fall in terms of RevPAR.

The report expected Jeddah’s hospitality market to be the best performer in the kingdom, boosted by new projects like King Abdul Aziz Airport.

The market is expected to receive a boost from Eid al-Adha holidays, according to Colliers International report.

“The upcoming Eid holidays and school vacations in KSA, followed by strong growth in the Chinese market, will keep the RevPAR in line with the rates of last year without declines,” the report said.

As for Makkah, the report projected a market decline in the short term; however, the increased supply, improved accessibility via Haramin high-speed railway, and the expansion of the holy mosque are all good factors for the sector in the long term.

Colliers International is a global company in commercial and real estate services with over 15,000 employees operating in 68 countries.

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Elsewedy Electric reports 68% hike in Q2 profits on higher revenues https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/elsewedy-electric-reports-68-hike-q2-profits-higher-revenues/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/elsewedy-electric-reports-68-hike-q2-profits-higher-revenues/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 08:00:32 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634143 The company proposes cash dividend to shareholders of EGP 8 for H1 2017

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Elsewedy Electric announced its earnings for the second quarter (Q2) of the year, reporting a 68% year-on-year growth in profits on the back of higher revenues, according to a bourse filling on Wednesday.

The electric equipment firm posted EGP 1.5 billion ($80 million) in profits in Q2 2017, registering an increase from EGP 893.04 million ($50.3 million) in the corresponding period of 2016.

Revenues almost doubled to EGP 10.8 billion in Q2 2017 from EGP 5.86 billion a year ago.

For the first six months of 2017, the electrical components and equipment company said it achieved EGP 3.05 billion in profits compared to EGP 1.66 billion in the first half (H1) of 2016.

Standalone profits amounted to EGP 1.9 billion in H1 2017, registering a sharp increase from EGP 345.12 million in the corresponding period of 2016, according to the statement.

Elsewedy Electric had previously reported a profit of EGP 1.54 billion in the three months ending March 2017, up from EGP 768.7 million, including minority shareholders’ rights, in the period last year.

Elsewedy’s stocks rose to EGP 89.26, while turnover amounted to EGP 70 million.

Meanwhile, the company said its board has recommended a cash dividend to shareholders of EGP 8 per share for the first half of 2017.

Distributions will total EGP 1.747 billion, the company’s financial statement published on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) showed.

In June, a research note issued by MubasherTrade Research raised its price target (PT) for Elsewedy’s stock by 38% to EGP 119.32 per share from EGP 86.77, noting that the company’s backlog may be able to secure “impressive operational performance for two years.”

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Sakan Misr sells 8,463 conditions booklets in first day https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/sakan-misr-sells-8463-conditions-booklets-first-day/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/sakan-misr-sells-8463-conditions-booklets-first-day/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:30:46 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634140 In case of running out of conditions booklet, the ministry will print out new ones, says Housing Minister

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The Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, Mostafa Madbouly, announced that the sales of “Sakan Misr” conditions booklets reached 8,463 in the first day across 8 branches of the Housing and Development

Bank (HDB).
The minister assured that there is no need to contend or to worry about running out of conditions booklet as there are instructions to print new ones in case the existing ones run out from the HDB.

In the same context, he stressed that there is no privilege for those who bought the conditions booklet in the first day or paid the down payment early, meaning that those who bought the booklet on the first day will be treated as those who bought it in the last day, as a public tender will be held to determine who will win the units.

 

Madbouly added that the reservation can be done between 10 September and 5 October 2017 during the working hours of all the branches of the HDB. The applicants will deliver the reservation form and pay the down payment, which reflects the seriousness of the buyer.

The minister pointed out that the ministry released the conditions booklet on 15 August to reserve the first group of the project, which includes 40,000 units in New Cairo, New Damietta, Obour City, Badr City, New Minya, 6th of October City.

Madbouly said that to book a unit in this project, the applicant must be at least a 21-year-old Egyptian and to have not previously purchased an apartment or a piece of land from the ministry. Finally, the family cannot apply for more than one unit.

This project is suitable for a citizen whose income does not comply with the booking conditions of social housing apartments. It is being implemented for the first time in Egypt at a lower price than the middle-class housing project “Dar Misr” and in larger areas than the social housing project “million units.”

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Outstanding T-Bond balance registers EGP 679.76bn until end of July 2017: Finance Ministry https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/outstanding-t-bond-balance-registers-egp-679-76bn-end-july-2017-finance-ministry/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/outstanding-t-bond-balance-registers-egp-679-76bn-end-july-2017-finance-ministry/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 07:00:14 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634135 Bonds floated abroad reached $14bn, including $10bn issued in the last 7 months

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The outstanding balances from treasury bonds in local currency owed by the government recorded an increase from EGP 677.45bn at the end of June to EGP 679.76bn at the end of July 2017, according to the Ministry of Finance.

A recent report issued by the Ministry of Finance details two types of bonds in Egyptian pounds. The first is the coupon yield bond. Its balance stands at EGP 666.056bn, with an average return rate of 14.27%. These bonds were put forward from 12 February 2008 until 13 June 2017. The interest rate on these bonds ranges between 9.15% and 18.75%.

According to the Ministry of Finance, balances of the second type of bond, zero coupon bonds, are almost up to about EGP 13.7bn, and their average yield is 13.753%.

These bonds were floated between 9 February and 4 October 2016. The average interest rate is between 12.343% and 16.514%.

The repayment of the coupon yield bond balances will take place between 5 August 2017 and 9 May 2027, while repayment of the zero coupon bonds will be between 8 August 2017 and 3 April 2018.

Banks working in the Egyptian market are considered the biggest investors in bonds and treasury bills, which the government issues on a regular basis to cover the state budget deficit.

Treasury bonds and bills are proposed through 15 banks, which are the primary dealers in the primary market. These banks resell a portion of these bills and bonds in the secondary market to retail investors, as well as local and foreign institutions.

Aside from these bonds in local currency, there are more bonds on international markets worth $14bn. These bonds have maturity periods of 1-30 years, due to be repaid between 10 December 2017 and 31 January 2047, with an average interest rate of 6.514%.

Between 10 November 2016 and 31 May 2017, the Ministry of Finance has offered bonds on international markets worth $10bn, including $3bn in 31 May 2017, $3bn in January 2017, $4bn in 10 November 2016, and an additional four offerings between April 2010 and June 2015.

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Egypt to build a fast tram connecting New Administrative Capital with Greater Cairo https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/egypt-build-fast-tram-connecting-new-administrative-capital-greater-cairo/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/egypt-build-fast-tram-connecting-new-administrative-capital-greater-cairo/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:30:33 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634137 The project will accommodate 340,000 passengers daily

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Egypt’s Ministry of Transportation signed an agreement worth $1.24bn with a joint coalition of China’s AVIC International and China Railway Group Limited on Tuesday in order to build a light rail transit connecting new districts around Cairo.

The planned light rail is a fast tram, expected to cover a distance of 66 km and to have 11 stations, with a traveling speed expected to reach 120 km/hour, connecting the under-construction New Administrative Capital city with distant districts of Greater Cairo, including Al-Salam City, 10th Ramadan City, Obour City, Badr City, and Shorouk City.

Moreover, it’s planned that the light rail will be connected to Cairo’s metro, through Adly Mansour station in Al-Salam City, which is the final station on the third metro line. The project is to be funded by the Exim Bank of China with $739m through a soft loan, while $500m will be allocated from Egypt’s general budget.

The signing ceremony between Egypt’s National Authority for Tunnels (NAT) and the joint coalition of China’s AVIC International and China Railway Group Limited was attended by Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Transportation Minister Hesham Arafat, and Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo.

NAT head Tarek Gamal El-Din said the project will start within two or three months, expecting it to accommodate 340,000 passengers daily, reduce traffic on the Cairo-Ismailia highway by about 30 percent, and save Egypt around EGP 2.3bn annually.

Negotiations with the Chinese companies have been ongoing for three years. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi met earlier in mid-July with the Chinese coalition for negotiations over the key project.

The Chinese group said it would assign Egyptian contractors with some civil and railway construction works that will provide thousands of job opportunities in the country. The Egyptian contractors would be Orascom, Petrojet, and The Arab Contractors.

Furthermore, the project is projected to be initiated before the end of 2017 and is planned to be completed within two calendar years. The project will include 20 trams upon completion.

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Tourist demand in Egypt is increasing, recovery in a year: Rahlat.com official  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/tourist-demand-egypt-increasing-recovery-year-rahlat-com-official/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/tourist-demand-egypt-increasing-recovery-year-rahlat-com-official/#respond Thu, 17 Aug 2017 06:00:27 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634081 Infrastructure must be improved to meet the needs of Arab travellers, says Messo

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The founder of Rahlat.com, Ellie Messo, stated that the website’s statistics showed that an obvious increase in online searches with prominent destinations such as Egypt.

He added that the demand index for tourist destinations is rising now, which will impact tourism recovery in Egypt within one year or two at most.

Additionally, he pointed out that the company has many plans of partnerships with Egyptian tourism companies, which will benefit the interest of the Arab tourist as well as the tourist destination of Egypt.

