24 Nov 2022


Erdogan Vows Ground Operation in Syria

News Image

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his country would launch a ground operation in Syria against Kurdish fighters, following the terrorist bombing in Istanbul that left six dead and 53 injured last week.

Erdogan said Wednesday in a speech to his ruling party's legislators in Ankara that the air operations are "just the beginning" and that Turkey is determined to "close down all of our southern borders ... with a security strip that will prevent the possibility of attacks on our country."

"We will soon uproot them all with tanks, artillery and soldiers," he threatened.

On Sunday, Turkey carried out air strikes against Kurdish militant bases across northern Syria and Iraq, killing at least 12 people.

The Turkish police said that the perpetrator of the Istanbul bombing was a young Syrian woman, who admitted that she acted on the orders of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and received instructions in Kobani, northeastern Syria.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called for avoiding escalation, describing the recent offensives on Syria and Iraq as breaching their land sovereignty.

Moreover, Russia asked Turkey to refrain from launching a comprehensive ground attack in Syria, Alexander Lavrentyev, a senior Russian negotiator, said on Wednesday.

He added that the US is pursuing a "destructive" approach in northeastern Syria, and that resolving the Kurdish issue will be an important factor in achieving stability in the region.


Economics

Fed Sees Smaller Rate Hikes Coming 'Soon'

A "substantial majority" of Federal Reserve officials back a slower pace of interest rate hikes "soon," according to meeting minutes released yesterday.

"A slower pace in these circumstances would better allow the committee to assess progress toward its goals of maximum employment and price stability," the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held on November 1 and 2 read.

The upcoming FOMC meeting will convene on December 13 and 14.

A few participants noted that "before slowing the pace of policy rate increases, it could be advantageous to wait until the stance of policy was more clearly in restrictive territory."

Participants agreed that there are very few signs of persistent inflationary pressures for "coming quarters."

Earlier this month, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 75 basis points (bps) for the fourth straight time as it continues to battle surging inflation that is weighing on the economy. The hike was the central bank's sixth this year.

In June, the Fed raised interest rates by 75 bps, its most aggressive hike since 1994, followed by another 75-bps increase in July and another one in September.

After the pandemic left interest rates near zero, the Fed increased rates for the first time by 25 bps in March, followed by a 50-bps increase in May.

News Image

Oil Prices Down Over 3% Despite Drop in US Crude Inventories

Oil prices plunged more than 3 percent on Wednesday, despite a drop in US crude oil stockpiles, as the Group of Seven (G7) nations considered a price cap for Russian oil exports.

Brent futures for January delivery lost $2.95, or 3.3 percent, to settle at $85.41 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped $3.01, or 3.7 percent, to close at $77.94 a barrel.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that crude inventories fell by 3.7 million barrels in the week to November 18, hitting 431.7 million barrels.

Gasoline stocks rose by 3.1 million barrels to 211 million barrels in the week, while distillate stockpiles increased by 1.7 million barrels to 109.1 million barrels, the EIA added.

Meanwhile, the G7 group convened yesterday to mull setting a price cap on Russian oil, eyeing a range of $65-70 a barrel, a European Union diplomat was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Earlier this month, the G7 and Australia reportedly agreed to set up a fixed price, rather than a floating price pegged to the Brent crude oil price benchmark, when they finalize a price cap on Russian oil.

Egypt, COMESA Countries' Trade Rise 33% in 2021

The trade volume between Egypt and countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) rose 33 percent year on year in 2021, the stats body CAPMAS stated yesterday.

Egyptian exports to the bloc saw a 30.9-percent yearly increase to $3.07 billion in 2021, compared with $2.34 billion.

Libya was the largest importer with $961 million, followed by Sudan with $827 million and Kenya with $382 million.

Meanwhile, the country's imports from the bloc logged $1.32 billion, up 37.8 percent from $957 million in 2020.

Top exporters to Egypt were Sudan with $386 million, followed by Zambia with $311 million and Kenya with $255 million.

