Negotiations with Egypt's OCI on hold: Finance minister

Ahram Online, Tuesday 30 Apr 2013

El-Morsi Hegazy says the Egyptian government is keen to settle the tax dispute with Orascom Construction Industries 'amicably'

Egypt's finance minister said that negotiations between the government and Orascom Construction Industries over a tax dispute are currently halted pending a report from prosecutors.

OCI, Egypt's largest listed firm, is being charged with evading $2 billion of taxes on the 2007 sale of its subsidiary Orascom Building Materials Holding (OBMH) to cement giant Lafarge on Egypt’s stock exchange.

Finance minister El-Morsi Hegazy said in a press conference on Monday that the prosecution will determine whether OCI evaded taxes or not in the sale.

He added that the government "is keen to settle the dispute amicably."  

Last week, OCI said negotiations with the Egyptian Tax Authority were at an “advanced” stage, and that more details would be revealed “over the coming days.”

In March, Egypt’s prosecutor-general issued a travel ban on OCI's founder Onsi Sawiris, and its CEO Nassef Sawiris.

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