01 Dec 2022


UAE's AMEA Power Seals $1.1 Bn Deals to Build Renewable Power Stations in Egypt

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(Courtesy of Egyptian cabinet on Facebook)

UAE-based AMEA Power has closed deals with the Egyptian government worth $1.1 billion in investments to establish two 1,000-MW renewable power stations -- 500 MW each -- in Egypt to boost the country's reliance on renewables, the cabinet stated yesterday.

AMEA Power will build, own and operate the stations, one of which will be a solar power plant in Aswan's Kom Ombo with investments of up to $500 million, Chairman of AMEA Power Hussain AlNowais said.

The other is a wind power farm that will be located in the Red Sea's Ras Ghareb with investments of up to $800 million, he added.

The first project will be financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The second project, to be developed in partnership with Sumitomo Corporation, will be funded by a consortium of international banks. Sumitomo will own 40 percent of the project.

Construction of both projects is due to start in December 2022, with the solar plant expected to be completed after 18 months and the wind farm after 30 months.

"We are proud to reach this significant milestone and to be supporting Egypt in its energy transition journey and drive to accelerate sustainable development," Al Nowais said.

AlNowais added that the projects would secure clean energy for over 687,000 Egyptian families and reduce up to 2.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions yearly.


Economics

Eurozone Inflation Eases Slightly for First Time in 17 Months

Annual inflation in the eurozone eased slightly in November, dropping to 10 percent from a record 10.6 percent in October, marking its first decrease in 17 months, according to preliminary data from Eurostat, the European Union's (EU) statistics body.

Energy prices, a primary driver of inflation over the past months, rose by 35 percent last month, at a lower rate than October's 42 percent.

Food prices, however, continued their upward surge, rising 13.6 percent in November from 13.1 percent in October, including alcohol and tobacco prices.

"The fact that we're seeing that these numbers are lower than most of us were expecting, that's good news," Bert Colijn, an economist at Dutch financial services group ING, was quoted as saying by CNN.

Oil Prices Gain as US Inventories Drop

Oil prices rose yesterday as US government data for the previous week showed a drop in crude inventories.

Brent crude futures climbed $2.40, or 2.8 percent, to settle at $85.43 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude increased $2.35, or 3.01 percent, to settle at $80.55.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that crude inventories fell by 12.6 million barrels in the week to November 25 to 419.1 million barrels.

On the other hand, gasoline stocks rose by 2.8 million barrels in the week to 213.8 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles increased by 3.5 million barrels to 112.6 million barrels, the EIA added.

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Egypt's Manufacturing, Extractive Industries' Index Drops 1.81% MoM in September

The manufacturing and extractive industries production index, excluding crude oil and petroleum products, registered a 1.81-percent month-on-month decrease in September 2022 to 115.58, compared with 117.71 in August 2022, according to primary data released by CAPMAS on Wednesday.

The index for the manufacture of computers, electronic and optical products and medical devices reached 111.14 during September 2022 compared with 106.06 in August 2022, an increase of 4.79 percent.

The index for the manufacture of electrical appliances reached 126.26 during September 2022, compared with 135.31 in August 2022, a decrease of 6.69 percent, due to the suspension of imports from abroad.

Stock Market

EGX30 Up 0.57%

Egypt's blue-chip EGX30 index climbed 0.57 percent on Wednesday to close at 13,259.26 points, stretching gains for a second straight session.

The index's turnover was EGP 2.49 billion ($101.43 million), and its heaviest constituent, the Commercial International Bank (CIB), added 0.53 percent to EGP 40.05.

Top performers included EFG Hermes, which gained 5.82 percent to EGP 15.10 ($0.62); e-finance, which went up 4.14 percent to EGP 17.88; and Orascom Construction, which rose 3.90 percent to EGP 81.85.