Business

Qatar Could Pay Over $1 Bn for 20% of Vodafone Egypt: Report

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, is expected to pay over $1 billion to purchase a 20-percent stake in Vodafone Egypt held by state-owned Telecom Egypt, Asharq Business reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

The QIA has reportedly been negotiating the deal for weeks as part of a broader $2.5 billion worth of investments in state-held stakes in Egypt.

The UK's Vodafone Group is currently the major shareholder of Vodafone Egypt, owning 55 percent. However, the former has embarked on an agreement to sell its stake to its South African subsidiary Vodacom Group in a $2.7-billion deal that has yet to close.

Telecom Egypt owns the remaining 45 percent of Vodafone Egypt.

Earlier this month, Vodacom submitted a non-binding purchase offer to acquire a tiny stake of 0.05 percent in Vodafone Egypt.

News Image

(Courtesy of the Egyptian cabinet Facebook page)

Telecom Egypt to Offer Real Estate Notarization at Its Branches

The Egyptian Justice Ministry has signed a deal with Telecom Egypt to offer real estate notarization services to the public at the latter's branches nationwide.

The deal is part of the country's plans to boost the real estate notarization system and expand notarization offices across the country to facilitate citizens' access to such services, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said yesterday.

Hisham Ezz Al-Arab Resigns From GB Auto's Board

GB Auto's board of directors has approved the resignation of Hisham Ezz Al-Arab from his position as an independent director.

This comes a day after Ezz Al-Arab was named non-executive director at the Commercial International Bank (CIB), where he rejoined 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).

On Tuesday, Ezz Al-Arab said he also resigned from the role he took in August 2022 as adviser to the CBE's acting governor.

Asharq Business reported earlier this week that Ezz Al-Arab is expected to chair the CIB once again in early 2023.

Stock Market

EGX30 Dips 0.18%

The blue-chip EGX30 index slid 0.18 percent to close at 12,600.09 points on Wednesday, amid a turnover of EGP 948.09 million ($38.61 million).

Market bellwether Commercial International Bank (CIB) dropped 2.47 percent to EGP 37.11 ($1.51).

Top performers included Qatar National Bank Alahli (QNB Alahli), which surged 11.92 percent to EGP 17 ($0.69); Fawry, which climbed 6.52 percent to EGP 4.74; and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company (SIDPEC), which rose 3.93 percent to EGP 8.99.

Lagging stocks included Tenth of Ramadan for Pharmaceutical Industries and Diagnostic Reagents (Rameda), which fell 1.72 percent to EGP 2.85 ($0.12); Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development, which lost 1.47 percent to EGP 6.05; and Ibnsina Pharma, which dropped 1.05 percent to EGP 1.80.

The broader EGX70 EWI index rose 0.21 percent to close at 2,411.2 points.

Net purchases by Egyptian investors registered EGP 77.77 million ($3.17 million), while net sales by Arab and foreign investors came in at EGP 37.87 million and EGP 39.90 million, respectively.

Egypt News

News Image

(Courtesy of EIB website)

EIB Allocates $155 Mn to Back Egypt's Food Sector

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide €150 million ($155.47 million) early 2023 to the Egyptian food sector under the country's Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) program, MENA news agency reported, citing Head of the Policy and Impact Unit at EIB Global Strategy and Partnerships Department Eefje Schmid.

An additional $10 billion will be allocated for the energy sector under NWFE between 2023 and 2030, the EIB official said.

In July, Egypt's international cooperation ministry launched the NWFE program for financing and investing in climate projects in the water, food and energy sectors, as the first list of eco-friendly projects under the National Climate Change Strategy 2050 and Egypt's Vision 2030.

Cabinet Approves Establishment of Intellectual Property Authority

The Egyptian cabinet has approved the establishment of a national authority for intellectual property which will be responsible for regulating and protecting intellectual property rights in Egypt.

This step comes as part of the goals of the national strategy for intellectual property that Egypt launched in September, which aims to enhance the environment of intellectual property in the country by establishing a national body for it and reviewing related legislation.

It will also prepare and review the national strategy for intellectual property and follow up on its implementation.

World

UK Top Court Blocks Scottish Independence Vote Bid

The UK's Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Scotland does not have the power to hold a second referendum on its independence without approval from the British parliament.

