Egypt’s headline inflation slows to a four-year low of 8.7% in July

July’s rate defied analysts’ expectations since it followed a fresh round of fuel subsidy cuts that pushed prices up 16 — 30 percent. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 08 August 2019

Egypt’s headline inflation slows to a four-year low of 8.7% in July

  • Egypt is approaching the end of an IMF-backed economic reform program
  • July’s rate defied analysts’ expectations since it followed a fresh round of fuel subsidy cuts that pushed prices up 16 - 30 percent

CAIRO: Egypt’s annual urban consumer price inflation decreased to 8.7 percent in July from 9.4 percent in June, official statistics agency CAPMAS said on Thursday, its lowest in nearly four years.
Egypt is approaching the end of an IMF-backed economic reform program, which included steep subsidy cuts and a currency devaluation and saw inflation rise to a high of 33 percent in 2017.
July’s rate defied analysts’ expectations since it followed a fresh round of fuel subsidy cuts that pushed prices up 16 - 30 percent.
“The figures are much lower than our expectations but are likely due to the high base effect from last year,” said Radwa El-Swaify, head of research at Pharos Securities Brokerage.
In July 2018, Egypt’s headline inflation rate was 13.5 percent.
“It’s great news for the markets because it reinforces hopes of interest rate cuts in August. I think the central bank now has enough room to restart its monetary easing policy going forward,” said Allen Sandeep, head of research at Naeem Brokerage.
At its last meeting on July 11, the monetary policy committee kept key interest rates on hold at 15.75 percent and 16.75 percent for overnight deposit and lending respectively.
It had last cut its rates in February.


Huawei given 90 days to buy from US suppliers

Trader Tommy Kalikas works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (AP)
Updated 20 August 2019

Huawei given 90 days to buy from US suppliers

  • Shortly after blacklisting the company in May, the Commerce Department initially allowed Huawei to purchase some American-made goods in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers

WASHINGTON: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday the US government will extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from US companies so that it can service existing customers, even as nearly 50 of its units were being added to a US economic blacklist.
The “temporary general license,” due to expire on Monday, will be extended for Huawei for 90 days, he told Fox Business Network Monday, confirming an expected decision first reported Friday by Reuters. He also said he was adding 46 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, raising the total number to more than 100 Huawei entities that are covered by the restrictions.
Ross said the extension was to aid US customers, many of which operate networks in rural America.
“We’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off,” Ross said.
Shortly after blacklisting the company in May, the Commerce Department initially allowed Huawei to purchase some American-made goods in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers.
The extension, through Nov. 19, renews an agreement continuing the Chinese company’s ability to maintain existing telecommunications networks and provide software updates to Huawei handsets.
Asked what will happen in November to US companies, Ross said: “Everybody has had plenty of notice of it, there have been plenty of discussions with the president.”
When the Commerce Department blocked Huawei from buying US goods earlier this year, it was seen as a major escalation in the Sino-US trade war.
The US government blacklisted Huawei, alleging the Chinese company is involved in activities contrary to national security or foreign policy interests.

BACKGROUND

The US blacklisted Huawei, alleging the Chinese company was involved in activities contrary to national security or foreign policy interests.

As an example, the blacklisting order cited a pending federal criminal case concerning allegations Huawei violated US sanctions against Iran. Huawei has pleaded not guilty in the case.

The order noted that the indictment also accused Huawei of “deceptive and obstructive acts.”
At the same time the US says Huawei’s smartphones and network equipment could be used by China to spy on Americans, allegations the company has repeatedly denied.
Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, is still prohibited from buying American parts and components to manufacture new products without additional special licenses.
Many Huawei suppliers have requested the special licenses to sell to the firm. Ross told reporters late last month he had received more than 50 applications, and that he expected to receive more. He said on Monday that there were no “specific licenses being granted for anything.”