CAIRO: Etisalat Egypt, the third mobile license winner, has pushed back its market entrance date originally slated for the end of February and put off until the end of this month.
Speaking in London, Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) Tarek Kamel said he expected the company to initiate its services in the second half of May. Kamel did not cite the reasons for the delay.
Etisalat Egypt officials have yet to release a certain start date or comment on the delay in starting their services until May.
Sherif Genina, National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) vice chairman, said Etisalat has not yet informed the authority of a firm start date. He added the company has faced problems in installing its network towers because of public resistance.
Public concern has risen steadily in the past two years over the health risks associated with telecommunication tower construction in close proximity to residential areas. But MCIT maintains the electronic signals sent from the towers are too weak to pose health risks and allows mobile operators to freely place them throughout the country as long as they adhere to government guidelines regarding signal strength, tower height and distance from local residents.
Emaar Egypt posts first year profit, downplays imminent takeover
Emaar Egypt reported last week it has achieved LE 3.9 million in net income in its first year of operation. In a statement, the company said its general assembly convened for its first ordinary meeting which brought in representatives from Emaar Properties, the current 40 percent stake-holder.
Despite the Ministry of Investment’s announcement a deal has been reached for Artoc Group, the current 60 percent shareholder, to sell its stake to Emaar Properties by March 27, Artoc Spokesman Laila Shaker declined to confirm the development.
In a statement, Shaker would only reveal “positive negotiations between both sides are still “ongoing.
Speaking to the People’s Assembly Economic Committee earlier in the month, Minister of Investment Mahmoud Moheiddin said the government will follow the development of Emaar’s undertaken projects in Sidi Abdel Rahman and El Mokattam. and take the “necessary measures on March 28 to “protect the interests of the state and investment in Egypt should the conflict between the Emaar Misr partners hinder the project s implementation.
Government to reinstate customs on poultry imports
A customs duty exemption on poultry imports implemented since September, 2006 will not be renewed when it expires at the end of this month, Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza said Wednesday.
The exemption, put into effect via Prime Minister’s Office decree, was renewed in December to the loud objections of local producers. It aimed to counter inflation in local prices resulting from the government’s bird flu fighting efforts.
After the first appearance of the virus in February 2006, the government rounded up and culled an estimated 30 million chickens, causing chicken and egg prices to double by May.
According to the Egyptian Poultry Producers Association, national production has now reached the 2 million chickens per day mark. While still short of the pre-Avian Flu level of 2.5 million, the production satisfies local consumption. Still primary export markets in the Gulf Region have yet to withdraw their bans on Egyptian poultry for fear of contracting the virus.