Egypt to return taxes collected from Qatar bank deal

CAIRO Sat May 25, 2013 7:34am EDT

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CAIRO May 25 (Reuters) - Egypt will refund taxes collected from Qatar National Bank 's acquisition of National Societe Generale Bank to shareholders on Sunday, an official from a clearing company told Reuters on Saturday.

The clearing company will return 10.2 million Egyptian pounds ($1.5 million) total in taxes it collected from NSGB shareholders, said Tariq Abdel Bari, managing director of Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry.

The Islamist-led government had shocked foreign investors in March when it imposed a 10 percent tax on investment gains from the takeover by QNB of local lender National Societe Generale Bank (NSGB), Egypt's second-largest private sector bank by market value.

QNB, one of the most acquisitive Gulf Arab lenders, is 50 percent owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund that has led the bulk of gas-rich Qatar's international acquisitions in recent years.

The announcement of the refund came after Egypt cancelled a tax on stock market dividends and share gains in takeover bids.

Investors in the country's struggling equity market had protested the tax plans, which were unveiled in December as part of austerity measures to control a soaring budget deficit. ($1 = 6.9819 Egyptian pounds) (Reporting By Ehab Farouk; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Michael Georgy)

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