Egypt Raises EGP5.5 billion on Day Three for New Suez Canal

5.5 billion Egyptian pounds (around US$769 million) were raised on the third day of selling Suez Canal investment certificates to the public, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hisham Ramez announced on Monday evening.

The four assigned banks, Banque Misr, the National Bank of Egypt, Banque Du Caire and the Suez Canal Bank, began last week selling five-year investment certificates, designed to finance the new parallel Suez Canal project.

This brings the total amount of investment so far to 20 billion pounds (US$2.8 billion).

The certificates, limited to Egypt nationals and corporations, are issued at a value of EGP 10, EGP 100, EGP 1000 and its multiples, with a maturity of five years and a 12 percent interest rate.

There is no ceiling to the amount of certificates a single individual or corporation can acquire.

Egyptian expatriates can buy the certificates from banks overseas with ties to issuant banks in Egypt, in Egyptian pounds.

Also on Monday, 34 banks signed protocols on cooperation with the four assigned banks, aiming to participate in selling the investment certificates to their clients effective next Sunday.

The Central Bank Governor added that about 1,000 branches across the country are offering the certificates for citizens until 6 p.m., mentioning that he expects the turnout from Egyptians on the certificates to be ‘great.’

Egyptian government seeks to collect EGP 60 billion ($8.4 billion), needed for the digging of the Suez Canal extension and six tunnels that will link the east and west banks of the canal.

Earlier this year, Egypt’s Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority announced the construction of a new Suez Canal, which will involve 35 kilometers of dry digging, and the expansion and deepening of another 37 kilometers.

The project aims to attract more ships and boost the country’s income. Egypt’s Suez Canal brings in USD 5 billion annually and is a major contributor to Egypt’s economy, which was suffered since the 2011 revolution.