The head of Egypt's Central Bank says it has raised $8.5 billion for the construction of an expansion of the Suez Canal by selling investment certificates.

Hisham Ramez told Al-Hayat TV that the bank secured the funds in just eight days by selling non-tradable certificates with a maturity of five years at 12 percent interest to Egyptian nationals.

He said that by Monday the bank had collected 61 billion Egyptian pounds ($8.5 billion).

On Aug. 5, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi inaugurated the digging of the new section of the canal in a military-led project aimed at expanding the key world trade corridor. He said it would be finished next year.