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Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Ibnsina Pharma’s Omar Abdel Gawad is at his desk today

Much ado about nothing: Ibnsina Pharma co-CEO Omar Abdel Gawad is at his desk today. That’s the take-home message from the EGX-listed pharma distributor after news reports yesterday reporting that a senior manager of Ibnsina Pharma had been detained in connection with an ongoing antitrust case before the Cairo Economic Court, the verdict of which the company is appealing. The media report prompted the EGX to suspend trading of Ibnsina shares for a time yesterday.

We spoke with Omar last night as he was driving back to his office after a (very) long day. He told us what the company told the EGX in a disclosure (pdf): That he had been required to appear briefly before the administrative authorities responsible for implementing the verdict as part of a routine administrative procedure related to the company’s appeal. Some 13 executives from Ibnsina and competitors including United Co. for Pharmacists, Ramco Pharm, and Multipharma were hit with fines totaling EGP 5.6 bn back in March. All are accused of colluding to cut credit periods and slash discounts to small and medium sized pharmacies. The next hearing of Ibnsina’s appeal will take place on 19 November.

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