Orascom suspends tax payments to Egyptian government

22 January 2014

Egypt’s largest construction company, Orascom Construction Industries, has stopped paying back the $1.02bn in taxes it agreed to pay in a settlement reached with the Egyptian government led by the ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

The next payment in the schedule agreed in April 2013 was for $129m, due on 31 December, but the company confirmed in an email to Reuters that it had now suspended payment as part of "the appeals and reinstated litigation process" with the Egyptian tax authority.

OCI’s chief executive Nassef Sawiris

OCI’s chief executive Nassef Sawiris said in August 2013 that the firm was reviewing its options over the tax settlement it agreed with the Morsi government, which claimed Orascom owed more than $2bn following the $12bn sale of its cement business to French firm Lafarge in 2007.

The company had denied any tax was owed.

Other media reports have said that OCI has been referred to the prosecutor over the issue.

OCI has since issued a statement to the stock market saying it had not been informed of any new formal legal complaints from the tax authorities.

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