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Égypt-actus
Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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L'Afrique, nouvelle fabrique de milliardaires

L'Afrique, nouvelle fabrique de milliardaires | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Héritiers d'une fortune familiale ou grands entrepreneurs, ils sont le reflet du dynamisme africain. Ces nouveaux riches ne cachent plus leur opulence. (...)

 

En attendant, la croissance est là pour les lions africains, les pays comme l'Algérie, le Botswana, l'Egypte, l'île Maurice, le Maroc…(...)

 

Transfert du pouvoir

Il y a aussi les vieilles fortunes, originaires pour la plupart du Maghreb. De véritables dynasties comme les Sawiris et les Mansour en Egypte. Onis Sawiris, quatre-vingt-trois ans, le patriarche d'origine copte, et ses fils Nassef, Naguib et Samih régnent sur la galaxie Orascom (télécoms, construction, tourisme). La famille continue de prospérer et d'investir malgré les turbulences qui touchent le pays et malgré l'opposition de plus en plus farouche de Naguib Sawiris à l'égard des Frères musulmans. Moins riches, les frères Mansour, Mohamed, Yassen et Youssef, pèsent à eux trois plus de 6 milliards de dollars selon « Forbes ». Ils ont fait fortune en important « l'American way of life » via leurs relations commerciales avec General Motors, Caterpillar, McDonald ou encore Philip Morris. L'Egypte, une terre de millionnaires. On en dénombre 490, dont le célèbre propriétaire du Ritz et de Harrod's, Mohamed Al-Fayed (103 e fortune mondiale). Rien de surprenant selon Adama Wade : « C'est un pays à l'économie très libérale, malgré les années de dictature, avec une économie très américanisée qui profite aussi d'une population très importante : 82 millions d'habitants.

 

Plus: http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/industrie-lourde/actu/0202591857226-l-afrique-nouvelle-fabrique-de-milliardaires-551635.php?xtor=RSS-2012

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Egypt raises rates to curb inflation, support pound

Egypt raises rates to curb inflation, support pound | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egypt's central bank raised interest rates on Thursday, hoping to curb soaring inflation and slow a sliding pound currency, but the first increase in over a year is likely to hurt a very weak economy.

The bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) announced 50 basis point increases in both its main rates, taking the overnight deposit rate to 9.75 percent and the overnight lending rate to 10.75 percent.

  

Before the meeting, economists had been split on whether the bank would raise rates or hold them to avoid further hurting an economy badly damaged by two years of political turmoil and frequent violent protests since the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak.

In the end, the central bank opted to tackle the sharp rise in inflation, which is eating into Egyptians' living standards, and to support the Egyptian pound.

 

More on: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/21/egypt-rates-idUSL6N0CDEAQ20130321?rpc=401

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Moody’s downgrade

Moody’s downgrade | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Moody’s Investors Service today downgraded Egypt’s government bond ratings to Caa1 from B3. The rating outlook is negative.

 

Today’s one-notch downgrade was prompted by the following factors:

1) More than two years into the Egyptian revolution, the continued unsettled political conditions have significantly weakened Egypt’s economy

 

More on: http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/03/21/moodys-downgrade/

 

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Moody's abaisse la note souveraine de l'Egypte

Moody's Investors Service a annoncé jeudi avoir abaissé de "B3" à "Caa1" sa note attribuée à la dette souveraine d'Egypte, évoquant des conditions politiques instables et estimant que les risques d'un défaut du pays s'étaient accrus.

L'économie égyptienne est en crise depuis le renversement d'Hosni Moubarak en 2011

 

Plus: http://bourse.lesechos.fr/infos-conseils-boursiers/actus-des-marches/infos-marches/moody-s-abaisse-la-note-souveraine-de-l-egypte-864760.php

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Egypt Cabinet Unveils 2013/14 Socio-Economic Development Plan

The Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said on Wednesday the national socio-economic plan will reconcile various political and economic tendencies in the country. 
He told the Cabinet that the plan will realize stability and improve growth rates. The plan, published in Al Ahram newspaper forecasts a growth rate of 4.1 percent in 2013/14, up from the 3 percent expected for the current 2012/13 fiscal year.
The growth rate for individual incomes, meanwhile, is expected to rise to 2.1 percent in the next fiscal year, according to the plan. In 2012/13, the figure is forecast to rise by 0.6 percent. The government also anticipates the investment rate to increase to 16.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2013/14. The investment rate for the first quarter of the 2012/13 fiscal year stood at 11.1 percent of GDP. Projected investment increases are, in turn, expected to reduce the national unemployment rate to 12.4 percent compared to the current 13 percent, according to the government plan.


