Egypt president orders new investment for Suez Canal zone using bonds

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CAIRO — Egypt's president issued a decree to modify laws governing the development of the Suez Canal on Monday, allowing funds generated from bond sales for the canal's expansion to be used to create new infrastructure and industries and draw foreign investment.

Companies and states recently pledged several billions of dollars to build up the area, including installations to store grain and set up logistics hubs in cities along the vital waterway.

The canal itself is currently undergoing an expansion to allow two-way traffic that is scheduled to open in August. That project was funded by a bond issue that collected $8.5 billion in just eight days by selling non-tradable certificates with a maturity of five years at 12 percent interest to Egyptian nationals.

The decree, issued Monday, did not say how much funding was sought and it was unclear if it would involve the issuance of new bonds.

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