Shares in Beltone, which is controlled by billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris through his company Orascom Investment Holding, fell 10 percent in early trading on Sunday. photo: Reuters.

INTERNATIONAL – Egypt’s financial regulator suspended the IPO unit of Egypt’s Beltone Financial after finding that Sarwa Capital had been exposed to irregularities in IPO procedures, the regulator’s deputy head said on Sunday.

Beltone managed the IPO of Sarwa Capital, which began trading on the Egyptian stock exchange last month. Its IPO unit was suspended on Thursday from carrying out any activity for six months.

Shares in Beltone, which is controlled by billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris through his company Orascom Investment Holding, fell 10 percent in early trading on Sunday.

The decision to suspend Beltone “came after investigations”, financial regulator deputy head Khaled al-Nashar told Reuters.

“The implementation of procedures for the offer (of Sarwa Capital) was marred by some financial market irregularities,” Nashar said.

After Thursday’s suspension was announced, Beltone said it had not violated any regulations or executive orders and planned to take legal measures to protect its interests and those of its shareholders and customers.

Sawiris’s Orascom Investment Holding said on Wednesday it had sought regulatory approval to acquire up to 30 percent of Sarwa Capital’s shares in a voluntary offer in November.