Lagging stocks included Eastern Company, which dipped 7.12 percent to EGP 12.91 ($0.53); Ibnsina Pharma, which fell 2.26 percent to EGP 1.94; and Palm Hills Development Company, which lost 2.18 percent to EGP 1.71.

The broader EGX70 EWI shed 0.32 percent to close at 2,583.12 points.

Net purchases by Egyptian and Arab investors registered EGP 208.46 million ($8.49 million) and EGP 237.27 million, respectively, while net sales by foreign investors came in at EGP 445.73 million.

Business

Ryanair Eyes Operating Flights to Egypt, Libya for First Time: CEO

Irish budget airline Ryanair is in talks with Egyptian and Libyan authorities about operating flights to the countries for the first time, CEO Michael O'Leary said on Tuesday.

"We're talking to the Egyptians, the Libyans," O'Leary told a Eurocontrol event, without providing more details.

Outside Europe, the continent's largest low fares airline by passenger numbers only operates flights to and from Morocco, Israel and Jordan.

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(Courtesy of Abu Auf on Facebook)

UAE's Agthia Finalizes Acquisition of 60% Stake in Egypt's Abu Auf

UAE-listed food and beverage group Agthia has completed a purchase of 60 percent of Egyptian snack maker Abu Auf, according to a press release.

The move is part of Agthia's plans to strengthen its presence in the Egyptian market, it said.

"The acquisition enhances Agthia's footprint in the attractive Egyptian snacking market, which is forecast to grow from around AED 8.7 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2020 to around AED 11.2 billion ($3.05 billion) by the end of 2024, according to Euromonitor," the press release read.

Established in 2010, Auf Group manufactures, retails and distributes a broad portfolio of products across Egypt, including coffee, nuts and healthy snacks.

Auf Group's founders will retain a combined stake of 30 percent and continue to lead the company with the full backing of Agthia's regional footprint and operational support, Agthia said.

In April, Abu Auf said it would postpone its initial public offering (IPO) on the Egyptian Exchange to the third or fourth quarter of this year, citing volatile economic conditions.

GSK Egypt Sees Surge in Consolidated Profits in 9M 2022

GlaxoSmithKline Egypt's (GSK Egypt) consolidated net profits after tax and non-controlling interests skyrocketed by over 1,200 percent annually during the first nine months of 2022 to EGP 920.22 million ($37.48 million) from EGP 70.13 million, according to a bourse disclosure yesterday.

Net sales jumped to EGP 1.16 billion ($47.35 million) from EGP 630.7 million.

Last month, the pharmaceutical company revealed that its standalone net profits in the January-September period rose 934.8 percent year on year to EGP 929.74 million ($37.87 million).

CIRA's Profits Rise 20% YoY in FY2021/22

Cairo for Investment and Real Estate Development's (CIRA) net profits after tax and minority interest rose 20.2 percent year on year during its 2021/2022 fiscal year to reach EGP 370.77 million ($15.1 million), up from EGP 308.57 million, according to a bourse filing yesterday.

Revenues during the firm's 2021/2022 fiscal year, which ended on August 31, reached EGP 1.72 billion ($70.07 million), compared with EGP 1.39 billion a year earlier.

CIRA's standalone net profits grew to EGP 307.48 million ($12.53 million) from EGP 148.22 million.

Egypt News

Cabinet Approves Final Draft of State Ownership Policy Document

The Egyptian cabinet approved yesterday the final draft of the state ownership policy document in preparation for submitting it to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for ratification.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the primary objective of the document is to establish a clear and specific framework that regulates the relationship between the state and the private sector across various economic activities.

The document is the product of three months of negotiations to draw a roadmap for large-scale privatization of the economy.

It allows for the management of state-owned assets in a way that improves the investment climate in Egypt and gives an integrated picture of the state's presence in economic sectors and activities during the coming years.

The document was first introduced in May by Madbouly to double the private sector's participation in the economy to 65 percent over the next three years and to raise $40 billion in investment by 2026.

