Daily News Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com Egypt’s Only Daily Independent Newspaper In English Sun, 08 Dec 2019 11:30:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 Act completes providing technological solutions for the first phase of the University of Knowledge in the NAC https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/act-completes-providing-technological-solutions-for-the-first-phase-of-the-university-of-knowledge-in-the-nac/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 11:30:38 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715908 According to a press release issued by the company, the Knowledge Hub project is the first educational project implemented by ACT in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) for the benefit of international knowledge universities, affiliated with El-Sewedy Foundation for Educational Services

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The Advanced Computer Technology (ACT), which specialises in the field of integrated solutions, has completed its implementation of the first phase of The Knowledge Hub project, for the benefit of El-Sewedy Education, with a total value of EGP 6m.

According to a press release issued by the company, the Knowledge Hub project is the first educational project implemented by ACT in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) for the benefit of international knowledge universities, affiliated with El-Sewedy Foundation for Educational Services.

Act has prepared the infrastructure based on the latest modern technologies from HPE Aruba to provide data centre services and wireless internet connectivity to facilitate communication between teachers and students on the one hand, access to scientific and educational materials via university networks on the other hand, and provide connectivity and Internet access within all halls through a package of integrated solutions.

In this project, an integrated system was provided to secure, protect, and connect wired and wireless networks to students and faculty members at high speeds to deliver electronic scientific content, access from inside and outside the campus, and automatic checking to ensure access to digital content using the latest technological systems taking into account all the necessary security methods to protect this content and open communication channels.

Hazem Mansi, CCO of the enterprise sector at ACT, said that the first stage of the project took three months to complete and was delivered. The company also trained the employees of the project to use the solutions and technologies that were provided to the university building, which includes two colleges, one of which is to study engineering and the other to study computers and information, which comes in cooperation with the University Coventry -one of the most prominent British international universities- and through this project, supplying information security and protection systems as well as the university’s data centre solutions with HPE Aruba solutions that include Clear Pass and Air Wave.

Mansi added that the university started to receive students during the current academic season starting from October 2019 and is planning to complete the rest of the buildings within the next two years, bringing the total capacity of the university to 50,000 students, where the laboratories and classrooms were equipped with Internet technologies.

The goal of establishing knowledge universities is to provide high-quality educational services in line with Egypt’s vision for sustainable development 2030.

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Shaarawy, Nasr, newly appointed governors discuss attracting new investments to Egyptian governorates https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/shaarawy-nasr-newly-appointed-governors-discuss-attracting-new-investments-to-egyptian-governorates/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 11:00:35 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715921 Nasr encouraged the governors to suggest new projects where the ministry can establish new investment zones, adding that her ministry is keen on promoting for investments in the local destinations and making full use of the available opportunities in the governorates.

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The Minister of Local Development, Mahmoud Shaarawy, held a meeting with the newly appointed governors in the presence of Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, on Saturday to discuss attracting new investments to the Egyptian governorates.

Nasr encouraged the governors to suggest new projects where the ministry can establish new investment zones, adding that her ministry is keen on promoting for investments in the local destinations and making full use of the available opportunities in the governorates.

She called on the governors to closely follow up the development processes in the different governorates, asserting her keenness to offer more opportunities in the private sector as the engine for the development.

“We aim to develop the neediest areas in the governorates according to the New Investment Law incentives and to encourage the investors to expand in these areas,” Nasr said.

Shaarawy assured the continuous coordination with the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation to accelerate the implementation of the current projects in the governorates as well as to update the investment map.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi named 16 new governors on 27 November 2019, ahead of an expected ministerial reshuffle.

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GAFI to offer 403 investment opportunities in Qaliubiya, Giza soon https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/gafi-to-offer-403-investment-opportunities-in-qaliubiya-giza-soon/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 10:30:06 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715918 Meit Ghamr zone’s investors praise services, utilities supervised by MIIC

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The General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), of the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation (MIIC) will offer 403 investment opportunities in Benha, Qaliubiya, and Al-Saff, Giza shortly, said Minister Sahar Nasr, adding that the offerings’ details will be announced immediately after the approval of GAFI’s board.

“There are about 225 diversified projects in Al-Saff investment zone that will be operating in the services, commercial, and industrial sectors to offer 3500 job opportunities, while Benha investment zone includes 178 projects in the agricultural and food processing sectors with expected 3500 job opportunities,” Nasr mentioned.

Nasr delivered 30 industrial units for the investors in Meit Ghamr investment zone out of a total 107 industrial units, last Thursday. These projects are part of the ministry’s exerted efforts to support the Egyptian industrial sector while land areas of the units in Meit Ghamr zone range from 144 m² to 576 m².

Meit Ghamr investment zones’ occupation will exceed 80% in the first quarter of 2020, said Nasr asserting her support to the small investors in coordination with the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Agency (MSMEDA) to provide them with the needed funds and help them expand their businesses.

“The Meit Ghamr investment zone is at the world’s highest levels while Benha and Al-Saff investments zones will follow suit,” the Minister assured.

Mohamed Abdel Wahab, GAFI’s acting  CEO, asserted that his authority is responsible for solving any challenges that might face investors before and after delivering the new investment zones’ units.

“GAFI and MIIC decided to be the developer of the investment zones for the first time in 2017 while Meit Ghamr investment zone is the first output of this decision,” Abdel Wahab mentioned.

For their parts, investors of the Meit Ghamr investment zone praised the good services and utilities provided through GAFI.

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Egypt, 48 African counties adopt Abidjan Declaration to improve continent’s working conditions https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/egypt-48-african-counties-adopt-abidjan-declaration-to-improve-continents-working-conditions/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 10:00:23 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715915 ILO report indicates that one child out of five are working in Africa

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Egypt, along with government, employers, workers, other delegates from 48 African countries have adopted the Abidjan Declaration, dubbed “Advancing Social Justice: Shaping the future of work in Africa,” on Friday.

The declaration was launched under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO), during the 14th ILO African Regional Meeting held from 3 to 6 December 2019 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

The declaration focuses on making decent work a reality for Africa’s youth, developing skills, technological pathways, and productivity for a brighter future in Africa, transforming Africa’s

informal and rural economy for decent work, and respecting international labour

standards, promoting social dialogue and ensuring gender equality.

Egypt’s Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan said that the declaration aims to strengthen the capacities of all people through investing in human capital by strengthening education, skills, reskilling, upskilling, and lifelong learning to leverage technology and new types of jobs.

He also emphasised tackling gender inequality and discrimination, progressively extending sustainable social protection coverage, and supporting the role of the private sector as a major source of economic growth, and job creation.

Furthermore, Saafan said the declaration aims to support the role of the public sector as a significant employer and provider of quality public services, creating decent work and productive employment for all, with particular emphasis on youth, women, persons with disabilities, and other groups vulnerable to discrimination, and promoting entrepreneurship.

Combating child labour in Africa

Also during the meetings, the ILO launched a report about child labour in the continent.

More than one out of every five children aged 5-17 years– are child labourers. They work under circumstances which harm them physically, mentally, and socially, and prevent them from achieving even basic education.

Furthermore, the report indicates that agriculture, industry, and services were highlighted as the key sectors that employ underage children – ruining their right to education, harming their physical and mental development as well as depriving them of their childhood.

“In Africa, children involved in child labour in agriculture account for 85.1%– way above the global level of 70.9%.”

Arab states follow with 60.3% while child labour in agriculture stands at 51.5% in the Americas.

Worldwide, 218 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 years are employed.

From the 218 million worldwide, 152 million are victims of child labour and almost half of them, 73 million, work in hazardous child labour.

In absolute terms, ILO says, almost half of the child labour is to be found in Africa; 62.1 million in Asia and the Pacific; 10.7 million in the Americas; 1.2 million in the Arab States; and 5.5 million in Europe and Central Asia.

Under the Sustainable Development Goals’ famous 8.7 target, all UN member states agreed to end all forms of Child labour within 5 years from now (2025).

In Egypt’s case, 1.6 million children were working in the country, according to a survey conducted by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) and the ILO in 2010.

 

Saafan has launched a national plan aiming to eliminate child labour by 2025, as part of Egypt’s continuous efforts to take all possible measures to uproot child labour.

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King Salman denounces ‘heinous attack’ by a Saudi aviation student at US naval airbase https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/king-salman-denounces-heinous-attack-by-a-saudi-aviation-student-at-us-naval-airbase/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 09:30:54 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715912 Mohammed Al-Shamrani was in the US for military training 

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United States President Donald Trump said on Friday that Saudi King Salman called him to “express his sincere condolences and gave his sympathies to the families and friends of the warriors who were killed and wounded” in an attack at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida.

Earlier on Friday, a Saudi aviation student who was a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force opened fire and killed three people and injured eight others.

The student, identified as Mohammed Saeed Al-Shamrani, was visiting the United States to take part in military training as part of a Pentagon security cooperation agreement with the Kingdom.

Al-Shamrani opened fire on his colleagues in a classroom before he was shot dead, according to American officials. The suspect was one of 852 Saudi nationals in the U.S. training under the programme, a defence official told USA Today.

King Salman described the attack as a “heinous crime” which did not represent the Saudi people who respect their American counterpart, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

He added that the kingdom’s authorities will cooperate with American security agencies to reveal the circumstances of the attack.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry also condemned that attack and wished all those wounded a speedy recovery.

The motive for the attack is still unknown, but an investigation is being carried on by the American authorities. The authorities arrested other Saudi nationals for questioning, including people filming the attack.

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Doha, Riyadh have ongoing negotiations on Gulf crisis, says Qatar FM https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/doha-riyadh-have-ongoing-negotiations-on-gulf-crisis-says-qatar-fm/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 09:00:36 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715907 In statements on the sidelines of his participation in the Mediterranean Dialogues in Rome, Italy, Al Thani noted that

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Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani announced on Friday that his country is involved in ongoing negotiations with Saudi Arabia related to the Gulf crisis.

