Monday 25 September 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 08/17/17)
Egypt's first bitcoin exchange will go live later this month, the founders of Bitcoin Egypt said, linking the Middle East's most populous country with a cryptocurrency that has surged in value in recent months. Many governments around the world are still mulling how to regulate and classify bitcoin, a volatile digital currency that has captured the interest of speculative investors worldwide as its value has soared, roughly quadrupling since the start of 2017 and trading at around $4,400 on Thursday. Egypt, most of whose 93 million people have no bank accounts but where electronic payments have grown in recent years, lacks regulations for digital currency. This means local retailers cannot accept it as payment but users on an exchange may...
(Fox News 08/17/17)
Experts have unearthed three tombs that date back 2,000 years at the site of an ancient city in the Nile Valley. Egypt's antiquities ministry said that archaeologists discovered the tombs from the Ptolemaic Period. The discovery was made in the province of Minya, south of Cairo, in an area known as al-Kamin al-Sahrawi. In a August 15 Facebook post, the ministry explained that excavators unearthed a collection of sarcophagi of different shapes and sizes as well as clay fragments that date the tomb to between Egypt’s 27th Dynasty and the Greco-Roman period. The area was likely a “great cemetery,” according to Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the ministry’s Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector. Ashmawy described the latest discoveries as “very important,”...
(Egyptian Streets 08/17/17)
Egypt’s Al-Azhar criticized the recent calls for equality between men and women in inheritance issues and said that it doesn’t comply with Islamic teachings. Al-Azhar made the announcement in response to the calls of the Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi to establish equality between men and women in terms of inheritance. While the announcement of Al-Azhar didn’t directly address Essebsi, it was made a few days after his suggestion to form a committee to study the matter. Deputy of Al-Azhar Abbas Shuman said that equal inheritance is not “fair and just” to women and goes against the Islamic teachings. In most cases, males inherit double that of females except for a few cases in Islam. Shuman continued that in some...
(Egypt Independent 08/17/17)
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a presidential decree, on Thursday, that allowed Emir [Ruler] of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the right to own land and property in the Sharqia Governorate of Egypt’s. The announcement stipulated that Al-Sabah is considered an Egyptian citizen, who has the right to own land and properties in Egypt; moreover the decree mentioned that Al-Sabah bought 163 acres in Sharqia, according the state’s official gazette In October 2016 Sisi issued similar presidential decree that allowed King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, to own land and property in Egypt’s Sinai. The decree was released due to the fact that Egyptian law restricts land and property ownership rights, in Sinai, to Egyptians born to...
(The New Times 08/16/17)
Presidents Paul Kagame and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Rwanda and Egypt respectively, have committed to bolster economic ties between their two countries for the mutual benefit of their respective citizens. The two heads of state were speaking after holding talks at Urugwiro Village on Tuesday. President Sisi is on an official visit to Rwanda as part of his four-state tour, which also includes Tanzania, Chad, and Gabon. The two presidents said that their governments will strive to promote trade exchange, joint investments as well as creating linkages between private sectors of both countries.
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Egypt’s tourism receipts almost tripled and worker remittances rose in the last three months of its fiscal year, marking another step in the country’s economic recovery from a crippling dollar shortage. Tourism revenue rose to $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter that ended June 30, from $510 million in the same period a year ago, according to initial central bank data that it shared with Bloomberg. Full-year receipts rose 16 percent to $4.4 billion. Remittances grew 9 percent to $4.8 billion in the fourth quarter, and rose 2 percent to $17.4 billion for the year. The data is further evidence of a gradual improvement in Egypt’s external finances since November, when authorities embarked on an economic program that included floating...
(Ahram Online 08/16/17)
Egypt will open the border crossing with the Gaza Strip in both directions for two days starting Wednesday, the Palestinian interior ministry said on its official website on Tuesday. The Rafah crossing will be open in both directions for the first time in almost six months. Since March, the crossing has only been opened occasionally, to allow Palestinians stranded outside Gaza to return home. The crossing in the border Sinai Peninsula is the major gateway to the outside world for 1.8 million Palestinians living in Israeli-besieged Gaza, as it is the only terminal not controlled by Israel. Gaza has been under Israeli blockade since 2006. Egypt has kept the border largely closed over security concerns following the ouster of Islamist...
(Bloomberg 08/16/17)
Egypt plans to return to the international debt markets in January to raise as much as $4 billion to fund the budget deficit, a Finance Ministry official said. The ministry may approach investment banks to select advisers for the possible sale within three months, the official told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity because the plans have yet to be finalized. The amount and the timing would depend on market conditions, the official said. Egyptian Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said this month in comments published by the state news agency that Egypt was looking to raise between $2 billion and $4 billion in the first quarter of 2018. With local borrowing costs above 15 percent, the government plans to tap global...
(Xinhuanet 08/16/17)
The Egyptian ministry of Social Solidarity on Tuesday signed a cooperation protocol with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to develop social care institutions, official news agency MENA reported. The three-year protocol targets improving re-qualification programs to reach to all the children in social care institutions, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said. The protocol seeks to focus on psychosocial-social, economic-legal aspects as well as improving the capabilities of the employees in those institutions, Wali added. The ministry, in coordination with the concerned bodies, will work on enabling children to get accredited vocational certificates to qualify for the labor market. The UN office will shoulder the responsibility of developing the current workshops in the institution and connect it with...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Two Egyptian policemen were killed in separate attacks in North Sinai province on Tuesday, security sources said. Unknown gunmen fired shots at a policeman in North Sinai's capital city of Arish before fleeing, a source told Reuters, adding the policeman's body had been transferred to a military hospital. The other policeman was killed in a similar attack in the same city, another security source said. Attacks on Egyptian security forces have been common since the military led by general-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi in 2013. The attacks have mostly been concentrated in the Sinai Peninsula where Egypt is fighting an insurgency, but in recent months they have expanded to target Coptic Christians, Egypt's largest minority.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/16/17)
Egypt's unemployment rate dipped below 12 percent in the second quarter, the first time it has been that low since the political uprising of 2011. Nearly 80 percent of those unemployed were young, however. Official statistics agency CAPMAS said on Tuesday the rate dipped to 11.98 percent from 12 percent the previous quarter. This was slightly higher than expected by government. Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told Reuters in May he expected the rate to reach 11.7-11.8 percent by the end of the fiscal year that ended June. The unemployment rate in the second quarter of last year stood at 12.5 percent, down from 12.84 the same quarter a year earlier. The country's labour force grew by 33,000 people in...