MENAFN - Qatar News Agency

More : http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1093620808/Egypt-Cabinet-Unveils-2013/14-SocioEconomic-Development-Plan?src=RSS

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Pity Sawiris

Pity Sawiris | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

At a time when many Egyptian workers are protesting against the chief executives of companies demanding better rights, employees at Orascom Construction Industries demonstrated an unusual display of loyalty against accusations from the government that the company owes 14 billion ($2.1 billion) in back taxes relating to the 2007 sale of its cement arm to France’s Lafarge.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the company’s Cairo headquarters last week holding banners saying: “Oh Finance Minister, where is social justice?”, “Bread, Freedom, Sawiris is not a tax evader,” and “100,000 families will lose their income,” Bloomberg reported.

Poor Nassef Sawiris, OCI’s billionaire chairman who is worth $6.5 billion and runs the most valuable publicly traded company in Egypt…

 

Rebel Economy

More : http://rebeleconomy.com/2013/03/20/pity-sawiris/

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Election limbo keeps Egypt’s IMF loan on ice

Election limbo keeps Egypt’s IMF loan on ice | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Once parliamentary elections are out of the way, Egypt stands a chance of securing an International Monetary Fund loan to help address its currency and budget crisis; the problem is that no one knows when that will be.

With face-to-face contact between Egypt and the IMF re-established this week after a two-month gap, both sides are pushing for urgent action, but with strikingly different emphases.

President Mohamed Mursi’s government wants a full $4.8 billion loan, as agreed in principle last November, but based on a gentler reform programme than originally planned, “in light of preserving growth rates, employment and protecting the poor”.

 

By contrast, the IMF’s top official for the region, Masood Ahmed, spoke only of “possible financial support” after he met the government and central bank in Cairo on Sunday.

 

More on: http://www.kippreport.com/fcs/election-limbo-keeps-egypts-imf-loan-on-ice/

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Egypt says IMF talks didn't agree anything specific

Talks between the Egyptian government and an International Monetary Fund official did not produce agreement on anything specific, but paved the way for the arrival of an IMF technical team soon, government spokesman Alaa El-Hadidi said on Monday.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil met visiting IMF official Masood Ahmed on Sunday. Egypt is seeking a $4.8 billion IMF loan to ease an economic crisis rooted in more than two years of political turmoil.

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Egypt's economic reforms reconcile views of political trends

Egypt's economic reforms reconcile views of political trends | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said Sunday the national economic reform program, developed by his government recently, took stock of all views of the different political trends.

"The program also takes stock of the developments on the economic and political situations since the cancellation of an earlier program in last December," Qandil was quoted by a statement released by his office.

The Prime Minister made the remarks during his talks with Masood Ahmad, Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, on the reform program and a USD multi-billion loan to Egypt.

"The reform program reconciles the prerequisites of financial, economic and social stability with the need to achieve higher economic growth rate and curb unemployment rate in a balanced way," Qandil affirmed.

He briefed the IMF official on the outcome of a national initiative for economic recovery, reached through dialogue with economists from the opposite ends of the political spectrum.

The meeting was attended by the economic inner cabinet and several local economic experts.

Egypt has been in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since the beginning of the year over a loan amounting to USD 4.8 billion.


http://www.menafn.com/menafn/1093619612/Egypts-economic-reforms-reconcile-views-of-political-trends--PM?src=RSS

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Egypt's economic reforms reconcile views of political trends

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said Sunday the national economic reform program, developed by his government recently, took stock of all views of the different political trends.

