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Egypt government will amend law to solve Talaat Moustafa dispute

Egypt's Cabinet agreed to amend the public auctions law to solve the legal dispute over the Madinaty project

Reuters, Tuesday 30 Nov 2010
The Madinaty case rattled investors in the property sector
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Views: 4150

Egypt's government plans to amend legislation to resolve a legal challenge to the auction of public land for Talaat Moustafa Group's flagship Madinaty real estate project, the government said on Tuesday.

"The cabinet agreed to make an amendment to the public auctions law to solve the problem over the Madinaty project," cabinet spokesman Magdy Rady told reporters.

An Egyptian court said last week the government must respect an initial court ruling to scrap the direct sale of state land for Talaat Moustafa Group's (TMG) Madinaty land project and should publicly auction the land.

TMG's $3 billion Madinaty project has been mired in a legal row since a court said the land on which it is built should have been sold at auction, sparking concern among investors that other state land sales may be challenged.

The government's answer was to scrap the original contract and return the land to TMG, Egypt's biggest listed developer, under a new deal on the same terms, based on its right to act in the national interest.

The firm has already signed the new contract, but that has not stopped the case from rumbling on in the courts, showing what analysts say is a need for legislation to clear ambiguity about how state land is sold.

The TMG case rattled investors in the property sector and prompted several copycat suits challenging state land sales to companies including Palm Hills and Egyptian Resorts.

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