According to Messo, Rahlat.com quickly achieved popularity, thanks to free services provided to Arab tourists to enable them to compare and choose the most appropriate and best destinations in terms of places available for tourism, air tickets, and accommodation costs.

The growing demand for the tourism industry is growing, and the number of passengers is increasing more than ever, necessitating serious and efficient handling to meet the increasing needs of the modernisation of travel and tourism technology, according to Messo.

He explained that the tourism industry faces challenges of adapting to modern tourism, and the Middle East in particular suffers from many problems, one of them being tourist safety.

“It is no secret that tourists are very sensitive to any tensions in the planned areas and will not forget the ordinary tourist terrorist attack and despite the scarcity of occurrence and take a re-confidence years. Look at Turkey, since the unrest that occurred a year ago, and Rahlat.com statistics showed a decrease of 50% in hotels and flight bookings to the country,” said Messo.

He added that it is not limited to a country without the other. This is a major blow to any industry, as well as the case in Egypt, which affected the frequencies negatively and decreased the demand on tourism.

He noted that many tourists need facilities similar to what they have in their homes when travelling. In contrast, many tourists see real excitement and pleasure in an experience outside the framework of what is customary in their lifestyle.

Rahlat.com cooperates with hundreds of travel agencies when comparing the prices of airline tickets and hotel rooms. The company’s services are mainly to provide a search engine to compare these prices to the benefit of the Arab tourist.

He said that Egypt is in a steady step in this regard, and the technological services in Egypt are very promising, which is necessary for the development of tourism, that is currently relying on technology mainly.

He added that it would require an increase in tourism applications or to improve infrastructure in the long run to meet the needs of Arab travellers.

He explained that high-speed and stable Internet services are the most basic requirements for all online services and for e-commerce in particular, as reliable payment options over the Internet are very necessary.

“The more people have access to payment cards, the easier it will be for travellers to benefit from price comparisons and to buy directly online, where prices are much lower because of high competition,” he said.

He pointed out that the company’s research department, when it comes to databases, generates a lot of data that results from searches carried out by Arab travelers on Rahlat.com. However, the official data revealed by the tourism authorities and authorities are of great benefit and are always welcome.

“We are an independent entity and we do not advertise any destinations, travel agencies, airlines, or hotels, and our strategy is to continue to deliver smart services to the traveler,” said Messo.

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Al-Azhar, ultra-conservative Islamist groups reject call for gender equity in Tunisia https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/al-azhar-ultra-conservative-islamist-groups-reject-call-gender-equity-tunisia/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/al-azhar-ultra-conservative-islamist-groups-reject-call-gender-equity-tunisia/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:20:32 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634108 Ultra-conservative Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamyia condemned the decisions, describing it as a violation against the Islamic principles and the teachings of the Quran

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Calls by the Tunisian president to impose policies that equate inheritance shares between men and women have been rejected by Al-Azhar and other Islamist group, describing is as an attack on the principles of the religion.

On 12 August, Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi abolished laws that previously put restrictions of marriage between Muslim women and non-Muslims, and which did not equate between men and women in inheritance.

The controversial law 73 was abolished by the president, who argued that in the current age several women travel and live abroad. Before the abolition of the law, Muslim women could not marry non-Muslim men. They can if the man converted to Islam.

Essebsi also mentioned that there will be steps to amend laws that are regulating the rules of inheritance, which are already based on Islamic Sunni teachings. The new suggested amendments will equate the amount of inherited belongings between men and women.

The initiative of the Tunisian president was described among secular and leftist parties and groups as a strong and brave step to enhance equity between women. Meanwhile Islamic Al-Nahda movement parties refused the suggested amendments and vowed to oppose them in the parliament.

Al-Azhar deputy Abbas Shuman published on Tuesday a note on his official Facebook page rejecting the suggested amendments, saying that “calls for equating between the man and the woman in inheritance are unfair, and clashes with the rulings of the Islamic Sharia Law.”

The religious official said that the method inheritance is driven from the religion and Quranic verses, where research is not allowed. Shuman also mentioned refuted the argument that the inheritance of women is less than that of women, saying that in some cases in can be higher.

He also commented on calls to allow Muslim women to marry non-Muslims, arguing that when this happens “the husband will not have the same religon as that of his wife,” which might cause the man to forbid the wife from practising her rituals ending in a marital dispute.

Ultra-conservative Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamyia condemned on Tuesday the decisions, describing it as violation against the Islamic principles and the teachings of the Quran.

“The Islamic countries are not dead to the extent that the president (Essebsi) is enforcing rules that are against the sole principles of Quran,” a statement from the group said.

It added that there should not be any acts of jurisprudence with Quranic verses. Jurisprudence is the act of exerting effort to research and conclude from the versus of the Quran.

The group also warned any Muslim believer against “violating any Islamic teachings, which are agreed upon from the cleric, and there are no area for opinions in it.”

Al-Jamaa Al-Islamyia, which formally supported former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and called for his return to power, has stated that it praises the stance of Al-Azhar in rejecting the calls of equity.

Similarly, the Salafist Call, the religious wing of the Salafist Nour Party, attacked Essebsi’s initiative “which calls for inheritance equality between women and men, and the question of marriage between a Muslim woman and an apostate.”

The group said that it was shocked to hear about the decision from the Tunisian Dar Al-Ifta. “Researching matters that are agreed upon in the Islamic nation is kind of messing around with religion.”

In Egypt there has been reported cases about inheritance disputes where women are banned from their share. There are not any official documentation or statistics about the numbers or the frequency of such cases. However, the Egyptian parliament have discussed intensifying prison sentences who are charged with violating inheritance shares.

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Honorary Italian consul visits Italian suspect in custody https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/honorary-italian-consul-visits-italian-suspect-custody/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/17/honorary-italian-consul-visits-italian-suspect-custody/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 22:15:35 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634109 Suspect accused of beating Egyptian engineer to death in Marsa Alam

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Red Sea General Prosecutor Sherif Tawfik allowed on Wednesday the honorary Italian consul in Hurghada and the lawyer of the Italian embassy to visit the Italian citizen accused of beating to death an Egyptian engineer in prison at Al-Qoseir police station, local media reported.

According to Al-Masry Al-Youm, the prosecution allowed them only to read the investigation and refused to let them take a copy of it. He also briefed the Italian consul, Alberto Barattini, on the updates of the case.

The Italian tourist was arrested on Saturday and accused of beating to death Egyptian engineer Tarek Al-Henawy in Marsa Alam in the Red Sea governorate, after Al-Henawy prevented him from swimming in an under-construction resort.

On Saturday, investigations will resume with the suspect.

Moreover, in contrast to what was posted on a Facebook account believed to belong to Al-Henawy on Friday confirming the death but denying it happened in a fight with the Italian tourist, the post was attributed to Hadeer, the daughter of the victim. Hadeer said in a phone call with TV station Al-Mehwar on Monday that workers at the resort in Marsa Alam told her that the Italian beat her father, who had a heart condition, which resulted in his death.

Hadeer added that her family accused the Italian tourist of killing her father.

According to article No. 1 of the law, which was issued by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in November 2014, the president of the state has the right to hand over foreign defendants to their countries in accordance with the high benefit of the state, after being interrogated by the prosecution, and after the agreement of the cabinet.

Lawyer Youssef Al-Metaany, who is interested in foreigner issues in Egypt, said that this article could be applied in the case of the Italian defendant.

Handing foreign defendants over to their countries does not depend on legal standards, but security and political decisions, and the relatives of the victim have the right to sue the Italian government and the Egyptian government, but such cases need the support of the public opinion, Al-Metaany explained.

Furthermore, the Italian government is to return its ambassador to Cairo more than a year after the Italian government recalled its previous ambassador, in light of the murder of one of its nationals in Egypt, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Italian minister of foreign affairs, Angelino Alfano.

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HC Securities expects CBE to keep interest unchanged on Thursday meeting https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/hc-securities-expects-cbe-keep-interest-unchanged-thursday-meeting/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/hc-securities-expects-cbe-keep-interest-unchanged-thursday-meeting/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 18:31:52 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634073 We expect inflation to return to normal levels starting from September, says Saada

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According to the research department of HC Securities and Investment expectations, the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will keep the pounds interest rate unchanged at Thursdays meeting, to take advantage of it until inflation returns to normal levels starting September 2017.

The MPC of the CBE will hold its fifth regular meeting this year next Thursday to discuss the fate of the CBE’s key interest rates, which is the main indicator for the pound interest’s rate in the Egyptian market.

On 18 July 2017, the CBE’s MPC decided to raise the overnight deposit rate, the overnight lending rate, and the rate of the CBE main operation by 200 basis points (2%) to 18.75%, 19.75%, and 19.25% respectively. The discount rate was also raised by 200 basis points to 19.25%.

As a result of that, the total increase approved by the CBE in its basic interest rates since the flotation of the pound on 3 November 2016 amounted to 7%.

According to Sarah Saada, senior macroeconomic analyst at the company’s research department, the government implemented a number of expected fiscal reforms in July 2017, which contributed to rising monthly inflation. However, these measures have improved market visibility and reduced concerns about the severity of the reforms.

In addition to that, Saada pointed out that the Egyptian pound continued to stabilise, and even saw a slight increase to record an average of EGP 17.90/USD compared to an average of the previous three months of EGP18.1 per US dollar.

