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EFG-Hermes 2011 profit tumbles 63 percent

By Ehab Farouk and Tamim Elyan / Reuters CAIRO: Egyptian bank EFG-Hermes reported a 63 percent drop in 2011 net profit on Sunday as the economic fallout from uprisings across the Middle East pushed down brokerage, investment banking and asset management revenue. Net income before minority interests was LE 307.7 million ($51 million), down from LE …

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Egyptian court stops opposition figure from presidential run

By AFP CAIRO: An administrative court in Egypt on Saturday blocked opposition figure Ayman Nour from running in next month’s presidential election, the official news agency Mena reported. The court ruled him out under the terms of a law disqualifying anyone who had been jailed for a six-year period following the end of the sentence …

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Egypt’s Brotherhood picks alternate candidate

By Aya Batrawy  / Associated Press CAIRO: Egypt’s most powerful political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, announced Saturday it is nominating the head of its party as a back-up candidate for president in the face of attempts to disqualify their primary nominee. The decision to put forth a second candidate was spurred by fears that the ruling …

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Nour, Sabahy submit candidacy applications

By Safaa Abdoun CAIRO: Presidential hopefuls Ayman Nour and Hamdeen Sabahy filed their candidacy documents to the Presidential Election Committee (PEC) on Friday amidst much celebration by their supporters. The two candidates submitted their applications within one hour with the supporters of each chanting together “Nour and Sabahy, one hand.” An avid supporter of late Egyptian …

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East Berliner’s lifelong passion for vintage fashion

By Kate Millar / AFP When Josefine Edle von Krepl fled East Berlin just before the Wall fell in 1989, she managed to save her vast hoard of vintage clothing by wrapping her china and glassware in it. The fashion designer, journalist and mother-of-two was allowed to take many of her belongings with her to the …

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Ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman to run for president

By AFP CAIRO: Egypt’s former spy chief Omar Suleiman is to contest next month’s presidential election, the official MENA news agency reported on Friday, after having ruled himself out of the race. His change of mind came after a group of demonstrators had gathered in a Cairo district to urge Suleiman, who served as Hosni …

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Pilgrims fill Jerusalem for Good Friday, Passover

By AFP JERUSALEM: Christians and Jews in the Holy Land were set to begin marking their most important festivals of the year on Friday, with Good Friday and the Jewish holiday of Passover coinciding. Jewish families were completing last-minute preparations for Passover, which begins at sundown and commemorates the Israelite’s exodus from slavery in Egypt, …

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Over US mother, Islamist likely out of Egypt race

By Maggie Michael / AP CAIRO: Egypt’s election commission has confirmed that the mother of a popular Islamist presidential hopeful was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race and likely boosting the chances of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate. The Thursday ruling is likely to draw an uproar from supporters of Hazem Abu Ismail, a …

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Bahrain activist moved to hospital after hunger strike

By Firouz Sedarat /Reuters DUBAI: A jailed Bahraini activist who has been on hunger strike for 58 days was moved to a hospital and fed intravenously on Friday after his health deteriorated sharply, his lawyer said. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja is one of 14 men in prison for leading a pro-democracy uprising in Bahrain last year as a …

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Abu Ismail supporters flood Tahrir Square

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: Scuffles broke out between supporters of Islamist presidential hopeful Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and protesters denouncing the Islamist-dominated Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the constitution as both groups took over Tahrir Square Friday. By late afternoon the confrontations led to Abu Ismail’s supporters taking down the stage set up by the …

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Former MB youth leaders slam nomination of Al-Shater, support Abol Fotoh

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Former young leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) criticized the group’s decision to nominate former deputy supreme guide Khairat Al-Shater for president, announcing their support to one of his prominent rivals, Abdel Moneim Abol Fotoh, also a former Brotherhood leader. Mohamed El-Qassas, sacked leader of the MB youth and leading member of …

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Interpol issues arrest alerts for two Libya officials

By AFP LYON: The global police agency Interpol issued alerts Thursday seeking the arrest of two senior officials in late Libyan strongman Moamar Qaddafi’s regime on suspicion of torture and kidnapping. A statement from the France-based body said Libya had requested assistance in detaining two officials identified as former interior minister Al-Senussi Alozyre, 63, and …

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The soldier, the politician, the Sheikh and his mother

By Rania Al Malky CAIRO: On the fourth anniversary of the April 6 protests, an invisible voyeur looks down from above, sporting a grin that is part gloating and part ‘mission accomplished’. Back in the day, when the seeds of Egypt’s recent popular uprising were sown through a Facebook page calling on Egyptians to support Mahallah …

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World food prices rise further, raising fears of unrest

By Svetlana Kovalyova and Veronica Brown / Reuters Global food prices rose in March for a third straight month with more hikes to come, the UN’s food agency said on Thursday, adding to fears of hunger and a new wave of social unrest in poor countries. Record high prices for staple foods last year were one …

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INTERVIEW: Kuwait’s KFIC restructures debt

