Egypt to start work on $2.4bn telecom network for first phase of new capital city

Construction machines and labourers work at the future headquarters of the Council of Ministers in the government district of the New Administrative Capital (NAC) east of Cairo, Egypt May 2, 2019. Picture taken May 2, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 13 September 2019
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Egypt to start work on $2.4bn telecom network for first phase of new capital city

  • The communications ministry signed a cooperation agreement to begin working on the network

CAIRO: Egypt’s communications ministry will begin work on a 40 billion Egyptian pound ($2.44 billion) telecommunications network in the first phase of a new capital city being built east of Cairo, a cabinet statement said on Wednesday.
The communications ministry signed a cooperation agreement with the Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD,) the new capital’s owner and developer, to begin working on the network over a period of six months.
The new city, known for now as the New Administrative Capital, is eventually expected to cover about 700 square km.
The first phase, covering about 168 square km, will have ministries, residential neighborhoods, a diplomatic quarter and a financial district. A large mosque and cathedral, as well a hotel and conference center, have already been built.
Ahmed Zaki Abdeen, a retired general who heads the company building the new city, said that ACUD would provide the funding for the network.
Egypt’s government wants to start running the nation from the new capital in the desert from mid-2020.
($1 = 16.3700 Egyptian pounds)


Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

Updated 16 September 2019
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Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

  • The Houthi attacks hit two Aramco sites and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday the US was ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to the attacks

HONG KONG: Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world’s top producer by half, fueling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country.
Brent futures surged $12 in the first few minutes of business — the most in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988 and representing a jump of nearly 20 percent — while WTI jumped more than $8, or 15 percent.
Both contracts pared the gains but were both still more than 10 percent up.
The attack by Tehran-backed Houthi militia in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, hit two sites owned by state-run giant Aramco and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.
“Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Trump authorized the release of US supplies from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Aramco said more than half of the five million barrels of production lost will be restored by tomorrow.
But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world’s biggest producer.
Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
“One thing we can say with confidence is that if part of the reason for last week’s fall in oil and improvement in geopolitical risk sentiment was the news of John Bolton’s sacking ... and thoughts this was a precursor to some form of rapprochement between Trump and Iran, then it is no longer valid,” said Ray Attrill at National Australia Bank.