amwalalghad :: Blogging

Your English Portal To Arab Economy

GMC GROUP FOR INDUSTRIAL COMME   1.29        Telecom Egypt   11.48        Ismailia Misr Poultry   2.45        El Arabia for Investment & Dev   0.34        Modern Company For Water Proof   1.03        Pioneers Holding   2.84        Ezz Steel   7.86        Egyptian Real Estate Group   6.85        Rakta Paper Manufacturing   4.39        Orascom Telecom Holding (OT)   3.92        Naeem Holding   0.19        Egyptian Iron & Steel   6.87        Universal For Paper and Packag   4.94        Northern Upper Egypt Developme   4.93        Canal Shipping Agencies   7.39        Misr Chemical Industries   5.65        United Arab Shipping   0.43        Egyptians Housing Development    1.94        Egyptian for Tourism Resorts   0.69        Modern Shorouk Printing & Pack   7        Upper Egypt Contracting   0.8        Egyptian Financial Group-Herme   7.42        Orascom Construction Industrie   240.82        Heliopolis Housing   21.65        Raya Holding For Technology An   4.57        United Housing & Development   8.93        International Agricultural Pro   2.1        Gulf Canadian Real Estate Inve   18.08        Alexandria Pharmaceuticals   45.71        Arab Cotton Ginning   2.46        Egyptian Chemical Industries (   7.26        National Real Estate Bank for    11.84        Six of October Development & I   15.03        National Development Bank   6.72        Oriental Weavers   20.66        Arab Gathering Investment   16.29        Egyptians Abroad for Investmen   2.75        Palm Hills Development Company   1.61        Credit Agricole Egypt   9.04        Remco for Touristic Villages C   2.13        Commercial International Bank    29.87        El Ezz Porcelain (Gemma)   1.9        Egyptian Starch & Glucose   5.4        Arab Real Estate Investment (A   0.41        South Valley Cement   3.12        Citadel Capital - Common Share   2.5        Union National Bank - Egypt "    3.25        Ceramic & Porcelain   2.88        Rowad Tourism (Al Rowad)   5.05        El Nasr Transformers (El Maco)   4.78        Egyptian Media Production City   2.31        GB AUTO   27        Egyptian Transport (EGYTRANS)   7.85        Sharkia National Food   3.78        El Kahera Housing   4.97        El Shams Housing & Urbanizatio   2.45        Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding   0.7        ARAB POLVARA SPINNING & WEAVIN   2.11        Cairo Poultry   8.32        Egyptian Financial & Industria   8        T M G Holding   4.03        Asek Company for Mining - Asco   10.66        Misr Hotels   27        Egyptian Electrical Cables   0.56        Medinet Nasr Housing   22.51        Mena Touristic & Real Estate I   1.21        ELSWEDY CABLES   18        Prime Holding   0.91        Al Arafa Investment And Consul   0.17        Alexandria Spinning & Weaving    0.74        Gharbia Islamic Housing Develo   8.41        General Company For Land Recla   16.6        Alexandria Cement   8.9        Arab Valves Company   0.94        Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals   12.4        TransOceans Tours   0.09        Egyptian for Developing Buildi   6.43        Egyptian Gulf Bank   1.24        Kafr El Zayat Pesticides   18.19        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   35.1        National company for maize pro   11.86        Delta Construction & Rebuildin   4.03        Zahraa Maadi Investment & Deve   48.25        Samad Misr -EGYFERT   3.52        Egypt for Poultry   1.41        Cairo Development and Investme   11.7        Cairo Pharmaceuticals   20.1        Maridive & oil services   0.9        Suez Canal Bank   3.75        Nile Pharmaceuticals   15.81        The Arab Dairy Products Co. AR   73.85        National Housing for Professio   14.39        El Ahli Investment and Develop   4.87        Egyptian Saudi Finance Bank   10.79        Ismailia National Food Industr   5.16        National Societe Generale Bank   25.52        Acrow Misr   19.16        Alexandria Mineral Oils Compan   63.63        Paper Middle East (Simo)   5.59        Egypt Aluminum   12.31        Giza General Contracting   13.12        Middle Egypt Flour Mills   5.82        Extracted Oils   0.6        Assiut Islamic Trading   4.56        Engineering Industries (ICON)   3.95        North Cairo Mills   15.3        Arab Pharmaceuticals   11.88        Grand Capital   5.38        El Ahram Co. For Printing And    10.68        Minapharm Pharmaceuticals   25.49        El Arabia Engineering Industri   13.52        El Nasr For Manufacturing Agri   9.71        Naeem portfolio and fund Manag   1.7        Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt -   6.76        Natural Gas & Mining Project (   68.26        Housing & Development Bank   13.95        East Delta Flour Mills   31.5        Orascom Development Holding (A   3.22        Memphis Pharmaceuticals   