Alex Dziadosz

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Latest by Alex Dziadosz


Egypt looks to capitalize on SMEs

CAIRO: A walk past the rows of repair shops and auto parts vendors that line the streets of Marouf, a neighborhood in downtown Cairo, is all it takes to tell that small business is central to the Egyptian economy. Now, as with most business, slowing consumption and tighter credit are making it harder for small …

Alex Dziadosz

'We need to improve quality of our leaders in gov't,' says Rachid

CAIRO: Officially, the theme was trade between Egypt and Germany. A German-Arab commerce group sponsored the talk. Yet there was relatively little mention of Germany. At a business lunch Tuesday, Trade Minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid outlined broad reforms for the Egyptian economy and fielded questions on topics as diverse as export subsidies, sales tax and …

Alex Dziadosz

Egypt bans cement exports as regulator investigates sector

CAIRO: The Ministry of Trade and Industry on Sunday announced it would ban cement exports for four months as competition regulators investigate the sector. Cement prices have risen in Egypt despite recent attempts to ease them. Explanations, officials and analysts conjecture, could include a relatively lively construction sector, a lack of cheap imports and anti-competitive …

Alex Dziadosz

As Gulf workers pour back into Egypt, worry and criticism mounts

CAIRO: Was the ritzy, superlative-laden allure of Dubai too good to be true? Ask Ismail Farid. Farid, 31, was working in the marketing branch of Coldwell Banker in the United Arab Emirates last November when he caught wind that his department’s staff, which had swollen from two to seven employees during boom times, was due …

Alex Dziadosz

Citadel subsidiary launches "distressed" SME fund

CAIRO: While it is billion-dollar deals that have garnered private equity managers their reputations as masters of the universe, not all of them are thinking quite so large. Sphinx Private Equity Management, a subsidiary of private equity firm Citadel Capital, announced Monday that they will launch a $100 million fund targeting troubled small and medium-size …

Alex Dziadosz

Wine in Egypt: for foreigners, by foreigners no longer?

CAIRO: Before it was swept up by the nationalist wave that brought Gamal Abdel Nasser to power, Egypt’s wine industry was run largely by khawagas – or, less colloquially, foreigners. In 1963, however, authorities nationalized Al-Ahram Beverages Company, Egypt’s chief winemaker and manufacturer of the ubiquitous Stella beer, and the khawagas slipped mostly out of …

Alex Dziadosz

Insurance firms push "micro-insurance" for poor and middle class

CAIRO: Arab Misr Insurance Group, a subsidiary of the Gulf Insurance Company of Kuwait, will begin to offer micro-insurance for Egypt’s poor and middle class within two months, pending the approval of Egyptian regulators, according to the company’s general manager Alaa El-Zoheiry. The insurance firm is currently drafting a budget for the project and will …

Alex Dziadosz

Conference emphasizes auto safety as key to insurance growth

CAIRO: Egypt’s still-nascent insurance market faces, among other challenges, poor highway safety, an outdated pension system and low awareness among the nation’s poor and middle class, according to panelists speaking at the Euromoney Egypt Insurance conference Tuesday. The one-day conference, sponsored by the British financial magazine Euromoney and featuring a range of private and public …

Alex Dziadosz

INTERVIEW: McDonald's Alaa Fathy on making fast food in Egypt

CAIRO: Across the Atlantic, fast food companies – or, in the industry’s preferred jargon, “quick service restaurants – have been among the few to find an upside to the global recession. Quarter-pounders and French fries fit into slimmer budgets better than filet mignon, for instance, and those in the industry are eager to point this …

Alex Dziadosz

INTERVIEW: Enmaa's Alaa Rady says crisis took away 'bubble effects'

CAIRO: Situated on the seventh floor of a Corniche-side building in Agouza, there is little to distinguish Enmaa Financial Service s office from the apartments next door – apart from a tiny plastic sign above the doorbell. The wealth consultancy describes itself as a boutique firm, and with just under a dozen staff, it s …

Alex Dziadosz

Job mobility, labor migration to rise, says World Bank report

CAIRO: The economic crisis may mean that protectionism is the order of the day for many nations, but outsourcing and immigration are nevertheless bound to rise, owing to advances in transport, communications and other technology, according to a World Bank report. In the short term, the economic crisis will likely slow down job mobility, said …

Alex Dziadosz

Rice export ban ends in October

CAIRO: By the time Egypt’s rice export ban is over, it will have lasted at least three times longer than was first announced. This week, the Ministry of Trade and Industry announced its ban on all types of rice will expire in October. The ministry last month said it would extend the ban, which was …

Alex Dziadosz

ANALYSIS: Chinese investment in Egypt to rise, Suez bids to be announced

CAIRO: The state will announce the winner of a bid to develop the Northwest Gulf of Suez Economic Zone in the next few days, according to local papers quoting the Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin and other officials speaking on Sunday. The announcement, coming at a forum for the China-Africa Development Fund, implied that Chinese …

Alex Dziadosz

BMI to get new aircraft to 'full' Egypt route

CAIRO: The British airline BMI is relatively new to the Middle East. After acquiring British Mediterranean, a franchise of their main competitor British Airways, in late 2007, the carrier has expanded into markets like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt. So far, it seems demand is high. Despite the decline of global trade and …