"The program also takes stock of the developments on the economic and political situations since the cancellation of an earlier program in last December," Qandil was quoted by a statement released by his office.

The Prime Minister made the remarks during his talks with Masood Ahmad, Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, on the reform program and a USD multi-billion loan to Egypt.

"The reform program reconciles the prerequisites of financial, economic and social stability with the need to achieve higher economic growth rate and curb unemployment rate in a balanced way," Qandil affirmed.

He briefed the IMF official on the outcome of a national initiative for economic recovery, reached through dialogue with economists from the opposite ends of the political spectrum.

The meeting was attended by the economic inner cabinet and several local economic experts.

Egypt has been in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since the beginning of the year over a loan amounting to USD 4.8 billion.

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Bee'ah and Suez Environnement sign waste agreement

Bee'ah and Suez Environnement sign waste agreement | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

 

Waste management firm Bee'ah and Suez Environnement, through its subsidiary SITA have entered into a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to bring to the UAE best waste management practices.

The two waste management operators agreed to work together to close the loop of waste recycling in Sharjah through establishment of recycling facilities for plastics and wood, e-waste, as well as working jointly to better waste collection, fleet management, and waste treatment in the country.

HE Salim Al Owais, chairman of Bee'ah, said: "This agreement brings Bee'ah one step closer to its goal for Sharjah to attain zero-waste to landfill by 2015. Our collaboration with Suez Environnement in waste management will help us bring some of the best European waste management practices and environmental technologies to the UAE."

ConstructionWeekOnline.com

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Friday protests against Morsy, poor economy sweep nation

Friday protests against Morsy, poor economy sweep nation | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Thousands across the nation took to the streets on Friday to protest against deteriorating economic conditions under the rule of President Mohamed Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood.

In Port Said, around 3,000 Ultras Masrawy staged a march on 23 July Street in the Monakh neighborhood, protesting the deadly clashes of 26 January 2013. They chanted slogans against Morsy and the televised speech he delivered Thursday evening, saying that his statement did not give any solutions to the problem. The protesters declared they would continue civil disobedience against the Morsy administration. They also denounced the delegation of Port Said residents that met with Morsy in Cairo on Thursday, putting their names on a banner and labeling them as traitors.

Dozens of unemployed youth and revolutionary forces protested in Suez on Friday afternoon, taking to Arbaeen Square to demand more jobs and the sacking of the Suez governor. They chanted against Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood, saying, "Unemployment remains the same, down with the Brothers' authority.”

The protesters stressed they would continue to demonstrate until the goals of the revolution were achieved.

In Alexandria, dozens protested in front of the Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque after Friday prayers, demanding the dissolution of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil's Cabinet. Protesters were divided into two marches. The first called for a national salvation government to run the country and to hold early presidential elections, while the second called for a military coup against Morsy. The second march headed to the northern military region, chanting,"The people want the army anew," and "The people and the army are one hand."

In Gharbiya, dozens of activists staged a protest outside the governorate's headquarters in Shohada Square in Tanta to demand the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood, and to demand retribution for the death of activist Mohamed al-Gendy. CSF troops and armored vehicles were deployed in anticipation of potential violence.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm (Egypt independent)


http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/friday-protests-against-morsy-poor-economy-sweep-nation

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BUSINESS WORLD - Egypt's current deficit adds to pressure

Egypt's current account deficit narrowed in July-December, data showed on Thursday, but economists said it remained a major problem that is adding to pressure on the government to do a deal with the International Monetary Fund.

Egypt is seeking an agreement, but securing aid would involve a commitment to austerity measures that are likely to lead to unrest at a time when President Mohamed Mursi is already struggling to maintain law and order. 

In Washington, the IMF said its Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Masood Ahmed, would visit Cairo from Sunday to discuss Egypt's economic programme.

The Egyptian central bank reported that the current account deficit fell to $3.0 billion in the second half of calendar 2012 from a shortfall of $4.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.


 

This was thanks to remittances from Egyptian workers abroad, largely in the Gulf, which rose to $9.3 billion in the period from $8.0 billion a year earlier, the bank said in a statement.