11.12        Abou Kir Fertilizers   134.23        Delta Insurance   5        Cairo Investment & Real Estate   12.18        Cairo Oils & Soap   12.98        Egyptian Arabian (cmar) Securi   0.36        Egyptian Real Estate Group Bea   15.56        Alexandria Containers and good   85.51        Upper Egypt Flour Mills   45.78        Development & Engineering Cons   9.94        Sinai Cement   15.18        Medical Union Pharmaceuticals   28.01        Torah Cement   24.2        Alexandria New Medical Center   46.55        Export Development Bank of Egy   5.04        Egyptian Company for Mobile Se   92.02        Middle & West Delta Flour Mill   32.7        El Kahera El Watania Investmen   4.18        Mansourah Poultry   12.41        Delta Sugar   11.04        Misr Beni Suef Cement   41.21        Egyptian Satellites (NileSat)   6.14        Cairo Educational Services   17.75        Lecico Egypt   7.55        Sharm Dreams Co. for Tourism I   5.3        General Silos & Storage   10.77        Al Moasher for Programming and   0.66        UTOPIA   5.28        Arab Ceramics (Aracemco)   25.4        Barbary Investment Group ( BIG   0.98        

Citizen Journalism - Blogging

Anne DInnocenzio - 2016-04-04 09:56:20
Enjoy, an online concierge service for gadgets, is expanding beyond San Francisco and New York City nearly a year after it was launched. The startup, founded by former J.C. Penney CEO and Apple executive Ron Johnson, will be adding certain neighborhoods of Los Angeles this week and then Chicago in May. The service allows customers to order high-end gadgets ranging from cameras and fitness trackers to drones on the Enjoy website and have them delivered for free by an expert who will show clients how to use the device. Visits last about an hour. "We're trying to reinvent the way people buy technology products. We've learned a lot, and we've seen positive momentum," said Johnson, who oversaw the expansion of Apple stores for 12 years before he took the top job at J.C. Penney. He was on the job for 17 months when he was fired from the department store chain in April 2013 after spearheading a disastrous turnaround plan. Enjoy now has 150 employees and has expanded to 150 products from 29 when it first launched in May 2015. Enjoy's list of partners also has grown to 25 from nine. The lineup includes Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Jawbone and Garmin. The company just added Apple products like Apple TV and Apple's iPad Pro as well as new Wi-Fi solutions like AirPort Express. Johnson said the products selected are premium and are not heavily discounted in the marketplace. More»
Patrick May - 2016-04-04 09:45:30
Two new studies making the rounds this week help confirm a trend that many young people already consider a no-brainer: email use is outmoded and messaging apps are where it's at. As the way we digitally communicate with one another continues to undergo a sea change, new evidence seems to suggest a large-scale pivot by youth toward mobile tools like WhatsApp [pictured above] and Viber to do their chit-chatting. And there's a noticeable age divide that increasingly makes traditional email seem like a tool for the middle aged and beyond. The studies are just the latest in a steady stream of updates on young people's use of social media, a subject of great interest to advertisers and companies that seek to hook consumers at an early age and hold on to them for life. The first study, an Android-only survey done by San Francisco-based app-analysts App Annie, paints a picture of a communications landscape where young people and their elders are taking completely different tacks when they want to connect with others. According to App Annie, email is practically a dinosaur among the younger set: those aged 13 to 24 now spend more than three times as many hours on messaging apps than those over 45 years old, says the study. More»
Menan Khater - 2016-03-30 08:40:36
The hijacked EgyptAir flight on Tuesday comes shortly after a series of security attacks that have substantially affected the tourism industry in Egypt, causing tourism revenues to sharply decline to $6bn in 2015. This compares to the $12.5bn in revenues in 2010, prior to the 25 January Revolution. An EgyptAir flight that departed from Borg El-Arab airport near Alexandria was hijacked Tuesday morning and forced to land in Larnaca airport in Cyprus. Russian Tourist Union (RTU) spokesperson Irina Tyurina said Russia will not be resuming flights to Egypt, just days after Moscow had announced that the restoration of tourism flights would commence soon. She said: “The resumption of flights between both countries is still not confirmed. Even if it was, today’s hijacking incident will further postpone it.” RTU previously called on Egypt to secure the airspace and undertake additional security measures, including