Egyptian steel producer Ezz Steel reported a net loss of EGP 835.5m in 2014, after registering EGP 527.8m in net profits in 2013, the company announced on Wednesday.
Ahmed Ezz, the company’s former chairman, the owner of 51% of its shares and former secretary-general of Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, has been standing trial for two separate cases over three years since the outbreak of the 25 January Revolution.
The first case was for the illegal acquisition of EGP 6.4bn in business deals related to his Ezz El-Dekheila steel plant. In the second case, Ezz was accused of illegal sales of steel licences. All of Ezz’s appeals have been accepted.
The business tycoon was reported to have announced his willingness to donate half of his wealth to the Long Live Egypt Fund, after his release from jail on bail in August 2014. Ezz Steel’s board of directors was said to be considering Ezz’s return to the board.
Ezz paid at that time the first instalment of an EGP 100m monopoly fine, with the rest to be paid over nine-month instalments.
Political reconciliation with the steel magnate was welcomed by a large portion of people at that time, including the one who originally filed the case of illegal sales of steel licences against Ezz, “if only he is going to donate half of his wealth”.
Steel production in Egypt is expected to witness a shift after the recent decision by the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade to prepare tools and regulations for issuing operating licences in the steel and cement industry.
Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour imposed in April protection fees on imported rebar steel, at a percentage of 8% for one tonne, or no less than EGP 408 per tonne.