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Égypt-actus
revue de presse sur l'actualité culturelle, archéologique, politique et sociale de l'Égypte
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Egypt's top construction firm to pay $1 billion in tax evasion dispute

Egypt's top construction firm to pay $1 billion in tax evasion dispute | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Egypt’s biggest private construction firm Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) has initially agreed to pay the country’s tax authority (ETA) around LE7.1 billion ($1 billion) over a tax evasion dispute worth roughly $2 billion, finance minister Morsi El-Sayed Hegazi said in a conference on Sunday, Ahram Arabic news website reported.

A spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance, Mohamed El-Saqqa, confirmed the news to Ahram Online. According to El-Saqqa, the ministry is currently setting the legal frame for the reconciliation with OCI.

OCI refused to comment on the minister’s statement, saying that it may comment later.

The tax dispute is attributed to OCI’s subsidiary sale to global group La Farge in 2007 worth a total of $12 billion.

 

More on:

http://www.albawaba.com/business/egypt-oci-tax-479447

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OCI Workers in Cairo Protest Tax Charge Citing Religious Bias

Hundreds of workers from Orascom Construction Industries (OCIC) protested against the Egyptian government’s accusation that the company owes 14 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) in back taxes, a charge they say threatens their livelihoods.

 

OCI, Egypt’s biggest publicly traded company, is due to resume talks with officials today over the tax claim, which concerns the 2007 sale of its cement business to France’s Lafarge SA. (LG) Billionaire Nassef Sawiris, OCI’s chairman, and his father, Onsi, were banned this month by Egypt’s prosecutor general from traveling and placed on an arrivals watch list. The company denies violating any laws.

The workers rallied outside the company’s Cairo headquarters, blocking traffic from a section of the corniche that leads from the banks of the Nile to Tahrir Square. Dressed in florescent yellow and orange jackets, they held banners that read: “Oh Finance Minister, where is social justice?”, “Bread, Freedom, Sawiris is not a tax evader,” and “100,000 families will lose their income.”

“By asking for this tax, the government wants to close the company and take it over,” said protester Magdi Saber, 35, who has been working at OCI since 2005. “The owner will be forced to pay for it through our livelihoods. The company is being oppressed by the government. We’re here to say: leave this man alone.”

 

More on: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-13/oci-workers-in-cairo-protest-tax-charge-citing-religious-bias.html

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Orascom Says Didn’t Receive Tax Claim Amid CEOs Travel Ban

Orascom Says Didn’t Receive Tax Claim Amid CEOs Travel Ban | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Orascom Construction Industries, (OCIC) the Cairo-based company transferring to Amsterdam, said Egypt hasn’t informed it of new tax claims after imposing a travel ban on billionaire Chief Executive Officer Nassef Sawiris.

Sawiris and his father and former Chairman Onsi were forbidden to travel and placed on an arrivals watch list, Moustafa Dweidar, a spokesman for Egypt’s Public Prosecutor’s office, said yesterday in a telephone interview. The Sawiris’ are accused of owing 14 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.1 billion) in back taxes, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported yesterday, citing an unnamed judicial official.

“The Egyptian Tax Authority has submitted a tax claim to the company to pay 4.7 billion pounds related to the sale of Orascom Building Materials Holding to Lafarge SA (LG) in 2007,” the company said on its website. “To date, the company has received no additional claim with any different tax liability.”

Orascom Construction said it filed an appeal against the claim, which is under review by the Egyptian Tax Authority’s appeal committee. The company said it’s “confident” it didn’t violate any laws pertaining to the sale and hasn’t received formal notification of a travel ban related to the sale.

 

More on: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-03/egypt-bans-oci-chief-sawiris-from-travel-over-tax-evasion-claim.html

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Egypt Bans OCI Chief From Travel Over Tax-Evasion Claim

Egypt Bans OCI Chief From Travel Over Tax-Evasion Claim | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Nassef Sawiris, chief executive of Orascom Construction Industries, has been banned from travel by Egypt and placed on an arrivals watch list, the state-run Middle East News Agency said, citing an unidentified judicial official.

