Derwaza: Tax Authority Requested Meeting With OCI Officials

Commenting on the news published by Amwal Al Ghad, Omar Derwaza – Head of Investor Relations at Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) – has asserted that the Egyptian Tax Authority has called for holding a meeting with the Group officials without mentioning the main reasons behind that request.

Derwaza expected that the meeting will discuss what the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi had said during October war victory celebrations regarding the five EGX-listed companies which are accused of evading to pay the taxes through the last years.

President Morsi stated Saturday that Egypt is owed about EGP 100 billion by five companies adding that the state is in talks with these entities to have its dues. The President clarified that some of these dues arose from financial irregularities or tax evasions.

Amwal Al Ghad had published late Tuesday that tax authority sources informed the newspaper that it had called Onsi Sawiris alongside his son Nassif Sawiris to start interrogations regarding OCI’s evading to pay EGP 14 billion tax dues to the state.

Consequently, the EGX Chairman Mohamed Omran said the bourse has suspended Wednesday trading in OCI – (OCIC.CA)’s stocks awaiting the firm’s comments on the news published by Amwal Al Ghad regarding its EGP 14 billion tax fraud.

The sources further told Amwal Al Ghad that the selling deal of OCI’s Orascom Building Materials Holding to French Lafarge in 2008 has been reviewed referring that the deal has violated the law leading to tax fraud.

It is worth mentioning that OCI sold in 2007 its entire stake in Orascom Building Materials Holding (OBMH) to French Lafarge at $ 12.9 billion.

The tax sources added that OCI had founded Orascom Building and had listed it in the EGX for a short while, transferring to it the Lafarge deal valued at EGP 71 billion.

On the other hand, OCI informed the EGX on Monday that the capital gains from selling its entire stakes in the EGX-listed Orascom Building Materials Holding to Lafarge are tax exempt.

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