Orascom looks to issue first EDR

Published: July 13, 2009

Orascom Development, the Egyptian real estate company, is looking to issue the first-ever Egyptian depository receipt (EDR). The company is working with EFG Hermes and the Bank of New York Mellon to arrange the issue later this year.

Orascom moved its primary listing to the SWX Swiss stock exchange last year, as part of the company’s strategy to become a multinational firm with investments in Europe and the MENA region.

However, the move saw trading volumes in its stock fall sharply, and the stock price also fell by around 80% since the Swiss listing.

“Partly that’s because the credit crunch has hit all property stocks, but it’s also because Egyptian funds, which are the traditional buyers of our stock, are wary of the FX risk from the Swiss franc. There is very little liquidity in the Swiss franc / Egyptian pound market”, says Mamdouh Abdel Wahab, head of investor relations at the company.

To try and re-capture Egyptian demand for its shares, Orascom is preparing what will be the first EDR. Abdel Wahab says he hopes the issue will be concluded in the second half of the year.