The European Union Rural Development Programme (EU-JRDP) has assisted farmers in rural areas in the governorates of Minya, Matrouh and Fayoum through a number of strategies, and plans to expand to three more provinces, namely Assiut, Beni Suef and Menoufiya.
The EU-JRDP is an initiative funded by the European Union worth €21.9 million ($25.6 million), with co-financing from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Development of €11 million, through the Italian embassy in Egypt, with technical assistance from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.
After six years of implementation, the end of the EU-JRDP and the results achieved were celebrated at a press conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Cairo yesterday.
"The program's aim was to strengthen the capacities of rural associations in terms of sustainable management of local resources as well as to explore innovative solutions for income generation. This was done by increasing sustainable agriculture production through a more effective and sufficient management of natural resources as well as promoting income-generating activities," Italian Ambassador to Egypt Giampaolo Cantini said.
By the end of the program irrigation infrastructure installed by the EU-JRDP in Minya and Fayoum resulted in 30 percent more water efficiency, increased land value by 40 percent and crop productivity by 25 percent EU-JRDP, team leader Mario Margiotta said.
"We need our farmers to produce safe food and we need our farmers to work on global challenges," said Christian Berger, head of the European Union delegation to Egypt.
Berger explained that the project has been running for five years and will target three additional governorates in the future: Assiut, Beni Suef and Menoufiya.
The officials were joined by a number of farmers who have been directly involved in the program. The farmers explained that rain is their only source of water for drinking water for themselves and their cattle, and for irrigation.
Prior to the project, a lot of the rainwater would go to waste, according to the group of farmers, which would affect the amount of crops they could cultivate.
The project helped the farmers take full advantage of the rainwater.
Over 4,000 workers worked on the project for two years and the entire project was carried out by Egyptians.
Saad Moussa, international relations supervisor at the Ministry of Agriculture, attended the celebration on behalf of the minister.
The Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund (EAEF) has been in talks via its investment arm Lorax Capital Partners to acquire a 22.5 percent stake in loyalty services provider Dsquares, which is owned by the private equity fund manager Ezdehar Management, Al Borsa reported, citing sources familiar with the deal.
The value at which Ezdehar Management is expected to sell its stake in Dsquares would be more than double the amount it purchased it for in May 2018, the sources added.
Last week, Al Mal reported cited founder and managing director of Ezdehar Management, Emad Barsoum, as saying that Egypt Mid-Cap Fund, the firm's flagship private equity fund, plans to withdraw from three companies, including Dsquares, within six months.
Ezdehar Management's shareholders include the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the UK's CDC Group, the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), as well as a number of Egyptian investors, among them Naguib Sawiris.
Through its real estate financing arm, Sarwa Capital has signed an agreement with the state's Social Housing and Mortgage Finance Fund with the aim of financing housing for low- and middle-income citizens.
Sarwa Capital CEO Said Zater told Al Mal that the funding will start within days.
He but did not reveal the amount of the financing, but did say that the value of the company's mortgage finance portfolio amounted to EGP 621 million ($39.4 million) by the end of the first half of this year.
Zater previously said that the company is planning a digital transformation that will allow it to provide consumer finance services through mobile applications.
Egyptian e-payment platform Fawry signed a strategic partnership with Visa on Sunday on advancing the acceptance of digital payments in the country, as part of the Central Bank of Egypt's moves towards financial inclusion.
According to a statement, the partnership "aims to catalyze the provision of open loop Visa digital acceptance solutions including both POS terminals and QR solutions to a larger number of merchants so they can benefit from the advantages of electronic payments by leveraging on Visa's vast global network and experience as well as Fawry’s locally relevant solutions."
It also supports a growing direction by consumers towards cashless digital payment methods, the statement said, adding that a survey by Visa on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on consumers' behavior in terms of payments showed a growing appetite for electronic payment solutions.
According to the "Stay Secure" survey, 86 percent of consumers rely on contactless technology for in-store purchases and 69 percent trust QR code payments, with 80 percent shopping more online and 20 percent using cards as a first preference over cash on delivery.
"Through Visa Direct's peer to peer transfer and low cost QR solutions, millions of customers -- regardless of who they bank with -- would be able to make peer to peer and business to business transactions easily and securely so they can move money in real time," the statement said.
German automaker Volkswagen will partner with the Arab Organization for Industrialization on the local production of two of its models, Crafter and Caddy 5, both equipped with a natural gas engines, said Karim Naggar, CEO of Automotive and chairman of Kayan, the local agent for Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat.
In an interview on Al Mal's YouTube channel, Naggar said that Volkswagen Group is studying the production of natural gas-powered engines specifically for Egypt, to meet the needs of the local market.
