The next move by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) regarding its monetary policy will be tied to the results of the US presidential election, according to analyst Allen Sandeep.
The head of research at NAEEM Brokerage told Delta Digest that while a cut is most likely to happen -- though not in November's monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting -- the more relevant question is when it is going to happen.
Sandeep said that the CBE "definitely has a room for at least another 100 bps [cut], but I do not think that is going to happen in the next MPC meeting. They will wait to see what happens with the US elections" before acting on it.
Sandeep said that the implications of the US presidential election will be a major factor in determining when a cut will take place, explaining that "it is not just about the result of the US election, it is also about the aftermath" and whether Donald Trump will easily step down in the case of his loss or "will put up a fight and ask people to come to the streets."
Trump said last month that he will not commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses to his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
"All those things could have impacts on financial markets. That's why we feel that until the elections and the aftermath are clear there will be status quo. After that, certainly we feel there are chances of a rate cut," Sandeep said.
On the local scale, Sandeep believes that if inflation dropped below 3 percent, much deeper interest rate cuts would be executed, though he ruled out that scenario, as he expected the progress in inflation rate to remain "flattish" for the rest of the year.
Egypt's annual urban consumer price inflation edged up in September to 3.7 percent, compared with 3.4 percent in August.
The CBE is targeting an annual headline inflation of 9 percent (±3 percentage points) in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Sandeep also pointed out that the release of a vaccine(s) and how fast Egypt could obtain one, in relation to other countries, will be a "trigger for growth."
As per the $5.2 billion one-year Stand-By Agreement (SBA) with the IMF -- which Egypt signed in June -- the country is required to consult the fund if annual headline inflation comes below 6 percent by the end of September.
"We see the 50 bps rate cut that happened recently and the move to cut the interest rates on deposits in NBE and Banque Misr as preempted moves in anticipation of this consultation," Sandeep said.
Last month, the CBE cut interest rates by 50 basis points (bps), leaving the deposit rate at 8.75 percent and the lending rate at 9.75 percent, which marks the second cut in 2020 after it opted for an emergency 300 bps cut in March.
National Investment Bank (NIB) decided last month to reduce the yields offered on its investment certificates issued by National Bank of Egypt (NBE) and Banque Misr.
In addition, NBE and Banque Misr stopped selling the 15 percent yield certificates of deposit (CDs) that they began issuing in March.
Egypt's cabinet has approved the establishment of a national company for railway industries in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), with the contribution of the Egyptian Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), to manufacture, repair, replace and renew railway carriages.
A government statement yesterday said that the establishment of the company will be through a contribution between the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone, SWF and the private sector.
The Ministry of Transport will be responsible for the need analysis of all the mobile units, which include railway carriages, metro trains and express electric trains, until 2030, in addition to ascertaining the global price of the final products, the statement read.
ADQ Holding has submitted a bid to acquire a majority stake in meat and poultry company Atyab, owned by Ismailia Agricultural and Industrial Investments, according to Al Mal.
The paper cited sources familiar with the matter saying that ADQ Holding has appointed EFG Hermes as financial advisor, and that due diligence will begin soon.
Meanwhile, ADQ Holding's offer prompted UK investment fund Alta Semper -- which had already submitted a purchase offer to Atyab -- to back out of the deal after nearly one year of negotiations.
ADQ Holding's offer exceeds the price offered by Alta Semper by about 40 percent, the sources explained, adding that the value of the new bid is around EGP 3 to 3.2 billion ($191.1 to $203.9 million).
Last year, Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company -- one of the largest investment companies in the region -- revealed its new identity under the name of ADQ Holding.
ADQ Holding then announced that it was in the process of adding 14 companies to its business portfolio, which raises the number of companies operating under its umbrella to more than 25 in 11 sectors.
Lab and diagnostic testing company Speed Medical (SPMD) has approved the full acquisition of Al Hayah Labs' five branches in Upper Egypt's Qena in a deal worth EGP 4 million ($254,750).