securing resorts and tourist facilities to ensure the safety of Russian tourists following the downing of the Russian airplane over Sinai in October. Egyptian government officials are apprehensive about the consequences from this incident, which may further prolong the decline of the tourism industry. Speaking to Daily News Egypt on condition of anonymity, a high-ranking official at the Ministry of Tourism said the incident will add to the already negative image of Egyptian airports abroad. According to the official, the RTU will not resume its flights to Egypt before October, or unless the United Kingdom decided to resume its flights. “European tourism represents about 72% of annual tourism revenue to Egypt. The decline in tourism will continue for the sixth year since the 25 January uprisings in 2011,” the official added. Similarly, chairman of the Egyptian Tourism Federation Elhamy Al-Zayat told Daily News Egypt this year is only an extension of the decline in tourism over the past five years. “We hope the hijacking incident will not negatively affect the Egyptian image abroad now that Egypt is reassessing its security measures at airports,” he said. Tourism is a main source of Egypt’s foreign currency reserves, which have recently plummeted, producing a crisis for the government in its attempts to maintain the exchange value of the Egyptian pound and simultaneously invite foreign direct investment. More»
David Price - 2016-03-27 11:29:46
Is the Samsung Galaxy S7 the new best smartphone in the world? Samsung has just announced the details at MWC, and the S7 is getting some serious hype. Here are three things that the Galaxy S7 does better than Apple's iPhone 6s. iPhone 6s vs Samsung Galaxy S7: Waterproofing Samsung has announced that the S7 is waterproof, with a rating of IP68. This has proved a hit with the company's fans, who were disappointed by the lack of waterproofing in the S6. (This was a particular disappointment given that the S5 was rated at IP67.) IP ratings aren't specific to waterproofing; the IP stands for ingress protection, and the ratings refer to a device's ability to stop all unwanted external items from getting inside. Sand, dirt and dust are included too. As this handy guide explains, the two digits in an IP rating refer to protection against solid and liquid intrusions respectively; the first goes from 0 to 6 and the latter from 0 to 8. In other words, IP68 is the highest rating given, and certifies that the Galaxy S7 iOS both "Totally dust tight" and "Protected against prolonged effects of immersion under pressure". More»
Bree Fowler and Brandon Bailey - 2016-03-27 07:38:28
Turns out there's a shadowy global industry devoted to breaking into smartphones and extracting their information. But you've probably never heard of it unless you're a worried parent, a betrayed spouse -- or a federal law enforcement agency. Now one of those hacking businesses may well be helping the FBI try to break into the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino killers. Late Monday, the FBI abruptly put its legal fight with Apple on hold, announcing that an "outside party" had come forward with a possible way to unlock the phone. In an update for reporters Thursday, FBI Director James Comey said the method "may work." If so, it could render Apple's forced cooperation unnecessary. The announcement has thrown a spotlight on a group of digital forensics companies, contractors and freelance consultants that make a living cracking security protections on phones and computers. Comey said the publicity around the Apple case encouraged such people to come forward with new ideas. More»
Patrick Werr - 2016-03-26 12:00:22
When Egypt’s central bank devalued the pound on March 14, it prompted some economists to speculate that the government would soon approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan agreement. But unless there is a major change in thinking, such an accord seems more out of reach than ever. The notion was that Egypt would take all the measures that the IMF normally requires for its support before making the request. Any Egyptian government is reluctant to be seen as taking dictates from an organisation widely viewed as a spearhead of imperial domination. Yet an IMF agreement is attractive because not only would it provide Egypt with finance to help ease the agony as it takes painful measures to reform its economy, it would act as a certificate of approval to private investors that the government’s finances are under control. An agreement would also potentially unlock finance from other important donors, including Egypt’s traditional backers, the Arabian Gulf countries, who have been reluctant to send more money until they are sure Egypt is fiscally sound. Since the fall in the price of oil, GCC governments have been busy making great strides in