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Egypt Islamic finance sector in uphill struggle

  DUBAI/CAIRO: Egypt is likely to remain an Islamic finance laggard, hit by bad press from corruption scandals and a government keen to buttress its secular credentials and stymie Islamists ahead of elections next year.   The birthplace of Islamic finance, Egypt is the sixth-biggest Muslim nation with 80 million people, but only 3 to …

Daily News Egypt

Entrepreneur Profile: Mostafa Ghaly makes paper work

What does it take to become an entrepreneur in Egypt? Persistence, courage and, according to Mostafa Ghaly, a little bit of insanity. “The way government organizations handle entrepreneurial ventures…is completely irresponsible and I would say immoral,” said Ghaly, managing director of Palm Paper. Recounting his entrepreneurial endeavors in an interview with Daily News Egypt, it …

Amr Ramadan

OCI JV wins $750 mln Doha airport contract

  A joint venture of Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has won a contract worth $750 million to expand Qatar’s international airport, the firm said on Wednesday.   BESIX Group, itself a 50-50 venture between OCI and Belgian construction group Besix, will team up with Midmac Contracting via BESIX Group’s fully-owned unit Six Construct Qatar …

Reuters

I want to win a trophy: Geddo

CAIRO: Ahly’s new boy Geddo is eager to win his first club title after joining the league champions from Ittihad. The 26-year-old, who was Egypt’s marksman in the 2010 African Cup of Nations, trained with his new club for the first time this week as he looks forward to the new challenge. "I hope to …

Omar AbdelAziz

Payment card usage and demand on the rise, says Visa

  CAIRO: The use of payment cards in Egypt is rising as well as demand from consumers for access to them, Visa executives said Tuesday at a conference.   The expansion of payment cards, however, is hindered by a lack of understanding and awareness about their benefits and unsubstantiated fears of them held by small …

Christopher Le Coq

Dana Petroleum announces onshore discovery in Egypt

  Middle East explorer Dana Petroleum announced a new discovery onshore at its North Zeit Bay production area in Egypt, the company said in a statement.   Early tests of the plant, which lies near the Gulf of Suez, yielded a flow rate of more than 4,700 barrels of oil per day (bpd). Dana added …

Daily News Egypt

Talaat Moustafa lawyers unable to plead case due to syndicate strike

CAIRO: The Lawyers’ Syndicate strike deterred defense lawyers from pleading their case during the latest hearing of Hisham Talaat Moustafa and Mohsen Al-Sukkari’s retrial, Bahaa Eddin Abu Shoaa said Sunday. Abu Shoaa, one of Moustafa’s lawyers, told daily News Egypt, “We found ourselves, as prominent lawyers, caught between obeying the Lawyers’ Syndicate call [to strike] …

Marwa Al-A’sar

Iran oil sales down 24 percent: report

TEHRAN: Iran’s oil sales for the 11 months to February 2010 fell by 24.3 percent to $59.55 billion (€48 billion), the Fars news agency reported on Sunday. In a report it said was exclusive, but without quoting a source, the agency said oil sales for the corresponding period the year before stood at more than …

AFP

Egypt wants diversified wheat origins: Rachid

  Egypt wants to maintain imports of wheat from a diversified range of origins, the trade minister said on Sunday, after Egypt tightened terms for tenders that some suppliers said would add complications and costs.   Since the start of the current financial year in July 2009, Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, has purchased …

Reuters

Egypt eyes 5.8 percent growth in next fiscal year

CAIRO: Egypt aims to achieve 5.8 percent economic growth in the fiscal year that that begins in July, the ministry of economic development said on Thursday. Egypt is targeting "real economic growth of 5.8 percent," the ministry said on its website. It also hopes to attract direct foreign investment of eight billion dollars (6.5 billion …

AFP

Paraguay and Slovakia qualify from Group F

JOHANNESBURG: Defending champion Italy was eliminated from the World Cup on Thursday after a humbling 3-2 loss that sent Slovakia through to the round of 16. For the third consecutive match, the Azzurri conceded an early goal, and this time they never recovered. "I take full responsibility," Italy coach Marcello Lippi said. "If the squad …

AP

Egypt sees economic growth, FDI rising in 2010/11

  Egypt aims to attract about $8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) and boost economic growth to 5.8 percent in the fiscal year that begins July 2010, the Economic Development Ministry said on Wednesday.   Figures published by the ministry in a report on its website projected foreign direct investment would reach $5.5 billion …

Reuters

Banking hub Bahrain faces grim outlook

MANAMA: Bahrain needs to reinvent itself as a financial centre if it wants to return to growth and remain a destination for the region’s oil wealth after the financial crisis clipped the wings of its investment houses. Analysts say the only opportunity for the tiny island kingdom off Saudi Arabia lies in funding the large …

Daily News Egypt

Dubai's Amlak, Tamweel results signal turnaround

DUBAI: Earnings at troubled Dubai mortgage firms Amlak and Tamweel improved in the first quarter, the companies said on Tuesday, potentially clearing the way to mergers or takeovers. Trading in Dubai’s two biggest mortgage firms has been suspended since 2008 when the government announced plans to merge and restructure the two Islamic lenders after the …