In a bourse filing on Wednesday, SPMD said that EGP 500,000 ($31,745) of the deal's value will be paid upon signing the contract, while the remaining sum will be paid on January 25.
The deal is still contingent on due diligence which is yet to be conducted, and the actual audited sales by SPMD for a period of three months, starting from October 20 to January 19.
The final value of the deal is set at a maximum of EGP 4 million ($253,960), providing that sales reach approximately EGP 3 million ($191,062) during the three months. The value of the deal could be reduced in proportion with a decline in sales.
The deal comes nearly a month after SPMD approved the acquisition of all shares of Masr Labs, which runs eight labs across Beni Suef and Giza governorates, for up to EGP 10 million ($636,875).
SPMD has generated profits of EGP 21.2 million ($1.3 million) during the first half of 2020, up from EGP 10.75 million in the corresponding period last year.
Its revenues rose to EGP 59.1 million ($3.7 million) by the end of June, compared with revenues of EGP 39.3 million in 2019.
Porto Group's subsidiary, Porto October, has signed a long-term project financing deal worth EGP 500 million ($31.83 million) with Banque Misr's Islamic banking sector to develop Porto October compound, Vice Chairman Ayman Bin-Mokhtar Khalifa told Al Borsa.
The project is located five minutes away from Juhayna Square in 6th of October City, west of Cairo.
It includes villas, twin houses, town houses and hotel serviced apartments, in addition to commercial malls, schools, hospitals, parks, recreational areas and the largest dancing fountain in Egypt.
The project has reached the fourth stage of construction works, Khalifa previously mentioned.
Egy Lease, the leasing arm of the Industrial Development and Workers Bank of Egypt, has opened talks over a EGP 200 million ($12.74 million) loan with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Al Mal reported Chairman Iman Ismail as saying.
Ismail added that she aims to expand in the Egyptian market by opening more lines of credit to boost the company's overall portfolio.
She said that the company is also negotiating with the United Bank for other loans, without disclosing further details.
Egy Lease has secured loans worth a total of EGP 1.3 billion ($82.81 million) from various banks since its inception in 2017.
The company is planning to sign EGP 1 billion ($63.5 million) in leasing contracts in 2020.
Al Tawfeek for Financial Lease (A.T. Lease) began its factoring activity since the beginning of October, signing its first recourse factoring agreement earlier this month, A.T. Lease CEO, Tarek Fahmy, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Fahmy elaborated that the move comes as part of his company's vision to expand in non-banking financial services. Such activities will diversify revenue sources and boost asset turnover, he added.
A.T. Lease posted a 4.8 percent rise in profit during the first half of 2020, reaching EGP 35.7 million ($2.2 million) compared with EGP 34.1 million in the corresponding period last year.
Revenues slipped during the first six months of the year to post EGP 242.5 million ($15.4 million) by the end of June, compared with EGP 242.7 million in the same year-ago period.
The Arab Organization for Industrialization (AOI) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Triangle Group to implement national projects in Egypt and the Arab and African region.
The two parties agreed upon digital transformation projects and integrated solutions in the fields of oil and gas, engineering and construction works as well as infrastructure works for development projects, according to El-Terras.
Chairman of AOI Abdel Moneim El-Terras stressed the importance of enhancing constructive cooperation between state institutions in the implementation of national development projects, and the reduction of imports in various fields of industry.
El-Terras added that a joint committee will be formed to study the implementation of future projects in Egypt and African and Arab countries, such as railway projects, subways, solar power stations, electricity networks, water treatment plants and water and wastewater networks.
Google has rolled out a new program aimed at accelerating economic recovery from the pandemic in the MENA region, including Egypt, through digital transformation and new digital tools and grants to back local businesses.
According to a press release by the search engine giant, Grow Stronger with Google will focus in Egypt on supporting small businesses and technology entrepreneurs.
"Online tools have been a life-line for many during the pandemic. Making the most of the online opportunity can help people, businesses and communities in the region bounce back stronger," said Lino Cattaruzzi, Managing Director for Google in the Middle East and North Africa.
