After Sinovac, Egypt seeks to produce Moderna vaccine locally

Egypt intends to produce more than 1 billion doses annually of the Sinovac vaccine. (Reuters/File Photo)
Egypt intends to produce more than 1 billion doses annually of the Sinovac vaccine. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 11 September 2021

After Sinovac, Egypt seeks to produce Moderna vaccine locally

Egypt intends to produce more than 1 billion doses annually of the Sinovac vaccine. (Reuters/File Photo)
  • Representatives of Moderna confirmed the company’s readiness to supply new batches of their vaccine to Egypt

CAIRO: After the successful local production of the Chinese vaccine for coronavirus, Sinovac, Egyptian authorities are in talks with Moderna, the US pharmaceutical company to manufacture the vaccine in Egypt.

Khaled Mujahid, assistant minister of health and population and the official spokesman for the ministry, said a meeting was held between the Egyptian officials and Moderna to ensure its supply to the country to effec- tively fight the pandemic using different vaccines.

He said the meeting also discussed ways to manufacture Moderna vaccines in Egypt.

Mujahid said the Egyptian health minister wants to allocate a production line in the factories of the Vacsera Co. to manufacture Moderna vaccine locally.

Representatives of Moderna confirmed the company’s readiness to supply new batches of their vaccine to Egypt as well as providing the Egyptian authorities with updates on the development plan regarding the production of the Moderna vaccine.

Egypt intends to produce more than 1 billion doses annually of the Sinovac vaccine, according to Health Minister Hala Zayed, who added that Egypt would thus be “the largest producer of vaccines in Africa and the Middle East.”

Zayed said that under an agree- ment with the Chinese company that produces the Sinovac vaccine, two factories in Cairo will take over production. She pointed out that more than 200 million doses annually will be produced in one of the factories, which will cover local needs.

She added that 3 million doses per day, or about 1 billion doses annually will be produced in the second factory, which will allow export to African countries.


China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs

China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 12 sec ago

China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs

China’s exports and imports reach all-time highs
  • The country’s trade surplus hit $71.7 billion in November

Exports and imports in China grew annually by 22 and 32 percent in November when compared to a year earlier, reaching all-time records.

Exports went up to $326 billion while imports rose to $254 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing China's customs administration.

However, exports growth experienced a slowdown during the month, falling from October’s 27.1 percent to 22 percent. This was attributed to a thinning demand and a rise in costs.

In contrast, imports growth picked up pace significantly, rising to 32 percent as the East Asian country replenished its inventories of some commodities such as coal. This is compared to the lower 20 percent growth experienced in the previous month.

Coal imports in the country climbed to the highest level since the start of the year to supply its power system.

The country’s trade surplus hit $71.7 billion in November, down from October’s level of $84.5 billion.

While the country continues to notably recover from the pandemic, it still suffers from a number of problems, including power shortfalls and debt issues in the property sector.


Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF

Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 07 December 2021

Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF

Inflation in eurozone economies is transitory: IMF
  • The reason the IMF gave this assessment is that the hikes in consumer prices didn’t turn into wage increases

Despite inflation hitting a record high last month in the euro area, the International Monetary Fund said that the rise in prices is transitory and not worrisome.

Annual inflation rate in the zone reached 4.9 percent in November, Reuters reported.

The reason the IMF gave this assessment is that the hikes in consumer prices didn’t turn into wage increases, also known as the second-round effect.

It pointed out that, meanwhile, monetary policy should remain loose.

The international lender also stated that governments in the euro area should continue backing their economies to overcome the adverse effects initiated by the pandemic. The organization added that fiscal consolidation is not urgent, but its plans should be readily available now.

“Policies should remain accommodative but become increasingly targeted, with a focus on mitigating potential rises in inequality and poverty,”the IMF said.

I took a quote from the source since it's reuters.


Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies

Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies
Updated 07 December 2021

Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies

Bahrain aims to reduce government shares in listed companies

JEDDAH: Bahrain aims to reduce government ownership in listed companies, the CEO of the Bahrain Bourse has said.