Sawiris, head of Egypt’s biggest publicly traded company, and his father, Onsi, are accused by Finance Minister El-Morsi EL-Sayyed Hagazi of owing 14 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.1 billion) in back taxes, MENA said. OCI, which has construction and fertilizer units, represents about a quarter of the EGX 30 Index. OCI’s investor relations manager, Omar Darwazah, said by phone that he was unable to comment on the travel ban.

 

President Mohamed Mursi said in an Oct. 6 speech that the government is seeking to recover money it’s owed by companies. While not identifying any company, he said one of them avoided paying tax on a profit of about 80 billion pounds from the sale of an asset by listing it on the stock exchange two months previously.

OCI sold its cement unit, Orascom Building Materials Holding, in December 2007 to France’s Lafarge SA (LG) for 8.8 billion euros ($11.5 billion) after it was relisted on Egypt’s exchange in October of that year.

 

More on: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-03/egypt-bans-oci-chief-sawiris-from-travel-over-tax-evasion-claim.html

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Egypt’s bourse may suffer fresh blow with loss of biggest stock

NEWS ANALYSIS: Egypt’s bourse may suffer fresh blow with loss of biggest stock | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

EGYPT’s share market may be weeks away from losing its biggest stock, dealing a fresh blow to a market that is already grappling with political instability and a weak economy.

Under a deal announced last month, a group of US investors including Bill Gates committed to buying a $1bn stake in Egyptian fertiliser giant OCI NV. The deal is a vote of confidence in Egypt’s economy and provides a badly needed flow of hard currency into Egypt. But it includes an offer to buy out all the Cairo-listed shares of parent firm Orascom Construction Industries.

Analysts believe the result could be a delisting of Orascom Construction from the Cairo market, or at least a drastic reduction in the number of its shares that are available for trade there. Since Orascom Construction accounts for about 15% of the Cairo market’s total capitalisation of about $57bn, its departure could sap trading activity and investor interest in the market just as political and economic events are conspiring to do so as well.

 

"The OCI deal is sending a gloomy picture in terms of the liquidity and market cap," said Mohamed Radwan, director of international sales at Cairo’s Pharos Securities. "It’s not the kind of signal you want to send to attract more foreign direct investment," he said. (....)

 

In a nod to the national sentiment of Egyptians, Orascom Construction has insisted it will not disappear completely from the Egyptian exchange. In a statement, it said it would maintain its presence on the exchange either directly or through an Egyptian depositary receipts programme to be launched by the company (...)

 

The loss of Orascom Construction’s capitalisation could also hurt foreign fund flows into the Egyptian market.

 

 

More on: http://www.bdlive.co.za/world/africa/2013/02/14/news-analysis-egypts-bourse-may-suffer-fresh-blow-with-loss-of-biggest-stock

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Orascom buyout battle scars Egypt stock market

Orascom buyout battle scars Egypt stock market | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
A regulatory battle over an offer to buy out shareholders in Orascom Construction Industries may inflict damage on the Cairo stock market that lingers long after Egypt's politics stabilise and the economy recovers. 
Until recently, many foreign investors remained willing to buy Egyptian stocks despite the political conflict surrounding President Mohamed Mursi's government and the weakness of the economy, which has been hurt by a currency crisis. They assumed these problems would eventually be resolved.But in the last few weeks, the controversy over Orascom has raised a new worry: that Egypt's post-revolution government may be fundamentally unwilling to let the stock market operate freely, and may feel justified in intervening in the market whenever it feels its interests are threatened. If this perception takes hold, the market could struggle over the long term as businessmen hesitate to list their assets on it and investors shift to more market-friendly jurisdictions.

