Egypt’s business digest July 20:Communication ministry develops draft law to legalize status of app-based taxi service companies
Logo of app-based taxi service coimpany Uber is seen at a mobile of a customer. Youm7 archive.


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Communication ministry develops draft law to legalize status of app-based taxi service companies

The Communication and Information Technology Ministry is currently developing a new draft law to legalize the status of the app-based taxi service companies, sources at the ministry told Youm7 Wednesday.

Representatives from the communication, interior and justice ministries are currently forming a draft for the law, which will be presented to the House of Representatives for approval, said the source.

After approval, the app-based taxi service companies will be managed by the Egyptian National Telecom Regulatory Authority, he added.

In March, a ministerial committee was formed to investigate the legal status of Uber and Careem services, following series of protests staged by white taxi drivers in Egypt’s major cities.


EGX shows mixed performance at Wed. open

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) opened on a mixed note in Wednesday’s early trading session, with the bench mark index EGX30 dropping 0.02 percent to record 1,352.3 points, Youm7 reported.

Meanwhile, the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) index EGX-70 edged up 0.28 percent to level up at 361 points, while the broader EGX100 index moved up by 0.15 percent to record 769.9 points.


Egypt central bank holds pound rate steady at weekly forex auction

(REUTERS): Egypt’s central bank kept the pound at 8.78 to the dollar at its weekly foreign exchange auction on Tuesday, data from the central bank showed.

The bank said it sold $119.4 million at its existing rate, confirming earlier comments from bankers.


90% of food commodities exempted from VAT: finmin

Egypt’s Finance Minister Amr al Garhy said that 90 percent of the food commodities will be exempted from the value-added tax (VAT), scheduled to be applied later this year after the parliament approval, Youm7 reported.

Al Garhy added that a total of 52 items and services will be exempted from the VAT, which will be introduced at a rate of 10%, as is the existing Sales Tax.

The exempted commodities include all  basic foodstuff, all dairy products, , nutrition supplements for babies, natural gas, butane, electricity and mineral water.

Financial transactions such as leasing are among services to be exempted from the tax, he added.


Health ministry tenders 800K bottles of hepatitis c drug Sovaldi

Egypt’s Health Ministry on Wednesday has put forward a public tendered to provide 800,000 bottles of hepatitis C drug Sovaldi to liver treatment centers nationwide, Youm7 quoted a ministry source.

The ministry has also put up another tender to buy 500 bottles of the locally-made anti-hepatitis C Harvoni drug, said the source, adding that the ministry will begin distributing the cure by mid August.


Emirates NBD Egypt says will not suspend card use abroad

(Reuters): Emirates NBD Egypt said on Tuesday it would not suspend use of its credit and debit cards abroad, contradicting an earlier notice informing customers their cards would be disabled outside Egypt from July 24.

Egypt’s central bank last month asked banks to “ensure that debit cards, including pre-paid cards, issued in local currency by Egyptian banks are only used within the country” — a move aimed at combatting an acute foreign currency shortage that has hampered trade.

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