Christopher Le Coq

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Latest by Christopher Le Coq


Experts see Egyptian pound gaining against dollar by year’s end

CAIRO: The Egyptian pound reached a five-year low against the US dollar this week, trading as low as 5.7740 — but experts say the trend should reverse as the year comes to a close. “Concerns about the future of the Egyptian pound against its main foreign reserves currency, the US dollar, have been on the …

Christopher Le Coq

Big players could benefit from funding smaller start-ups

Despite an abundance of liquidity, smaller firms more often than not left out of the investment loop — “big players” — are not interested in investing in companies worth less than LE 50 million, said Hassan El-Khitab, managing director North Africa for the Carlyle Group. Leaders from the private and development sectors convened on Oct. …

Christopher Le Coq

Experts say smaller businesses need traditional banking

The “dangerously low supply” of financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in some parts of the world is hampering the global economy’s ability to rebound, said Colyn Gardner, chief executive of The Management Center at the Bangor Business School of Bangor University. Gardner was speaking on a panel at the fourth annual Egyptian Banking …

Christopher Le Coq

HSBC and FSVC launch portal to support SMEs

  HSBC Egypt, a division of its global parent company HSBC, and the Financial Services Volunteers Corps (FSVC), a not-for-profit financial organization, launched YallaBusiness.com on Oct. 4 as part of a strategy to better serve the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets.   The web portal will allow HSBC Egypt to …

Christopher Le Coq

AVEX director says financing needed to spur regional aviation growth

The small and medium-sized aviation industry in Africa is unable to tap into the continent’s expanding income levels due to a lack of financing, said Nicholas Watson, director of the AVEX International Airshow. Watson’s company will host the Aviation Unity Summit at the AVEX International Aviation Airshow, which will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh between …

Christopher Le Coq

Egypt, South Africa discuss continent-wide FTA

CAIRO: Africa nations are looking to fuse the continent’s two main trading blocs to form a broader free trade agreement, officials said Tuesday at a Cairo conference. The Cape-to-Cairo free trade agreement would merge the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), said Egypt’s Minister of Trade …

Christopher Le Coq

Egypt’s wheat procurement prices short of farmers’ expectations

CAIRO: Local wheat procurement prices for the new season would not be less than LE 300 per ardab, local press reports quoted Minister of Agriculture Amin Abaza as saying Monday. Experts say the new price, which is 20 percent more than last season’s — at between LE 240-260 — fails to provide sufficient incentives for …

Christopher Le Coq

GB Auto may soon shop around for Hyundai replacement

CAIRO: Ghabbour (GB) Auto, one of the Middle East’s biggest automobile manufacturers, may watch its contract with Hyundai to assemble its Verna model go unrenewed. “This would be a big loss for GB Auto,” stated Kamal Khedr, a research analyst at Beltone Financial, a Cairo-based investment firm. In a note from Naeem Brokerage, based in …

Christopher Le Coq

Egypt could become the top outsourcing destination worldwide, says expert

CAIRO: Worldwide demand for outsourcing is tilting towards Egypt as Europe now spends more on outsourcing than North America. According to Denise D’Elia, a Vodafone representative, outsourcing as an industry was valued at $13 billion last year. Egypt has the third-largest talent pool in the EMEA region. This is largely due to the country’s rich …

Christopher Le Coq

Panelists point out impasses in Egypt’s PPP development

Egypt currently has 23 public-private partnership (PPP) projects open for tendering to the private sector, with eight already approved, officials said this week. Next year, the market will be saturated with PPPs, said Rania Galal Zayed, advisor to the minister of finance and director of the PPP Central Unit, during a panel discussion titled “Infrastructure …

Christopher Le Coq

Brokerage firms need to innovate strategies, says expert

Brokerage firms: it’s time to shake it up — so said a workshop featured in this week’s Euromoney conference. Mohamed Attiya, vice president of Tradenet, who led the workshop, said that advertising on LinkedIn.com provides more value than that of Al-Ahram thanks to its huge database of tailored profiles and information regarding subscribers. The main …

Christopher Le Coq

Nazif on Egypt’s economy, Rachid talks trade developments

The economic crisis has impacted foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows into Egypt, Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid said Wednesday at the closing of the Euromoney conference in Cairo, which focused on competitiveness and investment. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, meanwhile, said that notwithstanding the negative impact, the country was able to attract $15 …

Christopher Le Coq

Infrastructure and regulations: Mobile banking gearing up in Egypt

Mobile banking is sweeping South Africa, and is poised to seize the Egyptian market, which has 55 million mobile phone users. Lana Strydom, manager of the Mobile Portal section of the Digital Channels Retail Banking division for Absa — a South African bank, part of the Barclay’s Group — spoke with Daily News Egypt about …

Christopher Le Coq

Social equality a looming problem in Egypt, say panelists

CAIRO: While panelists at a Euromoney conference applauded the government’s efforts to drive growth, there was an almost unanimous consensus that social inequality is a major concern for maintaining that development. Taher Helmy, senior partner of Helmy, Hamza and Partners, stated that the government’s trickle down policy “has not worked,” speaking on a panel titled …

Christopher Le Coq

Euromoney conference on investment, competitiveness kicks off Tuesday

CAIRO: The Euromoney conference kicks off on Tuesday, bringing together 1,500 delegates to discuss competitiveness and investment in four areas that hold great potential in Egypt. Under the title of “Competing for Investment, Investing in Competitiveness”, the two-day conference will focus on infrastructure, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises, and institutional investments in both capital …

