Sawiris in talks to buy 51% stake in Egypt state-owned mining firm

FILE PHOTO: Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris speaks during an interview with Reuters in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 15, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said on Sunday that he was holding talks to acquire a 51% stake in the state-owned Shalateen mining company.

Sawiris chairs private gold mining group La Mancha and had said that he intended to invest in gold and copper mining in Egypt if investment conditions improved.

Egypt in January issued new regulations that appeared to eliminate the need for mining companies to form joint ventures with the government and to limit state royalties to a maximum 20%.

Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Nadine Awadalla. Editing by Jane Merriman