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(Updates with CEO statement in third paragraph.)
Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- GB Auto, the biggest independent car assembler in the Middle East, said it signed an agreement with Geely Automobile Holding Ltd. to assemble the Chinese passenger cars in Egypt and distribute them in North Africa.
The Cairo-based automotive company will sell Geely passenger cars in “select high-growth markets across North Africa,” it said in an e-mailed statement today. It will start by selling two models in Egypt in the second quarter and assemble vehicles starting in the third quarter. GB Auto will continue to build Hyundai Verna models, it said.
“We selected Geely after an exhaustive global search,” GB Auto’s chairman and chief executive officer Raouf Ghabbour said in the statement. Geely products offer “the best value for money in a critical segment that meets our consumers’ needs and expectations.”
GB Auto has been assembling variations of the Hyundai Accent, a four-cylinder sedan, in Egypt since 1995. That agreement is due to finish at the end of 2013, Ghabbour said in November. The company had about a 32-percent share of the Egyptian passenger car market in 2011.
Shares of GB Auto gained 0.9 percent yesterday to 23.61 Egyptian pounds, bringing their gain this year to 13 percent. That compares with a 42-percent climb for the benchmark EGX 30 Index.
--Editors: Tim Farrand,
--Editors: Tim Farrand, Peter Woodifield
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