OCI to inject $300 million into Egypt banking sector

Ahram Online, Monday 19 Dec 2011

Construction giant to sell some $300 million to local market as part of wider debt refinancing package

Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) on Monday announced plans to sell approximately $300 million to the local banking sector to repay its outstanding LE1.65 billion local bond.

Repayment of its local bond is required as part of a debt refinancing package, announced on 4 October, for OCI’s wholly owned fertiliser subsidiary.

The fertiliser subsidiary secured credit facilities totalling some $1.9 billion through international, regional and local banks, in addition to $200 million from the International Finance Corporation.

“This transaction clearly demonstrates that tapping international debt markets serves the interests of our shareholders and creates added liquidity in the domestic financial sector," OCI Chief Executive Officer Nassef Sawiris was quoted as saying on the company’s website.

Sawiris went on to explain that, by raising offshore debt and settling local debt, the company’s balance sheet would “benefit from interest expense savings related to the large interest differential between the Egyptian pound and the US dollar.”

He added: "We are providing $300 million in dollar liquidity to the local market.”

In November, OCI repaid $700 million worth of local debt as part of a wider corporate refinancing strategy.

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