"There is a lack of transparency in the OCI case, and this is a clear case of mismanagement from the authorities," said Osama Mourad, a Cairo-based independent financial analyst and former chief executive of Egypt's Arab Finance Brokerage. TROUBLEUnder a deal announced in January, US investors including Bill Gates committed to buying a $1 billion stake in Egyptian fertiliser giant OCI NV, which is listed in Amsterdam.

Accompanying the deal was an offer by OCI NV to buy out all the Cairo-listed shares of parent Orascom Construction, which is the market's biggest stock, accounting for nearly 15 percent of its capitalisation of around $55 billion.(...) More on:

http://www.tradearabia.com/news/REAL_232279.html

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Orascom workers organise march to protest Sawiris travel ban

Orascom workers organise march to protest Sawiris travel ban | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Workers from all Orascom companies will stage a march on Wednesday from the Nile City Towers building to the High Court Building in Downtown Cairo in order to protest the current travel ban placed by the prosecutor general on the current CEO of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) Nassef Sawiris and his father, the former CEO of OCI, Onsi Sawiris.

The bans are a result of tax evasion allegations, which accused OCI of evading around EGP 4.7bn gained from the sale of an OCI subsidiary to French firm Lafarge, according to state-run MENA.

According to one of the workers organising the march, these decisions are political in background, aiming to discredit the Sawiris family and their investments in Egypt.

 

 

More on:  http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/03/05/orascom-workers-organise-march-to-protest-sawiris-travel-ban/

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Interdiction faite au patron d'Orascom de quitter l'Egypte

Interdiction faite au patron d'Orascom de quitter l'Egypte | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it
Egypt-actus's insight:

Les autorités égyptiennes ont interdit au patron du groupe Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), l'une des plus grandes sociétés du pays, de quitter l'Egypte en raison d'une enquête ouverte sur lui pour évasion fiscale, ont rapporté dimanche les médias nationaux.

Le parquet a imposé cette interdictoin à Nassef Saouiris, le patron d'Orascom, mais aussi à son père, Onsi Saouiris, écrit l'agence égyptienne Mena. Tous deux sont accusés d'évasion fiscale à hauteur de 14 milliards de livres égyptiennes (2,1 milliards de dollars) lors de la vente d'Orascom Building, une filiale d'OCI, au groupe français Lafarge, rappelle Mena.

Reuters n'a pu contacter pour l'heure les Saouiris, pas plus qu'Orascom. Un banquier et ami de la famille a déclaré qu'ils se trouvaient en dehors d'Egypte. En vertu de l'ordre lancé par la justice, ils seront interpellés à leur retour, s'ils rentrent.

Hani Sarie el Din, avocat d'Orascom, a déclaré au journal gouvernemental Al Ahram qu'il était «surpris» par la décision de justice. Reuters, via 20 minutes)

http://www.20minutes.fr/ledirect/1111527/interdiction-faite-patron-orascom-quitter-egypte

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Egypt authorities want more clarification on OCI deal

Egypt authorities want more clarification on OCI deal | Égypt-actus | Scoop.it

Orascom Construction Industries SAE will comply with a request from the Egyptian financial authorities for additional clarification of an offer by its parent company,OCINV, on its ordinary shares,OCINV said on Wednesday.

OCI SAE would host another shareholder meeting to discuss additional disclosures related to the transaction "and to subsequently obtain approval on the (meeting's) ... resolutions from minority shareholder", the statement said.

Once minority shareholders approve these resolutions, the result of the meeting will be ratified and an updated mandatory tender offer application will be formally filed with the Egyptian authorities, it said.

 

Dutch-listed OCI NV announced the exchange offer in January, under which holders of OCI's global depository receipts were offered shares in OCI NV, while holders of the firm's Egypt-listed ordinary shares got the option of cash or OCI NV shares.

 

 

OCI SAE said on Feb. 13 shareholders had approved the offer at meetings in Cairo.

 

More on: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/20/oci-regulator-idUSL6N0BK1QY20130220

 

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