reforming their own economies. An IMF team quietly visited Cairo this month, and Reuters last week quoted an unnamed central bank official as saying the mission was helping Egypt chart out an exchange-rate policy as well as additional monetary measures. Bloomberg quoted an unnamed government official as saying that Egypt was seeking IMF financing, although the central bank’s governor Tarek Amer quickly denied it. While the government might want one, an agreement still seems well out of reach. The IMF would want to make sure Egypt is getting its twin deficits under control: the budget deficit; and the balance of payments deficit. Far from moving ahead, the government seems to be slipping behind on both. When it introduced the budget for the fiscal year that began in July, the government said it would rely on the new, long-planned value-added tax (VAT) to keep the budget deficit under 9 per cent of GDP. With the fiscal year now three-quarters finished, there is little sign that the VAT, which had been expected to account for nearly 5 per cent of revenue, will be implemented any time soon. The government is similarly backtracking on plans to cut energy subsidies, which for years have accounted for about 20 per cent of all government spending, although in the past two years this figure has fallen with the decrease in global energy prices. The government this month announced it was reducing the price at which it sells natural gas to steel and iron factories to US$4.50 per 1 million thermal units from $7. This brings the price back to where it was before the government raised energy prices in July 2014 as part of a plan to reduce the budget deficit. The government in 2014 had also charted out a programme for eliminating subsidies on electricity completely by 2019. But this week the electricity minister was quoted as saying the ministry now wanted to delay this. Even the currency devaluation on March 14, while a positive step, was not nearly enough to put much of a dent in the country’s balance of payments deficit. The central bank weakened the pound’s exchange rate to 8.95 to the dollar from the previous 7.83 and announced it was implementing a “flexible exchange rate", a step the IMF had long been calling for. But the central bank did little to reassure the market it was serious about flexibility. The fact it kept the rate at 8.95 indicated that far from seeking the real market-clearing price, it intended to defend the currency below 9 to the dollar. Two days later it actually strengthened the pound by several piasters at its regular currency sales to banks, despite the pound continuing to trade at a much weaker rate on the black market. As of Tuesday, a dollar on the black market cost 9.70 pounds, according to Reuters. The central bank also announced with great fanfare last week that it was selling $1.5 billion to banks at the official rate, with the expectation on the street being that it was flooding the market with foreign currency. But in reality, the banks were required to deposit the dollars with the central bank for a year, meaning they were not actually reaching the market. Before the devaluation, the pound was the most overvalued of major emerging currencies in terms of its real effective exchange rate, Reuters wrote. It was still among the most expensive even after the devaluation. Unless the government uncharacteristically reverses course and implements serious reforms, there seems little chance of any agreement with the IMF. More»
Ahmed El Khouly - 2016-02-18 18:56:24
It is no question that Egypt has a large banking sector, but low financial intermediation. This is reflected in high transaction costs and large non-performing loans, which is an issue that has been acknowledged by The Egyptian Banking Institute in recent years, and remains as one of the priorities for improvement in our country’s financial sector. With the Egyptian government currently working on reforms to streamline financial activities in the market, there are several opportunities to help enhance the role of the banking sector in financial intermediation, such as education and bank restructuring. First, it is important to define what financial intermediation is, and to identify what the current status of activity is in Egypt. A financial intermediary is a financial institution that connects surplus and deficit agents; this is typically a bank that consolidates deposits and uses the funds to transform them into loans. Similar to many emerging market economies, Egypt undertook banking sector reforms in the 1990s towards a more liberal system. However, the country’s banking sector was impacted by the instability of the revolution and the years following. Recently, though, it is beginning to see increased momentum, with the formal launch of an Emirati-owned bank and modest upgrades in credit ratings for