Egypt Independent: Business-Main news en European delegations to visit Cairo for investment opportunities <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 1em;">Several European countries have started organizing official visits&nbsp;</span>to Cairo&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">for delegations comprised of investors and businessmen to discuss investment opportunities in the wake of the recent economic reform.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">An economic delegation will arrive in Cairo&nbsp;</span>on Thursday,&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting. Major German companies that seek to increase their investments in Egyptian markets, especially in the fields of energy and technology, will participate.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">A delegation of Spanish businessmen will also visit Cairo. Maged al-Menshawy, head of the Spanish Business Council, said the delegation includes 35 Spanish companies which will visit Cairo on Friday to negotiate opportunities for joint cooperation. It will be headed by the Spanish trade minister.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Menshawy said the delegation includes companies that work in the fields of contracting, energy, and education, in addition to investment in agriculture, animal production and railways. Spanish companies have achieved significant progress and a good reputation in these fields. The delegation will meet with several ministers including Trade and Industry Minister&nbsp;</span>Tareq Qabil<span style="font-size: 1em;">&nbsp;and&nbsp;</span>Agriculture Minister&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">Abdel Moneim al-Banna.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">One of the participating companies is negotiating an agreement with the National Service Projects Organization and the agriculture minister to take part in the &quot;1 million heads of cattle&nbsp;</span>project&quot;<span style="font-size: 1em;">, he said. A major company addressed the council about its desire to establish a company to invest in the 1.5 million feddans project and start crop cultivation.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">Meanwhile, Qabil declared that a Croatian economic delegation will visit soon, during the Croatian president&#39;s visit to Cairo.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">In a meeting with the Croatian ambassador to Cairo,&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 1em;">Darko Javorski, on boosting Egyptian-Croatian ties and preparing for the visit, Qabil said there will be talks about carrying out joint investment projects, highlighting role of the joint business council in widening investment ties and entering into partnerships that develop bilateral ties. The Egyptian side of the council will be reformed over the next few days.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">The minister also reviewed the government&rsquo;s efforts to enhance the business atmosphere to increase the exports and boost the trade balance through opening new markets and attracting direct foreign investments.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">&ldquo;There is huge development in the level of trade ties. The trade exchange volume reached aroun</span>d&nbsp;&euro;1<span style="font-size: 1em;">75 million by end of 2016, compared to&nbsp;</span>&euro;<span style="font-size: 1em;">139 million in 2015, which marks a 25.8 percent increase,&rdquo; he said.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">It&rsquo;s expected that several memoranda of understanding will be signed between the two countries to foster joint economic ties, according to Javorski.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 11:42:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2476757 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/10/16030/image_0.jpg Saudi Arabia wants oil prices to rise to around US$60 in 2017: sources <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Saudi Arabia wants crude oil prices to rise to around US$60 a barrel this year, five sources from OPEC countries and the oil industry said.</p><p>This is the level the OPEC heavyweight and its Gulf allies - the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar - believe would encourage investment in new fields but not lead to a jump in US shale output, the sources said.</p><p>The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers pledged last year to cut production by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) from January 1. The first cut in eight years is intended to boost prices and get rid of a supply glut.</p><p>Crude prices LCOc1 have risen by more than 14 percent since the November pact but are still only trading around US$56 a barrel despite record compliance by OPEC and non-OPEC members.</p><p>OPEC officials have repeatedly said the group does not target a specific oil price and their focus is on drawing global oil inventories and helping the market to re-balance.</p><p>But behind closed doors, Riyadh and its Gulf OPEC allies hope to see a higher level because the low price has pressured their finances and stoked fears of a future supply shortage.</p><p>However, they do not want the price to be so high that it encourages rival US shale producers, which were hard hit by the slump in oil prices, to ramp up production again. Advances in technology have made it easier for them to adapt quickly to oil price fluctuations.</p><p>&quot;[The Saudis] want to see oil prices at US$60 towards the end of this year. It&#39;s good for [oil] investments,&quot; said a Gulf oil industry source familiar with the matter.</p><p>Another non-Gulf industry source said &quot;OPEC and particularly the Saudis want higher prices&quot; not just for investment but also as Riyadh as it seeks to offload a stake in state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco&lrm;.</p><p>Over US$1 trillion worth of oil projects have been canceled or delayed since mid-2014. A decline in investments in future oil projects triggered worries that this could lead to a supply shortage and spike in oil prices.</p><p>Oil fields take around four years to develop before production can start whereas US shale oil can now be extracted within a few months of a decision.</p><p>&quot;In general, something around US$60 this year is good. US$60 will not encourage that big increase in shale,&quot; said one OPEC source, adding that shale oil production is expected to grow by about 300,000 bpd this year.</p><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">ABSORBING SHALE</span></p><p>US shale producers started to grow production again when crude prices first topped $50 a barrel in May 2016 after a two year price slump due to a global glut starting in mid 2014.</p><p>US drillers have added more than 280 oil rigs since the end of May, and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has forecast that US domestic production will rise by 430,000 bpd between December 2016 and December 2017.