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Egypt Hopes New Suez Canal Dredging To Double Revenues, Improve Economy
Egypt hopes it will reap a financial windfall when the new Suez Canal, being built alongside the existing 145-year-old waterway, opens for business in August 2015. In fact, that nation foresees the new shipping canal will bring in upwards of $13.5 billion annually by 2023.
Plans also include an international and logistics hub designed to attract more shipping traffic. The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. Six firms, two from the Netherlands, two from Belgium and one each from the UAE and the United States, recently signed contracts to dredge the new canal.
Meanwhile, the biggest expansion of the Suez Canal since it opened in 1869 will boost syndicated bank loans in Egypt, according to the Commercial International Bank (CIB) Egypt SAE, Egypt's largest publicly traded bank.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, syndicated lending in Egypt rose 61 percent between January and September 2014. The CIB foresees that market growing by 25 percent in 2015.
Despite being North Africa's most populous nation, Egypt is one of the world's least banked countries. World Bank data reports that only one in ten adults maintains a formal bank account, so an uptick in bank lending could lead to an economic renaissance. Statistics compiled by Bloomberg indicates the Egyptian economy has improved over last year's, and if economic indicators continue as they have been, that nation will see its strongest economic growth since 2010.