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)


Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

Updated 19 October 2019

Huawei in early talks with US firms to license 5G platform: executive

  • Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive
  • Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009

WASHINGTON: Blacklisted Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei is in early-stage talks with some US telecoms companies about licensing its 5G network technology to them, a Huawei executive told Reuters on Friday.
Vincent Pang, senior vice president and board director at the company said some firms had expressed interest in both a long-term deal or a one-off transfer, declining to name or quantify the companies.
“There are some companies talking to us, but it would take a long journey to really finalize everything,” Pang explained on a visit to Washington this week. “They have shown interest,” he added, saying conversations are only a couple of weeks old and not at a detailed level yet.
The US government, fearing Huawei equipment could be used to spy on customers, has led a campaign to convince allies to bar it from their 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claim.
Currently there are no US 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson and Nokia are generally more expensive.
In May, Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment provider, was placed on a US blacklist over national security concerns, banning it from buying American-made parts without a special license.
Washington also has brought criminal charges against the company, alleging bank fraud, violations of US sanctions against Iran, and theft of trade secrets, which Huawei denies.
Rules that were due out from the Commerce Department earlier this month are expected to effectively ban the company from the US telecoms supply chain.
The idea of a one-off fee in exchange for access to Huawei’s 5G patents, licenses, code and know-how was first floated by CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei in interviews with the New York Times and the Economist last month. But it was not previously clear whether there was any interest from US companies.
In an interview with Reuters last month, a State Department official expressed skepticism of Ren’s offer.
“It’s just not realistic that carriers would take on this equipment and then manage all of the software and hardware themselves,” the person said. “If there are software bugs that are built in to the initial software, there would be no way to necessarily tell that those are there and they could be activated at any point, even if the software code is turned over to the mobile operators,” the official added.
For his part, Pang declined to predict whether any deal might be signed. However, he warned that the research and development investment required by continuously improving the platform after a single-transfer from Huawei would be very costly for the companies.
Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009.