Sabah Hamamou

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Latest by Sabah Hamamou


Inflation continues decline to reach 10.2 pct in May

CAIRO: Urban consumer inflation in Egypt fell to 10.2 percent in May 2009, from 11.7 percent in April, according to figures released Wednesday by the Central Authority for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Nationwide inflation came in at 9.8 percent for the 12 months to May as prices of food and beverages, hotels and restaurants, …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt foreign exchange reserves up to $31.21 bln

CAIRO: Egypt’s net foreign exchange reserves rose to $31.21 billion in May from $31.19 billion in April, according to a report released by the Central Bank of Egypt. The upturn ended a six-month decline in reserves, which dropped 11 percent in value starting November 2008 due to the effects of the global financial crisis. “These …

Sabah Hamamou

Saudi's Almarai, PepsiCo to acquire Beyti

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s Almarai and the multinational PepsiCo are in the process of acquiring 70 percent of the Egypt-based International Company for Agro-Industrial Projects (Beyti), local news reported. Dairy and Juice International Limited, an investment company formed earlier this year by Almarai and Pepsi, will buy at least 70 percent of Beyti. The deal, which …

Sabah Hamamou

ONE ON ONE: Jaguar tailors strategies to MENA market

CAIRO: During unstable economic times, companies constantly need to revise their business strategies and customize their approach to each market. This is no less true for the automotive industry, which has seen a slowdown since the economic crisis. For a premium brand like Jaguar, the way to cope with the slowdown has been to look …

Sabah Hamamou

TMG to shift focus to hotels and tourism sector

CAIRO: Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) Holding is changing a 20-year strategy centered on the construction sector to focus more on the hotels and tourism sector, its executives said this week. In an event organized and hosted by the Egyptian Investment Management Association (EIMA), TMG executives explained that this shift in strategy aims to get its …

Sabah Hamamou

INTERVIEW: Nissan prefers to be cautious about the market, says MD

CAIRO: Nissan sees great potential in the Egyptian automotive market and expects a lot of opportunity for growth in industrial activities with Egyptian players. Nissan’s investment in its factory and distribution network has been delivering promising results so far. Nissan is now manufacturing three models locally with Japanese quality. Nissan Egypt is one of the …

Sabah Hamamou

IFC advisory services grew without coherent frameworks, says report

CAIRO: The International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s investment and advisory services grew without coherent global strategic framework, Independent Evolution Group (IEG) said in its 2009 report on IFC’s development results, released yesterday in Cairo. The evaluation process came for reasons of accountability, learning and to show the results of resources allocation, said Marvin Tylor-Dormond, director of …

Sabah Hamamou

Middle East will be fastest growing region in 2009

CAIRO: The Middle East will be the fastest growing region in the world in 2009, says a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). “In 2009, [Asia will] lose the top slot as the most growing region in the world to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as its openness to trade …

Sabah Hamamou

Government may hike prices to finance social raise, say reports

CAIRO: Egypt said it may hike fuel prices to pay for public sector wages less than two weeks after President Hosni Mubarak announced a 10 percent raise in social allowance for all government employees, the local media reported. “The Ministry of Finance is considering raising the price of gasoline 92 and 95 after the end …

Sabah Hamamou

Mohamed Nosseir: The 'deals hunter' who worked hard

CAIRO: News of the loss of communications guru Mohamed Nosseir last week took Egyptian business circles by storm, ending the life of a respected icon, whose memory will endure beyond a career replete with milestones. Following a four-month battle with a sudden illness with which he was diagnosed in January, the chairman of the Egyptian-British …

Sabah Hamamou

IN DEPTH: Experts explain Egypt's recent stock market rally

CAIRO: Starting late February, Egypt’s bourse has had investors more optimistic than in recent months with an 11-week rally that has since tapered off slightly on the back of breaking news from some of its top movers. Egypt s benchmark stock index fell 3.48 percent Thursday to close at 5,665 points while the broader EGX …

Sabah Hamamou

Housing to see summer boom in Egypt, says official

CAIRO: Egypt’s housing sector will start surging again this summer, said one official Monday. “By Ramadan [in August] the housing sector in Egypt will start booming, said Osama Saleh, chairman of the Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA), at a conference in Cairo. Despite the slowdown witnessed by many industries in Egypt, real estate developers said Monday …

Sabah Hamamou

Hungary in Egypt for business

CAIRO: Hungary is foreign territory for Egypt’s business community. While there is a flow of trade between the two nations, there are many investment opportunities to be seized by potential Egyptian investors, said members of a Hungarian delegation currently visiting Cairo. Headed by György Rétfalvi, general director of the Investment and Trade Development Agency (ITD), …

Sabah Hamamou

One On One: Abaza Trade foresees momentum in auto industry

Egyptian car importer and distributor Abaza Auto Trade has seen business slow down since the onset of the economic crisis. While their sales figures are nowhere near last year’s, the chairman of the company told Daily News Egypt that business has been picking up since this past March. The company launched a car fair in …

Sabah Hamamou

Central depository, registry law amendment prompts heated debate

CAIRO: A proposed amendment that would allow the Egyptian Stock Exchange (ESE) to own a majority stake in the country’s central depository and registry company has stirred heated debate and accusations that this is part of a larger plan to privatize the ESE. In mid-April, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) requested that the Ministry of …

