UPDATE: Egypt’s business digest Sept. 2: G-20 summit is ‘opportunity’ to promote Egypt’s reforms: Minister
G-20 in China - Reuters

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top business news stories on Sept. 2 here:

 

G-20 summit is ‘opportunity’ to promote Egypt’s reforms: Minister

Finance Minister Amr el-Garhy said that the G-20 summit that will be held in China Sunday is considered an opportunity to promote Egypt’s economic reforms and boost its investment chances, Youm7 reported.

 

Minister, governor discuss developmental projects in Wadi el-Gadid

Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr met Friday with Wadi el-Gadid governor Mahmoud el-Ashmawy, where they discussed updates on developmental projects in governorate.

A grant from the Saudi Developmental Fund (SDF) worth $200 million was allocated for small and medium projects in the governorate.

The governor displayed a number of projects accomplished including nine equipped slaughterhouses, farm established on a 32 feddan space, in addition to providing housing units and jobs for women who are breadwinners of their families.

 

 Egypt’s GASC cancels wheat tender as ergot policy bites

(REUTERS): Egypt’s ability to buy wheat from abroad while demanding zero ergot fungus in shipments was dealt a serious blow on Wednesday, with state grain buyer GASC cancelling its tender after receiving just one offer.

It was the country’s first tender to purchase wheat since it reinstated its zero-tolerance ergot policy on Sunday – a move that baffled traders as implementation of the policy late last year had led to disruptions to its wheat buying program and higher prices.

Ergot, a fungus that can lead to hallucinations in large quantities, is considered harmless at minor levels.

The near complete boycott at Wednesday’s tender underscores the difficulty of requiring ergot-free shipments even for a country like Egypt, the world’s largest wheat buyer. It also calls into question Cairo’s ability to sustain a massive bread subsidy program while imposing a rule suppliers say is impossible to guarantee.

“After only receiving one offer we canceled,” Ahmed Youssef, vice chairman of GASC, told Reuters, with no further comment.

Trading house Venus submitted the lone offer on Wednesday, for 55,000 tonnes of Ukrainian wheat at $179.32 a tonne on a free-on-board basis, traders said. Traders said other sellers boycotted the tender as they oppose Egypt’s policy.

GASC has in the past adhered to the more common international standard of 0.05 percent ergot allowance, a level Egypt’s agricultural quarantine authority has criticized, arguing that even these trace amounts can contaminate plant life and give the fungus a foothold to flourish where it currently does not exist.

A total ban on the fungus imposed by the quarantine authority caused major disruptions to Egypt’s wheat imports earlier this year, with global trading houses declining to take part in its tenders.

Egypt subsequently adopted the more lax 0.05 percent policy in July, only to reverse course on Sunday and announce it would

once again not allow any ergot, an about-turn that helped push global wheat prices down.

Traders had anticipated that GASC may be forced to cancel the tender because of the poor response, though it was not legally required to do so.

A document outlining wheat specifications for the tender closing on Wednesday stated that, in accordance with an agriculture ministry decision, the tolerance for ergot fungus should be zero percent, marking the first time GASC specifications matched the quarantine’s zero policy.

 

Despite the cancellation traders said low stocks could force GASC to return to the market soon.

“The stocks are very low and can probably only cover up to the second week of November and that’s including all the shipments that were booked since the last tender,” one Cairo-based trader said.

“It’s not looking good if they don’t take a decision and they’ve lost most of their credibility in the market,” he said.

The country’s renewed difficulty in purchasing wheat comes even as up to 2 million tonnes of the 5 million tonnes it announced as locally procured may be missing from stocks, the result of a local wheat-buying scandal that forced the minister of supply to resign last week.

GASC normally falls under Egypt’s supply ministry but is being run by trade minister Tarek Kabil following the supply minister’s resignation.

 

Egypt’s crude oil production hits 217m barrels in 2015: EGPC

Egypt’s crude oil production reached 217 million barrels in 2015, sources at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) told Youm7 on Friday.

The crude oil monthly production reached 18 million barrels per month during the past year, the source added.

Crude Oil Production in Egypt decreased to 493 BBL/D/1K in May from 496 BBL/D/1K in April of 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

 

G-20 summit ideal opportunity to boost Egypt economy: finmin

The G-20 summit meeting, scheduled to kick off in China on Sunday, is a good opportunity to demonstrate the economic reform being implemented in Egypt, Youm7 quoted Finance Minister Amr el Garhy on Friday.

The event represents an ideal event to boost Egypt’s economy and drive more investments opportunities, the minister said, adding that “such important international event is a key chance to contribute to forging the new global economic system and comprehensive and sustainable development plans.”

Egypt participated in the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors that was held in Shanghai in February.

President Abdel Fatah al Sisi, currently in an official visit to India, is set to head to China on Saturday to participate in a G20 Summit for the first time since the G20 summit was formed in 2008.

 

International cooperation min., New Valley governor review ongoing development projects

International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr met with the New Valley governor reviewed latest progress in ongoing development projects, Youm7 reported on Friday.

The two sides discussed ways to accomplish new and renewable energy projects as the New Valley is deemed the country’s best qualified region to employ solar energy technology. They also reviewed latest development in metal exploration and mining projects along with agriculture reclamation.

The New Valley governorate makes up about 44 percent of Egypt’s total area.

 

Cabinet approves $500 world bank loan to fund development plan in Upper Egypt

The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the allocation of a $500 million World Bank loan to fund domestic development program in Upper Egypt, Youm7 reported.

The program aims to expand industries that are unique to the region, including nutritional and furniture production industries, a cabinet statement said on Thursday.

Last year, Egypt and the World Bank signed a $1 billion development loan to finance development projects in Upper Egypt.

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