Sabah Hamamou

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Latest by Sabah Hamamou


ACE sees more opportunities in development

CAIRO: The work of ACE Moharram Bakhoum, an engineering consultancy company, can be prominently seen around Egypt. You may not realize it, but you know their work well: whether you’re shopping in CityStars, driving on the Ring Road or looking forward to the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum. The company is also responsible for …

Sabah Hamamou

INTERVIEW: On the right track: Cairo Metro developing under new management

CAIRO: If Cairo’s metro is part of your daily commute, you might have noticed recent developments in services, from renovated platforms to a more efficient staff. You might have also heard the regular public announcements that keep passengers informed on Metro regulations and other important information. This has largely been the task of Cairo metro’s …

Sabah Hamamou

Reform fund triggers heated debate

Egypt’s Financial Sector Reform Fund has been the subject of a fierce debate in the local media over the last few months, mainly due to its chairman’s refusal to allow the Central Auditing Agency (CAA) to audit its final financial statement. The controversy was spurred after the CAA was denied access to audit the financial …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt preps for Basel II banking

Egypt’s central bank announced earlier this month that shifting to a Basel II capital adequacy framework will be the main focus of the next wave of banking reforms. Central Bank Governor Farouk El-Okdah said Egypt will begin implementing a new phase of Basel II, which aims to create an international standard for banking regulations, such …

Sabah Hamamou

Arab Cotton Ginning divests land holdings

CAIRO: Egypt’s Arab Cotton Ginning Company (ACGC) is splitting off its real estate holdings from its core cotton production business by offering its land for real estate projects, chairman Hani Olama said in conference Sunday. The new real estate company will focus on investments in housing, tourism, and commercial development, taking advantage of ACGC’s current …

Sabah Hamamou

CBE launches core inflation index

CAIRO: Egypt’s central bank launched Sunday a core inflation index, which excludes prices of some commodities and aims to improve inflation forecasts. “The core inflation index will take effect starting January, Hisham Ramez, Central Bank of Egypt’s deputy governor, said in a press conference. The new index is “a variant of the headline Consume Price …

Sabah Hamamou

IGI launches LE 5 bln housing project

CAIRO: IGI Real Estate, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the International Group for Investment (IGI), launched Wednesday a LE 5 billion middle-income residential development. Kenanah, to be located in Sixth of October city, aims to cater to the “unmet demand for middle-income housing and hopes to appeal to young couples looking for more spacious accommodations, company …

Sabah Hamamou

Six stocks resume trading after EGX suspension

CAIRO: The Egyptian Stock Exchange resumed trading on six of 32 stocks it had suspended last week due to what it said were unjustified price increases, according to local news reports. The remaining stocks will be suspended until the companies outline their strategies for adapting EGX listing regulations. Trading will be resumed once the companies …

Sabah Hamamou

Expert says money grows most in mutual funds

CAIRO: Despite its tendency to fluctuate, the return on investment (ROI) on mutual funds is typically higher than interest rates on bank deposits, officials from Cairo-based investment firm HC Brokerage said at a workshop this week. In 2005, the ROI on mutual funds managed by HC was 111 percent. A year later, that number fell …

Sabah Hamamou

Ahram Center director takes on new challenges

CAIRO: Shortly after taking on his new position as director of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS), Gamal Abdel Gawad already identified his main challenge – reaching out to the public. “We [at Al-Ahram Center] have been producing quality research, but the political and intellectual elite in Egypt haven’t been able to capitalize …

Sabah Hamamou

Lexmark expands Egypt operations

CAIRO: Printing solutions provider Lexmark lunched Monday five new products in Egypt, which are also debuting in the Middle East market. At a press conference, company officials also announced a new strategy in Egypt, including expanding the staff and implementing a more aggressive marketing campaign. “We used to launch new products at the Gitex fair …

Sabah Hamamou

Bitter outlook for sugar prices in Egypt

CAIRO: Despite government measures to mitigate the effects of surging global sugar prices, they are steadily continuing their upward trend in the local market. Since the beginning of the year, sugar prices have shot up 100 percent in Egypt, reaching LE 5 per kg in some areas from LE 2.5 per kg, leading the government …

Sabah Hamamou

US energy conference debates global challenges

OHIO: After a three-day conference that brought 26 energy experts together with 30 specialized reporters from all over the US, one would expect to walk away with a lot of answers to the energy challenges facing our world. However, at the end of the McCormick Energy Solution Conference, some of the most pressing questions remained …

Sabah Hamamou

Real estate faces challenges and opportunities

CAIRO: “2009 was a much better year than anticipated, and this was an enormous relief, Ahmed Badrawi, chief business development officer at Sixth October for Development and Investment Company (SODIC), said. Badrawi spoke on a panel of developers and real estate experts at the Euromoney conference last week, which discussed the challenges and opportunities the …

Sabah Hamamou

CI launches 'tailor-made' investment product

CAIRO: Investment bank CI Capital launched Tuesday a new individual portfolio management service called Made to Measure (MTM). During a workshop at the Euromoney Egypt Conference, officials from CI Capital Asset Management introduced the features of this new product and the types of portfolios it handles. To become an MTM user, investors need a minimum …

