Jonathan Wright

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Latest by Jonathan Wright


Egyptian indexes slip again, NSGB up on results

CAIRO: Key Egyptian stock indexes dropped between 2.3 and 2.7 percent on Wednesday, dragged down by what brokers called corrections in Orascom Telecom (OT) and Orascom Construction (OCI). National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB) rose 4.35 percent to LE 14.40 ($2.58) after it announced much better than expected 2008 results on Tuesday. But brokers said that …

Jonathan Wright

Egyptian stocks recover on foreign buying

CAIRO: The Egyptian stock market rose on Monday as non-Arab foreigners started buying again, focusing on big cap companies with London listings, brokers said. The foreigners were net buyers by a margin of LE 20 million ($3.6 million), in low turnover of LE 560 million, according to stock market data. Arab investors were net sellers …

Jonathan Wright

Egyptian stocks up on Wall Street, new confidence

CAIRO: Egypt s benchmark stock index rose 1.63 percent on Thursday as gains on Wall Street helped restore confidence among retail investors, brokers said. But the launch of a new trading system led to many delays and outages, including a one-hour suspension of all dealing. Some of the data usually provided by the exchange was …

Jonathan Wright

Orascom Telecom to sell subsidiary for $180 million

CAIRO: Egypt-based mobile operator Orascom Telecom (OT) said on Thursday it had agreed to sell its service company OrasInvest to Abu Dhabi Investment for $180 million. Abu Dhabi Investment will pay $90 million in cash this month and the remaining $90 million in the form of interest-bearing promissory notes due 12 months after the completion …

Jonathan Wright

Stock market index falls below 4,000 points

CAIRO: Major Egyptian stocks slumped again on Thursday in a sell-off driven mainly by foreigners with holdings of shares with London listings, brokers said. In the first minutes of trading the benchmark CASE 30 index fell below 4,000 points for the first time since May 2005 and then slipped to close 5.38 percent down at …

Jonathan Wright

Egypt to give shares of state companies to public

CAIRO: Egypt s ruling party proposed on Monday that the government give Egyptians free shares in public sector companies in a move that would make privatization more popular and give poor households a windfall injection of cash. The ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), which dominates the cabinet and parliament, said all Egyptians over 21 would …

Jonathan Wright

Egyptian shares surge in line with Asia, Europe

CAIRO: Egyptian stocks surged across the board on Tuesday in line with Asian and European markets, pulling the benchmark CASE 30 index up 5.17 percent. Brokers said that after several weeks of disengagement from the Egyptian market, local and foreign institutions were buying into major companies, restoring confidence among Egyptian retail investors. Advances outnumbered declines …

Jonathan Wright

Foreigners dump Egyptian stocks, index down 2.2 pct

CAIRO: Foreigners dumped major Egyptian stocks on Tuesday, dragging the benchmark CASE 30 index down 2.2 percent to 5,608.96 points. Non-Egyptians were net sellers by a margin of LE 87 million ($16 million), about 12 percent of total volume. Declining stocks outnumbered advances by 131 to 29. The shares hardest hit were those with GDRs …

Jonathan Wright

Egyptian stock market 2.7 percent down

CAIRO: Egyptian real estate stocks made strong gains on Wednesday, recovering some of their heavy recent losses, but the benchmark CASE 30 stock index ended the day 2.7 percent down in line with international markets. Medinet Nasr Housing gained 4.6 percent to LE 26.02 ($4.67), Heliopolis Housing rose 10.3 percent to LE 26 and Palm …

Jonathan Wright

Talaat Moustafa says worth $6.37 billion

CAIRO: Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG), whose share price was hit by the arrest of its former chairman in a murder case, said on Wednesday its assets were worth LE 34.5 billion ($6.37 billion). It said the valuation, made on June 30, came from the London-based international property company CBRE (CB Richard Ellis) and was 74 …

Jonathan Wright

OCI reports 220 pct rise in Q2 net income

CAIRO: Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt’s largest builder by market value, said on Thursday second-quarter net income from continuing operations more than tripled to $239.5 million. The figure was substantially higher than forecasts by brokerages EFG-Hermes, which predicted net income of $175.9 million, and Beltone Financial, which forecast net income of $190 million to $200 …

Jonathan Wright

Foreign selling pulls Egyptian stocks to new lows

CAIRO: Foreign selling pulled Egyptian share prices to new lows again on Wednesday and the stock exchange said non-Arab foreigners were net sellers by a margin of LE 66 million ($12.3 million). The benchmark Case 30 index lost 2.11 percent to a year low of 7,797.21 points. The broader CIBC index slipped 2.97 percent to …

Jonathan Wright

Egypt complains at Europe's treatment of visa seekers

CAIRO: The Egyptian government has complained to European consulates at the treatment of Egyptians seeking visas and is advising Egyptians to stay away from offending countries, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.A statement said the ministry had circulated a memorandum including criticisms of the performance of these missions … and the bad methods their employees …

Jonathan Wright

Nasser son-in-law and intelligence agent dead in London

Reuters CAIRO: The son-in-law of former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, named by Israeli officials as a source for the Israeli intelligence service Mossad, died in London on Wednesday and the Egyptian state news agency quoted reports he had fallen from the balcony of his home. Ashraf Marwan, 62, who was married to Abdel Nasser …

