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News in brief.

New listings on CASE 30 index

The Egyptian stock exchange will add six companies to its benchmark CASE 30 index, including investment bank Naeem Holding and retail firm Olympic Group, the exchange said on Tuesday.

The exchange said it will add the six most actively traded shares not previously on the index starting Feb. 1. The list also includes Agricultural Products, Egyptian Transport (Egytrans), Maridive & Oil Services, and Pioneers Holding.

The six firms replace Upper Egypt Contracting, Alexandria Spinning & Weaving, Alexandria Mineral Oils, Extracted Oils, United Housing & Development, and Egyptian Media Production City. --Reuters

Beni Suef Cement to launch new production line

Beni Suef Cement, owned by Greek cement maker Titan, received approval from the General Authority for Industrial Development to launch a new production line with a capacity of 1.5mn tons a year, the company said in a statement.

The company added that the investment cost of the new line stands at slightly more than LE 1 billion ($180 million) but did not mention any timeframes for the start of production.

Titan and Lafarge, the world's biggest cement group, bought Beni Suef Cement and Alexandria Portland Cement in 1999. Lafarge said last year it had sold its 50 percent holding to its partner in the joint venture. The two Egyptian subsidiaries have a combined capacity of 3.1 million tons a year. --IntelliNews

AUB forms finance company

Ahli United Bank (Egypt) said in a statement sent to the stock exchange that the bank has finalized the establishment of Ahli United Finance Company.

Moreover, the bank is currently working on acquiring a mortgage finance license, said Inertia Brokerage in its daily report.

Central Bank restricts M&A finance transactions

The Central Bank of Egypt announced new banking regulations for mergers and acquisitions financing in anticipation of future M&A activities in different sectors from strategic investors or investment funds.

Under the new regulations, banks will have a 5 percent ceiling on its total lending to acquisition financing, the maximum amount the bank can lend any investor is 20 percent of the 5 percent ceiling, and the bank will set a higher default risk to M&A financing. --Al Mal

TE requests network upgrade

Telecom Egypt (TE) has asked the NTRA's approval to update its wireless network which is currently using CDMA and replace it with a more advanced technology, after several customer complaints were made over the quality of TE's ADSL services. --Al-Masry Al-Youm

Tourism minister in france

During a recent trip, Minister of Tourism Zohair Garranah honored French travel agents for their role in increasing the number of French tourists to Egypt. More than 586,000 tourists visited Egypt in 2008, an increase of 26 percent compared to 2007.

The Ministry of Tourism is currently focusing on limiting the effects of the global economic crisis on the sector by visiting tourist exporting countries, according to the minister.

Speaking at a press conference in the French capital, Garranah said the Egypt is dealing highlighting investment opportunities in the country and offering innovative promotion campaigns.

In cooperation with travel agencies, the ministry will organize more press trips by forieng media to Egypt. Moreover, direct flights to Marsa Alam, Aswan, Marsa Matruh, Alamein and Borg Al-Arab airports will be increased, he added.

Around 13 million tourists visited Egypt in 2008, a 16 percent increase over 2007.Aa The current global financial crunch will not hinder tourist investment or infrastructure development projects in Egypt, he said, adding that Gaza War had a limited effect on tourism.

In other news, however, Bloomberg reported that Egyptian tourism investors asked the government to allow them to pay taxes and social securities in installments. Tourism activity has dropped by 45 percent since the global financial crisis and the war in the Gaza strip. --MENA

Eye on the market

Lecico Egypt said it would buy 300,000 treasury stocks from Jan. 29 to Feb. 28, according to the stock exchange website.

GB Auto Group said Tuesday that it was finalizing the restructuring processes for a number of its subsidiaries, reported MIST news.

Ahmed El Rakebi, head of the Holding Company for Food Industries, said that the company saw net profit increase to LE 120 million in fiscal year 2007/08 from only LE100 million the previous year. He also announced that the holding company pumped LE 346 million to develop the factories in subsidiary companies to establish around 101 mills, reported Al-Ahram.

The securities listing committee approved listing the capital increase shares of Quena Paper Industry. The company will raise its issued and paid in capital from LE 599.5 million to LE 635.47 million, translating an increase of LE 36 million to be distributed on

3.6 million shares at a par value of LE 10/share.

The Holding Company for Maritime and Land Transportation decided to pump investments worth LE 418 million in its subsidiaries. Of the total, LE 106 million was already invested in the previous fiscal year while the remaining will be invested during the new fiscal year. The plans come as the company prepares to compete with the private sector companies operating in Alexandria, Damietta, Dekhila and Port Said ports. The beneficiary subsidiaries are Alexandria Containers and Goods, Damietta Containers and Cargo and Port Said Containers, reported Al-Alam Al-Youm.

Daily NewsEgypt 2009

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Publication:Daily News Egypt (Egypt)
Date:Jan 27, 2009
Words:889
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