</p><p>Despite the advances in technology, another OPEC source said that shale producers who survived the downturn may be cautious about responding quickly to a change in oil prices.</p><p>A third OPEC source said it was difficult to see oil prices rising to $60 or above this year due to a lingering oversupply.</p><p>That source also said that even if shale oil production rose by more than 300,000 bpd the market could absorb it if it comes during the cold winter season when demand peaks.</p><p>&quot;The catch is the timing. If this happened, as it is widely projected, during the fourth quarter, the impact will be manageable and could be absorbed by the market,&quot; the source said.</p><p>OPEC could extend its oil supply-reduction pact with non-members or even apply deeper cuts from July if global crude inventories fail to drop to a targeted level, OPEC sources have told Reuters.</p><p>The Gulf industry source said OPEC and non-OPEC members may extend the supply curb pact because a return to a pump-at-will oil policy would crash prices and destabilize markets again.</p><p>&quot;If we go back to a race to raise production, then we haven&#39;t achieved anything and prices will fall again,&quot; the source said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>(Reporting&nbsp;By&nbsp;Rania El Gamal&nbsp;and&nbsp;Alex Lawler&nbsp;in Dubai and London;&nbsp;Editing by Anna Willard)</em></p> Tue, 28 Feb 2017 08:08:00 +0000 Reuters 2476736 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/07/04/504802/oil.jpg Trump calls Chinese 'grand champions' of currency manipulation <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>President Donald Trump declared China the &quot;grand champions&quot; of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analyzing Beijing&#39;s foreign exchange practices.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump said he has not &quot;held back&quot; in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, despite not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Well they, I think they&#39;re grand champions at manipulation of currency. So I haven&#39;t held back,&quot; Trump said. &quot;We&#39;ll see what happens.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>During his presidential campaign Trump frequently accused China of keeping its currency artificially low against the dollar to make Chinese exports cheaper, &quot;stealing&quot; American manufacturing jobs.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday he was not ready to pass judgment on China&#39;s currency practices.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Asked if the US Treasury was planning to name China a currency manipulator any time soon, Mnuchin said he would follow its normal process of analyzing the currency practices of major US trading partners.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Treasury is required to publish a report on these practices on April 15 and October 15 each year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;We have a process within Treasury where we go through and look at currency manipulation across the board. We&#39;ll go through that process. We&#39;ll do that as we have in the past,&quot; Mnuchin said in his first televised interview since formally taking over the department last week. &quot;We&#39;re not making any judgments until we go continue that process.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A formal declaration that China or any other country manipulates its currency requires the US Treasury to seek negotiations to resolve the situation, a process that could end in punitive tariffs on the offender&#39;s goods.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The US Treasury designated Taiwan and South Korea as currency manipulators in 1988, the year that Congress enacted the currency review law. China was the last country to get the designation, in 1994.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The current situation is complicated because China&#39;s central bank has spent billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves in the past year to prop up the yuan to counter capital outflows.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The International Monetary Fund said last year that the yuan&#39;s value was broadly in line with its economic fundamentals. The US Treasury also said in its last currency report in October that its view of China&#39;s external imbalances had improved somewhat.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Trump&#39;s pronouncements about the yuan could also complicate matters for Mnuchin as he prepares for his first meeting next month with his Group of 20 finance minister counterparts in Baden Baden, Germany.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Reporting by David Lawder and Steve Holland, Writing by David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao; Reuters</em></div> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 12:33:00 +0000 Reuters 2476639 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/11/25/43/chinas_flag.jpg US$20 billion investments in Egypt within 10 years: Chinese bank <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="font-size: 1em;">Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr met on Wednesday with a delegation from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC) headed by Ivy Tsai, the director general of the bank for the African continent.</span></p><p dir="LTR">The meeting discussed ways to strengthen joint cooperation between Egypt and the bank in the field of investment and international cooperation. The delegation is expected to meet several ministers and government officials during its visit to Egypt.</p><p dir="LTR">Nasr stressed the government&#39;s open policy adopted to encourage investments, and its efforts to provide an attractive environment for investors and overcome all obstacles to this purpose, noting that her priority is to take action to improve the business environment.</p><p dir="LTR">Ivy reviewed bank-financed projects in Egypt in various sectors, stressing the importance of Egypt on the map of Chinese investments and international cooperation, as well as the diplomatic relations between the two countries which have been outstanding for more than 60 years.</p><p dir="LTR">Ivy put an emphasis on Egypt as a gateway to the African continent, where the ICBC plans to inject investments worth US$35 billion, including US$20 billion in new investments to Egypt during the next 10 years, through a package of important bank-financed projects, including projects in the New Administrative Capital.</p><p dir="LTR">The minister explained that the ministry is closely following the operational steps of the projects according to the priorities of the government, stressing the importance of China as a strategic partner to Egypt.</p><p dir="LTR">The minister also discussed various financing packages offered by the bank and how to use them in supporting Egypt&#39;s development plans.</p> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:46:00 +0000 MENA 2476583 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/02/1755/international_cooperation_minister_sahar_nasr.jpg