Suez Debt Certificate Sales Reach LE31.5 Billion
September 12, 2014 • 9:19AM

Egypt's Central Bank announced that it has collected LE31.5 billion Egyptian pounds through the sale of debt certificates for Suez Canal Project, the equivalent of $4 billion, after only five days of sales. "Individuals dominated the lion's share, with 90% of the subscription, with 20% of the customers having not dealt with banks before," Central Bank of Egypt Governor Hisham Ramez told Al-Arabiya channel. "It is clear that the Egyptian pound-denominated certificates will meet the required LE60 billion fund," he said. The certificates are offered with a lifetime of five years at a 12% interest rate. Sales of the investment certificates will continue until the LE60 billion target is met.

The chairman of Egypt's Suez Canal Authority, Mohab Mamish, told China's Xinhua news agency in an interview, that the New Suez Canal will open on Aug. 6, 2015 as planned. "The Egyptians have the will and capabilities to face challenges and crush difficulties," he stressed, adding, "We are in a race against time to restore the economic and political position that Egypt deserves."

Putting aside rumors of funding problems, Mamish said "the project depends on four methods of funding: people, government, national investors and businessmen, and national banks." He then lauded the mass turnout for the certificates.

"By reducing the transiting time of the vessels, the canal will be the fastest means to transfer trade between the east and the west," said Mamish, adding that it will create 1 million jobs.

Mamish described how the New Suez Canal is part of a bigger project that will develop all the canal cities by building five ports. "The two projects are a security instrument for the coming generation and would help the Arab country to restore [a] political and economic major role in the region." He also said the project would serve the expanding volume and economic growth of China and East Asian countries now in progress.