Friday 22 September 2017
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egyptian Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer said inflation in the most populous Arab country has peaked after policy makers responded to the surge in prices by raising borrowing costs to the highest level in more than a decade. “We are in the right direction and we are moving very fast,” Amer said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Dubai on Monday. “We’ve been aggressive in our monetary policy, and this has been resisted a bit. But we thought it’s important so we can get our shop fixed very quickly.” Egypt in November became the first Arab country to liberalize the exchange rate as part of a sweeping program to restore investor confidence in an...
(Bloomberg 09/18/17)
Egypt’s cabinet is expected to approve a plan to sell 1.5 billion in euro-denominated bonds in two to three weeks, the finance minister said, as the government seeks cheaper finance abroad to plug its budget gap. The Finance Ministry has started initial discussions with some European investment banks, Amr El-Garhy said in an interview in Bahrain late on Saturday. The notes, which will be Egypt’s first in euros, will likely have tenors of five to 10 years, he said. The plan is to sell the bonds before the end of November, El-Garhy told Bloomberg earlier. There are some “pockets of money” in Europe that are interested in Egyptian assets, El-Garhy said. “We’re taking good advantage of the current market conditions...
(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...
(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...
(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.
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 09/12/17)
The world’s biggest wheat buyer Egypt risks facing tender boycotts for a second season after it stopped another vessel from unloading on concern it may contain poppy seeds that are banned in the country. The quarantine office halted a 59,000-metric-ton cargo of French wheat sold by Casillo Commodities at Safaga over the weekend, and the case will be referred to prosecution, said Naglaa Balabel, head of the agency. The move came even as the French embassy in Cairo said inspections...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
Egypt’s inflation eased in August, signaling that the surge in prices after the government’s latest round of subsidy cuts may have peaked. The annual rate for urban areas dropped to 31.9 percent in August from 33 percent in the previous month, according to data released by the official statistics agency on Sunday. Prices rose 1.1 percent on the month, compared with 3.2 percent in July, a month after fuel and utility prices were raised. “This month’s figures suggest that businesses...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(AL Jazeera 09/08/17)
Human Rights Watch report claims Egyptian authorities used arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and torture. Egypt has blocked the website of Human Rights Watch just a day after the organisation released a report on systematic torture in the country's jails. The report, titled "We Do Unreasonable Things Here" and based on the accounts of 19 former detainees and the family of another, claimed Egyptian authorities used arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and torture. In a statement released on Wednesday, Egypt's foreign ministry...
(CNN 09/07/17)
Egypt's police and National Security officers are carrying out widespread and systematic torture of political prisoners, which probably amounts to a crime against humanity, rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Wednesday. Security forces "routinely torture political detainees with techniques including beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, and sometimes rape," the group claimed. Prosecutors typically ignore prisoners' complaints and sometimes also threaten them with torture, it said, "creating an environment of almost total impunity," HRW said in...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for...
(The Hindu 09/06/17)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and held talks on ways to strengthen bilateral ties. Mr. Modi, who came to this port city of China on September 3 to attend the 9th BRICS Summit, held two bilateral meetings on the last day of his China visit. India, China talks After meeting Mr. Sisi, the Prime Minsiter held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. “Delighted to meet President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. We held talks on...
(The Guardian 09/06/17)
Many welcome Egyptian government’s decision to restore the Eliyahu Hanavi in Alexandria, but some question the motives. Alexandria’s historic synagogue has very few visitors. In a city once home to almost 25,000 Jews, Alexandria’s Jewish community is now said to number fewer than eight people, most of whom are elderly. Originally built in 1354, the Eliyahu Hanavi’s grand facade and cavernous interior welcomed thousands of worshippers until the departure of Egypt’s Jews after the creation of Israel. It then fell...
(Cnbc Africa 09/05/17)
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced as much as $210 million in debt financing in order to "tap" the renewable energy potential of Egypt. In a statement on Tuesday, the Beijing headquartered AIIB said the project would comprise 11 solar power plants with an "aggregate" capacity of 490 megawatts and would help the country to meet its pledges under the Paris Climate Agreement. "Investing in clean, renewable energy is a big part of our strategy to promote a...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of...
(The Washington Times 08/31/17)
Only by easing the crackdown on dissent can el-Sisi defeat extremism. News broke last week that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will deny Egypt almost $95 million in aid, two-thirds of which will come from its military aid package. This is an encouraging move — no previous administration has cut military aid to Egypt. The State Department also announced that it will suspend an additional $195 million until “we see progress from Egypt on key priorities.” These priorities should include...
(AL Jazeera 08/31/17)
Rights experts say Egypt's blocking of some 130 websites looks 'more like repression than counter-terrorism'. UN human rights experts have raised "grave concern" over a widening "assault on freedom of expression" in Egypt, condemning the blocking of scores of news websites and the unlawful detention of journalists. Some 130 websites may have been banned by the Egyptian government on allegations of "supporting terrorism" and "spreading lies", David Kaye and Fionnuala Ni Aloain said in a statement on Wednesday. The blocking...

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