Amr Ramadan

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Latest by Amr Ramadan


IATA chief talks aviation challenges and growth in MENA

CAIRO: Egypt’s decision to keep airports under government control was praised as a wise decision by the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). “We have to congratulate [Egypt] for the decision to keep the airports under the control of the central government and not privatizing them,” Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of …

Amr Ramadan

One-on-one with PepsiCo’s regional president Tarek Kabil

CAIRO: While Egypt’s retail business infrastructure is evolving — as is the case with the growth of supermarkets and hypermarkets — the process needs to be accelerated, said Tarek Kabil, president of PepsiCo for the Middle East and Africa. “In Egypt, organized trade is only 5 or 6 percent of the business and [in] other …

Amr Ramadan

Egyptian, Chinese companies sign 22 agreements worth $250 million

CAIRO: A total of 22 agreements were signed between companies from Egypt and Guangdong, China, with total investments of over $250 million, during a business forum this week. The Egypt-China Forum, organized by the General Authority for Investment (GAFI) in cooperation with the Egypt-China Business Council and the Chinese embassy in Cairo, focused on companies …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt sees need to support cotton, textiles industry

CAIRO: Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid said that Egypt will disburse LE 280 million in support funds to 120 local spinning and weaving factories, reported the state-run Al-Akhbar newspaper. The money, to be allocated from the Export Development Fund, is meant to support local producers due to a lack of supply in …

Amr Ramadan

Xceed plans to double in size by 2013

CAIRO: Egypt’s Xceed plans to double the size of its operations by 2013, the vice president of the company said. A provider of multilingual business process outsourcing (BPO) services, Xceed currently has two contact centers in Egypt and one in Morocco with 2,000 total employees. And right now, “business is booming,” said Xceed Vice President …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt boasts 60.2 mln mobile subscribers

CAIRO: The number of mobile subscribers in Egypt reached 60.2 million at the end of August, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, an increase of 20.3 percent over the past year. Mohamed Hamdy, associate director of the research department and telecom specialist at CI Capital, expects the mobile …

Amr Ramadan

TE finds way around mobile license with MVNO agreement

CAIRO: Telecom Egypt (TE) is preparing to enter into an agreement with Vodafone Egypt to buy minutes at reduced prices and resell them in the market under the Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) licenses that the Telecom Ministry plans to issue. According to independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt’s Telecom Minister met with the CEO of …

Amr Ramadan

Suez Canal receipts slide to $410.2 million in September

CAIRO: Suez Canal revenues fell to $410.2 million in September from $436 million the previous month, according to a statement released by the Suez Canal Authority (SCA). Growth in revenues fell to 7.2 percent in September, down from a two-year record of 17.3 percent in August. The overall number of vessels passing through the canal …

Amr Ramadan

Vimpelcom, Weather deal creates global telecom giant

CAIRO: Russian telecom operator Vimpelcom and Naguib Sawiris’ Weather Investments sealed a deal Tuesday worth $6.6 billion that will create the world’s fifth largest mobile telecommunications carrier by subscribers. Under the terms of the agreement, Vimpelcom will acquire from Weather Investments a 51.7 percent stake in Orascom Telecom and 100 percent of Wind Italy, excluding …

Amr Ramadan

Experts debate new social insurance, pensions law

CAIRO: Egypt’s new pensions and insurance law, which raises the insurable percentage of the net salary, is causing public contention and raising the ire of industry insiders. The old law stipulated that a maximum percentage for both basic and additional components of an employee’s salary be paid, while the amended version requires a percentage of …

Amr Ramadan

Reform needed to improve SME funding

CAIRO: “Access to finance is very important,” said Hanaa El Hilaly, general manager for the Planning and International Cooperation Group in the Social Fund for Development, at the Euromoney conference session on small and medium enterprise (SME) financing last week. “SMEs are still seeking banks’ financing. There are 750,000 students graduating each year who are …

Amr Ramadan

Creating value through sustainable finance

CAIRO: “The financial industry has to play by new rules,” Hassan Abdallah, CEO of Arab African International Bank said at a Cairo conference. At a workshop titled “Sustainable Finance” at this week’s Euromoney Conference, panelists discussed ways to foster sustainable corporate businesses and economies, raising questions about Egypt’s readiness to take the initiative to benefit …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt to sign triple-play licenses, says Kamel at Euromoney

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel said Wednesday that Egypt will sign its first triple-play license with a Vodafone-led Egyptian consortium, Teletech. A second license will be signed in a few weeks with Link — a consortium including Orascom Telecom (OT) and Mobinil — to provide cable, telephone, internet and voice services in …

Amr Ramadan

Bourse chairman says tightening regulations, monitoring key

Problems with regulation and monitoring as well as the lack of a mature, aware investor base are the main obstacles facing Egypt’s stock exchange in the coming period, Khaled Serry Siam, the bourse’s new chairman, said. Speaking at this week’s Euromoney conference in a session titled “Rebuilding Trust,” Siam summarized the attractiveness of Egypt’s markets …

