14 Apr 2021

Egypt Expected to Begin Manufacturing Nasr E70 in Mid-2022: Minister

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Minister of Public Enterprise Sector Hesham Tawfik

Production of the fully electric Nasr E70 car is expected to start in mid-2022, Minister of Public Enterprise Sector Hesham Tawfik said yesterday in a ministry statement.

Tawfik announced the launch of a committee to find locations for public electric vehicle charging stations in Giza governorate, to be followed by Cairo, Alexandria and Qalioubiya governorates over a four-week period.

The minister said that the target is to build about 3,000 charging stations.

He added that the electric car is compatible with various types of chargers, the slowest of which are household chargers, which have a capacity of 2.3 kilowatt-hours (kWh), are provided with the car and require no electrical equipment.

Another type of household charger, with a higher capacity of 7.3 kWh, requires an electrical outlet, costs about EGP 5,000 ($318.69) and is able to fully charge the battery in six to seven hours.

The second type of charger, used in most public stations worldwide, has a speed of 22 kWh and is able to fully charge the E70's battery in four hours.

Finally, a third type of charger has a speed of more than 50 kWh and runs on direct current, unlike the first and second types that rely on alternating current. This type of charger is able to fully charge the battery in 30-40 minutes and is used only in emergencies.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi previously said that the state should start manufacturing cars with a higher percentage of local components as part of its clean energy strategy, under which electric and hybrid vehicles should be produced to meet the needs of the Egyptian market.

In January, the state-run El-Nasr Automotive Manufacturing Company inked two agreements with subsidiaries of China's Dongfeng Motor Corporation: one for manufacturing electric vehicles in Egypt and the other for revamping the El-Nasr factory. 


Stock Market

EGX30 Falls 1.38% on 1st Day of Ramadan

The blue-chip EGX30 index fell 1.38 percent to close at 10,305.81 points, amid a turnover of approximately EGP 648.3 million ($41.3 million).

Its market bellwether, Commercial International Bank (CIB), saw its share price down 2.19 percent to EGP 54 ($3.44).

Most of the listed shares ended trading lower, with worst performing stocks including Elsewedy Electric, which plunged 7.32 percent to EGP 8.02 ($0.51), Heliopolis Housing, down 4.36 percent to EGP 4.53, and Ibnsina Pharma, which lost 4.1 percent to EGP 3.90.

Other stocks ending down included MM Group for Industry and International Trade, which lost 4 percent to EGP 8.94 ($0.57), GB Auto, which shed 3.62 percent to EGP 3.60, and Orascom Investment Holding and Orascom Financial Holding, which dropped 2.85 percent to EGP 0.275 and EGP 0.304, respectively.

Top performing stocks included Alexandria Mineral Oils Company, which soared 15.07 percent to EGP 3.06 ($0.20), Fawry, up 0.75 percent to EGP 37.63, and Credit Agricole Egypt, which gained 0.27 percent to EGP 22.50.

The broader EGX70 EWI index lost 2.4 percent to close at 1,922.54 points, while the EGX100 EWI dropped 1.97 percent, closing at 2,854.06 points.

Egyptian and Arab investors were net buyers to the tune of 111.8 million ($7.1 million) and EGP 24.2 million, respectively, while sales by foreign investors amounted to EGP 136 million.

Business

Egypt Imposes Safeguard Measures on Aluminum Imports

Trade Minister Nevine Gamea has enforced final safeguard measures on aluminum imports -- including aluminum alloys, cylinders and wires -- that are set to come into effect in mid-April and last three years.

In the first year, fees will amount to 16.5 percent of the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value of aluminum products, at a minimum of $333 per ton; in the second year, fees will amount to 13.5 percent of aluminum products' CIF value, at a minimum of $271 per ton; and in the third year, fees will amount to 10.5 percent of the CIF value, at a minimum of $211 per ton.

Ibrahim El Seginy, head of trade remedies at the trade ministry, said that the move came based on recommendations issued by an advisory committee formed last month.

