Egypt to establish $2bn investment fund for financial services, digital transformation

View of traffic near a newly contsructed new bridge amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cairo, Egypt September 4, 2020. (REUTERS)
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Updated 07 September 2020

Egypt to establish $2bn investment fund for financial services, digital transformation

  • The sub-fund will be managed by a five-member board of directors appointed for an initial three years

CAIRO: The Egyptian government has announced plans to establish a $2 billion investment fund to help boost the non-banking financial services sector and promote the country’s digital transformation.

Hala Al-Saeed, Egypt’s minister of planning and economic development and chairman of the board of directors of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, said the decision to set up the sub-fund formed part of the nation’s 2030 vision for comprehensive and sustainable development.

This would be achieved through public- and private-sector partnerships, more investment opportunities, diversification of sources of financing, cooperation with local and international companies and institutions to increase investment, and ensuring the best use of state assets and resources to maximize their value.

Al-Saeed pointed out that since its creation, the wealth fund had succeeded in attracting local and foreign investment and brokering multiple partnership agreements.

The minister said the sub-fund would invest in non-banking financial services, digital transformation, and financial inclusion and technology and would include insurance services and brokerage, real estate finance, commercial factoring, micro-finance, portfolio management, and financial investments.

It would also focus on the establishment of specialized funds in the field of financing and consumer finance, the development, sale, and licensing of apps and technological services in support of banking and non-banking financial services, and payments and classification services for securities (credit rating).

She added that the fund would cooperate and participate with Arab and foreign counterpart funds, and various financial institutions and companies to achieve specified investment returns.

It would have clearance to establish or contribute to companies, funds, and other entities inside or outside of Egypt, in addition to borrowing, obtaining credit facilities, and issuing bonds, financing and other debt instruments, and would also have the right to buy, sell, rent, or lease fixed and movable assets.

The fund, she added, would carry out all investment, financial, and administrative transactions for the assets entrusted to it.

Ahmed Abouria, a journalist specializing in economic affairs, said the fund would concentrate on the Greater Cairo Governorate, but might also establish branches in other Egyptian cities or abroad.

The sub-fund will be managed by a five-member board of directors appointed for an initial three years.

 


Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group to open representative office in Israel

Updated 20 September 2020

Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group to open representative office in Israel

  • Al-Habtoor and Fogel both welcomed the landmark agreement that was signed on Sept. 15 in the US
  • The tycoon revealed his plans to open a representative office in Israel

DUBAI: Dubai’s Al-Habtoor Group (AHG) plans to open a representative office in Israel its chairman said, following an historic peace deal signed last week between the UAE and Israel to normalize relations.

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, who is AHG founding chairman, welcomed Ampa Group’s co-owner, chairman and CEO Shlomi Fogel at the hospitality conglomerate’s Dubai headquarters. Ampa Group deals in real estate, finance and industry. 

Al-Habtoor and Fogel both welcomed the landmark agreement that was signed on Sept. 15 in the US. 

The UAE and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords in a ceremony overseen by US President Donald Trump. The two Gulf countries join Egypt and Jordan as the only Arab nations to have full relations with Israel.

“I have been looking forward to this day for a very long time,” Al-Habtoor said. “I have always believed that Emiratis and Israelis have a lot in common. Both peoples are business-oriented and have relied on human talent and ambition more than their countries’ natural resources to build robust, innovative economies. The opportunities that this deal will present are great for both sides. I am confident this will open up new doors and lead to stronger economies, and closer cultural ties between the peoples.”

The tycoon revealed his plans to open a representative office in Israel and said that there was a lot of interest in collaboration.

“We have received a large number of inquiries for collaboration in several fields, ranging from AI and technology, to agriculture, hospitality and trading. The possibilities are endless for both sides in our diversified fields and new ones, and we want to be present to grasp them.”

He previously disclosed that AHG had started talks with Israeli domestic carrier Israir Airlines to open direct commercial flights, “and we are preparing to reveal a few collaborations in the coming days.”

Fogel said that peace would be cemented through successful business collaboration and trade. “Together with our Emirati counterparts we will show the way to live in peace to the rest of the world,” he added.

Fogel was accompanied at the meeting by Ampa Group executives, including Erez Katz and Saar Bracha.

AHG was represented at the meeting by Mohammed Al-Habtoor, Ahmad Al-Habtoor, Maan Halabi, Sanjeev Agarwala and other members of senior management.