Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mubarak sons, EFG CEOs face new trial for stock market corruption

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak will stand trial with co-CEOS of EFG-Hermes and five others on charges of profiteering, says state TV.

The sons of Egypt's deposed president and the two chief executives of investment bank EFG-Hermes are to stand trial alongside five others for corrupt stock exchange dealings, state television said on Wednesday.

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak, already standing trial for graft with their father, are being charged with EFG-Hermes joint chiefs, Hassan Heikal and Yasser El-Mallawany.

Five other business figures were also referred to Cairo's criminal court on the same charges of illicit profiteering related to the sale of El-Watany Bank of Egypt (AWB).

According to state news agency MENA, the following five will stand trial with the Mubaraks and the two EFG-Hermes representatives:

  • Amr El-Kady, EFG-Hermes ex-CEO
  • Ayman Fathy Soliman
  • Ahmed Fathy Soliman
  • Ahmed Naeim Badr
  • Hussein El-Sherbini

A spokesman for Egypt's prosecutor-general told MENA that the accused face charges of accumulating LE2.51 billion in illicit profits by violating capital market laws and taking control of a majority stake in AWB through investment and private equity funds that they controlled.

Judge Adel El-Saeed said the accusations include a claim that the accused made use of private equity funds based in Cyprus and the British Channel Islands to trade on AWB shares and realise large profits.

He claimed that the accused had deliberately hid their identities and other essential information, damaging the principles of equal opportunity and transparency of information.

El-Saeed said the accused may have managed to take control of a 80 per cent stake in the bank, giving them control over its management.

In 2006, they hired two investment firms with with they had affiliations to value and sell AWB at a significantly higher price.

In 2007, the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) -- one of the Middle East's major banks -- acquired AWB and started re-branding and restructuring the bank.

On Wednesday, EFG-Hermes issued a statement detailing the extent of the former president’s family holdings in the company. It said Gamal Mubarak held only 18 per cent of EFG-Hermes’s Private Equity, which he acquired in 1997.

The statement effectively denied all charges against its executives, adding that "neither EFG-Hermes nor any of the investment funds it manages in Egypt or abroad have directly or indirectly received any special privileges or consideration from the Government of Egypt."

Alaa and Gamal Mubarak will hear the verdict for their first graft trial on Saturday 2 June.


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