Pharos Holding’s Financial Conditions Index (FCI) has revealed that the real growth of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) declined noticeably in the third quarter (3Q) of fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017. The tight financial conditions, together with the outlook of the inflation, support the decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) in March 2017 to leave interest rates unchanged. The report showed that the buying activity of foreign investors supported the Egyptian stock exchange’s move upward in March. Pharos Holding, whose headquarters is in Cairo, provides a range of financial services to clients. Its FCI assesses the stance of the Egyptian macroeconomic policy through tracking key financial market indicators.
Sources at the company said that the winning companies include Sterling and Wilson, TBEA Energy, and Shanghai Electric, along with a Spanish company and an Egyptian company. The sources pointed out that TBEA Energy submitted two offers, although one of them was ruled out. According to sources, NREA will ask for the technical and financial offers from the five shortlisted companies next month. The sources pointed out that AFD will provide a loan of €40m to finance the project. The project consists of photovoltaic cells that convert solar light into direct current, as well as inverters that convert direct current into alternate current.
In a remote village by the Nile River called Bahrawa, a Slovenian women has launched a small alternative educational center called "Nile River School" for underprivileged children by creating a new inspiring educational space to fall alongside with their govermental education. She traversed the republic searching for a suitable place to start her school project. From 8am to 11am, the school provides scheduled classes in English and Arabic, math, music, arts and handicrafts. "I learned English and I learned everything at the school with Didi and now I help her in English education with the other little students at the school," Abla, a young student, said on the CBC channel. Abla is a bright young student who joined the school couple of years ago, she learned very fast and now she is one of Didi's best supporting teachers.
Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry headed to the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Wednesday, where he is expected to meet with president Omar Al-Bashir after attending meetings of the joint Egyptian-Sudanese political consultation committee. Relations between Egypt and Sudan have suffered since July 2013, when former Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president Mohammed Morsi was ousted. Khidir said Sudan is committed to the agreement signed with Egypt regarding the facilitation of entry and the stay of Egyptians in Sudan. The statements sparked controversy, resulting in reactions ridiculing Sudan’s history and culture in the Egyptian media and social media. “It is always talk about the Halayeb and Shalateen triangle that follows any escalation between Egypt and Sudan,” Raslan said.
Security apparatuses based in South Sinai killed on Wednesday afternoon the perpetrator of the attack against a security checkpoint near St. Catherine's Monastery in South Sinai. When found, the militant and security forces exchanged fire which resulted in the death of the perpetrator, the resident added. Police forces were immediately sent to the location of the attack; a large-scale security sweep is ongoing to arrest the perpetrators, the statement added. Directly following the release of Interior Ministry's statement on the attack, the Islamic State group declared responsibility for the attack. The terrorist organization's Amaaq media outlet reported that its affiliated militants in Sinai carried out the attack.
The Supreme Council of Scholars at al-Azhar, considered the most prestigious Sunni Muslim university, released a statement Tuesday slamming the fierce criticism against its teachings and ideologies following the deadly terrorist attacks on two churches on Palm Sunday. Numerous political figures, media outlets and Egyptians citizens launched severe criticism against al-Azhar, holding it accountable for instilling extremist ideologies in the suicide bombers' minds through its curriculum. The Supreme Council of Scholars asserted that al-Azhar's curricula, including those currently taught and past curriculum, accurately convey the true essence of Islam. The Supreme Council of Scholars concluded its statement by stressing that al-Azhar will continue its role to preserve the teachings of Islam and tolerant Sharia law, as it has done for nearly 1,000 years. Moreover, it will stand by its stance to be an "impregnable fortress" against extremist ideologies that only seek the destruction of nations.
The Dar Al-Ifta and the Arab League condemned on Monday the alleged violations committed by the Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners, calling upon human rights organisations and the international community to intervene. A statement by the Dar Al-Ifta described the violations in Israeli administrative detention against Palestinians as a “war crime”. On the other hand, the Arab League called upon the United Nations and the UN Security Council to pressure Israel and save the Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas asserted the continuation of support to the detained Palestinians in Israeli prisoners, while calling upon the international committee to intervene and rescue the prisoners. On Monday, around 1,300 Palestinian prisoners went on a hunger strike to have their demand approved, according to Palestinian officials.
