CAIRO: Egyptian banks have sold a total of 24.5 billion EGP ($3.43 billion) worth of Suez Canal investment certificates as of 2:00 p.m. on the fourth day of issuance, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hisham Ramez told Youm7 Tuesday.
The National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and Suez Canal Bank sold certificates worth 20 billion EGP within the first three days and 4.5 billion EGP Tuesday, amid an “unprecedented” turnout, Ramez told Youm7.
“Individuals dominated the lion share with a 90 percent of the subscription, with 20 percent of the customers have not dealt with banks before” Ramez told Al-Arabiya channel.
The government has not reached a final decision regarding the issuance of dollar-denominated certificates, Ramez told Al-Arabiya. He added that the majority of the Suez Canal digging costs need to be covered by local currency.
“It is clear that the Egyptian pound-denominated certificates will meet the required 60 billion EGP fund,” Ramez added.
The government is issuing the certificates in hopes of raising 60 billion EGP to finance the Suez Canal expansion of a 72 km branch parallel to the current waterway.
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.