Egypt Cement officials probed for rule violations

Egypt Cement officials probed for rule violations
Published: 23 February 2009

Two executives from Alexandria Beni Suef Cement and Ameriyah Cement have been referred to the Egyptian public prosecutor for violating pricing regulations.

They didn’t comply with rules requiring cement company employees to detail sales transactions and inventory, the Cairo- based Trade & Industry Ministry said in an e-mailed statement today. The ministry said it also seized 620 tons of cement from traders who defied rules.

Egypt approved jail terms for cement price gouging on Feb. 17 after costs surged to 860 Egyptian pounds ($152) a ton in some provinces, threatening to bring construction and housing development to a halt. A construction boom aided by low steel prices helped lead to supply shortages and a trucking strike has left stocks of cement undelivered in many parts of the country.

Under new rules, cement producers now have to declare their final consumer rates and print prices on packages. Retailers are obliged to provide weekly stock inventories to the trade ministry.