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UPDATE 1-Qalaa Holdings chairman grounded by $4 mln cheque dispute

(Adds Qalaa statement)

CAIRO, June 14 (Reuters) - Egypt’s Qalaa Holdings, one of the country’s largest investment companies, on Monday said its chairman has been blocked from leaving Cairo by plane owing to a court ruling in his absence over a dispute relating to a $4 million cheque.

Ahmed Hassanein Heikal, a high-profile figure in the Egyptian business community, was turned away at the airport in Cairo on Sunday, security sources told Reuters earlier. Heikal had planned to fly to Sudanese capital Khartoum for a meeting with the board of a subsidiary.

“The legal department investigated this matter today and found that it was a result of an absentee first degree court ruling related to a commercial dispute pertaining to a $4 million cheque,” the company said without disclosing further detail.

Neither the company nor Heikal responded immediately to requests for comment, but the company’s statement said it planned to contest the court ruling.

The Egyptian prosecutors office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Reporting by Ehab Farouk, Nadine Awadalla and Ahmed Mohamed Hassan Editing by David Goodman

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