Following a foreign currency crisis that has hit Egypt, the Egyptian firm Suez Cement said on Monday that it was struggling to transfer shareholder profits out of Egypt. The firm is 55 percent owned by Italian firm Italicementi.
Italcementi Group in Egypt runs five cement plants in Suez, Tourah, Kattameya, Helwan and Minya, employing more than 4,000 people.
Egypt has been trying to revive its economy since a 2011 uprising drove major sources of foreign currency such as foreign investors and tourists away.
Despite the escalating pressure to devaluate the pound, the central bank has kept it fixed at 7.7301 pounds per dollar. The bank has been trying to conserve hard currency by prioritizing its use for the imports of essential goods.
“The company has faced some challenges in transferring shareholder’s profits abroad, which is estimated around 50 million euros ($54.8 million), as a result of the foreign currency crisis in Egypt,” Suez Cement Managing Director Bruno Carre said in a statement.
The statement did not specify which period the 50 million euros in profit covered and a company spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.
The Egyptian subsidiary of Italcementi Group stated on Sunday that it had seen EGP 60 million ($7.7 million) in losses in 2015.
Furthermore, the central bank has been working on fighting a currency black market by imposing restrictions on cash deposits, leaving many businessmen unable to access dollars for imports and resulting in goods piling up at ports.
In recent weeks airlines operating out of Egypt have complained that they have been unable to repatriate earnings. The Civil Aviation Ministry later said the central bank had agreed on payment schedules with those carriers.
($1 = 0.9129 euros)