Safeguard measures, or contingent trade protective measures, are actions imposed to curb a rise in imports of a particular commodity that threaten to negatively impact domestic producers in the importing country.

Banque Misr Grants Inertia $70 Mn in Islamic Finance

Banque Misr has signed a cooperation protocol with real estate company Inertia to grant the company EGP 1.1 billion ($70.1 million) in medium-term Islamic finance, in the form of a mudaraba profit-and-loss-sharing partnership, to be pumped into the company's Jefaira project in North Coast.

The loan facility will be extended for eight and a half years.

The financing comes in line with the state's directives to support all economic sectors in order to promote economic growth, Banque Misr Vice Chairman Akef El Maghraby said in a statement.

The Jefaira project is currently being implemented on an area of 5.5 million square meters, with total investments amounting to about EGP 66 billion ($4.2 billion) to establish up to 14,000 units.

Enppi's New Contracts Up 50% in 2020: Minister

Enppi Chairman Ashraf Bahaa has said that the company's new contracts increased by 50 percent year on year in 2020, despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement released by the petroleum ministry.

Enppi established projects worth EGP 13 billion ($828.4 million) in 2019, 63 percent of them in Egypt and 37 percent abroad. 

Bahaa said that Enppi participated in several projects inside Egypt last year, including the high-octane gasoline complex in Assiut.

It also participated in the 56-kilometer-long North Gas pipeline project in Jordan, and a number of major projects with Aramco in Saudi Arabia, Bahaa added.

Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla said on Monday that Petrojet, another well-known petroleum company, established projects worth EGP 53 billion ($3.3 billion) last year, a 15 percent increase compared with 2019.

Swvl's Co-Founder Launches Fintech App Telda

Co-founder and former chief technology officer of the Egyptian transportation app Swvl, Ahmed Sabbah, is launching Telda, a fintech app that aims to change how members of Generation Z in the Middle East spend their money.

Telda allows users to sign up for a digital account that comes with a free Mastercard-powered card, which can be used for online payments, in-store purchases and cash withdrawals.

Users sign up to create an account and receive the debit card using their phone number and national ID.

"Through Telda, sending money to family and friends is as easy as sending a WhatsApp message. By syncing their contact list, users will be able to send and request money instantly," the start-up said in a statement.

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Cleopatra Hospital (courtesy of official website)

Cleopatra Hospitals Group Eyes Stake in Alexandria Medical Services

Cleopatra Hospitals Group (CHG) on Tuesday announced that it is eyeing a stake in Alexandria Medical Services, a disclosure to the bourse read. 

CHG said it has submitted a non-binding offer to acquire Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank's 51.5 percent stake in Alex Medical. 

The letter was submitted to CI Capital, Alex Medical's financial adviser in the deal, with negotiations ongoing over the terms, the disclosure added. 

CI Capital has received three official bids to acquire the 51.5 percent stake owned by the Emirati bank, the sources said. 

CHG, the Al Asafra-Tana Africa Capital consortium, and a consortium between Saudi Arabia's Tawasol Holdings, Speed Medical and an unnamed financial institution are vying for the share, according to the sources.

Egypt News

Egypt Creates Databases for Children, Elderly in Care Homes

Minister of Social Solidarity Niveen El-Qabbag has said that the ministry has completed creating databases that include the details of 15,500 children and seniors residing in care homes, to enable their families to identify them through artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

El-Qabbag reiterated that the ministry is currently working in partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to launch an app for identifying missing people.

Meanwhile, the minister added that an estimated EGP 7 billion ($446.2 million) has been allocated across 19 governorates for improving 40 institutions for the care of children and elderly people without housing, with a total capacity of 5,384 beds.

Egypt Seizes Ever Given Vessel Pending Nearly $1 Bn in Compensation Claims

Egypt on Tuesday said it has officially seized the giant Ever Given vessel that blocked the Suez Canal last month, requesting approximately $900 million in compensation.