In statements on the sidelines of his participation in the Mediterranean Dialogues in Rome, Italy, Al Thani noted that

“We have moved from a deadlock in the crisis into talks about the future vision of relations with Saudi Arabia.”

“We did not support political Islam or the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), but supported people not affiliated to political parties,” he said noting that Doha continued its support to Egypt even after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi who belonged to the MB which has no official presence in Qatar according to Doha’s FM.

However, just less than a week ago, Egyptian representative at the International Court of Justice said that “Egypt has cut ties with Qatar as a result of the Gulf state’s “support to terror groups [Muslim Brotherhood],”

“Qatar has been holding a hostile stance against Egypt by supporting terror operation in the Sinai Peninsula,” Amgad Abdel Ghaffar pointed out, adding that Doha was “promoting the doctrine of Al-Qaeda and Daesh.”

Regarding its relations with Iran, Al Thani said that Qatar is committed to neighbourliness with Tehran as Qatar will not forget when Iran opened its airs for Doha following the blockade.

He stressed that Qatari internal affairs are non-negotiable and the country has its independent policy.

On 5 June 2017, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, cut their diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar. The four Arab governments accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, seconding Iran, and disturbing security and stability in the region. Doha has denied all these charges.

Meanwhile, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia has sent an invitation to Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to participate in the Gulf summit in Riyadh on Tuesday. He did not confirm whether the emir will participate or not. 

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Egypt’s policy towards African continent changed since 2014: Sameh Shoukry  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/egypts-policy-towards-african-continent-changed-since-2014-sameh-shoukry/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 08:30:44 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715909 Egypt’s presidency of the AU inspires Aswan Forum to serve the African people

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Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry said that Egyptian policy towards Africa has changed since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi assumed power in 2014, during an interview with Extra news on Friday. 

The minister discussed Egypt’s position in the continent since 2014, reviewing how Egypt was able to restore its position and help development in other neighbouring countries in the continent. 

Shoukry said that Egypt’s policy is clear towards African Union (AU) member states and is an extension for Egypt in its long history of cooperation between African nations and Egypt.

He explained that the situation has change after Egypt assumed the presidency of the African Union, and this was represented through the subsequent interest of the president in developing relations with sisterly African countries on the political, economic, and cultural level, and this was represented in many of the president’s visits to several African countries, and the leaders who visited Cairo as well.

He continued that the president attended all AU summits, whether regular in late January early February or semi-annual in June since 2014 until he took over the presidency of the AU in February of 2019.

Moreover, Shoukry reviewed during his discussion on Africa, some of the responsibilities placed on Egypt by virtue of the presidency of the African Union

He said Egypt chaired an extraordinary summit in February 2019 in Niger, which was the first coordination summit between the AU and regional economic group, as well as participation in G20 economic summit, African-Russian summit and the mini-summit held in Cairo to address the situation and developments in Sudan.

During the interview, the minister also spoke about the Aswan Peace and Development forum expected in 11-12 December, saying that it will discuss peace and development because they are main issues in the African continent.

He noted that the idea of the Aswan Forum came since Egypt assumed the presidency of the African Union, pointing out that the forum comes at the service of all African peoples.

He explained that during the forum, President Al-Sisi will emphasise post-conflict reconstruction, and resolve conflicts by peaceful means, so that it opens up prospects for development.

The fForum also aims to implement the agenda of the African Union 2063 and to recommend the idea of African integration and communication among African countries, as well as, discuss issues of terrorism and illegal immigration from a social, cultural, and economic perspective, and the extent of terrorism’s ability to attract and promote extremist ideology, according to Shoukry. 

It will discuss strengthening the infrastructure of African countries to link them with each other whether through roads, energy, or in relation to all existing projects such as projects linking Cairo to Cape Town or Lake Victoria, Shoukry said, noting that all will serve to create arteries to expand the areas of trade and economy among African countries to achieve integration among them.

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Al-Sisi honours the Olympic, Squash, Karate, and Paralympic teams https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/al-sisi-honours-the-olympic-squash-karate-and-paralympic-teams/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 08:00:52 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715899 The honouring ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy, as well as the presidents and officials of the relevant national sports federations

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President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received yesterday the Olympic football team, the national squash team, and the national Karate teams for their latest achievements.

President El-Sisi congratulated the Olympic National Team for the African Nations Youth Championship that qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. The president awarded sports medals to
the National Squash Team who won the Championships for adults and juniors, the National Karate Team Mission that won the World Youth Championship, and the Paralympic National Team mission that participated in the World Championships in Australia, in addition to the technical staff that trained them.

The honouring ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy, as well as the presidents and officials of the relevant national sports federations. Bassam Rady, spokesperson for the presidency, said that the president praised the achievements of the champions and their contribution to strengthening Egypt’s position on the regional and international sporting field, stressing his appreciation to Egypt’s athletes for being role models for youth.

In this context, the president directed the provision of the necessary capabilities to the Egyptian athletes’ champions and their full support in order to ensure their continued achievements.

For their part, the honoured athletes expressed their pride in being honoured by the president, which reflects the appreciation and care of the president for distinguished athletes in Egypt, as well as the additional incentive for them to raise the name of Egypt high in sports forums.

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Shoukry meets Pope Francis, values Vatican’s push for tolerance  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/shoukry-meets-pope-francis-values-vaticans-push-for-tolerance/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 07:30:20 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715894 Egypt, Italy FMs asserted continuous cooperation with "transparency" over Giulio Regeni case

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Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met on Saturday with Pope Francis, as the minister concluded his visit to Rome which started on Wednesday last week and included extensive activities. 

During the meeting, Shoukry delivered a message from President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to Pope Francis. The message expressed Egypt’s appreciations for efforts of the Vatican to spread tolerance, mercy, and justice as well as revealing Cairo interest in enhancing bilateral cooperation.

Earlier on Thursday, Shoukry met with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio as they discussed boosting bilateral relations and recent updates in the Middle East, with a special interest in the Libyan crisis and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue.

The pair also asserted their commitment to the continuous cooperation between the two countries with “all the transparency” in the case of Italian student Giulio Regeni.

Shoukry also met with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as they discussed heightening political and economic cooperation.

Last week, Shoukry headed to Rome to take part in in the fifth edition of the Mediterranean Dialogues forum on 6-7 December. On Thursday, Shoukry delivered a speech on Egypt’s perspective and its views on several regional and international issues.

Shoukry asserted that the Mediterranean region faces several challenges including terrorism which threatens regional peace and security. 

The Foreign minister asserted the need to reach political settlements to the crises in the region. When discussing the Palestinian Cause, Shoukry affirmed that any settlement has to include the establishment of a Palestinian independent state. 

Shoukry also said that Egypt is keen on promoting new relations and increasing cooperation with its international partners including the US, Russia, and China. 

 

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Climate change could affect 94% of Egypt’s coral reef tourism value https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/climate-change-could-affect-94-of-egypts-coral-reef-tourism-value/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 07:00:17 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715891 Extreme events, coral bleaching are among climate-related issues placing tourism at risk

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Coral reefs tourism is a significant component of Egypt’s beach tourism, as the country which has two large coasts in the Mediterranean and Red seas gains about $7 bn per year from this sector of coastal tourism. However, due to climate change, all of this could change in just a few years.

According to a recent study by a team of international researchers, Egypt, among other coastal countries in the world such as Mexico, Indonesia, Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand, are at risk of losing about 95% of their income from coral reef tourism if world nations don’t take serious action in combatting the rise of planet-warming emissions.

Despite Egypt’s coral reefs’ situation, it is not the worst among the list of countries affected by the rise of global warming, but is believed to be highly affected in terms of economics as Egypt ranks number one in the world in terms of countries with the highest coral reef tourism values, gaining $ 6bn. It could suffer from 94% income cuts in revenues by 2100.

 

On-reef tourism value pertains to in-water activities such as diving, snorkeling, and glass-bottom boats. Adjacent-reef tourism value captures a range of indirect benefits from coral reefs, including the provision of sandy beaches, sheltered water, seafood, and attractive views. 

The paper which was highlighted on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain last week, was commissioned by the leaders of 14 countries with ocean-dependent economies and looked at ocean fisheries seafood cultivation industries, and coral reef tourism.

Findings from the paper illustrated that coral reef tourism is not the only tourism sector that will be impacted by climate change, but also other non-reef coastal attractions such as the coastal glaciers in Ilulissat Icefjord, Denmark, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and coastal cities like Venice, Italy or Alexandria, Egypt. 

“Coastal tourism and other marine-related recreational activities contributes substantially to the tourism sector. Around 121 million people each year participate in ocean-based tourism, spending $47bn in 2003 and supporting one million jobs,” according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate. The report noted that extreme events and coral bleaching are among the climate-related issues placing tourism at risk.

Enhancing coral reef resilience to climate change and reducing the negative impacts of climate change and associated ocean disturbances to coastal economies, requires improving the resilience of marine and coastal ecosystems to climate change. Establishing marine protected areas and Marine Protected Areas (MPA) networks can help improve the ecological resilience of coral reefs. MPAs protect marine ecosystems and their services from environmental uncertainties.

Elena Ojea, a senior researcher at the University of Vigo, Spain, and one of the authors of the research paper, told reporters that; ‘action in reducing emissions really needs to be taken, or we will be facing very important impacts on oceans and people.”

Ojea warned that the 30 million people directly employed in ocean fishing each year will be heavily affected as fish struggle with hotter and more acidic oceans and move to new regions or die.

