| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(Financial Times 03/23/17)
After a radical reform, investors are returning, but can Cairo stay the course? It was the nettle that successive Egyptian governments had consistently shied away from grasping but could no longer avoid: the full float of the currency. Finally adopted in November 2016, the Egyptian pound halved in value against the dollar overnight, catapulting the country into a new era of risk and potential. The flotation of the pound — long overdue, according to analysts and businessmen — was the most radical of politically-sensitive measures implemented by the Egyptian government to clinch a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a $12bn loan. The aim was not just to shore up the country’s precarious finances...
(Bloomberg 03/23/17)
Since Egypt devalued its currency, life in Cairo has gotten a lot easier if you sell stocks for a living -- and a lot harder if you sell fruit. Mostafa Nagaty at Arqaam Capital says he’d begun to fear that “this profession was dying.” Investors had fled Egypt after the uprising of 2011, and strict exchange-rate controls helped keep them away. Then, four months ago, the central bank let the pound float. “Now I’m getting approached by all types of clients,” said Nagaty, who’s head of institutional sales. “It’s amazing how things have changed.” Across the Nile, and visible from Nagaty’s office window, is the working-class district of Embaba where Gamil Hassan has a market stall. Things have changed for...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Egypt on Monday received the second tranche of a $3-billion World Bank loan in support of the government's economic and social agenda, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said. In a statement on the ministry's Facebook page, Nasr said the second tranche would contribute to "encouraging private sector investment and supporting growth projects that promote employment". Cairo received the first tranche of the loan in September 2016. The minister said the financing was part of a loan of eight billion dollars,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
The World Bank has disbursed another $1 billion in financial assistance to Egypt out of its $3 billion loan program with the country, the bank said in a statement on Monday. Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from various lenders to help revive an economy hit by political upheaval since a 2011 revolt and to ease a dollar shortage that has crippled imports and hampered its recovery. "The government has taken important steps in implementing key policy...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
A trading unit of top Russian oil producer Rosneft has signed a deal to supply 10 liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company this year. The first delivery by Rosneft Trading SA (RTSA) is expected in May, Rosneft said. "This agreement will help to further strengthen the strategic partnership between Rosneft and Egypt in an important area of energy security," the company said. RTSA delivered three LNG cargoes to Egypt in 2016. Once an energy...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/20/17)
Egypt's new stamp duty on stock exchange transactions will come into effect in May and include for the first time a 0.3 percent levy for investors acquiring more than a third of a company's stocks, deputy finance minister Amr al-Munayer said. Egypt's finance minister said last month the government planned to introduce a stamp duty of 0.125 percent on buyers and sellers of stocks, rising to 0.150 percent in the second year and 0.175 percent in the third. But Munayer...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years,...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Financial Times 03/17/17)
Crucial deliveries to resume in sign frosty relations are thawing. Saudi Arabia is to resume crucial oil exports to Egypt in a sign that relations between the two regional heavyweights are thawing, six months after the kingdom abruptly halted the shipments. The Egyptian Petroleum Ministry said it expected deliveries of oil products to restart by the end of this month or early April, adding that it was working with Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, on a timetable. Saudi...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Saudi giant Aramco is to resume deliveries of oil products to Egypt that have been suspended since last October, the Egyptian petroleum ministry said, amid differences over the Syrian conflict. "It was agreed that the Saudi side will resume shipping Aramco's petroleum products in accordance with the commercial contract between the (Egyptian General) Petroleum Corporation and Aramco," the ministry said late on Wednesday. "Currently the timeline for receiving the shipments is being discussed," it added. During a visit to Cairo by King Salman in April last year, Saudi Arabia agreed to finance
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh,...
(Bloomberg 03/09/17)
Egypt’s inflation accelerated to 30 percent in February, one of the highest levels across emerging markets, but the data carried signs that the aftershocks of the decision to abandon currency controls may be fading. Consumer prices in urban parts of the most populous Arab country climbed to an annual rate of 30.2 percent from 28.1 percent in January, according to data released by the state-run statistics agency on Thursday. The cost of food and beverages rose 40.5 percent. The pace...
(Bloomberg 03/09/17)
Egypt’s government on Wednesday partly reversed an earlier move to lower bread subsidies, trying to avert further protests in a country reeling from rising prices. The Supply Ministry said it would raise, but not fully restore, the amount of bread that can be bought under the so-called “gold card” scheme that’s used by a small minority of Egyptians who don’t hold a plastic smart card for purchasing cheap loaves. A day earlier, ministry chief Ali Al-Moselhi had defended cuts to...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/06/17)
The Egyptian pound weakened further on Monday as dollar demand from importers rose ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when food consumption usually increases. Ramadan, Islam's holy month during which believers abstain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, is set to start in May this year and often sees Egyptian families stock up on various food items and other goods. Banks were selling the U.S. dollar for between 16.9-16.85 pounds, weaker than the 16.1-16.2 per dollar rates...
(Egyptian Streets 03/06/17)
Egypt’s intelligence apparatus has hired two Public Relations firms in Washington in order to boost its image in the US, the Associated Press revealed. This is the first deal for the security apparatus to be made public. The agreements were signed in January 2017 to help Egypt promote its partnership with the United States (U.S.). Egypt will pay about $US 1.8 million annually for Weber Shandwick and Cassidy & Associates Inc to shed light on its economic development and its...
(Bloomberg 03/06/17)
Economic activity for Egypt’s non-oil private sector accelerated the most since 2014, a sign that growth may be recovering after authorities abandoned currency controls and secured a $12 billion IMF loan deal. The Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index for the whole economy climbed for the third month in a row to 46.7 in February from 43.3 in January. The New Orders sub-index rose to 44 from 39.2. While readings below 50 indicate the economy is still in contraction, the magnitude...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of...
(Ahram Online 03/03/17)
Investment minister Nasr said half the money would go to the government’s reform programme, and half to sectors including SMEs and micro-enterprises. Germany plans to provide Egypt with $500 million in support of the country's economic reform programme and local micro, small, and medium sized enterprises, the country’s Minister of International Cooperation and Investment Sahar Nasr announced on Friday. “We have reached agreement with Germany on the offer of $250 million in support of the government’s economic programme, and another...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/03/17)
Germany has offered Egypt $500 million to support its economic program and medium-sized and small businesses, the Egyptian ministry of investment and international cooperation said on Friday. "It was agreed with the German side (that they would) provide $250 million to support the economic program ... as well as $250 million to support several other sectors, including micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises, " it said in a statement. The support will come in the form of grants and concessional...

Pages