On the other hand, the yield on treasuries fell more than 200 base points over the various time-limits from the July’s peak after the rate hike, which may mean giving the market more weight now for the possibility of the central bank reversing recent rate increases in the next few months.

According to Sadaa, the MPC of the CBE in its last meeting on July 6 2017 decided to raise interest rates by 200 base points after the rise of a similar 200 base weighted index in 21 May. She also pointed out that, the annual inflation accelerated in July to 33% compared to 29.8% in the previous month, with monthly inflation accelerating to 3.2% from 0.8% in June. The consumer price index (CPI) also accelerated to 35.3% year-on-year (y-o-y) in July from 32.0% y-o-y in June, and the monthly rate was 2.8% in July.

The government expects an increase in the Gross domestic product (GDP) by4.1% y-o-y in fiscal year 2016-2017 based on the index numbers, targets a growth of 4.6% y-o-y in fiscal year 2017-2018, even though we still think that increasing the latter will have a minor impact on inflation level, which is expected to return to its normal levels according to Saada.

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Nasr discusses $3bn cooperation strategy developments with AFDB  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/nasr-discusses-3bn-cooperation-strategy-developments-afdb/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/nasr-discusses-3bn-cooperation-strategy-developments-afdb/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 17:00:28 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634078 Final procedures for the $500m third tranche of the $1.5bn loan were discussed.

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Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr held a meeting with Leila Mokkadem, Resident Representative of the African Development Bank (AFDB) in Cairo, to discuss the latest developments of the cooperation strategy between Egypt and the AFDB.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in the $3bn strategy of cooperation between Egypt and the AFDB in the period from 2015 to 2019, which includes funding to support Egypt’s economic and social programmes with $1.5bn, in addition to the ongoing collaboration portfolio with a value of $1.5bn, to support infrastructure development projects, electricity, and small and medium-sized enterprises to create employment opportunities for young people.

The two sides discussed the $150m funding proposed by the AFDB for the Sewage Treatment Plant project in Abu Rawash in order to raise the standard of living of the citizens, as well as the final procedures of the signing of the $500m third tranche of the $1.5bn loan, which Egypt has already received the first 2 tranches worth $1bn.

Nasr stressed the need to expedite the implementation of various ongoing development projects in collaboration with the AFDB. Adding that the authorities’ top priority is to improve the investment environment, provide a better standard of living for citizens, and establish projects to provide job opportunities.

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Talks between Egypt and Israel on re-opening embassy in Cairo: Israeli media https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/talks-egypt-israel-re-opening-embassy-cairo-israeli-media/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/talks-egypt-israel-re-opening-embassy-cairo-israeli-media/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:50:20 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634075 Security arrangements are allegedly ongoing between Israel and Egypt to prepare for the re-opening of the Israeli embassy in Cairo and the return of its ambassador. Israeli media Haaretz reported on Monday that Israeli officials arrived in Cairo on Sunday, but The Jerusalem Post said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs abstained from commenting. Ambassador …

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Security arrangements are allegedly ongoing between Israel and Egypt to prepare for the re-opening of the Israeli embassy in Cairo and the return of its ambassador.

Israeli media Haaretz reported on Monday that Israeli officials arrived in Cairo on Sunday, but The Jerusalem Post said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs abstained from commenting.

Ambassador David Govrin was reported to have been pulled out in December over security concerns. However, it wasn’t until February that the news was circulated in the media, amid much ambiguity and lack of details on behalf of the Egyptian and Israeli sides.

The Telegraph had published a report in mid-February in which it said, “Israel quietly withdrew its ambassador from Egypt several weeks ago amid fears about his safety,” quoting unnamed Israeli sources, adding that the claims were confirmed by Israel’s Shin Bet.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson had even stated at the time that it had no information regarding the ambassador’s withdrawal.

In May, Yedioth Ahronoth said through its website that the closing down of the embassy, which has continued for several months, raised concerns among Egyptian officials, quoting one as stating that security worries and conditions brought up by Israel in order to have its ambassador return have been taken seriously.

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World Bank Delegation to visit Egypt on Sunday to discuss $1bn loan https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/world-bank-delegation-visit-egypt-sunday-discuss-1bn-loan/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/world-bank-delegation-visit-egypt-sunday-discuss-1bn-loan/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:12:26 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634070 Minister of Investment and International Cooperation makes arrangements to receive the last portion of the $3bn loan  

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Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr is holding discussions with the Regional Director of the World Bank, Asad Alam, to look into the arrangements to take place for a World Bank delegation’s visit to Egypt, from Sunday 20 August until 24 August. The visit aims to discuss the procedures for Egypt to obtain the third and last portion, worth $1bn, of the $3bn World Bank loan.

Egypt has already obtained two separate portions of the loan, which were worth a total of $2bn out of the $3bn total value of the bank’s loan. This loan aims to support Egypt’s economic and social programme for a period of three years.

Another visit is expected to take place in September, following the visit in August, to discuss Upper Egypt development projects and ways to enhance the investment environment.

Nasr’s meeting with Alam also included discussing the necessary cooperation in the field of investment policies and supporting the private sector in economic and social development in Egypt.

The Egyptian government received the first portion of the loan, worth $1bn, in September 2016, and the second portion, worth $1bn, in March 2017.

Egypt has entered into negotiations with a number of international lending institutions to counter its economic burdens and speed up its economic recovery process, where it was able to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to borrow a loan worth $12bn.

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50% discount on Suez Canal transit fees https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/50-discount-suez-canal-transit-fees/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/50-discount-suez-canal-transit-fees/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:07:56 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634064 Minister of Transport Hisham Arafat and Chairperson of the Suez Canal Authority and the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish announced the granting of proportional discounts for the transit fees of ships reaching 50%. Arafat said that an integrated plan has been put in place to develop the Egyptian ports and improve the maritime …

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Minister of Transport Hisham Arafat and Chairperson of the Suez Canal Authority and the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) Mohab Mamish announced the granting of proportional discounts for the transit fees of ships reaching 50%.

Arafat said that an integrated plan has been put in place to develop the Egyptian ports and improve the maritime transport sector, thus contributing to increasing the national income. He added that there is coordination with the SCZone and the Ports Authority to develop the logistics zones at ports to stimulate investments.

He reviewed the mechanism of adopting a comprehensive invoice scheme, whereby the fees of ships for crossing the Suez Canal are collected through a single bill that includes all the fees paid for all state agencies. These include the Ministry of Transportation, the SCZone, the Suez Canal Authority, and the ministries of finance, interior, and health.

Arafat pointed out that this item gets its fees in Egyptian pounds, and another item includes a second dollar part to an account of the Suez Canal Authority, along with a third item for port fees belonging to the Ministry of Transportation.

Meanwhile, Mamish said that the decisions will attract international shipping lines to the ports of the region, especially East Port Said in the north and Ain Sokhna in the south, and then increase the turnover of ships in the ports of the region, which will increase the operating revenues.

He added that they will also contribute to increasing the rate of handling containers and push investors to establish industrial activities in the logistics areas at ports.

He noted that the comprehensive invoice system consolidates the basis of accounting and prevents the difference in estimating loads and fees of ships at different agencies or duplicate fees. It also ensures the speed of settlement of any differences arising from the accounting for the provision of navigation services. This scheme will be applied in the first phase on the maritime ports of the SCZone.

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Al-Sisi, Bongo discuss boosting bilateral relations in Libreville https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/al-sisi-bongo-discuss-boosting-bilateral-relations-libreville/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/al-sisi-bongo-discuss-boosting-bilateral-relations-libreville/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:24:58 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634067 President invites his Rwandan, Gabonese counterparts to International Conference for Youth

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi headed to the Gabonese capital city Libreville Wednesday to hold discussions with his Gabonese counterpart, Ali Bongo Ondimba, according to state owned media.

Al-Sisi’s visit to Gabon comes as part of his four-day tour to four African countries that started on Monday with a visit to Tanzania, then Rwanda on Tuesday, and ending with a visit to Chad, as part of Egypt’s keenness on boosting its relations with the other African countries, according to a statement from the presidency.

The visit is supposed to include negotiations and discussions on boosting the Egyptian-Gabonese bilateral relations and issues of common interest, in light of Egypt’s membership in the UN Security Council and the African Peace and Security Council.

The visit is the first that an Egyptian president visits Gabon, while the first Gabonese president to visit Egypt was President Omar Bongo in 1973, two years before announcing the diplomatic ties between the two countries in 1975.

On Tuesday, President Al-Sisi held a meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Rwandan capital city Kigali. The two counterparts discussed boosting bilateral relations and achieving economic and developmental integration between Nile Basin countries, according to the presidency statement.

Al-Sisi asserted that the Nile Basin Summit, which was held recently in Entebbe, forms the beginning of an effective dialogue between the leaders of the Nile Basin countries to achieve the common interest of these countries, and Egypt supports the efforts of the other Nile Basin countries for development without harming Egypt’s interests, which depend basically on the Nile River for water, the statement read.

The Rwandan president stressed the common responsibility of all Nile Basin countries to preserve the Nile waters, which millions of people depend on as a main source for life.

