UPDATE: Egypt’s business digest Oct. 19: Egypt’s bourse loses 4.8b EGP
Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt in this August 23, 2015 (Reuters)


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top business news stories on Oct.19 here:

Egypt’s bourse loses 4.8b EGP

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) closed lower on Wednesday trade over sales by Arab and foreign investors, Youm7 reported.

The main index EGX30 went down 0.65 percent to close at 8160.4 points, while mid- and small-cap index EGX70 edged down 0.27 percent to close at 333.55 points.

The market capitalization lost about 4.8 billion EGP to reach 404.1 billion pounds.


Egypt to issue dollar-dominated bonds worth $3bn: minister

Finance Minister Amr al Garhy announced on Wednesday plans to issue dollar-dominated bonds worth $2.5 billion to $3 billion to the international debt markets in the forthcoming period, Youm7 reported.

The move aims to “luring fresh foreign capital inflow to boost Egyptian resources and to get financing from the external market in light of the recent improvement in international assessments for Egypt’s economy,” Garhy said.

The minister did not disclose the exact issuance date.

In January, Egypt’s Cabinet approved a proposal from its Economic Committee to issue dollar-denominated foreign bonds valued at $1.5 billion in the global market.


CBE allocates $1.8b to build 6-month strategic goods stock -minister

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has allocated $1.8 billion to ensure six months of reserves in all strategic goods, Supply Minister Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh said on Wednesday, after widespread sugar shortages prompted talk of an impending food crisis.

Egypt already has five months worth of wheat and vegetable oil reserves and would ensure that Egyptians receive a steady supply of essential foods, Sheikh said at a news conference.

The $1.8 billion has already been allocated and the supply effort would be made in coordination with the armed forces, said Sheikh, a military major general who took charge in September of a ministry rocked by a wheat corruption scandal.

Sheikh said his ministry would seek to end procurement of wheat to open air silos by next year’s buying season and move to more sophisticated climate-controlled silos that are designed to minimize waste and prevent fraud.


U.S. working with G7 countries to fund IMF Egypt program

(Reuters) The United States views the International Monetary Fund’s proposed $12 billion bailout for Egypt as “essential” and is working with G7 economic powers to ensure that it is fully funded with bilateral financing, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Tuesday.

Nathan Sheets, Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, told a policy forum that the United States supports the IMF’s Egypt program and believes that reforms required by the IMF will be challenging, but are necessary to liberalize Egypt’s economy and make it more competitive.

Egypt needs to arrange up to $6 billion in bilateral gap financing before the IMF board can approve the program. Prime Minister Sherif Ismail said earlier on Tuesday that about 60 percent of the total had been secured.


Egypt to send new investment law to cabinet next month

(Reuters) A draft of a new investment law will be sent to the Egyptian cabinet next month, Investment Minister Dalia Khorshid said in a talk show on the local television channel CBC late on Tuesday.

The new law will focus on the diversification of incentives and guarantees for investors, Khorshid said. It has been in the works for six months.

“The draft is ready. We will send it to the cabinet as soon as possible. We will be done with it next month,” Khorshid said.

The government approved an investment law in March 2015 that aimed to bolster investor confidence, eliminate bureaucracy, ease the procedures to obtain licences for projects and attract foreign investment. It later amended the law in December.

Egypt is trying to revive its economy and attract foreign investment after a popular uprising in 2011 drove away tourists and foreign investors.

Foreign direct investment in the 2015/16 financial year reached around $6.84 billion, up from $6.38 billion in the previous year.


Egypt seeks enhancing cooperation with UNFPA

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr met with a representative from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Tuesday, discussing the ways of enhancing the cooperation, particularly to face over-population that Egypt witnesses.

Egypt’s population is expected to reach 140 million by the year 2030 if the current 2.4% growth rate continues, according to a study conducted by the National Population Council.

The country’s birth rate increased from 2008-2012 due to low contraception use, with the highest birth rates in rural areas, where more than 72% of the overall Egyptian population lives, the study said.


Egypt to end use of open air wheat silos by next year’s procurement season -minister

(Reuters) Egypt will seek to end procurement of wheat to open air silos by next year’s buying season, Supply Minister Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh said on Wednesday.

A committee composed of officials from the supply, agriculture and finance ministries had been established to determine the proper price for local wheat to be procured next year, he said at a news conference.

The moves come as Egypt seeks to clamp down on rampant corruption in its strategic wheat supply chain that has wasted billions of pounds worth of public funds.


USD exchange rate ‘stable,’ reaches 8.78 EGP

The USD exchange rate has been stable against the Egyptian Pound, where it reached Wednesday 8.58 EGP for sale and 8.88 for purchase. Euro exchange rate reached 9.76 EGP for purchase and 9.78 EGP for sale.

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