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Egypt Talaat Moustafa Madinaty Land Case Delayed

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- An Egyptian court delayed until Aug. 10 a ruling on the validity of Talaat Moustafa Group Holding’s purchase of land for the Madinaty real-estate project.

The case will be decided by a different court in the Supreme Administrative Court circuit, Judge Mustafa Hanafi said today.

A Cairo court on June 22 canceled the sale of the 33 million-square-meter (355 million-square-foot) plot of government land on the city’s outskirts due to irregularities in the way it was sold. The New Urban Communities Authority appealed the ruling.

“Even if the court ruling stands, Talaat Moustafa Group will not be stripped of the Madinaty land because the company had no role in the land allocation process,” said Rehab Taha, senior analyst at Cairo-based Prime Securities SAE. “At most, it could be required to pay the difference in the price that the court determines should have been paid for the land.”

An administrative panel this month said it recommended to the court that the contract for the company’s purchase of land issued by the Housing Ministry’s New Urban Communities Authority be annulled. Talaat Moustafa is the country’s largest listed real-estate company.

The ruling won’t cancel the contract between the New Urban Communities Authority and Talaat Moustafa, Al Mal newspaper cited Housing Minister Ahmed Al Maghraby as saying on June 23.

Talaat Moustafa’s Madinaty project is continuing on schedule, the Cairo-based company said in a regulatory filing today. Jihad Alsawaftah, Talaat Moustafa’s chief financial officer, wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Shares of Talaat Moustafa increased 1.6 percent to 7.10 Egyptian pounds as of the bourse’s 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo, valuing the company at 14.4 billion pounds ($2.54 billion).

On March 4, Egypt’s highest appeals court overturned a death sentence against real-estate billionaire Hisham Talaat Moustafa, the company’s former chairman and chief executive officer, for the murder of a Lebanese pop singer, and ordered a retrial.

To contact the reporter on this story: Abdel Latif Wahba in Cairo at alatifwahba@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mahmoud Kassem at mkassem1@bloomberg.net

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