He said that the locally produced Volkswagen Crafter will feature as part of the state's plan to replace older forms of public transportation, while the Caddy 5 will be used to replace older cars and taxis.
Volkswagen discussed producing natural gas vehicles in Egypt at a meeting with ministers in November 2019.
SODIC has awarded more than EGP 1.7 billion ($108.0 million) in construction contracts for the development of Eastown District New Cairo (EDNC), the commercial component of Eastown which is located on Road 90, the company said on Sunday.
The developer said that delivery of the project will begin in 2021, as more than 50 percent of the construction work has been completed.
Eastown District New Cairo includes 90,000 square meters of commercial and retail space.
The project is "unlike any other project in Egypt," said SODIC Managing Director Magued Sherif, as it combines "elements of innovative design, quality of construction, strategic location and modern architectural concepts."
SODIC's net profits shrank 80 percent year on year in the first half of 2020 to EGP 69.3 million ($4.3 million), according to a previous financial results statement.
The company's revenues decreased by 46.9 percent during the same period to EGP 1.1 billion ($67 million).
Egypt's Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) has said it will offer a 50 percent discount on inspection services it provides to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In a statement released yesterday, FRA chairman Mohammed Omran said the discount will be offered to small businesses when they submit requests to the FRA for approval of an IPO prospectus, an increase in capital or an equity issuance during a merger or demerger.
Omran said the discounts come in light of the regulator's adoption of a diversification of funding sources for various economic sectors, and moves to boost SMEs and open up the bourse, to allow it to becoming a funding tool for growth and expansion.
The FRA's initiative to lower fees for SMEs to half the value due on other listed companies is in line with the state's move to achieving its sustainable development plan, Egypt Vision 2030, by providing support to SMEs and bolstering their role in the economy, Omran said.
The Egyptian Federation of Investors Associations (EFIA) has restructured its board after the death of its chairman Mohamed Farid Khamis last month, it announced yesterday.
Moharam Helal was appointed the new head of the body while Osama Hofaila was made first deputy to the chairman and the head of the executive board.
Mohamed Khamis Shaaban was selected as secretary general and Sobhi Nasr as treasurer, among other appointments.
The late chairman's daughter, Yasmin Khamis, was appointed honorary chairman of the EFIA to commemorate her father and his role in industry, investment and the federation.
Khamis senior, the chairman and founder of the Oriental Weavers company, passed away at the age of 80 after a long illness.
He owned many businesses in various sectors, including urban development, petrochemicals, tourism and agriculture.
The Holding Company for Tourism and Hotels (HOTAC) and its subsidiaries are targeting total revenues of EGP 2.7 billion ($171.5 million) and net profits of EGP 365.3 million in the current fiscal year.
A general assembly has approved the consolidated balance sheet of the company and its subsidiaries for the 2020/2021 fiscal year.
As an independent financial unit, the holding company aims to achieve EGP 202.6 million ($12.9 million) in total revenues and EGP 111.6 million in net profits.
The subsidiary companies aim to implement investments worth EGP 859.6 million ($54.6 million) during the current fiscal year.
Egypt's cabinet on Wednesday approved several "unprecedented incentives" aiming at boosting the country's struggling tourism sector during the winter season, which begins on November 1.
The incentives include a continued waiving of visa fees for tourists arriving in the governorates of South Sinai, Red Sea, Luxor and Aswan until April 2021.
The cabinet also approved postponing payments by hotels and other tourist establishments for electricity, gas and water bills until December of this year.
The Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) has issued its customs policies guide, in coordination with the Egyptian Customs Authority, with the aim of boosting the zone's business environment and attracting more investments, Chairman Yehia Zaki said.
The guide reduces production costs for investors, increases incentives offered and facilitates the procedures required for customs clearance and for selling the products on the domestic market.
The guide also pushes for implementation of the single-window system -- which facilitates trade by allowing traders to submit the data required for the admissibility of goods only once to the related authority -- and for establishing logistics zones, which provide fast shipping and warehousing services.
It also implements risk management practices.
The guide, whose polices will be reviewed annually each January, will be enforced at all of Egypt's customs outlets by the middle of this month, after it is published in the official state gazette.
Egypt's blue-chip index ended yesterday’s trading session in the green on the back of slight gains.
The EGX30 rose 0.18 percent to close at 11,071.46 points on Sunday, amid a turnover of approximately EGP 340 million ($21.6 million).
Its heaviest constituent, Commercial International Bank, saw its share price down 0.17 percent to EGP 66.47 ($4.22).
