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Israeli to inaugurate new airport near Jordanian border

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Israel has officially inaugurated a new international airport on Monday near the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, a few kilometers from the Jordanian border.



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the inauguration ceremony, glassy terminal, arriving on the ceremonial first flight said he is excited with the successful completion of the project.

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The new airport is named after Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut who died in the crash of the space shuttle Columbia. Initially, it will handle only domestic flights, operated by Israeli carriers Arkia and Israir.

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In the future, the airport plans to host jumbo jets from around the globe, and will also serve as an emergency alternative to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport

It says the new airport has a 3,600-metre-long runway and apron parking space for nine “large and wide-body aircraft”.

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Israeli media have said that a 26-metre-high, 4.5km-long “smart” anti-missile fence has been installed to help protect Ramon.

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Egypt Ranks 2nd Amidst World Emerging Economies.

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Amidst the 21 most flexible emerging economies worldwide, Renowned Bloomberg has listed Egypt’s economy behind Philippines in the face of the global trade war.

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In its analysis, the Bloomberg agency relied on a set of criteria, most important of which being the GDP growth rate, local currency performance against international currencies, foreign exchange reserves, credit rating, and finally current account performance.

The Egyptian cabinet’s Media Center said in a statement on Monday that indicators of the Egyptian economy improved significantly during the recent period, most notably the choice of the Egyptian pound as the second-best performing currency in the world against the US dollar this year so far, according to Bloomberg.

Of these indicators, GDP growth in the third quarter of fiscal year 2018/2019 reached 5.6 percent, alongside a rise in net foreign exchange reserves by the end of May 2019 to US$44.3 billion, with the current account deficit as a percentage of the GDP declined from 6.1 percent in 2016/2017 to 2.4 percent in 2017/2018.

The statement added that the Egyptian credit rating achieved its best level since 2011 after the agencies of Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s upgraded Egypt’s credit rating.

-Egyptian Independent


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CBN signals end to official rate regime for naira

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may soon allow the naira to freely find its value, with a possible depreciation on the official rate, usually pegged at about N305/$, an update on its website has indicated.

The development is signaling an end to the most criticised foreign exchange rate window, which has been used mostly for government’s critical businesses that affect the public, particularly the importation of petroleum products.

If the move sees light of day, it will mean that the value of the naira at the official window is depreciated with its concomitant closure of the peg.

Yesterday, the apex bank, as opposed to the usual publication of the fixed exchange rate, opted to publish that “the rate will be market-determined.”

According to a report, the President of Shippers Association of Lagos State, Jonathan Nicol, said the Nigeria Customs Service had allegedly directed importers to pay for duties at the rate of N326 per dollar against the official rate of N306, citing an order from the CBN.

Also yesterday, the interbank rate depreciated by 0.2 per cent to N360.43 per dollar at the close of trading, while the parallel market remained steady at N360 per dollar.

A move toward a market-determined exchange rate would be welcomed by investors, who have long accused government of some level of capital controls and bemoaned multiple exchange rates.

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Yewande Sadiku, was quoted as saying the apex bank was in talks with other agencies to move to a single rate for the nation’s currency.

For an economic analyst at Ecobank, Kunle Ezun, “putting that on the website means the central bank is gradually moving towards a single exchange-rate window. It is making the exchange rate more liquid to attract more inflows.”

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