UPDATE – Egypt’s business digest Oct. 3: Egypt’s net foreign reserves rise to $19.592 bln at end-Sept – central bank
People and vehicles are seen caught in a traffic jam in front of the Central Bank of Egypt's headquarters in downtown Cairo, Egypt, December 21, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top business news stories on Oct. 3 here:


EGX closes on collective rise, gains 7.1 mln EGP

The market capitalization of the Egyptian Stock Exchange gained 7.1 billion EGP by the end of transactions Monday.


EGX indexes closed at collective rise powered by foreign purchases, while Egyptians and Arabs were mostly selling.


Egypt’s net foreign reserves rise to $19.592 bln at end-Sept -central bank

Egypt’s net foreign reserves rose to $19.592 billion at the end of September, jumping from $16.564 billion at the end of the previous month, the central bank said on Monday.


Egypt had roughly $36 billion in reserves before its 2011 uprising ushered in a period of political turmoil, scaring off tourists and foreign investors, key sources of hard currency.


The International Monetary Fund last month agreed in principle to grant Egypt a $12 billion three-year facility to support a government reform programme aimed at reducing the budget deficit. Board-level approval depends on the government securing $5-$6 billion in bilateral financing in the first year.


The central bank did not immediately explain the jump in reserves, but Egypt last month received the first $1 billion tranche of a $3 billion World Bank loan aimed at supporting the government’s reform programme and finances.


The United Arab Emirates also agreed in August to provide Egypt’s central bank with a $1 billion deposit for six years, while the government is in advanced talks with Saudi Arabia to secure a new deposit worth $2-3 billion that would go towards that requirement.


Egypt’s central bank governor has previously said that he would consider floating the pound, which is currently managed within a tight band to the dollar, should net foreign reserves exceed $25 billion.


Speculation is rife in Egypt that the central bank could devalue the currency any day in an effort to close the gap between the official exchange rate of about 8.8 pounds to the dollar and the black market rate that has fluctuated at levels weaker than 13 pounds in recent weeks.


An acute shortage of hard currency has hit business and discouraged investment in the past two years as companies have struggled to pay for imports and repatriate profit.



Port Said ports operating in full swing, receives 21 ships: statement

Port Said ports are operating in full swing in receiving ships and containers, Youm7 a Monday statement by the media chamber of the economic zone in Suez Canal.


The statement added that around 21 ships have crossed East and West Port Said ports Monday.



Egypt’s benchmark rockets amid reports of pound devaluation

Egypt’s stock benchmark rocketed up in Monday session after disseminating media reports saying that decision makers of the Ventral Bank of Egypt (CBE) would do further devaluation of the Egyptian pound, Youm7 reported

The stock exchanged gained 5 billion EGP 30 minutes after the session had started. EGX 30 went up by 2.25 percent, while EGX 50 hiked by 1.86.

Head of research at Cairo-based investment bank Beltone Financial Hany Genena told Bloomberg that the the devaluation move is “imminent.”



OTMT says failure to resolve dispute with regulator has hit business

(Reuters) Egyptian holding company OTMT said on Monday its failure to resolve a dispute with the financial regulator had hit business and stymied growth, and it would hold a board meeting to discuss how to proceed.

“The major shareholder will ask the company’s board of directors to convene at the earliest possibility to discuss how the company will continue its business given its current inability to expand and perform its core business normally,” OTMT said in a statement on the stock exchange website.

The dispute revolves around breaches the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) says were involved in the 2011 demerger of Orascom Telecom Holding, which culminated in OTMT’s current shareholding structure.

OTMT has holdings in media, technology and cable businesses but has sought to move further into the financial sector. The dispute has scuppered efforts by its subsidiary Beltone Financial, to acquire CI Capital, a local investment bank – a deal that was central to Beltone’s growth strategy.



BRIEF-Egypt’s Orascom Construction share buyback offer begins today, ends Oct 10

(Reuters) Egypt’s orascom construction says share buyback offer to shareholders on Egyptian market begins today, ends Oct 10

The board of Egypt’s Orascom Construction approved the buyback of 1 million shares at a price of 74.05 Egyptian pounds ($8.34) per share, the firm said on Thursday.



Citizens’ Priorities Top the Minister’s Agenda during WB Annual Meetings

(Press release) The Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Governor at the World Bank (WB), chairs Egypt’s delegation at the WB Annual Meetings currently held in Washington, given that citizens’ priorities would top the Minister’s agenda during her meetings with development partners.

At the beginning of her visit to Washington, the Minister would held several meetings with a number of WB and International Finance Corporation (IFC) officials, besides representing Egypt at the G-24 meetings and the WB’s Arab governors meeting.

The Minister’s meetings with the WB officials would focus on discussing the cooperation portfolio of programs and projects financed with USD 8 billion, given that the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) provides USD 6 billion for development projects and the IFC provides USD 2 billion for the private sector.

Dr. Nasr indicated that she would meet with heads of financial institutions that enjoy strong relations with the Egyptian government, including the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Minister noted that, during her meetings, she would focus on citizens’ needs, especially in lagging regions, and the government’s priorities during the upcoming period as well as financial institutions’ potential support of the government’s program in implementing its ambitious development plan and achieving social justice, besides achievements made during previous months with regard to development projects financed by financial institutions.

The WB Annual Meetings are considered a platform that gathers ministers of international cooperation, finance and economy to discuss the aspects of sustainable development, sources of economic growth and global challenges, besides eliminating poverty and providing job opportunities in developing countries as well as the role of development partners in supporting such countries. On the sidelines of these meetings, press conferences are held, given that 13,000 individuals are expected to participate in such meetings this year, representing governors of the WB member states, experts and journalists.



Egypt targets $200 mln from exporting Damietta furniture

Egypt target to gain a total of $200 million via exporting furniture that will be manufactured in the under-construction furniture industry city in Damietta, announced Egyptian Minister of Trade   Traeq Qabil on Monday.

The cost of construction of the industry city was estimated at 4-5 billion EGP, he added during signing a memorandum of understanding between the Damietta Company for Furniture and the Banque Misr. Per the MoU, the bank will provide 1.5 billion EGP in loans.

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