Amr Ramadan

CIB launches health-focused foundation

Hisham Ezz El Arab, chairman of Commercial International Bank (CIB), recently launched the CIB Foundation, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative dedicated to enhancing health and nutrition services for underprivileged children in Egypt. Nesma Farahat, manager of the CIB Foundation, told Daily News Egypt that the board of trustees chose children’s health and nutrition as …

Amr Ramadan

Banque Du Caire’s Bassel El-Hini on customer expectations

Customer service at banks in Egypt is notorious for its long queues, systems that are “down” and a staff that oftentimes fails to apply the mantra: the customer is always right. According to Bassel El-Hini, managing director of credit and retail banking at Banque Du Caire, the success of the sector will depend on banks …

Amr Ramadan

Poverty alleviation, investment climate top Euromoney agenda

CAIRO: “We need to concentrate on two things: poverty alleviation and addressing education,” Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros-Ghali told a conference Tuesday. The minister outlined an ambitious plan to decrease the poverty ratio by 50 percent in the next few years, speaking at the two-day Euromoney Egypt Conference titled “Competing for Investment, Investing in Competitiveness,” …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt plans to relocate cement factories

CAIRO: Starting next year, Egypt will embark on a relocation project which should eventually see cement factories moved out of the Helwan governorate. Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid approved last week licenses awarded for the project, which is billed as the solution to pollution problems attributed to the location of a number …

Amr Ramadan

Analysts see prices hikes as persistent, not seasonal

CAIRO: In the midst of public concern over the consistent rise in food prices and agricultural commodities, analysts have tried to zero in on the causes and propose possible solutions to face Egypt’s inflation woes. The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) reported this week a 21 percent annual increase in the price …

Amr Ramadan

UNCTAD report predicts 3.5 pct growth in global GDP

CAIRO: Real GDP will grow by 3.5 percent globally in 2010, with Africa growing by an estimated 5 percent, according to a UN report released this week. Emerging market economies in Asia and Latin America are leading the recovery; some achieving double digit growth rates in the first quarter for 2010, according to the United …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt announces real estate tax exemptions

CAIRO: Egypt’s Real Estate Tax Authority has exempt 6 million people and 9 million units from paying property taxes this year, making up roughly 90 percent of the tax base, Al-Ahram reported. In some governorates, 100 percent of citizens were exempt, the state-run daily reported on Monday. Finance Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali said studies have been …

Amr Ramadan

Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin appointed World Bank managing director

CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin accepted the appointment as managing director of the World Bank on Sept. 8 and will assume his new post in October. Meanwhile, the ruling National Democratic Party has commissioned a committee to find a replacement for the minister in the Egyptian cabinet. Front-runners in the search so far …

Amr Ramadan

Google’s volunteer-based initiative to boost translation of health info

CAIRO: Google.org recently launched Health Speaks, an initiative which encourages community-based, crowd-sourced translations of health information with the assistance of Google Translator Toolkit. Health Speaks pilot programs for Arabic, Hindi and Swahili began last week and are supported with a donation incentive, awarding local charities with funds based on the number of words volunteers translate. …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt to invite bids for 1,000 MW electricity generators

CAIRO: Egypt will invite bids this week to build electricity generators with a total capacity of 1,000 MW, part of an effort to deal with power outages that have been plaguing the nation since the beginning of Ramadan, reported Reuters citing the energy ministry. Summer temperatures of about 40°C, combined with higher demand near sunset …

Amr Ramadan

Omar Effendi back in the spotlight as rumors of possible sale escalate

CAIRO: Omar Effendi’s owner company, Saudi-based Anwal, may face opposition from the Egyptian government it if attempts to sell the iconic retail chain. Rumors circulated last week about a possible bid by the Qatar Holding Company to buy Omar Effendi. Reports claimed that Saudi businessman Gameel El-Qanbeet, owner of Anwal, is in serious negotiations with …

Amr Ramadan

Mediation: The cost-efficient alternative in dispute resolution

CAIRO: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched Tuesday its Alternative Dispute Resolution Program in Egypt, which promotes mediation as a tool to improve the country’s investment climate. Fatma Ibrahim, associate operations officer at IFC, said, “The program’s objectives are to transform the practice of mediation/reconciliation to become an alternative effective method for resolution of trade …

Amr Ramadan

Egyptian pound weakens against US dollar

CAIRO: The Egyptian pound reached 5.7038 against the dollar this week, its lowest point since January 2007. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Egypt country report for August 2010, however, the country can expect foreign reserves to increase as traditional sources of foreign currency pick up allowing Egypt’s central bank to intervene to prevent …

Amr Ramadan

AAIB says responsible financing is key

Over the past two years, there’s been a lot of lost trust in financial institutions in the wake of global economic turmoil, which gave rise to new banking regulations, financial watchdogs as well as heightened public scrutiny. Some of the key lessons learned by markets worldwide are the importance of risk management, transparency and, overall, …

Amr Ramadan