Monday 23 October 2017
(The Associated Press 09/18/17)
Egypt’s Finance Minister says the country will face a $10 to $12 billion budget shortfall for the current 2017-18 fiscal year, and plans expanded foreign debt issuance to overcome it. Finance Minister Amr el-Garhy told participants at the annual Euromoney Egypt Conference on Monday that economic reforms were ongoing. Cairo secured a $12-billion, three-year bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund in November to support the program, enacting a tough subsidy cuts, a value-added tax and currency devaluation to qualify. El-Garhy has announced plans to fill the gaps in recent press interviews, saying that Egypt will issue a 1.5 billion euro ($1.8 bln) bond by the end of November and another $10 billion in Eurobonds next year, with $3 billion...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
Egypt is eager to tap into the Chinese market to revive its ailing tourism industry, Governor of Egypt's Luxor Governorate Mohamed Badr told Xinhua in a recent interview. Badr noted that the number of Chinese tourists has already notably increased after the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Egypt in early 2016. The Chinese president toured Luxor during his visit to Egypt, and the reports of this visit by major Chinese media outlets helped attract more Chinese tourists to visit Luxor, the governor said. Badr said the inflow of Chinese tourists has somehow revived the tourism business in Luxor, which is a favorite attraction for tourists after the Pyramids. Tourism in Egypt, a major source of its national income...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Human rights lawyer Tarek Hussein tells of his experiences after being snatched and unlawfully incarcerated for five weeks. Monday 18 September 2017 05.00 BST Last modified on Monday 18 September 2017 05.39 BST Egypt’s security apparatus is responsible for torturing prisoners and denying detainees basic legal rights, according to new testimony obtained by the Guardian. Tarek “Tito” Hussein, a 24-year-old human rights lawyer recently kidnapped and unlawfully incarcerated by police for five weeks, has spoken about his experiences at the hands of the country’s interior ministry. He accuses state officials of attempting to extract false confessions, denying prisoners access to legal counsel and practising violent interrogation methods including beatings and the use of electric shocks, all of which violate the...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
An Egyptian court Saturday condemned to death seven people for membership of the Islamic State group and over the beheading on a Libyan beach of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt, judicial officials said. IS in Libya posted a video on the internet in February 2015 of the beheadings, sparking international condemnation and Egyptian air strikes against jihadist targets in the neighbouring Arab state. Of the seven defendants, three were sentenced to death in absentia, the officials said. An unspecified number of those condemned were accused of having taken part in the beheadings. Death sentences in Egypt are subject to review by the country's mufti as the official interpreter of Islamic law, although his verdict is not legally binding. Prosecutors accused...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Egyptian policy makers are weighing plans to raise 1.5 billion euros from the country’s first sale of euro-denominated bonds, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said. The possible sale would happen before the end of November, El-Garhy told Bloomberg News in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday. He didn’t give more details. With local borrowing costs above 15 percent, Egypt is increasingly looking at international debt markets to capitalize on growing investor confidence after it floated its currency and cut costly energy subsidies. The steps helped seal a three-year $12 billion loan program from the International Monetary Fund in November.
(Xinhuanet 09/15/17)
Egypt has strongly condemned the terrorist attack that took place in London on Friday, leaving at least 22 persons wounded. "Egypt asserted its solidarity with the British government and people in war against terrorism," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. "The accident asserted the importance of mobilizing all the international efforts to uproot terrorism," the statement added. A bomb detonated on a packed London underground train during the morning rush hour on Friday in what police are treating as a "terrorist incident." The incident created chaos in the area as the subway service was shut down and police stopped people from getting close. The blast took place after three deadly attacks hit areas of London this year,...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
An Egyptian lawyer who is helping investigate the case of murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni was prevented from flying to a U.N. conference and detained by a special prosecutor, his supporters and a security source said. Ibrahim Metwaly, who founded the Association of the Families of the Disappeared after his son disappeared in suspicious circumstances four years ago, himself went missing while heading for his flight to Geneva on Sunday. Members of his group said he was taken from Cairo airport by airport security and he was not heard from until Wednesday when a state security prosecutor ordered him detained for 15 days on charges of “joining a group founded illegally”, judicial sources said. There was no comment from the...
(Daily News Egypt 09/15/17)
Foreign affairs ministers of United States (US), France, Italy, and United Arab of Emirates (UAE) will attend the meeting Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry headed to London on Wednesday to participate in Sixth ministerial meeting to discuss Libyan crisis, according to ministry’s spokesperson Ahmed Abu Ziad. Foreign affairs ministers of United States (US), France, Italy, United Arab of Emirates (UAE), and United Nations envoy to Libya will attend the meeting. The aim of the meeting is to discuss the vision of UN envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salama, regarding recent updates in Libya, and to review the results of the consultations conducted by him with the various Libyan parties, as well as the recent regional and international contacts. On...
