Egyptian Chronicles: Can someone check this out from economic and legal perspectives ?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can someone check this out from economic and legal perspectives ?

Mr. Mahmoud Wahba reminded us with this strange deal of Eurobonds in Caymans Island related to the National Bank of Egypt “NBE”.
$ 600 million bond issued by Nile Finance limited.
Tarek Amer  "Reuters"

The strange thing is that these bonds were issued to Nile finance limited which is a subsidiary of NBE. Why would NBE have a subsidiary in Cayman islands and issue these bonds there where is no supervision !?
For the record it is not the first time someone raises questions about these bonds because in 2010 famous economic expert Hazem Beblawi criticized the deal and asked questions about it yet unsurprisingly he got no answers from Tarek Amer , the famous bank CEO.
I think MR. Tarek Amer owes us some answers.
I do not know why I do not feel good about NBE , may be because they kept the Mubaraks’ secret accounts undisclosed till they were revealed during the investigations in a strange way  !?
There is a lot of Egyptian jazz in Cayman island and Panama , our ministry of foreign affairs , intelligence and ministry of finance should do something about our money there. 


  1. That's how Eurobonds are structured and issued, nothing out of the ordinary here Zeinobia. If anything it's a very good deal for NBE because it helped it raise $ 600 million in Tier 3 capital. Tarek Amer might have been managing some of the Mubarak's dirty money (because he knows his stuff they wouldn't give their money to a moron to manage, would they?) that doesn't mean he is bad for NBE.

  2. Echoes is correct, Zeinobia...Caymans and other "tax havens" have legitimate functions even if some unscrupulous types use their streamlined and easy legal code for illegitimate purposes. Caymans is routinely used to facilitate transactions allowing institutional investors from many different countries to participate in an offering in a neutral jurisdiction with no local tax consquences and little regulatory burden regardless where the investor is based. Investors are expected to declare their income in whatever home jurisdiction they are required to, and pay any appropriate taxes there. Foreigners like Caymans over Egypt ironically because at least the legal framework is clear there and if a borrower doesn't repay they don't have to navigate the uncertainty of a complicated and potentially (historically) corrupt local legal system in Egypt.

    So what probably happened here is NBE issued a bond to raise hard currency (dollars) to then use to make loans, investments or whatever other authorized purposes in ordinary course of Nile Finance's business. The question to be asked always is whether the borrowed funds were used for the advertised/authorized purpose, the answer to which I believe should be transparently made available...not why the issuance was using a Caymans subsidiary which is routine.

    As for NBE's CEO and any allegations regarding regime involvement...I know nothing about this individual nor his activities, but I think in general any complaints or suspicions, and more importantly actual evidence, should be directed to the Prosecutor General and pursued within the context of due process and the rule of law, rather than "Trial by Twitter". We must have a presumption of innocence till proven guilty, regardless of suspicions or supposed "evidence", if we wish to maintain worldwide respect and credibility the revolution fought so hard to achieve. That would also encourage honest businesspeople not to fear being active when they are most needed but worried to attract attention in what they fear is an ongoing "witch hunt". Guilt by association, gossip, or outright speculation is not the spirit of new Egypt.

    As I said I know nothing of this individual, my comments are simply what I think is the right way to handle concerns.

  3. What's the best email address to send you a reply

  4. هذا يجب ان يكون بلاغ للنائب العام وعلي كله جهه ذات صله ان تتحري صحه ذلك من عدمه لان الاموال دى اموال الدوله المصريه ولايعفى احد من المسؤلين من المسائله والا يكون مشترك فى اخفاء الحقيقه واهدار المال العام خاصه طارق عامر

  5. Mahmoud Wahba ( USA )
    Mahmoud Wahba ( USA)

    I agree,It is true that an investor who is dodging taxes or seeking secrecy would benefit from incorporating in a tax heaven like the Cayman Island.But that is untrue for a fully owned state bank like National Bank of Egypt which should NOT seek to avoid taxes or seek secrecy when it borrows money.The question is why did NBE seek to hide the names of the investors in this loan and make all transactions related to it secret. Consequently put all transactions beyond the auditing ability of the Egyptian Central Auditing Agency or the minoring of The Egyptian Central Bank and other agencies ( remember that the identity of the investors and all transactions are secret even for a fully owned NBE subsidiary formed in the Cayman Island to issue this $600M loan and named " Nile Finance Limited" ).
    As they say the devils are in the fine print and indeed there are too many alarming details in the offering memorandum by " Nile Finance Limited". I have a hard to find copy.
    I also agree that an investigation by the Egyptian Attorney General is needed warranted and I began the process by hiring a lawyer in Egypt to file a complaint.


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