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UAE threatens to freeze investment in Egypt over unpaid debts

Image of people waiting to fill their vehicles at a gas station [ Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Image of people waiting to fill their vehicles at a gas station [ Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

UAE’s Dana Gas said it will freeze its investment activities in Egypt because of delays in obtaining payments owed to it there.

The company said in a statement that Egypt’s overdue payments have increased to $265 million by the end of 2016, compared to about $221 million in 2015.

According to the statement, Egypt paid only 64 per cent or $79 million of its debt in 2016 to the company.

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“As uncertainty remains we must therefore be rigorous in balancing any additional capital investment in Egypt with actual collections,” CEO Patrick Allman-Ward told reporters.

“Dana Gas had thought that part of a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund loan agreed with Egypt in November would be used for payments to the petroleum sector, but the money had been “used for other purposes”, Allman-Ward said.

Allman-Ward said the company’s investment freeze would be reviewed once the Egyptian government pays its debt, adding that the company wanted to continue developing its assets there.

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