Orascom objects to Egyptian taxes

08 Jun 2011

(MENAFN) Naguib Sawiris, the billlionare founder of Orascom Telecom Holding, and Mohamed Abdel Salam, the Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange, expressed concern that Egypt’s planned capital gains tax will harm investment, reported Blomberg.

On June 1st, Egypt’s Finance Minister, Samir Radwan, announced a plan to decrease Egypt’s budget deficit through a 10 percent tax on asset revaluations, dividend payments, and mergers and acquisitions. Egypt’s budget deficit is projected to increase to 10 percent of GDP compared to 8.1 percent the previous year.

Although gains from trading are not included in the tax, both Salam and Sawiris said that the plan will deter investment in Egypt’s stock market. Sawiris said that he thinks that the Ministry of Finance will reconsider the tax due to strong opposition from the press and the Egyptian stock exchange.

It is worth noting that the February uprising that removed Mubarak slowed Egypt’s projected economic expansion and sent its EGX 20 benchmark stock index plunging by 24 percent this year.

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