Presidency spokesperson Alaa Youssef said that the meeting included discussions on regional issues, including the reformation of the African Union, and Al-Sisi asserted Egypt’s support for the institutional reformation efforts of the union in light of the responsibility of Kagame for the reformation topic. Also, the two sides agreed to continue discussions and meetings on the African level about this topic to boost the process of reformation.

The meetings also discussed confronting terrorism and extremism, pointing out the important role of Al-Azhar as a moderate institute in spreading the right Islamic teachings.

Al-Sisi praised the achievements of Rwanda in the last years, which boosted stability and achieved economic growth. He also expressed Egypt’s keenness on boosting cooperation between the two countries in all fields, especially communication and developing infrastructure, in addition to trade exchange, agriculture, power, and tourism.

Al-Sisi invited his Rwandan counterpart to visit Egypt to participate in the International Conference for Youth and Africa 2017 forum, which is set to be held in November and December. The invitation was welcomed by Kagame.

Al-Sisi also visited the memorial of the victims of the genocide in Rwanda and the museum which documents the genocide that happened in the 1990s, according to a statement from the presidency.

In July 2016, the president visited Rwanda for the first time during his presidency, to attend the African Summit. Egypt also received several Rwandan ministers to attend regional and bilateral meetings.

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Marsa Alam beach reopened as shark caught: Environment Ministry https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/marsa-alam-beach-reopened-shark-caught-environment-ministry/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/marsa-alam-beach-reopened-shark-caught-environment-ministry/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:13:54 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634065 Shark had attacked a young Austrian tourist

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Egypt’s Ministry of Environment said on Tuesday that it reopened the Marsa Alam beach after it was closed following the shark attack on an Austrian tourist. The committee of environmental affairs experts formed to study the incident caught the shark and checked it up, according to a statement.

The beach was closed last week on Monday by the Red Sea governorate following the incident.

Last week, the Austrian tourist Schachinger Kerstin, 20 years old, has left Egypt from Marsa Alam airport to Austria to receive medical care after being bitten by a shark during swimming and surface diving in deep waters, according a previous statement from the Ministry of Environment.

The ministry added that its committee collected data, photos, and videos of the incident and listened to eye witnesses and divers, in addition to recording snorkeling activities on the beach, finally finding out that the shark was a 1.8-2 metre long female shark with abnormal behavior.

The committee is still studying the behavior of the shark, and the ministry is taking all necessary measures in accordance with the international standards towards such incidents, the statement read.

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“Bent Al Masarwa” feminist band fund raises for their album  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/bent-al-masarwa-feminist-band-fund-raises-album/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/bent-al-masarwa-feminist-band-fund-raises-album/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 11:00:40 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634016 The songs are written from real stories shared by oppressed women in Upper Egypt, who have been subjected to different forms of assaults. 

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Egyptian society is full of unrevealed stories of women who are oppressed, forced into living in an inhuman circumstances, and subjected to different types of violence and assaults. Stories that “Bent Al-Masarwa” female band aims to voice through their songs. Believing that music is their only way to express their thoughts and anger towards the society the oppress women, “Bent Al Masarwa” band is launching a fund raising campaign aiming to produce their second Album.

The campaign aims to collect 12000$ in order to introduce the album, titled “Mazghuna” to light. The album  consists of 10 songs which describe Egyptian women in conservative societies, and the conditions they have to live under, which are usually in fair.

Through 3 workshops that the three band members conducted in villages in Upper Egypt, Marina Samir, Mariam Samir and Esraa Saleh  heard hundreds of stories of Egyptian females who have been subjected to different forms of oppression starting from poverty, sexual assaults reaching young- age marriage.

Photo by Sarah Mohsen

The campaign started Auguest 6, and so far it managed to collect more than 2000$ with the hopes that it manages to collect the whole amount before it ends at September 17.

“Each song of the album tells a story of the many heart touching ones we have been shared with 34 women who only seek their voice to be heard ad their stories to be told” Marina Samir told Daily News Egypt, “each workshop lasted for about a week in different unprivileged villages of Assuit, Aswan and Mineya [all located Upper Egypt]”.

 

It didn’t take much of effort of the ladies to open their hearts and share their shocking stories,  leading the three women into a storm of overwhelming ideas that lead into 18 final songs, from which they picked the final 10.

The album is entitled with the name “Mazghuna”, a word that belongs to ” Abu-Ghreir” village in El Minya governorate, where the first and biggest workshop took place. In their culture, “Mazghuna”, means “Mazghuda” which means the woman who was punched and silenced or “Masjuna” which means an imprisoned woman.

“We had the feeling that the name was perfectly expressing the whole experience, and stems from it,” the band commented in their account on Indiegogo, a fund-raising website.

Fund-raising in order to make their dream come true, seems to be the only option for the band to keep voicing other women’s stories to to world, especially because they face difficulties with producing houses.

“Most of the producers do not easily accept our lyrics or music, so we end up negotiating on an output that we totally love and accept the way it is. That’s why we thought that producing our own songs is the best way to do it” Samir explained.

 

While some look at the songs’ lyrics as shocking, the members assure they are not even close to the real stories women shared.

From the stories they heard, was the one belongs to a woman who was married at the age of 13, and her husband left her as a widow only one year after their marriage with one kid, “she had no access to education, or any potential to remarry again especially that her in laws forced her to live with them in order to keep paying for their living expenses” Samir said.

Photo Handout to DNE

Another story belongs to a female who only dreamed of continuing her education until she graduates from collage, however, because the village she lives at has no school, she had to travel everyday into the nearest school. Something that her parents prevented believing that it’s “shameful” for a girl to step outside her residency area, and she will never get married if people knew that her parents allowed her to do that. On the other side, her brother was allowed to continue his education until the end and to travel just because he is a man.

“The stories were heart breaking, we all shared the same misery, however, each on a different level” Samir added.

The band was firstly established at on of creative writing workshop for Nazra, a feminist studies center. After they wrote their first song together, the three girls decided to keep going as an independent singing band that states the reality of Egyptian women in songs.

In their first Album, they wrote about oppressing families who force their daughters into young marriage and prevent them from proper education. In one of their songs, “Oulo le Abouha” (Tell Her Father), the girls tackle the issue of virginity singing “Tell her father that her honour does not lay between her legs”.

Other than donating money, the band seeks their cause to be heard and to gain as much publicity as possible, with the hashtag of #FeministsSinging, they share their dreams of being those who fight oppressing through singing.

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VictoryLink offers Digital Solutions to help Egyptian entrepreneurs grow their startups https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/victorylink-offers-digital-solutions-help-egyptian-entrepreneurs-grow-startups/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/victorylink-offers-digital-solutions-help-egyptian-entrepreneurs-grow-startups/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:00:13 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634047 SMEs reported to contribute 80% to Egypt’s GDP

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VictoryLink, a fully fledged digital solutions company, stands in supporting and advancing Egyptian startups, working with small businesses in various industries, including real estate, transportation, and retail, succeeding to expand their presence, market share, and brand recognition.

Over 30 of VictoryLink’s clients represent Egyptian startups, and so the innovative digital solutions company affirms that more entrepreneurs are relying on smart marketing and advertising solutions to market themselves and launch a business off the ground. Startups are recognising the benefits of digital solutions and relying on them to achieve business objectives, so that, for example, a real estate startup started its implementation of digital services to require 10,000 mobile advertisements, yet in just a few months, it expanded to require 60,000 mobile advertisements and 24,000 location-based advertisement SMSs.

Egypt is becoming a welcoming hub for new businesses and entrepreneurship, and with the current open and empowering market, efficient marketing and advertising solutions are crucial tools to elevating and growing a business during a short span of time.

Based on the 2016 global entrepreneurship monitor report of Egypt, SMEs are reported to have contributed 80% to Egypt’s GDP, cementing the value of entrepreneurs in advancing the nation’s economy. Furthermore, 53.5% of Egyptians perceive that there are promising opportunities to start a firm in Egypt, with 63% of latent entrepreneurs intending to start their own business in a matter of three years. With such data indicating that the Egyptian market is encouraging more entrepreneurs to take risks and launch their ideas, established marketing companies are incentivised to champion startups through economical, productive, and intelligent solutions.

As studies demonstrate that Egyptians spend about 20 hours per week using the Internet, and 64% of online consumers use their smartphone while watching TV, the direction towards adopting digital and mobile marketing techniques is proving more results-oriented.

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Startups in Middle East need investments worth $50m in 2017 https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/startups-middle-east-need-investments-worth-50m-2017/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/startups-middle-east-need-investments-worth-50m-2017/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:30:10 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634014 16% of the startups in the financial technology sector are from Egypt

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A recent report issued by Payfort showed that the prevalence rate of smartphones in the Egyptian market reached 23%. The rate of bank customers compared to the total population reached 14%, added the report of financial technology in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

According to the report, Egypt is fifth among the spread of smartphones, behind Lebanon, where the prevalence rate of smartphones reached 48%, followed by Jordan, which has a prevalence rate of smartphones by 30%, followed by 27% in Tunisia, 25% in Morocco, 22% in Algeria, and 17% in Iraq.

