Sabah Hamamou

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Latest by Sabah Hamamou


IN DEPTH: Egypt eyes investments in Iraq

CAIRO: Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin led an 80-member delegation of mostly businessmen last week to explore potential investment opportunities in another country. This is pretty routine for ministry officials and business personalities, but it was the destination that made this visit unique: The delegation headed to Iraq. While garnering much media attention in both …

Sabah Hamamou

Inflation down from last Ramadan, but food prices yet to cool off

CAIRO: Last year, Egyptians tread anxiously into Ramadan as inflation hit a record high of 23 percent in August 2008 in the lead up to the holy month. Food prices soared and a few weeks later, the ripple effects of the economic crisis hit Egypt’s shores. Inflation has since been on a steadily decline, reaching …

Sabah Hamamou

Egyptian Exchange elects new board

CAIRO: The Egyptian Exchange elected a new board of directors Tuesday, after a fierce competition between candidates, comprising four members plus a representative of Misr for Clearing, Depository and Central Registry. The board includes Aladdin Saba, chairman and CEO of investment bank Beltone Financial; Hisham Tawfik, chairman of Al-Arabia Online; Mahmoud Shaaban, chairman of Roots …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt to apply property tax law in January

CAIRO: Egypt will start implementing the controversial property tax law this coming January, Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros-Ghali said earlier this week. Ghali released this week the regulations for the new Property Tax Law, to be applied to residential and commercial property taxes at the start of 2010. The law exempts houses and flats valued …

Sabah Hamamou

New chairman heads Nissan Egypt operations

CAIRO: “When the financial crisis ends we will resume our [expansion] plans, said Susumu Uchikoshi, Nissan Egypt’s new chairman and managing director, who took over early this month. At a press conference last week, Nissan introduced its new chairman and launched a new pick-up model called “El-Brengy El-Gedeed. The last product Nissin introduced to the …

Sabah Hamamou

Beltone launches BAM 30 index

CAIRO: Cairo-based investment bank Beltone Financial launched Sunday a new market index, the BAM 30, which lists the top 30 companies based on liquidity. The index will be rebalanced quarterly to make sure that the constituents meet the eligibility criteria, said Aladdin Saba, chairman and CEO of Beltone. The BAM 30 was launched as Egypt’s …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt car sales down 36 pct, says auto council

CAIRO: Egypt’s car sales declined 36.3 percent year-on-year in June 2009, said officials at the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC) in their bi-annual meeting last week. A total of 90,357 cars were sold in the year to June 2009, compared to 141,796 cars the previous year, with the volume of passenger cars decreasing the most …

Sabah Hamamou

Egyptian expats discuss challenges

CAIRO: A large Egyptian flag being carried into a conference hall by a group of young boys and girls. Singer Sherine’s patriotic lyrics playing in the background: “Did you drink from its Nile? Have you tried singing to her [Egypt]? This was how the Sixth Conference for Egyptians Working Abroad was inaugurated Monday, with a …

Sabah Hamamou

ONE ON ONE: ECES director on the new financial order

CAIRO: How will the economic crisis reshape the global economic order? That’s been the question to mull over in the past months as the financial fallout sent world markets tumbling.Hanaa Kheir El-Din, executive director of the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies (ECES), told Daily News Egypt in an interview that when the dust clears, the …

Sabah Hamamou

Two Seas Canal threatens Red Sea environment, says SCA chief

ISMAILIA: The new Two Seas Canal project, whose feasibility study is currently underway, will pose a fatal threat to the environment in the Red Sea, said Ahmed Ali Fadel, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority Sunday. Even though it will have no negative effect on the Suez Canal’s economy, it will, however be an environmental …

Sabah Hamamou

The Suez Canal, 140 years on

CAIRO: In the middle of the Sinai desert on April 25, 1859, Ferdinand de Lesseps, a French vice-consul in Egypt, told Egyptian peasants, “You will dig with your pickaxes, and you will bring prosperity to your families and your country. Ten years and 163 km later, the Suez Canal was complete; an artificial waterway connecting …

Sabah Hamamou

IN DEPTH: A closer look at Egypt's car boom

In 1982, Nisma Mohamed Hassan was the 10-year-old daughter of a lower-middle class family that owned no cars. Ahmed Abdel-Aziz was a 17-year-old high school student, one of nine in a car-less lower-middle class family. Fifteen years later, Hassan and Abdel-Aziz got married and now have three kids aged 12, nine and seven. The family …

Sabah Hamamou

Mortgage experts discuss Egyptian market

CAIRO: The housing and mortgage sector in Egypt is still at its initial stages, especially when compared to North America or Europe, said Michael Borish, international housing finance director of the Ottawa-based Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). He added that even markets in Malaysia and Singapore – that only started gaining momentum in the …

Sabah Hamamou

Economy recovering from financial crisis, says report

CAIRO: The economy in Egypt is recovering from the effects of the financial crisis, showing signs of improvement during the month of May, a report issued by the Ministry of Economic Development said. The report was prepared in collaboration with the Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC), the faculty of economics and political science and …

Sabah Hamamou

Real estate developers propose establishing federation

CAIRO: Egyptian real estate developers highlighted the importance of establishing a federation for developers as they wrapped up Al-Ahram’s Real Estate Exhibition Wednesday. The idea was first proposed by the Egyptian Junior Businessmen Association’s (EJB) real estate committee. The federation would act as an umbrella that will unify several real estate developers, committees and entities. …