About a month ago, the Reef-World Foundation and Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS) called for tourists and operators to remember the actions they can take to protect the precious coral reefs in tourist destinations on the Egyptian Red Sea coast. The foundation also announced that Egypt has adopted the Green Fins environmental standards to protect its coral reefs. Green Fins is an ambitious action plan to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Egypt.

 

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HSBC, Citibank compete to assess Siemens power plants https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/hsbc-citibank-compete-to-assess-siemens-power-plants/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 06:30:02 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715885 Egypt's sovereign wealth fund to name the winning financial advisor within days

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High-level government sources told Daily News Egypt that Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund is choosing between HSBC and Citibank to evaluate Siemens’s power stations in Beni Suef, Burullus and the New Administrative Capital (NAC). The consultant who will undertake the evaluation will be announced within a few days.

 

The sources added that the financial adviser to be selected will undertake the review of documents and contracts and assess the cost of the stations in preparation for their presentation to foreign companies for investment and the purchase of their shares.

 

Egypt’s SWF plans to obtain a 30% stake in power plants implemented by the German company Siemens, and six international investors have expressed interest in managing and operating the three power stations, along with the direct investment fund Actis that made a letter of intent to acquire one of the stations.

 

 HSBC bank is one of the banks that financed three electricity production plants in Beni Suef, Burullus, and the NAC, with a total capacity of 14.4 GW along with the German Development Bank and Deutsche Bank, where they contributed to the financing of stations worth €4.1bn, equivalent to 85% of the total value of the contracts amounting to €6bn.

 

The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company had agreed on a “back-up loan” from the Ministry of Finance equivalent to €900m which constituted the remaining 15% of the total financing and represented the advance payment for the Burullus, Beni Suef and New Capital projects.

 

The sources added that the three stations, with a total capacity of 14,400 MW save $1.2bn in fuel annually, and their efficiency rates exceed 60%.

 

 

 

Ayman Soliman, Egypt’s SWF CEO, said in previous press statements that there is great interest on the part of investors in the power stations that were built by Germany’s Siemens.

 

He explained that some of the assets will be owned and some of them will be managed only according to the type of assets and the laws governing them and the appetite of investors, pointing out that the fund is in talks with three Arab sovereign funds, and before the end of the year it will sign agreements with two of them, depending on the pace of the existing discussions.

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500 Startups company invested in 37 Egyptian startups, making 30% of its MENA portfolio: venture partner https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/08/500-startups-company-invested-in-37-egyptian-startups-making-30-of-its-mena-portfolio-venture-partner/ Sun, 08 Dec 2019 06:00:33 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715888 We typically invest an average of $100,000 as an initial investment, and can follow on in the top 20-30% of our investments, up to $500,000, says Haider.

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Currently, most of the youth globally, and in Egypt specifically, are pursuing entrepreneurship rather than finding a fixed job. And subsequently, they look for funding or investors for their startups. Accordingly, some companies have made it their mission to help youth around the world succeed in their startups by funding them, and among these companies is “500 Startups.”

Meanwhile, there are many summits all over the world that help connect both stakeholders and startups, providing startup owners with exposure, resources. and advice. Among these events is the Rise Up Summit that is held annually in Egypt and will be held this year from 5 to 7 December, which means that there is only a day left for the beginning of the summit which is considered one of the more major summits in the Middle East for entrepreneurship.

On this occasion, Daily News Egypt interviewed Hasan Haider,  venture partner at 500 Startups- MENA region, to learn more about his company’s participation in the coming Rise Up summit, the amount of his company’s investments in the Egyptian startups, his company’s selection criteria for the startups that it funds, as well as the company’s five year strategy.

First of all, can you tell us more about 500 Startups?

500 Startups is a venture capital firm on a mission to discover and support the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale, and build thriving global ecosystems. It is one of the most active venture capital firms in the world.

500 Startups in the MENA region:

Silicon-Valley based 500 Startups is one of the most active early-stage venture capital funds in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Since its first investment in the region in 2012, 500 Startups has committed to investments in over 160 startups across the MENA region.

500 Falcons, a MENA-focused fund, that is a part of the global 500 Startups network, was launched in 2017. To-date, the company has invested in over 150 startups and plans to invest in another 50 companies, in addition to follow-on investments into the top performing companies.

Earlier this year, the oversubscribed MENA-focused 500 Falcons fund was closed at $33m.

Up until now, how many Egyptian startup companies has 500 Startups funded? And what’s the amount of investments?

To-date, 500 startups has invested in 37 Egyptian startups in our portfolio, which is around 30% of our total investments in the MENA region. We typically invest an average of $100,000 as an initial investment and can go as high as $500,000, which is the case of our top 20-30%.

At what stage will 500 Startups prefer to fund the start up? And what is the selection criteria for start-ups to receive funding from 500 Startups?

As a firm, we typically invest at the seed stage of a start-up’s development. How that is defined varies, but on average we are looking for startups that have launched a product and have been generating revenues of at least $5,000 a month, for the last three-six months, growing at least 20% month over month. Startups at this stage are generally raising between $300,000 – $500,000 in total to scale their customer acquisition, traction, and metrics.

We’re looking for balanced founding teams, with a bias towards execution, going after a large market with few to no competitors, and a product that users want.

As we are only a day away for the Rise Up summit, what is your opinion about it?

Rise up Summit is one of the best startup events in the MENA region. We actively look forward to it every year. I believe the key advantage that Rise up Summit has is that it genuinely feels authentic. The startups and community come together to make something grassroots, organic, and real. It’s not a series of government speakers in a ballroom in some hotel, but a real festival and celebration of entrepreneurship, founders, and startups.

How many times have you participated in the Ruse Up summit?

Almost every year.

What’s your expectations for your participation in the coming edition?

I’m looking forward to interacting with amazing startups from Egypt and all over the MENA region again, catching up with the other investors that will be there, and hopefully providing some useful insights to as many founders as we can through our speaking engagements.

How many startups have you funded through Rise Up summit and with how much in investments?

We’ve invested in many startups that we’ve met with during Rise Up and hope to continue doing so.

In your opinion, what distinguishes Egypt in terms of entrepreneurship than other countries in the Middle East? And what are the challenges?

In my opinion, Egypt is one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the MENA region. We love investing in Egyptian startups – the founders are passionate, driven, motivated to succeed with an amazing technical talent base. Combining that talent, motivation, and the large market size that exists – Egypt really is the main market to be investing in. Egyptian founders do face challenges, like recruiting talent related to growth, and the low spending power of users, but we’ve generally seen them succeed against all odds.

What are the promising sectors in Egypt that you would like to invest in?

There is a massive untapped opportunity in Egypt in fintech – finding ways to provide financial services to the mass unbanked market is an attractive option, and we’ve seen successes in other markets which leapfrogged the banking system to mobile based wallets. In addition, there are a lot of logistical and transport-based opportunities within Egypt, as well as on-demand products and services. We’ve been actively investing in all these sectors, but more broadly we’re interested in backing starts that can scale both within and outside Egypt.

The government is adopting a digital transformation strategy, in your opinion what are the challenges that Egypt faces in terms of mobile technology and e-commerce? What are the opportunities?

Every challenge and obstacle is just an opportunity to solve in the right hands. I believe that the largest challenge, particularly for e-commerce startups, is the availability of online payment options other than cash on delivery. Additionally, connectivity – making sure the majority of the population can afford data and access to the internet is an infrastructural obstacle. Combined with logistics, these three points are the main obstacles for growth in the tech industry. Having said that, I believe Egyptian founders have overcome these issues and have been thriving with their startups, and Egypt has passed the tipping point to enable success stories in the market.

Finally, what is the company’s five year plan in Egypt?

We’re going to continue to actively invest in the Egyptian market as we have been, and I believe the market will just get bigger and better. We’ll also start to see more and more exits there. Egypt is one of our key markets and will likely be for the foreseeable future.

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She is Arab: a new voice for Arab women https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/07/she-is-arab-a-new-voice-for-arab-women/ Sat, 07 Dec 2019 14:06:15 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715863 She is Arab is a passion venture co-founded by Noha Hefny and Samar Alshorafa. Daily News Egypt had interviewed borh Hefny and AlShorafa to learn more about the platform.

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A month ago, the MENA region witnessed the launch of She is Arab, the first platform dedicated to Arab women speakers in the world, becoming a new voice of Arab women. The campaign aspires to become a credible reference point for organisations on gender equality and women empowerment.

She is Arab is a passion venture co-founded by Noha Hefny and Samar Alshorafa. Daily News Egypt had interviewed borh Hefny and AlShorafa to learn more about the platform.

Can you introduce the platform to our readers?

She is Arab the first dedicated speakers’ platform for Arab women in the world with a mission to represent and develop Arab women speakers and thought leaders across every sector to highlight successful role models and success stories. It also aims to

reduce stereotypes about Arab women. We are both graduates of the American

University in Cairo class of 2001, which is how we know each other. We are

both married mothers of boys, residing in Dubai, UAE.  We are committed to

human centric development, placing people at the heart of everything that we

do while delivering impact and driving positive change.

As social entrepreneurs, we are driven by passion and have a combined experience of more than 30 years in the fields of international development, humanitarian action, public policy, public affairs, and integrated marketing communications. We have both worked in leading global organisations in both the private and public sectors including the United Nations, International Finance Corporate, the European Commission’s Industrial Modernisation Programme for Egypt, HH Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, PepsiCo, and McKinsey & Company.

How did you come up with the platform’s idea?

We both share a common passion towards gender equality and women empowerment and wanted to create a platform that would become a credible reference point for the world on all issues relating to Arab women. We aspire to minimise silos and to have one platform created by Arab women for Arab women that represents their voice.

