Egypt Independent: Egypt-Main news http://www.egyptindependent.com//enhome_channel/News/rss.xml en As FX shortage bites, Egypt's CIB limits use of bank cards abroad http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471402 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/06/30/504802/atm.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Egypt&#39;s largest listed bank, Commercial International Bank (CIB), told customers on Wednesday it was reducing the amount of foreign currency customers can spend and withdraw when using their debit and credit cards abroad.<br /><br />Egypt has suffered from a shortage of dollars in the banking system that has sapped its ability to import since a 2011 uprising drove away tourists and foreign investors, both crucial sources of hard currency.<br /><br />Last month, Egypt&#39;s central bank wrote to bank chiefs asking that they &quot;ensure that debit cards, including pre-paid cards, issued in local currency by Egyptian banks are only used within the country.&quot;<br /><br />The central bank later said the letter was not intended to signal a blanket ban on card use, but instead a request that banks prevent individuals from misusing debit cards to acquire large quantities of foreign currency while abroad.<br /><br />CIB told clients: &quot;Please note that starting from August 1, there will be a change to the limits for purchases made in foreign currency using the bank&#39;s cards.&quot;<br /><br />CIB did not specify which cards would be affected or give the new limits, but several bank staff told Reuters that the move would impact both credit and debit cards with limits cut by about 50 percent.<br /><br />CIB cut Classic Card owners&#39; maximum purchases outside of Egypt to $2,500 a month from $5,000, and $3,500 a month from $7,500 a month for Gold Card owners.<br /><br />There was no immediate comment from CIB.<br /><br />The value of the dollar when bought through the banking system is 8.88 Egyptian pounds, compared with a black market rate of 12.70 pounds on Wednesday.<br /><br />The move follows similar measures taken by a number of other banks last week. Emirates NBD Egypt last week told customers that it would suspend use of Egyptian credit and debit cards abroad entirely, but later rowed back on the decision and said it would set new limits instead.</p> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 14:06:00 +0000 Reuters 2471402 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/06/30/504802/atm.jpg Hot, dry weather to prevail on Thursday http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471394 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2015/08/12/501010/heatwave.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="ltr">The forecast for Thursday is predicted to be prevailingly hot and dry, with thermometers creeping up as we move southwards down the country.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The north coast can expect temperatures of around 30 to 31 degrees Celsius. The weather in Cairo and the delta will feel humid, with highs of between 35 and 39 degrees.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Temperatures in the Red Sea resort towns of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada will hit the 40-degree marker.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Luxor, Aswan and the southernmost parts of the country could see highs of 44 degrees.</p><p dir="ltr">The start of the day will bring some patchy cloud for the north coast, the delta and canal provinces.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Northwestern wind will blow in the south, south Sinai, Suez gulf and Red Sea, which will disturb maritime navigation.</p><p dir="ltr">Waves on the Mediterranean <span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">will reach between 1.5 to two meters high, accompanied by a northwesterly wind. On the Red Sea, the waves could reach 2.5 meters in height, also with a northwesterly wind.&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 13:01:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2471394 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2015/08/12/501010/heatwave.jpg Sisi to attend reopening of Cairo airport's improved Terminal 2 http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471398 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/05/19/504802/cairo_international_airport.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will attend the official reopening ceremony for Terminal Building 2 (TB2) at Cairo International Airport, which has been renovated by the Civil Aviation Ministry.<br /><br />The exact date of the ceremony will be determined next week, according to Sisi&#39;s schedule.<br /><br />TB2 was first inaugurated in 1986 and was closed in April 2010 for renovation, with improvements estimated at approximately $400 million.<br /><br />According to the airport&#39;s official website, the renovation will increase TB2&rsquo;s capacity by around 8 million passengers per year, raising the total to 26 million per year. The number of gates will increase from seven to 14, with facilities for the Airbus A380 aircraft added.<br /><br />Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy has ordered that third trail for the building since renovations were completed, ensuring all is in order before the official opening.</p><p>Ismail Aboul Ezz, chairman of the Holding Company for Airports and Air Navigation, has been tasked with overseeing the trial, along with Mohamed Saeed, chairman of Cairo Airport Company.</p> Wed, 27 Jul 2016 11:53:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2471398 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/19/504802/cairo_international_airport.jpg Egypt set to receive first installment of US$2.5bn Saudi loan http://www.egyptindependent.com//node/2471385 <img src="http://www.egyptindependent.com///sites/default/files/imagecache/media_thumbnail/photo/2016/06/05/505021/house_of_saud.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p dir="ltr">Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of International Cooperation, said that Egypt is set to receive a billion dollar investment from Saudi Arabia in the next few days, in the first installment of a loan agreed on during King Salman ibn Abd El Aziz&#39;s visit to Egypt in April.</p><p dir="ltr">The first US$500m of the loan has been set aside for development projects in Sinai, with the remainder of the total $2.5 billion dollar loan to follow in $500m payments.</p><p dir="ltr">A third-party bank official stated that the Central Bank of Egypt has nothing to do with this loan and is not supervising the process.</p><p dir="ltr">Nasr announced that a delegation from the Saudi Fund for Development is set to arrive in Egypt on Wednesday to make arrangements for Egypt to receive the funds for Sinai after parliament approved the loan, American news agency, Bloomberg reported.</p><p>Nasr added that this loan is a small part of a significant financial agreement signed between the Saudi Arabian king and Egypt during his visit in April, whereby Egypt is planned to receive financial aid amounting to around $25 billion.</p><p>The agreement also includes a Saudi investment fund in Egypt that amounts to $16 billion and plans to build a bridge that will connect Egypt to Saudi Arabia across the Red Sea.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">This loan is aimed at aiding Egypt with a dollar shortage that has resulted in the decline of the economy. Saudi&rsquo;s strategy with this loan is to help Egypt through investing in the country rather than just paying money in aid.</p><p dir="ltr">Egypt is still recovering from the political and economic repercussions of the January 25 revolution of 2011 &mdash; so much so that Egypt&rsquo;s foreign reserves are now half of what they were before the revolution despite aid from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE equating to billions of dollars.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></p> Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:54:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2471385 at http://www.egyptindependent.com sites/default/files/photo/2016/06/05/505021/house_of_saud.jpg