News in brief.
El Sewedy Cables, one of the biggest cable manufacturers in the Middle East, reported a 47 percent rise in net profit in the first nine months of 2008 to LE 777.2 million ($141 million).
Total revenue rose 25 percent to LE 8.95 billion, the company said in a statement. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) surged 39 percent to LE 1.01 billion.
The company said the wire and cable sector was the largest contributor to revenues at 81.4 percent, compared to 91 percent in the first nine months of 2007. --Reuters
Orascom Telecom Q3 profit down on Pakistan troubles
Higher-than-expected foreign exchange losses in Pakistan pushed third-quarter net profit for Egypt's Orascom Telecom down 28 percent to $90.5 million, missing market forecasts.
Shares in the Cairo-based group shed 4.66 percent to LE 26.39 ($4.77) in early trade. Egyptian investment bank EFG-Hermes had forecast net profit at $120 million, while CI Capital had expected $102 million.
"Most of our businesses, with the exception of Pakistan, continue to perform on target in terms of growth and profitability," Chairman Naguib Sawiris said in a statement.
"In Pakistan the political, security, financial and economic conditions have been very difficult."
Average revenue per user for Mobilink, OT's Pakistan subsidiary, dropped 26 percent, hit by the depreciation of the Pakistan rupee against the dollar, the company said.
OT did not give a comparative figure but its third-quarter 2007 profit was $125.6 million, according to Reuters data.
"The only reason for the disappointing net profit was the higher-than-expected FX loss of $69 million, resulting from the depreciation of the PKR (Pakistani rupee) against the US dollar," said Marise Ananian, an analyst at EFG-Hermes.Aa She said excluding the foreign exchange loss, third-quarter earnings would have been 9 percent higher than the bank's estimates.
Pakistan is facing inflation of over 25 percent, widening current and fiscal deficits and foreign reserves just enough to cover nine weeks' worth of imports.
Orascom Telecom said its revenue for the third quarter was $1.37 billion. It did not give a comparative figure for last year.
Total subscribers reached 79 million by the end of September, up 22 percent from the previous year, OT said.
Aldo Mareuse, the group's chief financial officer, said Orascom Telecom expected to maintain a "solid liquidity profile for the coming years," adding that the group does not have significant debt maturities until 2013. --Reuters
SODIC reports LE 9 mln net loss in Q3
SODIC net loss in the third quarter of 2008 was LE 9.2 million, on a stand-alone basis, the company disclosed to the stock exchange. This is in line with the previous quarter's results -- and not unexpected -- since the company is not currently delivering any units, a key driver for accounting income for real estate developers, the company said in a statement.
Banque Misr Liban (BML) reopens Furn El-Chebbak Branch
Banque Misr Liban (BML) reopened its branch in Furn El-Chebback, under the patronage of Ahmad El Bidewi, Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon, and was attended by Mohammad Kamal Eldin Barakat, chairman of the board of directors of BML, the bank said in a statement.
"The opening of this new branch falls within the bank's strategy to further expand and modernize its operation in Lebanon," the statement read.
The branch has been renovated and equipped with enhanced business process. "Since the new management took over in 2007, Banque Misr Liban has been actively implementing a comprehensive development program to regain its former stature in the Lebanese banking sector."
Banque Misr Liban was established in 1929 and is one of Lebanon's oldest banks, owned 88 percent by the Banque Misr (Egypt) banking group. Banque Misr Egypt's total asset exceeded $30 billion in 2007, the bank said.
Eye on the market
The Ministry of Trade and Industry is planning to negotiate receiving e1/450 million from Spanish funds to qualify local producers of paints for getting the RICH certificate and hence get access to European markets.
In an attempt to attract FDI, the Ministry of Finance is currently studying the reenactment of tax breaks (which had been cancelled in May 2008) for some projects, including energy-intensive ones built in free zones, and projects built in and/or close to ports such as liquefied natural gas and petrochemical plants, reported Al-Gomhuria.
Amr Assal, the chairman of the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), announced that a total area of 123 million square-meters in East Port Said will be allocated for industrial projects with expected investments of $180 billion over the coming 20 years, reported Al-Mal.
The IDA also announced that 500 feddans of land in every governorate would be available over the coming three months at subsidized prices for the development of industrial zones, reported Al-Masry Al-Youm. This comes as part of a joint program between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture that aims at developing specialized industrial-agricultural zones with estimated investments of LE 66 billion, and a capacity for 474 factories. The program's details will be announced in January 2009.
AAIB Q3 net profit up 13 pct
Arab African International Bank's (AAIB) net profit in the third quarter of 2008 rose 13 percent to $37 million, while net profit for the first nine months of 2008 surged 45 percent year-on-year to $128 million, the bank said in a press statement.
Total banking income grew 52 percent to $205 million, with net interest income growing by 54 percent and non-interest income by 48 percent to $82 million.
Net loans surged 89 percent year-on-year to $4,524 million as deposits grew 11 percent to $5,265 million, bringing the loan-to-deposit ratio to 86 percent.
Interbank lending fell 33 percent to $2,270 million.
Daily NewsEgypt 2007
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