As social entrepreneurs, we created “She is Arab” to inspire and develop women, document success stories, create role models, drive leadership and participation, empowerment through exposure, visibility, professional development, mentorship, and networking. We aim to increase Arab women’s

representation in speaking platforms on the international stage and in the region more prominently, and to truly represent Arab women of all ages,

backgrounds, and sector specialisations.  The idea has truly been in the works for several years and has matured into was

“She is Arab” is today, which presents a forward-looking online platform that leverages the power of technology to enhance

collaboration, learning, knowledge, and the exchange of experiences. She is Arab is a purpose driven, tech-business and stems from our commitment to increasing Arab women’s representation on speaking platforms around the world.

 What services does the platform provide for women?

The platform will offer four distinct services; speaker bureau services to match Arab women with speaking opportunities; professional development services to prepare women through relevant raining and coaching services to become or improve their public speaking skills, and to build their thought leadership profiles; Advisory services to organisations on social impact and gender equality; a network that connects Arab women around the globe across multiple sectors and enables collaboration to increase knowledge on a variety of topics.

We are providing the tools to support Arab women on their journey of self-discovery as leaders and speakers, empowering them through the offered

services and tech-driven tools to introduce their achievements and success stories to the world.

What is the goal of the platform?

Our vision is to be the new voice of Arab women. Our mission is to represent and develop Arab women speakers and thought leaders in different sectors while addressing sustainable development goal five (Gender Equality) by driving gender balance in speaking events and creating role models to inspire the future generation. We are leveraging the power of communication and technology to do all of that and to amplify our efforts.

how many members does the platform have currently? And how many are you hoping to reach?

We have close to 100 registered speakers under review, 60 of them published on the platform, and approximately 200 network members in total. Our target

is to reach 5000 members by 2030, out of which 1000 are qualified Arab women speakers from around the world, to document their stories and achievements,

engage them in knowledge driven events and help them with their public speaking journeys. We hope to deliver impact through echoing their voices to

thousands of people and audiences around the world.  We believe in the power of storytelling and aspire to echo and spread the stories of our network members from Egypt and from the rest of the region worldwide. We believe this will demonstrate the power of Arab women and to reduce stereotypes and misperceptions about what we are capable of achieving.

What is the five year strategy for the platform in Egypt?

Egypt is a strategic market for She is Arab. As an early stage start-up, our aspiration is to establish a physical presence in Egypt and to have a fully running operation offering all of our four services.. This is what we hope to achieve in the next five years. We are working proactively to develop local partnerships to help us achieve our goals in the shortest time possible. In the long run, we are also keen to expand our services if we can to women across various governorates in Egypt. We want to reach youth and economically unprivileged women, to offer training in communications, public speaking, leadership and other skills and to present their success stories to the world. We aspire to develop a fresh pipeline of young emerging Arab women thinkers and speakers including Egyptians across every sector who are able to represent the region internationally; while adding value and offering innovative solutions for key global and regional challenges.

How can you evaluate women’s economic empowerment in Egypt?

There have been great developments taking place in Egypt in recent years. The country’s appointment of eight women ministers, which represent 25% of

the Cabinet, handling strategic portfolios, is proof of the government’s commitment to ensure women are well represented in leadership roles in the

public sector. Major strategy announcements were made as part of Vision 2030 for Egypt, as well as constitutional law amendments that empower women such as being able to give Egyptian nationality to their children, or setting a quota of local council seats for women. The National Council for

Women has also been extremely proactive as a leader in these debates under the leadership of Maya Morsy. All of these developments over the years

are promising for women.

 What are the countries that could be taken as a model in women empowerment in the MENA region?

There is great momentum across the region, with countries taking great strides towards achieving women empowerment, and likewise in Egypt. Some of the most prominent examples include, Saudi women gaining the right to drive and for those under the age of 21, the right to travel, apply for a passport, cross the Saudi border, register births, marriage, divorce or death, access basic education, healthcare, open businesses without a male guardian’s permission. Divorced women can retain custody of their children. Women could vote for the first time ever in municipal elections, enlist in the military, do physical exercise in the streets. Stadiums recently began letting women watch sports live. The number of women working in the private sector has soared 130% from 2013.

In Bahrain, Fawzia Zainal is the third Arab woman to head parliament

after the UAE and Syria. On average, women earn the same as men and that more

than 50 per cent of companies registered in Bahrain are now founded by

women.

In Kuwait, various efforts undertaken to activate UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG 5) and to allow women to take part in the public prosecution field in order to advance and become judges in the future. Currently, 57% of civil servants in Kuwait are women.

In Egypt for the first time 25% of the cabinet is represented by women through the appointment of eight ministers in 2018, while 15% of the

parliament is now made up of women. In Tunisia, two prominent women run for presidential elections this year.

In Jordan, government approved a five-year women’s economic empowerment action plan which aims to increase women’s labour force participation rate to 24% by 2025.

In the UAE, where our head office is based, several developments have taken place including, the approval of a law that guarantees equal pay for

men and women, a decree that stipulates that Emirati women must occupy 50% of the seats of the UAE’s Federal National Council, 27% of women

representation in cabinet (nineout of 32 ministers), and 30% of the diplomatic corps are currently female. The UAE has been seen as a regional leader in this domain by the World Economic Forum since 2016, and ranks

first regionally on achieving SDG five on gender equality.  In 2012, the

government decision of mandatory presence of women on boards was the first of its kind in the region and the second globally.

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Bimaristan Al Muayyad, one of the world’s largest hospital, is locked behind Islamic Cairo’s gates https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/07/bimaristan-al-muayyad-one-of-the-worlds-largest-hospital-is-locked-behind-islamic-cairos-gates/ Sat, 07 Dec 2019 13:58:14 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715868 Sultan Muayyed shiekh killed his son and built one of largest hospitals in the Islamic world

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Looking from Cairo Citadel, people can only see Sultan Hassan and Al-Rifa’i Mosques. Yet, beside the Citadel, there is a mesmerising forgotten place, Darb Al Labana.

This area has the fourth largest Bimaristan (hospital) in the Islamic world, which is locked behind one of the oldest gates in Islamic Cairo.

When looking at the etymology of the hospital, we find that “Bimaristan” is of Persian decent, and is comprised of two words, “Bimar” meaning sick and “Stan” meaning place. So, in essence, Bimaristan means the place of the sick people, or hospital. As the word travelled west into Arabic speaking regions, it changed from Baimaristan to Moristan, where the word was associated closely to hospitals, specifically mental hospitals.

Although Bimarist al-Muayyad sheikh, as any hospital was established to cure all the diseases, its functions have changed over time to become a place to cure only one disease.

Al Muayyad Sheikh was Sultan of Egypt in the era of Mamluk Circassians. He ordered to build the Bimaristan on the hill near Cairo Citadel.

When the Sultan died, the hospital’s expenses were reduced; therefore the hospital could only specialise and cure only one type of disease. Although, Al-Nasir Muhammad’s Bimarstan was the only hospital to specialise in curing mental illness diseases.

Entering the Bimarstan, visitors would witness a huge hall with mihrab, which indicates the qibla for prayer; this hall was used as a small mosque for the patients and doctors inside the hospital. The Bimaristan was the third largest hospital in Egypt and the fourth in the Islamic world.

The two-story hospital was divided into two sectors one for males and the other for females, with a timber-roofed middle hall, it also had a water tank, which was located 10 metres below the hospital. However, the women department was ruined, as well as the pharmacy, library, and a small mosque.

Al Muayyad Sheikh is well known for killing his own son. Ibrahim was the son of Al-Muayyad not different from his father, Ibrahim was intelligent and brave, so the military campaigns were led by him.

Achieving victory in the military campaigns, one of the Sultan’s ministers tried to create a dispute between the Sultan and his son.  The minister had warned the Sultan that some princes would like to overthrow him and appoint his son Ibrahim instead in the Sultanate, advising him to get rid of Ibrahim to regain control of the kingdom.

Al Muayyad Sheikh, had put poison in food to kill his son. Screaming from excessive pain, the young man who was not over the age of twenty years, was dying in front of his father. The sultan did not bear the cries of his son, and decided to look for an antidote to save his son from death. However the young man was dying and all of the drugs and treatments did not work.

The sultan got paralyzed during his son’s funeral, to die only six months later. It was said that the Sultan found out that his son was loyal, and the young man was unjustly accused by the minister. The Sultan accordingly was ordered the minister to be killed.

Protected by gates, Tekkeyet Al-Bustami is also located in Darb Al Labana in Islamic Cairo.

Entering Darb Al Labana’s gates, people witness Tekkeyet Al-Bustami, and Al-Muayyedi Bimaristan, both sites are connected by a small tunnel and protected by the gate.

Tekkeyet Al-Bustami is believed to be built by sultan Mohamed Ibn Qalawun, who also might have built a small mosque for a Sufi man named Taqieddin Al-Bustami from Persia who lived there until he passed away.

Then the mosque turned into Tekyeh, which refers to a place where Sufis gather to worship. The Tekyeh has a central court, surrounded by a small mosque, and a school.

Darb Al-Laban Gate was built in limestone during the Bahari Mameluke era and located beside the Tekyeh. It consists of a gate which is the oldest of those that once marked the entrance to many Islamic City alleys. However, many of them were destroyed since 1798, during the French campaign in Egypt.

The gate has a small-decorated widow with iron bars to allow the entrance of air and light. It is decorated with wooden and stone decorative elements with geometric designs.

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Energy prices, bank interests are the industry’s biggest obstacles in Egypt: Mohamed Hanafy  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/07/energy-prices-bank-interests-are-the-industrys-biggest-obstacles-in-egypt-mohamed-hanafy/ Sat, 07 Dec 2019 13:46:52 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715862 We can compete abroad only by reducing the cost price, says director of the Metallurgical Industries Chamber at FEI

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Industrialisation is the locomotive of any real development in any country. The metal industries in specific is a strong and steady economy that is not easily affected like the rest of the sectors. In Egypt, the industrial sector suffers from many problems, starting from the high cost of products and imported raw materials, to frequent red tape. 

