Egypt’s business digest July 19: Emirates NBD Egypt suspends credit, debit card use abroad amid dollar shortage; Kuwaiti delegation in Egypt for establishing water treatment plant in East of Port Said
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Kuwaiti investment delegation arrives in Egypt for establishing water treatment plant in East of Port Said

A delegation of Kuwaiti Fund for Development is currently visiting Cairo to discuss financing a project of establishing water treatment plant in East of Port Said at a cost of $211million, an official from the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation told Youm7 on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The project will be implemented in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Housing, in light of carrying out a megaproject of establishing a new city in East Port Said.

In May, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahr Nassr has signed with the Fund an agreement per which Kuwait will provide Egypt 29 million Dinar for building five water desalination plants in Sinai governorate.


Emirates NBD Egypt suspends credit, debit card use abroad amid dollar shortage

(Reuters) Emirates NBD Egypt said it was suspending use of debit and credit cards abroad, a control intended to keep hard currency inside the bank as Egypt endures a crippling forex shortage.

Egypt has suffered from a shortage of dollars in the banking system that has sapped its ability to import since a 2011 uprising drove away tourists and foreign investors, both crucial sources of hard currency.

Egypt’s central bank last month issued a letter to bank chiefs asking that they “ensure that debit cards, including pre-paid cards, issued in local currency by Egyptian banks are only used within the country.”

The central bank later said the letter was not intended to signal a blanket ban on card use, but instead a request that banks prevent individuals from misusing debit cards to acquire large quantities of foreign currency while abroad.

The Emirates NBD announcement on Monday night to customers via SMS, made it the first bank in Egypt confirmed by Reuters to be following the central bank directive to suspend dollar withdrawals abroad.

“Dear Valued Customer, please note that Emirates NBD cards will be disabled for international use outside Egypt only effective 24th of July 2016 till further notice. Apologies for any inconvenience,” read the text message.

Emirates NBD did not provide details about what type of cards would no longer be functional outside the country, but several bank employees told Reuters it would apply to both debit and credit cards.

On Monday Lebanon’s Bank Audi informed customers that it was reducing the maximum purchase limit outside Egypt for holders of its Mastercard Titanium card to $4000 from $7000 dollars, and that its maximum withdrawal limit was $400 per month.
The central bank was not immediately available for comment.


Kuwait’s Zain approaches Egypt telecom regulator on 4G license

(Reuters) Kuwait’s Zain has communicated to Egypt’s telecommunications regulator its preliminary interest in obtaining a fourth-generation (4G) license, the operator said in a bourse filing on Monday.

Zain “is studying a number of investment opportunities available in the region, one of which is the Egyptian telecommunications market as a strategic market in the Middle East and Africa”, the company said, adding that it had made the approach through one of its subsidiaries.

A senior Egyptian telecommunications ministry official told Reuters on Sunday that Zain had expressed interest in applying for a 4G license. Sales of such licenses are part of the country’s long-awaited plan to reform its telecommunications sector.


31.3 % increase in value of implemented construction operations by Public sector in 2014/2015: CAPMAS

The total value of the implemented construction operations by public business sector companies reached 20.6 billion EGP in 2014/2015 versus 15.7 billion EGP for 2013/2014, anincrease of 31.3%, according to an annual statistical Bulletin issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics Tuesday.


CBE pumps $120 mln for domestic banks Tuesday

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will pump a total of $120 million to domestic banks Tuesday, amid the crisis of dollar shortage, Youm7 reported. However, the value of theEgyptian pound declined against the U.S. dollar in the black market as one dollar is being sold for 11.35 EGP for the clients.

The CBE has hold the value of the Egyptian pound steady against the U.S. dollar; value of the pound preserved at 8.78 against the U.S. dollar for purchase in the banks.

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