Suez Canal Authority (SCA) Chairman Osama Rabie said the vessel has been impounded as a result of the failure to pay $900 million in compensation for losses incurred during the grounding and rescue operation.

The seizure comes under a legal order issued by Ismailiya economic court, he said.

Egypt previously said it would potentially seek damages of over $1 billion over the six-day blockage caused by the Ever Given, which ended on March 29 when the ship was refloated.

Meanwhile, UK Club, the Ever Given's insurer, said the owners of the vessel earlier this month received a compensation claim totaling $960 million.

"Despite the magnitude of the claim which was largely unsupported, the owners and their insurers have been negotiating in good faith with the SCA," it said, adding that a "generous offer" has been made to the SCA for settlement.

"We are disappointed by the SCA’s subsequent decision to arrest the vessel today. We are also disappointed at comments by the SCA that the ship will be held in Egypt until compensation is paid, and that her crew will be unable to leave the vessel during this time," it added.

Sisi Directs Development of Modern Irrigation Systems

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has directed that modern irrigation systems be developed by state projects to promote skillful water management, in particular lining and increasing the efficiency of sub-water channels.

The president's directive came during a meeting held to follow up on efforts to develop an agricultural irrigation system using modern means.

The president discussed efforts to establish an intelligent irrigation system that uses state-of-the-art agricultural irrigation technologies to increase crop productivity and potentially double the income of rural households.

He directed that the modern irrigation technologies be offered to farmers at affordable prices through the joint efforts of the Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) and the ministries of irrigation, agriculture and military production.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said that the water crisis reflects the fact that Egypt is one of the driest countries with the fewest renewable water resources, and is also the country most dependent on a single water source, the Nile River, which provides 98 percent of Egypt's water needs.

Egypt Fires Iftar Cannon for 1st Time in 30 Yrs

Egypt yesterday fired an Iftar cannon for the first in nearly 30 years, after it was restored by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, according to a ministry statement.

The cannon has been placed in various locations, and is currently displayed in the square of the National Police Museum at the Citadel of Saladin.

The cannon's restoration comes as part of the ministry's plan to improve tourism services and archaeological sites, said Eman Zidan, assistant minister of tourism.

The cannon serves as a reminder of the time of Iftar for those fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.

Another firing of the cannon was sometimes made in the past during the call to Fajr prayers, to mark the start of a new fasting day.

1st Day of Eid al-Fitr to Fall on May 13

Astronomical calculations by scientists at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG) have determined that the first day of the month of Shawwal, which marks the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday, will fall on May 13.

The crescent moon that marks the start of Shawwal will be sighted on May 11 in Dakar in Senegal, Nouakchott in Mauritania, and Marrakech and Fez in Morocco, NRIAG head Gad El-Qady told the state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA).

According to these calculations, May 12 will mark the end of Ramadan, which started yesterday in accordance with the lunar-based Islamic calendar, El-Qady added.

Egypt Sends Medical Aid to Libya

Two military transport aircraft have left East Cairo airport for Sabha Airport in Libya, carrying medical aid from the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population, a military spokesperson said in a statement.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi directed Egypt to show support and solidarity to the Libyan people.

The military spokesperson said that the aid comes in the context of historical ties between Egypt and Libya.

The Libyan side expressed deep thanks and gratitude for the efforts made by Egypt's leadership, government and people to stand beside Libya, stressing the importance of such aid to support the Libyan health sector.

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Sudan's PM Calls on Egyptian, Ethiopian Counterparts to Meet Within 10 Days Over GERD

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called for a tripartite summit in ten days with his Egyptian and Ethiopian counterparts to assess the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations, which failed to reach an agreement, and to discuss possible options for renewing talks and the political commitment of the three countries to reach an agreement within a timely manner.

Earlier in the day, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry spoke to the secretary-general of the UN and the presidents of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and General Assembly, where he explained the dimensions of the GERD issue and the latest developments and warned of Ethiopia's actions regarding the dam.