DNE talked to Mohamed Hanafy, director of the Chamber of Metallurgical Industries at the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), to understand the crises of the most important sectors such as iron, aluminium, gold, and quarries, and to tackle the role of the federation in providing solutions to those crises.

Is there a crisis with the amount of iron in Egypt? 

No, Egypt now has self-sufficiency in iron, there is no imported iron in the domestic market and 100% of iron is from the local industry.

We produce 8.2m tonnes per year, but there is a decline in purchasing power now, and the production is according to market needs.

The factories now produce 7.2m tonnes, and the consumption of iron is divided into iron for the infrastructure and iron buildings of the state, which has a large movement in sales up to 90%. There is also iron for consumption, which is used in buildings in the units created by private companies and people, and it is almost halted currently.

 

Does this production represent the production capacity of factories? 

The total production capacity of the factories is approaching 13m tonnes per year, but the market does not need this amount.

 

Is there a crisis with energy in the iron industry? 

The current gas prices for the factories are at $ 5.5 per million thermal units which still represents a rise in the cost of production, challenging the national industries in general as well as electricity prices.

We have asked the Energy Pricing Committee to reconsider gas and electricity prices for factories, and the chamber has asked the Energy Pricing Committee to reduce the price of gas to less than $ 4 per million thermal units.

A study by the committee for re-pricing energy revealed that gas prices for factories in many countries varied between $ 3.2 to $ 3.6 per million thermal units.

In the Gulf states, for example, gas prices to factories reach $1.2 per million thermal units. It is a must to reconsider pricing energy to reach a fair price of natural gas and electricity. 

As we said, the productivity of factories in Egypt outweighs domestic demand. The solution to the continued productivity of these factories is to penetrate foreign markets and open export channels. This will be done only by reducing the production cost and the first step is to reduce energy pricing is to create a competitive advantage for the Egyptian product in foreign markets.

 

Why have iron prices soared recently after falling and does it affect property prices? 

The reason for the recent rise in iron prices is the rise in the prices of international billet and scrap materials, which exceeded $500 per tonne. It started the trade war between the US and China which negatively affects raw materials prices worldwide, but the iron percentage does not exceed 6% of the unit’s price cost. There is no justification for the high prices of housing units in this exaggerated manner.

 

Why can’t we compete abroad in exporting iron? 

Three specific factors increase the cost of producing iron and other materials, including fuel, energy, and the cumulative interests of banks. We talked about fuel prices and their rise. The cost to deliver electricity ranges between 90 piasters to 95 piasters for a factory, however, it is charged for 120-130 piasters. Negotiations continue to reduce the electricity delivery price to the factories. 

Financing expenses represent a crisis. The outside world has zero interest rates or half a percent. Here, they range from $15 to $17. This is a huge dilemma. 

Therefore, we suggested that the interests on raw materials of the factories be 5% like small industries.

 

 What are the reasons for the decline in aluminium prices, and why does it change so much? 

The decline in aluminium prices is due to the decline in the price of the metal globally. The aluminium price is determined every month through the global stock and adds to it the Internal expenses, so it is affected by the global stock prices.

 

And global metal prices fell between $ 100 and $ 150 per tonne, which affects the prices of domestic product.

The prices of the imported product are less expensive than the local product. Factories tend to reduce the local price and make it similar to the imported price to make people buy the local instead of the imported product.

Regarding quarries, how can they be exploited? 

We have a lot of quarry materials, which are additives in certain manufacturing processes. For example, in terms of sand, we have enough reserves for 500 years, so why can’t we export it? Is it because it is a mineral? That is wrong and nobody does that.

 

 

Do licenses and procedures impede quarry utilisation? 

The most prominent obstacles that impede the work of the Mineral Resources Authority and how to benefit economically from the wealth of mines and quarries are the applied problems and specific procedures and the executive regulations of the law. Most of the obstacles are procedural processes regarding how to organise work on quarries or transfer its dependence onto the geological survey that measures mineral wealth in Egypt. These are the same reasons that appeared with the Industrial Development Authority in the implementation of Law 15 of 2017 on facilitating the procedures for granting licenses for industrial establishments and its executive regulations.

What are the main obstacles you see in the new law? 

The method of implementing the law governs the extent of its success. One of the most prominent problems after the adoption of the law amendments, is that there is a large number of bodies that will have the right to collect royalties, as the law specified several bodies to receive them, which may cause the owners of the mines or quarries to close the mines and leave the sector.

 

Are these royalties high? 

The declared rate of royalties from ranges from 5-20% and this will be a huge dilemma and an exaggeration. When drafting the law, these ratios should be set gradually. The application of royalties should be gradual, but leaving things in their current situation will complicate matters. Each party will require 20% royalties, which means at least 80 or 70% royalties, and here we return to the basic point, the application of the law in reality. Localities require royalties, roads require royalties, and urban communities require royalties. A quarry owner wants one body to deal with, even if the royalties are 70%. Otherwise, quarry owners will leave the sector for good.

 

 

Did the investment incentive laws affect the situation? 

Despite the efforts of the state and the ministry, the numbers of direct investment are declining due to the routine and the old vision. Any comparison with the figures would show this. 

 

 

What about cement factories and demanding state intervention? 

The cement industry faces many barriers. It is assumed that we have a competitive advantage which is energy. However, high energy prices and dependence on coal raise the cost price hinder competition, and the state will not intervene. The state is no longer allowed to be involved in market prices.

 

Regarding the FEI, how will you deal with the amendments to the new elections law? 

Amending the law abolished the representation of the people, and divided the board of directors into three sectors, large, medium and small, unlike the representation of each division by a member as before.

Why didn’t you submit those remarks? 

Our opinion was not asked for, rather, we were surprised to see the law approved by the House of Representatives and we were asked to amend the executive regulations of the new law. The second problem is that there is more than one classification of the size of industries according to several bodies.

 

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Rise of gold investment raises bullion sales, workmanship https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/07/rise-of-gold-investment-raises-bullion-sales-workmanship/ Sat, 07 Dec 2019 13:31:29 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715815 60% increase in demand for bullion from the beginning of 2019, says Embabi

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The price of a gram of gold increased to EGP 35 – EGP 50 as a result of the rise in gold investment in 2019, and the demand for bullion.

Hassan Embabi, CEO of the platform “Isagha” specialised in gold selling online, said that the platform’s latest report showed a rise in demand for bullion from January to October by 60%.

He added that there is a trend for consumers to invest their money in bullion due to their low workmanship, ranging between EGP 15 and EGP 20 in 2018, and rising in 2019 to range between EGP 35 and EGP 50.

He pointed out that the rise is not linked to the rise in gold prices, but rather the tendency of some companies to introduce coated high-quality products, and raise the value of its workmanship, which led to a trend to raise the price of the alloy workmanship within the market.

He added that the increase in demand from citizens was due to companies’ propaganda campaigns that led citizens to buy bullions and pounds and pulled the market towards the idea of investment. This increased the demand of investors and depositing into Suez canal certificates in buying bullions and pounds.

He explained that the diversity of products on the market is in the interest of consumers, and gives them different investment opportunities according to purchasing power, and meets their needs.

He added that the rise of alloys workmanship weights less than 31.10 grams per ounce to a level exceeding EGP 35 is not a real investment for customers, given the presence of popular jewelleries such as bracelets whose workmanship does not exceed EGP 25, and benefits consumer in terms of saving and wearing.

He pointed out that the percentage of recovery of workmanship value by consumers declined from EGP 17 to range between EGP 9 and EGP 11.

According to him, the products offered vary in terms of weights. Alloys with low weights range from 31.10 to 100 grams and large weight include a quarter kilogram and a half kilogram.

Hani Baqi, chairperson of Margaret Gold Company, said that the demand for bullion has pushed the market to introduce new products, whether through the establishment of new companies or the allocation of lines for the production of bullion and pounds at different weights.

He added that the successive upward movement of gold prices in recent years has attracted the attention of consumers to invest in gold as a safe haven, as a result of the ease of buying simple volumes or selling at any time, other than investing in other savings vessels such as real estate.

Baqi stated that the high demand for investment in gold is due to the decline in workmanship, but Upper Egypt and other regions are still far from investing in bullion and interest in jewelleries of calibre 21.

He pointed out that the rise in gold prices enhances the gains of individuals in investment, and reduces the losses of price differences of bullion workmanship.

According to him, workmanship of sizes less than 31.10 grams exceeds EGP 30, while for of larger sizes, it ranges between EGP 20 and EGP 25.

The rise in workmanship is due to high prices as a result of the recent economic reforms carried out by the state and the gold market, as a result of the rise in wages and salaries of workers and packaging supplies and others, Baqi added.

He illustrated that gold companies pay attention to the appetite of consumers to invest in bullion, and put low weights within the reach of the purchasing power of citizens, ranging between one gram and 31.10 grams.

He pointed out that the competition between companies for the introduction of bullion and pounds enhances the capacity of the local gold market, and is in the interest of consumers to obtain a variety of products of different quality.

The competitiveness has prompted companies to introduce local bullion with a local brand, and with high quality packaging systems, emulating imported bullion, which confirms the development of the gold industry locally, Baqi elaborated.

He expected a rise in demand for bullion during the coming period as a result of the rise in gold prices globally to a level between $1600 and $1700 an ounce.

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Energean pledges net zero emissions by 2050 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/07/energean-pledges-net-zero-emissions-by-2050/ Sat, 07 Dec 2019 13:28:51 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715823 The pledges of the United Nations “Business Ambition for 1.5°C: Our Only Future” campaign, and specifically to set science-based targets across Energean’s entire value chain, the company said in a press statement.

