Dana Gas shares soar after Egypt payment

Dana Gas, the Sharjah fuel producer, jumped the most in eight years after news of a long-delayed payment from Egypt.

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Shares in Dana Gas climbed by the most in eight years after news it had received US$53 million owed from Egypt.

The Sharjah-based fuel producer’s shares on the Abu Dhabi bourse rose by 11 fils, or 14.6 per cent, to 86 fils yesterday, the largest jump since the year of its oversubscribed initial public offering in 2005.

The Christmas Day increase came on top of a 4 per cent jump on Tuesday, when the announcement was made. For the year to date, the shares are up 91.1 per cent.

Although this week’s payment represents just a part of Egypt’s debt to Dana Gas, which is still owed $277m in unpaid invoices, the company said that discussions with the country’s leadership had included the prospect of paying down the debt within a year.

The payment, part of the Egyptian government’s release of $1.5 billion to foreign oil and gas companies, boosted a company that has struggled to get paid and yet continued to produce fuel in Egypt and the Iraqi region Kurdistan, its core production assets.

In October, it launched international arbitration against the Kurdistan Regional Government to clarify the amount of money it was owed.

The payment delays ultimately forced Dana to refinance a $1bn sukuk, which came due last autumn.

ayee@thenational.ae