Amr Ramadan

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Latest by Amr Ramadan


Makro opens first store in Cairo's Salam City

CAIRO: Makro, a sales division of Germany’s Metro Group, opened its first wholesale store in Egypt Tuesday located in Salam City on the outskirts of Cairo. Twelve more Makro stores are expected to open in the next three years. At the official opening, Metro Group’s CEO for Europe and MENA, Joel Saveuse, said, “Egypt is …

Amr Ramadan

Tax transition: VAT in the pipeline for Egypt?

  CAIRO: The rise in the sales tax on cement, iron and cigarettes will go into effect starting July 1, the finance minister told Al-Ahram state-run daily.   Amendments to the sales tax, which will result in these increases, are meant to fund social welfare spending and infrastructure investment, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt settles public companies' bank debts

CAIRO: The Egyptian government’s plan to settle public companies’ debt to the banking system will be completed by the end of the fiscal year, the investment minister said earlier this week. In Sunday’s Parliamentary session, Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin said the debt settlement program has been successful, according to a statement on the ministry’s website. …

Amr Ramadan

HDB completes capital increase, eyes expansion

CAIRO: Egypt’s Housing Development Bank (HDB) completed a capital increase worth LE 480 million, raising its issued capital to LE 1.15 billion from LE 670 million. “Simply, the bank had to grow with the market in order to compete,” Fathy El-Sebai Mansour, HDB’s chairman and managing director, said at a conference Monday, adding that the …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt ups infrastructure investments with maritime projects

  *   Egypt announced several maritime projects, increasing infrastructure investments as part of its economic stimulus plans. # @   CAIRO: Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin announced the inauguration of the third phase of a container terminal at the East Port Said port worth LE 3 billion, according to a report by investment bank …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt increases trade with US as pound weakens against dollar

CAIRO: the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and the United States during the first quarter of 2010 increased by 22.2 percent to hit $2.24 billion compared to $1.832 billion during the same period last year, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Saturday. There was a 9.5 percent decrease in deficit in the …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt delays decision on energy subsidies

CAIRO: Egypt has delayed a final decision on reducing energy subsidies for non-intensive industries and is currently considering the speed at which said plans would be executed. Parliament talks regarding the budget last month showed the government’s commitment to eliminate energy subsidies for non-intensive industries by the end of this year. This week, however, the …

Amr Ramadan

Real estate developers see retail potential

CAIRO: Real estate developers sounded out about the impact of regulatory changes, the availability of bank capital and why institutional investment capital is reluctant to enter the market at a panel discussion Tuesday. They also highlighted the growing potential in developing retail and office space. In a panel titled “Investing in Real Estate Development” at …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt's real estate poised to overtake regional markets

CAIRO: Demand for real estate in Egypt is the second highest in the region after Saudi Arabia, Ayman Ismail, chairman and CEO of Dar Al Mimar Group, said Tuesday. Speaking at the Euromoney Egypt Housing and Real Estate Finance Conference, Ismail added, “There is more demand than supply in the lower and middle income groups.” …

Amr Ramadan

Parliament approves new pensions and insurance law

  CAIRO: The People’s Assembly approved the new law on insurance and pensions Sunday despite mounting disagreement on many articles of the law from opposition members in parliament.   Acording to Al-Ahram, the state-run daily newspaper, Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros Ghali denied that the state has abdicated its role in achieving social integration of …

Amr Ramadan

Rachid issues decree to ensure quality of training

  CAIRO: Rachid Mohamed Rachid, Minister of Trade and Industry issued a decree stipulating that all companies or training agencies working in the field of quality standards to be accredited first by the National Quality Institute (NQI).   This decree will compel companies and training agencies to fulfill a number of requirements and earn a …

Amr Ramadan

Suez Canal revenues rise in May to $395 mln

CAIRO: Egypt posted a rise in Suez Canal revenues for May, reaching $395 million compared to $342.4 million a year earlier, according to figures from the canal authority. May’s revenues are also higher than the previous month, which totaled $374.9 million. According to the Suez Canal Authority, annual growth in revenues accelerated in May to …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt's modern-day brain drain

CAIRO: Developing countries have for years suffered from a common ailment known as the brain drain. Symptoms include high unemployment, low rates of job creation, underdeveloped sectors, nepotism, unsatisfactory salaries, little room for career growth, and so on. In this context, the country’s brightest and highly skilled caliber resorts to a tried and tested cure: …

Amr Ramadan

Experts weigh in on weakening Egyptian pound

CAIRO: The Egyptian pound has been weakening against the US dollar in the past weeks, reaching LE 5.6607 per dollar, following the euro’s continued decline. Instability in European markets triggered by turbulence in Greece’s economy has led to the depreciation of the euro. The Egyptian pound rose against the euro in recent months by 14 …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt boosts Swiss trade relations as euro weakens

CAIRO: Egypt is looking to mitigate the negative short-term effects of the weakening euro by diversifying its trade partners and increasing volumes with members of the European Free Trade Association, the country’s trade minister said. “Europe is our main trading partner and the weakening of the euro is of course a problem as this instability …

Amr Ramadan

Automech 2010: New models, designs and technology

CAIRO: The automotive industry has had a busy week. For the past five days, fierce competition simmered as manufacturers and dealers showed off the latest car models at the 14th edition of Automech Akhbar El-Youm. The lavish industry event, which ends Monday, draws thousands of visitors every year clamoring for a sneak peak of the …

