PayPal becomes first member to exit Facebook’s Libra Association

PayPal said it would forgo any further participation in Libra Association and would instead focus on its own core businesses. (AFP)
Updated 05 October 2019

PayPal becomes first member to exit Facebook’s Libra Association

  • PayPal said it would forgo any further participation in the group and would instead focus on its own core businesses
  • Facebook announced plans to launch the digital currency in June 2020

WASHINGTON: US payments processor PayPal Holdings Inc. said on Friday it was leaving Libra Association, the entity managing the Facebook-led effort to build global digital currency Libra, making it the first member to exit the group.
PayPal said it would forgo any further participation in the group and would instead focus on its own core businesses.
“We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future,” PayPal said in a statement.
In response, Geneva-based Libra Association said it was aware of the challenges lying ahead in its attempts to “reconfigure” the financial system.
“The type of change that will reconfigure the financial system to be tilted toward people, not the institutions serving them, will be hard. Commitment to that mission is more important to us than anything else. We’re better off knowing about this lack of commitment now, rather than later,” Libra Association said in a statement. Facebook Inc. declined to comment.
Facebook announced plans to launch the digital currency in June 2020 in partnership with other members of Libra Association but the project quickly ran into trouble with skeptical regulators around the world.
Reuters reported last week that Facebook could push back the launch of Libra to tackle regulatory concerns.
Visa and Mastercard Inc. are also reconsidering their involvement in Libra as they do not want to attract regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.
France and Germany last month pledged to block Libra from operating in Europe and backed the development of a public cryptocurrency instead.
With the exit of PayPal, Libra Association now has 28 members, including Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc. and Spotify Technologies.
“We look forward to the first Libra Council meeting in 10 days and will be sharing updates following that, including details of the 1,500 entities that have indicated enthusiastic interest to participate,” Libra Association said in a tweet.


Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund to raise authorized capital five-fold up to $62.15 billion

Updated 12 November 2019

Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund to raise authorized capital five-fold up to $62.15 billion

  • Egypt’s parliament passed a law allotting 5 billion Egyptian pounds of start-up capital for the fund last year
  • Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi: Egypt could dramatically expand the size of its new sovereign wealth fund to ‘more than several trillion pounds’

CAIRO: Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund is expected to increase its authorized capital to up to a trillion Egyptian pounds ($62.15 billion) from 200 billion pounds within three years, depending on investors’ appetite, the fund’s executive director said.
Last year, Egypt’s parliament passed a law allotting 5 billion Egyptian pounds of start-up capital for the fund, called the Egypt Fund, with 1 billion pounds to be transferred immediately from the treasury.
The law also allows the president, who picks the board of directors, to transfer the ownership of any unused state assists to the fund or to any of the fund’s assists or companies.
“We expect to increase our licensed capital within three years to a trillion pounds or less ... it all depends on the investors’ response and investment appetite,” said Ayman Soliman, the fund’s chief executive.
“The sectors we will work in include industry, traditional and renewable energy, tourism and archaeology,” Soliman said.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said last month that Egypt could dramatically expand the size of its new sovereign wealth fund to “more than several trillion pounds,” and that it “aims to contribute to sustainable economic development through management of its funds and assets.”
The fund plans to buy a stake of about 30 percent in power plants built by Siemens, Soliman said, adding that six international investors have expressed interest.
“So far, six companies submitted offers to the Electricity Holding company to buy shares in the Siemens power plant,” Soliman said.
The plants, billed at the time as the world’s biggest, were built by Siemens in a €6 billion ($6.61 billion) deal signed in 2015. El-Sisi inaugurated them last year.
In May, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said that the government is considering selling the power plants to private investors, but talks were still at an early stage.