Centamin soars on hopes a new Egyptian law will end court case

Suzie Neuwirth
SHARES in Centamin surged over 10 per cent yesterday, after the Egypt-focused gold miner noted a law change that should end a long-running court dispute over the validity of an exploration licence.

The new ruling will restrict third parties from challenging contracts between the Egyptian government and investors, which will also apply to pending lawsuits.

“Centamin continues to discuss with its advisers the process by which the original claim in relation to the Sukari Concession Agreement, which was brought by a third party and is subject to an ongoing court appeal, may be dismissed under the provisions of this new law,” said the FTSE 250-listed firm. Shakarwy & Sarhan in Egypt are advising Centamin.

“It is not clear yet if [the law] also covers those under appeal, such as in Centamin's case. Regardless, it is obviously positive news for the company,” said Rob Broke, analyst at Westhouse Securities.

“The new investment law has been known about for a number of months and the minister responsible for it, Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, had indicated at a conference last week that it would be retrospective,” noted RBC. Shares closed 11.7 per cent higher.