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Bourse gains 13.7 b at closing of Wednesday’s trading session
The Egyptian Exchange continued its upward trend 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 3.35 percent to close at 10,997 points.
Similarly, the small and mid-cap index EGX70 added 2.21 percent to close at 428 points, while the broader index EGX100 moved higher by 2.13 percent to close at 1,010 points.
The market capitalization gained 13.7 billion EGP to close at 535.857 billion EGP during the closing session of Sunday.
Egypt says happy with impact of currency float, inflows surging
Egyptian authorities are happy with financial market movements since they floated the pound, and inflows of foreign exchange into the banking system are surging, deputy finance minister Ahmed Kouchouk was quoted by Reuters on Wednesday.
The Egyptian pound fell to near 18 to the U.S. dollar after its peg of 8.8 was scrapped on Nov. 3 in an effort to lure more foreign investment and shut a black market in dollars. In the last few days it has become more stable at around 15.50.
Kouchouk, speaking to a small group of foreign reporters at a financial conference in Dubai, said volatility was natural after a currency float and the pound’s moves were “not a surprise or concern”.
“Banks are competing, we are seeing that rates are fluctuating, each bank has its own buying and selling rate – all the ingredients of a flexible, efficient system are there now,” said Kouchouk, an architect of Egypt’s economic reform plan.
He described the central bank as “very happy with what’s happening.”
Data from the central bank shows Egypt’s banking system has received about $1.5 billion in net hard currency inflows since the float, around 10 to 15 times the level of weekly inflows before the pound was freed, Kouchouk said.
He called that number encouraging and predicted inflows would increase further.
Egypt banks have provided over $2.2 bln to clients since pound floated – cabinet information centre
Egyptian banks have provided more than $2.2 billion to clients since the pound was floated, Reuters reported, citing Egypt’s cabinet information centre statement on Wednesday.
The central bank abandoned its peg of 8.8 per dollar on Nov. 3. On Wednesday, it let the pound change hands at about 15.25/15.95 to the dollar.
“Banks are working on providing all the real foreign currency needs of clients, and the central bank clarified that the banking sector injected more than $2.2 billion to cover clients’ needs… in the period starting from the decision to float the pound up until Nov. 14,” it said in a statement.
World Bank says Egypt to get next $1 billion loan tranche by early Jan
The World Bank will provide the second $1 billion tranche of its $3 billion budget support to Egypt by early January, the bank’s vice president Hafez Ghanem said on Tuesday.
Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from various lenders to help revive an economy battered by political upheaval since the 2011 revolt and to ease a dollar shortage that has crippled import activity and hampered recovery.
“We are planning to go to our board of directors either by late in December or early in January, so we are talking of a matter of weeks,” Ghanem told Reuters in the Moroccan tourist city of Marrakesh where he was attending the U.N. climate change conference (COP22).
The World Bank provided the first $1 billion to Egypt earlier in 2016. After the second $1 billion by January, the third chunk is expected to follow later in 2017.
In another boost for the Cairo government, the International Monetary Fund’s executive board last week approved a three-year, $12 billion loan aimed at supporting Egypt’s economic reforms, and the central bank said it had received a first tranche of $2.75 billion.
But the government is facing growing discontent over austerity measures required by its international lenders.
Last Friday calls for protests failed to take place, but they have gained traction on social media after Egypt raised fuel prices and floated its currency.
The government has tried to win public support for the austerity measures with a billboard campaign and media blitz and also sought to expand social security schemes to shield the poorest from the effects of the rising prices.
“The reforms that the government has been putting in place, and supported by the IMF and ourselves, are necessary,” Ghanem said. “At the same time, our focus is really making sure that growth and development in Egypt are inclusive.”
Ghanem said the World Bank was working with the government to support the most vulnerable Egyptians through many other programs, including social housing.
Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf oil producers, have pumped billions of dollars, including grants, into Egypt’s flagging economy since the army toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 amid mass protests against his rule.
Kuwait to supply Egypt with 2 mln barrel of oil monthly for 3 years
Kuwaiti Cabinet approved to on Monday to renew a contact with Cairo, per which Kuwait to provide Egypt with two million barrel of oil monthly with the international prices, Kuwaiti newspaper Alrai reported on Tuesday.
The contract has been signed between two sides 10 years ago and is being renewed for each three years after getting an approval from the Kuwaiti Cabinet, Youm7 reported Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum Spokesperson Hamdy Abdel-Azizi on Tuesday.
The renewed three-year period of the contract will come into force in January 2017, he added.
In early October, Aramco suspended the oil supply to Egypt for October, stating no reasons behind the suspension. However, this move came after Egypt has voted for a Russian-drafted resolution on Syria at a meeting in the United Nation Security Council (UNSC), a step stirred Saudi Arabia’s anger. The suspension has extended to November and would last until further notice.
Egypt talks importing crude oil from Iraq mid-December
An Iraqi delegation will visit Egypt in mid-December to discuss new deal, per which Egypt will import crude oil, Youm7 reported officials at the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum on Wednesday.
They added the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) will hold its ministerial meeting in Cairo on Dec. 11.
Egypt’s cabinet approves 4 international deals worth $3.5 bln
Egyptian Cabinet approved on Tuesday four agreements signed between the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation and Germany, South Korea, Japan, and the Kuwaiti Fud for the Economic Development.
The four agreements are worth $3.5 billion and will be invested in sectors of small and medium enterprises, energy, slum development, and drinking water.
Egyptian Co. opens gold treatment plant in Ghana
Egyptian Euroget group has inaugurated a plant of gold treatment in Ghana with a cost at $110 million, Egyptian state-owned news agency MENA reported Egyptian ambassador to Ghana Mohamed Haider.
The inauguration was attended by the Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama and accompanying officials, he added.