(NPR 08/16/17)
On Egypt's Mediterranean coast, August should be prime tourist season. But the seaside restaurants in Alexandria are almost empty. Worries over security are keeping a lot of foreign tourists away. But there's a much bigger worry looming: that hotter weather and a disappearing shoreline could make Egypt's prospects even worse. Scientists generally agree that human-made climate change – the effect of greenhouse gas emissions from things like cars and factories – is making the sea level higher and its waters warmer. Rising sea levels are affecting the Nile River delta, the triangle where the Nile spreads out and drains into the sea. It's where Egypt grows most of its crops. According to the World Bank, Egypt — with its already...
(AL Jazeera 08/16/17)
The murder of Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni led the Italian government to recall its envoy in April 2016. Italy said on Monday it would return its ambassador to Cairo more than a year after the murder of an Italian graduate student led the Rome government to recall its previous envoy. Giulio Regeni was 28 years old when he vanished from the streets of Cairo in January 2016. His body was discovered in a ditch on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital on February 3, showing signs of extensive torture. Italy recalled its ambassador in April 2016 as it sought to obtain evidence from Egypt to solve the murder. Magistrates in Rome and Cairo have met a half-dozen times over...
(The Independent 08/16/17)
First discovery of female and child remains at al-Kamin al-Sarwahi site points to wider use of tomb network than previously thought. Three tombs dating back 2,000 years have been newly discovered in southern Egypt, the ministry of antiquities has said. The finds were uncovered in al-Kamin al-Sarwahi in Minya province, hidden down deep burial shafts. After careful excavations, in one tomb four sarcophagi were found which had been carved with human faces. Another contained six burial holes, including a child’s. “These tombs were part of a large cemetery for a large city and not a military garrison as some suggest,” lead archaeologist Ali al-Bakry said, citing bones and other evidence which pointed to the presence of “men, women and children...
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China recorded 5.178 billion dollars from January to June 2017, state news agency MENA reported on Monday. China's exports to Egypt decreased by 20.79 percent on a year-on-year basis to 4.518 billion dollars, MENA cited the latest statistics released by the Chinese General Administration of Customs as saying. While Chinese imports from Egypt increased by 298.37 percent to reach 660 million dollars, it added. In June, the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and China amounted to 928 million dollars. Chinese imports from Egypt upped by 181.69 percent on annual basis to 80.58 million dollars, while exports dropped by 17.83 percent to reach 847 million dollars.
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
Egypt issued a new law aiming at facilitating measures to issue permits for establishing industrial facilities and attract more industrial investments, the MENA news agency reported on Sunday. The Egypt's Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Qabil asserted on Sunday that the executive regulations of the law aiming at facilitating measures to issue permits for establishing industrial facilities will make a revolution concerning industrial investment rates in Egypt in the coming period. This came on the sidelines of a press conference that was held to announce the new regulations. The minister added that the new regulations will contribute to attracting more regional and international industrial investments to Egypt as well as enhancing Egypt's rating in reports issued by international institutions. He...
(Xinhuanet 08/14/17)
Head of Egyptian Transport Association (ETA) Mohammed Shehata said on Sunday that China can be a main player in developing Egypt's railway system. "China is a leading country in this field," Shehata told Xinhua, adding that China is always ready to help friendly countries improve their infrastructure. The ETA is a leading Egyptian NGO that monitors and issues reports on the transportation systems in the North African country. The NGO chief said that China has been helping many countries, mainly in Africa to build new up-to-date railway systems, stressing that the Asian giant will not hesitate to provide Egypt with its expertise in the field of railways and transportation. On Friday, an Alexandria-bound train coming from Cairo crashed into the...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/14/17)
Egypt's Beltone Financial will launch a $1 billion investment fund in fixed income instruments in September, its chief executive officer told Reuters on Monday. The investment bank aims to raise $150-200 million in the first phase of the investment fund, Bassem Azzab said. Beltone aims to acquire brokerages in Egypt and frontier markets, Azzab said. He expects the company to manage the initial public offering of a pharmaceutical company worth over 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($56.37 million) on the Egyptian stock market before the end of 2017. ($1 = 17.7400 Egyptian pounds)
(AL Jazeera 08/14/17)
Detention of Al Jazeera journalist renewed for seventh time since he was arrested on December 20. An Egyptian court has extended the detention, without charge, of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for another 45 days. Egyptian authorities announced the seventh extension on Thursday since Hussein was arrested in December last year. Hussein, an Egyptian national based in Qatar, was stopped, questioned and arrested by authorities on December 20, after travelling to Cairo for a holiday. Five days after his initial arrest, Egypt's interior ministry accused him of "disseminating false news and receiving monetary funds from foreign authorities in order to defame the state's reputation". Since then, he has been detained for 237 days, suffering mistreatment and being denied his legal...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...

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