Egypt to issue certificates to finance Suez Canal

Project includes the development of 76,000 sq km around the canal into an international industrial and logistics hub

Egypt will issue government certificates to finance the Suez Canal project on Monday, state media said, as the country aims to expand trade along what is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

The project includes the development of 76,000 sq km (29,000 sq miles) around the canal into an international industrial and logistics hub to attract more ships and generate income.

Officials have said the new canal would boost annual revenues to $13.5 billion by 2023 from $5 billion currently, a vital source of hard currency for a country that has suffered a slump in tourism and foreign investment since the 2011 uprising.

The five-year investment certificates have a 12 percent interest rate and pay quarterly dividends and will come in 10, 100 and 1,000 Egyptian pound ($1.40-$140) denominations, MENA said.

National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire, and Suez Canal Bank will issue the certificates, MENA said.

The banks will also issue certificates in U.S. dollars with a 5.3 percent interest rate and quarterly dividends, the agency added in 1,000 dollar denominations.

Egypt's Central Bank governor Hisham Ramez will hold a press conference on Sunday to announce the procedures for the issuance of the certificates and the laws governing them, the agency said.

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