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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Cairo Criminal Court gives Al-Watany Bank insider trading case defendants until 20 October to decide on settlement

**#2 AWB defendants have until 20 October to decide on a settlement? A Cairo Criminal Court has reportedly made an offer that could end a long-running insider trading case dating to 2012 that rattled markets this week after high-profile defendants were unexpectedly remanded to custody.

The offer: The court has given nine defendants until 20 October to decide on a reconciliation offer that appears to involve payment of fines instead of jail time, sources close to the matter said yesterday. The defendants — who include former President Hosni Mubarak’s two sons Gamal and Alaa, as well as former EFG co-CEOs Yasser El Mallawany and Hassan Heikal — were detained on Saturday.

The defendants are divided, according to the sources, who did not specify the value of the proposed settlement other than to suggest it was “sizeable.” Judicial officials will be meeting with each of the accused separately over the coming few days to go over the details of the case and the proposed settlement terms, they added.

Egypt’s stock market suffered its biggest one-day dip in a year and a half on Sunday after news of the arrests, which came despite a recommendation by a court-appointed committee that key charges be dropped. Stocks across the board were down, in sectors including real estate, banking, and consumer goods. The case involves the pre-revolution sale of Al Watany Bank to the National Bank of Kuwait.

The arrest of El Mallawany prompted a spate of disclosures to the EGX yesterday by listed companies on whose boards he serves. All noted that El Mallawany had only served as a non-executive director.

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