23 Nov 2022


Hisham Ezz Al-Arab Back on CIB's Board

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Hisham Ezz Al-Arab (courtesy of HE Advisory website)

Hisham Ezz Al-Arab has been named non-executive director at the Commercial International Bank (CIB), rejoining the board of Egypt's largest private lender after stepping down from his role as chairman and managing director in 2020 on orders of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), a statement by the CIB showed.

In an interview with Al Arabiya, Ezz Al-Arab said that he resigned from the role he took in August 2022 as adviser to the CBE's acting governor after rejoining the CIB to avoid a conflict of interest.

Moreover, Asharq Business reported yesterday, citing senior banking sources, that Ezz Al-Arab is expected to chair the CIB once again in early 2023.

Ezz Al-Arab chaired the CIB for nearly 20 years. He resigned in October 2020 on orders of the CBE after it said that a preliminary investigation showed that financial malpractice and violations were detected at CIB.

He also served as managing director at J.P. Morgan and Deutsche Bank from 1990 to 1997 and from 1997 to 1999, respectively.


Economics

Egypt Scraps Three Low-Interest Financing Initiatives: Reports

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has ordered banks to stop financing initiatives backing the industrial, agricultural and contracting sectors at an interest rate of 8 percent, local media reported.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly ordered that the management of all the CBE's low-interest financing initiatives be transferred to the finance ministry.

The initiatives mentioned in Madbouly's decree include the mortgage finance initiative for middle-income buyers, with a diminishing interest of 8 percent, the mortgage finance initiative for low and middle-income buyers, with a diminishing interest of 3 percent, the tourism initiative, the bi-fuel conversion initiative and the initiative to support modern irrigation methods.

Madbouly also banned all entities, including the CBE, from drafting any new financing initiatives or amending current ones except after obtaining the approval of the cabinet.

Bank Deposits Up 2.1% MoM in August

Customer deposits at Egyptian banks increased by 2.11 percent to about EGP 7.65 trillion ($312.13 million) at the end of August 2022, compared with EGP 7.49 trillion at the end of July, according to a monthly bulletin by the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) that was picked up by local media.

Governmental deposits amounted to EGP 1.59 trillion ($64.87 billion) in August, up from EGP 1.54 trillion in July.

Meanwhile, non-governmental deposits comprised EGP 6.06 trillion ($247.25 billion), up from EGP 5.60 trillion.

Egypt, Nile Basin Countries’ Trade Up 33% in 2021

The trade volume between Egypt and Nile Basin countries rose 32.6 percent year on year in 2021, stats body CAPMAS stated yesterday.

Egyptian exports to the bloc amounted to $1.55 billion, up 29.5 percent from $1.2 billion in 2020.

Sudan topped the list of importers with $827 million, followed by Kenya with $382 million and Ethiopia with $111 million.

Meanwhile, the country’s imports from the bloc totaled $783 million, a 39.4-percent increase from $562 million in 2020.

Oil Up 1% After More OPEC+ Members Deny Output Boost Report

Oil prices rose about 1 percent yesterday after more members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) denied an earlier report that they were discussing an increase in oil supply.

Brent crude increased by 91 cents, or 1 percent, to settle at $88.36, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 91 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $80.95.

The UAE, Kuwait and Algeria denied Tuesday that they were holding talks on changing the latest OPEC+ agreement, while Saudi Arabia said the oil grouping was sticking with output cuts.

This came after the Wall Street Journal reported earlier Monday that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members were discussing an output increase of up to 500,000 barrels per day.

OPEC+ is holding the next ministerial meeting on December 4.

Business

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(Courtesy of Swvl on LinkedIn)

Swvl Lays Off Staff in 'Second Wave': Report

Swvl has laid off a large number of its employees in Egypt, Dubai and Pakistan, Asharq Business reported, citing staff who have been let go in what some described as the company's "second wave" of headcount reduction.

A Cairo-based Swvl engineer who was fired on Sunday claimed that the company was letting go of 90 percent of its staff in Egypt before another employee judged that number as too high, saying that only the company has the exact numbers.

This move comes as part of the ride-sharing company's plan to turn profitable next year, with target net profits of $13 million in 2024.

In May, Swvl announced that it was laying off around 32 percent of its workforce in roles that have been automated after the company invested in its engineering and product functions.

2Africa Subsea Cable Makes 1st Landing in Egypt

Telecom Egypt and Meta, as part of the 2Africa consortium, have announced the landing of the 2Africa subsea cable in Ras Ghareb on the Red Sea, marking the cable's first landing in Egypt.