The latter part of 2011 was a particularly turbulent time in Egypt following the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak in February that year. This deterred many tourists and foreign investors, and the latest figures showed some signs of recovery in 2012.

 

However, the trade deficit widened to $16.8 billion in the last six months of calendar 2012 from $15.6 billion, as imports picked up 3.6 percent but exports slipped 1.0 percent.


 

"The current account deficit is a major headache, driven by an accelerating trade balance deficit," said one economist, who declined to be named.

"The overall balance might seem favorable at first glance, but a closer look at the current and financial accounts shows relatively weak overall figures, adding more pressure on the government to strike a deal with the IMF

 

More on: http://www.businessworld.ie/livenews.htm?a=3045192;s=rollingnews.htm

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The IMF is wrong about Egypt | ArabNews

The IMF is wrong about Egypt | ArabNews | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

There are those that will feel that with Egypt, the International Monetary Fund is back up to its old, discredited trick of imposing, as a condition of a loan, ruinous terms that seem custom-made to produce economic hardship among those who can least afford it and as a consequence, political unrest.

It now looks as if the IMF will withhold a crucial $ 4.8 billion loan to Egypt, because it deems President Muhammad Mursi’s initial plans to put Egypt’s financial house in order, with tentative tax and price rises, as being insufficient to justify its support.

Without the loan, the financial prospects for the country look grim. Continuing political unrest, economic stagnation and a collapse in all-important tourism revenues mean that Cairo’s foreign exchange reserves are dwindling fast. Now standing at $ 13.5 billion, they represent less than three months import cover.

 

Without the IMF’s $ 4.8 billion, a further $ 9.5 billion of finance from other providers, will not be released. The money men in Washington are not happy with the Mursi plan to reduce Egypt’s deficit from almost 11 percent of gross domestic product to nearer 9.5 percent next year. They want a far more rapid reorientation of the country’s finances, including the sharp reduction in subsidies on fuel and food, which current consume more than a fifth of the state budget.

 

A source close to the apparently increasingly bad-tempered negotiations between the government and the IMF, has said that the Washington bankers are insisting that the markets be sent a clear signal, so that “confidence” can be restored.

Banks around the world may need confidence that they can work with Egyptian counter-parties, though with commercial risks already high, they will be charging fat fees for whatever funds they do choose to advance. But in talking about confidence, the IMF misses the wider point. Making Egypt jump through unrealistically difficult financial hoops, in return for its loans, is going to be hugely damaging to political and social stability. Until Egypt can find political equilibrium, there is little or no chance of any restoration of its economic fortunes.

Without a pickup in business activity and tourism, there will be precious few good Egyptian risks for the international markets to embrace. Therefore by withholding its loan, the IMF is in fact guaranteeing that Cairo’s finances and political stability will be further undermined, the very thing that it is supposed to be avoiding.

Twenty years ago, the organization built itself a dismal record in Africa. Its gray-suited officials pedaled the same harsh solution of slashing government budgets, increasing social tension and leaving the weakest to fend for themselves or survive on bilateral aid, in return for loans which themselves, very often carried tough terms. The predictable result was often default and re-financings (...)

 

More on: http://arabnews.com/editorial/imf-wrong-about-egypt

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Egypt’s Financial High Noon

Egypt’s Financial High Noon | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

With another meeting earlier this week in Cairo, the Egyptian government continues its tortuous negotiations with the IMF about a $4.8 billion loan (...)

 

Despite a growing sense of urgency, the Egyptian government has not been able, or willing, to close a deal with the IMF. In fact, in the most recent round of talks, the government back-pedaled away from the set of economic reforms it put on the table last November, and now proposes more gradual steps to combat its fiscal deficit. Among the major sticking points with the IMF is Egypt's costly and unsustainable regime of subsidies, which currently consumes close to a third of the government's budget.

While it is widely recognized that food and fuel subsidies are expensive and inefficient, Egyptian leaders do not want to touch the political third rail of subsidy reform. Who can blame them? Seared into the memory of just about every Egyptian politician is the winter of 1977, when bread riots nearly toppled the government of Anwar Sadat.

