Egypt Said to Probe 12 People on Beltone Share Manipulation

Egypt’s market regulator has referred 12 people to general prosecution for manipulating the shares of Beltone Financial Holding, according to an official.

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority referred the persons earlier this month, the official at the regulator said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Beltone isn’t a party in this issue and hasn’t been informed that any of the people involved are related to the company, Beltone’s Corporate Finance and Investment Relations Director Osama Rashad said by phone.

The regulator’s move is the latest attempt by authorities to investigate a 243 percent surge in Beltone’s share price this year. The company, acquired by billionaire Naguib Sawiris’s Orascom Telecom Media & Technology SAE at the end of 2015, has filed a complaint to EFSA against the bourse’s repeated cancellation of trades.

“If people are buying and selling the stock without any fundamental reason, and if that results in a substantial change in the share price, it’s natural for a regulator to take notice,” said Allen Sandeep, the Cairo-based director of research at Naeem Holding.

Beltone is awaiting regulator approval to acquire Commercial International Bank SAE’s investment banking arm CI Capital.

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