Growth in food prices drives Egypt inflation in January

Growth in food prices drives Egypt inflation in January
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Updated 10 February 2022

Growth in food prices drives Egypt inflation in January

Growth in food prices drives Egypt inflation in January

RIYADH: The annual rate of inflation in Egypt's urban areas grew 7.3 percent in January, latest data showed, with the main driver soaring food and beverage prices.

Data posted by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, also known as CAPMAS, on Feb. 10, 2022. revealed food and beverage prices jumped 12.4 percent year-on-year and were the main driver of inflation in January.  

The annual inflation accelerated significantly compared to December when it was 5.9 percent. 

The 4.9 percent growth in prices for transportation and 4.7 percent rise in prices for housing, water, electricity and gas also contributed to headline inflation.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.9 percent.

Again, growth was driven mainly by the 2.1 percent increase in food and beverages prices. 

Prices for household furnishings and equipment as well housing, water, electricity and gas increased by 0.8 and 0.6 percent, respectively.      

The January 7.3 percent inflation figure also came in much higher than the 6.7 percent median projection by analysts polled by Bloomberg.


Saudi Cabinet authorizes minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain in field of transport

Saudi Cabinet authorizes minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain in field of transport
Updated 16 sec ago

Saudi Cabinet authorizes minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain in field of transport

Saudi Cabinet authorizes minister to discuss MoUs with Bahrain in field of transport

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet on Tuesday authorized the minister of transport and logistic services to discuss with Bahrain two draft agreements to boost cooperation in the fields of road safety and maintenance. 

During the meeting, the council of ministers also authorized the chairman of Education and Training Evaluation Commission to discuss with the UAE a draft initial agreement to cooperate in the development of assessment, measurement and accreditation tools.

The ministers also approved two agreements in the fields of employment and domestic workers with Burundi, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The Cabinet has also authorized the health minister to discuss a draft memorandum of understanding with the Uzbek side for cooperation in the field. 

It also approved the rules governing the competency and contractor program.


UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 

UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 
Updated 9 min 25 sec ago

UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 

UAE-based Dukkantek secures $10m in pre-series A funding 

RIYADH: Dukkantek, a UAE-based store management platform, raised $10 million in a pre-series A funding round led by venture capital firm, BECO Capital, with the participation from Rocketship and Colle Capital.

“This second round of funding comes at the perfect time as we are looking to explore growth (opportunities) in additional markets, increase our team size and further advance our technology,” Sanad Yaghi, the co-founder of Dukkantek, said in a statement.

The company raised a total amount of $15.2 million after its $5.2 million seed round in October 2021.

Founded in January 2021, it uses digital transformations and end-to-end technology to support businesses with their operations, Wamda reported.

The funding round also saw participation from strategic investors including Comma Capital, AMK Investment Office, Chaos Ventures, and Wamda Capital.


Egypt In-Focus: Foreign debt repayments reach $20bn; five more commodities added to ration cards 

Egypt In-Focus: Foreign debt repayments reach $20bn; five more commodities added to ration cards 
Updated 13 min 19 sec ago

Egypt In-Focus: Foreign debt repayments reach $20bn; five more commodities added to ration cards 

Egypt In-Focus: Foreign debt repayments reach $20bn; five more commodities added to ration cards 

CAIRO: Egypt paid around $16.5 billion in external debt installments, as well as $3.5 billion interest on these debts, during the first nine months of the last fiscal year, according to the central bank’s data.

The country’s total foreign debt repayments during the last fiscal year, $20 billion, is up from $10.9 billion during the same period the previous year. 

Wheat procurement

Ukrainian officials are working to release a detained vessel carrying Ukrainian wheat purchased by the Egyptian government, Ukraine’s Mideast envoy told Reuters.

The vessel, Emmakris III, was detained last month at the request of Ukraine’s prosecutor general to investigate its alleged Russian owner, court documents seen by Reuters showed.

“We are working in coordination with all the responsible authorities in Ukraine and in Egypt, to see that this ship is allowed to set sail as soon as possible,” Ukraine’s Special Envoy to the Middle East Maksym Subkh said.

Commodity support

The Supply Ministry has issued a directive to add five more commodities to the list of supplies eligible for purchase through ration cards, according to a Cabinet statement. 