Top performing stocks incuded Edita Food Industries, which rose 4.44 percent to EGP 9.65 ($0.61), Madinet Nasr Housing, up 3.26 percent to EGP 3.46, and Egyptian Iron & Steel, which gained 2.84 percent to EGP 3.18.
Other listed shares ending trading in the green included Elsewedy Electric, up 2.60 percent to EGP 7.19 ($0.46), tobacco monopoly Eastern Company, which gained 1.83 percent to EGP 12.35, and Beltone Financial Holding, up 1.81 percent to EGP 2.78.
The worst performing stocks were EFG Hermes, down 2.17 percent to EGP 13.5 ($0.86), Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals, which lost 1.84 percent to EGP 8.45, and Six of October Development & Investment (SODIC), down 1.42 percent to EGP 12.50.
The broader EGX70 EWI index dropped 0.42 percent to close at 2,014.27 points, while the EGX100 EWI dipped 0.21 percent, closing at 2,921.76.
Foreign and Arab investors were net buyers to the tune of EGP 7.7 million ($488,978) and EGP 1.95 million respectively, while sales by Egyptian investors amounted to EGP 9.6 million.
EFG Hermes Securities Brokerage came first in Arab transactions in terms of total sales and purchases in the third quarter of 2020, up from second place in the second quarter of the year.
The leading investment bank's brokerage posted a turnover of EGP 2.1 billion ($133.3 million), or 19.9 percent, on around 689.8 million securities.
Commercial International Bank's brokerage arm Commercial International Brokerage came in second with a turnover of EGP 1.3 billion ($82.5 million), or 12.1 percent, up one rank compared with the previous quarter.
Pharos Securities Brokerage dropped to third place with a turnover of EGP 1.01 billion ($64.1 million), down from the first spot in the second quarter of the year.
The list also included Arab African International Securities (AAIS), NAEEM Brokerage, Mubasher, and Beltone, among others.
Egypt's foreign debt shrank in the first quarter of 2020 for the first time in more than four years, registering a 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter decline, according to an infographic released by the cabinet media office yesterday.
In the first quarter of 2019, Egypt's external debt rose 9.9 percent compared with the previous quarter.
Th short-term debt to total external debt ratio stood at 9.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to the infographic, compared to 11.7 percent in the same quarter of 2019.
Short-term debt to net foreign reserves hit 25.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020, compared to 28.1 percent in the first quarter of last year.
Low rates of short-term external debt contribute to stabilizing conditions within the economy, the infographic noted.
The infographic attributed the decline in Egypt's external debt to the appreciation of the pound and a rise in the country's net foreign reserves, exports, tourism and Suez Canal revenues, and remittances from Egyptian expatriates.
Egypt, Jordan and Iraq are set to implement joint projects in the pharmaceutical, chemical, textile and ceramic industries, according to a press release yesterday.
The decision came in a video conference held yesterday by Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea, Jordanian Trade, Industry and Supply Minister Tariq Hammouri, and Iraqi Industry and Minerals Minister Manhal Aziz Al-Khabbaz.
The ministers also agreed that the three countries would prepare list of companies and investors interested in building partnerships in those fields and would share the lists with each other in the coming ten days.
Egypt's National Election Authority (NEA) is set to publish the final list of candidates for the upcoming House of Representatives elections today, according to Ahram Online.
Final candidates can pull out on Tuesday and Wednesday before the list is published in newspapers on October 8, the site reported.
"We will be able to announce the final list of parliamentary candidates on Monday, as scheduled," said NEA head Lasheen Ibrahim.
"On Thursday, October 8, the final list of candidates will be published in two widely circulated newspapers," he added.
Ibrahim previously said that the applications of 4,006 individual candidates and eight coalition lists have been accepted so far.
Administrative courts have received around 158 appeals to postpone the election since September 28.
"We all know that the tenure of the current house will end on January 9, 2021, so election procedures should begin in November and not September," read the appeal.
The appeal was rejected by the Supreme Administrative Court as it was not filed on time, as according to Article 106 of the Egyptian constitution, the procedures for electing a new parliament can be invoked only during the 60 days prior to the expiration of the previous parliament’s term.
"As a result, the election will be held on time," said the court.
Campaigning for the first stage of the parliamentary elections will also begin today, and will continue until October 18.
Voting takes place on October 21 for expatriate Egyptians and October 24, for citizens in Egypt.
It will include 14 governorates: Giza, Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Assuit, El-Wadi El-Gedid, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan, Red Sea, Alexandria, Beheira and Matrouh.
