Orascom Development calls off capital increase

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Orascom Development Holding said on Tuesday it has called off a planned capital increase after detecting irregular trading activity in its shares listed on the Swiss stock exchange.

The Swiss-based company, whose main presence is in Egypt, said it had planned to sell shares on Tuesday representing 9.9 percent of its capital via an accelerated book-build.

It told the SIX Swiss Exchange that trading volume on Monday had been unusually high and the share price had fallen steeply. The stock fell 10.1 percent on Monday.

"Given the abnormal trade volume and significant decline in share price, the company has decided to call off the planned transaction," Orascom said in an emailed statement.

Orascom mostly builds and manages mixed-use resorts, but it also owns land, hotels and budget housing in countries across the Middle East and Europe.

Orascom’s majority shareholder Samih Sawiris had backed the capital increase by committing 85 million Swiss francs ($79 million), the statement said.

The company said a total 2.3 million shares were to have been sold in the increase.

Orascom said an upward trend in hotel occupancies in the second half of 2009 had continued during the first quarter of 2010 and that revenue from real estate sales was in line with its expectations.



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By Reuters
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