"Through our program, we will help people learn new skills and find jobs, and help businesses grow online, especially those in the retail and tourism sectors that have been most affected. We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future of this region, and confident that working together with local partners, we can boost recovery and build on the rapid acceleration of tech adoption we’ve seen during the crisis."
The program will also include digital skills and cloud training in partnership with local authorities, the statement said, adding that Google will also provide training in digital marketing to 100,000 students and businesses and 70,000 developers.
For the whole region, the new initiative by Google is offering tools, training and financial grants worth over $13 million.
Smart payment service provider Masary announced yesterday that it had signed a cooperation agreement with Banque Misr, Egypt's second largest state bank, to provide some e-banking services.
The services include accepting e-payment cards and paying via QR code through bank wallets, Hapi reported yesterday.
Masary had previously obtained a Payment Facilitator license from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), which allows the company to offer a number of e-banking services.
Minister of Communication and Information Technology (CIT) Amr Talaat previously said that 72 services related to civil status, housing, real estate registry, health insurance and other areas will be launched through the "Misralrakamia" (Egypt Digital Platform) by the end of 2020. A total of 550 services will be made available by 2023.
Talaat added that the Egypt Digital Platform aims to automate workflows, create databases and connect all state agencies to expand the digital provision of government services.
According to Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, Egypt has allocated EGP 12.7 billion ($797.2 million) for digital transformation projects nationwide in the current 2020/2021 fiscal year.
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) played down yesterday reported talks to merge with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), after media report about the merger resurfaced.
"Our official stance on this remains the same as our official statement published on ADX in April 2019," FAB said in an emailed response to Reuters.
Local media reports said that Abu Dhabi's largest bank in terms of assets has renewed "potential merger discussions" with ADIB.
In April 2019, Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources, that Abu Dhabi was considering merging the two banks to create the largest bank in the Gulf.
Both banks denied the report at the time.
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) Egypt's announced yesterday the launch of contactless e-payment method Beat through the World Debit MasterCard.
Beat is a wearable payment device in the form of a wrist band where the customer's card is built-in.
Beat users can process payments, equity withdrawals and balance inquiries inside and outside Egypt.
"With its lightweight design and waterproof material, consider it your companion card, wear it all day long, and pay with a tap of your hand," said the bank.
Egypt's blue-chip index ended Wednesday's trading session in green, marginally recovering after a minor slip on Tuesday following four days of consecutive gains.
The EGX30 benchmark rose 0.37 percent to close at 11,333.91 points, amid a turnover of approximately EGP 715.1 million ($45.5 million).
Its market bellwether, Commercial International Bank, saw its share price rise 0.03 percent to EGP 67.79 ($4.32). Its top performing stocks included GB Auto, which rose 7.97 percent to EGP 3.03 ($0.19), Oriental Weavers, which went up 5.13 percent to EGP 6.39 and Dice Sport & Casual Wear, which gained 3.97 percent to EGP 1.625.
Other index companies ending the day in green included Elsewedy Electric, which increased by 3.71 percent to EGP 7.92 ($0.50), Export Development Bank of Egypt (EDBE), which rose 3.14 percent to EGP 13.40 and Ezz Steel, which rose 2.77 percent to EGP 7.85.
The worst performing stocks included Egyptian Iron & Steel, which plunged 3.44 percent to EGP 3.60 ($0.23), Emaar Misr for Development, which fell 1.16 percent to EGP 2.55 and Heliopolis Housing, which dropped 1.02 percent to EGP 6.79.
The broader EGX70 EWI index rose 1.13 percent to close at 1,994.97, while the EGX100 EWI gained 1.09 percent, closing at 2,931.25.
Arab investors were net buyers to the tune of EGP 55 million ($3.5 million), while sales by Egyptian and foreign investors amounted to EGP 52.1 million and EGP 2.8 million, respectively.
Egypt has achieved a primary budget surplus of EGP 100 million ($6.3 million) in the first quarter of the current 2020/2021 fiscal year in spite of the abysmal impact of the pandemic, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait announced yesterday.
