29 Nov 2022


Govt Revises Down Growth Target for FY2022/23 to 5%

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Planning Minister Hala Al-Saeed (courtesy of planning ministry on Facebook)

Planning Minister Hala Al-Saeed said the growth rate of the Egyptian economy is forecast to reach 5 percent during the current 2022/2023 fiscal year, revising down a previous projection of 5.5 percent.

The Egyptian economy recorded 6.6 percent growth in the elapsed 2021/2022 fiscal year, which ended in June, up from 3.3 percent in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

Al-Saeed added that during the first quarter of the current financial year, the Egyptian economy hit a growth rate of 4.4 percent despite the negative repressions of the pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, as well as the unfavorable effects of climate change.

This came during a meeting headed by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to review the preliminary economic indicators.

In October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its forecast for Egypt's economic growth in the fiscal year 2022/2023 to 4.4 percent, down from July's projection of 4.8 percent.


Economics

Oil Prices Mixed as OPEC+ Reportedly Mull Output Cut

Oil markets showed mixed results yesterday yet pared earlier losses on the back of talks of a further output cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+).

Brent crude dipped 44 cents, or 0.5 percent, to end at $83.19 per barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 96 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $77.24 per barrel.

Earlier in the session, Brent touched its lowest since January 4, while WTI hit its lowest since December 2021.

"The word on the street is there's rumor that OPEC+ is already starting to float the idea of a production cut on Sunday," Matt Smith, lead oil analyst at Kpler, was quoted as saying by Reuters. "That's helped reverse losses that were caused overnight by Chinese protests."

OPEC+ will hold its next ministerial meeting on Sunday.

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CBE Mulls Issuing Saving Programs for Egyptian Expats, Other Options to Boost FX Liquidity: Report

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is considering issuing dollar-denominated saving programs for Egyptians working abroad in attempt to boost the state's hard currency resources, Asharq Business reported yesterday, citing five banks' heads who attended the meeting.

The cental bank is also mulling obliging tourism facilities and hotels to deposit their revenues in foreign currency with local banks in return for service and funding incentives.

This comes as CBE Governor Hassan Abdalla met on Sunday with the heads of national banks to study a plan to attract hard currency to strengthen foreign liquidity.

The proposed ideas also included easing banks' regulatory requirements for customers upon making foreign deposits, in addition to mulling the use of dollar derivatives.

Egypt's net foreign reserves saw a second consecutive monthly increase in October, hitting $33.411 billion, up by nearly $214 million from September's $33.198 billion.

Stock Market

Egypt's New Commodities Exchange Considers Listing 10 New Products: Official

Egypt's Commodities Exchange (EGYCOMEX) eyes offering ten food and non-food products, including eggs, poultry, rice, iron, gold and petrochemicals in the near future, Ibrahim Ashmawy, the head of the new body and the chairman of the Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA) told Asharq business yesterday.

On Sunday, EGYCOMEX's first day of trading kicked off, as the country's grain buyer, the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), offered 12,000 tonnes of imported Russian wheat for sale to private sector mills at a price of EGP 9,750 ($396.79) per tonne.

The number of purchase orders registered on the EGYCOMEX reached 28, with a total quantity of 19,779.98 tonnes of wheat, an increase of 64.83 percent from the total amount offered by the GASC.

One of the goals of EGYCOMEX is to stabilize the prices of the traded commodities and to boost the strategic stock of goods.

EGX30 Down 0.71%

Egypt's blue-chip EGX30 index fell 0.71 percent to close at 12,917.22 points on Monday, following two consecutive sessions of gains.

The index's turnover was EGP 1.01 billion ($41.11 million), and its heaviest constituent, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), lost 0.75 percent to EGP 38.31.

Top performers were Qalaa Holdings, which climbed 2.18 percent to EGP 1.45 ($0.1); the dollar-denominated shares of Egypt Kuwait Holding (EKH), which added 2.09 percent to $1.22; and Abu Qir Fertilizers, which rose 1.34 percent to EGP 32.50.

Lagging stocks included Talaat Moustafa Group, which fell 3.42 percent to EGP 8.48 ($0.35); Heliopolis for Housing and Development, which shed 2.58 percent to EGP 6.03; and Juhayna Food Industries, which lost 2.30 percent to EGP 6.80.

