Orascom Construction Gains as Egypt Tax Talks Advanced

Orascom Construction Industries (OCIC) rose the most in a month as Egypt’s biggest publicly traded company said tax negotiations with the government are at an “advanced” stage.

Shares advanced 0.7 percent to 236 Egyptian pounds at 1:40 p.m. in Cairo after earlier climbing 2.6 percent, the most since March 27. The company said it would provide more details on the discussions in the next few days. The stock led gains on the benchmark EGX 30 Index, which added 0.6 percent.

Orascom Construction, which accounts for a quarter of the value of the benchmark gauge, has been in talks with tax officials to settle a 14 billion-Egyptian-pound ($2 billion) claim related to the sale of its cement unit in 2007. No taxes were paid because the business was listed on the bourse two months prior to the sale, the company said in a March 8 statement. Egypt didn’t have a capital gains tax at the time, which remains the case today.

The company led by Chairman Nassef Sawiris is in the process of transferring its shares to Amsterdam from Cairo, with Bill Gates leading a group of U.S. investors who have committed $1 billion for a stake in OCI NV, a new construction and fertilizer company to be formed. The Egyptian regulator said in February the company hadn’t yet met the requirements for relocating.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadine Marroushi in Cairo at nmarroushi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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