It’s final, Merhav sells share in Egyptian Midor refinery
After maintaining a smoke screen for several days, the Israel-based Merhav announced that it was selling its stake in the Middle East Oil Refinery (Midor) in Egypt. Officially, neither the buyer nor the sale price was revealed.
Last week Associated Press reported that Merhav had sold its 14-percent stake in the $1.2 billion plant to the National Bank of Egypt, giving it 38 percent of the stock and making it the largest shareholder after the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp.
Industry sources quoted by Israel’s Globes financial daily said that while Merhav’s holdings in Midor were valued at more $100 million, the company may have sold for less because it felt exposed to possible repercussions from the current Middle East crisis.
On the record, Merhav has denied the existence of political pressure. But, recently the Egyptian Economy and Trade Minister Youssef Boutros-Ghali told the Egyptian parliament that Egypt wants the Israeli share in Midor to be sold. The plant was established when the political relationship with Israel was better, Boutros-Ghali explained.
For his part Merhav president Yossi Maiman was quoted by Globes as saying that, as a matter of policy, the Merhav is involved mainly in development projects.
Ha’aretz recently reported that Maiman was eager to sell Merhav’s shares in Midor in order to invest in the Eastern Mediterranean Gas (EMG) project, which will transport gas from Egypt to Turkey via Israel. – (MENA Report).
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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