Maait said that the average maturity of Egypt's debt hit 3.2 years in June 2020 from 1.3 years in June 2013 and 1.8 years in June 2014, according to a cabinet statement.
He expects that the maturity will reach 3.8 years by June 2021, with Egypt seeking to rely more on long-term debt instruments.
Maait also said that the annual growth rate of revenues rose by around 18.4 percent during July-September 2020.
The annual growth rate of expenditures increased by around 11 percent due to a rise in public investments and subsidies as well as increasing spending on health and education sectors and social protection programs.
Egypt is set to sign an agreement on the first tranche of a $500 million loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) before the end of the year.
The first tranche, $250 million, will be allocated for public spending as well as reforms in various fields, most notably the electricity sector, government sources told Al Borsa newspaper on Wednesday.
Without providing details, the sources explained that the loan's conditions and interest were concessionary, adding that the agreement was currently being reviewed ahead of an expected signing in the coming two months.
Another loan agreement worth €150 million ($176.4 million) with the French Development Agency (AFD) set to be signed during the first quarter of 2021, according to the the same sources. They further mentioned that the Ministry of Finance has signed a $450 million loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AFDB), which will be disbursed in two tranches.
Egypt's state budget for the current fiscal year is estimated at EGP 2.2 trillion ($140.4 billion), with approximately EGP 1.7 trillion as expenses, with an increase of EGP 138.6 billion compared with elapsed fiscal year 2019/2020.
Gold prices gained on Wednesday, pushed by uncertainties surrounding the US election and the global economic recovery that boosted the safe haven metal's allure.
Spot gold was up 0.7 percent to $1,903.20 per ounce by 17:46 GMT.
US gold futures settled up 0.7 percent to $1,907.30 per ounce.
"Whenever there is a price drop, there's a section of strategic investors who think gold is still a very good hedge against global uncertainties ... So they keep coming in," Harshal Barot, a senior research consultant for South Asia at Metals Focus told Reuters.
The IMF proposed three policy priorities on Wednesday, including continuing with essential measures to protect lives and livelihoods, building a more resilient and inclusive economy and dealing with debt, to overcome the COVID-19 crisis and build a brighter future.
"Nine months into the pandemic, we are still struggling with the darkness of a crisis that has taken more than a million lives, and driven the economy into reverse, causing sharply higher unemployment, rising poverty, and the risk of a lost generation in low-income countries," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.
She also urged countries to invest in green projects and digital infrastructure and to boost COVID-19 spending to contain the crisis and mitigate its consequences.
"Our new research shows that public investment -- especially in green projects and digital infrastructure -- can be a game changer. It has the potential to create millions of new jobs, while boosting productivity and incomes. Supporting workers as they transition to new jobs is another key element of a more resilient and inclusive future," she said.
Georgieva expected that global public debt would reach a record high of 100 percent of GDP in 2021.
"But for many low-income countries, urgent action is required now. Given their heavy debt burdens, they are now struggling to maintain vital policy support. They need access to more grants, concessional credit, and debt relief," she added.
Georgieva said the IMF had reached over $280 billion in lending commitments, with over a third of that approved since March, shortly after the crisis began.
The IMF had aided 81 countries and had extended debt service relief for its poorest members.
Famous Egyptian actor Mahmoud Yassin died yesterday morning at the age of 79 after a long struggle with pneumonia.
The big-screen star was married to actress Shahira. They had a son, actor Amr Mahmoud Yassin, and a daughter, Rania Mahmoud Yassin who's an actress and TV host.
Yassin played small roles in the late 1960s. His breakthrough was his appearance in "Nahno La Nazra' Al-Shawk" (We Do Not Sow Thistle) alongside celebrated late actress Shadia in 1970.
He also features in "Al-Kheit Al-Rafia" (The Thin Thread) with Faten Hamama, and "Al-Rosasa La Tazal Fi Gayby" (The Bullet is Still in My Pocket).
On television, dozens of series also star Yasin, including "Ghadan Tatafatah Al-Zohor" (Tomorrow Flowers Bloom).