(Daily News Egypt 09/15/17)
The government considers all options to bridge the gap. Egypt’s funding gap is expected to hit $10-12 billion in the current and next fiscal year, Minister of Finance Amr El-Garhy told Daily News Egypt in an interview on Tuesday. “Our expectations for the funding gap when we started our reform programme to come in $34-35 billion, now we expect about 12-14$ billion for the current fiscal year,” El-Garhy explained. Funding gap is the amount of money needed to fund the ongoing operations or future development of a business or project that is not currently provided by cash, equity, or debt. Funding gaps can be covered by investment from venture capital or angel investors, equity sales, or through debt offerings and...
(Daily News Egypt 09/15/17)
Five militants were killed, while another two were arrested. Army forces on Wednesday managed to kill five militants and arrested a further two, thwarting an attack, official army spokesperson Tamer El-Refai said in a statement. During the operation, two army soldiers were killed. The attack was planning was planned to target an army checkpoint. According to the statement, the assigned forces also managed to kill a militant who wore a suicide belt before he blew himself up. The counterattack comes after a A Monday attack in North Sinai killed and injured more than a dozen policemen and paramedics, officials said. Since 2013, state security forces, represented by both the army and the police, have been engaged in violent clashes with...
(Egyptian Streets 09/15/17)
Egypt’s High State Security Prosecution ordered the detention of rights lawyer Ibrahim Metwally, who investigates alleged cases of enforced disappearance, for 15 days pending investigation. Metwally is detained on charges of spreading false news and establishing an illegal group called “Association of the Families of the Disappeared”. He is also a part of a legal team representing the family of Giulio Regeni, an Italian student who was murdered in Cairo in 2016. The Rights Lawyer was arrested on Sunday while at Cairo international airport. He was set to travel to Geneva to address a UN meeting. Metwally was scheduled to give a speech on enforced and involuntary disappearances in Egypt, including Regeni’s case. Rights activists reported Metwally’s disappearance after his...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(APA 09/13/17)
The volume of Egypt’s new small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that was established in 2017 reached 17,000 with total finances of EGP 19 billion ($1.1 billion), the governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer said on Tuesday. During a press conference, Amer added that there is a plan to raise the loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratio to 60-65 percent, up from 40-45 percent. The governor of central bank highlighted that the volume of banks’ clients reached 32 percent or 17 million citizens that are entitled to vote, of about 54 million. Amer said that the number of subscribers in mobile banking transactions hit around 9 million. The CBE has joined the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) in 2013 and...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
The extremist Islamic State group says it used a suicide car bomb in its deadly attack on a police convoy in the turbulent north of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. The account given by Egypt's Interior Ministry of Monday's attack only says that a car that rushed toward the convoy exploded when policemen in the convoy shot at it. Egyptian security and military officials say four armored vehicles and a fifth one carrying signal-jamming equipment were destroyed in the attack and a police pickup was commandeered0 by the militants. They say 18 police were killed and another seven wounded in the attack. The late Monday IS statement says the attack left a total of 35 dead or wounded and identifies the suicide...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
A rights group says Egyptian authorities have arrested a lawyer who assisted the family of an Italian graduate student killed under suspicious circumstances during a police crackdown in Cairo. Dublin-based Front Line Defenders says Tuesday that Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy was arrested at Cairo International Airport two days ago while traveling to Geneva for a U.N. meeting on enforced disappearances. He and his son provided legal services to the family of Giulio Regeni, a researcher who disappeared on Jan. 25, 2016 in Cairo and was later found tortured to death. Hegazy's whereabouts are unknown. Italian prosecutors have complained that Egypt is not cooperating in the unsolved case. Italy recalled its ambassador in protest but recently announced a new one would return,...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Egypt’s net foreign direct investment (FDI) rose by 14.5 percent to $7.9 billion in the 2016-2017 fiscal year that ended on June 30, the central bank said. That was well below Egypt’s target of $10 billion as the north African country continues to struggle to attract foreign investment following a 2011 uprising. There was a “$2.3 billion rise in net inflows for oil sector investments to $4 billion,” the bank said in a statement. Egypt paid about $2.2 billion in arrears owed to foreign oil companies in the second half of 2016-2017, which helped attract investors to the sector.
(Bloomberg 09/12/17)
Egypt’s financial dealings with the outside world turned positive last fiscal year after an influx of foreign investment following the flotation of the pound in November. The North African nation recorded a balance of payments surplus of $13.7 billion in the year ending June 30, compared with a $2.8 billion deficit a year earlier, the central bank said in a statement on its website. Egypt saw about $16 billion of net investments in its debt and equities last year, versus an outflow of about $1.3 billion in the previous 12 months, the regulator said. Egypt removed most restrictions on its currency in November in a bid to end a foreign-exchange crisis that crippled economic growth, paving the way to a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Militants attacked a security convoy in Egypt’s strife-torn Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 18 policemen in a blast and a gun battle on Monday, sources said - an assault claimed by Islamic State. The attackers detonated an improvised explosive device and managed to destroy three armored vehicles and a signal-jamming vehicle near Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, the security and medical sources said. The attack turned into a gunfight and the militants also opened fire on ambulance workers, injuring four, the sources told Reuters. At least 18 policemen, two of them officers, died in the violence, and a brigadier general lost a leg in the blast, several sources at Arish hospital said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the...

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