The unanimous ruling is a blow to Scottish nationalists who had been hoping to hold a vote next October.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would respect the ruling while continuing to fight for their "democratic right to choose" their own future.

In 2014, Scotland held an independence referendum with 55 percent of the votes in favor of keeping the over 300-year-old union with England.

The British parliament refuses to hold another vote, saying that this result settled the issue.

However, Brexit has revived calls for Scottish independence since the majority of Scottish voters were against the UK leaving the European Union.

Twitter Hiring Again After Mass Layoffs

New CEO Elon Musk has announced that Twitter is actively looking to hire people for its engineering and sales roles, saying that the company's mass layoffs are over, The Verge reported citing a partial recording of Musk during an all-hands meeting.

"In terms of critical hires, I would say people who are great at writing software are the highest priority," Musk told employees on Monday. 

The billionaire acknowledged that his ongoing reorganization of the social media company will "have a lot of mistakes" but will "stabilize over time."

Earlier this month, Musk fired 3,700 employees, or around half of Twitter’s formerly 7,500 staff, citing a drop in ad revenues. 

An additional 1,000 Twitter employees are reported to have later resigned of their own accord, leaving the company with around 2,700 employees. 

Musk has recently bought the social media giant for $44 billion.

Power Outages Reported Across Ukraine Amid Renewed Russian Shelling

Ukrainian officials reported on Wednesday new raids on the capital, Kyiv, damaging vital infrastructure and residential buildings.

Power was also cut off in the entire western city of Lviv, after reports of large-scale air strikes across the country, as well as neighboring Moldova.

In Moldova, Infrastructure Minister Andrei Spinu said that they had "massive power outages across the country," whose Soviet-era energy systems remain interconnected with Ukraine.

Mayor of Lviv Andriy Sadovyi urged residents to take cover and take refuge in bunkers, saying that "the whole city is without electricity."

Russian forces have increasingly targeted critical infrastructure in Ukraine over the past few weeks, after facing recent setbacks on the battlefields following the invasion that began on February 24.

Also yesterday, Ukrainian authorities announced that a missile attack destroyed a maternity ward in a hospital in the south of the country in the small town of Vilniansk, killing a two-day-old baby.

Top Headlines of the Week

Arab Markets
Egypt EGX30 12,600.09 -0.18%
KSA TASI 10,965.41 +0.32%
UAE ABU DHABI ADX 10,528.73 +1.31%
UAE DUBAI DFM 3,326.21 -0.12%
World Markets
US Dow Jones IA 34,194.06 +0.28%
NASDAQ-100 11,285.32 +0.99%
S&P 500 4,027.26 +0.59%
UK FTSE 100 7,465.24 +0.17%
Germany DAX 14,427.59 +0.04%
France CAC 40 6,679.09 +0.32%
Japan Nikkei 225 28,448.58 +1.18%
China HANG SENG INDEX 17,526.33 +0.01%
Currencies
US Dollar 24.50 24.57
Euro 25.28 25.37
Sterling 29.22 29.32
Saudi Riyal 6.51 6.53
UAE Dirham 6.67 6.69
Kuwaiti Dinar 79.50 79.86
Swiss Franc 25.76 25.85
Commodities
Oil Brent USD/bbl. 85.24 -0.20%
Wheat USD/bu.Mar 2020 813.50 +0.37%
Gold USD/t oz. 1,755.11 +0.31%
Gold Egypt LE/ oz. 1,738.14 -0.18%
Silver Egypt LE/ oz. 21.25 +0.78%

Delta Digest is a daily newsletter that primarily provides comprehensive coverage of macroeconomic and market developments in Egypt, the region and the world. While news stories comprise the largest portion of our content, it also includes other quick reads such as analytical reports and statistics.

Delta Digest is sent out in the early morning on all working days -- Sunday through Thursday -- except for bank holidays. To subscribe to our English newsletter, please click on the link below (Delta Digest); it will take no more than a few seconds and the service is free of charge. You can also send us suggestions and questions by e-mail (contact us).

The content of the newsletter is delivered without any responsibility on our part and the opinions expressed are those of the quoted sources. To share Delta Digest with your friends click here (Facebook) (Twitter). To invite your friends to Delta Digest click here.