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Cablegate: Egypt's Economy: October 5 Press Round-Up

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DE RUEHEG #1913 2781451
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R 051451Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3783
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS CAIRO 001913

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STATE FOR NEA/ELA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EINV EFIN ETRD ENRG PGOV EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT'S ECONOMY: October 5 PRESS ROUND-UP

1.(U) The following are notable economic news stories that appeared over the past week in the Egyptian press: ------------------------------------------ GOE to Cut Energy Subsidies within 5 Years ------------------------------------------

2.(U) Minister of Finance Youssef Boutros Ghali indicated in a conference call organized by the investment bank Beltone that the Government of Egypt is planning to phase out subsidies on most energy products by 2014. The Ministry of Finance estimates that current petroleum product subsidies will cost the government LE 33.6 billion (US$6.11 billion)in FY2009/10 (Al Shourouk, 9/30/2009). -------------------------------------- Highlights of the Euromoney Conference --------------------------------------

3.(U) The Egyptian press widely covered the Euromoney Conference in Egypt, which featured a roster of GOE speakers including Minister of Investment Mahmoud Mohieldin and Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid. Mohieldin told the conference he expects real GDP growth during FY2009/10 to be between 5% and 5.5% and he expects Foreign Direct Investment inflows of US$10 billion in FY2009/10. Mohieldin announced the introduction of new public-private partnership and bankruptcy laws that should facilitate private investment in infrastructure and ease the process of closing a company. Rachid announced that he expects trade will recover by 10-15% by FY2010/11 and asserted that the recovery will result from an increase in both the value and volume of Egypt's exports. (Al Ahram, Al Akhbar, 9/30/2009). ------------------------------------------- Societe Generale Intends to Expand in Egypt -------------------------------------------

4.(U) Fredrick Odes, CEO of the French banking group Societe Generale, says the group intends to expand in Egypt. He says the Egyptian market has strong potential given its youthful population of 80 million, and its continued growth amidst the financial crisis. Societe Generale plans to open twenty new branches in the next two years. (Al Alam Al Youm, 9/27/09). Scobey

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