 

More on: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/03/21/egypt_s_financial_high_noon

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Egyptian reassurance may fail to woo investment dollars

Egyptian reassurance may fail to woo investment dollars | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

* Dollar fund aims to reassure foreign investors
* Scheme unlikely to work as well as a decade ago
* Investors fear further Egyptian pound slide
* Legal actions against business figures shake confidence

 

Egypt's revival of a scheme meant to protect foreign buyers of government debt and stockswill struggle to achieve a wider aim - easing an acute dollar shortage.

  

Earlier this month the central bank reopened a modified version of a mechanism last used in 2003 which ring-fences dollars invested in Egyptian securities.

This aims to reassure foreigners that they can recover their hard currency when they sell.

 

But with no end in sight to the slide in value of the Egyptian pound, foreigners fear that any pounds they earn on their investments will be worth fewer and fewer dollars.

"Although a similar scheme was successful a decade ago in halting a drop in the value of the Egyptian pound at a time when foreign currency reserves were low, the current economic and political landscape is very different," said Oliver Coleman, an analyst at the Maplecroft risk consultancy.

 

More on: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/21/egypt-currency-idUSL6N0CCE0L20130321?rpc=401

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Egypt: Too Big to Fail?

Egypt: Too Big to Fail? | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Since the Arab Spring uprising, Egypt’s economy has deteriorated. The country’s most immediate crisis is a foreign reserve shortage. Stocks of the country’s foreign currency reserves have fallen to dangerous lows, and the Egyptian pound has been in a free fall since New Year’s Day after a new currency regime was instituted. The Central Bank’s nearly two-year action to prop up the pound has drained its foreign reserve coffers, and traditional sources of foreign currency have been severely reduced since the revolution. This means that soon Egypt may not have the money to buy basic food and fuel from abroad.


The Foundry

More : http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/21/egypt-too-big-to-fail/

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Egypt unrest raises re-routing risk after Suez toll rise

Egypt's economy has been in crisis since the 2011 overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, with Islamist President Mohamed Mursi's cash-strapped government grappling with sliding currency reserves, falling tourism, a soaring budget deficit and a wave of often violent street protests.

Tolls paid by ships using the canal bring in around $5 billion a year, but a slowdown in trade on the major Asia to Europe route due to global economic turmoil has hit transits, while pirate activity in the region has also had an impact.

To boost revenues, SCA is raising tolls by 2 to 5 percent from May 1, having also raised them 3 percent in March 2012.

 

 Jonathan Saul and Asma Alsharif - Reuters

More : http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/20/egypt-suez-shipping-idUSL6N0C6DFZ20130320?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co

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Quel système économique pour l’Egypte ?

La situation préoccupante actuelle exige de nous dépêcher d’appliquer un nouveau système économique prenant en considération les résultats négatifs de notre expérience avant et après la révolution, ainsi que les expériences relatives au développement économique et social au niveau international.

 

La nouvelle Constitution égyptienne a laissé la porte ouverte en ce qui concerne la détermination de l’identité économique de l’Egypte. Les principes économiques cités dans la Constitution se contentent de faire allusion à l’égalité des chances pour tous les citoyens, à leurs droits politiques et sociaux et à la nécessité de donner la priorité à la justice sociale. La troisième partie du premier chapitre fixe des cadres généraux convenables à des applications économiques variées au niveau des opportunités de travail, de la production, de la garantie de la justice dans la distribution des revenus, de la protection des droits du consommateur et de la protection des droits des travailleurs. Et les articles 205, 206 et 207 abordent les prérogatives de l’Organisme central des comptes, la Banque Centrale et la création des conseils économiques et sociaux. Le fait que le législateur n’a pas déterminé l’identité de l’économie égyptienne dans la Constitution est une chose positive pour deux raisons.