Sabah Hamamou

Nazif closes Euromoney conference

CAIRO: Egypt is ready to leave the financial crisis behind – as well as the food crisis before that – and move forward with reform, Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said Wednesday The country needs to focus on four sectors: education, health care, energy and transportation, he said during the closing speech of the Euromoney Egypt …

Sabah Hamamou

Mobile banking ready to roll in Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt’s central bank is set to finalize the regulatory framework for mobile money transfer within two weeks, officials said. The draft legislation has been finalized by the main stakeholders, Ahmed Faragallah, head of payment systems at the CBE, told Daily News Egypt on the sidelines of the Euromoney conference Wednesday. In a session titled …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt to offer two triple play licenses: Kamel

CAIRO: Egypt will offer two licenses that will introduce a new telecom service to the country and boost competition in the sector, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel said Wednesday. Two consortiums will be invited to bid for triple play licenses, which will provide cable, telephone and internet services mostly to new urban …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt PPPs face financing challenges

CAIRO: The main challenge facing the pubic-private partnership (PPP) business model in Egypt is local funding, said Rania Zayed, advisor to the ministry of finance and director of the PPP Central Unit. Speaking at the Euromoney Egypt Conference session titled “PPP: inaction or in action, Zayed said the PPP Central Unit aims to “create instruments …

Sabah Hamamou

Private sector invests heavily in river transportation

CAIRO: For many years, the Nile River has been Egypt’s main vein, acting as a source of water, food and even leisure. However, soon the Nile will play another pivotal role for Egyptians as the private sector shows interest in investing in river transportation. Citadel Capital, one of the leading private equity firms in Egypt …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt inflation down to 9 pct

CAIRO: Egypt’s urban consumer inflation declined to 9.04 percent in the year to August 2009, from 9.98 percent the previous month, according to data released by the government statistics agency CAPMAS. On an annual basis, food prices remained stable, rising by 13.4 percent in both July and August, while housing and utilities, furniture, and recreation …

Sabah Hamamou

Hazem Hassan heads new GAFI board

CAIRO: Hazem Zaki Hassan of KPMG was named the chief of the Board of Trustees of the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), according to a statement on the investment ministry’s website. Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif announced GAFI’s new board of trustees, with Hassan succeeding Ziad Bahaa Eldin, who served as chairman for …

Sabah Hamamou

Mohieldin to promote Egypt investment in China

CAIRO: Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin started on Sunday a week-long visit to China to promote Egyptian Chinese relations. No exact figure has been released by the ministry of investment on the number of people joining the delegation, but according to Middle East New Agency (MENA), a group of officials from the public and private …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt launches e-registration for new companies

CAIRO: Egypt launched Tuesday a new service allowing for the e-registration of companies, a long awaited step to facilitate the registration of startups and eliminate red-tape in a bid to improve the country’s business environment. The service was launched by Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin, Ministry of Administrative Development Ahmed Darwish and Chairman of the General …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt to amend mortgage finance law

CAIRO: Egypt plans to amend its mortgage finance law to facilitate access to funding particularly to youth, Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin told local press. The amendments will be presented to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif within weeks, and will set out to change the mortgage percentage of total income. According to the current law, the percentage …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt studies six consultancy bids for nuclear program

CAIRO: Egypt is currently reviewing six bids from international companies to provide service-related and technical consultancy for the nuclear safety department in the Egyptian nuclear program, Minister of Electricity and Energy Hassan Younes said. Companies from France, UK, Germany, Canada, US and South Korea were chosen out of total 17 bids presented last April, according …

Sabah Hamamou

BUSINESS BEAT: Mobinil, NGOs launch Ramadan microfinance initiative

Mobinil, the leading mobile operator in Egypt by number of subscribers, recently launched a new initiative to support the budding microfinance sector in Egypt. Throughout the month of Ramadan, Mobinil will deduct LE 1 from each transaction conducted by its 23 million subscribers – whether it’s recharging, paying the monthly bill or buying any of …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt economy to grow 5.3-5.5 pct in fiscal year 09/10, says minister

CAIRO: Egypt is expected to see an economic growth rate ranging between 5.3 and 5.5 percent in the 2009/2010 fiscal year, Minister of Economic Development Othman Mohamed Othman said Tuesday. The country’s economic growth came in at 4.7 percent in fiscal year 2008/09, Othman said in a press conference, above forecasts of a 4.5 percent …

Sabah Hamamou

One on one with Beltone's Aladdin Saba

CAIRO: In the Egyptian Stock Exchange board elections held earlier this month, Aladdin Saba won 42 percent of the votes in what seemed like an effortless victory. Local media attributed the success to his “good reputation and experience. Saba, who’s in his late 40s, has gone much farther in his career than most of his …

Sabah Hamamou

AMIC founder on the future of the auto industry

In September 1999, Tawfik Abou Shousha, then the general manager of Mustang, called in the top executives from Egypt’s auto manufacturers and distributors for a meeting. He asked them a simple question: What are your most recent sales figures? The figures they gave for their respective companies were quite different from the numbers made public …

Sabah Hamamou