28 Nov 2022

Turkish, Egyptian Ministers to Hold Meetings to Start Building Relations: Erdogan

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan shaking hands in Doha on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup last week. (Courtesy of Egyptian presidency website)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that a process of building bilateral ties with Egypt will start with meetings between the ministers of the two countries, without providing a timeframe.

Last week, El-Sisi met with Erdogan in Qatar on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Cup. 

The pair shook hands and talked during a meeting in what was described in an Egyptian presidency statement as a new start in bilateral relations between the two countries.

Erdogan also signaled the possibility of improving ties with rival Syria.

"Just as this business is now on track with Egypt, things may also get on track with Syria," he said in comments that were broadcast.

In September 2021, Turkey and Egypt held the second round of a series of political consultations in Ankara to normalize ties between the two nations and agreed to continue consultations in a bid to bolster diplomatic and political relations. The first round of exploratory discussions was held in Cairo in May of that year.

The thaw came after a years-long rift due to Turkey's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt outlawed after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.


Orange Egypt to Invest $163 Mn in Network Upgrades in 2023

Telecom operator Orange Egypt is planning to invest EGP 4 billion ($163.0 million) next year to upgrade its network, Hesham Mahran, the firm's enterprise line of business chief, told Hapi yesterday.

In addition, the company is seeking to boost its investments in several areas in the IT and communications field, including digital data, financial services, smart cities, 4G services, cloud computing, the internet of things and cyber-security, he added.

Next year will also see investments in the sectors of education, health, entrepreneurship, start-ups and women's empowerment.

During the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) which was held this month in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, the Egyptian New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) signed separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with telecommunications companies Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat Egypt and Orange Egypt to boost their reliance on renewable energy to operate their networks nationwide.

Earlier this year, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) allocated new radio frequencies of 30 MHz within the 2600 MHz band via time-division duplexing (TDD) to Orange Egypt at a cost of $440 million to improve the connectivity and performance of mobile phone services to customers.

Smartphone Sales in Egypt Fall 36% YoY in 9M 2022

Egypt's smartphone sales dropped 36 percent year on year in the first nine months of 2022 to 8.21 million devices, compared with 12.77 million, Al Mal reported yesterday, citing a report by market information provider GFK.

The decrease was attributed to the current suspension of smartphone imports, said Mohamed El-Haddad, vice president of the communications centers and mobile dealers division at the Giza Chamber of Commerce.

The South Korean smartphone brand Samsung dominated the market as the leading smartphone vendor in Egypt, after increasing its market share to 35.3 percent of total sales.

The Chinese brand Oppo came in second with 21.3 percent of sales, followed by Chinese brand Redmi, a sub-brand of Xiaomi, with 13.5 percent.

Smartphone prices saw a 50-percent increase this year due to exchange rate volatility, said Mohamed Talaat, head of the communications and mobile division at the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce.

Benya's Fiber-Optic Cable Factory to Begin Trial Operations in Q1 2023

ICT infrastructure provider Benya Group, formerly known as Fiber Misr, is set to begin trial operations of its fiber-optic cable factory in the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) in the first quarter of 2023, CEO Ahmed Mekky told Hapi.  

The factory will have a capacity of 25,000 meters that will gradually increase to 40,000 meters, Mekky estimated.

Benya is also planning to launch in Africa and in Saudi Arabia in partnership with Al-Fanar, he added. 

Mekky said that an IPO for Benya is on the table and discussions are ongoing for a proper timing depending on market conditions.


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Financial Inclusion Rate Reaches 61%: CBE

The rate of financial inclusion in Egypt reached 60.6 percent by the end of June 2022, compared with 27.4 percent in June 2016, according to a Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) report.

The number of individuals with bank accounts rose to 39.6 million, representing over half of the 65.4 million people aged 16 and above. 

Last Month, the CBE launched a new financial inclusion strategy for 2022-2025 with the aim of expanding access to financial services and bringing the informal sector into the formal economy. 

The CBE said that the financial inclusion strategy is based on four main pillars: financial education, digital financial services, diversifying both banking and non-banking financial products, and facilitating the business environment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs.