 

Plus: http://hebdo.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/0/4/132/2033/Quel-syst%C3%A8me-%C3%A9conomique-pour-l%E2%80%99Egypte-.aspx

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Election uncertainty to negatively effect Egypt’s economy: Standard Chartered

Election uncertainty to negatively effect Egypt’s economy: Standard Chartered | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Mohamed Salah | Daily news Egypt

 

The uncertainty over the timing of the parliamentary elections and their outcome will likely have a negative effect on Egypt’s economic activity, concluded a recent Standard Chartered report.

This diminished activity will increase the need for the country to seek multilateral sources of funding, although the political volatility will in turn weaken the country’s ability to secure this funding, the report also said.

 

More : http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/03/18/election-uncertainty-to-negatively-effect-egypts-economy-standard-chartered/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DailyNewsEgypt+%28Daily+News+Egypt%29

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World Bank's IFC plans Egypt currency swaps: CEO

World Bank's IFC plans Egypt currency swaps: CEO | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
The International Finance Corp plans to conduct currency swaps in Egypt to help local firms meet their foreign exchange needs, and is considering whether to issue local currency bondsin several Middle Eastern countries to fund investments there.


"In the Middle East the challenge is not the lack of capital but the access to dollars by local banks," IFC chief executive Jin-Yong Cai said in an interview.

"Just like we did in other places globally, we'll come up with an instrument to swap dollars for local currency in Egypt. We need local currency and some other private investors need dollars. It's in a way a hedging for investments."

Some Egyptian firms are finding it increasingly hard to obtain U.S. dollars for imports, debt repayments and other purposes, after political unrest slashed the country's foreign reserves over the past two years and authorities imposed capital controls.

 

Cai did not elaborate on how and when the IFC, a unit of the World Bank which invests in developing the private sector in emerging economies, would conduct the swaps.

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Egypt cotton exports reach 5,615 tons in week ending March 14

Egypt cotton exports reach 5,615 tons in week ending March 14 | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egypt agreed to export 5,615 metric tons of cotton in the week ending March 14, according to the Alexandria Cotton Exporters Association (Alcotexa).

The country has shipped 51,170 tons of the fiber, valued at $147.8 million, since Sept. 1, the association said today in its weekly bulletin. Exports in the past week included 1,936 tons of the Giza 88 variety and 3,679 tons of Giza 86.

Source: Bloomberg

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Egypt moves to help foreign investors repatriate funds

Egypt moves to help foreign investors repatriate funds | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Investors in stock and government debt markets will get access to dollars despite shortages of foreign currency.

 

Egypt's central bank opened a scheme today allowing foreign investors in the stock and government debt markets access to dollars despite severe shortages of foreign currency.

In a statement posted on its website, the central bank said it had decided to restart and broaden a mechanism helping foreign investors to repatriate their funds that was used in 2000-2003 - also a period of dollar shortages when the Egyptian pound's value fell sharply.

"In addressing the central bank's responsibility for moving the Egyptian economy securely through the exceptional circumstances that the country is going through, it has decided to reenact those mechanisms starting [today]," the bank said.

 

Egypt has endured two years of political instability, driving tourists and foreign investors away and draining its foreign reserves. These fell to a critical level of $13.5 billion at the end of February from $36 billion just before the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The Egyptian pound has lost more than 8 per cent against the dollar since the end of last year and central bank has rationed dollars through auctions to commercial banks to slow the slide in the pound and the reserves.

The "Foreign Investors' Repatriation Mechanism" will be expanded to cover treasury bills and bonds in addition to investments on the Egyptian stock market, the statement said.

 

More on: http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/world/egypt-moves-to-help-foreign-investors-repatriate-funds-1.1328842

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Exploiting the Muslim Brotherhood Meltdown

Exploiting the Muslim Brotherhood Meltdown | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Several experts and commentators have attributed much of Egypt's economic and political turmoil to the ineptitude and intolerance of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.


Yet Egypt's main opposition party, the National Salvation Front (NSF), a coalition of liberals, leftists, secularists, moderate Muslims, business interests and minorities, has yet to visibly establish itself as a viable alternative and has been accused of being fragmented and "out of touch" with voters. Time is of the essence, however, because as much as the Muslim Brothers have illustrated their inability to govern, they have also proven quite adept at the art of political mobilization.