The broader EGX70 EWI dropped 0.04 percent to close at 2,549.85 points.

Net purchases by Egyptian investors registered EGP 192.13 million ($7.82 million), while net sales by Arab and foreign investors came in at EGP 46.74 million and EGP 145.39 million, respectively.

Business

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(Courtesy of Swvl on LinkedIn)

Swvl to Lay Off 50% of Staff in Latest Headcount Reduction

Swvl is set to lay off 50 percent of its workforce in its latest headcount reduction as the company seeks to reduce costs and move toward profitability, the company said in a press release.

Swvl said that it would focus on its major revenue markets in Egypt and Mexico following reports that the company was shutting down its operations in Pakistan.

Swvl's shares are currently trading at around $0.40, down from their initial public offering (IPO) stock price of $9.95 per share. The company risks being delisted from NASDAQ if its stock continues to trade below $1.

Last week, many of Swvl's employees who had been let go posted on social media about what they described as the company's "second wave" of layoffs.

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

AAIB Names Tamer Waheed as CEO: Report

The Arab African International Bank (AAIB) has appointed Tamer Waheed as its new CEO, succeeding Sharif Elwi, who submitted his resignation, Al Mal reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Prior to his appointment, Waheed held the position of chief risk officer at the bank.

Egypt News

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(Courtesy of supply ministry on Facebook)

Egypt to Launch $2 Mn Silos Company

The Egyptian Holding Company for Silos and Storage (EHCSS) has signed an agreement with the General Company for Silos and Storage (GSSC) and the Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) to set up a company to establish and operate silos, with EGP 50 million ($2.04 million) in paid-up capital and EGP 500 million in authorized capital, EHCSS' Chairman Sherif Bassily said.

The new firm aims to establish, equip, manage, maintain, operate and rent silos, warehouses, hangars and customs and logistics areas, along with other activities, Supply Minister Ali Moselhy said yesterday.

It will also include outlets for selling and distributing goods, in addition to offering logistics services and storing grains, especially wheat.

The EHCSS will own a 45-percent stake in the company, while the ABE and GSSC will hold 40 percent and 15 percent, respectively, Bassily added.

Egypt to Launch Four-Day Vaccination Campaign Against Poliomyelitis on Dec 11

The Egyptian health ministry announced yesterday that it would launch a four-day campaign to vaccinate children against poliomyelitis free of charge, starting from December 11 until December 14.

The campaign aims to vaccinate both Egyptian and non-Egyptian children residing in the country as part of the ministry's efforts to keep Egypt polio-free, said Hossam Abdel-Gaffar, the ministry's spokesperson.

The vaccination will take place nationwide in the ministry's offices and health centers.

Medical units will also be set up in large squares, train and metro stations and bus stops, while medical personnel will be going door to door from 8am to 5pm.

Egypt's last polio national campaigns were implemented in March 2022.

Egypt has been declared a polio-free country since 2006, with the last case recorded in 2004.

Egypt Launches National Strategy to Rationalize Use of Antimicrobial Drugs

The Egyptian health ministry launched on Monday a three-phase national strategy to rationalize the use of antimicrobial drugs and address the threats of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) resulting from their excessive use, Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar announced at a press conference.

The first phase runs for three days and includes several workshops on the rationalization of antimicrobial agents, with the participation of 1,000 pharmacists at 227 public hospitals nationwide, the minister said.

The two-month second phase targets monitoring the use of antibiotics in hospitals and identifying the economic burden resulting from the excessive use of antimicrobials, while the final phase, which will measure the gains of applying the strategy, will extend for three to six months, he added.

The excessive use of antimicrobials causes bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites in the body to change over time, which renders antimicrobial medicines ineffective.

World

China to Ease Some COVID-19 Restrictions After Anti-Lockdown Protests

China is set to ease some COVID-19 restrictions after protests against the country's strict lockdown measures spread over the weekend.

Officials in Beijing said yesterday that they would stop blocking access to apartment compounds where infections are reported, while officials in the southern city of Guangzhou lifted mass testing requirements for some residents, citing limited resources, the Associated Press reported.