a pair of key players. For example, Dubai’s biggest bank, Emirates NBD, formally launched its brand and new headquarters in Egypt in April 2014, 10 months after completing the purchase of the Egyptian assets of French lender BNP Paribas for $500m. The investment by Emirates NBD reflected the bank’s desire to diversify its activities, as well as to take advantage of the long-term potential that it sees in the Egyptian banking sector. This came at a time when the broader economy was struggling with slow growth and policy uncertainty. However, a large and growing population combined with low levels of financial intermediation suggested that there is still significant room for growth. The challenge that the country’s financial sector is facing is with regards to financial intermediation lies mostly within education.Currently, state-owned banks are accepting deposits from their customers, but not turning enough of them into loans. This is due to the fact that the general public is not educated about how to take loans and thus, is not comfortable doing so. For this reason, Egypt lags in financial intermediation activity compared to the international community. In the private sector, however, one regional investment bank has begun tackling this issue. EFG Hermes, the leading investment bank in the region, has just announced its investment in an initial EGP 100 million in capital to launch its leasing arm, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the firm specializing in providing leasing services to large corporates and SMEs across Egypt. EFG Hermes Leasing will specialize in offering financial leasing solutions and value-added advisory to help qualified corporations and SMEs meet their business goals, covering a wide range of diverse sectors including technology systems, vehicles for employee transport, medical equipment and machinery. Similarly, if state-owned banks began taking the initiative to educate their customers and the general public about comparable loan opportunities, this would be a major step in improving the financial intermediation environment in the country. In addition, another opportunity lies within bank restructuring, a key tool to improve the banking system’s capacity to provide financial intermediation between depositors and borrowers. Bank restructuring aims to improve bank performance by restoring solvency, profitability and public confidence. Specifically, it can be classified into three broad categories: financial, operational and regulatory. Financial restructuring refers to the attempt to improve banks’ balance sheets by raising additional capital and by raising the recovery value of problem loans and collateral. Operational restructuring requires improved management and accounting systems, and better assessment of asset risk. Finally, enhancing supervision and regulation raises public confidence and adds to the banking system’s capacity for financial intermediation. Restructuring the state-owned banks is important, not only for stability and reducing fiscal costs and contingent liabilities, but also for access to finance. Overall, it is relieving to see an improvement in the role of the banking sector in financial intermediation, however, we are also looking forward to seeing how the market can utilize the current opportunity to restructure state-owned banks and to educate the general public about advances in order to encourage and expand the market of personal loans, thus improving financial intermediation in the country as a whole.About the writer: Ahmed El Khouly is the CEO of EFG Hermes Leasing. More»
Joseph E. Stiglitz - 2016-01-11 08:17:40
Last year was a memorable one for the global economy. Not only was overall performance disappointing, but profound changes — both for better and for worse — occurred in the global economic system. Most notable was the Paris climate agreement reached last month. By itself, the agreement is far from enough to limit the increase in global warming to the target of 2º Celsius above the pre-industrial level. But it did put everyone on notice: The world is moving, inexorably, toward a green economy. One day not too far off, fossil fuels will be largely a thing of the past. So anyone who invests in coal now does so at his or her peril. With more green investments coming to the fore, those financing them will, we should hope, counterbalance powerful lobbying by the coal industry, which is willing to put the world at risk to advance its shortsighted interests. Indeed, the move away from a high-carbon economy, where coal, gas, and oil interests often dominate, is just one of several major changes in the global geo-economic order. Many others are inevitable, given China’s soaring share of global output and demand. The New Development Bank, established by the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), was