Egypt Independent: Business-Main news en Gold demand weakest since 2009 in Q2 as Chinese turned to stocks <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Demand for gold slid to its lowest in six years in the second quarter of this year as buyers from top consumer China poured funds into its now troubled equities market, an industry report showed.<br />Retail investment from China fell by a quarter and jewellery demand by 23 percent in the April to June period as stock markets there soared, GFMS said in a quarterly update.<br />However, a subsequent plunge in Chinese share prices from mid-June has not helped bullion, it said, as some investors were locked in and others nervous about switching to different asset classes while financial markets are so volatile.<br />After a 12-year bull run peaked in 2011, global prices of the safe haven metal have struggled to gain traction. Last week, gold sank to $1,077 per ounce, its lowest in 5-1/2 years, after a sudden sell-off in New York and Shanghai, as investors worried about Chinese growth and the prospect of US interest rate rises made the dollar more attractive.<br />&ldquo;Gold has certainly moved out of favor in China in recent quarters,&rdquo; GFMS analyst Andrew Leyland said.<br />&ldquo;I think Chinese demand was a reaction to weak price performance, rather than a cause. Both the equity market, and the US dollar have promised stronger returns than gold, and this put investors off the yellow metal.&rdquo;<br />GFMS was cautiously optimistic that both demand and prices could start to pick up in the final quarter of the year.<br />&ldquo;Chinese purchasers tend to buy into rallies, so when gold gets some upward momentum Chinese purchasing should support this,&rdquo; Leyland said.<br />China and India are the world&rsquo;s top gold consumers. Physical demand there has not picked up strongly despite a sell-off last week that knocked global prices to 5-1/2 year lows.<br />That contrasts to the explosion in physical demand seen after gold prices dropped sharply in the second quarter of 2013.<br />GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters, said global demand for gold bars and coins fell 12 percent year-on-year in April-June and was around 63 percent below the peak two years ago.<br />In the largest consuming sector, jewellery, consumption dropped 9 percent and production declined 6 percent, GFMS said. Overall physical demand stood at 858 tons in the second quarter, down 14.2 percent from a year before.<br />Central banks remained net buyers of gold, but their purchases fell 62 percent year on year.<br />That helped push the physical surplus in the gold market to its highest in five years at 196 tons, more than double the total of a year before.<br />While jewellery consumption in India increased 2.5 percent to 158 tons during the period, gross imports fell 10 percent to the lowest in five quarters, the report said.<br />China and India consumed almost the same amount of gold in January-June, with China a tad higher at 394 tons against India&rsquo;s 392 tons, it said.</p> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:08:00 +0000 Reuters 2454988 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/11/10/484151/gold_shop.jpg US official: New Suez Canal to reduce oil prices <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs leading the Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) at the US Department of State Amos J. Hochstein underlined the importance of the New Suez Canal, noting that it would contribute to reducing international prices of transporting oil.</p><p>During a meeting with a number of Egyptian journalists, Hochstein, a senior aide to US Secretary of State John Kerry, said he has visited Egypt five times since he assumed office three years ago.</p><p>Hochstein also said he met with Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shaker and Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail during his current visit.</p><p>The US official congratulated the Egyptian government on its success to solve the power outage problem quickly, praising the strenuous efforts exerted by the government over the past few months.</p><p>Hochstein also voiced happiness that the US has been a partner to the Egyptian government in introducing such change.</p><p>The US official said energy is a basic element to achieve development in any country, highlighting the existing cooperation between Egypt and the US in the field of energy.</p><p>He said his current visit to Egypt comes ahead of launching the Egyptian-American strategic dialogue to uncover ways to deepen joint cooperation in the field of energy.</p><p>Responding to a question on whether the US helped Egypt in settling the power crisis, Hochstein said the US help is not only in the form of grants, but it is rather involved in prolonged dialogue to assist Egypt in the energy sector.</p><p>He highlighted the efforts exerted by the US company of General Electric to explore energy sources in Egypt, especially gas and oil, improve the energy system, reduce the waste of power and rationalize consumption.</p><p>Hochstein explained that the Egyptian government has set an important target to provide 20 per cent of the needed energy via new and renewable sources, adding that US is encouraging American and international companies to invest in the oil and energy sectors in Egypt in view of the incentive measures which have recently adopted by the government.</p><p>As regards cooperation in the nuclear programs to generate power and the US reservations on the Egyptian-Russian cooperation in this domain, Hochstein said he did not tackle the issue during his talks with the Egyptian officials and there should not be any comment on agreements between the Egyptian government and any state, stating that this matter is a concern of the Egyptian government.</p><p>He pointed out that US is backing any nuclear program as long as it is carried out in a certain way.</p><p>Asked about whether the US dependency on alternative sources of energy could decrease the importance of Gulf States as a source of oil, Hochstein said this is not true, noting that Gulf States are highly important for the US in view of the increase of production of the US oil.</p><p>He asserted that relations with the Gulf States are of highest importance and it is the strongest in several decades.</p><p>On whether the agreement with Iran could affect the increase of oil production, the US official said the economic sanctions on Iran would be gradually lifted and Iran can sell its oil, but it is a matter which needs time, noting that oil prices in the current year slashed from US$ 115 to US$ 52 due to low demand from Europe and China.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div>The US official voiced belief that oil markets could witness an improvement when Iran joins the oil exporting countries. In the meantime, the oil sector is hard to predict, he concluded.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:13:00 +0000 MENA 2454978 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/07/29/499612/amos_j._hochstein.jpg Egypt's market gains LE6.1 billion on Wednesday, EGX30 jumps 2% <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt&#39;s market expanded its gains on Wednesday, as the benchmark EGX30 index jumped by 1.96 percent, recording 8,105.69 points and a turnover of LE523 million, the Egyptian Exchange data showed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Meanwhile, the small and mid-cap EGX70 index and the broader EGX100 index rose by 1.58 percent and 1.57 percent, respectively. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Arab and foreign institutions were net buyers, recording net flows of LE8.7 million and LE42.1 million, respectively, while local institution were net sellers, recording net flows of LE25.6.million.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The EGX market capital gained LE6.13 billion (US$796 million), hitting LE494.23 billion, compared to LE488.10 billion on Tuesday.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:24:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2454969 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/02/20/499612/cairo_stock.jpg UAE telco Etisalat Q2 net profit falls 40 % <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>&nbsp;Abu Dhabi-listed Etisalat reported a 40 percent fall in second-quarter net profit on Tuesday that it blamed on its Saudi Arabia affiliate Mobily and foreign exchange losses.</p><p>Etisalat, which operates in about 19 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, made a net profit of 1.5 billion dirhams ($408.4 million) in the three months to June 30, the company said in a statement.</p><p>The company did not provide a year-earlier figure, but its previous financial statements showed the company made a profit of 2.51 billion dirhams in the second quarter of 2014.</p><p>Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the Gulf&#39;s No.2 telecoms operator by market value would post a quarterly profit of 2.16 billion dirhams.</p><p>Saudi&#39;s Mobily, in which Etisalat owns a 27.5 percent stake, has been embroiled in an accounting scandal that has led the kingdom&#39;s No.2 operator to restate much of its earnings from 2013 onwards.</p><p>In June, Etisalat warned Mobily&#39;s latest restatement would cut its 2015 net profit by 204 million dirhams.</p><p>The United Arab Emirates&#39; former monopoly generated second quarter revenue of 13.3 billion dirhams, up about 6 percent from a year earlier.</p> Tue, 28 Jul 2015 14:48:00 +0000 Reuters 2454895 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/07/28/499612/etisalat_egypt.jpg