In April, El-Sisi called for launching a four-year program that encourages the private sector's participation in state-owned assets, with a target of $10 billion annually.

50-MW Solar Farm Project in Aswan Scraped: Report

The Egyptian New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) has canceled a 50-MW solar power farm project in Aswan, worth $50 million in investments, to trim the government's financial burdens, Asharq Business reported yesterday citing three sources familiar with the matter.

The project was set to be funded in cooperation with Kuwait's Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD).

The cancelation would save the authority from enduring accumulated financial burdens while already dealing with several others, one source said.

Egypt, Greece Carry Out Joint Air Exercise MENA-II

The Egyptian and Greek air forces carried out the joint air training MENA-II with the participation of multi-role fighter aircraft from both sides at an Egyptian air base, Egypt's Military Spokesman Gharib Abdel-Hafez stated on Wednesday.

The training included several theoretical lectures to refine skills, carrying out joint air sorties to train in attacking hostile targets and defending vital targets.

The drill comes within the framework of strengthening military relations with friendly countries.

World

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(Courtesy of Hakeem Jeffries on Facebook)

Hakeem Jeffries Becomes First Black Lawmaker to Lead Major Party in Congress

House Democrats elected on Wednesday Hakeem Jeffries as the next leader of the Democratic Caucus, succeeding Nancy Pelosi and becoming the first black lawmaker to head a major political party in Congress.

Republicans have won the majority in the next Congress, so the trio of Jeffries, Katherine Clark as the Democratic whip and Pete Aguilar as caucus chairman will lead in a Democratic minority, the first in two terms.

Two weeks ago, Pelosi announced that she would not seek a leadership position in the new Congress after the country's midterm elections, ending a historic run as the first woman to lead the chamber.

She will remain in Congress as a representative for San Francisco, a position she has held for 35 years.

The Democrats lost control over the House to the Republicans in the midterm elections earlier this month, yet managed to keep their narrow majority in the Senate.

IS Leader Killed

Islamic State (IS) group's leader Abu Al-Hassan Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi was killed in battle recently, IS' Spokesperson Abu Omar Al-Muhajir said in an audio message released yesterday.

Al-Muhajir did not provide details about who killed him or where. The group announced Abu Al-Husain Al-Husaini Al-Qurashi as his successor. 

In February, another IS leader, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Qurashi, died after detonating a bomb, killing himself and his family during an overnight US raid on his home in northwest Syria.

Abu Al-Hassan is the third leader to be killed since founder Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was killed during a US military raid in northwest Syria's Idlib province in October 2019.

EU Seeks Tribunal to Probe Possible Russian War Crimes in Ukraine

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the European Union (EU) would try to set up a specialized court, backed by the United Nations (UN), to investigate and prosecute war crimes Russia might have committed in Ukraine.

Von der Leyen said in a video message that the EU would work with international partners to get "the broadest international support possible" for the tribunal while continuing to support the work of the International Criminal Court.

"Under certain conditions, an ad hoc international tribunal for the crime of aggression may allow for the prosecution of the top Russian leaders who would otherwise enjoy immunity," the commission wrote in a legal analysis.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had directed his anger and fire toward Ukraine's civilians and infrastructure over the past weeks, describing this behavior as "barbaric."

"Russia has bombed out more than a third of Ukraine's energy system. Plunging millions into cold, into darkness as frigid temperatures set in heat, water and electricity for children, for the elderly and for the sick. These are President Putin's new targets. He's hitting them hard," he said yesterday during a press conference on the sidelines of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) foreign ministers' meeting.

Also, Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said in remarks that the alliance will hold talks with Moldova, Georgia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which are "facing pressure from Russia."

"We will take further steps to help them protect their independence and enhance their ability to defend themselves," he added, noting that it was in NATO's interest to ensure their safety.

