OCI shares suspended over tax dispute

Ahram Online, Tuesday 23 Apr 2013

Egyptian Stock Exchange demands details of deal between Orascom Construction Industries and Egyptian Tax Authority over alleged tax evasion

OCI's Cairo-based headquarter (Photo: Reuters)

Trading in shares of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), Egypt’s biggest private construction firm, was suspended on Tuesday after the stock exchange demanded detailed updates of the company's tax dispute with the government.

Al-Mal daily reported on Tuesday that OCI had reached an agreement with the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) under which the firm will pay its back taxes in installments. OCI is yet to confirm.

OCI is accused of tax evasion worth some LE14 billion (roughly $2 billion) from the sale of an OCI subsidiary to La Farge in 2007 for $12 billion.

Accordingly, a travel ban was imposed on OCI chairman and CEO Nassef Sawiris, and his father, former company chairman Onsi Sawiris.

In March, the ETA said it had documents proving OCI should pay taxes on the La Farge sale.

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