Source: AMCHAM - Egypt Watch Bulletin
Those are the headlines that caught my attention ... The tourism headlines are DEPRESSING .. this is a huge decline since my days in tourism.
EGYPT'S CENTRAL BANK LOWERS INTEREST RATES
The Central Bank of Egypt (link here) lowered its overnight deposit rate by 50 basis points to 10%. In February, the central bank had reduced the base rate by 100 basis points from 11.5%. The central bank also lowered the overnight lending rate by 50 basis points to 12% and the discount rate to 10% .............. Not sure how I feel about this one!! Scam?!! There has to be a trick
SUEZ CANAL REVENUES DECLINE 26% IN FEBRUARY
Egypt's Suez Canal revenues dipped 26% to $301.8 million in February, compared to $407.7 million in February 2008 and also down from $332.4 million in January, the Suez Canal Authority said .... Do you think Piracy has to do anything with this?
TAXI OWNERS SEEK LOANS TO RENEW VEHICLES
Egyptian banks received 5,000 requests from taxi owners for loans to renew their taxis. The loans will bear a fixed interest rate of 6.25%. Advertising companies will be paying LE416/month per taxi in return for taxi owners putting advertisements on their taxis, reducing the monthly installment to a range of LE590-1,435 .......... My heart goes out to the taxi drivers who will be in debt probably for the next 5 years (heavy debt) ... hope they learn to maintnaice their new cars.
TE PLAN TO INCREASE INTERNET SEGMENT
Telecom Egypt (AmCham member) (link here) Chairman Akil Beshir said the company plans to increase the internet segment contribution to total revenues from 5% last year to 10%. Meanwhile, Beshir expects subscribers’ net addition to range between 100,000 and 200,000 subscribers in fiscal year 2009 .... yeah and then they censor it .. so people are left with emails and a few sites to keep them company
MINISTRY PROPOSES FREE-MARKET ELECTRICITY PLAN
Egypt's Ministry of Electricty and Energy (link here) has set out a plan to allow the private sector to provide electricity, slowly shifting towards a free-market electricity scheme. This significantly changes the landscape in the electricity sector ... why does this sound like bad news?
PRIME MINISTER APPROVES LE8 BILLION MEDICAL CITY IN HELWAN
Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif approved the signing of a memorandum of cooperation with British investors to set up the largest Medical City in the Middle East over an area of 500 feddans at a total cost of LE8 billion in Helwan. Helwan Governor Hazem al-Quweidi signed the memorandum and said that the Medical City falls within the development strategy prepared by the governorate .... emmmm words like largest and biggest and development no longer do it for me
PLANS TO DEVELOP A NEW TERMINAL IN HURGHADA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Ministry of Civil Aviation is planning to develop a new passenger terminal in Hurghada International Airport next June, said the General Manger of the Hurghada International Airport .... again?!!!! I have been adding that line to my marketing plans since 2001
EGYPTIAN EXPORTS TO FRANCE UP BY 22.9%
Egyptian exports to France have increased in 2008 by 22.9% to hit 926 million euros. According to official French statistics, petroleum exports to France out of the total figure hit 470 million euros while non-petroleum exports hit 456 million euros ... I was hoping it would have been anything but petroleum
OCI SIGNS FERTILIZER DEAL 13
Egypt's Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) said it signed a deal with a subsidiary of Brazil's Group Fertipar for the supply of granular urea fertilizers to Brazil .... Smart .. hats off .. thumbs up ... bow
VEHICLE SALES FALL 37% IN FEBRUARY
Total vehicle sales in Egypt fell 37% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) to 13,148 units in February 2009, according to the Automotive Marketing Information Council (AMIC). The decline was softer than the 50% Y-o-Y plunge of January 2009. On monthly basis, total sales were up 22%. This brings 2M2009 total vehicle sales down 44% Y-o-Y, with passenger car sales down 47% Y-o-Y and commercial vehicle sales (buses and trucks) down 34% Y-o-Y ... Every year they say something about cars becoming cheaper ... and I wait .. and wait .. and wait ...
ITALY & EGYPT INK DEAL TO UPGRADE EGYPTIAN RAILWAYS
Egypt and Italy signed a deal to fund the development of the Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA). The deal was signed in Cairo by Egyptian Transport Minister, Mohammed Lotfi Mansour, and the Italian Minister for Infrastructure ... a bubble? could it be one? I have seen the reports on the General Motors trains ... yeah and the train drivers strikes ... sigh
AERO TRAVEL TO BUILD LUXURY HOTEL
Aero Travel Hotels Company will build a five-star hotel with 350 rooms for transit travellers at the Cairo International Airport. The company is currently talking with Banque Misr to obtain a $53 million loan for the project, and its application should be approved in a few days ..... where are those figures that say that luxury travelers no longer want Egypt and we are better off with the 4 stars all inclusive fun hotels?
LOUIS MAKES ITS FORAY INTO EGYPT WITH NEW HOTEL 15
Cyprus hospitality company Louis Plc said it will manage a five-star Louis Tiran Sharm hotel, which is set to open in Egypt in June. The 346-room property, on a private 1,500 meter stretch of Sharm El Sheikh's coast, is owned by Egyptian firm Tower Group. Egypt's most popular Red Sea tourist resort, Sharm El Sheikh attracts a high percentage of European visitors all year round .... Cyprus? Sharm El Sheikh ... very very smart move ... Cypriots love Sharm ... I am not kidding you ... short flight .. sun .. fun ... beaches .. and cheap .. great!
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Egypt Watch Bulletin, April 1, 2009 – (HTML version)
Egypt Watch Bulletin, April 1, 2009 – (PDF version)