Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s latest renewal of the state of emergency was published in the official gazette on Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2018
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Egypt extends state of emergency for another 3 months

CAIRO: Egypt has extended its state of emergency for another three months.
The government declared a state of emergency after a Daesh affiliate bombed two Coptic churches in April 2017, killing at least 44 people, and it has been renewed once before.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s latest renewal was published in the official gazette on Tuesday. Parliament is expected to approve it within seven days, and it has already taken effect.
Egypt has been battling militants for years, mainly in the restive northern Sinai, but the insurgency gained strength after the 2013 overthrow of an elected but divisive president. The militants have mainly targeted security forces and Christians.
In February, Egypt launched a massive nationwide security operation.


Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

Updated 15 November 2018
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Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

BEIRUT: Bank deposits in Lebanon have risen by 4 percent on the year, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday, and he maintained his economic growth outlook for 2018 at 2 percent.

In July Salameh had said he expected bank deposits to grow by more than 5 percent in 2018.

In October the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) halved their growth outlook to one percent for Lebanon, where public debt is about 150 percent of gross domestic product.

“Lebanese banks have succeeded in maintaining foreign exchange inflows into their sector supported by (the central bank),” Salmeh said in a televised speech at a Beirut economic conference.

With growth low and traditional sources of foreign exchange — tourism, real estate and foreign investment — undermined by years of regional tension, Lebanon increasingly relies on dollars expatriate Lebanese deposit in local banks.

The banks buy government debt, which finances the country’s eye-watering public debt and twin deficits.

The central bank also brings in dollars through complex financial operations with local banks to boost foreign currency reserves needed to defend the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar.

However, deposits have been growing at a slower rate since war broke out in neighboring Syria in 2011, and deposit growth rates are closely watched.