Egypt News

Sisi to Be Chief Guest at India's Republic Day Celebrations in Jan

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will be the chief guest at India's Republic Day celebrations in January 2023, the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement yesterday.

India celebrates Republic Day on January 26 every year to commemorate the adoption of the country's constitution in 1950.

This will be El-Sisi's first time as chief guest at the event.

Last week, India also invited Egypt to participate as a guest country in the Group of Twenty (G20) meetings that will be held during the Indian presidency of the intergovernmental forum -- which comprises 19 countries and the European Union -- starting next month. 

Egypt's New and Renewable Energy Authority to Launch Digital Platform in 2023

Egypt's New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) will launch a digital unified platform in early 2023 that brings together all investors in the new and renewable energy market, Madiha Abdel Azim, head of the technical affairs sector at NREA, told Al Mal yesterday.

The platform aims to create an account for each company operating in the Egyptian renewable energy market, as well as creating accounts for all customers to form a database and simplify the procedures for dealing among all partners, Abdel Azim said.

She added that the platform aims to catch up with the rapid pace of demand for the implementation of solar energy projects in all private and public facilities.

Stock Market

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EGX30 Up 1.80%

Egypt's blue-chip EGX30 index climbed 1.80 percent on Sunday to close at 13,009.48 points, stretching gains for a second straight session.

Turnover was EGP 1.05 billion ($42.8 million), and the heaviest constituent, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), advanced 1.98 percent to EGP 38.60.

Top performers included Alexandria Mineral Oils Company (AMOC), which was up 9.30 percent to EGP 4.70 ($0.19); Ibnsina Pharma, which jumped 7.81 percent to EGP 1.98; and Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company, which gained 7.37 percent to EGP 15.30.

Lagging stocks included Credit Agricole Egypt, which dipped 1.13 percent to EGP 7.91 ($0.32); GB Auto, which fell 0.84 percent to EGP 4.75; and Fawry, which lost 0.82 percent to EGP 4.82.

The broader EGX70 EWI rose 1.37 percent to close at 2,550.95 points.

Net purchases by Egyptian and foreign investors registered EGP 45.04 million ($1.8 million) and EGP 13.45 million, respectively, while net sales by Arab investors came in at EGP 58.5 million.


Ukrainian Energy Official Says Russia May Be Planning to Leave Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

The head of Ukraine's state-run nuclear energy firm said on Sunday there were signs that Russian forces might be preparing to leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

"In recent weeks we are effectively receiving information that signs have appeared that they are possibly preparing to leave," Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, said on national television.

"We don't see this now, but they are preparing [to leave]," Kotin added.

Meanwhile, shelling by Russian forces struck several areas in eastern and southern Ukraine overnight, officials were quoted as saying by The Associated Press on Sunday.

The Institute for the Study of War said Russian forces were digging in the freed city of Kherson in southern Ukraine and continued "routine artillery fire" across the Dnipro River.

On a separate note, Ukraine's state electricity operator, Ukrenergo, said yesterday that electricity producers are now supplying about 80 percent of demand, up from Saturday's 75 percent. 

This comes at a time when snow fell in the capital of Kyiv, increasing demands for energy.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that there were restrictions on the use of electricity in 14 out 27 regions, affecting more than 100,000 customers in each region.

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Twitter's New User Sign-Ups, Active User Minutes Hit All-Time High, Claims Musk

Elon Musk, new owner of Twitter, announced that new user sign-ups to the platform had hit a record high, averaging more than two million people per day in the week prior to November 16 and up 66 percent from the same week in 2021.

User active minutes also reached an all-time high, averaging nearly 8 billion active minutes per day for the week to November 15, an increase of 30 percent compared with the same week last year.

On Friday, Musk announced some planned changes to the authentication mark system, with gold, gray and blue categories depending on the user due to be rolled out within a week.

Earlier this month, Musk fired 3,700 employees, or around half of Twitter's formerly 7,500 staff, citing a drop in ad revenues, while an additional 1,000 Twitter employees were reported to have later resigned of their own accord, leaving the company with around 2,700 employees. 