The report showed a boom in the amount of investments received by startups in the field of financial services technology in the MENA region in 2016 compared to 2015. The number of investment transactions during 2015 reached seven transactions with investments of $15m, while the number of transactions during 2016 reached 10 transactions with investments worth $20m.

Nevertheless, startups are expected haul investments of $50m in 2017. The report is expected to bring the number of startups in the field of financial services technology to 250 companies in the MENA region by 2020.

Moreover, Payfort said that 34% of Egyptian financial service startups offer their services outside Egypt’s borders, putting Egypt in the third ranking after the UAE, in which 44% of startups are also operating outside the borders, and Jordan, where 39% of startups have external operations.

The report also indicated that the international growth in the field of financial technology pushed global startups to expand in the MENA region, noting that there are 20 startups from the US and Europe that offer services in the MENA area.

A survey was conducted by Payfort of business leaders in the MENA region on competition with international companies, showing that 44% of the respondents saw competition as difficult with international startups, whereas 17% saw it as very difficult and 39% felt it was somewhat easy.

According to the World Bank’s 2014 indicators, 63% of small and medium-sized enterprises in MENA cannot access funding, and the gap in financing small and medium-sized enterprises has reached $240bn.

Only 10% of startup companies are actually emerging, while, 43% of investments in emerging companies in 2016, amounting to $61m, went to financial technology companies, according to the report.

Egypt accounts for 16% of the startup companies in the field of financial services technology, after the UAE, which accounts for 29% of emerging technology companies, 14% for Jordan, and 12% for North African countries.

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Xiaomi plans to open 3 sales, customer service centres in September  https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/xiaomi-plans-open-3-sales-customer-service-centres-september/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/xiaomi-plans-open-3-sales-customer-service-centres-september/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 09:00:59 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634003 The company aims to expand its after sales services before the end of this year

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Xiaomi Inc., a privately owned Chinese electronics company, will open three sales and customer service centres in Egypt in September in an attempt to expand in the Egyptian market, according to Donovan Sung, the director of product management at Xiaomi.

In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Sung asserted that his company works expanding in the Egyptian market through focusing on price segments higher than EGP 3,000 for smart phones.

Sung added that the company will push its online sales through partnerships with e-commerce websites. Currently, Xiaomi has an agreement with Jumia platform to sell its products online.

What is your strategy in the coming period?

Our strategy in the company focuses on providing quality and sophisticated products to meet customers’ needs in the countries in which we are operating. Our company was launched only seven years ago, so we seek to expand in our services and products.

How did your company spread in such short period? 

Indeed, the spread of our brand in international markets was only three years ago, after our success in the Chinese market. For example, Xiaomi the Indian market, which is very similar to the Egyptian market in terms of culture of consumption and economic conditions, ranked the second in “Off Line” sales while it ranked the first in online sales.

Our online sales in the Indian market reached 40% of total sales, which encouraged us to expand in this market.

What is your market share in Egypt?

It is difficult at this time to determine our market share in the Egyptian market, since we launched our products only two months ago.

Why your company came to the Egyptian market?

Egypt has one of the top 10 mobile markets in the developing world, and we want to benefit from the growing demand in this market to present new and innovative experiences in the field of smart phones.

Our new products (Mi 6) and (Mi Max2) reflect our committed to achieving balance between performance, design and price. We are confident that our strategy will make our products highly desirable by smart phone users in Egypt.

According to studies, the Egyptian market has a large number of “young” users who prefer to communicate constantly via mobile Internet.

Do you have plans to establish a factory in Egypt, especially since the state encourages manufacturers to operate in Egypt in the current period?

The decision to launch a factory or a production line in the local market can not be taken before at least 3 years from our launch in the local market to ensure the market’s need for the production. For example, Xiaomi decided to launch its factory in India after two years of operation, due to the market’s high demand on our products and the good domestic manufacturing conditions in the country.

Do you have plans to enter the technological areas recently launched in Egypt?

Egypt is currently working on the establishment of a number of technology areas in several provinces to be the nucleus for the spread of technology in those areas, but there is no official plans to announce at the moment.

What are your marketing plans for the Egyptian market during the coming period?

In order to spread and compete strongly in the local market, we sell our products almost at the cost price, which will contribute to the spread within the local market. Our marketing strategy is different than other competitors in the market, as we depend on social media platforms which can reach a large segment of users.

Xiaomi was founded in April 2010 by ex-Kingsoft CEO Lei Jun, based on his vision of “Innovation for All”. The company believes that high quality products based on advanced technology should be available for everyone. The company is committed to innovating hardware, software and Internet services to ensure that they meet their customers’ expectations and needs.

Xiaomi is taking into consideration the views and suggestions of customers in the development of its products, which currently include Mi and Redmi smart phones, Mi TVs, IPTV packages, and other Mi products which include smart home appliances and accessories. With its strong presence in more than 30 countries and regions around the world, Xiaomi’s products are expanding into major markets in line with its growing confidence as a world-leading brand.

What is your target customers segment in the coming period in the Egyptian market?

The company will focus on price segments higher than EGP 3,000 for smart phones. We also have announced in collaboration with its distribution agent, Al Safy, to launch the company’s latest smart phones in the Egyptian market; (Mi 6) and (Mi Max 2) to meet the growing demand in the local mobile phone market.

What are your plans in terms of after sales services in the Egyptian market?

We are working to provide good after sales service because it is one of our competitive advantages against competitors, so we are planning to open three after-sales service centres in Cairo by September.

Xiaomi has agreed with Al Safy company to be the main authorized distributor for the company’s products in Egypt. We agreed to provide customer service and maintenance centres to cover customers in most parts of the country. We also aim to open new customer service centres before the end of the year.

Xiaomi also focuses on partnerships with e-commerce sites in Egypt, especially as it pays great attention to online sales. In this context, the company signed an agreement to make its products available via Jumia.

 

What are the biggest markets for Xiaomi?

China, India and Indonesia are the largest markets in which Xiaomi is operating. We will open soon a new centre for research and development in India, in addition to the main centre in China.

Last month, the founder and CEO of Xiaomi, Lei Jun, announced that his company registered a record number of shipments of smart phones, which reached 23.16 million shipments in the second quarter of 2017, up 70% compared to the last year. This achievement is remarkable, since Xiaomi is the only smartphone company in the world that has been able to resume its growth after experiencing a drop in sales.

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Falling inflation should pave way for prolonged monetary easing cycle: Capital Economics https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/falling-inflation-pave-way-prolonged-monetary-easing-cycle-capital-economics/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/falling-inflation-pave-way-prolonged-monetary-easing-cycle-capital-economics/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:00:29 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633978 Fuel prices need to increase by an additional 140% by 2018/19

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A recent research note issued by Capital Economics London has expected Egypt’s monetary policy to ease in the few coming months on the back of falling inflation.

Egyptian inflation rose to its highest rate since 1986 in July, but it has been pushed up by a number

of one-off factors, which will fade over the next six to nine months, the report noted.

“Indeed, we think inflation has now peaked and will begin to fall more quickly than most expect. This should pave the way for significant monetary easing,” it added.

Why should inflation fall more than expected?

Inflation jumped from a single digit in early 2016 to 33% year-on-year (y-o-y) in July 2017. This increase has

prompted the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to pursue a more aggressive monetary tightening cycle than many analysts had anticipated.

However, the increase in inflation has been driven by one-off factors. The most important has been

the devaluation of the pound last November, but a series of indirect tax hikes and subsidy cuts over

the past year have also accelerated the rise in inflation. The key point is that these one-off boosts to

inflation have now peaked and should start to unwind in the coming months.

We estimate that the fading impact of the pound’s fall will cut inflation by as much as 10%-pts by

early 2018. Similarly, the contribution of fiscal measures to headline inflation will decline by a

further 3-4%-pts over the same period.

Beyond that, there are good reasons to think inflation will fall further. For one thing, the period of

weak growth since the Arab Spring appears to have created some spare capacity in the

economy. This should keep a lid on wage and price pressures. At the same time, the CBE

looks more determined to pursue orthodox policymaking in order to tame inflation. It has stopped

monetising the government’s budget deficit, and it has also adopted an inflation-targeting framework.

Overall, according to the report, it is believed that inflation will fall below 20% around the turn of this year. It may then decline to about 11% by the end of 2018 and into single digits in 2019. Forecasts are lower than the consensus and would comfortably meet the CBE’s targets.

This, in turn, should allow the CBE to loosen its policy. We expect the benchmark overnight deposit rate to be lowered by 100bp to 17.75% at the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) meeting in December of this year. The easing cycle should then gather pace. The report expects the policy rate to drop to 12.75% by end-18 and 10.5% by the end of 2019. That is significantly more loosening than the consensus currently anticipates.

In this focus, we argue that inflation in Egypt has peaked and will now begin to fall sharply and by more than most expect, over the next 18 months. That will allow the CBE to start a prolonged easing cycle. Indeed, we expect more interest rate cuts than the consensus currently anticipates.

Egyptian inflation jumped from single digits in Q1 2016 to a peak of 33% y-o-y in July of this year—its highest rate since June 1986.

The main driver of the jump in inflation has been the CBE’s devaluation of the pound last November, when the currency subsequently fell by 50% against the US dollar.

