Egypt stocks rise slightly on OCI tax settlement

Ahram Online, Sunday 24 Mar 2013

Local bourse ends day in green following announcement by finance ministry that government's tax dispute with Egypt's largest listed company had been resolved

Egyptian stock exchange
A trader works at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian stocks on Sunday closed up on the apparent settlement of a tax dispute between Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) – Egypt's largest listed company – and the government.

The benchmark EGX30 index rose by 0.6 percent for the day to record 5,255 points after Finance Minister Morsi El-Sayed Hegazi declared that OCI had agreed to pay around $1 billion to the Egyptian Tax Authority in order to settle the dispute.

The government had initially demanded that the company pay some $2 billion in what it alleged were unpaid taxes.

The Egyptian Stock Exchange resumed trading on OCI shares on Sunday afternoon after the firm responded to the bourse's inquiries by stating that its talks with the government remained "ongoing" and promising to provide updates "as soon as possible."

OCI rose by 1.4 percent for the day to alight at LE244.5 per share.

The broader EGX70 index, meanwhile, increased by 1.1 percent in a session that saw some LE201.2 million in turnover.

Egyptian investors ended the day as net buyers at some LE14.3 million, while foreign investors were net sellers to the tune of LE22.2 million.

Heavyweight share Commercial International Bank rose by 0.06 percent, while telecommunication giant Orascom Telecom rose in value by 2 percent.

Property shares Talaat Mostafa Group and Palm Hills were both stagnant on Sunday, while shares in luxury developer SODIC rose by 0.5 percent for the day.  

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