CAIRO: Egyptian bank EFG-Hermes plunged to a net loss last year, hit by one-off charges including a write-down in the value of certain investments. The bank, active both in investment and commercial banking, said it made a net loss of 335 million Egyptian pounds (Dh176.5 million, $48 million), compared with a profit of 211 million pounds in 2012. Excluding the charges, normalised net profit doubled from 2012, it said. EFGHermes said the one-off charges totalled 761 million pounds, including 616 million pounds in the fourth quarter alone. Hanzada Nessim, head of investor relations, said in an email that the impairment charges related to acquisitions which the bank had previously made at home and in markets such as Kuwait and Oman.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has assured full support for nuclear power projects. He was talking to DG, Strategic Plans Division Lt. Gen. Zubair Mehmood Hayat, and Chairman Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission Ansar Pervez on Friday. The Chairman PAEC briefed the Finance Minister on financial aspects of the two nuclear power plants in Karachi with a combined capacity of 2,000MW to tackle the energy crisis. Ishaq Dar said that nuclear plants will provide electricity at cheaper rates as compared to power produced from thermal sources. At present, the country is experiencing a widening gap between power supply and demand, leading to extensive outages that disrupt life and business. Earlier, World Bank has approved 520 million dollars for Casa 1000 Project.