Alongside that, fiscal consolidation measures, including the introduction of a new value-added tax (VAT) and several rounds of subsidy cuts, have also pushed up inflation.

The CBE hiked interest rates at the time of devaluation effect should fade the devaluation. But it then took the markets by surprise by raising rates further in more recent months.

The benchmark overnight deposit rate was increased by a cumulative 400bp in May and July, to 18.75%—the highest level since this rate was introduced in 2005.

Reading between the lines, this seems to have been a signal from the IMF that Egyptian policymakers should raise rates.

The key point when it comes to the inflation outlook is that the increase over the past year or so has been driven by one-off factors (the pound’s devaluation, subsidy cuts, and indirect taxes). The impact of these, however, has now peaked and they should start to unwind in the coming months.

Starting with the currency impact, it is believed that the big adjustment in the pound has already happened. While we expect the currency to weaken a little further in the coming years, the move is likely to be modest.

To illustrate what the exchange rate forecast means for inflation, the report has constructed a measure of the price of goods which, historically, have been most sensitive to swings in the pound.

These include a number of food products, clothing, medical goods, TVs, and cars. In total, those goods comprise around 35% of the CPI basket. The report has covered the cost of production and estimated that they termed this “exchange rate sensitive” inflation.

The year-on-year decline in the exchange rate—which is what matters for inflation—should ease markedly towards the end of this year and in early 2018.

On that basis, inflation in “exchange rate sensitive” goods could decline by around 30%-pts over the next six to nine months. This alone would knock around 10%-pts off headline inflation rate by early 2018.

Turning to subsidy cuts, after a slow start in President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s early years in office, this is now well underway.

As part of the IMF programme, the authorities have committed to raising fuel prices to production cost by the fiscal year (FY) 2018/19, while subsidies for electricity are to be eliminated by the end of FY 2021/22.

To provide a rough estimate of how far fuel prices need to rise, the report has compared current prices in Egypt with average pre-tax prices in the US and Europe.

Working on the basis that Egyptian fuel prices would need to rise to this EU-US average to cover the cost of production, estimates show that they probably need to increase by an additional 140% by 2018/19, which translates into a 55% rise in 2018 and again in 2019.

As for electricity prices, the report estimates that they need to rise by a total of 40%, or an average of 10% per annum, over the next four years to reach the cost of production.

By our estimates, the impact of subsidy cuts is likely to fall by about 1.5%-pts in November of this year as the fuel price hike imposed in November 2016 drops out of the annual price comparison.

 

Further out, the impact of subsidy cuts on headline inflation is likely to stabilise.

Finally, the impact of the introduction of VAT will keep inflation high in the next few months, but then also start to fade.

VAT was introduced in September of last year to replace a general sales tax. It covers a wider range of goods than the sales tax did, and was set at a higher level, so it pushed inflation up.

By the report’s estimates, inflation was raised by 1.5%-pts when it was introduced in September, and by a further 0.5%-pts in July following the increase in the VAT rate from 13% to 14%.

However, unless the government hikes the VAT rate again, its inflationary impulse should fully unwind within a year.

Overall, the fading impact of subsidy cuts, tax hikes, and pound devaluation should bring inflation below 20% by the turn of the year.

Beyond that, other factors are likely to become more important in determining the inflation outlook. And in this regard, there are several reasons to think inflation could fall even further.

CBE deficit monetisation affect inflation 

Egypt’s budget deficit has exceeded 10% of GDP for much of the past decade. Historically, the government has relied heavily on the commercial banking sector to purchase government debt in order to finance the deficit.

But from the beginning of 2013, the authorities turned to the CBE to fund the deficit, via the use of credit facilities.

This filtered through into the wider economy via faster money supply growth. The rise in credit facilities to the government resulted in an increase on the asset side of the CBE’s balance sheet.

There was a counterpart on the liability side, as it credited banks’ deposits at the CBE, which led to an increase in the monetary base.

With more money chasing the same amount of goods, this led to a rise in prices. Indeed, core inflation was 4%-pts higher during the period of deficit financing than in the preceding few years.

Meanwhile, shifts in the CBE’s policymaking priorities are likely to help bring inflation down.

First, the CBE has halted its financing of the budget deficit. Between early 2013 and late last year, the government had relied increasingly on “credit facilities” provided by the CBE to fund its budget shortfall.

Indeed, we had previously estimated that the CBE had covered 10-15% of the government’s gross financing requirement during the period.

However, following demands from the IMF to cease the practise, it appears to have come to an end. The CBE’s net claims on the government have levelled off.

Conclusion: inflation will be in a downward in the few coming months

To sum up, the report expects Egyptian inflation to fall sharply over the next six to nine months as the one-off factors that pushed it up over the past year begin to fade.

Beyond that, improvements in the CBE’s policymaking and spare capacity in the economy means that inflation should return to single digits in 2019.

Falling inflation should pave the way for a prolonged monetary easing cycle and, ultimately, interest rates are likely to be lowered much further than most expect.

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Vesba launches van and motor tricycles https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/vesba-launches-van-motor-tricycles/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/vesba-launches-van-motor-tricycles/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 07:00:23 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633967 The company sets a new tariff for transportation this weekend

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Vesba, a smartphone transportation application has introduced a new service for individuals, namely the possibility of ordering a van to transport individuals, the base fare is EGP 10, while the price per kilometre is EGP 2 in addition to 35 piastres per minute for waiting time.

Furthermore, the application introduced another feature, which is ordering a motor tricycle for the transportation of goods, with a base fare of EGP 5 , EGP 1.07 per kilometer and 35pt per minute for waiting time.

Vesba provides its services for individuals through motorcycles for a base fare of EGP 3, EGP 1 per kilometre, and 25 piastres per minute for the waiting time. However, due to the increase in gas prices the company announced raising their prices.

Moreover, the company is planning to recruit women Vespa drivers during the second phase of the project, in order to make it easier for women passengers to use the service, as it might be embarrassing for women to ride behind a man driver. The application will provide the service by sending the suitable driver, according the gender that has been registered during signing up to the application.

In addition to that, to prevent risking the life of passengers, the company obliges the driver to abide by a certain limit. In case the driver exceeded the speed limit, the company will warn him through the application.

 

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CPA gives 6 electricity companies a period of 1 month to adjust their conditions https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/cpa-gives-6-electricity-companies-period-1-month-adjust-conditions/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/cpa-gives-6-electricity-companies-period-1-month-adjust-conditions/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:30:07 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633957 Companies have required citizens to buy meters for the service

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The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) received a communique submitted by some citizens against the North Delta Electricity Distribution Company, in which they complained about the monopoly of the sale of electricity meters at double its actual worth.

Some believe that the electricity distribution companies, which follow the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, are inherently outside the scope of the competition protection law, which is not consistent with the CPA law. The agency cleared the confusion, where its authority extends over all sectors that engage in economic activity, regardless of whether it is a public or private sector, or a local or foreign entity, as long as it operates on Egyptian soil. It pointed out that the only thing outside the CPA law are the public utilities, which are directly managed by the state only, such as railways.

In the light of the information reached by the CPA’s working team, through communicating with the Egyptian Electric Utility & Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency and asking the nine electricity distribution companies, they reported lack of any legal obligation to provide consumers with meters from distribution companies only. The CPA hence has stated that six distribution companies are in violation with the Article 8 of the consumer protection Law.

CPA noted that these companies have a dominant position in the electricity distribution market, which does not commensurate with the exclusive jurisdiction of these companies according to the geographical scope specified for them, thus constituting a violation on its own. Yet, these companies exploited this dominant situation and linked the provision electric feed to obtaining the meter from the company. This, according to CPA, is contrary to the law of competition protection in the absence of any legal obligation for that.

CPA pointed out that this practice would harm the competition in the electricity meter production market on the one hand, and would harm the citizen who loses their freedom to buy the electricity meter from any place that provides the devices with the specifications determined by the EETC by obligating clients to buy the meter only through the distribution companies at the price they specified.

The Board of Directors of the CPA decided to grant the infringing companies 30 days to adjust their situation and remove the violation through some administrative measures, which included publishing a declaration in a wide spread newspaper stating that the practices of the previous distribution companies were stopped and allowing clients to buy the meters from anywhere as long as they meet the standards and specification.

The meter must be calibrated at the expense of the consumer in order to ensure its safety and suitability. The advertising has also to be made in a clear line within the distribution companies to inform the consumers with the offers presented to them in the installation of meters and indicating the procedures to be followed and the calibration offices authorized by the company.

CPA coordinated with the Egyptian Electric Utility & Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency on this complaint and notified it with the case and its recommendation, most important of which is the need to work to increase the citizen’s awareness of the choices available to them regarding the installation of meters.

 

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Official unemployment rate drops to 11.98% in Q2 2017: CAPMAS https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/official-unemployment-rate-drops-11-98-q2-2017-capmas/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/16/official-unemployment-rate-drops-11-98-q2-2017-capmas/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 06:00:44 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633954 Workforce size registers 29.183m in April-June 2017, up by 33,000 from Q1 2017

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The official unemployment rate declined to 11.98% of the total workforce in the second quarter (Q2) of the current year, down from 12% in Q1 of the same year, and 12.5% in Q2 2016, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Workforce

In its recent quarterly report issued on Tuesday, CAPMAS stated that the total workforce in Egypt reached 29.183 million people in the second quarter between April and June 2017, up by 33,000 (0.1%) from the first quarter of 2017, and up by 651,000 (2.3%) from the second quarter of 2016.