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Energean Oil and Gas plc, the oil and gas producer focused on the Mediterranean, announced on Wednesday its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The pledges of the United Nations “Business Ambition for 1.5°C: Our Only Future” campaign, and specifically to set science-based targets across Energean’s entire value chain, the company said in a press statement.

The campaign is being launched at the 25th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference — also known as COP 25 — taking place from 2 to 13 December in Madrid, Spain.

The campaign calls on business leaders to set emissions reduction targets with the highest

ambition for their companies in line with the temperature rise report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change (IPCC). In general, the goal is tto reach net-zero emissions by no later than 2050 in order to not have the temperature increase by 1.5°C.

Energean is the first London listed E&P company that commits to the specific campaign.

Mathios Rigas, CEO of Energean said “We are proud to participate in the United Nations Global Compact and are pleased to be playing a leading industry role by not only committing to and supporting the United Nations’s “Business Ambition for 1.5°C: Our Only Future” campaign, but also to be committing Energean to net zero emissions by 2050. We are creating the leading independent, gas-focused, sustainable E&P company in the Eastern Mediterranean which is committed to reducing our emissions and to the sustainability agenda.”

Notably, Energean Oil & Gas is finalising its acquisition of oil and gas assets owned by Italian company Edison in Egypt, Italy, Algeria, Croatia, North Sea, Norway, and Greece.

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Egyptian Arab Land Bank appoints Medhat Kamar as chairperson https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/07/egyptian-arab-land-bank-appoints-medhat-kamar-as-chairperson/ Sat, 07 Dec 2019 12:14:34 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715812 Kamar served as the deputy chairperson before Amr Kamal, who just recently resigned from his post, nominated him to take the lead. 

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Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly issued a decree appointing Medhat Kamar as the Chairperson of the Egyptian Arab Land Bank for the remaining term of the board until September 2020, based on the nomination of Tarek Amer, governor of the Central Bank of Egypt.

Kamar served as the deputy chairperson before Amr Kamal, who just recently resigned from his post, nominated him to take the lead.

Kamar joined the Egyptian Arab Land Bank board in September 2017. He was formerly a senior risk officer at the National Bank of Egypt.

Kamar managed the settlement of about 42% of the total non-performing debt portfolio in the period from October 2017 to November 2019 with a value of EGP 2.6bn.

For his part, Kamar thanked Kamal for the great effort and wise leadership during his tenure as Chairperson of the Bank and was honoured to work with him.

Kamar confirmed that he and his colleagues in the Board of Directors are determined to complete the reform process and will make every effort to complete the stages and plans for the development and reform of the bank.

 

Kamar pointed out that the bank has highly qualified and experienced human resources, and he appreciates the efforts of all employees of the bank during the past period, hoping that the efforts and forearms of all staff will continue to join hands to complete the process of development and reform.

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Paymob to be present in RiseUpSummit19 with the Cashless experience RiseUpPay https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/07/paymob-to-be-present-in-riseupsummit19-with-the-cashless-experience-riseuppay/ Sat, 07 Dec 2019 06:00:01 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715793 Islam Shawky, Co-founder & CEO of Paymob, will be sharing a speech about the future of digital payments technology for the participants of this important regional event. The session will be taking place on Saturday 7 December at AUC in the 5th Settlement, New Cairo.

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Paymob, a company that provides digital payments technology, will share its vision and smart solutions at the Rise Up Summit 2019, which will be held from 5-7 December at the American University in Cairo (AUC), presented as the main partner of the event and the only digital payment facility for the summit.

Paymob has pioneered the stride towards a cashless society in the region. They have championed growth through enabling wide financial inclusion, and a constant evolving ecosystem. Showing its various solutions, accept payments, digital wallets, and the cashless solution, which helps the audience to know more about the field of financial technology.

Islam Shawky, Co-founder & CEO of Paymob, will be sharing a speech about the future of digital payments technology for the participants of this important regional event. The session will be taking place on Saturday 7 December at AUC in the 5th Settlement, New Cairo.

Alain Al Hajj, Co-Founder & COO of Paymob will be giving another keynote in “Pitch by the Pyramids” event about Paymob’s partnership with Riseup, which will include seven main aspects, the Financial Technology growth and smart capital, and creative culture, economies, and technology to improve the human experience and emerging financial and technical technology. The speech will be given on Sunday 8 December in Giza area near the Pyramids.

The Rise Up Summit is the Middle East’s largest entrepreneurial forum, which aims to connect startups in the Middle East with the most relevant resources around the world. Rise Up aims this year to attract around 10,000 participants over three days, in addition to presenting many new elements of the summit, which is hosting more than 17 competitions and events on the sidelines of the summit, including 180 exhibitors startups, as well as more than 200 workshops, inspirational speeches, and panel discussions.

Started in 2014, Paymob provides electronic payments technology with a wide range of financial services, including digital wallets and payment services. Paymob provides solutions for both sides of payments, issuance & acceptance. In 2016, Paymob launched Accept Payments, a payment service provider for online & offline businesses with payment acceptance services whether in store, cash on delivery, online cards, instalments, loyalty points, & digital wallets.

Accept offers different services in the field of payments for the companies and for small and medium enterprises.

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2.3% increase in exports, decrease in trade balance deficit by $2.147bn https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/06/2-3-increase-in-exports-decrease-in-trade-balance-deficit-by-2-147bn/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 16:46:55 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715799 Imports also witnessed a decline of 3% to record $57.709bn compared to $59.336bn during the same period last year with a decrease of $1.660bn.

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Egyptian non-oil exports achieved a significant increase during the first 10 months of the current year by 2.3% to record $21.322bn compared to approximately $20.835bn during the same period last year.

Imports also witnessed a decline of 3% to record $57.709bn compared to $59.336bn during the same period last year with a decrease of $1.660bn.

The report issued by the General Organization for Import and Export Control (GOEIC) showed the increase in the volume of exports was reflected positively on the decrease in the trade deficit, which decreased by $2.147bn, a decline of 6% over the same period last year.

The report attributed the decrease to efforts of Ministry of Trade and Industry to support local product and replace the same imported goods as part of its plan to deepen local manufacturing and promote foreign trade.

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Decathlon opens new branch in Egypt https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/06/decathlon-opens-new-branch-in-egypt/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 13:04:15 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715788 Eyeing expansion in the local market, the French group strives to keep introducing quality products to Egyptian consumers, says Bodhuin

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Decathlon Egypt, a subsidiary of the French sporting goods retailer, Decathlon Group, inaugurated early this week its new branch at City Center Mall in Heliopolis in the presence of French ambassador to Cairo, Stéphane Romatet.

The new branch is an outstanding shopping centre that boats a wide range of sporting products, such as sportswear, shoes, and equipment for sports-lovers of all types. It strives to make sports requirements within the reach of everybody at affordable prices. The branch also aims to offer impetus for sportspeople and boost the company’s standing in the Egyptian market.

Decathlon Egypt Country Manager, Eric Bodhuin said the opening of the new branch, the third by the outstanding French trademark in Egypt, comes to showcase the importance of the Egyptian market where the vast majority of consumers is made up of youth under the age of 25.

The opening of the branch, he added, is also part of the expansion plan of the company, which works to create a network of branches that cover all areas and governorates in Egypt.

“This will help us bring our distinguishe products to our clients in all geographical areas,” Bodhuin said. “It will also contribute to boosting the Egyptian economy and bolstering Egypt’s standing as a regional shopping hub.”

He said the network of branches would also bring original sports tools and wear at consumers’ doorstep, instead of buying them from abroad. Decathlon, Bodhuin added, works to spread the sports culture in the Egyptian society.

“We have a large and strong institution that aims at promoting the sporting mindset,” Bodhuin said. He noted that Decathlon’s products are made to fit all people who want to practice sports.

Decathlon, he said, has become more than just a sporting trademark. “It has become a style of life,” Bodhuin added.

Studies conducted on Decathlon clients showed high demand among Egyptians for the products of the company, according to Country Expansion Manager, Abdurrahman Ahmed.

Ahmed said this turned the opening of new branches a top priority for the leading French sporting goods retailer.

The new branch is constructed over 3,000 square meters at City Center Mall in Almaza, Heliopolis, a prime shopping and commercial district that enjoys a superb geographical location.

It will serve a large number of residents in Heliopolis, Nasr City, and surrounding areas.

“We expect the new branch to be popular among consumers in these areas, thanks to the wonderful reputation Decathlon enjoys as a leading sporting goods brand,” Ahmed noted.

Bodhuin highlighted the importance of presenting consumers with an excellent experience for Decathlon.

He said the company does this by bringing together tools and requirements under superlative trademarks.

“This is the logic behind the inauguration of the new branch of Decathlon,” Bodhuin said. “This is a new outlet for the French trademark in the Egyptian market.”

He said Decathlon would continue to expand and offer an enjoying shopping experience for its clients.

All the company’s workers, he said, are sports professionals.

“Each of these people work in their field of interest,” Bodhuin said. “This makes them capable of helping clients pick up the best products that fit them.”

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Samih Sawiris takes over Thomas Cook franchise in Germany https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/06/samih-sawiris-takes-over-thomas-cook-franchise-in-germany/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 12:45:25 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715787 Sawiris owns 74.9% of the Raiffeisen Touristik Group, which generates around €3.5bn in sales per year. The group includes Otto brand Reiseland, Thomas Cook Netherlands, and 700 private travel agencies.

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Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris, through his Raiffeisen Touristik Group, has acquired the Thomas Cook franchise in Germany.

According to the acquisition, hundreds of travel agencies have moved to Sawiris to become one of the largest travel entrepreneurs in Germany, according to Handelsblatt.

Sawiris owns 74.9% of the Raiffeisen Touristik Group, which generates around €3.5bn in sales per year. The group includes Otto brand Reiseland, Thomas Cook Netherlands, and 700 private travel agencies.

