Egypt brokerages, investors voice opposition to new stock market tax

Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Mar 2013

Local brokerage firms, investors' associations petition government to retract planned tax on all stock exchange transactions, saying move will only spook investors in Egypt's already-struggling bourse

Stock market
Egyptian stock exchange building in downtown Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Several Egyptian brokerage firms and investors' associations on Sunday sent a petition to Prime Minister Hisham Qandil to demand the reversal of a recent cabinet decision to impose a small tax on all stock market transactions.

Signatories of the petition say the move will negatively impact Egypt's overall investment environment and could lead to an exodus of investors from Egypt's already-struggling stock market.

The petition was signed by members of the Egyptian Capital Market Association, the securities division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, the Egyptian Investment Management Association, and Egypt's Finance Association (EG-Fin).

The petition stressed that the current state of the national economy required that the government adopt measures aimed at attracting investors to Egypt's capital markets instead of imposing further financial burdens on them.

According to the government's economic recovery plan that was unveiled last week, a 0.001-percent tax will henceforth be imposed on all stock market transactions. According to the recovery plan, the new tax is expected to generate an annual LE450 million in government revenue.

Last week, Egyptian Stock Exchange Chairman Mohamed Omran expressed concern regarding the new tax, claiming the decision was likely to spook investors from the Egyptian market.

Several stock market officials have called for exempting foreign investors from the new stock market tax.

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