Egypt plans to issue international sovereign sukuk in 2019-2020

Egypt is aiming to issue about $20 billion in foreign denominated bonds by 2022. (Shutterstock)
Updated 17 October 2018

Egypt plans to issue international sovereign sukuk in 2019-2020

  • Egypt is aiming to issue about $20 billion in foreign denominated bonds by 2022

CAIRO: Egypt plans to issue its first international sovereign sukuk, or Islamic bonds, in the 2019-2020 financial year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told Reuters on Wednesday.
Maait did not give the size of the planned offering. Egypt is aiming to issue about $20 billion in foreign currency-denominated bonds by 2022.
Issuing sukuk could allow Egypt to attract a new class of investor as it implements a three-year IMF-backed economic reform programme agreed in late 2016.
The country has borrowed heavily from abroad since then and faces a tough repayment schedule and a rising bill for oil imports.
Egypt's foreign debt stood at $92.64 billion at the end of June, an increase of 17.2 percent from the previous year.
Egyptian officials have previously announced their intention to issue Islamic bonds, but the plans did not materialise. 


Germany mulls how to attract skilled labor from outside EU

Updated 53 min 36 sec ago

Germany mulls how to attract skilled labor from outside EU

  • The new legislation will take effect March 1
  • German official said shortage of skilled workers is currently biggest risk to business

BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel is meeting top German business and union officials on Monday to discuss how to attract skilled workers from outside the European Union as the country tries to tackle a shortfall of qualified labor.
Legislation is due to take effect March 1 making it easier for non-EU nationals to get visas to work and seek jobs in Germany. Arrangements currently applied to university graduates are being expanded to immigrants with professional qualifications and German language knowledge.
“Many companies in Germany are urgently seeking skilled workers, even in times of a weaker economy,” Eric Schweitzer, the head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, told the Funke newspaper group. “For more than half of companies, the shortage of skilled workers is currently the biggest risk to business.”
He called for “unbureaucratic and effective implementation” of the new legislation.
Sectors including information technology and nursing have complained of a shortage of workers.
Monday’s meeting will discuss which countries German business wants to focus on “and we will cut out the bureaucratic hurdles,” Labor Minister Hubertus Heil told RBB Inforadio. He named as examples the process of recognizing professional qualifications, language ability and visa procedures.
Like many other European countries, Germany is trying to strike a balance between the needs of its labor market, an aging native population and concern about immigration.
Heil said that the aim isn’t to undercut German wages and “our problem at the moment is rather that we are not being overrun, that we are not getting qualified workers.”