Suez Canal revenue has risen, despite reports to the contrary: Sisi

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has insisted that revenue from the Suez Canal has increased since the opening of the “New Suez Canal” project last August, rather than decreasing, as suggested in some news reports.

Reuters reported recently that figures published by the Suez Canal Authority showed a drop in revenue over the course of the past year and the first two months of the present fiscal year.

However, during an inauguration speech for an agricultural land reclamation project on Thursday, Sisi refuted the claims of falling canal revenue.

“I have heard people saying that the revenues from the Suez Canal have shrunk. But no; in fact, they’ve grown… And I say that on authority," he said.

Sisi did not cite the exact figures of the canal’s revenue, nor the margin of increase.

The Suez Canal Authority announced in January that revenues for 2015 stood at US$5.175 billion, whereas revenues for 2014 were $5.465 billion – a fall of $290 million.

In a press conference to discuss the canal’s revenue for the year 2015, Nagy Ameen, Director of Planning for the authority, explained that revenue saw a decline in 2015 for several reasons, “relating to the SDR and the international drop in petrol prices”.  

Nevertheless, the Suez Canal Authority predicts that annual revenue from shipping traffic will reach $13.2 billion by 2023, thanks to the opening of the new Suez Canal.

Last August, Egypt opened its newly deepened and widened canal, after an expansion project that was completed in just a single year.  

The project inserted a parallel channel to run alongside the 34-km canal, and deepened the original channel to speed up traffic through the canal.

A total of LE64 billion in funding was raised for the project through investment certificates bought by members of the public at an annual interest rate of 12 percent.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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