File Photo: A worker at a clay bricks factory in Egypt (Photo: Ahram)
Egypt's Protection of Competition Authority referred on Thursday 70 clay brick factories to public prosecution over an inside deal to hike and fix prices of materials sold.
The authority accused the factory owners of intentionally raising the prices of clay bricks, taking advantage of the recent hike in fuel prices.
The authority added that its decision would be followed by a set of administrative measures to curb harmful market practices and safeguard fair competition.
Following the flotation of the pound in November 2016, real estate companies raised their prices due to a 30-40 percent increase in the prices of building materials.
The Egyptian government has been working to fill a supply and demand gap in construction material as it constructed 150,000 housing units in 2018.
Clay brick is used in 80 percent of the buildings constructed in Egypt with more than 1,320 factories across the country.
The authority said it is currently conducting a comprehensive study on stabilizing the prices of clay bricks.