Talks with govt over tax dispute 'ongoing': Egypt's OCI

Ahram Online, Thursday 21 Mar 2013

Egypt's largest private construction company says that final agreement has yet to be reached with government over allegations that it failed to pay taxes on 2007 sale to Lafarge

File photo: Orascom (Photo: Reuters)


Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt's largest private construction firm, informed the Egyptian Stock Exchange on Thursday that talks with the government over alleged tax evasion by the company were "ongoing," but that a final agreement had yet to be reached.

Earlier on Thursday, Egypt's bourse had suspended trading on OCI shares, demanding that the firm respond to inquiries regarding the tax dispute over the 2007 sale of a company subsidiary to French cement giant Lafarge.

After OCI responded to the request, trading on OCI stocks was resumed.

On Sunday, Egyptian Investment Minister Osama Saleh said he was ready to intervene to resolve the disagreement – potentially worth some $2 billion – between OCI and the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA).

Earlier this month, Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah drew up a technical committee tasked with looking into the dispute, which has led to a travel ban on OCI Chairman and CEO Nassef Sawiris and former company chairman Onsi Sawiris. 

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