HSBC accused of enriching senior Egyptian politicians

HSBC Tower, the headquarters of HSBC Bank

By  Nick Mathiason and Caelainn Barr

HSBC faces accusations that it helped to enrich senior Egyptian political and business figures now at the centre of corruption investigations. More than a dozen former associates of ousted president Hosni Mubarak are facing trial, as Egyptian investigators focus on allegations that land and state-owned industrial assets were sold at knockdown prices in a process the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says was secretive.

Research by the Bureau, and published in the Observer newspaper, has concluded that HSBC:

■ raised more than £450m for two of Egypt’s biggest and most controversial property developers now embroiled in corruption court cases (shares in those companies have subsequently dived);

■ was the most active European investment bank in Egypt;

■ had on its Egyptian board two directors who in 2004 went on to become ministers of state overseeing land sales and privatisations under Mubarak.

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