The unemployed

Moreover, CAPMAS added that the number of unemployed citizens reached 3.496 million people, representing 11.98% of the total workforce. This is down by 7,000 from the first quarter of 2017 and 64,000 (1.8%) from the second quarter of 2016.

Unemployed youth

The number of unemployed youth aged 15-29 reached 79.6% of the total unemployed workforce. About 7.6% of total unemployment among the youth were between 15-19 years old, while in the age group between 20 and 24, CAPMAS reported 32.3% as unemployed. Finally, of the total unemployed youth, 39.7% were between 25 and 29 years old.

Unemployed according to residence

Meanwhile, unemployment in urban areas stood at 13.6%, down from 13.7% in the first quarter of 2017 and 14.1% in the second quarter of 2016.

The unemployment rate in rural areas reached 10.7% of the total workforce there, down slightly from 10.8% in the first quarter of 2017 and 11.2% in the second quarter of 2016.

Additionally, CAPMAS explained that 92.8% of unemployed workforce were university graduates, average and above average certificate holders. This includes 52.3% of total average and above-average certificate holders and 40.5% of university graduates.

 

Employed

In contrast, CAPMAS said that 25.687 million people were employed in the second quarter of 2017, up by 40,000 (0.2%) from the first quarter of the same year and 715,000 (2.9%) from the second quarter of 2016.

The number of employed men reached 20.665 million, up by 43,000 (0.2%) from the first quarter of 2017 and 586,000 (2.9%) from the second quarter of 2016.

Meanwhile, the number of employed females reached 5.022 million. This is a decrease of 3,000 (0.1%) from the first quarter of 2017, yet up by 129,000 (2.6%) from the second quarter of 2016.

Labour-attractive activities

As for the most important economic activities that attracted the largest percentage of entrants in the labour market or those who move from other activities, CAPMAS stated that the wholesale, retail, and repair activity of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and maintenance. This sector attracted some 56,000 more employees in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of the year. This, however, was down by 46,000 when compared to the second quarter of 2016.

It added that health and social work activities has attracted 26,000 more employees compared to the first quarter of 2017, and 63,000 more workers compared to the second quarter of 2016.

Furthermore, CAMPAS said that the activity of electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supplies attracted 4,000 more employees compared to the first quarter of 2017 and 6,000 more compared to the second quarter of 2016. CAPMAS noted that the constructions and building activity attracted 3,000 more employees compared to the first quarter of 2017 and 463,000 workers up from the second quarter of 2016.

Employees according to the financial situation

According to CAPMAS, 17.264 million were employed with fixed salaries, accounting for 67.2% of the total employed workforce, while 2.731 million, or 10.6%, were business owners.

Furthermore, 3.331 million people were working as independent professionals, equivalent to 13% of the total workforce, while the number of citizens working in family projects for no official wage amounted to 2.361 million workers, or 9.2% of the workforce.

Contribution to economic activity

The rate of contribution to economic activity reached 45.4% of the total population during the second quarter, down from 45.8% of the first quarter of 2017 and 46.1% in the second quarter of 2016. Male contribution rate registered 69.2%, against 21% from females.

The report added that the rate of urban region contribution reached 44.4%, compared to 46.1% in rural areas. The age group of people aged 40-49 registered the highest rate of contribution to the economic activity with 62.9%.

CAPMAS also noted that the agriculture and fishing sectors accounted for the largest share of the workforce, employing 5.246 million people, 20.4% of the total employed workforce.

It also stated that construction and building came in second place, with a number of employees of 3.510 million people, accounting for 13.7% of the total workforce. Meanwhile, workers in the wholesale and retail trade reached 3.350 million, which is 13% of the total workforce.

Transformation industries workers reached 3.207 million people, accounting for 12.5% of the total workforce, while the number of workers in the fields of transportation and storage registered 1.983 million, which is 7.7% of the total workforce, according to CAPMAS.

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Policeman shot dead in Al-Arish https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/policeman-shot-dead-al-arish/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/policeman-shot-dead-al-arish/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:53:25 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634011 Operations by Second Army and Air Forces continues to destroy dens in North Sinai

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A lower ranking policeman named Ayman Abdel Azim was shot dead by unknown assailants on Monday night in the city of Al-Arish, according to state media.

The victim was transferred to the Arish hospital. The ministry of interior has not published any statements on the incidents yet.

Assassinations are common in the urban area of Arish, usually targeting police officers, conscripts and state officials.

No militant group has declared responsibility of the attack. The group that is most active in the area is Sinai Province which is an affiliate of the Islamic State group.

Earlier this week, two solders were killed by snipers fire in different areas in North Sinai. The militant group published last April documenting more than 5 alleged sniper operations against army solders on duty in different parts of North Sinai.

In a different context, the military spokesperson said on Tuesday that the Second Army along with the Air Force have destroyed a bomb laden car and destroyed a hideout that was allegedly used by militants.

Since early July, the military intensified the “Martyr’s right” operation after a suicide bomber stormed into the military post in the village of Rafah in North Sinai, killing and injuring at least 26 military personnel. The attack was claimed by the militant group Sinai Province, an Islamic State (IS) group affiliate.

“Sinai Province”, a group previously known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis swore alliance to IS in 2014 and has launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.

The Cairo Criminal Court designated the group as a terrorist organisation in 2015.

Over the last two years, the Egyptian armed forces have launched counter attacks against the militants’ stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula, where the group is based in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish.

A state of emergency was first declared in North Sinai by interim president Adly Mansour, who came into power following ousted president Mohamed Morsi. It has been extended following this year’s extremist attacks on Coptic churches on Palm Sunday.

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Rafah border crossing opened until Thursday ahead of Hajj https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/rafah-border-crossing-opened-thursday-ahead-hajj/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/rafah-border-crossing-opened-thursday-ahead-hajj/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:35:21 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634009 Thousands of pilgrims expected to cross to Egypt to reach Saudi Arabia

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Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Monday to allow Palestinian pilgrims to cross to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj season.

The crossing is expected to remain open until Thursday.

A first group of nearly 800 people has reportedly crossed from the Gaza strip, as local media reported that more than 6,000 are expected to cross.

Egypt occasionally opens the crossing but has kept it closed for the most part amid continuous militant attacks in North Sinai and ongoing police and army anti-militant operations.

An emergency state has been imposed in North Sinai and curfew hours in the cities of Rafah and Al-Arish following an attack in 2014. The Egyptian army has evacuated the border with Gaza and destroyed underground tunnels in an attempt to limit resources for terror groups.

Several Hamas delegations have been meeting in Egypt with intelligence service officials to enhance relations with Egypt, in light of the group being previously designated as a terrorist group by and Egyptian court after the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi who was charged with conspiring with Hamas.

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4 militants killed in different security operations: police https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/4-militants-killed-different-security-operations-police/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/4-militants-killed-different-security-operations-police/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:37:07 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634006 The suspects are accused of participating in different acts of violence

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Four militants have been reportedly killed in different clashes in Qaliubiya and Farafra in police operations, according to the Ministry of Interior.

In Qaliubiya, the ministry said in a statement that the militants killed were members of the Hasm group and that they participated in an assassination operation against National Security officer Ibrahim Azazy, killed early June. They were ambushed, according to the statement, in a farm and were killed as a result of an exchange of fire.

In the other incident, the forces chased the two suspects and found one of them hiding in Farafra. They were also killed in an exchange of fire. According to a statement, the forces approached one of the suspects, but he opened fire and used an explosive belt and was killed as a result.

Although militant insurgency has been predominantly active in North Sinai, militant attacks targeting public facilities as well as police and army facilities and personnel have spilled out of the volatile peninsula, often in the form of drive-by shootings and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.

The Egyptian state accuses the Muslim Brotherhood of hosting and training militant groups, through personnel and financial support. The peak in targeting police and army personnel has taken place since the ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. The Egyptian government argues that such attacks are an attempt to return the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood to power. However, the group denies its affiliation to any militant group.

Several of the local militant groups, such as Hasm and Liwa Al-Thawra, haven’t publicly announced their affiliation with the Brotherhood, but their rhetoric and usage of justifications of the attacks is very similar to that of the group, which calls for retribution. For example, in one of their videos, the militant groups used the picture of Mohamed Kamal to justify an attack. Kamal was the head of youth groups and allegedly the leader of militant teams in the Brotherhood. He was killed by security forces last year.

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Italy to return ambassador to Cairo after year of diplomatic tensions https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/italy-return-ambassador-cairo-year-diplomatic-tensions/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/italy-return-ambassador-cairo-year-diplomatic-tensions/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 18:08:34 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=634001 Italian prosecution received transcripts of investigations on Regeni’s case, says Italian media

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Italy is to return its ambassador to Cairo more than a year after the Italian government recalled its previous ambassador, in light of the murder of one of its nationals in Egypt, graduate student Giulio Regeni, according to a statement issued on Monday by the Italian minister of foreign affairs, Angelino Alfano.

