NBE to issue Eurobonds
The National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Egypt’s largest state-owned bank, plans to issue a dollar-denominated bond in global markets by the end of June. The bank did not specify the value of the offer, but said it would bear an interest rate of 5.25 per cent. NBE previously tapped the international bond markets in 2010 with a five-year bond issue of $600 million maturing in August.
The bank will invite 13 international financial institutions to compete to arrange the bond issue. The move comes as the government is planning a sovereign bond issue of $2 billion. The success of this issue should encourage other local banks to follow suit as a means to secure their need for hard currency.
Arabtec contract to be signed soon
The Ministry of Housing is to sign the final contract with UAE developer Arabtec to build one million housing units nationwide within days, a ministry spokesperson told Reuters this week. According to the initial agreement of the project, estimated to cost $40 billion and signed in mid-2014, construction was due to start in the third quarter of 2014, with the first homes to be delivered in early 2017 and the project to be completed before 2020.
However, the resignation of Arabtec CEO Hassan Ismaik on the back of claimed differences with the UAE authorities has put the plans on ice. According to Reuters, the Ministry of Housing and the company also disagreed recently over the percentage of completed units that Arabtec should deliver to Egypt in lieu of payment for land used in the project.
“There is no percentage that has been agreed on with Arabtec,” Wafaa Bakri, media advisor to the housing minister, told Reuters last week. Asked if the government would take the same percentage agreed with Talaat Mostafa for the Egyptian developer’s Madinaty housing project, or seven per cent, she said, “It will be more than that.”