Yassin's last big-screen appearance was six years ago, when he co-starred in "Gedo Habibi" (My Beloved Grandpa).
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi met yesterday with CEO of Siemens AG Joe Kaeser, saying he is looking forward to benefiting from the expertise of the German company through further cooperation in the field of renewable energy and electrical interconnection projects.
Present in the meeting were Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker and Siemens' Executive Vice President for Generation Sector Karim Amin, according to the presidential office.
Kaeser expressed the company's aspiration to further its activity in Egypt, especially in the sectors of smart transportation systems and digitization of the industry field.
He also briefed El-Sisi on the execution of the company's projects in Egypt. In June, Siemens announced that it was providing an integrated electrification package for Cairo Metro's Line 3.
As part of the project, Siemens will also supply the fourth-stage extension of the line with the latest gas-insulated metal enclosed switchgears (GIS), characterized by their reliability and ability to run without maintenance for 25 years.
Minister of Transport Kamel Al-Wazir and Minister of Public Enterprise Sector Hisham Tawfik held a meeting yesterday to discuss means of developing the Egyptian commercial fleet.
This comes within the framework of the development of the Egyptian maritime transport system to support the foreign trade movement.
The two ministers discussed how to raise the efficiency of the current fleet and to buy or charter new ships that fit the needs of Egypt's intra-foreign trade with European and African countries.
Al-Wazir stressed the importance of Egypt's possession of a modern and strong maritime fleet that helps develop the system for transporting Egyptian exports of goods. This is especially critical for agricultural crops that could rot in case of late delivery.
This also presents an opportunity to develop the inter-trade movement and coastal transport in short and fast sea voyages between Egypt and countries of the Mediterranean basin, Arab countries and Africa.
The Ministry of Transport also held a meeting with the French to discuss means of cooperation between the two countries in the transportation sector, in the presence of the chairman of the Egyptian National Railways (ENR) and the National Authority for Tunnels (NAT).
The two sides discussed a number of projects which the French side will contribute to financing, such as the development of the Abu Qir railway line and its conversion into a metro, as well as the renovation of the Alexandria tramway.
A number of joint projects and contracts between both countries are currently underway, the most important of which is the third phase of Cairo Metro Line 3.
A contract was also signed with French company RATP DEV for the management, operation and maintenance of the third metro line.
Starting today, Egypt's government will exempt senior citizens over 70 years old from paying railway and Metro ticket fees, while those aged 60 or above will receive a 50 percent discount, the Ministry of Transport announced yesterday.
The ministry also denied reports claiming that railways' officials refused to sell tickets to the elderly with discounted tickets.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity previously said that the new measure is part of a series of decisions marking the World Senior Citizen's Day.
Egypt detected 128 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, bringing the total infection tally since the outbreak in mid-February to 104,915 cases.
The health ministry also reported six new fatalities, bringing the total coronavirus deaths in the country to 6,077.
Seventy-nine new patients have been discharged following recovery from hospitals in the past 24 hours, bringing the total recoveries from the virus nationwide to 97,920.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi discussed with his South African Counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa developments of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Presidential Spokesman Bassam Rady said yesterday.
In a phone call, El-Sisi reiterated the importance of resuming tripartite negotiations with Ethiopia and Sudan to reach a comprehensive agreement the filling and operation of the GERD.
Ramaphosa expressed his willingness to intensify coordination with Egypt to solve the situation.
The two leaders also exchanged views on some issues of bilateral interest between Egypt and South Africa.
Air Arabia announced the resumption of its flights from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport to four destinations in Egypt and Pakistan, in addition to a new flight between UAE's northernmost emirate and Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
The UAE's only listed airline will resume flights from Ras Al Khaimah International Airport to Cairo and Lahore on October 15, to Peshawar on October 16 and to Islamabad on October 17.
The airline will operate the new flight from Ras Al Khaimah to Dhaka on October 16.
Emissions of carbon dioxide around the world in the first half of 2020 saw its sharpest-ever decline in the first half of the current year, shrinking 8.8 percent year on year, or 1,551 million tons.
