Egypt

Egypt will begin issuing sukuk, or sharia-compliant Islamic bonds, in the first half of 2022, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The exact timing and size of the first offering is yet to be determined. Executive regulations for a new law allowing for issuance of sukuk are expected in the next three months, and the government is planning to form a state-owned company to manage sukuk issuance. Returns on sukuk, which could be offered in local or foreign currency, would be taxed in the same way as Egyptian treasury bonds, the finance ministry said.
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Consumer prices in urban parts of Egypt rose at their fastest pace since December as food costs climbed and recent hikes of electricity and tobacco took their toll, Bloomberg News reported. The annual inflation rate accelerated to 5.4% in July compared with 4.9% the previous month, according to data from the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS on Tuesday. Prices rose 0.9% on a monthly basis, from 0.2% in June. The quickening followed increases in power bills and cigarette costs in the North African nation in recent weeks against a backdrop of surging global commodity prices.
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A representative for the owners and insurers of a giant cargo ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March on Wednesday said that an agreement in principle had been reached in a compensation dispute with the canal authority, Reuters reported. Work was under way to finalise a signed settlement agreement as soon as possible and arrangements for the release of the Ever Given vessel would be made after formalities had been dealt with, Faz Peermohamed of Stann Marine said in a statement.
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An Egyptian court on Sunday adjourned until July 4 the case of a hulking cargo vessel that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week earlier this year, the Associated Press reported. The decision came after both legal teams of the Suez Canal and the vessel’s owners asked for more time for negotiations that aim at resolving their financial dispute. The dispute centers on the compensation amount the Suez Canal Authority is claiming for the salvage of the vessel Ever Given, which ran aground in March, blocking the crucial waterway for six days.
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Egypt left interest rates unchanged for a fifth straight meeting, seeking to guard against a possible surge in inflation caused by the spike in global commodity prices, Bloomberg News reported. The central bank held the benchmark deposit rate at 8.25% and the lending rate at 9.25%, the Monetary Policy Committee said Thursday in a statement. The decision extends Egypt’s pause in monetary easing that began in December, after authorities cut a combined 400 basis points throughout 2020 to tackle the pandemic’s impact.
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Egyptian urban prices accelerated at their fastest pace since December, raising the chances of the central bank retaining one of the world’s highest real interest rates next week, Bloomberg News reported. Consumer prices in urban parts of the North African nation grew an annual 4.8% in May, compared with 4.1% in April, the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS said Thursday. Prices increased 0.7% month-on-month.
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Egypt is targeting $6 billion-$9 billion in tourism revenue in 2021 as an influx of Eastern European and Gulf vacationers revive a key sector heavily hit by the pandemic, the minister said, Bloomberg News reported. With visitors numbers having risen to about 500,000 a month, Egypt is hoping for a total of more than 6 million tourists this year, Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled El-Enany said Wednesday on the sidelines of a tourism conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
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A ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week in March is being held in the waterway as canal authorities pursue a $916 million compensation claim against the ship’s Japanese owner, one of the vessel’s insurers and canal sources said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The Ever Given container ship, owned by Shoei Kisen, has been in a lake separating two sections of the canal since it was dislodged on March 29, as the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) conducts investigations. Two SCA sources, who declined to be named, told Reuters a court order had been issued for the ship to be held.
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The blocking of the Suez Canal by one of the world’s largest container ships is likely to result in losses worth hundreds of millions of euros for the reinsurance industry, Fitch Ratings said, even as rescue teams were successful in partially refloating the vessel yesterday, Reuters reported. The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given got wedged diagonally across the canal in high winds early last Tuesday, blocking the path for hundreds of vessels waiting to transit the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
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The giant cargo carrier blocking the Suez Canal was finally on the move Monday afternoon, nearly a week after it wedged sideways, causing billions of dollars worth of damage to global trade, the Washington Post reported. A fleet of tugboats worked through the night to take advantage of a full moon that led to the highest tide all month, helping to lift the boat. As of Monday morning, the Ever Given had been 80 percent refloated, the Suez Canal Authority said in a statement.

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