Shoukry emphasized the need for a binding legal agreement for the filling and operation of the dam.

He noted the importance of the UN's role in contributing to the resumption of negotiations and reaching the desired agreement, and in providing support to the African Union (AU) in this regard.

Earlier this week, Egypt and Sudan rebuffed a proposal by Ethiopia on an exchange of data over the GERD before a planned second filling over the summer. 

Egypt's irrigation ministry spokesman said the Ethiopian proposal violates the decisions of previous African summits on the dam, which affirmed the necessity of a legally binding deal on its filling and operations.

Opposition Leader Khaled Dawoud Released After Over 1.5 Yrs in Detention

Khaled Dawoud, an opposition leader and former head of the Dostour party, was released from pre-trial detention yesterday after being confined for more than a year and a half, according to his lawyer Gamal Eid.

Dawoud has been released pending investigations into charges of spreading false news and joining an outlawed group, Eid said.

Dawoud, a journalist and activist, was among those arrested in September 2019 following minor protests against the government.

Cairo to See Hotter Weather Today: EMA

The Egyptian Meteorological Authority (EMA) is expecting Greater Cairo, South Sinai and northern Upper Egypt to see hotter weather today, while moderate temperatures are forecast for the northern coast.

The authority said that the governorates of Alexandria, Sharqiya, Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Ismailiya, Damietta, Qalioubiya, Gharbiya, Menoufiya and Daqahliya will see hotter temperatures, while the entire country will experience moderate weather at night.

Egypt Registers 823 New Coronavirus Cases, 39 Deaths

Egypt reported 823 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the country's total to 212,130.

There were 39 new deaths from the virus yesterday, bringing the overall death toll to 12,526.

Meanwhile, 432 patients recovered from the virus and left quarantine hospitals, which brings the total number of recoveries in the country to 160,431.

Economics

Foreign Investment in T-Bills Rises by $1.1 Bn MoM in Jan

Foreign investments in treasury bills (T-bills) rose by $1.1 billion month on month to $19 billion in January, compared with $17.9 billion, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said in a monthly bulletin cited by Al Mal.

Meanwhile, public banks' investments in T-bills dropped to EGP 306.8 billion ($19.55 billion) in January, down from EGP 370.6 billion in December, while those of private banks shrank to EGP 334.1 billion, down from EGP 353.8 billion.

National Investment Bank (NIB) investments in T-bills fell to EGP 197 billion ($12.55 billion) in January, down from EGP 206.8 billion in December.

Overall investments in T-bills increased to EGP 1.61 trillion ($102.5 billion) in January, compared with EGP 1.54 trillion in December.

Egypt's Trade Deficit Widens 2.7% YoY in H1 FY2020/21

Egypt's trade deficit widened 2.7 percent year on year to $19.2 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year 2020/2021, compared with $18.7 billion, according to preliminary data released by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in its balance of payments report.

The non-oil trade deficit increased to $19.15 billion in the period from July to December 2020, up from $18 billion in the same period a year earlier, while the oil trade deficit dropped to $54.2 million, down from $733.3 million.

Egypt registered a budget surplus of $1.5 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year, up from $410.9 million in the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, net foreign portfolio investment (FPI) in Egypt surged 3,616.6 percent year on year to $10.2 billion in the first half of the fiscal year 2020/2021, compared with $273.6 million in the same period of the fiscal year 2019/2020.

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt, however, dropped to $3.4 billion, down from nearly $5 billion.

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OPEC Expects Global Oil Demand to Rise 6.6% YoY in 2021

OPEC expects global oil demand to rise by 6.6 percent year on year in 2021, or nearly 6 million barrels per day (bpd), to reach 96.5 million bpd, upgrading its forecast from the 96.3 million bpd it had projected last month.

The upgrade in OPEC's forecast, published in its Monthly Oil Market Report, turns on expectations that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will subside.

"As the spread and intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to subside with the ongoing rollout of vaccination programmes, social distancing requirements and travel limitations are likely to be scaled back, offering increased mobility in various parts of the world," OPEC said in the report.