The competition will be for 142 individual seats in two party list districts: Western Delta with 42 seats, and North, Middle and Upper Egypt with 100 seats.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi held a meeting with his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday and affirmed Cairo's keenness to strengthen relations and consolidate strategic cooperation with the African country in various fields, presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady said.
Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and the head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel also attended the meeting.
El-Sisi said that Egypt is ready to share its experience in the sectors of infrastructure, housing, utilities and roads, with Kenya, through specialized Egyptian companies.
El-Sisi also congratulated Kenyatta on his country’s election to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2021-2022 term.
Kenyatta expressed appreciation for the close historical relations, joint cooperation and unity of visions that bind the two brotherly countries, Rady said.
The two ministers also discussed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD); El-Sisi stressed the utmost importance of Nile water for the Egyptian people as a national security issue and said that Egypt is eager to adhere to its water rights by reaching a legal agreement that includes clear rules on the process of filling and operating the dam.
The pair agreed to intensify coordination between the two countries on this vital issue during the coming period.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry spoke by phone yesterday with United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Otto Pedersen, discussing the latest updates on the situation in the country and ways to advance a political settlement to the crisis.
The minister affirmed Egypt's position in support of resolving the Syrian crisis, in light of the state's communication with the moderate Syrian opposition in order to work towards ending the conflict.
Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said that the UN envoy had briefed Shoukry on the results of his talks with various key parties.
Egypt recorded 108 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, giving a total tally of 103,683 since the outbreak began in February.
The health ministry also reported 11 new deaths, putting the total death toll from the virus at 5,981.
Eighty-one patients recovered and were released from hospital yesterday, bringing recoveries to 97,355.
Egyptian TV presenter Lamees El-Hadidi returned to the small screen yesterday after an absence of two years with new show "Kelma Akhira" (A Final Word) on ONTV satellite channel.
El-Hadidi said that the two-hour program will be divided into an hour of news following up on regional and international news, and a second hour covering a variety of social dialogues and discussions on the topic of supporting and assisting women.
Egypt's Supreme State Security Prosecution has ordered a local journalist be detained for 15 days on charges of spreading false news and joining a terrorist organization, her lawyer Karim Abdelrady said in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Basma Mostafa, a reporter for Al-Manassa news site, was reportedly arrested in the southern governorate of Luxor where she had traveled to cover the alleged killing of a resident by a policeman last week.
Mostafa disappeared on Saturday after she called her employer and told them that a policeman had briefly interrogated her in the city, but had allowed her to leave. She said he continued to track her, however.
There has been no official comment from authorities on the arrest and the charges.
Al-Manassa's editor-in-chief, Nora Younis, was arrested in June on charges related to operating a website without a license. She was later released on bail.
In a release to mark World Teachers' Day, official statistics body CAPMAS said that the number of teachers in public pre-university education in Egypt increased by 1 percent in the 2018/2019 academic year, to 1.206 million, compared with 1.194 million the year before.
The number of teachers in non-Azhar public education reached 1.038 million in 2018/2019, compared with 1.023 million in 2017/2018, while the number of Al-Azhar system teachers was 168,100 in 2018/19, compared with 170,800 in 2017/2018.
In higher education, the number of faculty members reached 126,400 in 2018/2019, an increase of 6.48 percent over the 118,700 members in 2017/2018.
World Teachers' Day, created in 1994, falls on October 5.
The Egyptian armed forces are offering free entry to all military museums and sites on Tuesday in honor of the 47th anniversary of the 6 October War.
The military said that all visitors should abide by the coronavirus preventative measures.
The move is part of the armed forces' "keenness to spread awareness and military and patriotic culture among Egyptian youth."
Hundreds of Egyptians rallied in streets and squares nationwide on Friday to celebrate the anniversary of the 1973 war.
This Thursday will be an official paid vacation for the public and private sector to mark the October 6 holiday.
Doctors managing US President Donald Trump's coronavirus treatment at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said yesterday that his condition is improving and that he could return to the White House today.
"The patient continues to improve. He has remained without fever since Friday morning, his vital signs are stable," Dr. Sean Dooley told reporters at the military hospital where Trump has been receiving treatment since Friday.
Trump briefly left Walter Reed Medical Center on Sunday evening in an SUV to wave to supporters gathered outside the premises.
Confusion about Trump's current medical condition had arisen on Saturday when a source familiar with Trump's health told reporters off the record that his symptoms were "very concerning" despite his physician assuring his good health.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News on Saturday night that doctors from Walter Reed recommended that Trump go to the hospital, as he had a fever, and his oxygen level had dropped rapidly on Friday, but he is "with no fever now."
