First Day Sales of Suez Canal Investment Certificate Hit LE6 Billion
September 6, 2014 • 8:25AM

New Suez Canal debt certificates went on sale Thursday, September 4, and within 10 hours, a record of LE6 billion Egyptian pounds ($840 million) worth were sold. The certificates can only be bought by Egyptian citizens and are available at the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire, and Suez Canal Bank, all of which are state-owned banks.

Central Bank of Egypt Governor Hisham Ramez said that this record had been achieved within 10 hours despite an electricity outage that has greatly affected work in the banks.

Some 1,000 branches of the four banks nationwide were extending working hours until 6 p.m. in order to provide the certificates to citizens, and according to Ramez, they expected a "great" turnout from Egyptians on the certificates, citing Egyptians' patriotism and the high revenue from investment in these certificates, which carry an annual return of 12%. Sales will continue until they reach the goal of raising LE60 billion.

Egyptian companies are also allowed to buy debt certificates, and Misr Life Insurance announced it has already bought LE150 million worth. Chairman Saeed Gabe said his company decided to invest in the certificates because they felt it was necessary that all Egyptians participate and support the project.

In related news, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Mohab Mamish met yesterday with Asian ambassadors to Egypt, including those of Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, and with China's Chargé d'Affaires, in order to exchange expertise in various fields in relation to participating in the New Suez Canal project.