BRIEFS 30/11/2007

Daily News Egypt
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PTT to buy 25 pct of East Mediterranean Gas for $486.9 mlnDow Jones reported that Thai energy conglomerate PTT PCL said it agreed to buy 25 percent of Egypt’s East Mediterranean Gas S.A.E from Mediterranean Gas Pipeline Ltd. for $486.9 million, giving the company a foothold for expansion in the Middle East and North Africa.East Mediterranean Gas is the only Egyptian company authorized to export natural gas from Egypt to Israel under an agreement between the two countries, Thailand’s largest listed company said in a statement Thursday. “Egypt is a leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, while Thailand will require importation of natural gas to satisfy local demand for the gas in the near future, said PTT President Prasert Bunsumpun. The Egyptian company is building a natural gas pipeline from Egypt to Israel at a cost of $469 million, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year. The pipeline project includes an export terminal at Al-Arish in northeastern Egypt on the shores of the Mediterranean, and an 87.6 kilometer offshore pipeline and a receiving terminal in Ashqelon in Israel. Mediterranean Gas Pipeline’s 53 percent stake in East Mediterranean Gas will be reduced to 28 percent once the acquisition is completed in mid-December this year.

Barclays Egypt makes $10.3 mln in Q3Reuters reported that Barclays Egypt recorded net profits of LE 56.8 million ($10.3 million) in the third quarter of 2007, 22 percent up on LE 46.2 million in the same period of 2006, the bank said in a statement.In the first nine months of the year the bank made net profit of LE 188.1 million, compared with LE 186.4 million in the same period of 2006, it added.Barclays Egypt began in 1975 as Cairo Barclays, a joint venture with state-owned Banque du Caire. In 2004 it bought out its partner, changed its name and began to expand into the Egyptian retail banking market.

CBE Governor gets second four-year termThe Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Farouk El-Okdah was appointed to a second four-year term, the state news agency Mena said on Wednesday.President Hosni Mubarak issued a decree renewing Okdah’s appointment to the job, it added.The currency reform in late 2004 paved the way for full convertibility of the Egyptian pound, which now stands at the same exchange rate against the dollar as in early 2003.During his time in office, Egypt’s net foreign reserves have more than doubled, to $31 billion from about $14 billion.But the central bank has found it more difficult to control inflation, which has fluctuated between 3.1 percent and 17.3 percent during his first four-year term. -Agencies

End of right to subscribe to EgyptianElectrical Cables’ issue Subscription to Egyptian Electrical Cables rights issue ended on Thursday. The company is offering 250 million shares at LE 1.02 per share in a rights issue. As of Nov. 29, shareholders are entitled to subscribe at a ratio of 1.12:1 shares.Subscription to the rights issue will start on Dec. 2 and end on Jan. 2. After the capital increase; the company’s paid in capital will rise from LE 222.750 million to LE 472.750 millionThe company announced that it will use the right issue proceeds in the financial restructuring of the company; as LE 120 million will be allocated to pay off long-term due debts, and LE 80 million will be pumped to the working capital to buy the necessary inputs that should cover the LE 170 million already signed supply contracts.-CASE

Centamin Egypt says initial drilling at Kurdeman intersects ore grade zonesCentamin Egypt Ltd said it intersected ore grade zones during reconnaissance reverse-circulation drilling at the Kurdeman prospect in Egypt’s eastern desert, reported Thomson Financial.The company, which is developing the first large scale modern gold mine in Egypt, said it expects the major Sukari gold deposit to start production in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company also said the high grade gold mineralization intersected is associated with smoky grey quartz veins and sulphides. Centamin is planning further drilling to assess the Kurdeman Shear Zone and quartz veins.

MoU signed for wind farm in EgyptThe Italcementi Group of Italy, through its subsidiary Italgen, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egypt’s Ministry for Energy and Electricity to develop a major wind farm on the Red Sea coast. The MoU is part of the energy policy plan issued by the Egyptian government to support foreign investment in the development of renewable energies, with an initial focus on wind and solar.Italcementi has been closely and actively working with the Ministry for Electricity and Energy to identify a feasibility plan for international investment in the wind sector, in accordance with the Egypt’s Development Plan of ensuring at least 20 percent of electrical power is be generated from renewable sources by 2020. According Italcementi the wind farm in will be completed by mid-2008 and could reach via subsequent stages a total installed power of 400 MW, making it one of the world’s largest wind power farms.

MOF to offer bonds in int’l marketsThe Ministry of Finance intends to offer new synthetic Egyptian pound bonds in international markets to be matured after 10 years, similar to July 2007 issue with a five years maturity. Morgan Stanley and HSBC will act as the joint lead managers for the issue. -CASE

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