The next landing will be in Port Said on the Mediterranean Sea at a later date. It will be connected to its Ras Ghareb counterpart via two terrestrial crossings adjacent to the Suez Canal.

First announced in 2020, 2Africa is expected to be the world's largest subsea cable upon its completion in 2024.

It stretches over 45,000 kilometers to deliver internet connectivity to around 3 billion people across Africa, Asia and Europe.

Elsewedy Electric's Board Greenlights Establishing at Least One Subsidiary in Saudi Arabia

Elsewedy Electric's board of directors has approved the establishment of one or more new companies in Saudi Arabia, according to a bourse filing yesterday.

The new company's activity will be one of the following: managing subsidiaries of holding companies, investing the funds of those subsidiaries, owning real estate and movables of holding companies, providing finance for subsidiaries, and owning or leasing industrial property rights of subsidiaries.

Beltone Financial Turns to Losses in 9M 2022

Beltone Financial Holding endured EGP 139.89 million ($5.7 million) in net losses after tax in the first nine months of 2022, compared with net profits of EGP 10.46 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenues edged down 2.4 percent to EGP 257.66 million ($10.5 million) from EGP 264.12 million, according to a bourse disclosure yesterday.

The firm saw a 35.5-percent annual increase in its standalone net losses after tax to EGP 66.5 million ($2.71 million) from January through September, up from EGP 49.08 million in the same period of 2021.

Standalone revenues surged 77.4 percent to EGP 29.87 million ($1.22 million) from EGP 16.83 million.

Stock Market

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Wheat to Be Traded on Commodities Exchange Next Week

Wheat will be traded on Egypt's commodities exchange (EGYCOMEX) in its first phase, which will launch on Sunday, November 27, according to a statement by the Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade.

The country's grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), will offer wheat to mills on the exchange twice a week.

Ibrahim Ashmawy, the head of the new body and the chairman of the Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA), said before that the first phase would kick off in the first quarter of 2023 and would include food commodities like wheat, vegetable oil, sugar and rice.

Earlier this month, Egypt's Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhy said that the country's current wheat reserves are sufficient for 5.1 months. He also expected to import about 1 million tonnes of wheat in the near future.

Egypt's state grains buyer announced in September that wheat suppliers would have to register with the country's commodities exchange before November.

One of the goals of EGYCOMEX is to stabilize the prices of the traded commodities and to boost the strategic stock of goods that may reach 8 and 9 months.

EGX30 Climbs 1.39%

The blue-chip EGX30 index gained 1.39 percent on Tuesday to close at 12,622.34 points, amid a turnover of EGP 1.24 billion ($50.58 million).

Market bellwether Commercial International Bank (CIB) advanced 1.47 percent to EGP 38.05 ($1.55), backed by the announcement of Hisham Ezz Al-Arab rejoining its board.

Top performers included Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development, which jumped 5.68 percent to EGP 6.14 ($0.25); Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company, which added 4.78 percent to EGP 13.60; and Fawry, which rose 4.46 percent to EGP 4.45.

Lagging stocks included Ezz Steel, which dipped 3.27 percent to EGP 15.96 ($0.65); Elsewedy Electric, which went down 2.36 percent to EGP 8.69; and Juhayna Food Industries, which lost 1.82 percent to EGP 7.02.

The broader EGX70 EWI rose 0.36 percent to close at 2,406.21 points.

Net purchases by Egyptian investors registered EGP 187.29 million ($187.29 million), while net sales by Arab and foreign investors came in at EGP 101.74 million and EGP 85.55, respectively.

Egypt News

Egypt to Provide Greece With 5K Seasonal Workers to Help Harvest Next Crop

Egypt has signed a deal to provide 5,000 farm workers to help meet the growing needs of Greece's agricultural sector and help harvest the next crop early next year, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said.

This comes under a pilot scheme agreed upon by Egypt and Greece yesterday as part of the latter's strategy to combat illegal immigration, Reuters reported.

As per the agreement, the farm workers will be allowed to enter and stay in Greece for up to nine months.

World

Russia's Gazprom Threatens to Cut Gas Flows to Europe via Ukraine

Russian Gazprom threatened to cut off the flow of gas to Europe via Ukraine next week, coinciding with the onset of low temperatures and the beginning of winter, which pressures the European gas stocks.

Gazprom said on Telegram that it had so far 52.52 million cubic meters of gas allocated to Moldova, though it said that some of the transferred volumes are being kept in Ukraine.

