Lakah shares suspended amid creditor news

15 March 2002

Trading in the shares of the local Holding Company for Financial Investment (Lakah Group)was suspended on 13 March as the stock market authorities sought clarification of a company statement indicating that it had reached a settlement with creditors. The Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchanges (CASE) said the suspension would continue until the company provides supporting documents of its letter outlining the settlement.

Lakah was in June declared in default on its $100 million Eurobond. It has also had difficulties servicing its debts contracted with a number of Egyptian banks (MEED 22:6:01).

Ramy Lakah, chairman of the healthcare group, was quoted on 12 March as saying that he had agreed a payment schedule with holders of the Eurobond, based on the creditors taking a stake in the group's export company and receiving a guaranteed share of its profits. He also referred to an agreement reached with local creditor banks.

Officials at one of the leading banks involved in the Eurobond confirm that discussions have been held with Lakah, but they emphasise that no final settlement has been signed.

The head of one of the principal Egyptian creditor banks cautioned against any move to prioritise international creditors. 'Any settlement that might diminish the potential recovery for any Egyptian bank will be pursued through legal channels,' he said.

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