CAIRO: Egypt’s Cabinet has approved the issuance of the Suez Canal Investment Certificates Law, and the legislation will be submitted to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi for ratification, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hisham Ramez announced Sunday.
Sisi had announced that the digging operations of the new canal will be implemented by local companies under armed forces supervision citing “national security” needs. Sisi also said the project will be financed through the issuance of an IPO for Egyptians only, excluding foreigners from contributing.
The government eventually decided the Suez Canal expansion project will be financed by offering these certificates to Egyptian citizens. The certificates will come with a lifetime of five years and a 12 percent interest rate.
“The certificates issued in local currency will be offered in three categories: 10 EGP ($1.40), 100 EGP and 1,000 EGP at a 12 percent interest rate. Revenues from the 10 EGP and 100 EGP certificates will be paid after five years, while the 1,000 EGP certificates will be paid quarterly,” Ramez said during a Sunday press conference.
He added that minors will be allowed to buy the Suez Canal certificates with a maximum limit of 990 EGP, with the aim of motivating them to subscribe.
Six million certificates printed to raise the needed finances for the Suez Canal expansions are waiting for the issuance law to be distributed to banks, so that they can be offered for the public, Ramez added.
The National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and Suez Canal Bank will be in charge of issuing the investment certificates, and have been directed to establish specific outlets for the certificate sale. These banks were also urged to extend working hours to 6 p.m. during the first two weeks after the offering, according to Ramez.