Alfano added that “the Italian government is committed to reveal the circumstances of the tragic disappear of Regeni.” However, sources told the Italian agency ANSA that the Egyptian prosecution has sent transcripts of police personnel being interrogated about the case of the Italian student.

The appointment of the new ambassador Giampaolo Cantini marks a new step after a year of political tensions between the two countries after the discovery of Regeni’s body.

Regeni was a Cambridge scholar conducting a PhD research in Cairo on the labour unions in Egypt. He disappeared on the fifth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, according to his friends. On 3 February 2016, his body was found dumped on the side of a road outside Cairo, with signs of physical torture, such as cigarette burns and bruises.

Since then, the Egyptian government has been trying diplomatically to reconciliate  with its Italian counterpart, reasserting that there will be fair investigations of the case.

The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Monday that Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry received a phone call from his Italian counterpart, informing him about the decision of the Italian government to ask for the Egyptian acceptance for Italy to send its new ambassador to Egypt, Giampaolo Cantini.

Spokesperson of the ministry Ahmed Abou Zaid added that Shoukry praised the decision, asserting Egypt’s intention to send its new ambassador to Rome Hisham Badr.

Also on Monday, Egyptian Prosecutor-General Nabil Sadek discussed in a phone call with the Rome’s chief prosecutor, Giuseppe Pignatone, the updates of Regeni’s case. The call included talks about the investigations and checking the surveillance cameras, state-owned media reported.

On 12 July, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi asserted to a delegation from the Italian parliament led by the president of the Italian Senate’s defence commission, Nicola Latorre, and the vice president of the Italian Senate, Maurizio Gasparri, the importance of cooperation between investigative authorities in the two countries, stressing Egypt’s commitment to work on revealing the truth about the incident and punishing the criminals.

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High demand on purchasing “Sakan Misr” conditions booklet https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/high-demand-purchasing-sakan-misr-conditions-booklet/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/high-demand-purchasing-sakan-misr-conditions-booklet/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:45:18 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633996 7% of the unit price to be deducted if payment done within 2 months

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The first hours of releasing the conditions booklet of “Sakan Misr” project saw a high demand on purchasing the booklet across all Housing and Development Bank (HDB) branches.

Earlier, Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities Mostafa Madbouly announced the buying date of the conditions booklet to be on 15 August to reserve the first group of the project that includes 40,000 units in areas of New Cairo, New Damietta, Obour City, Badr City, New Minya, 6th of October City.

Madbouly said that to book a unit in this project, the applicant must be at least a 21-year-old Egyptian and to have not previously purchased an apartment or a piece of land from the ministry. Finally, the family cannot apply for more than one unit.

Regarding the booking system and the allocations in the public tender, Madbouly pointed out that submitting the data form attached with the conditions booklet and paying off the price (to show the seriousness of the buyer), determined for each city and unit size in the conditions booklet, between 10 September 2017 to 5 October 2017 across all branches of the HDB.

Madbouly assured the importance of following the specified required data in the form attached to the conditions booklets, as the ministry will not pay attention to any form missing one of the required information, or that includes wrong data, or does not follow the specified requirements.

In terms of financial conditions, the Minister of Housing said the price per metre in each city is determined in the conditions booklet, adding that the applicant has to first pay the price that represents the down payment. Then in case the applicant won the public tender, the applicant will pay off 20% of the total price of the chosen unit, in addition to 1% of the unit price as administrative expenses, plus 0.5% of the unit price for the board of trustees, within two months since the date of the public tender without notifying the buyer.

In case of paying the remaining 80% of the total unit price within 2 months after the public tender, 7% of the unit price will be deducted, according to Madbouly.

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Increased explorations and high production rates caused by political stability: Minister of Petroleum https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/increased-explorations-high-production-rates-caused-political-stability-minister-petroleum/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/increased-explorations-high-production-rates-caused-political-stability-minister-petroleum/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 17:39:39 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633994 Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla said that Egypt’s success in attracting petroleum investments and increasing investment in research and exploration were driven by several factors, foremost of which is the political stability witnessed by Egypt and the continuous support of the state to the oil sector, which is full of distinct …

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Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla said that Egypt’s success in attracting petroleum investments and increasing investment in research and exploration were driven by several factors, foremost of which is the political stability witnessed by Egypt and the continuous support of the state to the oil sector, which is full of distinct experts and various oil and gas potentials.

El Molla chaired the general assembly of Qarun Petroleum Company and Khalda Petroleum Company to adopt their results for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. The assembly was attended by a number of the ministry’s deputies and the executive chairman of the Egyptian Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) as well as the chairman of Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), and David Chi, Vice-President of Apache Corporation and General Manager for Apache Egypt Companies.

During the meeting, El Molla said that Apache projects in Egypt are a model for serious foreign investments that have achieved positive results in terms of increasing production and developing the petroleum industry, especially through its two companies, Qarun and Khalda, as a major player in the production of crude oil in Egypt, and achieved many successes with the oil sector in Western desert.

The minister stressed the importance of full commitment to implement the program of the Ministry of Petroleum to accelerate the development of oil and gas fields discovered, and link them to the map of production, with attention to increase and raise the efficiency of occupational safety and health programs, and follow the instructions and requirements in all production sites.

Khlada Petroleum’s CEO, Khaled Mowafy, said that the results achieved by the company represent an investment of $502m and resulted from achieving the total capacity of 105% by producing 107 million barrel equivalent, next to adding 56 million equivalent barrel to the reserves, including 34 million barrels of crude oil, six million barrels of condensates, and 83 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

He noted that the company has also implemented the plan to rationalize and reduce operating costs, which contributed strongly to cutting on total costs, adding that the company dug 56 wells, including 13 exploratory wells, of which seven wells have contained evidence of oil, marking a success rate of 54%.

Qarun Petroleum’s CEO, Mohsen El Nouby, also reviewed the company’s business report, noting that the total expenditure reached $137m. He added that the company saved $17m of the budget across all operations, while digging 14 new wells.

He pointed out that the company managed to add 1,900 barrels per day to its production, after digging the new development wells, hence, raising daily production to 35,500 new barrels per day. The total production per annum registered 13 million equivalent barrels, next to adding 7.6 million barrels of crude oil to the reserves.

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Nile water a matter of life or death to Egypt: Al-Sisi https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/nile-water-matter-life-death-egypt-al-sisi/ https://dailynewsegypt.com/2017/08/15/nile-water-matter-life-death-egypt-al-sisi/#respond Tue, 15 Aug 2017 16:18:45 +0000 https://dailynewsegypt.com/?p=633986 President holds discussions with Rwandan counterpart during African four-day tour

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi headed to the Rwandan capital city Kigali Tuesday, to hold discussions with the Rwandan President Paul Kagame. After his arrival, Al-Sisi visited the memorial of the victims of the genocide in Rwanda and the museum which documents the genocide which has happened in the nineteenth of the last century, according to a statement from the presidency.

On Monday, Al-Sisi headed to Tanzania in a four-day tour to four African countries include Rwanda, Gabon, and Chad, as part of Egyptian keenness on boosting its relations with the other African countries.

In July 2016, the president visited Rwanda for the first time during his presidency, to attending the African summit. Egypt also received several Rwandan ministers to attend regional and bilateral meetings.

Al-Sisi expressed Egypt’s proud of its relations with Tanzania during his meetings with Tanzanian President John Magufuli in the Tanzanian capital city, Dodoma, according to a statement from the presidency.

The president asserted Egypt’s support for the Nile Basin countries with Egyptian technical experts to achieving development in these countries, stressing Egypt’s keenness to achieving the maximum benefit from the Nile River for all Nile Basin countries without harming Egypt’s water interests, and taking into consideration the Egyptian concerns in this regard as a death and life matter, the statement read.

According to the statement, the Tanzanian President expressed his country’s understanding of the importance of the Nile River for Egypt as the main source of water, expressing his trust in Nile Basin countries to reach an agreement that all parties would accept.

The visit is the first that an Egyptian president visits Tanzania since 1968.

Al-Sisi pointed out that Egypt’s foreign policy basis on not intervening in other countries’ internal affairs, not plotting, and working for resolving problems by negotiations and cooperation to achieve peace and development.

Egypt is looking forward to boosting relationships with Tanzania in all fields, in light of the big economic abilities in the two countries. He also asserted the importance of working on boosting cooperation between the private sector in the two countries, pointing out to the successful activities by the Egyptian companies working in Tanzania, and Egypt’s hope to maximise cooperation between Egyptian and Tanzanian companies in fields of common farms and manufacturing agricultural products in addition to fishing, fauna, mining, and medical industry, according to the statement.

The two sides discussed several regional and bilateral issues, such as confronting terrorism, and the exerted efforts for achieving development in Nile Basin countries.

The Tanzanian President praised the level of relations between his country and Egypt, asserting his country’s keenness on boosting this relations especially in economic and commercial fields. Magufuli also expressed his appreciation for the Egyptian technical support in digging wells, and the Egyptian butchery which helps in meeting the Egyptian demand on meet.

At the end of the meeting, Al-Sisi invited his Tanzanian counterpart to visit Egypt to participate in the international conference for youth and Africa 2017 forum which set to be hold in November and December, the invitation was welcomed by Magufuli.

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