CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top business news stories on Sept. 7 here:
Egyptian lender CIB again lowers limits on debit cards
(REUTERS): Egypt’s largest listed bank, Commercial International Bank, has tightened limits on pound-linked debit cards used overseas for the third time in six weeks as the country grapples with a shortage of dollars.
Egypt’s ability to import has been hampered since a 2011 uprising drove away tourists and foreign investors, both crucial sources of hard currency.
The country’s foreign reserves fell to $16.564 billion in August from around $36 billion before the revolution.
The central bank has been rationing dollars through weekly sales, keeping the Egyptian pound artificially strong at 8.78 per dollar.
CIB is planning, as of Sept. 9 to halt cash withdrawals in foreign currency from its local debit cards used abroad. It has also reduced by 70 percent the amount that customers can charge purchasing goods abroad using debit cards but it did not change its limits on credit cards.
The details were set out in a document to clients seen by Reuters.
CIB cut Classic Card holders’ maximum purchase limits outside of Egypt to $50, to $150 per month for Titanium cardholders and to $300 a month for Platinum cardholders.
In early August the bank reduced its withdrawal and purchasing limits using foreign currency from local debit cards and credit cards by around 50 percent and then by around 60 percent in mid-August.
EGX gains 5.7 bln EGP in opening session
The Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) gained Wednesday 5.7 billion EGP during the first two hours of the opening session, Youm7 reported.
The main index EGX30 increased by 0.48 percent, while EGX50 declined by 0.52 percent, EGX20 down by 0.61 percent, EGX70 decreased by 0.03 percent, as well as EGX100 by 0.54 percent.
Barclays Egypt attracts two bidders in sale process – sources
(REUTERS): The sale of British bank Barclays’ Egyptian business has attracted bids from the two largest banks in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
The UK-based lender is seeking to sell its African operations as part of a plan by Chief Executive Jes Staley to simplify its structure and improve shareholder returns, although attempts to sell the African businesses as one have come up against difficulties, including the disparate nature of the local units.
Interested parties had been invited to submit bids for the Egyptian unit by the end of August.
By this deadline both Morocco’s Attijariwafa and Dubai-based Emirates NBD lodged offers, according to the two sources.
Barclays and Emirates NBD declined to comment. Attijariwafa didn’t respond to a request for comment.
The general manager of the Moroccan lender, Ismail Douiri, told Reuters in March it was interested in Barclays Egypt, having been keen to expand there for several years. It is being advised by UBS.
Barclays has 56 branches and serves around 127,000 customers in Egypt, where it first established a foothold in 1864, according to the bank’s website.
Sources have previously said Barclays Egypt’s equity value was around $400 million.
Egypt’s Illiteracy rate hit 29.7%: CAPMAS
A report issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) stated that the illiteracy rate in Egypt has hit 29.7 percent, while the rate reached 27.1 percent in Arab countries.
The report was released on occasion of the World Literacy Day.
Gov’t to pump 77 million liters of gasoline, diesel during Eid al-Adha
Ministry of Petroleum announced it will pump 77 million liters of gasoline and diesel to meet citizens’ needs during Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice.)