Bureau Chief, Egypt & Sudan
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Oct 9, 2015

Interview: Mauritius creating new bank from bailed out institutions – CEO

EBENE, Mauritius (Reuters) – A new Mauritius bank being created from two banks bailed out by the government will launch in January and could seek a strategic investor in three years, the executive leading the merger said.

MauBank will be formed by joining MPCB, a bank weighed down by bad loans amounting to 25 percent of its portfolio, and some parts of what was Bramer Bank, which was nationalised this year after suffering a run on deposits.

Oct 9, 2015

Mauritius minister sees 11 pct rise in visitors in 2015

PORT LOUIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – The Indian Ocean island of
Mauritius expects to attract 11 percent more tourists in 2015
than last year and aims for steady growth in future of 6 percent
a year, the tourism minister said.

Charles Gaƫtan Xavier-Luc Duval, who is also deputy prime
minister, told Reuters that a major focus was boosting numbers
in the island’s winter season, running from June to September,
by drawing more visitors from India, China, Africa and Russia.

Oct 7, 2015

Mauritius seeks buyer for Britam stake, or sovereign fund may buy

PORT LOUIS, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Mauritius has asked a bank in
South Africa to help find a buyer for a near 25 percent stake in
Kenya’s British-American Investments Co (Britam) which
was seized from a disgraced tycoon, the finance minister said on

Finance Minister Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo told Reuters that
alternatively the stake could be bought by a Mauritian sovereign
fund due to be set up next month if the right price could not be

Oct 7, 2015

Mauritius eyes maritime projects, Africa links to boost growth

PORT LOUIS, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Mauritius has a deal with a
Chinese firm to develop a $113 million fishing port and is
working with investors on plans to become a maritime hub for
Africa, part of its bid to accelerate growth, the island
nation’s finance minister said on Thursday.

Mauritius has revised down growth forecasts for 2015 from
4.1 percent to 3.6 percent, a level Seetanah Lutchmeenaraidoo
told Reuters was not enough to meet a target of lifting the
Indian Ocean country from its middle income status.

Oct 7, 2015

Mauritius in talks to review India tax treaty: minister

PORT LOUIS (Reuters) – Mauritius is in talks to review a tax treaty that has made this island of just 1.3 million people the biggest single source of foreign direct investment in India, a nation of 1.3 billion people, the finance minister said on Wednesday.

The Double Taxation Avoidance treaty, signed in 1983, has been a cornerstone of Mauritius’ rise as a financial center and its diversification away from the Indian Ocean island’s traditional businesses, such as sugar cane growing and tourism.

Sep 29, 2015

Vote spurs calls for faster change in resource-rich Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – On the streets and in board rooms, Tanzanians are calling for change as they head to elections next month, demanding growth that reaches the poor, an end to red tape that holds back business and a crackdown on pervasive corruption.

Boasting huge gas reserves, a wealth of mineral deposits, vast tracts of arable land and sandwiched between two African trade blocs, Tanzania could be a regional powerhouse.

Sep 17, 2015

EU wants new aid for Eritrea soon to help stem migrant exodus

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The European Union aims to agree on 200 million euros ($226 million) in development aid for Eritrea by year-end to help stem an exodus of people from the poor Horn of Africa nation to Europe, a senior EU official said on Thursday.

The five-year package, already the subject of months of talks, was not prompted by the latest migrant influx into Europe but has gained impetus as the number of asylum-seekers arriving from the Middle East and Africa has surged.

Sep 8, 2015

Somalia’s government investigating Soma Oil charges – minister

NAIROBI, Sept 8 (Reuters) – The Somali government is
investigating allegations related to British exploration firm
Soma Oil and Gas, which has been searching for oil in Somalia,
the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on July 31 it had
launched a criminal investigation into Soma Oil, although it did
not outline the corruption allegations against the company,
whose London headquarters were also searched.

Sep 8, 2015

Somalia needs army help, investment to fight Islamists: minister

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Somalia needs more support for its national army and new investment to create jobs to help it fight al Shabaab Islamist militants, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Al Shabaab, which once ruled much of Somalia, has been driven into smaller pockets of territory by an African Union force and Somali troops, but showed it still packs a punch earlier this month by retaking a town and killing 12 Ugandan troops at a base.

Jul 28, 2015

Second-term Obama tells Africa’s ‘Big Men’ to quit when time is up

ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) – Judging by the applause at the African Union headquarters, Barack Obama hit a chord when he took aim at the continent’s ‘Big Men’, telling them they should quit when their time was up – especially since most have the cash to retire comfortably.

In joining African reformists who demand term limits be observed, the U.S. president was lining up squarely against entrenched leaders from Congo Republic to Rwanda and Burundi who are intent on extending their years in power.

    • About Edmund

      "Responsible for Reuters coverage from Egypt and Sudan, and overseeing operations of the Cairo-based Reuters Arabic language service. Previously was Bureau Chief, Iran. Have worked throughout the Middle East for most of the past 15 years, including covering the Iraq war and Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Have also covered financial and energy affairs, holding positions that inlude equities reporter in London."
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