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Saturday, 05 December 2020

Egypt's sovereign fund says investors interested in military-owned firms

Menna Alaa El-Din , Monday 8 Jun 2020
Ayman Mohamed Soliman
Ayman Mohamed Soliman executive manager of Egypt's Sovereign Wealth Fund (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) said the fund has received bids from various investors for investment in the country’s military-owned firms, the fund’s CEO Ayman Soliman told Ahram Online on Monday.


In a virtual press conference hosted by the fund, Soliman told Ahram Online that a number of military-owned firms are currently being reviewed by the fund, refusing to reveal further information on the companies or their operating sectors.

“We are receiving many bids from investors for partnerships through signing non-disclosure agreements so they can access data on the firms’ assets,” he said, affirming "investors' appetite" in the firms.

Soliman said a number of the firms are being assessed by the fund’s advisors to review investment opportunities.

“We will disclose information when there is an agreement on the assessment of assets and the form of partnerships,” he said.

His statements come after the SWF signed a deal last February with the Ministry of Defence's National Service Products Organisation (NSPO) for the restructuring and development of several affiliated companies to lure investors.

The framework agreement involves studying the restructuring of some of the NSPO companies to utilise them to generate more investment through the fund.

It’s unclear how many of the NSPO’s companies would be open to investors; however the SWF CEO said in press statements in February that the fund is currently assessing 10 of the NSPO companies.

Established in 1979, the NSPO is owned by the Armed Forces and operates in various crucial developmental sectors to meet the needs of the military and the local market.

Its portfolio includes companies in the sectors of agriculture and food industry, industrial field, engineering, services, and mining.

The military’s economic activities have expanded over the past years, varying from producing and supplying food commodities and various consumer goods to carrying out diversified economic and construction projects.

Last year, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that companies owned and operated by the Armed Forces should be listed on the stock exchange alongside the country’s privatisation programme.

He stressed the private sector is welcome to participate. 

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