This came as an impact of the lockdowns and restrictive measures enforced to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a study published in scientific journal Nature Communications.
The shrink overtook any other fallback in carbon dioxide emissions during previous economic crises.
Daily emissions were at their lowest in April at the peak of strict lockdowns worldwide. However, they began to rebound in late April and May with the resumption of economic activities in China and Europe, the study said.
"By July 1, the pandemic's effects on global emissions diminished as lockdown restrictions relaxed and some economic activities restarted, especially in China and several European countries," it reads.
Earlier this week, a report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that solar power has currently become the cheapest source of electricity due to policies that promote the use of renewable energy.
The IEA underlines that over 130 countries implement policies for lowering the cost of building installations for solar power, and expected solar power growth to accelerate over the next decade.
YouTube will start deleting videos with misleading information about coronavirus vaccines, more specifically those claiming that vaccines kill people, cause infertility or include the implementation of microchips in people.
The video-sharing platform has already removed 200,000 videos with misleading information regarding the coronavirus since February.
YouTube said that videos should not include any information that contradicts what the World Health Organization or the National Health Service say about the pandemic.
This comes after Facebook's announcement that it would ban ads telling people not to get vaccinated.
OPEC+ producers will still adhere to easing output cuts as planned despite growing coronavirus cases globally, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday.
"Despite the start of the second wave of the epidemic, we, together with colleagues, continue to look at the situation with optimism and believe that we will be able to gradually raise production," Novak said.
The group of leading oil producers plan to reduce output cuts from January 1. It is currently cutting production by 7.7 million barrels daily to help support a global market heavily hit by the pandemic.
Earlier on Wednesday, the International Energy Agency said that the pandemic's second wave is decelerating demand and complicating producers’ attempts to balance the market.
The World Bank approved yesterday $12 billion in funding for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments for developing countries' citizens.
The move is a part of $160 billion in total multilateral financing which will be provided to developing countries through June 2021.
President Donald Trump's 14-year-old son Barron tested positive for COVID-19, without showing any symptoms, Melania Trump announced yesterday.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced night curfews for four weeks from Saturday in Paris and other major cities to contain the second wave of the pandemic.
The French government also declared a public health state of emergency, giving officials greater powers to impose new measures to contain the virus.
"We’re in a second wave," Macron said in an interview on national television. "We have to react."
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday resisted a short lockdown for all of England but said he ruled nothing out in the face of calls to shut the country down for two weeks as a "circuit breaker" in order to save lives.
"The whole point is to seize this moment now to avoid the misery of another national lockdown," Johnson told parliament.
Britain's transport minister announced on Wednesday easier coronavirus testing plans for travellers, in a bid to get more people flying in the near future at a time when travel companies are still grappling with the virus' negative consequences.
He said the 14-day quarantine for arrivals from most countries could be replaced by an as-yet unspecified shorter isolation period followed by a negative PCR test.
British spies are trying to defend COVID-19 vaccine work against hostile powers that seek to either steal or sabotage research data in the race for the global prize, the head of MI5 said on Wednesday.
Northern Ireland's devolved government will impose sticker COVID-19 restrictions to contain the virus' second wave.
US drug inspectors unveiled serious quality control problems at an Eli Lilly and Co pharmaceutical plant that is ramping up to manufacture one of two COVID-19 vaccines.
Eli Lilly & Co on Wednesday said that it will resume other trials of its experimental COVID-19 antibody drug, after it halted one ongoing trial of the vaccine.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday that it does not recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for children, when they become available.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide reached more than 38,662,472 as of yesterday, with over 1,094,883 deaths.
|UAE ABU DHABI||ADX||4,573.00||+0.61%|
|US||Dow Jones IA||28,514.00||-0.58%|
|China||HANG SENG INDEX||24,333.47||-1.35%|
|Gold Egypt||LE/ oz.||1,897.38||-0.19%|
|Silver Egypt||LE/ oz.||24.12||-0.47%|
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