Sabah Hamamou

Banque du Caire and Misr Beltone Asset Management launch LE 100 mln fund

CAIRO: Banque du Caire and Misr Beltone Asset Management, subsidy of the Cairo-based Belton Financial investment bank, established a new LE 100 million money market fund, Al-Qahirah Al-Youmy, they announced in a press conference Tuesday. The certificates will be issued at a par value of LE 10 and the minimum subscription value will be LE …

Sabah Hamamou

Experts talk real estate at Ahram exhibition

CAIRO: At the Al-Ahram Conference for Real Estate Investment this week, most attendees painted a positive and optimistic picture of the future of Egypt’s real estate sector. Taha Abdel Alim, general manager of Al-Ahram Foundation, addressed real estate developers and investors at the beginning of the conference on Monday, saying that Egypt is an attractive …

Sabah Hamamou

14 pct increase in Egypt oil demand expected by 2013, says report

CAIRO: Oil demand in Egypt is expected to rise 14 percent by 2013 from an estimated 671,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2008 to 771,000 bpd, according to a report. The latest Egypt Oil & Gas report forecasts that the country will account for 18.90 percent of Africa’s oil demand by 2013, while providing 6.03 …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt looking to attract Gulf investments

CAIRO: In the past couple of years, the world has lived through four crises: food, fuel, financial and flu, said Egypt’s Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin. The fuel crisis had a positive impact on oil-producing countries, he added. “The financial crisis will have the least impact in the short and medium term compared to the food …

Sabah Hamamou

IN DEPTH: Time to invest in Upper Egypt, governors say

CAIRO: A 10-year tax exemption, land ownership, the availability of infrastructure and access to basic utilities are just a few reasons to invest in Upper Egypt, officials said at a conference recently. Aswan summers are hot, but a fresh breeze wafted through the room as nine governors from Upper Egypt spoke of investment opportunities in …

Sabah Hamamou

NBE gets LE 2.2 bln loan

CAIRO: The National Bank of Egypt (NBE) recently received a LE 2.2 billion ($400 million) loan to improve its financial standing, mainly by raising the bank’s capital. The loan, granted by the World Bank and given to NBE by the Central Bank of Egypt, is part of the second phase of the Egypt Financial Reform …

Sabah Hamamou

Report explores shortcomings of trickle-down effect

CAIRO: The trickle-down effect of Egypt’s GDP growth rate over the past four years has been, for the most part, unaccounted for. A new government sponsored report attempted to examine the reasons behind this. “Toward Fair distributions of Growth Fruits, a report by General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI)’s board of trustees, gave …

Sabah Hamamou

DuPont sees much potential in Egyptian market

CAIRO: DuPont, a company established in 1802 with specializations in chemistry, agriculture and safety, approached the local real estate market with its newest innovations at the annual Interbuild Egypt conference. “It is a major event for the construction industry in Egypt if not in the Arab world, Khaled El-Dessouky, country Manager of DuPont Egypt, told …

Sabah Hamamou

Enterprise Egypt: A promising start for SMEs

CAIRO: Egypt launched Wednesday the country’s first center dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Enterprise Egypt, or Bedayah as it will be known in Arabic (which literally means ‘start’), will be fully operational this September. The center will have the support of Egypt’s Social Development Fund (SDF), the Arab Gulf …

Sabah Hamamou

UNB-Egypt moves forward with expansion plans

Union National Bank (UNB) Egypt is forging ahead with its expansion strategy and plans to have a total of 30 branches across the country by year’s end. While this would seem like quite an ambitious goal given the current state of the economy, the bank opened four new branches in Cairo, Mansoura and Assiut earlier …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt slides to 15th place in global retail index

CAIRO: Egypt, Morocco and Turkey slid in the Global Retail Development Index while the United Arab of Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia made the biggest jumps. Egypt came in 15th place in the annual index, which was issued last week by global management and research consulting firm A.T. Kearney, down from fifth place last year. …

Sabah Hamamou

Mohieldin inaugurates new financial supervision authority

CAIRO: Three major supervisory authorities were merged into one new General Authority for Financial Supervision (GAFS), Minister of Finance Mahmoud Mohieldin minister of Finance announced Sunday in a conference. On July 1, GAFS will start its work, assuming the supervisory mission of the three bodies that formed it: The Capital Market Authority (CMA), the Egyptian …

Sabah Hamamou

ONE ON ONE: Expert says auto sales improving, but not at last year's pace

While car sales have been improving gradually since the start of the year, Egypt’s auto market is only expected to sell around 200,000 this year, according to Salah El-Hadary, secretary general of the Egyptian Automobile Manufacturers Association (EAMA). Car sales in Egypt have been declining since the onset of the global economic crisis, but the …

Sabah Hamamou

GAFI to introduce e-registration, provide economic statistics on Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt will allow new companies to register online starting next month, Assem Ragab, chairman of General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), told a conference Tuesday. Ragab and other senior officials from GAFI outlined the steps taken so far to facilitate and improve the investment climate in Egypt. One main complaint from foreign …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt makes top 10 offshoring destinations

CAIRO: Egypt climbed seven places this year to come in as the sixth most attractive offshore locations globally, according to a recent report. The 2009 report recently released by A.T. Kearney, a global management and research consulting firm, ranked Egypt number six after India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, Egypt, which ranked 13 in 2008, …

Sabah Hamamou