Banks pay $445M interest revenues for Suez Canal certificates
The New Suez Canal - YOUM7

CAIRO: Banks have paid 3.4 billion EGP (US $445 million) in interest revenues on Suez Canal investment certificates so far, Youm7 quoted a source at the government on Wednesday.

After the announcement of the Suez Canal mega project, the government began in September 2014 to sell five-year investment certificates with an interest rate of 12 percent to be used to finance the project.  Certificates were made available for purchase at four national banks: Banque Misr, The National Bank of Egypt, the Banque du Caire and the Suez Canal Bank.

Accordingly, 64 billion EGP were collected in eight working days; 82 percent of the certificates were sold to individuals. The outcome of the certificates was deposited in the Suez Canal Authority’s account at the Central Bank.

The interest revenues of the certificates are paid every three months; the first payable dividend was in December and the second one was in March. Banks will continue paying interest revenues until the end of the five-year timeline of the investment certificates.

In August 2014, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi launched the multi-billion dollar New Suez Canal project aiming to establish a new 72-kilometer canal parallel to the current one. Given a timeline of only one year, the project aims to speed up transit time and allow ships to sail into both directions at the same time.

The Suez Canal expansion is expected to boost annual revenues up to $13.5 billion by 2023.

Authorities at the Suez Canal Authority announced the dry excavation phase will be finalized by April 9.

Sisi also launched in August 2014 the “Suez Canal Axis Development Project,” which is a separate long-term project that aims to develop the area surrounding the Suez Canal through establishing economic and logistic hubs.

On March 4, Suez Canal revenues recorded $3.267 billion during first seven months of FY 2014/2015 (to end June 30.)

The U.S.-based General Electric (GE) Company announced it is investing $200 million in a manufacturing and training facility near the Suez Canal mega project, during the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC,) which was held in Sharm al-Sheikh March 13-15.

Additional reporting by Ahmed Yaqoub

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