Reuters

Court rules to nullify Talaat Moustafa land deal

CAIRO: An Egyptian court ruled on Tuesday to nullify the sale of government land to Talaat Moustafa Group, Egypt’s biggest listed developer, for its mixed-use Medinaty project on the outskirts of Cairo. The court ruled that the New Urban Communities Authority, a body under the housing ministry, had broken the law by selling the land …

Yasmine Saleh

Abu Dhabi's TAQA not planning bond issue in 2010, says exec

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi National Energy Co (TAQA) has no plans to issue a bond this year, after reported meetings with investors since early June in the United States, Asia and Europe, a company executive said on Sunday. TAQA, majority owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, held a series of presentations throughout June to …

Reuters

Arab 2010 GDP growth seen rising to at least 4 pct: AMF

Growth in Arab economies will accelerate to at least 4 percent on average this year on higher oil prices, while the impact of the euro zone debt crisis will be small if any, the Arab Monetary Fund chief said on Thursday. "Economic growth will not be less than 4 percent this year, in some Arab …

Reuters

Rachid meets Argentina, Paraguay on upping trade

  Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid met with Argentine Ambassador to Egypt Luis Enrique Cappagli and Paraguay Ambassador Ausberto Rodriguez to discuss ways to boost trade and economic relations.   The meeting also took up preparations for inking a preferential trade agreement between Egypt and the Mercosur countries. Talks further tackled means …

Daily News Egypt

HDB loan portfolio jumps 20 pct: paper

  Housing and Development Bank’s retail loans portfolio grew to LE 2.5 billion last May, compared to LE 2.1 billion, a 20 percent increase, reported Al-Mal.   HDB deputy chairman, Essam Abo Hamed, said that diversity in HDB services and products and particularly its specialized products contributed in increasing growth rates in retail services. He …

Arab Finance

Egypt shelves plan to give state firm shares to public

  CAIRO: Egypt’s government has shelved plans to partially privatize some public sector firms through distributing free shares to citizens, the investment minister said.   Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) had proposed in November 2008 selling government minority stakes in up to 150 state-run firms in a move it claimed would make privatization more …

Sherine El Madany

Mitchell returns to the Middle East

WASHINGTON: US envoy George Mitchell headed back to the Middle East on Wednesday in a new bid to advance indirect peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, the State Department said. "He expects to have meetings with Israeli officials tomorrow (Thursday), Palestinian officials on Friday, and Egyptian officials on Saturday," State Department spokesman Philip Crowley …

AFP

Cirque du Soleil creates quirky Canada vision for World Expo

At Canada’s prism-shaped World Expo pavilion in Shanghai, dayglo-suited businessmen juggle bowling pins, royal guards march in "bearskin" hats made of flowers and hockey players zoom on roller blades. After going into orbit last year when founder Guy Laliberte orchestrated a multimedia show from the International Space Station featuring U2, Cirque du Soleil is re-imagining …

AFP

Egypt police catch man smuggling foxes, chameleons

CAIRO: Security officers at Cairo’s international airport have stopped an Egyptian man trying to smuggle eight live foxes and 50 chameleons out of the country. Police say the officers stopped a 36-year-old traveler on Wednesday with a suspicious large suitcase, then opened it to find the animals in small plastic cages. Police confiscated the animals, …

AP

HDB first quarter profit tumbles

Egypt’s Housing and Development Bank’s (HDB) first quarter net profit tumbled 45 percent from the same period a year earlier, the bourse said on Monday. The firm made a consolidated profit of LE 59.7 million ($10.5 million), down from LE 108.3 million in 2009, the stock exchange said. Last year, HDB bought 39 percent of …

Reuters

Iraq parliament opens three months after polls

BAGHDAD: Iraq moved to bolster its shaky democracy on Monday with the opening of its second parliament since the US-led ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003, more than three months after an election stalemate. A rousing rendition of the national anthem "My Nation" signaled the start of the inaugural session of the Council of Representatives, …

AFP

Egypt's Alcotexa sells 581 T cotton in past week

Egypt’s Alexandria Cotton Exporters’ Association (Alcotexa) committed to sell 581 tons of cotton in the week that ended on June 12, an Alcotexa official told Reuters on Sunday. The sales comprised 169 tons of Giza 88, 400 tons of Giza 86 and 12 tons mixed from Giza 86 and Giza 89, the official said. The …

Reuters

Oil falls towards $75 on China growth doubts

LONDON: Oil prices fell to near $75 a barrel on Friday after gaining about 5 percent this week as investors weighed prospects that the European debt crisis could slow fuel demand growth even in emerging markets such as China. News that the world’s no. 2 oil consumer China saw overall exports surge 48.5 percent last …

Daily News Egypt

UNESCO for sale

COLUMBUS, OHIO: In a better world, my nieces and nephews in Equatorial Guinea would respect our country’s president for overseeing the careful management of revenues pouring in from oil, and for using these funds for development. In a better world, my nieces and nephews would honor the United Nations’ main cultural institution, UNESCO, for insisting …

Daily News Egypt