Jonathan Wright

Arabs ask Egypt and Jordan to contact Israelis

Reuters CAIRO: Arab foreign ministers asked Egypt and Jordan on Wednesday to contact Israelis to try to persuade them to accept an Arab peace plan, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said. Egypt and Jordan already have relations with Israel and the Israeli government had hoped that the Arabs would include other Arab governments in …

Jonathan Wright

INTERVIEW: Times are hard for Egypt's sidelined liberals

Reuters CAIRO: Short of cash, out of parliament and shadowed by a rival party with the same name and logo, the liberal Ghad Party of imprisoned Egyptian opposition politician Ayman Nour is struggling through a rough patch. Ihab El-Khouli, the lawyer elected last month to lead the party in Nour s absence, said the party …

Jonathan Wright

Fictional Cairo drivers are good as real

CAIRO: Egyptian author Khaled Al Khamissi, in a best-selling collection of short stories about the Egyptian capital, has turned an old technique on its head. Instead of taking the pulse of the city by talking to taxi drivers, Al Khamissi has composed 58 fictional monologues by Cairo cabbies with such conviction and linguistic authenticity that …

Jonathan Wright

El-Aswany rejects clash of civilizations

Reuters CAIRO: Bestselling Egyptian novelist Alaa El-Aswany, after trying his hand at portraying a slice of US society after Sept. 11, said on Sunday that he believed in the values of humanity, not in conflict between civilizations. El-Aswany, in his latest novel Chicago, might have made much of hardships and discrimination suffered by Arab and …

Jonathan Wright

Rice swapped rhetoric for rhetoric in Mideast

Reuters CAIRO: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a deal with Arab leaders this week: Washington will show an interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Arabs will say they support the new US strategy for Iraq. But the actions on both sides of the deal are largely cosmetic or rhetorical, because the parties are …

Jonathan Wright

Egypt blames Darfur rebels for deteriorating security

CAIRO: Egypt on Thursday blamed the Darfur rebels for insecurity in the vast region of western Sudan and said any agreement on implementing a UN Security Council resolution should take into account Khartoum s reservations. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said in a statement that the principal culprits were the rebel groups which refused to …

Jonathan Wright

Abul-Gheit critical of Israeli response to Hezbollah raid

Reuters CAIRO: Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit on Monday praised the way the Lebanese group Hezbollah held out against Israel for over four weeks but faulted the Islamist group for possible carelessness. In an interview with Reuters, Aboul Gheit was more critical of the Israeli response to a Hezbollah raid into Israel on July 12, the …

Jonathan Wright

Gulf group offers to take over Egyptian bank

Consortium looks to acquire Delta International Bank Reuters CAIRO: Bahrain s Ahli United Bank and four other Gulf companies have offered to buy Delta International Bank for LE 1.85 billion ($322 million). The offer, at LE 37 a share, is at a premium over the last traded price of LE 35.45 on July 27. Ahli …

Jonathan Wright

Arabs write off Rome meeting, blame Washington

CAIRO: Arabs on Thursday wrote off the Rome meeting on Lebanon as a disappointment and accused Washington of subverting the will of the world for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the militant group Hezbollah. But some saw hope in signs that Washington was isolated and might have to change its position if its Israeli …

Jonathan Wright

U.S. plan for Lebanon likely to fail, say Arab analysts

Reuters CAIRO: A vision of a new Middle East emerging from the conflict in Lebanon as outlined by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice drew ridicule on Monday from mainstream Arab analysts and former Arab diplomats. Several of them said the United States and Israel had little if any chance of achieving their stated goals …

Jonathan Wright

Arab governments have different reasons for truce

Reuters CAIRO: Arab governments disagree on who to blame for starting the Middle East violence of the past week but, unlike Israel and the United States, they agree at least that the bombings should end immediately and talks should begin. Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah and its backers Syria and non-Arab Iran believe a truce …

Jonathan Wright

Arab states to meet in Cairo on Mideast violence

Reuters CAIRO: Arab governments agreed to send their foreign ministers to Cairo for an emergency meeting on Saturday to discuss Israeli attacks on Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, the Arab League said on Thursday. But the 22-member League has not yet seen specific proposals for a joint Arab response to the attacks in which Israel …

Jonathan Wright

Arab leaders reluctant to enthuse about new Iraq

Reuters CAIRO: After watching a bewildering array of Iraqi politicians try their hand at government, Arab leaders are reluctant to pin much hope on new Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, analysts and official sources said on Monday. Arab governments also face such a range of conflicting choices in dealing with Iraq that they appear paralyzed when …

Jonathan Wright

Banks on upstream projects to yield more water

Reuters CAIRO: Egypt must persuade countries in the Nile basin to improve their water management so that more water flows downstream for its growing population, Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Mahmoud Abu Zeid said. Egypt depends on the Nile flowing in from Sudan for 95 percent of its water as no significant tributaries add to …

Jonathan Wright

Egypt mulls pound eurobonds

Reuters SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: The Egyptian government has started talks with investment banks on the possibility of issuing bonds abroad denominated in Egyptian pounds, Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieddin said in an interview on Sunday. It could be something like 500 million euros or dollars and this I think is going to be taken very positively …

Jonathan Wright

EFG-Hermes chief sees big opportunities in Saudi Arabia

Reuters SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt: The chairman of Egypt-based investment bank EFG-Hermes said on Monday its newly obtained Saudi license was crucial to growth because it expands the company s market four times over. Saudi accounts for over 75 percent of the total fee pot of the Arab world. So whatever we are doing today we …

Jonathan Wright