In addition, former Russian president and Putin's aid Dmitry Medvedev warned NATO against supplying Ukraine with Patriot missile defense systems, denouncing the alliance as a "criminal entity" for supplying what he called "extremist regimes" with weapons.

"If, as [NATO Secretary-General Jens] Stoltenberg hinted, NATO were to supply the Ukrainian fanatics with Patriot systems along with NATO personnel, they would immediately become a legitimate target of our armed forces," Medvedev wrote on Telegram.

On a separate note, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that Moscow will focus particularly on building infrastructure related to its nuclear force in 2023, Russian state media reported.

More Chinese Cities Ease COVID-19 Restrictions After Anti-Lockdown Protests

More Chinese cities began to ease COVID-19 restrictions yesterday after rare protests against the country's strict public health measures.

These cities include southwestern Chongqing and southern Guangzhou, where protesters clashed with the police on Tuesday.

Zhengzhou, the site of a Foxconn factory making Apple iPhones, also announced the "orderly" resumption of businesses.

However, this limited lifting of restrictions does not amount to China abandoning its signature zero-COVID policy, which it continues to defend as necessary for saving lives, analysts argue.

Chinese authorities have also been reportedly identifying and questioning protesters.

Between Saturday and Monday, at least 27 protests were recorded, according to the US government-funded China Dissent Monitor. Some protesters called for President Xi Jinping to step down in an unprecedented challenge to the Chinese government.

In other news, former Chinese president Jiang Zemin, who led the country during a period of rapid economic growth between 1993 and 2003, passed away yesterday aged 96, leaving some protesters with a sense of nostalgia and a potential rallying point.

Sports

Saudi Arabia, Tunisia Bow Out of World Cup

Saudi Arabia and Tunisia were eliminated at the World Cup group stage, leaving Morocco as the Arabs' only hope of making it through to the last 16.

Tunisia claimed a historic 1-0 win over reigning world champions France, thanks to a second-half strike from striker Wahbi Khazri, but it was not enough to lift them through.

They finished third in Group D with four points, two behind France and Australia.

Later on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia were outdone by a 2-1 loss to Mexico.

The Arab Gulf side, who kicked off their campaign with a shocking 2-1 comeback win over Argentina, needed to defeat Mexico to guarantee a spot in the last 16.

However, they were utterly outplayed as Mexico went 2-0 up early in the second half via strikes from Henry Martin and Luis Chavez.

Saudi Arabia's Salem Al Dawsari scored in stoppage time but it was too little, too late as they finished at the bottom of Group C with three points.
 
Leaders Argentina (six points) and second-placed Poland (four points) went through, with the latter pipping Mexico by goal difference.

Top Headlines of the Week

Arab Markets
Egypt EGX30 13,259.26 +0.57%
KSA TASI 10,896.91 +1.35%
UAE ABU DHABI ADX 10,552.37 +1.54%
UAE DUBAI DFM 3,323.96 +0.59%
World Markets
US Dow Jones IA 34,589.77 +2.18%
NASDAQ-100 11,468.00 +4.41%
S&P 500 4,080.11 +3.09%
UK FTSE 100 7,573.05 +0.81%
Germany DAX 14,397.04 +0.29%
France CAC 40 6,738.55 +1.04%
Japan Nikkei 225 28,281.04 +1.12%
China HANG SENG INDEX 18,816.03 +1.18%
Currencies
US Dollar 24.52 24.59
Euro 25.41 25.49
Sterling 29.43 29.53
Saudi Riyal 6.52 6.54
UAE Dirham 6.67 6.69
Kuwaiti Dinar 79.64 79.99
Swiss Franc 25.81 25.90
Commodities
Oil Brent USD/bbl. 85.43 +2.89%
Wheat USD/bu.Mar 2020 788.75 -0.85%
Gold USD/t oz. 1,776.67 +0.46%
Gold Egypt LE/ oz. 1,776.61 +1.58%
Silver Egypt LE/ oz. 22.3 +5.08%

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