I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is yet able to state approximately the amount of native and foreign capital invested in public companies in Egypt, the number of companies trading there without being registered, and the proportion they bear to the number registered.
From information supplied by the Egyptian Ministry of Finance, it would appear that the share and debenture capital of the companies whose business is entirely, or almost entirely, confined to Egypt, is estimated approximately at £90,000,000 sterling, of which the proportion contributed by Egyptian companies is about two-thirds, the remaining one-third representing the capital of foreign companies. These figures afford no indication of the proportion of native and foreign capital invested in these companies, the capital of Egyptian companies being largely held abroad, andvice versa. It is estimated, however, that the larger proportion of the total is in foreign hands. The capital is distributed among some 220 companies, about 45 per cent of which are Egyptian and the remainder foreign companies. There are also a certain number of banking and other foreign companies which have established branches in Egypt, but with respect to which it is not possible to ascertain the amount of capital invested in the country. Foreign companies are not registered in Egypt. I should that the above figures do not include the Suez Canal Company.