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Flare, Light, Plant

Egypt can still buy Indian wheat despite export ban

Any agreements by Egypt’s government to purchase Indian wheat will not be affected by an export ban announced by New Delhi, Egypt’s supply minister said yesterday. “For India, we are talking with them on the basis of a government agreement. The ban exempts governments including the government of Egypt,” minister Ali Moselhy said. Egypt, the world’s largest wheat […]

Egypt’s net foreign assets retreat further into the red

Egypt’s net foreign assets (NFAs) dropped by 169.7 billion Egyptian pounds ($9.17 billion) in March, the sharpest decline since the coronavirus crisis broke out in February 2020, central bank data showed on Sunday. NFAs fell to a negative 221.3 billion pounds at the end of March from a negative 51.69 billion pounds a month earlier. […]

A worker displays grains of wheat at a mill in Lebanon, where the cost of a loaf of bread rose 70 percent in March

Ukraine war drives Gulf to double down on food security

As the war in Ukraine has pushed up food prices and disrupted supply chains, hard-hit MENA countries explore ways to protect themselves In Abu Dhabi clusters of fresh tomatoes are growing inside rows of climate-controlled greenhouses in the middle of the desert – just one example of the lengths the arid region must go to […]

Landscape, Outdoors, Nature

Egypt’s urban inflation accelerates to 10.5%

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation accelerated in March to 10.5 percent, its highest in nearly three years and faster than analysts had expected, data from the state statistics agency CAPMAS showed on Sunday. The inflation figure, up from 8.8 percent in February, was greater than a median forecast of 10 percent in a Reuters […]

Egypt gets Gulf aid as eyes turn to currency flexibility

The central bank allowed Egypt’s pound, which had been stable since November 2020, to drop by 14 percent against the dollar on March 21 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted investors to withdraw billions of dollars from Egyptian treasury markets. Last week Saudi Arabia said it had deposited $5 billion with Egypt’s central bank and […]

UAE’s Aldar Properties reports 26.5% Q1 jump

UAE-based developer Aldar Properties on Wednesday reported a 26.5 percent increase in first-quarter profit driven by record quarterly sales and the inclusion of the financial results of Egypt developer SODIC, in which it co-owns a majority share. The company made AED 688 million ($187 million) in the quarter, up from 544 million a year earlier, […]

Bulldozer, Tractor, Vehicle

Brazil plans ‘fertilizer diplomacy’ trip to secure more imports

Brazil’s new agriculture minister Marcos Montes will visit Jordan, Egypt and Morocco in a tour starting this week to discuss increasing fertilizer imports from those countries. “It’s a pilgrimage that we are calling fertilizer diplomacy,” Montes said in an interview with Reuters late on Monday, adding he would be joined by private sector representatives. “We […]

Musk’s Twitter free speech promise may be tested in Middle East

In a region where the local media is often controlled by the state, millions of people rely on social media platforms to follow news and express their opinions. Both Twitter and Facebook showed their potential to influence real-life events during the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, when they played an outsize role in social upheaval. But […]

UAE top lender FAB posts record profit

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, reported on Thursday its highest ever quarterly net profit, helped by the sale of a majority stake in its payments business. The UAE banking sector is improving on the back of a further easing in COVID-19-related restrictions and a rebound in oil prices, boosting […]

Oil will cushion Middle East from economic impact of Ukraine war

The war in Ukraine will sharply reduce economic growth in the Central Asian region in 2022, but higher oil prices will partly cushion the blow for the Middle East and North Africa, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. Both regions, however, will feel the impact of surging commodity prices, the IMF said, warning higher […]

Egypt seeks private sector participation in state-owned assets

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the government to set a program for the private sector’s participation in state-owned assets, with a target of $10 billion annually for four years, state TV quoted him as saying on Tuesday. The broadcaster did not mention any other details about the method of participation. The Egyptian president also […]

ADQ buys stakes worth $1.85bn in Egyptian firms

Abu Dhabi’s state holding company ADQ bought shares worth $1.85 billion in five publicly traded Egyptian companies in April, helping Egypt after the Ukraine crisis prompted foreign investors to flee.  Egypt has been on the hunt for foreign exchange since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted investors to pull billions of dollars out of its treasury […]

Abu Dhabi bank FAB withdraws offer for Egypt’s EFG Hermes

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has withdrawn its offer for a controlling stake in Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes, citing global market uncertainty. FAB’s non-binding offer in February to buy at least 51 percent of EFG Hermes, valuing Egypt’s biggest investment bank at nearly $1.2 billion, could have secured access to EFG’s strong franchise in […]

Egypt current account deficit narrows to $3.8bn

Egypt’s current account deficit narrowed to $3.8 billion in the October-December quarter from $4.85 billion in the same period a year earlier, boosted by a jump in tourism, the central bank said in balance of payments figures released on Thursday. The figures also showed a sharp outflow of portfolio investment, which shrank to a deficit […]

EU plans to counter Russia with food diplomacy in North Africa, Middle East

The EU aims to address rising wheat and fertilizer prices and expected shortages in the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East with “food diplomacy” to counter Russia’s narrative on the impact of its Ukraine invasion, EU diplomats and officials say. Food insecurity was causing “resentment” in vulnerable countries in these regions, while Moscow was […]

Egypt’s urban inflation accelerates to 10.5%

Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation accelerated in March to 10.5 percent, its highest in nearly three years and faster than analysts had expected, data from the state statistics agency CAPMAS showed on Sunday. The inflation figure, up from 8.8 percent in February, was greater than a median forecast of 10 percent in a Reuters […]

Egypt’s foreign reserves drop by $4bn on Ukraine war shock

The March reserves figure should have included a $5 billion deposit that Saudi Arabia said it placed with Egypt’s central bank just before the end of March, indicating that the scope of the strain on reserves had been even greater. The pressure on the currency prompted the central bank to devalue the pound by 14 […]

Egypt’s wheat imports from Russia rose in March despite war

Egypt received 479,195 tonnes of wheat from Russia in March, up 24 percent from the same month last year, according to freight data seen by Reuters. Ukrainian wheat imports stood at 124,500 tonnes, down 42 percent year-on-year. “Russian ports remained open,” said Mohammed El Gammal, a Cairo-based grains consultant for the UN Food and Agriculture […]

Egypt private sector activity shrinks as Ukraine war takes toll

Activity in Egypt’s non-oil private sector shrank in March at its fastest since the earlymonths of the coronavirus pandemic as fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine hit businesses and fuelled costs, a survey showed on Tuesday. The S&P Global Egypt Purchasing Managers’ Index slid to 46.5 from February’s 48.1, its 16th month below the […]