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News In Brief February 20, 2008 - Daily News Egypt

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News In Brief February 20, 2008

Orascom Telecom in talks for $2.5 bln loan Reuters reported that Orascom Telecom, the fourth-biggest Arab mobile operator by market value, is in talks with 12 banks to arrange a $2.5 billion syndicated loan that will refinance its existing debt, banking sources said on Monday. The 12 banks expected to be appointed to lead the …


Orascom Telecom in talks for $2.5 bln loan

Reuters reported that Orascom Telecom, the fourth-biggest Arab mobile operator by market value, is in talks with 12 banks to arrange a $2.5 billion syndicated loan that will refinance its existing debt, banking sources said on Monday. The 12 banks expected to be appointed to lead the deal are Banque Misr, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Calyon, HSBC, ING, JP Morgan, Mashreq Bank, National Bank of Egypt, Standard Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and WestLB.

Proceeds will be used to refinance the borrower s $2.56 billion loan signed in 2006 and paid a margin of 275 basis points over LIBOR. -Agencies

Al-Alamein set to becomes resort site

Bloomberg reported that billionaire Ibrahim Kamel plans to build a $500 million seaside resort near the World War II battlefield of Al-Alamein.

Kamel s Kato Group will construct 4,000 hotel rooms, a golf course, mall and entertainment complex in Ghazala Bay on the Mediterranean within five years, he said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Kamel, who is also chairman of Egypt s second-largest publicly traded hotel company, built a $45 million airport at Al-Alamein, a few kilometers from the resort, in 2005.

Emaar Properties, the biggest publicly traded real-estate developer in the Middle East, is investing $1.7 billion in a resort a few miles from the Kamel site.

Egypt received 9.7 million tourists in the first 10 months of 2007, an increase of 13 percent on the same period, according to the tourist ministry.

Kato is building the resort in Ghazala to cut travel time for tourists from Europe. The battlefield at Al-Alamein is where the Allies defeated General Irwin Rommel s Afrika Korps in 1942, reversing a German drive on the Suez Canal.

Kamel, a former academic and a senior member of the country s ruling National Democratic Party, is chairman of Egyptian for Tourism Resorts. His Kato Group has investments in the leisure and agriculture industries. -Bloomberg

Government demands inflation action

The Egyptian government is telling the central bank that it wants to see inflation fall back to the 6 percent to 8 percent range, after it jumped to 10.5 percent in the year to the end of January, the prime minister said on Monday.

Reuters reported that Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif told the upper house of parliament that this was the government s aim in consultations with the central bank, which controls monetary policy at committee meetings held every six weeks.

Nazif s talking points for his presentation mentioned raising interest rates as one of the ways to achieve the inflation target but his spokesman said the government was not telling the central bank what to do.

We would like inflation at between 6 percent and 8 percent. The central bank will play with its tools, and interest rates are one of its tools, said spokesman Magdy Rady.

Urban inflation jumped in the year to January from 6.9 percent in the year to December 2007 because of a sudden increase in food prices. -Agencies

Korean industrial zone in Egypt

Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid and Chairman of South Korean International Trade Association Hee-Beom Lee discussed Sunday the establishment of a South Korean industrial zone in Egypt.

The two sides also talked about means of boosting bilateral trade and joint investments.

Following the meeting, Rachid said means of enhancing cooperation in the fields of pharmaceutical industries, tourism, information technology and infrastructure were also considered.

Egypt welcomed the South Korean initiative to set up a Middle East-South Korean association aiming to encourage cooperation between Korea and the region s countries in all economic and cultural fields, Rachid added. -SIS

LE 26.5 mln for Egyptian-Sudanese development projects

Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Mahmoud Abu-Zeid signed Sunday with his southern Sudanese counterpart Joseph Duer Jakok a memorandum of understanding to establish joint projects with an Egyptian grant worth LE 26.5 million.

Egypt will send experts in the water resources field to southern Sudan to discuss its needs in the water technology domain, said Abu-Zeid. The Sudanese side will also benefit from their expertise in managing water resources, he noted.

Ten scholarships will be provided to train Sudanese cadres in the water technology sphere at the Cairo Training Center, he said. -SIS

Pharmaceutical industry meets in Cairo

SCHOTT and distributor MYMSA will be holding a symposium for the pharmaceutical industry in Egypt on March 18. SCHOTT-Rohrglas, a supplier of special glass tubing, has invited guest speakers from Cairo University’s faculty of pharmacy as well as Bosch Packaging, according to a press statement.

The use of glass tubing for high-quality primary pharmaceutical packaging will be the main focus at the event, which will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Cairo.

During this symposium, the managers from the pharmaceutical industry as well as the converters of glass tubing will learn more about the unique qualities of special glass, the tubing process and processing of pharmaceutical packaging solutions, explains Juergen Achatz, general manager of sales for pharmaceutical tubing at SCHOTT-Rohrglas in Germany.

We want to sensitize them to consider the quality of pharmaceutical packaging solutions along the whole production process – from its source to the end-customer, he notes.

Topics: FJP

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