Alex Dziadosz

BREAKING NEWS: 25 injured in Ramses Street blaze

CAIRO: A fire broke out on Ramses Street near al-Is’af Square late Saturday afternoon, spewing plumes of acrid black smoke into the streets of downtown Cairo. Witnesses and emergency workers said the fire began between 3 pm and 4:30 pm due to an electrical short circuit in a tire storeroom within the building. As of …

Alex Dziadosz

Ten companies to introduce new fertilizer to Egypt

CAIRO: The Egyptian fertilizer industry, among this country’s least glamorous but most important, is about to become a bit more diverse. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif approved a batch of licenses this week, allowing 10 companies to produce diammonium phosphate (DAP) fertilizer. Total investments related to the approvals are expected to amount to LE 10 billion. …

Alex Dziadosz

Gold prices fluctuate with uncertain markets

CAIRO: When things look up, gold goes down. Since the economic crisis deepened last fall this has mostly held true, including this Tuesday when gold slipped below $900 per ounce, down from a six-month high of about $993 per ounce last month, after global stock markets began to perk up. On Wednesday, gold closed around …

Alex Dziadosz

Urban inflation dips, but food prices keep it above analysts' guesses

CAIRO: Urban inflation fell to 13.5 percent in February, down from 14.4 percent the month before, the state statistics agency CAPMAS announced yesterday. Nationwide inflation edged to 14.2, up from 14 percent. The decline in urban inflation was less than many analysts had expected, owing mostly to an unforeseen increase in food prices. Investment bank …

Alex Dziadosz

Egyptian cotton production falls, sparking protectionist calls

CAIRO: The market for Egyptian cotton, the legendary commodity that enriched Muhammad Ali-era pashas and fueled the growth of a sizeable textile industry last century, is not what it used to be. A British Economist Intelligence Unit report said that domestic cotton production plummeted by half this season, as farmers reacting to lower prices switched …

Alex Dziadosz

Consulting group says Gulf real estate will shift

CAIRO: If he had been asked to address the same room just one year earlier, his theme would have been “how to turn sand into gold, said Sven-Olaf Vathje, managing director of the Boston Consulting Group’s Dubai offices, during a lecture at the American University in Cairo on Wednesday. But given the events of the …

Alex Dziadosz

Steel companies lower prices in response to import threat

CAIRO: Local steel companies cut their prices by between LE 300 and LE 550 per ton this week in response to tumbling global prices and the continuing threat of Turkish and Ukrainian imports. Al Ezz Steel, the country’s dominant steelmaker, lowered their ex-factory price to LE 3,050 per ton from LE 3,400 per ton. Following …

Alex Dziadosz

Stock exchange launches new, broader index

CAIRO: Responding to local investors’ long-running push to introduce a broader index to the Egyptian Stock Exchange, officials this week launched the EGX 70 to complement the traditional benchmark EGX 30, formerly known as the CASE 30. Many market players, mostly local retailers and institutions, had long been calling for an index that displayed the …

Alex Dziadosz

Indian delegation explores business opportunities in Egypt

CAIRO: “There is a word coined in the United States – if you were ‘Bangalored’ it means you lost your job, said Ramachandara Seshagiri, president of Hitork, an Indian gears and gear parts-maker, addressing an audience of Egyptian businessmen on Wednesday. The confidence couched in Seshagiri’s remark was on full display as his 26-member delegation …

Alex Dziadosz

Minya farmers taking more 'professional' approach, says Ebermann

MINYA: As 13 European ambassadors filed off their bus here on Sunday they were greeted by a burst of music. A troupe of local farmers, equipped with horns and drums, had gathered to welcome them to a field on the edge of this Upper Egyptian town, where the European Union funds a program aimed at …

Alex Dziadosz

BG to retool contracts as natural gas prices tumble

CAIRO: Think forecasting global fuel prices for the next month is tricky? Try the next 20 years. This is the task for British Gas (BG) Egypt, a huge fuel company, and others in the natural gas sector, where contracts are often measured in decades. In light of tumbling fuel prices sparked by the economic downturn, …

Alex Dziadosz

Egypt's economy underlined by "delicate balance," says report

CAIRO: Characterized by the wild fluctuation of commodity prices, a financial meltdown and the ongoing conflicts of globalization with economic nationalism, 2008 was a turbulent economic year by any yardstick. This was no less true in Egypt, as an annual economic report issued by the Oxford Business Group (OBG) notes. In a cautiously optimistic analysis …

Alex Dziadosz

Cairo ICT participants upbeat as conference ends

CAIRO: Over four days, Cairo ICT 2009 drew ministers, executives and technology groupies from countries as far-flung as Malaysia, flooding the International Conference Center in Nasr City with flatscreen televisions, mobile phones, fiberoptic cables and rows upon rows of computers. The conference, a huge roadshow devoted to information and communication technology, came to a close …

Alex Dziadosz

Jeffrey Sachs says current global trajectory 'unsustainable"

CAIRO: Economist and author Jeffrey Sachs’ diagnosis for many of the modern world’s economic, political and social challenges may not come as much of a surprise in this congested city: The earth is very, very crowded, and it is getting more so every day. As a densely populated, ecologically stressed and fast-growing country with high …

Alex Dziadosz

One on one with LinkDotNet CEO Karim Beshara

CAIRO: The CEO of an Egyptian internet company has a lot to think about. Saturation is still low here, meaning there are a lot of opportunities to expand. But there are plenty of hurdles too: The state has been slow to issue licenses, for instance, and cable cuts in the Mediterranean lopped off the entire …

Alex Dziadosz