Monday 11 October 2021
I wrote – Manal Al-Masry:
Al-Ahly Bank and Egypt reached a historic agreement with the Bahgat Dreamland Group, affiliated with the late businessman, Dr. Ahmed Bahgat, regarding the settlement of the historical indebtedness of the company, which resulted in legal disputes that lasted for more than 10 years.
According to the agreement, the disputes have been ended, and Al-Ahly and Egypt banks have withdrawn from their contributions to Bahgat Group, and the company has been discharged of its debts, in return for the two banks obtaining areas of land amounting to 4 million square meters.
The National Bank said in a statement that this settlement comes in implementation of judicial rulings and to end all disputes with the “Bahgat” group.
He added that the National Bank and Banque Misr also aim from this settlement to implement the directives of the political leadership to expedite the exploitation of lands owned by public money, and the instructions of the Governor of the Central Bank, Tarek Amer, to stimulate and support private sector investments and dismiss the defaulters from them so that public and private funds unite to achieve the desired Egyptian renaissance.
Regarding the details of the historical dispute with Bahgat Group, the statement stated that the debts of the “Bahgat Dreamland” group of companies to the National Bank of Egypt and Egypt had previously increased by 83% and 17%, respectively, which was the subject of the settlement agreement concluded between the aforementioned parties in 2004 under the supervision of the bank. The Central Bank of Egypt headed by Dr. Farouk El-Oqdah, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, as part of the banking reform plan to support troubled clients and collect bank dues in order to preserve depositors money.
The statement added that after that, several lawsuits and arbitration cases erupted between the two banks and Bahgat Group, which ended with rulings in favor of the two banks and in favor of the Egyptian Company for Real Estate Asset and Investment Management, as it is the arm of the two investment banks for the exploitation of real estate assets.
The statement said that with their keenness to preserve depositors’ money and achieve the interest of public money and in a manner that does not destroy any private investments, negotiations took place between all parties until they ended up signing an agreement to end all legal disputes that have taken place between them for more than ten years, in agreement on the full implementation of the provisions. Arbitration and judicial decisions issued in favor of the two banks and the Egyptian Real Estate Asset Management and Investment Company, in a manner in which the parties preserved the rights of the two banks and the Egyptian company.
The statement stated that the Egyptian Company for Real Estate Asset Management and Investment has already received vacant lands from Bahgat Group in distinct locations, with an area of about four million square meters, and it has become its actual and legal possession.
The statement added that the final agreement between the parties motivated the continuity of Bahgat Group’s projects by obtaining a clearance for the group of companies from those debts that were in favor of the two banks, as well as the two banks’ exit from their contributions to the group’s companies.