By Ahmed Hagagy / Reuters KUWAIT: Kuwait’s Finance & Investment Co. has completed a restructuring to partially deal with the 158 million dinar ($567.22 million) debt it had built up by the end of last year, its chief executive said in an interview. The company suffered net losses of more than 75 percent of its capital …

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Egypt’s GASC says buys 115,000 T US wheat

By Sherine El Madany / Reuters CAIRO: Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, has bought 115,000 tons of US soft red winter wheat for May 21-31 shipment on a free on board basis, the main government wheat buyer said on Thursday. Nomani Nomani, vice chairman of the General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC), gave the following …

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67 pct of Egypt employees expect a raise in the next 12 months, says poll

CAIRO: Forty-three percent of employees in Egypt have been unhappy with their last pay rise, and 67 percent expect to receive a raise in the coming year, a recent poll revealed. The latest MENA Salary Survey conducted by Bayt.com, the Middle East’s number one jobsite, and YouGov, also showed that 29 percent of respondents have …

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Fishing for meaning in a play of patriotism and immigration

By Tom Dale “If I Weren’t Egyptian” is a play about a young man who wants to emigrate to Italy, a middle aged German-speaking belly-dancer, a silent old gentleman who has water dripping from his trousers, and a giant robotic orange clownfish. This critic cannot pretend to have a firm grasp on what happened in the …

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The Persian Knot

By Joschka Fischer BERLIN: The negotiations between Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany, over Iran’s nuclear program are entering a new, and probably decisive, stage. The negotiations have been going on for almost a decade, with long interruptions, and whether a breakthrough will come this time is anyone’s …

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What should the World Bank do?

By José Antonio Ocampo NEW YORK: I have been honored by World Bank directors representing developing countries and Russia to be selected as one of two developing-country candidates to become the Bank’s next president. So I want to make known to the global community the principles that will guide my actions if I am elected — …

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Kenyan youth demanding change

By Kennedy Kachwanya Whenever I think of the youth issues, I remember: “Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” – Rachel Jackson. The youth are talented …

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Judge: 3,200-year-old mummy mask can stay in US

By AP ST. LOUIS: A judge says a 3,200-year-old Egyptian mummy mask at the center of an international dispute will remain in a US museum. The US government sought to return the funeral mask of Lady Ka-Nefer-Nefer to Egypt, claiming it had been stolen before the St. Louis Art Museum bought it from a New …

DNE

Dispute over Constituent Assembly reaches stalemate

By Heba Hesham CAIRO: While members of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the constitution believe abiding by Al-Azhar’s document would solve the controversy over the assembly’s make-up, members who have withdrawn, however, say it is not enough. Key members of the 100-member assembly said in their second meeting Wednesday that the only way out of …

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Egypt sends Christian student to jail for insulting Islam

By Ahmed Tolba, Mohamed Abdellah and Yasmine Saleh / Reuters CAIRO: An Egyptian court on Wednesday sentenced a 17-year-old Christian boy to three years in jail for publishing cartoons on his Facebook page that mocked Islam and the Prophet Mohamed, actions that sparked sectarian violence. Gamal Abdou Massoud was also accused of distributing some of …

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Brotherhood hopeful promises clerics a role

By Maggie Michael / AP CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for Egypt’s presidency is lobbying hard for support of ultraconservative Muslim clerics, promising them a say over legislation in the future to ensure it is in line with Islamic law, as he tries to rally the divided Islamist vote behind him. The campaign dealmaking is a …

DNE

Squash tournament returns to Egypt after troubles

By AP CAIRO: One of the world’s leading squash tournaments will return to Egypt this weekend after it was dropped last year because of the revolution, raising hopes of a sporting revival in the troubled country. Professional Squash Association chief executive Alex Gough says he’s “delighted” that the El Gouna International Squash Open, which starts …

DNE

Mr Successful and SCAF

CAIRO: Once more the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau has presented Egyptian politics with a black box by fielding their business tycoon Khairat Al Shater in the presidential race. This move comes at a time when the political landscape has witnessed heavy jostling between the country’s two strongest camps, SCAF and the MB. Last week, statements …

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Abu Hamed launches new ‘civil, liberal’ party

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: MP and former leading member of the Free Egyptians Party, Mohamed Abu Hamed, announced Wednesday the launch of his new party Hayat Al-Masriyeen. Abu Hamed described the party as a “civil, liberal” party, which didn’t oppose religion or citizenship, adding that religion shouldn’t be mixed with politics. “This would cause damage to …

DNE

ANALYSIS: Risk of reversal rises as oil enters ‘danger zone’

  LONDON: The chances of a sharp drop in oil prices similar to the record one-day fall on May 5 last year are increasing sharply as the market becomes locked into a classic price spike. By close of business on Feb. 14, hedge funds and other money managers were running 7.3 long futures and options …

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Court rules parliament vote system unconstitutional

CAIRO: The High Administrative Court has ruled that the voting system that elected the new parliament was unconstitutional, creating a fresh source of uncertainty as Egypt tries to set up a governing system a year after Hosni Mubarak was toppled. Judge Magdy El-Agaty of the High Administrative Court said the elaborate system that apportioned seats …

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