Proceeds of Suez Canal Investment Certificates Reach 96 Percent of Target

Sale proceeds of Suez Canal investment certificates hit 9 billion Egyptian pounds on Monday, Central Bank Governor Hisham Ramez said, bringing the total to 58 billion pounds.

Banks will continue to operate on Tuesday until the 60 billion pounds target is met, Ramez told state-run MENA agency.

Banks have witnessed high popular turnout over the past ten days since the issuance of the certificates on September 4, Ramez added. Sales revenue hit 39.5 billion Egyptian pounds at the end of last week, one week since the start of the sale.

The certificates were first issued September 4 and were available for purchase at the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Du Caire, Banque Misr, and Suez Canal Bank.The outcome of the certificates would be deposited in the Suez Canal Authority’s account at the Central Bank.

The post authority has made investment certificates available for purchase on Sunday in its 1600 offices nationwide. Citizens can purchase certificates immediately or within hours upon providing their IDs.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued on September 1 a presidential decree to govern the financing of the 60 billion Egyptian pound project through investment certificates.

The decree pledges the National Egyptian Bank, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and the Suez Canal Bank to issue investment certificates with multiple categories to use their outcome in financing the project.

Only Egyptian individuals and companies are allowed to purchase the Suez Canal project investment certificates.

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.

Source : Aswat Masriya