launched during the year, becoming the first major international financial institution led by emerging countries. And, despite President Barack Obama’s resistance, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was established as well, and is to start operation this month. The U.S. did act with greater wisdom where China’s currency was concerned. It did not obstruct the renminbi’s admission to the basket of currencies that constitute the International Monetary Fund’s reserve asset, special drawing rights (SDRs). In addition, a half-decade after the Obama administration agreed to modest changes in the voting rights of China and other emerging markets at the IMF — a small nod to the new economic realities — the U.S. Congress finally approved the reforms. The most controversial geo-economic decisions last year concerned trade. Almost unnoticed after years of desultory talks, the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Round — initiated to redress imbalances in previous trade agreements that favored developed countries — was given a quiet burial. America’s hypocrisy — advocating free trade but refusing to abandon subsidies on cotton and other agricultural commodities — had posed an insurmountable obstacle to the Doha negotiations. In place of global trade talks, the U.S. and Europe have mounted a divide-and-conquer strategy, based on overlapping trade blocs and agreements. As a result, what was intended to be a global free-trade regime has given way to a discordant managed-trade regime. Trade for much of the Pacific and Atlantic regions will be governed by agreements, thousands of pages in length and replete with complex rules of origin that contradict basic principles of efficiency and the free flow of goods. The U.S. concluded secret negotiations on what may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades, the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and now faces an uphill battle for ratification, as all the leading Democratic presidential candidates and many of the Republicans have weighed in against it. The problem is not so much with the agreement’s trade provisions, but with the “investment” chapter, which severely constrains environmental, health, and safety regulation, and even financial regulations with significant macroeconomic impacts. In particular, the chapter gives foreign investors the right to sue governments in private international tribunals when they believe government regulations contravene the TPP’s terms (inscribed on more than 6,000 pages). In the past, such tribunals have interpreted the requirement that foreign investors receive “fair and equitable treatment” as grounds for striking down new government regulations — even if they are non-discriminatory and are adopted simply to protect citizens from newly discovered egregious harms. While the language is complex — inviting costly lawsuits pitting powerful corporations against poorly financed governments — even regulations protecting the planet from greenhouse-gas emissions are vulnerable. The only regulations that appear safe are those involving cigarettes (lawsuits filed against Uruguay and Australia for requiring modest labeling about health hazards had drawn too much negative attention). But there remain a host of questions about the possibility of lawsuits in myriad other areas. Furthermore, a “most favored nation” provision ensures that corporations can claim the best treatment offered in any of a host country’s treaties. That sets up a race to the bottom — exactly the opposite of what Obama promised. Even the way Obama argued for the new trade agreement showed how out of touch with the emerging global economy his administration is. He repeatedly said that the TPP would determine who — America or China — would write the twenty-first century’s trade rules. The correct approach is to arrive at such rules collectively, with all voices heard, and in a transparent way. Obama has sought to perpetuate business as usual, whereby the rules governing global trade and investment are written by U.S. corporations for U.S. corporations. This should be unacceptable to anyone committed to democratic principles. Those seeking closer economic integration have a special responsibility to be strong advocates of global governance reforms: If authority over domestic policies is ceded to supranational bodies, then the drafting, implementation, and enforcement of the rules and regulations has to be particularly sensitive to democratic concerns. Unfortunately, that was not always the case in 2015. In 2016, we should hope for the TPP’s defeat and the beginning of a new era of trade agreements that don’t reward the powerful and punish the weak. The Paris climate agreement may be a harbinger of the spirit and mindset needed to sustain genuine global cooperation. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2015-11-24 09:04:41
