OCI To Discuss Alleged Tax Claim With Egyptian Tax Authority By March 10

OCI N.V.’s subsidiary, Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) (OCIC.CA), announced today that it has received notification from the Egyptian Tax Authority (ETA) to discuss the alleged tax claim against the Company on Sunday 10 March 2013.

The Egyptian Tax Authority Chief Mamdouh Omar asserted on Tuesday that there is still a strong possibility of reopening the negotiations with Orascom Construction Industries. OCI officials still have the chance to seek to reconcile with the Egyptian government after paying the tax dues, the chief added.

Omar said the travel ban decree taken against the CEO Nassef Sawiris and his father Onsi was after the six-month negotiations between the authority and OCI had reached a deadlock.

“The Egyptian Tax Authority had exhausted all the various possibilities with OCI to reach a compromise. Therefore, the travel ban decree has considered as to preserve the state’s interests.” Omar explained

The authority friendly informed the OCI representative with the firm’s legal situation but unfortunately OCI replied with offering to pay a trifling sum of tax dues.

On late Sunday, Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered that Nassef Sawiris, chief executive of OCI, and his father Onsi Sawiris be barred from travel.

The order was part of an investigation into accusations they evaded about 14 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.1 billion) of taxes during the sale of Orascom Building, an OCI subsidiary, to French firm Lafarge.