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Mobinil delays 2010 dividend distribution

CAIRO: Egyptian mobile operator Mobinil said on Tuesday it would delay the distribution of cash dividends from its 2010 profits due to the country’s economic and political situation. In February, Mobinil said its net income fell about 38 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, hit after fierce competition forced it to keep prices low …

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African consumer stands tall amid commodity boom

JOHANNESBURG: Soaring commodity prices are boosting African economies and state budgets, but strong growth on the poorest continent is much more deep-seated than just bumper revenues from ores and oil. In a far cry from the strained budgets of late 2008 and 2009, when oil and minerals prices collapsed, treasuries in major hydrocarbon producers such …

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Egypt economy recovering, wants Europe debt relief

CAIRO: Egypt would like European Union states to cancel its debts to them but has not made a formal request, the EU’s local delegation said, as Egypt’s economy showed signs of recovery from weeks of political turmoil. The government has slashed its growth forecast after 18 days of street protests across the country unseated President …

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No formal request to change summit-Arab League chief

CAIRO: Arab League chief Amr Moussa said on Friday the pan-Arab group had not received any formal request to reschedule an Arab summit planned for Iraq in March, after Libya said it would be postponed due to regional circumstances. Asked if it had been delayed, Moussa told Reuters: "I haven’t received any formal request," adding …

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Egypt pound stable, central bank warns may step in again

CAIRO: Egypt’s central bank warned on Wednesday that it was prepared to intervene directly in the currency market again after purchases on Tuesday strengthened the pound by more than 1 percent. The Egyptian pound has been falling steadily since political protests broke out on Jan 25, and traders and strategists expect more losses. UBS analysts …

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IEA says Saudi oil output jumps, OPEC critical

LONDON: The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday that OPEC leader Saudi Arabia had stealthily boosted output to cool an oil price rally, while OPEC accused the agency of providing inconsistent oil price views. Tensions between oil exporter group OPEC and the agency, representing industrialized consumers, have risen as Western countries put pressure on …

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Egypt index breaks 7,000 points; Orascoms up

Blue-chips including Orascom Construction lead Egypt’s main index to its highest close since May 6, spurred on by optimism that a government stimulus plan will boost economic growth in 2011, traders say. "The index is at critical levels and a lot of people are buying after it broke the 7,000 point level," says Karim Hosny …

Reuters

Sewedy in Ghana wind project talks: paper

Egyptian group El Sewedy Electric is negotiating with Ghana to install a wind power project with investments of $350 million to $400 million, a newspaper said on Thursday. Sewedy would begin work on the project in January if granted approval by the Ghanaian government, Ahmed Azouz, head of Sewedy’s office in Ghana, told Al-Mal newspaper. …

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Egypt pound may find support at 5.8/dlr: traders

The Egyptian pound may find support at around 5.8 to the dollar after falling to a five-year low earlier this week, traders said. But an escalation of the debt crisis in the European Union, Egypt’s biggest trading partner, could push the pound to breach that support level early next year. "Psychologically, I think it will …

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Orascom says legal action over Djezzy last resort

Egypt’s mobile phone company Orascom Telecom said it still hoped to resolve a dispute with the Algerian government over its Djezzy unit although it did not rule out arbitration as a last resort. "There is an international tender to choose advisers on Nov 24," Chief Executive Khaled Bichara told the Morgan Stanley annual TMT conference …

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Oil rebounds towards $82 as European debt woes ease

LONDON: Oil retraced part of a steep four-session drop on Thursday as worries about Ireland’s debt crisis eased and a sharp crude inventory drawdown in top consumer the United States propped up prices. US December crude contract was up $1.35 or 1.68 percent to $81.79 per barrel at 1028 GMT after being briefly lifted as …

Reuters

SocGen keen for Egyptian acquisition

CASABLANCA: French bank Societe Generale is interested in acquisition opportunities in Egypt but will keep its growth strategy organic in other areas where it is already present, said its international retail head. Bernardo Sanchez Incera, deputy Chief Executive for international retail banking, also said he expects Russian operations to resume profitability next year. "We have …

Reuters

UAE not considering depeg from dollarm says c.banker

ABU DHABI: The United Arab Emirates is not worried about the dollar’s weakness given low inflation, and is not considering de-pegging its dirham from the greenback, a senior central bank official said on Monday. The dollar’s slide had caused concern among oil producers as it pushes down the value of their dollar-denominated oil revenues while …

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Mideast banks, funds seek to tap women’s wealth

DUBAI: Emirati housewife Sarah Alzarouni brushed past a group of women clad in floor-length black robes, some with only their eyes showing, to enter through the frosted doors of one of Dubai Islamic Bank’s women-only branches. Clutching a Louis Vuitton bag to match her designer head scarf, Alzarouni greeted the female tellers and bank manager …

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Bahrain concerned about FX volatility, food costs

KUWAIT: Bahrain’s central bank is concerned about volatility in global currency markets as well as rising food costs, its governor said on Sunday. Meanwhile Qatar’s economy will expand strongly this year, the head of its central bank said. "I am concerned on the global side; there is a lot of uncertainty. There is a great …

Reuters

Chart Inds wins MidEast contract, raises FY view

Engineered equipment maker Chart Industries Inc said its energy and chemicals business won a $22 million contract in the Middle East, one of its biggest deals in that division for three years, helping drive up its shares by almost a fifth. The company, whose products are used in the production, storage and end-use of hydrocarbon …