Al-Azhar’s Committee of Senior Scholars rejected on Tuesday the criticism accusing it of supporting or promoting extremism through its scholarly curriculums. In an issued statement, the committee stressed that Islam forbids attacking human beings—regardless of their religion—or targeting places of worship. Al-Azhar’s Committee of Senior Scholars is the highest Islamic board, presided over by the institution’s Grand Imam and composed of prominent Islamic scholars. A new social media campaign was launched in support of Al-Azhar on Facebook by dozens of young Egyptians, who said that they feel the biggest Islamic institution represents them and defends their identity. A source in the campaign told Daily News Egypt that the campaign, named “Stand with Azhar!”, aims to highlight that “the raid on Al-Azhar targets the nation’s identity and it [the raid] accuses Al-Azhar of all social and political problems.
The Egyptian navy received on Wednesday the second Type-209/1400 submarine, according to local media reports. The submarine arrived at Ras El-Tin in Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast. The deal included supplying four submarines constructed by the company from the German city of Kiel, as assistance for Egypt’s navy. The first submarine arrived to Egypt in December. The Mistral deal was signed between Egypt and France over the past year.
Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil announced that the ministry will establish 200 small factories in each of Upper Egypt’s seven governorates. He added that the Industrial Development Authority will offer the projects to an industrial developer, which will then offer the projects to investors. 155 for 2002 relating to exports development, which gives export councils legal status, instead of being consultants to the minister. The amendments also give the export councils the right to open bank accounts. Finally, he said that the ministry will announce the small and medium enterprises agency by the end of May.
The Saint Catherine Road extends from the city of El Tor in western South Sinai and extends to Nuweiba in the east. He said that after the attack, the army took to the roads in South Sinai, along with the intelligence apparatus of the police. But when attacks take place in North Sinai, statements with the watermark of Sinai Province are published to claim the attacks. Egypt’s security forces have been trying to stop the flow of militancy from North Sinai to South Sinai. He added that the security apparatus is relying on the Bedouins and tribesmen of South Sinai to secure and guard caves and underground passages.
The Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) sent a letter to the Egyptian Travel Agencies Association (ETAA) to promote the visit of Roman Catholic Pope Francis at the end of April in a bid to increase tourism. He added that the Pope’s visit to Egypt is a very important event in the current period, as it conveys the message that Egypt is safe. Adham said that there is already an improvement in occupancy rates in the Red Sea area, even though English tourism has not increased in Sharm El-Sheikh. He explained that international brand hotels are outperforming Egyptian hotels. He expected stable occupancy rates until the end May, before they hike again during the summer vacation.
The investment committee of the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI) decreased the number of articles of the Investment Law to 56—down from 115—to facilitate the investment process for investors. On Tuesday, the FEI’s investment committee concluded its meetings to review and discuss the new Investment Law, and a number of the committee’s members will attend the meeting at parliament next week when the law is discussed. The Investment Law was announced three years ago during the Egypt Economic Development Conference, which was held in March 2014 in Sharm El-Sheikh. In January, the State Council received the law for review, but it was returned to the government to be amended. Furthermore, there was great debate this month in the parliament’s Economic Committee regarding Article 6 of the law.
The “Feseekh” prices ranged between EGP 110 and EGP 160 per kilo in 2017, compared to EGP 65 and EGP 100 last year. The herring prices ranged between EGP 70 and EGP 80 per kilo in the Egyptian market. The salted fish prices ranged between EGP 100 and EGP 120 per kilo, while sardine prices recorded EGP 30 per kilo. Egyptians increase their spending during the Easter holiday, which comes in conjunction with the Feast of Resurrection. The total expenditure of Egyptians during the Easter holiday is estimated at EGP 5bn, including family outings and trips on this day.
Nasr stated that the agreement would finance the establishment of a solar power plant with a capacity of 50MW in Kom Ombo, Aswan. Moreover, the minister held a meeting with the director general of the Kuwait Fund for Economic Development, Abdulwahab Ahmed Al-Bader. According to the statement, they discussed the fund’s contributions to Egypt through the financing of small and medium enterprises. Both sides agreed to focus the next wave of financing on the projects that have a social dimension. The signed agreements between Egypt and the Kuwaiti fund are worth $3bn, which provided financing for 42 projects besides 12 grants worth $52m.