CAIRO Feb 28 The Egyptian government is holding
talks with the country's biggest listed company, Orascom
Construction Industries, to dissuade it from delisting
from the local stock exchange, Investment Minister Osama Saleh
told the state news agency MENA on Thursday.
Last January the Dutch-listed parent, fertilizer and
construction firm OCI NV, announced an offer to acquire
the ordinary shares of its Egyptian-listed subsidiary.
The minister declined to elaborate and the company was not
immediately available for comment.
The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) asked
last week for more information on the offer, a move that could
delay completion of the deal under which some U.S. investors
including Bill Gates would pay shareholders who choose to sell
their ordinary, Egyptian-listed shares.
Omar Darwazah, head of investor relations for the Egyptian
company, told Reuters last week that the question of a delisting
had yet to be settled.
Shareholders also have the option to take shares in the
Dutch parent, or reject both the cash offer and the share swap.
Under Egyptian law, companies must have a free float of at least
five percent of their capital on the stock market.
Darwazah denied OCI was turning its back on Egypt and said
it wanted only to improve its ability to fund global expansion
with international capital, noting that obtaining financing in
Egypt has become very difficult.
Egypt is beset by economic and political uncertainty after
the 2011 popular uprising that toppled former president Hosni
(Reporting by Ahmed Tolbah and Yasmine Saleh; editing by David