The country aims to list more governmental companies to encourage the private sector to follow the lead. 

At least two governmental firms are currently close to listing, including the Bahrain Airport Company,  Khalifa Al Khalifa added in an interview with Al Arabiya.

Bahrain Bourse has also reached an agreement with Abu Dhabi to facilitate direct trading between the two markets.

It is also implementing a four year strategy ending in 2026, to develop the financial market sector by listing more companies, including small and medium-size enterprises, Al Arabiya reported.


Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns

Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 07 December 2021

Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns

Oil prices exceed $70 pushing aside omicron concerns
  • Meanwhile, companies made offers on Monday to buy crude oil released from US strategic reserves

JEDDAH: Oil prices rose to $70 a barrel earlier on Dec. 7, as concerns eased about market demand and as fears of the omicron variant waned, Bloomberg reported.

Brent crude futures were up $1.66, or 2.3 percent, at $74.74 a barrel by 1005 GMT, after settling 4.6 percent higher on Monday.

US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $71.30 a barrel, up $1.81, or 2.6 percent, building on a 4.9 percent gain in the previous session.

At the weekend, Saudi Arabia increased the cost of its crude for buyers in Asia and the US, signaling that it still sees strong demand despite the wave of restrictions by various national governments in response to the latest variant of the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, companies made offers on Monday to buy crude oil released from US strategic reserves, according to Bloomberg.

The winning bids for the first 32 million barrels will be announced on Dec. 14. 


At least two oil refiners have expressed interests. 

The US release of crude is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to control gasoline prices, Bloomberg said.


UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise

UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise
Updated 07 December 2021

UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise

UAE bank credit falls for first time since May; deposits rise

Gross credit in the UAE declined by a monthly rate of 0.8 percent in October to hit 1.76 trillion dirhams ($480 billion) on falls in both domestic and foreign credit, according to data published by the country’s central bank.  

The October decline in gross credit is the largest since March and is in contrast to September's performance, when it rose 0.3 percent month-on-month. 

Domestic credit went down due to drops related to the government, public, and private sectors. Credit provided to non-banking financial institutions rose by 2.7 percent, the central bank said in a press release issued Dec. 6.

In September, domestic credit increased by 0.2 percent to 1.6 trillion dirhams, while foreign credit, which includes loans, trade bills and advances to non-resident companies other than banks, grew 0.8 percent to 164.4 billion dirhams. 

Bank deposits in the UAE went up by a monthly rate of 1.3 percent in October to hit 1.97 trillion dirhams. This was the fifth consecutive month of growth and is the highest monthly rate since June.

This was mainly attributed to a 1.7 percent rise in residential deposits, offsetting a 1.7 percent drop in non-residential deposits. 

Outside of residential deposits, government and public sectors experienced the highest increases, jumping by 5.5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. At the same time, private sector deposits edged up slightly, rising by only 0.6 percent.

The monthly rate of growth in deposits accelerated from 0.7 percent recorded in September when resident deposits grew 0.3 percent to 1.7 trillion dirhams while non-resident deposits jumped 3.7 percent to 243.2 billion dirhams.    

The central bank also said that the gross banks’ assets increased by 0.7 percent in October when compared to the previous month. The balance stood at 3.27 trillion dirhams by the end of the month.

The UAE’s monetary base, which includes currency issued and bank reserves among others, grew by 1.3 percent month-on-month in October. This was driven by widenings in both issued currency and banks’ current accounts and overnight deposits with the central bank.

Moreover, M1, a monetary aggregate encompassing currency outside banks and short-term monetary deposits, underwent a 0.5 percent monthly increase in October. This was attributed to jumps in both of its components.

Additionally, a wider measure of money, M2, rose by 0.8 percent on more quasi-monetary deposits and a higher M1. Quasi-monetary deposits consist of residential time and savings deposits in local currency in addition to residential deposits in foreign currencies.

Similarly, M3 increased due to larger government deposits as well as higher M1 and M2.