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Orascom Chairman Sawiris Loans Company 75 Million Swiss Francs

Orascom Development Holding AG, the hotel and construction company, will get a direct loan of 75 million Swiss francs ($83 million) from company chairman and majority owner Samih Sawiris to help fund construction projects this year.

Sawiris will additionally guarantee as much as 50 million francs of bank loans, Orascom Development Chief Financial Officer Mahmoud Zuaiter said in an interview at the company’s 2011 results conference in Zurich.

Orascom needs the funding to complete unfinished hotel projects in Oman and Switzerland. The company lost 69.7 million francs in 2011 as it battled low sales in Egypt because of political unrest. Egypt contributed 70 percent to Orascom Development’s 2010 sales.

Zuaiter says the two-year line of credit is priced at “Swiss market rates,” which he says are 3 percent to 4 percent today. Orascom has withdrawn 25 million francs of the credit line to date, he says.

The company announced in January that it had finalized up to 125 million francs of financing as a result of the commitments of the chairman, without giving further details.

Orascom Development’s management is working out how much financing will be needed for new projects in 2013, and is negotiating financing for capital expenditure with banks. Zuaiter says he will have a clearer idea of its needs when the company reports first-half results.

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