UPDATE: Egypt’s business digest Aug. 31:Shell announces new natural gas discoveries in Egypt’s Western Desert
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CAIRO: No more browse from site to another, here is business digest for Tuesday, Aug. 31:

Shell announces new natural gas discoveries in Egypt’s Western Desert

(Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell announced on Wednesday new natural gas discoveries in a concession area of north Alam El-Shawish in Egypt’s western desert.

The initial quantities discovered were estimated at about half a trillion cubic feet of gas with more possible reserves, Eden Murphy, chairman and CEO of Shell said in a statement.

The discovery could produce from 10 to 15 percent of the total production of Badr el-Din Petroleum company, which is a joint venture acting on behalf of the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Shell in production operations, Murphy added.

Shell owns the license of the entire area, which includes the well. Badr el-Din is expected to manage the operations.


Egypt exchange gains 3.1bn EGP on Wed. closing

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) indexes went up collectively at close of trading on Wednesday pushed by Arab investors buying, Youm7 reported.

The benchmark index, EGX 30 gained 0.96 percent or 77 points to close at 8,158 points, while the small and medium caps index EGX70 also rose 0.08 percent to 357 points.

Market capitalization gained 3.1 billion EGP ($350 million), to reach 413.191 billion EGP during the closing session of Wednesday.


Egypt cancels wheat tender after receiving 1 offer

Egypt’s General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) announced it has cancelled a tender to purchase wheat on Wednesday after receiving only one offer, according to Youm7.

Suppliers shunned GASC earlier on Wednesday after it changed its specifications, asking for wheat free of ergot with only Venus presenting an offer for Ukrainian wheat.


EGX gains 6.3 bln EGP during opening session Wednesday 

The market capitalization of the Egyptian Stock Exchange has gained around 6.3 billion EGP during the first hours of Wednesday trading session.


Quad fund to be established to support troubled factories: Minister

Minister of Planning Ashraf el-Araby announced establishing a fund to support troubled factories.

The fund will be established by four foundations including: the National Investment Bank, Long Live Egypt Fund, Ayady Company and Industrial Modernization Center (IMC.)


Increase in prices is due to budget deficit: Minister

Minister of Planning Ashraf el-Araby said that the prices hike is mainly caused due to a deficit in the public budget.

Meanwhile, citizens have complained against a remarkable increase in prices of basic commodities, citing the unprecedented rise in dollar exchange price reaching 13 EGP as the reason.


Cyprus signs deal with Egypt for gas transfers via pipeline

Cyprus signed a deal on Wednesday for the transfer of natural gas via pipeline to Egypt, once extraction starts of discoveries made off the Mediterranean island.

U.S. energy firm Noble found an estimated 4.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in one prospect off Cyprus in late 2011.

A consortium of Italy’s ENI and Korea’s KoGas have a contract with Cyprus for exploration over three offshore blocks. French oil major Total has exploration rights over one block.

Wednesday’s accord was signed in the Cypriot capital Nicosia by Egyptian petroleum minister Tarek El Molla and Cypriot energy minister Yiorgios Lakkotrypis.

In a joint statement, the two said the deal would allow a direct subsea pipeline from Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to either Egypt’s EEZ or onshore Egypt, for domestic consumption or re-export.

An EEZ is a maritime area over which states have commercial rights.

Cyprus received expressions of interest from ENI, Total, Statoil, Exxon Mobil, Qatar Petroleum, and Cairn in a licensing round for another three offshore hydrocarbon blocks in a licensing round in late July.

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