Orascom, Bombardier to build $1.5 billion monorail in Egypt

Updated 04 May 2015
0

Orascom, Bombardier to build $1.5 billion monorail in Egypt

CAIRO: Canada’s Bombardier Inc. and Egypt’s Orascom Construction and Arab Contractors will build a $1.5 billion monorail near Cairo, Egypt’s housing minister said.
The 52km project is set to be completed by mid-2018 with funding from a 14-year loan, Mostafa Madbouly said in a statement, without saying who was providing the funds.
The train will connect the Cairo metro system, which is being expanded, to areas west of the capital including 6th of October City and Sheikh Zayed.
Cairo, a centuries-old metropolis where more than 20 million people reside, has suffered for years from crumbling infrastructure and neglect.
Improved public transport could help reduce congestion in streets where commuters compete with commercial traffic, three-wheeled tuk-tuks and donkey carts.
The move comes weeks after the government announced a project to build a new capital southeast of Cairo, a proposal that has received mixed reviews.
Madbouly said technical and financial offers for the rail project had been approved, but Reuters could not immediately reach the companies to confirm the details.
Orascom, an engineering and building business, is controlled by Egypt’s prominent Sawiris family.
It announced plans late last year to build a $3 billion coal-fired power station on the Red Sea coast in a joint venture with Abu Dhabi state fund International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC).
According to The Cairo Post, the housing ministry has published a concept design of the train, in which the Mall of Arabia Shopping Center, situated in 6 of October City, appears in the background.
The project aims to serve residential neighborhoods the industrial city.
Although it is classified as part of Giza governorate, 6 of October City is located in the desert far from downtown Cairo and active districts; 17 km from the Giza Pyramids and 32 Km from downtown Cairo.
The monorail project would include 17 stations grouped into two phases; 12 in the first phase and five in the second one.
The monorail project will be implemented by an Egyptian-Canadian coalition, whose technical and financial bid was selected by the Ministry of Housing.


Philippines’ richest man Henry Sy dead at 94

Updated 19 January 2019
0

Philippines’ richest man Henry Sy dead at 94

  • Henry Sy had a net worth of $19 billion as of Friday, according to Forbes.com
  • Sy helped create mall culture in the Philippines

MANILA: The Philippines’ wealthiest man Henry Sy, who rose from being a penniless Chinese immigrant to leading a multi-billion dollar business empire, died on Saturday, his conglomerate has announced.
The 94-year-old, from the Chinese city of Xiamen, made his fortune with a Philippine shopping center conglomerate that has put up some of the largest malls in the world.
However his holdings also included banks, hotels and real estate in the Philippines, as well as shopping centers in China.
He had a net worth of $19 billion as of Friday, according to Forbes.com.
Forbes said he was the 52nd richest person in the world last year, beating out bold name tycoons like Elon Musk, Rupert Murdoch and George Soros.
“Henry Sy ... passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning. There are no further details at the moment,” his SM group said in a statement.
Sy put up his first shoe store in downtown Manila in 1956, a business which later grew into a diversified empire.
He stepped down as chairman of his holding firm in 2017, assuming the title of “chairman emeritus” and leaving trusted allies as well as his children in charge of his empire.
It was a long journey for a man who came to the Philippines as a boy to work in his immigrant father’s variety store.
“Our store was so small it had no back or second floor, we just slept on the counter late at night after the store was closed,” he told the Philippine Star newspaper in 2006.
After their shop was destroyed during World War II, Sy’s father returned to China but Henry chose to stay in the Philippines.
He got a commerce degree from a Manila university and started selling shoes in a shop which would later grow into a chain named “ShoeMart.”
By 1972, his shops had branched out into selling all manner of goods, prompting the name to be changed to SM Department Store.
But it was in 1985 that Sy made history when he opened his first “Supermall” in Manila.
Spanning over 424,000 square meters (4.6 million square feet), the mall included dozens of stores, numerous cinemas, restaurants, banks and other attractions that made it a one-stop shop for millions of Filipinos.
This was just the start, as more of Sy’s mammoth malls popped up across the country, some even containing ice skating rinks, a rarity in the tropical country.
Sy helped create mall culture in the Philippines, where steamy temperatures and the regular threat of torrential downpours can make outdoor shopping uncomfortable.
Sy’s holding company, SM Investments Corp. opened its first mall in China in 2001 and has been expanding there as well.
By 2018, SM said it had 70 malls in the Philippines and seven in China as well as six hotels and eight office buildings.
Sy’s empire has earned its share of criticism from labor groups, who say it uses thousands of contractual hires to avoid paying higher wages and benefits that permanent workers are entitled to.
SM officials have insisted that they do not engage in so-called “contractualization,” but say they hire “seasonal” workers for peak periods like Christmas, back-to-school and even weekends.