|28 May, 2019

Egypt could cut taxes for stock exchange investors -bourse chairman

The amendments (to tax laws) could include ... a combination of the stamp duty and capital gains taxes

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, May 28, 2015.

Image used for illustrative purpose only. Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, May 28, 2015.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt's stock market and finance ministry are considering combining stamp duty and capital gains taxes charged on equities investments to limit the amount paid in stamp duties, exchange chairman Mohamed Farid said on Tuesday.

He told Reuters that the proposed changes could see the government refunding some stamp duty if the amount exceeded capital gains charges payable at the end of the year.

"The amendments (to tax laws) could include ... a combination of the stamp duty and capital gains taxes, with the capital gains tax acting as a ceiling for the stamp duty tax," Farid said by telephone.

Under the proposal, the government would collect the stamp duty on all transactions then calculate the difference between it and the capital gains tax at the end of the year, Farid said. If the stamp duty was higher investors would receive a refund but if it was lower they would pay extra.

Egypt introduced a stamp duty of 1.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.0744) per 1,000 pounds in June 2017 then increased it to 1.50 pounds in 2018.

Earlier this month, the finance ministry cancelled a further increase to 1.75 pounds planned for this year, saying it would coordinate measures with stock exchange officials to help the market recover after big declines.

The exchange's benchmark index has fallen 24 percent since its peak on April 26, 2018.

Farid, without elaborating, said the proposed changes may "see different tax treatment for investors based in Egypt than for non-resident investors".

($1 = 16.8000 Egyptian pounds)

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk, Witing by Mahmoud Mourad, Editing by Sami Aboudi and Patrick Werr) ((mahmoud.mourad@thomsonreuters.com;))

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