Egypt is ranked 136th out of 145 countries in gender equality in the world after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), according to the Global Gender Gap report 2015. The Global Gender Gap report, which marks its tenth year in 2015, was first introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006 as a framework for capturing the magnitude of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress among the thresholds of political and economic empowerment, education, and health. This year marks a decline in the status of women, as Egypt ranked 129th out of 142 countries according to the Global Gender Gap index in 2014, and 125th out of 136 countries in 2013. Egypt ranks the worst in political empowerment of women (136). There has been no progress in regards to political empowerment since 2006. On the three remaining thresholds, Egypt ranks 125 on economic participation and opportunity, 115 on education attainment, and 97 on health and survival. More»
Amira El-Fekki &Toqa Ezzidin - 2015-11-08 07:41:45
The aftermath of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s first visit to the UK, which concluded this weekend, was controversial, due to concerns expressed by Britain and the US, claiming recent confirmations that the Russian Airbus A321 was downed by Sinai-based militants. The significance of Al-Sisi’s trip to London stems from the nearly 13-year suspended visit to the UK. “Additionally, the UK is important for Egypt due to its influence on international policies and its leading position in the EU, as well as the power of veto it hold in the UN Security Council,” according to international relations expert at the American University in Cairo Noha Bakr. In her analysis of Egyptian-UK relations, Bakr mentioned that the UK is Egypt’s largest investor at $25bn and a trade volume of which Egypt benefits with $481m. Further, she noted that it provides Egypt with one million tourists per year, in addition to an Egyptian community living in the UK, estimated at 200,000. “But the UK did not make such a fuss when their tourists were shot dead at a Tunisian beach, which necessarily raises question marks on this attitude,” Bakr stated. Following Egyptian officials’ criticism of what they described as “Britain’s hasty decision” to suspend its flights to the city of Sharm El-Sheikh and talks about the potential harm to the tourism industry from similar actions by other countries, British media reports began suggesting that Prime Minister David Cameron “promised” Al-Sisi that the UK government will tighten control on Muslim Brotherhood activities. According to a report published by The Guardian, the UK is being subjected to severe pressure by the UAE, an ally of post-30 June Egypt, which expressed its non-satisfaction with the UK’s “support” of the Brotherhood by threatening to “block billion-pound arms deals with the UK, stop inward investment and cut intelligence cooperation if Cameron did not act against the Muslim Brotherhood”. Nonetheless, a spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Daily News Egypt Saturday that “Cameron’s claims on potential ‘curbing’ of the Brotherhood in the UK shall not be taken seriously”. She supported her claims by arguing that the UK never really restricted or scaled down the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities, and a report issued last year said the UK attempting to delve into the Brotherhood’s activities yielded “no results whatsoever,” she added. While the Brotherhood spokesperson suggested that Cameron made such claims to appease the situation while Al-Sisi was in the UK, Bakr argues that the Muslim Brotherhood are stakeholders in the West, and are still lobbying for their political and economic interests. “Let me also say that Egypt had not been successful in seeking to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist entity, failing to provide enough evidence between the group and acts of terrorism,” Bakr added. Earlier this month, an Egyptian appeals court decided to suspend the decision of outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood leaders. While the Guardian mentioned that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria have complained that London has become a main base to the outlawed group, which started in Egypt and extended around the world, Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s relations have already faced challenges regarding the Syrian crisis, and also “because the Saudis have mobilised Sunni groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, in its fight against the Houthis in Yemen,” Bakr added. “What is important for Egypt now is to restore its strategic regional position and take a leading role in the Palestinian crisis and the Libyan file as well,” Bakr concluded. More»