Egypt Independent: Business-Main news en Egypt's market gains $50 million in week, while all indexes down <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Egypt&#39;s market gained US$50 million this week, while all indexes were down, Egyptian Exchange data showed.</p><p>The EGX30 index, the EGX70 index and the EGX70 index all were down this week by 0.06 percent, 0.38 percent and 0.35 percent&nbsp;respectively.</p><p>Stock market trading was restricted this week to three sessions due to Easter holiday.</p><p>EGX market capital gained LE380 million ($49.8 million), to hit LE511.27 billion, compared to LE510.89 billion last week.</p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 09:43:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2448192 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/06/05/484151/201460_0.jpg Orascom Construction CEO bullish on Egypt, wants more reforms <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Orascom Construction is bullish about growth opportunities in Egypt but wants the government to make clear commitments to further economic reforms, the company&#39;s chief executive said in an interview on Thursday.</p><p>The engineering and building business controlled by Egypt&#39;s prominent Sawiris family was once the most valuable company on the Egyptian exchange, but effectively pulled out of the bourse in 2013 in response to conditions under Islamist former President Mohamed Mursi.</p><p>It returned to the Cairo bourse last month after the economy started showing early signs of recovery under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army general who oversaw Mursi&#39;s ouster following mass protests.</p><p>Osama Bishai said Sisi&#39;s government was moving in the right direction, citing initial reductions last summer to costly and politically-sensitive energy subsidies, but said more was needed to encourage investment.</p><p>&quot;We would like to have some visibility ... While we&#39;re happy to see the government taking bold steps to reform, it will be also important that it&#39;s predictable,&quot; he said in an interview at the company&#39;s Cairo office tower overlooking the Nile.</p><p>Bishai said subsidy reform should continue and taxes should be lowered, as the government has promised. &quot;I personally believe the taxes are on the high side. They&#39;re not enticing for further investments.&quot;</p><p>A planned tax reform announced before an international economic summit last month would reduce the highest tax bracket, levied on company and individual earnings of more than 1 million Egyptian pounds ($131,062) a year, to 22.5 percent from 25 percent for 10 years.</p><p>Despite lingering concerns, Orascom is pushing ahead with several projects in Egypt. It is negotiating with regional banks to finance a 3,000-4,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Red Sea in a joint venture with Abu Dhabi&#39;s International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) worth $5 billion.</p><p>Bishai said the company was also interested in renewable energy and water desalination, including a project on Egypt&#39;s Mediterranean coast.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m very bullish about water desalination,&quot; he said. &quot;If you fast forward 10 years and you want the population to spread around, you need to create desalination water plants&quot;.</p><p>A centerpiece of Sisi&#39;s electoral platform and economic plan involves building cities in the desert to enable a burgeoning population of nearly 90 million to live on more than the 6 percent of land it currently occupies.</p> Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:16:00 +0000 Reuters 2448185 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/06/19/484151/217788_0.jpg Egypt's market gains LE570 million on Thursday, while EGX30 down 0.11 % <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="LTR">Egypt&#39;s benchmark index EGX30 down 0.11 percent on Thursday&#39;s session, reaching 8,888.21points, and a turnover of LE436.2 million, according to the data from the Egyptian Exchange.</p><p dir="LTR">The broader EGX70 index and EGX100 index rose by 0.75 percent and 0.33 percent respectively.</p><p dir="LTR">Foreign institutions were net buyers, recording net flows of LE47 million, while Arab and local institutions were net sellers, recording net flows of LE9.6 million and LE30.9 million respectively.</p><p dir="LTR">EGX market capital gained LE570 million (US$75.7million), to hit LE511.27 billion, compared to LE510.7 billion on Wednesday.</p><p dir="LTR">&nbsp;</p> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:45:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2448155 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/20/499612/cairo_stock.jpg Minister: No increase in energy prices in July <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Cabinet has decided to postpone the hike in energy prices, scheduled for July, due to the worldwide decline in prices of oil, Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The minister stressed that the government intends to liberate energy prices over the next five years, ending in 2019.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>During a press conference on Wednesday, the minister confirmed that the decision is final, adding that the conflicting reports are untrue. He explained that the decline in the crude oil price has lowered the subsidy estimates in the current budget to less than LE70 billion, down from the budgeted LE 100 billion.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Ismail said the decision would not affect Egypt&rsquo;s commitment to the economic reform plan, but stressed that choosing the time for reforms should be based on current circumstances.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The ministry, according to Ismail, will finalize the plan to liberate the gas sector from state control within six months, which will allow the private sector, for the first time, to import gas to cover its needs. &ldquo;Consequently, any company founded for that purpose will have the right to use the government&rsquo;s gas network, harbors, all of the infrastructure in return for a tariff that will be agreed on,&rdquo; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Regarding the imports of gas from Israel, the minister said that no requests have been submitted to the ministry in this regard, adding that the companies that will be authorized to import gas will have comply to a set of conditions, such as approval from the security sector.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>With regard to the agreement on developing gas fields north of Alexandria, signed with British Petroleum during the economic summit, the minister said it will generate around US$2 billion annually in savings.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>This project, suspended in 2010, has been the main reason behind the gas crisis in Egypt, he said, adding that production was scheduled to start in 2014. According to the new agreement, it should begin in 2017.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The minister added gas will be imported from Cyprus starting in 2018, indicating that an agreement has been signed over technical studies to establish a maritime pipeline, linking gas fields in Cyprus with Egypt.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The ministry will provide all the necessary resources to generate electricity during summer, he said. Several contracts have been signed with a number of countries to import gas during that period.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div> Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:45:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2448117 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/07/23/484151/_hos5461.jpg