However, analysts argue that this does not amount to China abandoning its zero-COVID policy, which it has continued to defend despite the economic toll and growing pushback.

Police reportedly stopped and searched people yesterday at the sites of the weekend protests in Shanghai and Beijing, which witnessed unusual scenes of some protesters calling for President Xi Jinping to step down, according to Reuters.

The anger towards the government came as 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.

Over 300 Killed in Iran's Anti-Govt Protests

Over 300 people have been killed in the unrest around the anti-government protests in Iran that swept the country over the last two months, Iranian General Amir Ali Hajizadeh stated yesterday, giving the first official death toll.

Hajizadeh, the aerospace division commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, said that this figure includes non-protesters and "martyrs," in reference to security forces, according to a website close to the Guard.

This official toll is lower than the one given by US-based Human Rights Activists in Iran, which says that 451 protesters and 60 security forces have been killed.

The protests were triggered by the death of 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini while in morality police custody in mid-September.

They later turned into protests against the Iranian regime, representing one of the most serious demonstrations that the country has seen. 
Iran's government responded with force and accused the protesters of being rioters supported by foreign powers.

Apple Expects a Shortfall of 6 Mn iPhone Pro Models Amid Unrest at China Plant: Report

Apple may face a production shortfall of around 6 million iPhone 14 Pro units this year due to unrest at Foxconn's primary iPhone factory in Zhengzhou, China, Bloomberg reported yesterday, citing a person familiar with assembly operations.

Staff at the plant have protested food shortages, payment issues and quarantine policies, with thousands of workers fleeing the production complex last month and over 20,000 newly-hired workers leaving so far following protests against China's zero-COVID policy.

The estimate of production shortfall could change if lockdowns continue and will also depend on Foxconn's ability to get people back to assembly lines after protests, the source added.

Earlier this month, Apple warned it would cut its production target for the iPhone 14 models by 3 million units to 87 million devices, down from the planned 90 million units due to the COVID-19 lockdown at Foxconn.

Pentagon Mulling Cheap, Precision Strike Weapons by Boeing For Ukraine

The Pentagon is considering a proposal from Boeing to supply Ukraine with small, cheap, precision bombs mounted on plentiful missiles, allowing Kyiv to strike behind Russian lines as the West scrambles to meet the demand for more weapons.

Boeing's proposed system, dubbed Ground-Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), is one of about a half-dozen plans for getting new munitions into production for Ukraine and other Eastern European allies.

These bombs could be delivered as early as spring 2023, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has advised Ukrainians to wait out another brutal week of cold and darkness, anticipating more Russian attacks on infrastructure.

Russia has launched large-scale missile strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure almost every week since early October, spreading destruction as winter approaches.

Zelenskyy predicted that the attacks would not stop until Moscow run out of missiles.

Arab Markets
Egypt EGX30 12,917.22 -0.71%
KSA TASI 10,746.64 -0.46%
UAE ABU DHABI ADX 10,406.34 -1.16%
UAE DUBAI DFM 3,287.34 -0.54%
World Markets
US Dow Jones IA 33,849.46 -1.45%
NASDAQ-100 11,049.50 -1.58%
S&P 500 3,963.94 -1.54%
UK FTSE 100 7,474.02 -0.17%
Germany DAX 14,383.36 -1.09%
France CAC 40 6,665.20 -0.70%
Japan Nikkei 225 27,999.82 -0.58%
China HANG SENG INDEX 17,949.51 +3.77%
Currencies
US Dollar 24.52 24.59
Euro 25.66 25.74
Sterling 29.62 29.73
Saudi Riyal 6.52 6.54
UAE Dirham 6.67 6.69
Kuwaiti Dinar 79.76 80.03
Swiss Franc 25.97 26.06
Commodities
Oil Brent USD/bbl. 84.32 +1.36%
Wheat USD/bu.Mar 2020 784.25 +0.45%
Gold USD/t oz. 1,749.42 +0.46%
Gold Egypt LE/ oz. 1,749.25 -0.10%
Silver Egypt LE/ oz. 21.23 -0.20%

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