By every measure available President Mohamed Morsi's economic program has been an abject failure. Foreign currency reserves are currently at $13.5 billion, enough to cover only three months of imports in a country that relies on foreign sources for 70% of its food. Egypt is also suffering from skyrocketing inflation, reduced tourism revenue, capital flight, lack of foreign direct investment and high levels of unemployment.

 

The IMF has been prepared to extend Egypt a $4.8 billion loan if Cairo is willing to implement fiscal reforms, like eradicating fuel and food subsidies and raising consumption taxes. Critics contend such measures would devastate the two-fifths of Egypt's 84 million people who live near the poverty line, while financial experts believe it represents Egypt's best chance for recovery.

 

The Brothers realize enacting the IMF's austerity measures would be political suicide in light of pending parliamentary elections. The problem is nobody knows when these contests are to occur because Morsi's call for April elections was overturned by court decree.

Even more distressing than the uncertainty surrounding the timing of the elections is how President Morsi's rule by fiat -- including granting himself immunity from judicial supervision -- has gradually weakened the role of parliament. During a phone interview on Wednesday Professor M. Steven Fish, a political scientist from the University of California at Berkeley, said this type of concentrated power is always "poison for democracy."(...)

 

More on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-hughes/exploiting-the-muslim-bro_b_2882081.html

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Egypt's central bank tries to bolster tourism

Egypt's central bank tries to  bolster tourism | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has announced an initiative to boost investment in Egypt's battered tourism sector.

"The banking sector has a 'national' duty to support Egypt's economy and help preserve the tourism sector, which is one of our main sources of foreign currency," the central bank said in a statement on Wednesday.

CBE will provide financing facilities to tourism-related activities, including the construction of hotels and tourist projects, travel agencies and booking services, land transport companies, restaurants and other entertainment activities.

The initiative is directed at performing and non-performing customers, excluding debtors of restructured and disputed loans.

The facilities to be provided by the banks include granting customers a maximum grace period of one year, whereby all pending payments are added to the original loan amount and customers are exempted from late payment fees.

Hotel occupancy rates have dropped by around 25 percent since the Egypt's uprising in early 2011, the tourism ministry has said.

The fall in tourism has damaged the country's public debt levels and is the main cause of the ongoing foreign currency crisis and the fall in currency reserves, the ministry added.

 

http://www.albawaba.com/business/egypt-tourism--477318

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Obama administration pressured to stop sending aid to bail out Egyptian economy (& video)

Obama administration pressured to stop sending aid to bail out Egyptian economy (& video) | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

At a time when money is tight at home and with Congress fighting over how much to spend, some argue for a closer look at foreign aid -- especially aid to Egypt, where last September demonstrators stormed the U.S. embassy.

"Not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told the Conservative Political Action Committee gathering in Washington.

 

Sen. Marco Rubio went one step further, offering an amendment to a pending budget bill that would impose conditions on additional aid.

"Foreign aid is not charity. Foreign aid is something that's supposed to further the national interest of the United States," the Florida Republican told Fox News in an interview. "And my problem with the Egyptian aid, and quite frankly with a lot of our foreign aid, is that we give foreign aid, but we're not sure what we're getting in return for it. What is the national interest that's being advanced?"

Rubio wants Egyptian aid to come with conditions, such as cooperation in counterterrorism, religious liberties, rights for women and, especially, living up to the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

 

Rubio's move was prompted by  Secretary of State John Kerry's recent visit to Egypt, during which he delivered $250 million in economic aid, with another $260 million promised later. (...)

 

But analysts say giving Egypt money without conditions is counterproductive.

"It won't do much to actually help Egypt's economy," says Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "It's just another example of giving money without getting anything in return. And in approaching this Muslim Brotherhood government, our policy should be that they have to give to get."

 

President Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood allies have ended direct relations with Israel, often blame Israel for incidents in the critical Sinai Peninsula and have even called for the destruction of Israel.



More on: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/14/should-us-be-sending-money-to-bail-out-egyptian-economy/
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