The company warned that it would limit the volumes of shipments from November 28 in line with the amount of gas that does not reach Moldovan customers.

The Ukraine route is the last remaining pipeline that still carries Russian gas to Western Europe, as Moscow has incrementally squeezed supplies to the continent since before the war.

Iran Increases Uranium Enrichment to 60% at Fordo

Iran has begun enriching uranium to a purity of 60 percent at the country's underground nuclear plant Fordo, using the "IR-6 advanced centrifuges," the state-run news agency IRNA reported yesterday.

IRNA did not provide details on the amount of enriched uranium being produced.

In addition, Iran announced that it would also build a new set of centrifuges at the site.

Enrichment to 60 percent purity is one short, technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90 percent.

On Thursday, the International Atomic Energy (IEA) approved a resolution ordering Iran to "cooperate urgently" with the agency's investigation into traces of uranium found at three undeclared sites.

The increase in uranium metal production is likely to anger western powers who are in talks with the Islamic republic to revive the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In September, the United Nations (UN) atomic watchdog said it believed Iran has further raised its stockpile of highly enriched uranium in another breach of a 2015 accord with world powers.

As of August 21, Iran's stockpile of all enriched uranium was at 3,621.3 kilograms -- an increase of 365.5 kilograms since the last quarterly report in May.

Sports

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Saudi Arabia Shock Argentina With 2-1 World Cup Win

Saudi Arabia caused one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history after coming from behind to earn a shock 2-1 victory over Argentina, one of the pre-tournament favorites.

Lionel Messi, who is yearning for the only trophy to elude him in a glittering career, put Argentina ahead after converting a penalty on 10 minutes.

Argentina looked close to doubling their advantage after having three goals disallowed for offside.

However, Saudi Arabia came on with all guns blazing in the second half to stun their illustrious opponents.

Saleh Al-Shehri equalized with a fine, angled shot from inside the area in the 48th minute and Salem Al-Dawsari curled in a superb strike five minutes later, leaving Argentina shell-shocked.

Messi and his teammates were kept in check by Saudi Arabia's resolute defense in the latter stages as the Green Falcons enjoyed a glorious day.

"We made history for Saudi football, it will stay forever," Saudi Arabia coach Herve Renard said after the game.

"That is the most important thing. But we have to look forward - we have two difficult games for us ahead."

Saudi Arabia next face Poland on Saturday before concluding their Group C campaign against Mexico on 30 November. Poland and Mexico played out a goalless draw in other group game.

Cristiano Ronaldo Leaves Man United Following 'Mutual Agreement'

Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Manchester United with immediate effect after they reached a mutual agreement, the club said.

The announcement came a few days after the Portugal star gave an explosive interview in which he heavily criticized the club and the team's coach Erik ten Hag.

"The club thanks him for his immense contribution across two spells at Old Trafford, scoring 145 goals in 346 appearances, and wishes him and his family well for the future," United said in a statement.

"Everyone at Manchester United remains focused on continuing the team's progress under Erik ten Hag and working together to deliver success on the pitch."

Ronaldo said the club was forcing him out and that he "had no respect" for Dutch coach Ten Hag, prompting an outcry among United's fans.

The 37-year-old re-joined United in August 2021 after leaving Italian giants Juventus.

Arab Markets
Egypt EGX30 12,622.34 +1.39%
KSA TASI 10,965.41 +0.32%
UAE ABU DHABI ADX 10,392.58 -0.06%
UAE DUBAI DFM 3,330.09 -0.27%
World Markets
US Dow Jones IA 34,098.10 +1.18%
NASDAQ-100 11,174.41 +1.36%
S&P 500 4,003.58 +1.36%
UK FTSE 100 7,452.84 +1.03%
Germany DAX 14,422.35 +0.29%
France CAC 40 6,657.53 +0.35%
Japan Nikkei 225 28,115.74 +0.61%
China HANG SENG INDEX 17,426.74 +0.01%
Currencies
US Dollar 24.48 24.55
Euro 25.12 25.21
Sterling 29.07 29.16
Saudi Riyal 6.51 6.53
UAE Dirham 6.66 6.68
Kuwaiti Dinar 79.37 79.77
Swiss Franc 25.63 25.71
Commodities
Oil Brent USD/bbl. 88.34 -0.02%
Wheat USD/bu.Mar 2020 809.00 -0.19%
Gold USD/t oz. 1,739.31 -0.05%
Gold Egypt LE/ oz. 1,739.17 +0.04%
Silver Egypt LE/ oz. 21.05 +0.93%

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