Top News: Egypt Plans to Set Up Two New Ministries

Egypt is planning to form two new ministries for entrepreneurs and Egyptian expatriates’ affairs, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday in Germany. Egyptian expats need a ministry to oversee their conditions and provide them with all support they need, he said, adding that such a ministry will also link them to their homeland. The second ministry will provide “technical, financial and marketing support” to small-and medium-sized business projects to help provide job opportunities for young people in Egypt, Sisi said. “The initial idea was to establish a governmental body that offers technical, financial and marketing support for the small and medium-sized enterprises but it was decided to establish a ministry instead of the body,” Sisi said during his meeting with the Egyptian expatriates in Germany Wednesday. [Ahram Online, Egypt Independent, SIS, Cairo Post , 6/5/2015]


Presidency orders probe into alleged wheat supply scandal
Egypt’s presidency has officially requested the Ministry of Agriculture to investigate the reports about violations in the supply of locally-planted wheat, which allegedly allow importers to obtain illicit gains due to the difference between the prices of the imported and locally-supplied crops. Official sources at the Agriculture Ministry said that a number of agricultural quarantine departments and others concerned with the import process, like the Supply and Trade Ministries, are involved in the scheme. According to the sources, the suspected officials helped increase the amount of imported foreign wheat. The situation encouraged traders to mix imported and local wheat, and therefore obtain gains of over 1,000 Egyptian pounds per ton, at the expense of state appropriations, earmarked for the purchase of local wheat, sources said. The mistake resulted in a fictitious increase in local supply to the government, up to 5.61 million tons this year, up from the targeted 3.7 million tons for the current fiscal year, as announced recently by Supply Minister Khaled Hanafy. [Egypt Independent, 6/5/2015]

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State-owned Misr Travel runs Abu Treika’s confiscated company
Egypt’s Ministry of Justice has authorized state-owned Misr Travel to run retired footballer Mohamed Abu Treika’s tourism company, according to a Thursday statement from a state-run committee tasked with seizing Muslim Brotherhood funds. The Ministry also authorized Misr Travel to manage seven other companies owned by Brotherhood members, the statement added. Escorted by security forces and members from the government committee, Misr Travel officials headed to the headquarters of the confiscated companies to implement the ministry’s decision. Almost two weeks ago, the committee issued a statement saying it decided to confiscate the assets of Ashab Tours, a tourism company which was co-founded in 2013 by Abou-Treika and an unnamed member of the Brotherhood. Abou Treika filed a complaint before the committee two weeks ago, but it was rejected. [Cairo Post, 6/5/2015]

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Egypt raises $1.5 billion in first international bond sale for five years
The government of Egypt conducted its first international bond sale in five years on Thursday, selling $1.5 billion of 10-year bonds at a yield of 6 percent. The sale drew more than $4.5 billion of investor orders, according to a document from lead managers. The market price of Egypt’s outstanding dollar bond maturing in 2020 reflects a pickup in economic growth. It is trading at a yield of 4.37 percent, higher than a low of 3.98 percent last December, but far lower than a peak of 11.09 percent in June 2013. Thursday’s bond sale was arranged by BNP Paribas, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Natixis. [Reuters, 6/5/2015]

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  • Report: Egypt second cheapest country for international tourists | Egypt Independent
  • Egypt signs $300 million deal with UOP to produce high-octane benzene | Reuters
  • Sisi reassures investors they will not suffer in completing investment-related deals | SIS
  • 207 million cubic meters of water-saturated sand lifted at New Suez Canal project | SIS
  • Egypt’s EFG-Hermes plans Saudi Islamic fund as market opens up | Reuters
  • Egyptian SMEs export revenues up $17 million through USAID program | Cairo Post


Egypt to launch Anti FGM campaign June 14 says Minister
A new campaign, which aims to fight female genital mutilation (FGM,) will be launched on June 14 marking Egypt’s National Anti-FGM Day, Minister of Population Hala Youssef told Youm7 Thursday. The launch will be attended by the Head of the European Delegation to Egypt James Moran, Resident Representative for the United Nations programs in Egypt Anita Niordy and Minister of Health Adel al-Adawy. The details of the campaign, dubbed “Stop FGM against Girls” will be presented at the event. The attendees are scheduled to discuss the possibility of issuing a law criminalizing FGM, Youssef said. FGM was criminalized in Egypt in 2008. [Cairo Post, 6/5/2014]  
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  • Egyptian Drilling Company workers protest dismissal | Egypt Independent
  • UN in Cairo warns of organization claiming affiliation | Egypt Independent  
  • Grand Egyptian museum to open in 2022 | SIS
  • Is there hope for Egypt’s first space odyssey? | Al-Monitor


Military source says nine militants killed in Sinai airstrikes
Nine militants allegedly belonging to the Sinai militant group, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM) were killed in an airstrike on Thursday, a military source said. The source told Aswat Masriya that security forces uncovered an ABM cell planning to carry out attacks on security installations in the region. The source added that security forces were able to prevent three explosives from detonating in Sheikh Zuweid. [Aswat Masriya (Arabic), 6/5/2015]

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Sisi and Hungarian Prime Minister discuss bilateral cooperation
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi explored means of bilateral cooperation with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Friday in Budapest. The talks witnessed the discussion of joint cooperation particularly with regards to the economy and fighting terrorism, a statement by the Egyptian presidency read. A session to be attended by Egypt’s Foreign Minister, Investment Minister, and a number of senior officials is expected to proceed following Sisi’s meeting with Orbán, the statement added. Sisi and Orbán  also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for Hungary to supply Egypt with 700 train cars, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding between the Egyptian and Hungarian ministries of interior. Sisi will also awarded an honorary doctorate by Corvinus University in Budapest Friday. [Aswat Masriya, 6/5/2015]

US Senator Chuck Schumer says Sisi is “very good”  
US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) thinks Egypt’s president is “very good” pertaining to Israel’s security. “Sisi is very good, that is one of the very good things that’s happening. He’s so much better than Mubarak even was and certainly than Morsi,” Schumer said of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Schumer was addressing Orthodox Union, an advocacy organization for Orthodox Jews, in Washington on Tuesday. He argued that, with Iran continuing to pose an existential threat to Israel, the country needs strong allies in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Schumer’s praise of Sisi drew applause from the audience. [New York Observer, 6/4/2015]

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  • Fifty-six Egyptians arrested at Sallum border crossing over “illegal immigration” | Cairo Post