Egypt to return taxes collected from Qatar bank deal

Reuters, Saturday 25 May 2013

Egypt will return on Sunday around $1.5 million to NSGB shareholders as the government has reversed its decision to impose 10 percent tax on investment gains from the takeover of the country's second-largest private sector bank

Nationale Societe Generale Bank (NSGB)

Egypt will refund taxes collected from Qatar National Bank 's acquisition of National Societe Generale Bank to shareholders on Sunday, an official from a clearing company told Reuters on Saturday.

The clearing company will return LE10.2 million ($1.5 million) total in taxes it collected from NSGB shareholders, said Tariq Abdel Bari, managing director of Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry.

The Islamist-led government had shocked foreign investors in March when it imposed a 10 percent tax on investment gains from the takeover by QNB of local lender National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB), Egypt's second-largest private sector bank by market value.

QNB, one of the most acquisitive Gulf Arab lenders, is 50 percent owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund that has led the bulk of gas-rich Qatar's international acquisitions in recent years.

The announcement of the refund came after Egypt cancelled a tax on stock market dividends and share gains in takeover bids.

Investors in the country's struggling equity market had protested the tax plans, which were unveiled in December as part of austerity measures to control a soaring budget deficit. 

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