by Staff Writers
Cairo (XNA) Oct 10, 2014
Egyptians' purchases of the New Suez Canal investment certificates on Monday hit 60 billion Egyptian pounds (about 8.4 billion U.S. dollars), an amount the authorities said was required for financing the new canal project, official MENA news agency reported.
"Congratulations to Egypt! We hit the required 60 billion Egyptian pounds," Central Bank Governor Hesham Ramez boasted in phone call to a private satellite channel.
Ramez went on to proudly announce that "the Egyptian people have drawn a new epic and raised 60 billion Egyptian pounds in eight days," describing it as "a leap that surprised the whole world."
Egypt announced in early August to start digging a new 72-km waterway parallel to the Suez Canal, a project that officials said would boost the canal's capacity and revenues, as well as reviving the country's ailing economy.
The certificates available only for Egyptians were at a 12- percent interest rate, providing the government with a safe choice to fund the project without granting certificate holders ownership rights.
Since its nationalization under late President Gamal Abdel- Nasser in 1956, the Suez Canal has become a great asset for Egypt and a main source of national income, bringing in around five billion dollars every year.
The state media has been celebrating the new project as the beginning for a new era of prosperity and regional leadership under the rule of newly-elected President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
The project was designed to be finished within three years, but Sisi has ordered that the New Suez Canal be done in one year sharp and open for ship navigation in early August 2015.
Earlier on Monday, head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish announced the entry of water into the new water route.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
Central Bank of Egypt
Global Trade News
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