UPDATE: Egypt’s business digest Nov. 9: Bourse ends in green zone, gains 8.5b EGP
Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt in this August 23, 2015 (Reuters)
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CAIRO: No more browsing from site to site, view the top business news stories on Nov.9 here:

Bourse ends in green zone, gains 8.5b EGP

The Egyptian Exchange continued its upward trend for the 5th consecutive day at the close of Wednesday’s trading backed by purchase operations by investment funds and foreign institutions, Youm7 reported.

The main benchmark index EGX30 went up 1.28 percent to close at 10,225.5 points, which is the highest mark since June 2008.

Similarly, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 added 2.44 percent to close at 390.31 points, while

The market capitalization gained 8.5 billion EGP to close at 500.7 billion EGP during the closing session of Wednesday.

 

Egypt’s rice stock enough for 16 months – official

Egypt has enough stocks of rice to meet domestic demand for the next 18 months, Youm7 reported citing a statement of head of the Rice Department at the Federation of Egyptian Industries Ragab Shehata.

A notable shortage and price hike of essential commodities, including rice and sugar, have been monitored in Egypt’s local market during the past few months.

Temporary rice shortages and price spikes have become common since the government failed to purchase stocks during its 2015 harvest, an omission that allowed speculating traders to buy up and hoard the country’s entire crop, sending prices soaring upward until the state called for tenders.

 

Egypt’s pound strengthens as IMF loan deal nears

Egypt’s newly floated pound strengthened on Wednesday after the International Monetary Fund indicated it would approve a $12 billion loan deal the government hopes will help avert an economic crisis.

The pound closed at 16.95 to the dollar in the interbank market, having traded at levels around 17.60 to 17.90 on Tuesday, but volumes remained small as a severe dollar shortage stifled liquidity.

“The IMF news was positive and eased some pressure on the pound because it meant, contrary to what the exchanges and the black market were betting on, that there will be additional inflows of dollars to Egypt,” said one banker.

“It increases confidence in the economy.”

The IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, said on Tuesday she would recommend the executive board approve the three-year loan deal to support Egypt’s economic reform programme when it meets on Nov. 11.

Egypt has said it expects to receive the first $2.75 billion installment from the IMF as early as next week, bringing fresh dollar inflows into the economy and giving the reforms a seal of approval that it hopes will bring back foreign investors.

Import-dependent Egypt has struggled to attract dollars and revive its economy since tourists and investors headed for the exits after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

Facing a gaping budget deficit, plummeting foreign reserves and a burgeoning currency black market, it agreed the IMF loan in August but had to secure $5-$6 billion in bilateral financing for the deal to be finalised.

Egyptian officials said they were ready to make the final push for the loan after the central bank abandoned its currency peg of 8.8 pounds to the U.S. dollar last Thursday in a dramatic move welcomed by the Fund and World Bank.

 

Egypt to target $2-2.5 bln in roadshow this month- Finance Minister

Egypt’s finance ministry will set the week of Nov. 23 as a tentative date for beginning a Eurobond roadshow with a target size of $2-2.5 billion, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy was quoted as saying in a research note by EFG-Hermes.

El-Garhy, who was speaking at a conference call late on Tuesday, said the bond will help bridge a projected funding gap of $32-34 billion over the coming three years.

Egypt also expects to receive $2.7 billion in aid from the International Monetary Fund as early as next week, part of a $12 billion loan package to help Egypt avert an economic crisis and halt a slide in its newly floated currency.

Egypt has been struggling to attract hard currency and revive its economy since a 2011 uprising that drove away tourists and foreign investors. Last week it floated the pound and reactivated its interbank trading market.

 

EGX rises 1% in mid-session

The Egyptian Exchange (EGX) gained 100 points by in the Wednesday mid-session due to foreign purchases, Youm7 reported.

The main benchmark index EGX100 rose 1 percent to reach of 10,197 points, while the small and mid-cap index EGX70 went up 1.97 percent reaching 388.5 points.

Similarly, the broader index EGX100 added 2.93 percent.

 

UAE’s Dana Gas to review Egypt investment if not repaid dues

Dana Gas will review its 2017 investment plans for Egypt if the North African country doesn’t repay the full amount it owes the United Arab Emirates-based energy firm by the end of the year, its chief executive said on Wednesday.

Patrick Allman-Ward was speaking after the firm swung to a profit in the third quarter, halting a run of poor earnings performances, as it benefited from interest contributions on crude receivables from the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Dana has been hamstrung in recent quarters as it awaits receivables owed in both Egypt and Iraqi Kurdistan, following political and economic turbulence in both places which have delayed payments.

As of Sept. 30, the amount owed by Egypt was $242 million, up from $221 million at the end of 2015. Dana’s share of owed receivables from the Kurdistan Regional Government was $722 million, down marginally on $727 million at the end of 2015.

However, Egypt is hoping to secure $12 billion in aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a series of bilateral fundraisings and economic reforms – most notably the free float of the Egyptian pound – aimed at revitalising its economy.

Part of the IMF loan will be distributed to the petroleum sector to meet outstanding debts, Allman-Ward told reporters on a conference call, citing conversations the firm had held with Egyptian officials.

“If it doesn’t happen (the payment), in keeping with our long-standing policy of balancing collections for investment, we would be forced to review how that balance can be maintained,” he said.

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