Amr Ramadan

GM shows off Chevrolet Volt at Automech 2010

CAIRO: General Motors Egypt and Al-Mansour Egypt showcased the Chevrolet Volt for the first time and unveiled the new Opel Astra at Cairo’s Automech 2010, which opened Thursday. Daily News Egypt spoke with Rajeev Chaba, chairman and managing director of GM Egypt, and Lotfy Mansour, general sales manager of Al-Mansour Automotive, about the new releases …

Amr Ramadan

Experts focus on education reform as unemployment falls

CAIRO: While the latest figures show that unemployment in Egypt fell to 9.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010, concerns persist over the long-term effects of the financial crisis on the labor market and the government’s role in job creation. Unemployment had stabilized at 9.4 percent in the last three quarters of 2009, according …

Amr Ramadan

SODIC plans Delta development, says market not saturated

CAIRO: Upper-income housing is not yet saturated and middle-income housing is on the rise, said Maher Maksoud, CEO of real estate developer SODIC. Speaking at a conference Monday, Maksoud said the real estate market is developing in a way that has not been seen in the past 20 years. There is demand for around 500,000 …

Amr Ramadan

Business as usual despite TE talks, says Vodafone Egypt CEO

CAIRO: Ongoing talks between Vodafone Egypt and Telecom Egypt are concerned with the mobile operators’ ownership structure and not its administration, said Vodafone CEO Hatem Dowidar. “It is important…not to confuse a company’s ownership structure with its management,” Dowidar told Daily News Egypt on the sidelines of a conference. “Whatever happens — and we are …

Amr Ramadan

History lesson: Privatization, cronyism and industry

CAIRO: “I wanted to go deeper into the complexities behind the apparent self-enrichment practices evident in the current government,” said Amr Adly, a PhD candidate at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. In his research paper, Adly argues that an “uneven distribution of property rights is deeply embedded within broader power relations permeating political …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt jumps 11 places in competitiveness index

CAIRO: Egypt jumped 11 places to rank 70th in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), up from 81 in 2009. However, the overall improvement was largely based on deteriorating conditions in other countries, according to the seventh annual Egyptian Competitiveness Report (ECR) titled “Green Egypt: A Vision for Tomorrow,” The Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (ENCC) launched …

Amr Ramadan

Removing energy subsidies may raise inflation, experts say

CAIRO: Egypt has shown resolve in its plans to eliminate energy subsidies for industries by the end of this year in ongoing parliamentary talks regarding the budget. The government appears ready to push forward on a plan that would phase out energy subsidies starting in July 2010. In March, the daily Al-Borsa newspaper quoted Minister …

Amr Ramadan

Social insurance and pensions draft law scrutinized

CAIRO: In a heated argument that saw one participant escorted out of the hall, government officials and labor activists disagreed on the newly proposed social insurance and pensions law during a workshop organized Tuesday by the Social Contact Center (SCC). While some of the participants hailed the draft law as reform, others called it a …

Amr Ramadan

Weighing wages: Higher salaries or more productivity?

CAIRO: In the current context of worker’s unrest and increased private sector concern about Egypt’s labor law, the views of economists, organizations and businessmen differ, particularly when it comes to minimum wage. Calls to set the minimum wage at LE 1,200 were based on proposals by Ahmed El-Naggar, an economist at Al-Ahram Center for Political …

Amr Ramadan

Malaysia's former PM shares secrets to building a successful nation

CAIRO: In a lecture delivered via web conference at the American University in Cairo Thursday, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad, the former and longest-serving prime minister of Malaysia, wasn’t surprised when asked by Egyptian students why he left office. Mohamed had willingly stepped down from office after 22 years. It wasn’t the first time he …

Amr Ramadan

Suez Canal annual revenues up in April

CAIRO: Egypt reported an increase in Suez Canal revenues in April, reaching $374.9 million, which according to the canal authority spokesman is an indicator of a global economic recovery. “The canal is a good indicator of how the world economy is doing, not just the Egyptian economy,” Tarek Hassanein, a spokesman for SCA, told Daily …

Amr Ramadan

Egypt's annual inflation falls to 11.3 pct in April

CAIRO: Egypt’s annual headline inflation declined to 11.3 percent in April 2010, from 12.2 percent in March, as the annual change in food prices, clothing, furniture, transportation and hospitality costs dropped, according to data released by the government statistics agency CAPMAS. The monthly change in headline inflation rose, however, by 0.9 percent in April, from …

Amr Ramadan

Chambers of commerce elections to be held June 23

CAIRO: Egypt is set to hold elections for chambers of commerce board members nationwide on June 23. A total of 292 candidates are vying for the 193 available seats, and will hold the post for a four-year term The process will begin after appeals committee screenings and approval procedures are completed, along with a performance …

Amr Ramadan

Raising minimum wage: The resources and the challenges

CAIRO: With a court order mandating the government to reset minimum wage to comply with the current cost of living and a rising wave of labor unrest, questions about the size of this potential increase in government expenditure and the resources and structural reforms required for it, are yielding different answers. According to CAPMAS, 7.9 …

Amr Ramadan