Ahmed A. Namatalla

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Latest by Ahmed A. Namatalla


Emaar Misr partners continue negotiation over ownership structure

Gabr: company looking for more development opportunities on Red Sea, area between Luxor and Aswan CAIRO: Negotiations over changing the ownership structure of Emaar Misr are ongoing and “all scenarios are open, Emaar Misr Chairman Shafik Gabr said Wednesday. Gabr declined to disclose the details of deliberations taking place between his company, Artoc Group, a …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Egypt and EU adopt Neighborhood Policy Action Plan

CAIRO: Egypt became the sixth Arab country on Tuesday to adopt an Action Plan in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, paving the way for the establishment of a free trade zone inclusive of the European Union and neighboring countries by 2010. A delegation of ministers headed by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit signed …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Metro Line 1 to undergo LE 1 billion upgrade

Metro Authority proposes combining phases 1 and 2 of Line 3 construction CAIRO: The Ministry of Transportation s Metro Authority (MA) has allocated LE 1 billion to modernize Metro Line 1, stretching from Helwan to El Marg, for upgrades scheduled until the end of 2008. According to a MA statement, most of the funds will …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Central Bank announces non-performing loan settlement program

13,000 borrowers owed LE 1.5 billion to public banks at the end of 2006 CAIRO: Central Bank Governor Farouk El Okdah announced Monday the launch of a program to settle the non-performing loans of 13,000 borrowers amounting to LE 1.5 billion by June, 2007. According to the plan, borrowers with less than LE 500,000 in …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Government to buy 40 more GE engines to upgrade railways

Mansour: passengers to feel improvements in 24 months CAIRO: Minister of Transportation Mohamed Mansour announced his office is preparing to order 40 more General Electric (GE) locomotives within March to help modernize the country s ailing railroad system. Mansour said the ministry has decided against ordering from two Chinese manufacturers because of its lack of …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Global Integrity report ranks Egypt low on fighting corruption

CAIRO: Global Integrity, a Washington D.C.-based organization, ranked Egypt No. 34 out of 43 countries in its annual corruption and governance report for 2006. With a score of 57 out of 100, Egypt s anti-corruption policies ranked very weak, well behind Israel and South Africa, with scores of 83 and 81, respectively, and ahead of …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Three mortgage finance companies to enter market this year

Saleh: lending to reach LE 2.5 billion by year end CAIRO: Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) Chairman Osama Saleh said Monday his office is looking to license three more mortgage finance companies by the end of the year, bring the number of specialized lending institutions to seven. Mortgage financing is now available through three companies that …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Egyptian shares fall sharply during global sell-off

CAIRO: The Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (Case) 30 Index declined by 253 points Wednesday, one day after global markets plunged beginning with the Shanghai Composite Index’s 8.8 percent drop on Tuesday. The Case 30 Index closed at 7165, down 3.4 percent with cement and steel stocks among the hardest hit on Tuesday’s Ministry of …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Government imposes export duties on cement and steel

Analyst: decision represents setback to economic reform program CAIRO: The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced late Tuesday the imposition of export taxes on the cement and steel sectors to control inflation in local market prices. According to Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid s decree, cement exports will be subject to a duty of LE …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Minister of Finance urges patience with economic reform program

Ghali announces major reform to eliminate bureaucracy in coming months CAIRO: Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros Ghali defended the government s ongoing economic reform program Tuesday, saying some outcomes are already becoming visible. Speaking at the Amercian Chamber of Commerce, Ghali acknowledged a larger trade deficit, increasing public debt and a growing gap between the …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Government to float 20 percent of EgyptAir on the Case by end of year

Shafiq: private sector partnership sought for expansion CAIRO: Minister of Civil Aviation Ahmed Shafiq announced Sunday preparations are underway to float 20 percent of Egypt Air on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange later this year. If successful, the company could raise an estimated LE 5 billion to be used for fleet expansion. Egypt Air …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Cimpor offers LE 2.4 billion to buy Misr Cement Qena

MCQ share price surges near LE 82 on news, heavy trading CAIRO: Cimpor Inversiones SA increased its offer to buy 100 percent of Misr Cement Qena (MCQ) to LE 80 per share Monday, surpassing the offer made late last week by Arab Swiss Engineering Company (Asec) by LE 5 per share. Cimpor s offer was …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Government stake in Bank of Alexandria nears IPO

Moheiddin: IPO timing dependent on appropriateness of market conditions CAIRO: The Ministry of Investment (MOI) issued an announcement Saturday inviting investment banks to submit proposals for the initial public offering (IPO) of 15 percent of the Bank of Alexandria (BOA), or 24 million shares. The deadline for submission is March 1. A MOI official declined …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

BUSINESS RECAP: Government to settle public company debt by mid-2008

CAIRO: Minister of Investment (MOI) Mahmoud Moheiddin announced Saturday the government plans to settle LE 10 million in remaining public company debt by June, 2008. About LE 2.5 billion of the remaining debt is owed by textile producers, according to MOI. Public company debt had reached LE 31.5 billion in June, 2004, of which LE …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Egypt Air launches online booking, evens local and foreign pricing

