The Egyptian government has raised the 60 billion Egyptian pounds (6.6 billion euros) it needs to expand the Suez Canal in just eight days, mostly locally.
Egypt’s central bank governor said the sale of investment certificates is now closed. The five-year investment certificates have a 12 percent interest rate and will pay quarterly dividends.
That money will be used to create a second waterway running alongside the original canal to increase traffic on the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia.
An international industrial and logistics hub is also to be build to attract more ships and generate income. It will cost the equivalent of around 160 billion euros.
Canal revenues are a vital source of hard currency for the country, which has suffered a slump in tourism and foreign investment since the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak.
Revenues from Egypt’s Suez Canal reached $508 million (392.4 million euros) in August, the highest monthly level in history, Suez Canal Authority Chairman Mohab Mamish said in early September.
The official Mena news agency quoted Mamish as saying that 2014 was set to be a record year for revenues from the waterway.