Musk bought the social media giant for $44 billion in October. 

UK to Fine Social Media Firms Over Self-Harm Content

The British government said yesterday that it would criminalize the encouragement of online self-harm in an update to the long-awaited Online Safety Bill when the legislation returns to the parliament next month.

While encouraging suicide is already illegal, the digital, culture, media and sport ministry said in a statement that it would require social media companies to block online self-harm material.

"Social media firms can no longer remain silent bystanders ... and they'll face fines for allowing this abusive and destructive behaviour to continue on their platforms under our laws," Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan said.

The amendment follows the recent inquest into the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, who committed suicide in 2017 after viewing online content that encouraged self-harm and suicide.

Further details about the criminal penalties will be disclosed next month when the bill, which was first introduced to parliament in 2021, returns to the body for discussion.

Earlier this week, the government announced that the new legislation would also ban sharing sexually explicit images manipulated to resemble a person without their consent.

Rare Anti-Lockdown Protests in China Turn Into Calls for Xi to Step Down

Some of the protesters that have been demonstrating in China since Friday against the country's strict COVID-19 lockdown measures have turned their chants into calls for President Xi Jinping to step down. 

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities, chanting "Xi Jinping, step down" and "Communist party, step down" in an unprecedented challenge to the Chinese government. 

This comes after many Chinese people blamed lockdown rules for the death of 10 residents in the western Xinjiang region who could not escape a fire that broke out at their building. Officials have denied that narrative. 

China maintains that its zero-COVID policy is necessary to prevent overwhelming the healthcare system, continuing to defend it despite its economic toll and growing pushback.


Morocco Stun Belgium, Spain Draw With Germany in World Cup

Morocco took a big step towards securing their place in the last 16 after claiming their first World Cup win in 24 years with a stunning 2-0 victory over Belgium.

Two substitutes scored late goals as Morocco overcame the world's second-ranked side in one of the tournament's biggest surprises so far.

Abdelhamid Sabiri put the North Africans ahead on 73 minutes before Zakaria Aboukhlal ensured the win in stoppage time as they secured their first World Cup win since beating Scotland 3-0 in the 1998 edition in France.

Morocco and Croatia are joint leaders of Group F with four points each, with Belgium third on three points. Bottom side Canada are eliminated following two straight losses.

In Group E, Germany kept alive their hopes of reaching the knockout stage after scoring a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw with leaders Spain.

Substitute Alvaro Morata opened the scoring in the 62nd minute but Germany striker Niclas Fullkrug, who also came on in the second half, secured a share of spoils seven minutes from time.

Spain top the group with four points, one ahead of Japan and Costa Rica and three clear of bottom side Germany.

Germany must beat Costa Rica in the final round and hope Japan do not beat Spain to stand a chance of advancing to the last 16.

Arab Markets
Egypt EGX30 13,009.48 +1.80%
KSA TASI 10,796.46 -1.30%
UAE ABU DHABI ADX 10,528.49 -0.06%
UAE DUBAI DFM 3,305.27 -0.60%
World Markets
US Dow Jones IA 34,347.03 +0.45%
NASDAQ-100 11,226.36 -0.52%
S&P 500 4,026.12 -0.03%
UK FTSE 100 7,486.67 +0.27%
Germany DAX 14,541.38 +0.01%
France CAC 40 6,712.48 +0.08%
Japan Nikkei 225 28,107.79 -0.62%
China HANG SENG INDEX 17,231.58 -1.95%
US Dollar 24.50 24.57
Euro 25.47 25.55
Sterling 29.63 29.73
Saudi Riyal 6.52 6.54
UAE Dirham 6.66 6.69
Kuwaiti Dinar 79.69 79.96
Swiss Franc 25.90 26.00
Oil Brent USD/bbl. 81.68 -2.33%
Wheat USD/bu.Mar 2020 786.00 -1.38%
Gold USD/t oz. 1,749.31 -0.32%
Gold Egypt LE/ oz. 1,749.38 -0.28%
Silver Egypt LE/ oz. 21.21 -0.32%

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