Sawiris also holds shares in the tour operator FTI from Munich. He owns one third of the company. He also took over parts of it as a co-owner three years ago.

Sawiris is looking to expand further into the tourism industry as his company is associated with the development of the hotel business. Orascom Development owns 35 hotels in Egypt, the UAE, Oman, and Switzerland. Hotel projects are also planned in Montenegro and Morocco.

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Ministry of Planning launches Sharek 2030 mobile app to advertise gov’t projects https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/06/ministry-of-planning-launches-sharek-2030-mobile-app-to-advertise-govt-projects/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 11:50:14 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715789 The launch of the Sharek 2030 mobile app took place within the activities of the 23rd session of the Cairo International Exhibition for Communications and Technology (CAIRO ICT 2019) which lasted for four days at the Cairo International Exhibition Center in New Cairo.

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Egypt’s Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform launched on Wednesday a mobile application entitled ‘Sharek 2030” (Participate 2030) in reference to Egypt’s 2030 vision aiming to increase citizens’ awareness of the ongoing development plans in each governorate.

The launch of the Sharek 2030 mobile app took place within the activities of the 23rd session of the Cairo International Exhibition for Communications and Technology (CAIRO ICT 2019) which lasted for four days at the Cairo International Exhibition Center in New Cairo.

Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform Hala Al-Saeed said the main goal behind the launch of the Sharek 2030 mobile application is to establish an easy communication channel between the state and citizens for the sake of raising awareness on the ongoing development projects in the country.

She pointed out that a Macroeconomic Stabilisation Programmme has been introduced, which tracks the level of the economy entirely from indicators of unemployment, inflation, and poverty rates.

Al-Saeed added that Sharek 2030 mobile application aims to achieve greater transparency with citizens through availability of information on development programmes, performance indicators, and strategic projects, which enable citizens to assess the extent of completion of projects.

“The Sharek 2030 mobile application contributes effectively in achieving periodic community awareness on the volume of state’s achievements, it moreover provides an opportunity for citizens to participate in the follow-up process on the ongoing projects and propose initiatives” Al-Saeed said.

For his part, Assistant Minister of Planning for Follow-up of the Sustainable Development Plan, Gamil Helmy explained that the Sharek 2030 mobile application includes information on some completed and ongoing development projects in all governorates of Egypt.

He noted that Sharek 2030 enables citizens to monitor completion rates of these projects, as well as allowing citizens to send proposals that highlight local needs, which in turn differ from one governorate to another.

Helmy continued that information included in the application relied on a number of key sources such as the National System for Monitoring and Evaluating Governmental Performance with a total of 2700 performance indicators, as well as a 90 day construction report ,in addition to relying on the investment plan system.

“The follow-up data on the implementation of projects came from the Ministry of Planning, other ministries and the National Investment Bank,” he stressed.

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Private Sector-Led Development in Egypt: IFC https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/06/private-sector-led-development-in-egypt-ifc/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 06:00:49 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715781 Following the recent Investment for Africa Forum held in Egypt on November 22nd and 23rd, we share highlights of IFC’s approach to private sector development in one of the Middle East’s largest economies.

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IFC is dedicated to fighting poverty and creating economic opportunities in Egypt, said IFC Country Manager Walid Labadi in an interview.

Following the recent Investment for Africa Forum held in Egypt on November 22nd and 23rd, we share highlights of IFC’s approach to private sector development in one of the Middle East’s largest economies.

What is IFC’s Strategy in Egypt for the upcoming 3-5 years?

As a member of the World Bank Group, IFC is dedicated to fighting poverty and creating economic opportunities in Egypt.  We do that by both advising and investing in private sector companies that have the potential to create jobs and drive innovation.

It’s our core belief that if we can unlock the potential of Egypt’s private sector, we can start generating the type of sustainable, long-term growth that will make life better for people across the country.

In cooperation with the government and other institutions at the World Bank Group, we’ve developed our strategy for the next five years. Our strategy places a strong emphasis on creating jobs, especially for young people.

As well, we’ll continue to invest in renewable energy, especially solar and wind, two areas where we have been extremely active in recent years. We’ll forge ahead with our work to support small businesses, which are the backbone of this country’s economy, and we’ll look at new investments in areas like manufacturing, agribusiness, banking, and digital technology.

How much has IFC invested in Egypt during FY19?

Egypt is a priority country for us. In the 2019 fiscal year, which ended June 30th, we invested $307m here. In fact, we have more money invested in Egypt—over $4bn—than in any other country in the Middle East and North Africa. And IFC’s portfolio here is the fifth-highest of any country in the world. Incidentally, we also have a very active advisory services program. Last year, we launched 13 advisory projects to support entrepreneurship, promote gender equality, and expand public-private partnerships.

In the first half of fiscal year 2020, we invested $84m in a private wind farm on the Gulf of Suez and we plan to close another $120m deal with a leading healthcare service provider to improve healthcare services in Egypt and Morocco.

You mentioned that creating jobs is a priority to IFC in Egypt, can you elaborate more on this?

As I mentioned before, we focus on projects that improve the lives of Egyptians and one of the most pressing issues facing this country is joblessness. With 80 million Egyptians entering the labor force within the next 10 years, creating jobs will be Egypt’s biggest economic challenge. So many of our projects are designed to generate employment.

Let me give you one example that we’re proud of. In fiscal year 2018, IFC invested and mobilized $653m to develop 13 solar power projects near Aswan, in what will be the world’s largest solar park, Benban. The project not only reaffirmed our long-term commitment to Egypt’s ongoing energy reforms, but also helped create 6,000 jobs for the local community in Upper Egypt.

Manufacturing also plays a critical role in improving the country’s competitiveness and helps create jobs. In fiscal year 2018, we made two significant investments in the manufacturing and agribusiness sectors. We invested $100m in Middle East Glass to help the company increase production, which will generate 4,000 direct and indirect jobs. We also provided a financing package of $30m to Edita, a leading Egyptian snack food manufacturer, to help the company expand in Egypt and establish a new production facility in Morocco. This expansion will help Edita create up to 2,000 jobs.

How did the reform program help Egypt’s economy?

Egypt’s economy has improved dramatically since the government launched a series of fiscal reforms in November 2016.

Real GDP growth reached 5.6 percent in FY19, up from 5.3 percent in FY18. Data for the first nine months of FY19 show that this pickup is driven by net exports, as goods and services exports inched up in tandem with a contraction of oil imports (supported by the increase in natural gas production).

As well, private investment is picking up and net exports are improving, which are hugely positive signs.

Assuming a continuation of macroeconomic reforms and a gradual improvement in the business environment, economic growth is expected to reach 6 percent by FY21, supported by a recovery in private consumption, investments and exports (notably in tourism and gas).

How do you plan to expand IFC’s program in Egypt?

We plan to ramp up our investments in Egypt in the coming years. One area we are very bullish about is renewable energy. As you know, Egypt has tremendous potential when it comes to wind and solar power. For years, though, the electricity sector was dominated by the state and progress in renewables was slow. But the sector is finally opening up to private investment and major projects are coming online. For example, the Benban solar array is privately run. We also recently invested in a private 252-megawatt wind farm, called West Bakr, on the Gulf of Suez.

I think these projects are just the beginning. Egypt has the potential to become a renewable energy powerhouse and the private sector can play an important role in making that happen.

Also, when I look at logistics and transport, I see opportunities. For example, Egypt enjoys a strategic geographical location, and its ports are ranked 18th worldwide for competitiveness. Even more private sector investment in ports could help turn Egypt into a regional hub for shipping.

Egypt’s ICT sector is another area with plenty of potential. Some $4.5 billion in investment are needed to bring the country’s information technology infrastructure in line with global standards. Internet penetration is as low as 45 percent and the country’s internet speeds are among the slowest globally. Investments in fiber optic technology, particularly, will help improve service and spur the development of the IT sector.

We also see great potential in the financial sector, especially with banks and microfinance institutions. As you know, access to capital is a major challenge in Egypt, especially for small and medium enterprises. We’re working with banks to help them develop financial products that cater to SMEs. We’re also looking at investments in banks and financial institutions to help them expand their lending to SMEs. In fact, that’s something we’ve already done, investing $100m in both AIB and CIB.

Attractiveness of Egypt for Foreign direct investment: what is needed to be done?

Egypt is already becoming more appealing to outside investors. The government has worked hard to improve the business climate, adopting new laws on investments and insolvency, while simplifying licensing procedures.  But it needs to do more if it wants to really ramp up foreign investment.  Reforms are needed in competition policy, public procurement, the management of state-owned-enterprises, and land allocation.  The Government also needs to create more space for the private sector by creating bankable PPP models in water and ports, opening Telecom infrastructure to private investment, and monetizing state-owned operating power assets. If the government can make those changes, it would jumpstart the growth of the private sector, which would be a good thing for all Egyptians.

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Oil prices hike ahead of OPEC meeting after large production cuts expectations https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/05/oil-prices-hike-ahead-of-opec-meeting-after-large-production-cuts-expectations/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:30:32 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715769 Brent increased by $0.75 to $61.57, WTI up by $0.65 to $56.75

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Crude Oil gained on Wednesday ahead of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) meetings this week, where the cartel and its allies are expected to extend production cuts to support the market from oversupply.

Industry data showed that US crude stockpiles fell more than expected which played a role in lifting prices. Brent crude futures were up $1.77, or 1.77%, to record $62.95 a barrel by 2.42 pm GMT. While the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $1.65, or 1.65%, recording $57.75.

In Egypt’s case, the country is highly vulnerable to crude oil price fluctuations, as each $1 increase in the Brent crude’s price would cost the state EGP 4bn, according to the country’s finance ministry.

