UPDATE: Egypt’s business digest Oct.26: Egypt’s Edita says confiscated sugar released, factory to resume operations


CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top business news stories on Oct. 26 here:

Egypt’s Edita says confiscated sugar released, factory to resume operations

(Reuters) – Edita Food Industries, Egypt’s maker of Twinkies and one of the country’s largest food producers, said on Wednesday sugar seized at one of its plants by government authorities had been released and operations would resume within hours.

The company said on Monday its sweet factory in Beni Suef had been shut for three days after authorities seized its sugar.

“Edita Food Industries … received today notification from the Prosecutor General’s Office that it had ordered the release of the company’s sugar inventory seized last week at an Edita facility,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The government has accused factories and traders of hoarding stocks to push up prices amid a nationwide shortage of the commodity, an allegation they deny.

“We are grateful for the personal attention paid to our issue by a number of senior government officials, who clearly understand the definition of private property and of a free market economy,” Edita Chairman Hani Berzi said in the statement.

Egyptian authorities have raided sugar factories and distributors in recent days amid a countrywide shortage of sugar, blaming the crisis on traders and suppliers hoarding and smuggling supplies.

At supermarkets nationwide, sugar has all but vanished, prompting media talk of a crisis and pushing the state to rapidly increase imports despite an acute dollar shortage and soaring global prices of the sweetener.

The company has four factories in Egypt, including its Beni Suef plant which makes hard and soft candy. It said sweet production accounted for only 4 percent of its total revenues.

Analysts said the closure would not have a major impact on Edita’s profits but would send a negative signal to foreign investors, which Egypt needs to redress the dollar shortage at the heart of its sugar supply problems.


EGX shows mixed performance, market cap loses 372m EGP

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) closed on mixed note at the Wednesday’s trading session amid sales by Arab and foreign investment funds and purchases by Egyptian investors, Youm7 reported.

The main benchmark index EGX30 dropped 0.05 percent to close at 8,257 points. Similarly, while the broader index EGX100 dropped 0.12 percent to close at 792 points, while the small and medium caps index EGX70 went up 0.32 percent to close at 334 points.

The market capitalization incurred losses estimated at 372 million EGP to close at 406.4 billion EGP.


Egypt’s foreign debts increase by 16% in 2015/2016: CBE

Egypt’s foreign debts rose by 16 percent by the end of 2015/2016 Fiscal Year to reach 2.619 trillion EGP ($ 55.8 billion) up from 2.116 trillion EGP by the end of 2015/2015 FY, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said in a report published on Wednesday.

The increase is attributed to a $7.4 billion increase in the net repayments of foreign loans, facilities and deposits, and an increase in exchange rates of the currencies  of the external debt versus the US dollar, which led to an increase in external debt estimated at $0.3 billion, according to Reuters.

External debt service (medium- and long-term) reached $5.2 billion during the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the report said.


Egypt’s natural gas production rise to 4,630 mln cubic feet after new discoveries: EGAS

The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) annoucned that Egypt’s production increased last year to 4,360 million cubic feet after new gas discoveries.

Last year, Italy’s ENI annoucned discovering “the largest ever” offshore natural gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast known as the Zohr Project.

In June 2016, BP Egypt annoucned an gas discovery in Egypt’s East Mediterranean. In August, Shell discovered new gas field with reserves of 500bn cubic feet in the western desert.


Egyptian expatriates transfers down to $1.2 bln this year – official

Egyptian expatriates’ money transfers declined to $1.2 billion in August, compared to $1.3 billion last year, Youm7 quoted a senior bank official.


EGX opens Wednesday session at collective rise

The Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX) opened Wednesday session at a collective rise to its indexes, Youm7 reported.

EGX30 rose by 0.22 percent, and EGX50 increased by 0.33 percent, while EGX20 jumped by 0.22 percent, EGX70 increased by 0.12 percent and EGX100 rose by 0.12 percent.


Egypt needs smart phones worth $12 mln for 4G license

An official source at a large smart phone market said that the Egyptian market needs smart phones worth $12 billion to be set to the fourth generation 4G mobile license.

The source said that the government is planning to build an electronics factory in the technological district in Borg el-Arab region in Alexandria for this purpose.


USD exchange rate ‘stable,’ reaches 8.88 EGP

The USD exchange rate has been stable against the Egyptian Pound, where it reached Tuesday 8.88 EGP for sale and 8.85 for purchase. Euro exchange rate reached 9.6 EGP for purchase and 9.6 EGP for sale.

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