Ration card holders will be able to purchase these commodities at lower-than-market prices starting 1 September. 

The commodities are ghee, flour, tahini, tuna and jam. 

e-Finance is working with the PIF

Cairo’s digital payments developer e-Finance will provide financial and digital services to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund’s new Egypt investment arm, its chairman Ibrahim Sarhan said in an interview with Asharq. 

The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., a subsidiary of the PIF, has acquired a 25 percent stake in e-Finance for financial and digital investments, as part of a deal to acquire stakes in four Egyptian-listed companies worth $1.3 billion.


Macro Snapshot —  US housing starts to tumble in July; Greece’s budget deficit below expectations

Macro Snapshot —  US housing starts to tumble in July; Greece’s budget deficit below expectations
Updated 20 min 22 sec ago

Macro Snapshot —  US housing starts to tumble in July; Greece’s budget deficit below expectations

Macro Snapshot —  US housing starts to tumble in July; Greece’s budget deficit below expectations

CAIRO: Strong Israel economic growth and inflation data is expected to prompt a 0.75 percent rate hike, US housing started to tumble in July, Greece’s budget deficit was much lower than expected in January-July, and UK's unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent in three months to June.

Israel's GDP, inflation data 

A sharp rebound in Israel’s economic activity and a jump in annual inflation have made a 0.75 percent interest rate increase more likely next week, analysts said on Tuesday.

The central bank had looked headed for a second straight half-point move at its upcoming Aug. 22 policy meeting, but data showed stronger than expected economic growth in the second quarter a day after a further uptick in prices.

“Economic activity remains strong and alongside the red-hot inflation figures for July, the risks are skewed to a 75 basis point rate hike,” said Liam Peach, emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.

US housing starts tumble in July

US homebuilding fell sharply in July, weighed down by higher mortgage rates and prices for materials, suggesting that the housing market could contract further in the third quarter.

Housing starts plunged 9.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.446 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Data for June was revised slightly higher to a rate of 1.599 million units from the previously reported 1.559 million units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast starts declining to a rate of 1.540 million units.

Greece’s budget deficit 

Greece’s primary budget deficit was much lower than expected for the first seven months of this year, official data showed on Tuesday, potentially giving the government more scope to support businesses and households with higher energy costs.

The fiscal gap totalled €1.167 billion ($1.18 billion) in January-July, the Finance Ministry said. That was well below the government’s target of €5.808 billion thanks to higher than expected tourism and one-off revenues, and much lower than a €9.06 billion deficit in the same period of 2021.

The primary budget gap excludes debt servicing costs.

UK unemployment rate 

Britain’s unemployment rate held at 3.8 percent in the three months to June, official monthly figures showed on Tuesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the jobless rate to stay at 3.8 percent.

(With input from Reuters)


MENA Project Tracker— KOC delays two contracts; Iraq begins reconstruction of Mosul airport

MENA Project Tracker— KOC delays two contracts; Iraq begins reconstruction of Mosul airport
Updated 26 min 45 sec ago

MENA Project Tracker— KOC delays two contracts; Iraq begins reconstruction of Mosul airport

MENA Project Tracker— KOC delays two contracts; Iraq begins reconstruction of Mosul airport

CAIRO: The Kuwait Oil Co. has delayed bidding on two of its projects.

Bidding for one of the projects, which include the construction of two 132 kilovolts substations and 33 power lines, has been postponed from Sept. 4 to Oct. 16.

While the other project — supplying sulphuric acid to refineries — has put off its bids for 14 days and rescheduled it for the 8th of September, reported MEED.

Iraq $150 million airport

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhmi has announced the reconstruction of the $150 million Mosul airport in the Nineveh governorate, reported Zawya.

This is part of the 161 post-war reconstruction projects that were promised by the Iraqi government.

The facility is set to increase Iraq’s aviation performance, in addition to increasing productivity of cargo transport and logistics in the region.

QatarEnergy JV

QatarEnergy has received bids on its joint venture project with US-based Chevron Phillips Chemical for the construction of two main packages of a large-scale petrochemicals project in Qatar’s Ras Laffan Industrial City.

The project bids are estimated at $5 billion and expected on Aug. 7, reported MEED.

 This will increase Qatar’s overall ethylene production by 70 percent, producing a capacity of 2.08 million tons a year.