Bloomberg News

Talaat Drops Most in 2 Weeks as Madinaty Land Ruling Looms

October 25, 2011

(Updates with analyst quote in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Talaat Moustafa Group Holding, Egypt’s biggest publicly traded builder, lost the most in more than two weeks after a Cairo court delayed ruling on whether the company should keep its biggest land asset.

The shares of the Cairo-based developer fell 1.6 percent, the most since Oct. 10, to 3.63 Egyptian pounds at the 2:30 p.m. close in Cairo, giving the company a market value of 7.49 billion pounds ($1.3 billion). The benchmark EGX 30 Index rose 0.8 percent.

Egypt’s Administrative Court will rule Nov. 22 on whether Talaat Moustafa will be allowed to keep a 33-million-square- meter plot on the outskirts of Cairo, Judge Saeed Sayed said today. Talaat Moustafa’s purchase of the land from the government is being challenged because it was not conducted at a public auction as stipulated by law.

“Today’s announcement prolongs the uncertainty,” said Omar Darwish, equity sales trader at Cairo-based Commercial International Brokerage Co. “Recent court rulings against private sector companies show that a ruling in Talaat Moustafa’s favor is not guaranteed.”

A court withdrew last month steel production licenses from three companies, including Egypt’s biggest publicly traded manufacturer of the metal Ezz Steel, whose former chairman Ahmed Ezz was sentenced to 10 years in prison for irregularities in obtaining the licenses from the government.

Talaat Moustafa is building Madinaty, a residential and business project, on the land purchased in 2005 from the government.

--Editors: Claudia Maedler, Peter Branton

To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A Namatalla in Cairo at anamatalla@bloomberg.net; Abdel Latif Wahba in Cairo at alatifwahba@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mahmoud Kassem at mkassem1@bloomberg.net


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