Christopher Le Coq

Egypt slides 11 places in competitiveness index

CAIRO: Egypt ranked number 81 in a global competitiveness index, dropping 11 places from last year. Out of 139 countries included in the 2010-11 Global Competitive Index (GCI) report, issued by the World Economic Forum, Egypt — the largest country in the Arab world— came in 81st place, down from 70 in 2009-10. Topping the …

Christopher Le Coq

Karnak-led consortium sells BICC Egypt to General Cable

CAIRO: General Cable Spain, an affiliate of US-based General Cable, purchased 100 percent of BICC Egypt, a medium-sized producer of low voltage cables, in a deal worth $21.7 million. A consortium led by Karnak Investment Fund — managed through Sphinx Egypt, a Cairo-based private equity firm established by Citadel Capital with over $250 million in …

Christopher Le Coq

Austerity measures reduced Greek debt by 32 pct: Ambassador

CAIRO: Austerity measures implemented by the Greek government have been demonstrating positive results, with public debt cut by 32 percent as of August, an official said Monday. “Public expenditures have been cut by 50 percent, and the public debt has been cut by 32.2 percent by the end of August,” said Greek Ambassador to Cairo …

Christopher Le Coq

Sureclean forges alliance with Tipico to expand Egypt market

CAIRO: Sureclean, a UK-based industrial cleaning and waste management company, recently injected $2 million into its Egypt operations by forging a strategic alliance with a local company, Tipico, a subsidiary of Integrated Petroleum Services (IPS). Another $1 million is already on the way in the form of equipment to provide another boost to the alliance …

Christopher Le Coq

Joint ownership: A new model for public-private partnerships, says report

  CAIRO: Booz & Company, a global management consulting firm, which provides strategic advice to businesses, governments and organizations, released a report on Sept. 14, outlining how joint ownership ventures between the government and the private sector can tackle inadequate and ailing public sector services.  As the report notes, to date, public-private partnerships (PPPs) have …

Christopher Le Coq

Surge in Ramadan consumption raises August inflation

CAIRO: Headline inflation in Egypt went up a small tick, from 10.7 percent to 10.9 percent for August, according to figures released by the state statistics agency CAPMAS. Meanwhile core inflation, which cuts out volatile items such as food and vegetables as well as regulated prices, crept up to 8.17 percent in August from 7.1 …

Christopher Le Coq

Univar sets up shop in Egypt

CAIRO: Univar, a UK-based industrial and specialty chemical distributor, is now fully operational in Egypt, after 15 years of indirectly doing business in the country. Setting up shop in Egypt will permit the company, which works with a range of industries including coatings, food, personal care, pharmaceuticals, for example, "to reach the thousands of local …

Christopher Le Coq

Egypt seeks to bridge the nanotechnology divide

CAIRO: As the technology sector continues expanding in Egypt, a concerted effort has been made to forge ahead in the field of nanotechnology. As well as capitalizing on the potential benefits of nanotechnology, Egypt is hoping to avoid falling through the crack of what scientists have termed the “nanodivide.” Hassan Azzazy, professor and chairman of …

Christopher Le Coq

Beltone says positive outlook on GB Auto despite downgrade

CAIRO: While posting a 78.9 percent growth in revenues for the first half of 2010, Ghabbour Auto’s results were found to be “lower than expected,” according to an investment firm. Ghabbour Auto, Egypt’s sole distributor of both Hyundai and Mazda, saw revenues reach LE 3.1 billion for the reporting period, but received a downscaled valuation …

Christopher Le Coq

Egyptian consumer confidence dips in H1 2010, says report

CAIRO: Consumer confidence in Egypt dropped sharply in the first half of 2010 to reach to 45.5, down from 59.5 in the second half of 2009, according to a report. Though seemingly pessimistic news, it was noted that consumer confidence was even lower for the same period last year, attaining only 32.3 on a scale …

Christopher Le Coq

Ezz Steel raises prices for September

CAIRO: Ezz Steel, Egypt’s largest steel producer, said it will raise its ex-factory price for steel by LE 350, bringing it up to LE 3,950 for September, according to local reports. The rise has been widely attributed to the hike in global raw materials — especially in the past month and half as well as …

Christopher Le Coq

Entrepreneur Profile: SabryCorp makes inroads into nanotechnology

CAIRO: The Egyptian nanotechnology market is high risk, but is only matched by its business opportunities, Mohamed Abdel-Mottaleb, chairman of SabryCorp, told Daily News Egypt in an interview. Seeing Egypt lag behind in the nanotechnology race, Abdel-Mottaleb saw an opportunity to bring it up to speed, he explained. Nanotechnology struck the entrepreneur as fascinating back …

Christopher Le Coq

Algerian gov’t brings financial consultant on board in Orascom-Djezzy sale

CAIRO: The Algerian government has hired a financial consultant in the sale of Djezzy, Orascom Telecom’s local outfit, reported the Algerian newspaper Ennahar. The local paper explained that Karim Djoudi, the Minister of Finance, is to present a report this coming Saturday on the agreement struck last week between the financial consulting office of Hadj …

Christopher Le Coq

Wadi goes fishing in Egypt’s desert

CAIRO: A marine fish farm in the middle of the desert? It’s possible. Mahmoud Shokry Asfoor, an aquaculturalist at the Wadi Natroun fish farm, says it may even be the first desert marine fish farm in the world, though there’s no hard evidence to support that claim. Either way, it’s quite a venture. Wadi Holdings, …

Christopher Le Coq