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Orascom Dev to invest 100 mln stg in eco town-paper

Total cost of project about 1 billion pounds - report.

August 16, 2010 12:42 by

Egyptian-owned Orascom Development is preparing to inject 100 million British pounds ($156 million) into its environmentally friendly “eco-town” project in southwest England, a newspaper quoted its chairman as saying.

The project, on nearly 7 million square metres of land in St Austell in Cornwall, will cost in all about 1 billion pounds, 90 percent of which will be financed through sales of units in the project, al-Mal reported on Monday.

A spokesman for Swiss-listed Orascom Development was not immediately available to comment on the report, which did not detail when Orascom would start putting money into the project.

Orascom has said it would hold a 75 percent stake in the project, one of four eco-town sites approved by the British government.

All homes in the carbon-neutral towns are expected to be within a 10-minute walk of public transport and other public services.

Orascom Development’s main presence is in Egypt, home turf of Chairman Samih Sawiris, where it also lists depositary receipts. It is mostly known for building luxury resort towns but also has low-income-housing projects.

Its Swiss-listed shares were up 0.8 percent by 0906 GMT. The Egyptian stock exchange halted trading on Orascom’s depositary receipts until the company provided clarity on the newspaper report.

(Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz; Editing by Michael Shields)

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