Egypt holds price of 95-octane petrol through Q2 — ministry

Egypt will keep 95-octane petrol at 7.75 Egyptian pounds ($0.4485) per liter through the second quarter of 2019. (File: Reuters)
Updated 31 March 2019

Egypt holds price of 95-octane petrol through Q2 — ministry

  • 95-octane petrol will remain at 7.75 Egyptian pounds ($0.4485) per liter through the second quarter of 2019

CAIRO: Egypt will keep 95-octane petrol at 7.75 Egyptian pounds ($0.4485) per liter through the second quarter of 2019 as it links the cost to international fuel prices for the first time, the petroleum ministry said in a statement.
Egypt had committed to the indexation mechanism as part of reforms tied to a $12 billion International Monetary Fund program and designed to increase energy prices to match those on international markets.
A committee decided to hold 95-octane petrol’s price based on the Egyptian pound’s appreciation against the dollar and global prices of Brent crude, the ministry said.
“There has been an uptick in inflation and the government has just issued a decision to increase the minimum state salaries,” said Angus Blair, chief operating officer at Cairo-based investment bank Pharos Holding.
“It may have decided to defer any increase until inflation comes off a little further, as inflation is on a longer-term downtrend, and the state employees are paid the new salaries. I would now expect fuel price increases in July or August.”
As part of the IMF deal, Egypt has been pushing ahead with tough economic reforms that have strained the budgets of tens of millions of citizens.
They included the introduction of a value-added tax, a currency devaluation and deep cuts to energy subsidies that included a hike in petrol prices of up to 50 percent last June.
About $10 billion has now been disbursed under the deal, with a final tranche due after another review in June.
The petroleum minister had said in January that Egypt would implement the automatic price indexation mechanism on 95-octane petrol starting in April.
The IMF cited those promised changes in a statement last month, saying: “The authorities remain committed to reaching cost recovery for most fuel products by mid-2019 and implementing automatic fuel price indexation.” ($1 = 17.2800 Egyptian pounds)


Swiss bank giant UBS posts best Q3 in a decade despite pandemic

Updated 20 October 2020

Swiss bank giant UBS posts best Q3 in a decade despite pandemic

  • The world’s largest wealth manager saw net profit jump 99 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion

ZURICH: Swiss banking giant UBS said Tuesday it nearly doubled its net profit in its best third quarter in a decade, the latest in a string of global lenders to report better-than-expected results despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The world’s largest wealth manager saw net profit jump 99 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion, it said in a statement, handily beating analyst expectations for $1.5 billion.
The rise comes after net profit dropped by 11 percent in the second quarter to June as the firm stepped up provisions for bad loans with the global economy in a tailspin due to the pandemic.
UBS’ profits received a one-off, third-quarter boost from the $631 million sale of a majority stake in its fund platform Fondcenter to Clearstream, a subsidiary of the Deutsche Borse group.
Its operating profit increased 26 percent to $8.9 billion, also surpassing analyst expectations.
CEO Sergio Ermotti said he was proud of the third quarter results, his last at the helm, with ex-ING group chief Ralph Hamers taking over as chief executive officer on November 1.
“UBS has all the options open to write another successful chapter of its history under Ralph’s leadership,” Ermotti said in the statement.
But UBS did not give any estimate of its outlook, due to a “high level of uncertainty.”
“Going forward, the pandemic and political uncertainties may lead to periods of higher market volatility and could affect client activity positively or negatively,” it said in the statement.
Other global banking giants to report surging profits this earnings season include Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup.