Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

4 September 2014

Egypt: Proceeds of Suez Canal Certificates 3 Billion Pounds

Cairo — Sale proceeds of Suez Canal investment certificates have amounted to 3 billion Egyptian pounds on first day of release, Central Bank Governer Hisham Ramez said on Thursday.

There was a high demand for the certificates, Ramez told CBC Extra, adding that banks will continue to issue certificates until six in the evening.

The certificates were issued Thursday morning and were available for purchase at the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Du Caire, Banque Misr, and Suez Canal Bank

Field visits will be organized to schools to encourage students to participate in purchasing the certificates, Ramez added.

The central bank has issued seven million certificates so far out of a total 60 million, according to Ramez. The outcome of the certificates would be deposited in the Suez Canal Authority's account at the Central Bank.

The investment certificates financing the project would be tax-exempt, as per the second Article of the decree.

On August 5, Sisi launched a mega project which entails digging a 72-km (45-mile) bifurcation to the Suez Canal as well as developing the Suez Canal region. Digging the bifurcation is expected to cost $4 billion.

The government had announced that five-year investment certificates with an interest rate of 12 percent would be used to finance the project. Certificates were chosen to finance the 60 billion Egyptian-pounds project as they do not grant certificate-holders ownership rights.

The project is implemented under the supervision of the armed forces. While launching the project, Sisi said digging the new bifurcation to the canal would be completed within a year, instead of a previous deadline of three years.

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