New Suez Canal project to cost $8.4bn
Cairo, August 15, 2014
The new Suez Canal project will cost about 60 billion Egyptian pounds ($8.4 billion), funded by debt certificates to be issued "in about a week", Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb said on Thursday.
The "Suez Canal investment certificates" will have a 12 per cent interest rate and quarterly dividends, according to the state-run Al-Ahram news portal.
Egypt plans to build a new canal alongside the existing, 145-year-old waterway to expand trade along what is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
The project includes the development of 76,000 sq km around the canal into an international industrial and logistics hub to attract more ships and generate income.
Officials have said the new canal would boost annual revenues to $13.5 billion by 2023 from $5 billion currently, a vital source of hard currency for a country that has suffered a slump in tourism and foreign investment since the 2011 uprising.
Mehleb's announcement followed a meeting with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the central bank governor, and ministers holding portfolios related to international trade.
"The president adopted today a national plan to finance the Suez Canal project," Mehleb said on state television.
"Every Egyptian can own them and they will be issued by Egyptian banks." - Reuters