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Egypt trains authority mulling bonds – newspaper

The bonds would be secured by the assets of seven companies belonging to the state authority-says newspaper.


October 4, 2010 8:33 by

Egypt’s National Railways Authority is considering issuing 10 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.76 billion) in bonds to finance projects over the next 10 years, a newspaper reported on Sunday, citing unnamed authority sources. The bonds, which would fund projects worth 60 billion pounds, would be secured by the assets of seven companies belonging to the state authority, Al-Mal newspaper said.

The authority’s Chairman Mohamed Hegazy said by telephone he had no information to confirm or deny the newspaper report.

Egypt changed its laws in December to allow utilities and other quasi-government organisations to issue bonds directly, a move designed to expand the country’s debt market.

The New Urban Communities Authority, which is responsible for developing satellite cities, mainly around Cairo, was the first state organisation to take advantage of the change, with the issue of bonds worth 5 billion pounds in March.

The government has said that among projects it was studying were a high-speed train between Alexandria and Cairo and a 77 kilometre (48 mile) railway between Cairo and Tenth of Ramadan City.

A series of rail accidents in recent years triggered demands for an upgrade of the railway network. An accident in October 2009 killed 18 passengers and prompted the resignation of Transport Minister Mohamed Mansour.

(Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)


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