"He's made unbelievable improvements from yesterday morning when I know a number of us, the doctor and I, were very concerned," Meadows said.
The medical team also said the president had received supplemental oxygen on Thursday and Friday.
Kuwait's new emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah met on Sunday with US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, as well as with some Iranian and Gulf officials, according to state media.
Esper expressed his condolences for the loss of former emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died last week at the age of 91.
Sheikh Nawaf expressed concern over the health of US President Donald Trump, who is in hospital after contracting the coronavirus.
The new emir also met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
"I am confident that, as in the past, we will see a growing expansion of friendly and fraternal ties between the two countries," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a message to the new ruler.
Sheikh Nawaf is expected to uphold the OPEC member state's existing policies on energy and foreign affairs.
The new crown prince has not been appointed yet, as the new emir has up to a year to name an heir.
"An appointment would end this competition and send a signal of stability," Mohamed Alfili, a professor of constitutional law at Kuwait University, told Reuters.
Among the possible crown princes are Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad, a former defense minister, Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad, a former premier, and Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad al-Jaber, deputy chief of the National Guard.
Another potential contender is Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem, a former foreign minister and the only candidate under discussion from the less powerful Al-Salem family branch.
Kuwaiti sources have said that Meshal, the eldest among them, is most likely to be named crown prince.
Sheikh Nawaf, 83, was sworn in on Wednesday.
The Saudi government will today introduce the country's first polymer money, a five-riyal note.
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency said the design and colors of the five-riyal note will be similar to the design and colors of the current paper currency, which is made of cotton.
The new banknote will bear a picture of King Salman, the Saudi Vision 2030 logo, and a picture of local wildflowers.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he doesn't want the Brexit period to conclude without a new trade deal, but said he believes his country could live with it, in comments a few weeks ahead of decisive meetings by the EU on the deal.
"I think it’s there to be done," Johnson said on Sunday in a BBC interview.
"Alas, there are some difficult issues that need to be fixed, and there's no question that the EU needs to understand that we're utterly serious about needing to control our own laws and our own regulations, and similarly they need to understand that the repatriation of the UK's fisheries ... is very important," he said.
His statements come a day after he agreed with the head of the EU's executive, Ursula von der Leyen, to advance talks on a post-Brexit deal as the expiry of the Brexit transition period on December 31 nears.
"I think the people of this country have had enough ... of being told that this will be impossible or intolerable. I think we can prosper mightily under those circumstances," he said.
A deal must be reached by the end of this month or in the first days of November to give time for ratification by the EU before the end of 2020.
Further trade negotiations are set to take place in London next week, and in Brussels the week after, before the bloc's 27 leaders meet on October 15-16 to assess progress.
A no-deal leaves around $1.17 trillion of annual trade at stake.
India has said it is seeking up to 500 million doses of any coronavirus vaccines by next summer in order to immunize around 250 million people.
"Our rough estimate and the target would be to receive and utilise 400 to 500 million doses covering (200 million-250 million) people by July 2021," Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote on Twitter.
India, currently the second-worst hit nation globally, has around 6.55 million total cases, with 75,829 reported in the past day. Its death toll now stands at 101,782.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters demonstrated in southern Germany against virus restrictions over the weekend, authorities said on Sunday.
Police said that around 10,500 and 11,000 people took part in the demonstrations on Saturday, and the protests continued for a second day on Sunday.
They said that counter-demonstrators also turned out to show support for the restrictions imposed by the government.
Separately, the UAE reported 1,041 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total case tally to 98,801.
No new coronavirus-linked deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours, according to the health ministry, however.
Mohamed Salah netted a double to take his tally to five Premier League goals but it was an embarrassing night for Liverpool, who suffered a humiliating 7-2 loss to Aston Villa.
The Egypt forward narrowed the gap on 33 minutes after Villa had taken a two-goal lead, blasting home a loose ball from inside the area.
Villa scored three more goals but Salah gave Liverpool a glimmer of hope on the hour mark, applying a superb finish after latching onto a deft through pass from Roberto Firmino.
However, Villa's Jack Grealish scored twice to inflict Liverpool's heaviest league defeat since 1963.
Salah has five goals to his name in Liverpool's first four games of the season. He is only one goal behind Tottenham's Son Heung-Min and Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
|UAE ABU DHABI||ADX||4,492.90||+0.02%|
|US||Dow Jones IA||27,682.81||-0.48%|
|China||HANG SENG INDEX||23,826.49||+1.57%|
|Gold Egypt||LE/ oz.||1,894.02||-0.33%|
|Silver Egypt||LE/ oz.||23.85||+0.58%|
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