Reuters

Carlyle Group eyeing Egypt, Morocco investments

US buyout fund Carlyle Group plans to invest about $300 million in the Middle East and North Africa within the next two years and is looking at opportunities in Egypt and Morocco, a senior executive said. "Our first fund for the region is $500 million. We have already invested about 40 percent of it and …

Reuters

Egyptian lawyer contests EGTS land deal

CAIRO: An Egyptian lawyer has filed suit against Egypt’s prime minister and tourism minister challenging a deal with real estate firm Egyptian Resorts, the latest attack on state land sales without an auction. The lawyer — Shehata Mohamed Shehata, who also raised another suit challenging a land deal involving Cairo-based private equity firm Egypt Kuwait …

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For Egypt investors, growth trumps political risks

CAIRO: Sprightly economic growth is keeping foreign investors upbeat on Egypt, outweighing uncertainty over the future leadership and concerns that soaring food prices could cause unrest. Inflows of foreign cash to stocks and treasury bills seem to be holding firm before a parliamentary vote next month and a presidential poll next year, although a currency …

Reuters

Egypt trims 2009/10 budget deficit to 8.1 pct/GDP

CAIRO: Egypt’s budget deficit in the fiscal year to June 2010 was narrower than first thought at 8.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the finance ministry said on Friday, boosted by the success of a new tax regime. The ministry, whose initial estimate was 8.3 percent, gave no revenue figure but said the deficit …

Reuters

Suez Cement nine-month net profit falls 8.5 pct

Egypt’s Suez Cement Group said on Thursday its nine-month net profit fell 8.5 percent to LE 906.7 million ($157 million), with sales down despite rising grey cement consumption. Suez, Egypt’s largest listed cement company and a subsidiary of Italcementi, said consolidated net sales in the period fell 2.1 percent to LE 4.69 billion, while operating …

Reuters

Telecom Egypt CEO denies regional expansion plans

Telecom Egypt has no plans to expand elsewhere in the region for now, its chief executive said on Thursday after a report it would be interested if mobile operator Zain Saudi was for sale. The Egyptian landline monopoly, which is mostly owned by the Egyptian government, is eager to increase broadband penetration in its domestic …

Reuters

Egypt nudges up, acquisition news helps|

Egypt’s benchmark index ended modestly higher with sentiment helped by news that Arabiyya Lel Estithmaraat bought an 85 percent stake in the Omar Effendi department store chain. Arabiyya, which closed up 9.6 percent, purchased the stake in the well-known Egyptian chain from a Saudi company. "The market doesn’t have a reason to drop … It …

Reuters

Kuwait’s KAMCO, UAE’s Anham partner on US army deal

KUWAIT: KIPCO Asset Management (KAMCO) and Anham FZCO LLC plan a joint logistics firm to execute Anham’s prime vendor contract to supply the US military, the Kuwaiti firm’s chief executive said on Thursday. Last April, Anham was awarded a $2.2 billion contract to supply troops in Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan after the US government replaced …

Reuters

Orascom Telecom leads Egypt index down

CAIRO: Egypt’s main index, EGX30, slipped 1.7 percent, led down by heavyweight Orascom Telecom (OT) after Telenor’s chief executive officer aired concerns about a deal to buy most of Orascom. Orascom led the market by turnover, with more than LE 170 million worth of shares exchanged, roughly quadruple the second most-traded stock on the index, …

Reuters

Mobinil may raise funds via bond or loan

Mobinil, which leads the Egyptian mobile market by subscriber numbers, said on Tuesday it could raise funds to finance expansion via a loan or bonds. Al-Mal newspaper reported on Sunday that Mobinil was considering raising up to LE 2 billion ($346.4 million) to expand its network and services. "We are always studying possible ways of …

Reuters

Egypt sales firm loses suit against Mitsubishi

Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Wednesday a lawsuit brought against it by an Egyptian sales firm seeking damages of $900 million had been dismissed by an Egyptian court. In the suit, filed in February, sales firm Masria Co had claimed that Mitsubishi’s termination of a distribution contract lacked reasonable grounds and demanded an extension …

Reuters

Pioneers picks NY Mellon to launch GDRs in London

Egyptian financial services company Pioneers Holding plans to list global depository receipts (GDRs) in London and Bank of New York Mellon Corp will be the depositary bank. "We decided to choose Bank of New York Mellon … to activate the program of GDRs for Pioneers Holding on the London Stock Exchange," Pioneers board member Khaled …

Reuters

Bahrain’s Elaf eyes Malaysian sharia banking license

KUALA LUMPUR: Elaf Bank has applied for a Malaysian Islamic banking license after securing six financing deals worth about $1.4 billion in the country and Indonesia, its chief executive said on Wednesday. The license would enable Elaf to execute the deals and conduct other dollar-denominated Islamic banking business and the bank hopes to hear from …

Reuters

BlackRock sees demand for emerging-market ETFs

DUBAI: Demand for emerging-market exchange traded funds (ETFs) is set to grow rapidly as investors hit by foreign-ownership regulations in many countries buy the product as an alternative, a managing director at money manager BlackRock said. Investors have been scrambling to get into fast-growing emerging economies in Asia and Latin America, lured by high returns. …

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