Sabah Hamamou

BG Egypt's Tim Blackford: Positive on oil and gas sector

CAIRO: BG Egypt has had a busy year. The company moved forward with investment plans, launched new projects and continued drilling efforts. When the economic crisis hit, its strategy was simple: proceed as planned. According to BG Egypt President Tim Blackford, the crisis has not and will not affect Egypt operations. As a long-term investor, …

Sabah Hamamou

Egypt's Central Bank cuts key interest rates

CAIRO: The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) cut overnight deposit and lending rates, the bank said Friday, in a bid to encourage lending. The bank cut its overnight deposit rate by 50 basis points to 9.5 percent and its overnight lending rate by 100 basis points to 11 percent, according to a statement published on …

Sabah Hamamou

Panelists shed light on challenging financial landscape at InterGas

CAIRO: Heeding warnings from Egypt’s petroleum minister about delaying investments in the energy sector, a panel at InterGas discussed the challenging financial landscape this week. On the sidelines of the exhibition, a session titled “Financing of the Hydrocarbon Sector; Evolving Structures and New Sources of Liquidity, gave experts a chance to discuss the effects of …

Sabah Hamamou

Meeting of the minds at fifth annual InterGas Egypt

CAIRO: InterGas Egypt 2009 opened its doors Tuesday with oil and gas companies from around the world taking part in the fifth annual industry event. While the conference was officially opened in the evening by Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmy and Azerbaijan’s Minister for Industry and Energy Natik Aliyev, the exhibition was already well …

Sabah Hamamou

Trade show highlights latest in automation technology

CAIRO: Egypt’s annual automation exhibition came to a close Monday after three days of bringing together professionals in an array of industries to showcase the latest products, solutions and services. Engineers, manufacturers and visitors gathered at the International Industrial Control and Automation Technology Exhibition and Conference, now in its third year, in Cairo from May …

Sabah Hamamou

Chrysler Egypt sees 'business as usual,' says CEO

CAIRO: As Chrysler moves towards bankruptcy in the US, the carmakers’ operations in Egypt are reportedly seeing “business as usual, said Edward Cummins, CEO of Chrysler Group Egypt, in a press conference Saturday. All activities in terms of vehicle assembly, sales, marketing, service and dealer network will continue normally while the alliance with Fiat Group …

Sabah Hamamou

Keep marketing up when economy slows down, say experts

CAIRO: The knee-jerk reaction of many businesses during recessionary times is to cut costs on all fronts. However, marketing experts at a seminar in Cairo Wednesday advised against cutting production costs, slashing prices, halting investments in innovation and reducing advertising spending. Egyptian marketing experts at the seminar, organized by Nielsen – a global information and …

Sabah Hamamou

IFC mulls student loan program for Egyptians

CAIRO: A $39 million portfolio to provide Egyptians with student loans is currently pending approval from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. According to the IFC website, the new facility targets Egyptian students applying to undergraduate and graduate programs at private universities in the country. The loans …

Sabah Hamamou

Make your next move – if you can

CAIRO: The weather outside was warmer than usual for this time of year. Luxury cars lined up at the gates of the Cairo International Conference Center. Inside, the air conditioning cooled down the temperature – “but, not the prices, said one visitor to the Next Move real estate exhibition. Nirmeen Mohamed, a 28-year-old HR specialist …

Sabah Hamamou

Beltone launches Egypt, Gulf MidCap fund

CAIRO: Beltone Private Equity launched a $200 million fund to invest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt and the Gulf . This will include a $10 million Egypt Sub-Fund financed by the World Bank’s International Financial Corporation (IFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), both of which will commit $16.5 million. The Export …

Sabah Hamamou

Who should foot the bill for FDI?

One of the main concerns during these times of financial turmoil is how to keep foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into Egypt. A main propellant of economic growth in recent years, FDI has already declined in the face of the credit crunch. But the most recent debate has been more about financing as opposed to …

Sabah Hamamou

GE Healthcare heads east to emerging markets

ALEXANDRIA: “GE Healthcare is focusing on emerging markets to cope with the global financial crisis, Hamid Khoudli, general manager of Africa at GE Healthcare, said Wednesday. In an interview with Daily News Egypt, Khoudli said the company has been pouring more investments in emerging markets over the past two years, making conscious strides towards expansion …

Sabah Hamamou

Nuweiba plant to boost Egypt's electricity generating capacity

CAIRO: Egypt’s electricity-generating capacity will soon get a boost with the establishment of a combined cycle power plant in Nuweiba, the local press reported. The project will cost a total of LE 4 billion ($714.2 million), financed partly by the Egyptian government and partly by a ?260 million loan granted from the European Investment Bank …

Sabah Hamamou

Local print media going against the grain

CAIRO: As print media powerhouses crumple around the world due to exorbitant printing costs, declining advertising revenues and dwindling subscribers, the recent launch of a privately-owned Egyptian newspaper seems to fly in the face of glum projections on the local impact of the global financial crisis. Last February the independent Al-Shorouk newspaper hit the newsstands, …

Sabah Hamamou