Egypt: After arrest of its owner, a new decision by Juhayna Food Industries

Egypt’s Juhayna Food Industries board has appointed Seif El Din Thabet as acting chairman, the company said in a statement a day after its chairman was arrested.

The company, Egypt’s largest dairy products and juices producer, said on Wednesday it did not know the reason for Chairman Safwan Thabet’s arrest.

Juhayna’s shares were trading at 6.55 Egyptian pounds ($0.4174) at 0823 GMT on Thursday, up 1.6% after falling about 7% a day earlier after news of the arrest.

Two security sources told Reuters on Wednesday that Juhayna’s chairman was detained for alleged “financial irregularities”. The Interior Ministry has not commented.

Only one day after arrest of its owner, Juhayna Food Industries, the largest producer of dairy and bottled juices in Egypt, announced that its board of directors decided unanimously to appoint the company’s vice president, Saif El-Din Safwan, as acting chairman of the board.

The company said in a statement to the Egyptian Stock Exchange that its chairman has been detained pending investigations, and it has no additional information.

The company confirmed that the arrest of its board chairman will not affect it or its daily operations. According to Reuters, the Egyptian businessman Safwan Thabet, has been detained pending investigations, the contents or details of which have not been disclosed.

The Egyptian Stock Exchange has suspended trading in Juhayna’s shares in the market before receiving a statement regarding the formation of the board of directors.

The decision of Juhayna’s board of directors comes after two security sources told Reuters on Wednesday that Safwan Thabet, chairman of Juhayna’s board, had been arrested from his home on charges of financial misconduct.

Saif Al-Din Safwan Thabet is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Managing Director and has all the necessary powers and competencies to run the company’s business.

The Egyptian businessman is reportedly related to Hassan Al-Hudhaibi, the former general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Egyptian regime has classified as a terrorist organization after the military coup against the democratically elected late President Mohamed Morsi.

A judicial committee set up by the Egyptian government issued a decision in August 2015 to seize the funds and property of the head of Juhayna due to his alleged links to the Brotherhood.

The businessman filed a number of legal appeals to lift the ban on the funds, but they were rejected.

Juhayna was established in 1983, and it is a foodstuff company that produces milk, yogurt and juices and exports its production to markets in the Middle East, America and European countries.

The value of the company on the stock exchange is approximately 7 billion Egyptian pounds (450 million dollars, as $1 equals 15.6925 Egyptian pounds).