More money for Suez

Egyptian finance minister Hany Kadry Dimian says revenue from the expanded Suez Canal will reach more than $13bn within four years.

This will allow it to cover interest payments on the new investment.

As announced last week, the government decided to amend its initial financing plan for the waterway's expansion, which is planned to be accomplished within a year.

Instead of using shares to raise cash, Egypt will turn citizens into owners by issuing investment certificates and offering them to the public.

The ministry of finance will act as a guarantor for the canal authority, which will be responsible for paying yields to holders.

Dimian said in a statement that the cost of the certificates will be met from increased revenue.

Besides digging a parallel waterway, the expansion will also include the construction of six tunnels to link Sinai and the two Suez Canal-bordering governorates of Port Said and Ismailia, at a cost of $8.4bn.

It is estimated that the project will reduce maximum ship waiting times from 11 hours to three.