Mubarak Calls on Banks to Tighten Credit Conditions
In the wake of a slew of cases where businessmen allegedly ripped off state-owned banks, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has called on all banks working in the country to tighten credit conditions, according to the Middle East Times.
"We will not let people secure credit and then flee the country again," said President Mubarak with regard to businessmen who have repoertedly fled the country with millions and in some cases billions of pounds in loans.
A week ago, Mubarak announced that the government was reviewing all loans granted by state-owned banks to investment projects.
According to the weekly paper, the last two years have seen a number of hugely indebted businessmen flee the country after lining their pockets with public funds from state-owned banks.
The most famous incident, said the Cairo-based paper, was that of Egyptian-French businessman Ramy Lakah, chairman of Lakah Group. Some estimate his debts at more than two billion pounds, most of which is owed to Banque Du Caire.
Lakah had previously claimed that his companies were owed money by government institutions and that had they not defaulted, he would have had no problem repaying his debts.
A top Banque Du Caire official, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the newspaper that he did not think Lakah would be coming back to Cairo.
"Some of the loans that were made without enough collateral were initiated by corrupt bankers who profited from making such loans," said the official – Albawaba.com
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