Pricing official: domestic prices to fall by 20 percent with Expresslaunch in June CAIRO: Egypt Air announced Thursday the official launch of its online portal for booking travel and tracking cargo shipments. Due to service initiation, Egyptian and foreigner ticket pricing for domestic destinations has been unified resulting in a 10 percent average increase for …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

National Cement Company reports modest bottom line growth

Government maintains NCC not for sale CAIRO: The National Cement Company (NCC) released partial H2, 2006 results Wednesday showing net income reached LE 151.2 million. The figure represents a 36 percent increase over the LE 111 million in net income recorded in H2, 2005, after deducting LE 97 million in extraordinary revenues. The 95 percent …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Inflation rate stabilizes in January at 12.4 percent

Monetary Policy Committee, analysts show careful optimism CAIRO: The annual inflation rate stood at 12.4 percent in January, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (Capmas) announced Wednesday. The figure breaks a nine-month streak of increases that saw the rate rise from the 3 percent mark into double digits on the back of fuel …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

UAE's Amlak enters Egyptian mortgage financing market

LE 500 million capital venture to provide ‘Sharia-compliant’ financing CAIRO: An Egyptian-Gulf consortium led by the United Arab Emirates Amlak Finance (AF) has been licensed as the fourth mortgage finance company, the Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA) announced late Monday. Amlak Finance and Real Estate Investments is due to open its Cairo office this month with …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Government scrambles to protect recovering poultry industry

Slight mutation to Avian Flu virus discovered in 13th fatality CAIRO: Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza said Saturday a joint government-private sector task force has developed a strategy to fight the spread of the Avian Flu virus and protect the poultry industry. Abaza s comments followed Friday s announcement of the 13th Avian Flu-induced death, …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Asec offers to buy Misr Cement Qena for LE 2.25 billion

MCQ transactions still under investigation, shares holding above LE 71 mark CAIRO: Arab Swiss Engineering Company (Asec) submitted an offer Sunday to acquire 100 percent of Misr Cement Qena (MCQ) at LE 75 per share, or a total deal value of LE 2.25 billion. The Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced the broad lines of the …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Business Recap: Government launches tender offers for 2210 PPP schools around Egypt

CAIRO: The Ministers of Education, Finance and Investment issued a joint announcement Wednesday for the construction and maintenance of 2210 schools to be built throughout the country, in an attempt to reactivate the dormant public-private partnership (PPP) system in executing basic infrastructure projects. The value of the government s school initiative is estimated at LE …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

People's Assembly approves LE 214 million World Bank loan

CAIRO: The People s Assembly Housing Committee has approved a LE 214 million loan from the World Bank to be pumped into the country s relatively infant mortgage financing industry. According to the Ministry of Finance, the government will make the funds available to primary lending institutions represented in the four established mortgage finance companies. …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

General Electric signs $120 million locomotives deal with government

CAIRO: Minister of Transportation Mohamed Mansour announced the ministry has secured the first order for 40 railway locomotives from General Electric (GE) in a deal worth $120 million (LE 680 million). Despite the relatively small size of the order, Mansour said delivery will begin in September 2008, and continue at a rate of 10 locomotives …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Spanish company Cimpor offers LE 2 billion for Misr Cement Qena

MCQ shares up 30 percent in one week on rumors of possible offer CAIRO: Spain-based Cimpor Inversiones SA announced late Sunday it is looking to buy 100 percent of Misr Cement Qena (MCQ) in a deal that could surpass LE 2 billion. Cimpor s offer was posted on the Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange website …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

NTRA threatens legal action against Mobinil over Edge use

CAIRO: National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Chairman Amr Badawy said Sunday the authority is considering suing the country s largest mobile operator Mobinil if the company resumes offering Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (Edge) technology without acquiring a 3rd Generation license. Badawy s comments came in response to Mobinil s announcement late last week of …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Ministry of Finance drafts public-private partnership law

MOF expects strong public resistance to unfamiliar policy CAIRO: The Ministry of Finance (MOF) is preparing new legislation to govern the relationship between the government and the private sector in future public-private partnership (PPP) projects to be offered, Ranya Zayed, MOF Public-Private Partnership Unit director said Wednesday. The law, to be raised to the People …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Business recap: Producers to hike cheese prices by up to 15 percent

CAIRO: Dairy producers announced plans last week to raise cheese prices by 12 to 15 percent over the next six months to keep up with inflation in other sectors. Mohamed Kamel, sector head at the Food Industries Division (FID) of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, said rising costs in parallel sectors has made it impossible …

Ahmed A. Namatalla

Telecoms dominate Cairo ICT 2007 trade show

Egypt pushes back network launch date one month says Emirates Telecommunications Company CAIRO: Etisalat Egypt, the country s new third mobile network operator, has pushed back its operation launch date to the end of March, Mohamed Omran, Emirates Telecommunications Company (ETC) CEO said at Cairo ICT. The conference wrapped up its four day schedule Tuesday. …

Ahmed A. Namatalla