In addition, OPEC raised its forecast for global economic growth to 5.4 percent in 2021, up from the 5.1 percent it projected last month, citing unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimuli as supporting the economic recovery.

OPEC expected economic recovery to accelerate in the second half of 2021, as by its start, "COVID-19 will be largely contained in the sense that the majority of the population in the advanced economies will be vaccinated and that the pandemic will not pose a major obstacle for emerging and developing economies."

OPEC also raised its forecast of global demand for its crude to 27.4 million bpd in 2021, 200,000 bpd up from last month's estimate, and 4.9 million bpd up from 2020 demand.

Science and Technology

Bitcoin Hits All-Time High of Over $63K

Bitcoin hit an all-time high of more than $63,000, ahead of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase's stock market debut.

Bitcoin reached $63,236, before dropping to $62,877 hours later. 

The second-most valuable cryptocurrency, Ether, also hit an all-time high of $2,230.

Coinbase is set to go public today through a direct listing that could value the company at as much as $100 billion.

"This is really good and really important for the industry … It’s going to increase the trust and transparency in our industry," Marcus Swanepoel, CEO and co-founder of London-based cryptocurrency platform Luno, told CNBC.

Last month, bitcoin reached a one-week high, rising as much as 4.5 percent to $58,300.

Bitcoin has more than doubled so far in 2021.

Yesterday, Egypt's prosecution referred ten defendants -- of whom five have been detained -- to an economic court on charges of collecting money from citizens under the pretext of mining cryptocurrencies and trading in and promoting them.

World

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad Dismisses Central Bank Governor

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has fired the governor of the country's central bank, Hazem Karfoul, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).

"The failure of the central bank governor to take the policy measures to at least stabilize the pound in recent months were the main cause for his dismissal," a businessman familiar with the situation told SANA.

The Syrian pound recorded an unprecedented decline in March, ranging between SYP 4,000 and 4,500 against the US dollar.

After more than ten years of war, Syria has been experiencing a stifling economic crisis that was exacerbated by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

US Recommends Pausing J&J Vaccine Over Blood Clot Concerns

Federal health agencies in the US on Tuesday recommended pausing the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for several days, after concerns were raised over rare blood clots.

They recommended pausing the vaccine after six women under the age of 50 developed rare blood clots after they were administered the shot.

J&J said it would postpone the rollout of the vaccine to Europe, after European regulators said there were reports of rare blood clots in four recipients in the US. South Africa had also halted the use of the vaccine.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official Peter Marks said it was "plainly obvious" that the J&J cases were "very similar" to those recorded among recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

No similar clots have been reported among those who received the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines.

Arab Markets
Egypt EGX30 10,305.81 -1.38%
KSA TASI 9,838.28 -0.70%
UAE ABU DHABI ADX 6,019.44 -1.19%
UAE DUBAI DFM 2,565.96 -0.79%
World Markets
US Dow Jones IA 33,677.27 -0.20%
NASDAQ-100 13,996.10 +1.05%
S&P 500 4,141.59 +0.33%
UK FTSE 100 6,890.49 +0.02%
Germany DAX 15,234.36 +0.13%
France CAC 40 6,184.10 +0.36%
Japan Nikkei 225 29,751.61 +0.72%
China HANG SENG INDEX 28,497.25 +0.15%
Currencies
US Dollar 15.64 15.74
Euro 18.60 18.72
Sterling 21.48 21.62
Saudi Riyal 4.17 4.20
UAE Dirham 4.26 4.29
Kuwaiti Dinar 51.76 52.23
Swiss Franc 16.90 17.01
Commodities
Oil Brent USD/bbl. 63.89 +0.96%
Wheat USD/bu.Mar 2020 634.50 +0.51%
Gold USD/t oz. 1,745.26 +0.72%
Gold Egypt LE/ oz. 27,388.39 +0.73%
Silver Egypt LE/ oz. 397.79 +2.09%

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