Egypt's Palm Hills Q1 profit up 9 pct yr/yr

CAIRO Thu May 15, 2014 5:35am EDT

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CAIRO May 15 (Reuters) - Palm Hills posted a 9 percent rise in first-quarter net profit to 49.7 million Egyptian pounds ($7.0 million), Egypt's second-biggest property developer said in a statement to the bourse on Thursday.

Earlier this month, U.S private equity firm Ripplewood said it had acquired a 2.3 percent stake in Palm Hills, adding that it hoped to increase its stake.

The firm struggled in 2012 after it faced investigations into previous state land sales and client cancellations after an uprising toppled president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Turning a corner, it recorded a profit of 239 million pounds in 2013.

It has said it is in talks with the Arab African International Bank (AAIB) over a 2.4 billion pound loan which it would use to finance projects and refinance around 640 million pounds from its current bank loans.

Palm Hill's shares were up 1.6 percent at 0916 GMT to trade at 4.50 pounds.

($1 = 7.1050 Egyptian Pounds) (Reporting By Shadia Nasralla; editing by Jason Neely)

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