Egypt Independent: Business-Main news en 7 became multi-billionaires with wheat monopoly: supply minister <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt&rsquo;s wheat imports are monopolized by seven figures who turned into multi-billionaires thanks to that monopoly, Supply and Internal Trade Minister Khaled Hanafi said in a statement on Tuesday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Though there is a system regulating tenders (for the imports), the system has become close to a direct order assignment, with them rotating the winning of tenders amongst themselves,&rdquo; the minister stated, but did not specify the names of the alleged monopolists of the vital Egyptian commodity. &ldquo;One of those can neither read or write,&rdquo; Hanafi stated</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;This has changed now as the General Authority for Supply Commodities currently imports the wheat needed through normal dealings with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange,&rdquo; said the minister. &ldquo;We now have a firm experience in that respect.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The minister added that the new strategy has encouraged members at Egypt&rsquo;s industries union and mills owners to buy the wheat from the ministry to benefit from the lower cost compared to the cost of importing by themselves.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Society should not be averse to the state&rsquo;s intervention in trade because that intervention happens transparently and through fair competition. It happens to end monopoly,&rdquo; Hanafi stated.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>GASC told economic daily <em>al-Borsa</em> on Monday that Egypt had imported 2.6 million tons of wheat since the start of the current fiscal year in July, with 59 percent of those imports coming from Russia.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt is the world&rsquo;s biggest wheat importer, purchasing nearly 10 billion tons annually, and sometimes mixing imports with local production to produce subsidized bread.<br />&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 11:47:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2462177 at sites/default/files/photo/2013/11/19/481046/shutterstock_130958987.jpg Singapore lowers 2015 growth forecast to 'close to 2.0%' <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Singapore&#39;s economic growth will dip to &quot;close to 2.0 percent&quot; this year after the city-state avoided a technical recession, the government said Wednesday, with a potential further slowdown seen in 2016.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The decline from a growth rate of 2.9 percent in 2014 reflects the impact on Asia of slowing demand for its exports from major world economies including the United States, China and Europe.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For 2016, trade-dependent Singapore&#39;s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow between 1.0 and 3.0 percent.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The latest forecast by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is on the lower end of an earlier projection of 2.0-2.5 growth.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Global economic conditions have remained sluggish, with full-year growth for 2015 likely to come in weaker than in 2014,&quot; MTI said in a statement.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It said growth was weighed down primarily by the weak performance of the manufacturing sector, which covers such big-ticket items as semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and oil rigs.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>GDP for the third quarter ended September was up 1.9 percent year-on-year.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It was also up 1.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, reversing a contraction in the previous three months and allowing the economy to escape a technical recession.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;For the rest of the year, Singapore&#39;s GDP growth is expected to remain resilient amidst a challenging external environment,&quot; the ministry said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While manufacturing and other sectors linked to external demand are expected to be under pressure, industries dependent on domestic factors should be firmer, it said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Taking these factors into consideration, MTI expects the Singapore economy to grow by close to 2.0 per cent for the whole of 2015,&quot; it said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>One of the downside risks for 2016 is if China&#39;s economic rebalancing will falter. This could shake the country&#39;s financial system and lead to a sharp fall in economic growth, it said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;With low commodity prices, the anticipated normalisation of US monetary conditions and volatility in the Chinese stock market, regional countries could face sudden and large capital outflows, resulting in added pressures on their currencies and asset markets,&quot; it added.</div> Wed, 25 Nov 2015 10:37:00 +0000 AFP 2462173 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/10/29/43/screen_shot_2015-10-29_at_1.12.17_pm.png Egypt's market loses LE5.2 bn on Tuesday, EGX30 drops 2% <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt&#39;s market suffered heavy losses again during Tuesday&#39;s session, with the benchmark index EGX30 dropping by 2.01 percent, reaching 6,321 points and a LE341 million turnover, according to the data from the Egyptian Exchange.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Meanwhile, the broader EGX70 and EGX100 indexes also declined 0.97 percent and 1.79 percent, respectively.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Arab retail investors were net buyers recording a net flow of LE23.3 million, while local and foreign institutions were net sellers recording a net flow of LE12.6 million and LE2.5 million, respectively.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The EGX market capital lost LE5.21 billion (US$665 million), to hit LE413.42 billion, compared to LE418.63 billion on Monday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 14:08:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2462133 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/06/19/484151/217788_0.jpg Egyptian pound steady at dollar sale, lower at parallel market <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The Egyptian pound was stable at a dollar sale on Tuesday, with the central bank selling US$37.8 million at a cut-off price of LE7.7301 &nbsp;per dollar, while the currency weakened on the parallel market.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Earlier this month the central bank surprised the market by strengthening the pound by 20 piasters from LE7.9301 to the dollar.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The official cut-off price was unchanged from Sunday&#39;s dollar sale, but one trader said the dollar changed hands at 8.60 pounds in the parallel market on Tuesday, compared with 8.55 pounds on Sunday.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt announced in October that Hesham Ramez would be replaced as central bank governor this month by senior banker Tarek Amer. The move was welcomed by traders, who expect a new approach to the country&#39;s currency crisis.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Cairo has sought to tame a once-thriving currency black market with measures such as a cap on dollar-denominated bank deposits.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The central bank gave permission in January to trade dollars up to LE0.10 above or below the official rate, with currency exchange bureaux allowed to trade at LE0.15 above or below the official rate.</div> Tue, 24 Nov 2015 11:10:00 +0000 Reuters 2462109 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/20/499612/dollar.jpg