CAIRO: Egyptian banks have raised a total of 14.5 billion EGP ($2.02 billion) from Suez Canal investment certificates’ sales within two days, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hisham Ramez announced Sunday.
The National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and Suez Canal Bank began selling the certificates to the public Thursday, amid an “unprecedented” turnout, Ramez told Youm7.
Banks sold over 6 billion EGP worth of investment certificates Thursday despite a widespread power outage which hit the country in the early morning and lasted for more than 12 hours in some areas. The blackout disrupted rain service, and also forced a number of television channels to stop broadcasting and it shut down at least six water treatment plants.
In a phone interview with Al-Hayat channel, Ramez said that the certificates’ sales reached 8.5 billion EGP on Sunday, totaling 14.5 billion EGP.
The government is issuing the certificates in hopes of raising 60 billion EGP to finance the Suez Canal expansion, which will dig a 72-km branch parallel to the current water way.
The certificates are offered with a lifetime of five years at a 12 percent interest rate. Sales of the investment certificates will continue until the 60 billion EGP target is met.
Certificates offered in three categories: 10 EGP, 100 EGP and 1,000 EGP. “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 at a press conference last Sunday.