Nassef Sawiris (Photo:Ahram)
The Board of Directors of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) approved Thursday donating LE2.5 billion ($360 million) in recouped tax payments to the Tahya Misr ("Long Live Egypt") social fund established by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
The Egypt subsidiary of Netherlands-based OCI N.V. had paid this amount as part of a LE7.1 billion tax dispute settlement with Egypt's tax authority before the authority's independent appeals committee exonerated the company and cancelled the settlement earlier this month.
“With closure of the tax dispute case in favour of the company, and a solid outlook for Egypt, I am pleased that the board shared my view that Egypt will offer significant investment opportunities in the future," Nassef Sawiris, chief executive officer of OCI N.V. commented.
Sawiris, former CEO of OCI before its acquisition by OCI N.V., had promised significant investments in Egypt following the resolution of the two-year-old dispute in which OCI had been accused of tax evasion related to a 2007 sale of assets to French cement group Lafarge.
OCI N.V. announced last week that it planned to list its engineering and construction group on the stock exchanges of Egypt and the UAE in the first quarter of 2015.
The newly formed Orascom Construction Limited will invest in infrastructure projects, including a 2,000-3,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Egypt with a cost of $2.5-$3 billion, to be jointly developed with teh Emirates-based International Petroleum Investment Company.
Tahya Misr is a social fund established by President El-Sisi in July to gather donations in support of the country's economy following years of political and economic turmoil.
El-Sisi signed a law establishing Tahya Misr Fund, to work under the supervision of the prime minister to manage the donations, state-owned Al-Ahram daily reported on Thursday.