EXCLUSIVE-Egypt's competition authority approves cement quotas, document says

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CAIRO, July 6 (Reuters) - Egypt’s competition authority has approved a request by 23 cement makers to reduce production temporarily to help reduce a glut in output, setting a baseline cut at 10.69%, a document seen by Reuters shows.

The competition authority decision, dated July 5, said there would be additional cuts of 2.81% for each production line and further cuts depending on the company’s age.

The quotas would come into force on July 15 and remain in place for one year, the document said.

Egypt’s cement production capacity has risen significantly in the last three years after the inauguration of the 13 million tonne-per-year plant owned by the military in Beni Suef, even as local sales halved, cement executives say.

The sector is seen as an indicator of Egypt’s openness to foreign investment, which it has struggled to attract.

Companies, including Germany’s HeidelbergCement, France’s Vicat, Switzerland’s LafargeHolcim, Greece’s Titan Cement and Mexico’s CEMEX , invested heavily in Egypt after a privatisation drive that began in the 1990s. Local players set up their own plants later.

Egypt-based executives had welcomed an earlier, draft proposal for production quotas, but two had told Reuters that they thought the formula appeared unfair to foreign companies. (Writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by Barbara Lewis)