Egypt’s budget for the fiscal year (FY) 2019/20 set the price of Brent crude at $68 per barrel, up from $67 per barrel in the FY 2018/19. In the 2017/18 budget, the price of an oil barrel globally was set at $55.

OPEC members are scheduled to meet on Thursday and the OPEC+ group will meet on Friday. OPEC and allied countries including Russia – a group known as OPEC+ – has been curbing supply since 2017 and is expected to keep the cuts in place to balance out record production in the US.

According to Fotios Katsoulas, liquid bulk principal analyst, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, it is now clear that even if cartel members wished to increase their production, the performance of oil prices this year simply doesn’t allow for such an opportunity.

Katsoulas explained that OPEC members will proceed with the current agreement which will stay in place at least till the end of the first quarter of 2020 (1Q20). But it won’t come as a surprise if this week’s meeting results in deeper cuts.

“However, the big question is whether Russia, which has been leading the coalition of OPEC+, together with Saudi Arabia, is willing to negotiate further cuts. The message has been clear, with no appetite for such a deal. Officials of OPEC members such as Iraq’s oil minister did, however, commented that the group would discuss further cuts of 400,000 b/d, which would bring the total to 1.6 million b/d,” he concluded.

Despite trade war uncertainty, Fitch Solution expected oil prices to fall in 2020, on the back of the increase in supply, outweighing any pickup in growth. It predicted Brent crude will drop to an average of $62 a barrel in 2020 and $58 in 2021, from a $64 average this year.

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Rameda private placement oversubscribed 1.17 fold https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/05/rameda-private-placement-oversubscribed-1-17-fold/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:00:28 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715768 Egypt’s second private-sector initial public offering (IPO) of the year, revitalising the country’s lacklustre IPO market, is the largest Egyptian IPO and has been since 2015. 

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 Rameda Pharmaceutical private placement on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) was oversubscribed 1.17 fold, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. 

Egypt’s second private-sector initial public offering (IPO) of the year, revitalising the country’s lacklustre IPO market, is the largest Egyptian IPO and has been since 2015. 

 

 The company offered 49% stake of its share, 357.77m shares to institutional investors through an international offering, and 18.83m shares to retail investors in Egypt. Shares were priced at EGP 4.66 ($0.29) each.

Rameda will have a capital of EGP3.6bn ($222m) once the initial public offering is completed.

The group’s senior management intends to use the net proceeds of the closed subscription to fund operational expansion, principally through molecule acquisitions but also through the opportunistic acquisition of pharmaceutical companies.

HSBC and Investec are joint global coordinators and bookrunners for the international offering, while CI Capital is joint bookrunner. Compass Capital is the IPO advisor, and Inktank is investor relations advisor.

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Egypt welcomes Endeavour’s bid for all-share merger with Centamin: El-Molla https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/05/egypt-welcomes-endeavours-bid-for-all-share-merger-with-centamin-el-molla/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:30:56 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715764 El-Molla added on Wednesday that the government had no role in the bid, yet they welcome any new investment in the gold and mineral exploration sector.

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Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla said on Wednesday that Egypt welcomed Endeavour Mining’s bid to takeover Centamin Plc, saying it would encourage foreign investment in the country’s mining industry. 

On Tuesday, Endeavour announced an all-share merger with Centamin, where the latter is valued at $1.9bn. However, Centamin rejected the $1.9bn all-stock takeover proposal, saying it did not offer enough value to its shareholders. 

El-Molla added on Wednesday that the government had no role in the bid, yet they welcome any new investment in the gold and mineral exploration sector.

He explained that Endeavour’s bid would “give a positive message about the desire of an international company to be present in Egypt and will encourage other companies to come to Egypt.” 

Endeavour proposed an exchange ratio of 0.0846 in Endeavour shares to each Centamin share.

Centamin is the operator of Egypt’s Sukari mine. It began production in 2009 and is considered to be the first large scale modern gold mine in Egypt and is located in the south-eastern region of the Eastern Desert. It is jointly owned by Centamin and the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority on a 50% equal basis.

Also on Tuesday,  La Mancha Holding’s – Endeavour Mining’s largest shareholder – Chairperson, Naguib Sawiris urged Centamin to accept the proposal. Adding that “We believe in the strategic rationale for this proposal and are fully supportive. Moreover, we can add significant value in Egypt, which is opening up its mining sector through a new, more supportive mining code, and increase the potential for further expansion in the country.”

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Egypt to sign MoU with Dongfeng in January 2020 to manufacture EVs locally: Tawfik https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/05/egypt-to-sign-mou-with-dongfeng-in-january-2020-to-manufacture-evs-locally-tawfik/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 12:00:35 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715762 The study will provide information on the investment required for replacement and renovation in line with the technology used at Dongfeng company.

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Egypt to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in January 2020 with the Chinese company Dongfeng Motor Corporation to study the manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) in Egypt, Minister of Public Enterprise sector Hesham Tawfik announced on a press statement on Wednesday.
The minister added that the terms of the MoU were agreed upon, followed by the preparation of a preliminary feasibility study by the Holding Company for Metallurgical Industries in the light of the information and data pledged by the Chinese side to provide  the production of Chinese electric cars on the production lines of El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company.

The study will provide information on the investment required for replacement and renovation in line with the technology used at Dongfeng company.

The minister revealed that he held a wide-range discussion session with the delegation of the Chinese car manufacturer Dongfeng to complete  ongoing negotiations on the joint cooperation for the production of electric ride cars on the lines of El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company.

The Minister stressed that the project represents a revival of El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company.

Notably, El Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company is considered one of the oldest companies in the portfolio of companies affiliated to the Ministry of Public Business Sector, but it has been suspended since 2009 under a liquidation decision.

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Egypt’s FX reserves increase by $319m in November https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/05/egypts-fx-reserves-increase-by-319m-in-november/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:30:07 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715760  Gold reserves decline, SDR countered FX hike, curbing net foreign reserves increase to $107m in November, according to CBE

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 The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said that foreign currencies (FX) reserves included in its net foreign reserves increased by $319m in November, recording $41.930bn, up from $41.611bn in October.

 

Most of Egypt’s FX reserves consist of the US dollar, the euro, the pound sterling and the Japanese yen.

 On Tuesday evening, the CBE disclosed that Egypt’s net foreign reserves rose by $107m to record, $45.354bn in November, compared to $44.247bn a month earlier.

Egypt’s net foreign reserves consist of FX, gold, special drawing rights (SDRs), and net IMF loans.

The current levels of foreign reserves levels are the highest on record in Egypt’s history, covering more than eight months of commodity imports.

 

 However, the CBE indicated that the hike in FX reserves was countered by a decline in gold reserves which fell by $119m to register $3.148bn in November.

 

 Additionally, a similar decline in SDRs offset the increase net reserves, as they dropped by $92m to record $277m in November, compared with $369m in October, while the share of the IMF loans stabilised at $4m in November.

 

 Reserves have been climbing since Egypt floated the currency and clinched a $12bn three-year deal with the International Monetary Fund in November 2016 in a bid to lure back foreign investors.

Governor of the CBE Tarek Amer estimated the volume of such inflows since November 2015 at about $200bn. 

 

The size of a country’s reserves represents a source of strength or weakness according to its value and ability to meet the country’s foreign exchange obligations.

Egypt roughly had $36bn in reserves before an uprising in 2011 ushered in a period of political turmoil, scaring away tourists and foreign investors, Egypt’s key sources of hard currency. Afterwards, Egypt’s net foreign reserves hit a historic low in October 2016, with only $19bn.

 The resources of the Suez Canal Authority, tourism, export, foreign investment, and remittances of workers abroad are the most important resources for Egyptian reserves.

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Egypt’s political parties attend national dialogue to discuss new electoral system  https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/2019/12/05/egypts-political-parties-attend-national-dialogue-to-discuss-new-electoral-system/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:00:28 +0000 https://wwww.dailynewssegypt.com/?p=715757 Dialogue aims to consider all observations in the election-related bills, says Ashraf Rashad 

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The Nation’s Future Party, headed by Ashraf Rashad, hosted the second session of the “National Dialogue of Egyptian Parties”, on Tuesday, to discuss creating a new electoral system in attendance of other political parties.

 

At the session, the parties discussed their vision of their electoral benefits as well as how to engage with the general public to enrich political life in the country.

Ashraf said that that main aim of the move is to consider all observations of the parties in the preparation of bills in the parliament of those related to elections.

He added that “during the coming period we will expand the circle of parties and there will be more parties involved and during the next sessions there will be more topics included in our discussion. We are not meant to agree on all steps but at least reach a common vision.”

Politicians discussed, during the session, upcoming electoral benefits, especially the laws of the house of representatives and the senate, in addition to the law of the division of districts and elections of local councils, as well as issues raised within the parliament and concerns of the citizen.

Abdel-Hadi Al-Qasabi, Vice-President of the Nation’s Future Party, said that the session marks the beginning of enriching the political life again and that this meeting will be the beginning of other sessions with other parties.

Al-Qasabi also said that the political arena in Egypt is open to all, and there is a need to create a space of consensus on national issues of interest, alongside having strong parties coexisting with the economic and social issues.

Parties that attended the dialogue include the Conservative Party, the Reform and Development Party, the Republican People’s Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Justice, and Al-Ghad (tomorrow) Party.

The Nation’s Future Party, one of the more well-known parties for supporting state, has repeatedly called for other political parties represented in parliament and independent lawmakers to join what many believe will become a dominant force on Egypt’s political scene.

The Nation’s Future Party controls 265 seats (44%) in Egypt’s 596-member parliament.

 Egypt has over 100 political parties but only nine are represented in parliament. Very few political parties, including those in parliament, are popular among citizens.

The post Egypt’s political parties attend national dialogue to discuss new electoral system  appeared first on Daily News Egypt.

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