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Palm Hill stumbles on negative news and court rulings

Egypt's second largest luxury developer seems less occupied these days with building homes than with defending court cases and weathering negative news stories

Ahram Online, Thursday 7 Jul 2011
Palm Hill
Several Palm Hills projects are still in pipeline (Source: PHD official website)

Palm Hills Development (PHD) has been swinging between favourable and negative news in the past couple of days.

On Tuesday morning, a Cairo court judge acquitted former Housing Minister Ahmed El-Maghraby and Yasseen Mansour, chairman of real estate developer Palm Hills, of corruption charges involving the sale of state land. The bluechip developer's share price hiked 7.26 per cent and trading volume on the stock reached LE58.98 million as a result of the acquittals.

A few hours later, however, the public prosecutor appealed the court order to acquit Mansour and Maghraby. The fate of the land contract in dispute is still pending a court hearing on 4 October.

Another blow came on Wednesday when the daily Al-Mal reported that the the Ministry of Housing is planning to withdraw 210 feddans of unused land from the company. The financial newspaper quoted an official saying that PHD will not be granted an extension on the time allowance to start construction.

The company was quick to deny the newspaper report, saying that it did not receive any notice from the Ministry of Housing nor does it own any unused land in 6th of October district. The swift reaction, however, did not prevent share prices from falling Wednesday by 2.79 per cent.

PHD, the country's second largest listed developer, slumped to a 2011 first quarter net loss of LE36.2 million. A year earlier, the company reported net profits of LE107.1.

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