Thursday,21 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1337, (23 - 29 March 2017)
Thursday,21 February, 2019
Issue 1337, (23 - 29 March 2017)

Ahram Weekly


Al-Ahram Weekly

Second tranche received

THE WORLD Bank disbursed $1 billion to Egypt on Sunday in the second tranche of the $3 billion loan programme agreed in December 2015.

“The government has taken important steps in implementing key policy and institutional reforms that are laying the foundations for accelerated job creation and inclusive growth,” said Assad Alam, World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti in a statement.

The three-tranche loan is linked to reforms the government is embarking on. Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from various lenders including the IMF and the World Bank to support its ailing economy, which has been hard hit by political upheavals since the 25 January Revolution in 2011.

It has also finalised a $12 billion deal with the IMF, of which it should receive the second tranche by May or June this year.

Aramco to resume oil shipments

OIL shipments to Egypt from Saudi Arabian state oil company Aramco are to be resumed after six months during which they were halted. 

Last April Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with 700,000 tons of refined oil products a month for five years. However, the cargoes stopped in early October for no apparent reason. A Petroleum Ministry statement noted that the shipments would start again soon, adding that the reasons behind the halt were purely commercial and had included routine maintenance to refineries.

Egypt earlier resorted to new markets to compensate for the supply gap caused by the halt. However, the Aramco deal is more favourable than what has been available elsewhere as it is at a low two per cent interest rate and is to be repaid over 15 years.

New shareholders for CI Capital

THE COMMERCIAL International Bank (CIB), Egypt’s largest listed private-sector bank, has signed a deal to divest 75 per cent of its investment arm CI Capital to a number of local and foreign investors.

A CIB statement noted that the LE710 million deal puts the market value of CI Capital at LE950 million. Market sources expect the bank to eventually float the remaining 25 per cent on the local stock exchange.

The new shareholders include Arafa Group’s Alaa Arafa, Habitat Furniture owner Ismail Al-Turk, and construction magnate Mahmoud Al-Gammal, with each gaining 9.9 per cent. Business tycoon Naguib Sawiris tried to acquire the company through an offer by investment group Beltone Financial, a deal which failed to receive regulatory approval.

New tax in May

A NEW stamp tax on stock market transactions will be introduced in May. The new tax will levy 0.3 per cent on investors acquiring more than 33 per cent of a company. This is in addition to the 0.125 per cent tax imposed on buyers and sellers of stocks, rising to 0.150 per cent in the second year and 0.175 per cent in the third.

Amr Al-Munayer, a deputy finance minister, told Reuters the new stamp duty would be imposed on mergers and acquisitions in which more than 33 per cent of a company was being sold. Both bonds and shares are covered by the tax.

Egypt imposed a stamp duty in May 2013, but this was replaced in July 2014 by a 10 per cent capital gains tax that the government suspended a year later. The suspension was extended until 2020.

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