Cairo's Mogamma El-Tahrir (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt is set to transfer the ownership of seven public buildings and their land to the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, according to a decree by President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi published in the official gazette on Thursday.
The buildings transferred include the Mogamma building in Tahrir Square and its land, which extends over 3 acres; the old administrative headquarters of the interior ministry and its land, which extends over 4.6 acres; the 3.9 acres of land of the former National Democratic Party building, which was partially damaged during the 25 January Revolution; and four other buildings located in the governorates of Cairo and Gharbiya.
The move will mean that the buildings are no longer subject to public service rules.
In addition, Planning Minister Hala El-Said, Housing Minister Assem El-Gazzar, and Sovereign Fund of Egypt CEO Ayman Soliman discussed on Thursday the avenues of collaboration regarding the modernisation of Downtown Cairo, as well as sanitation and water desalination projects.
During the meeting, El-Said said that the cooperation with the housing ministry aims at tapping the potential of state-owned assets to increase the state’s financial resources, adding that the fund would be the general developer of these assets, with collaborations with domestic and foreign investors.
Regarding the transfer decree, El-Gazzar said that the seven buildings and their plots will be used according to the requirements of the areas where they are located.
Soliman said that the wealth fund is about to finish the proposals for repurposing the Mogamma, which will determine its best uses, in the lead-up to inviting developers specialising in hotels, administrative and commercial activity to contribute, along with domestic and foreign investors.
Regarding water desalination, Soliman said that the wealth fund and its sub-fund for utilities and water desalination are expected to contribute to the first phase of the water desalination project, which includes desalinating 1.4 million cubic metres of water with total investments of EGP 30 billion, in collaboration with local and foreign investors.
The housing ministry’s strategic plan aims at expanding water desalination stations in order to desalinate 6.4 million cubic metres of water, with total investments of EGP 134.2 billion.
El-Said, the chair of the wealth fund, issued a decree to establish a sub-fund for financial and digital transformation services, with a registered capital of EGP 30 billion and an issued capital of EGP 500 million.
According to the decree, which was published in the official gazette on Thursday, the sub-fund is expected to function for 99 years, with the possibility of renewal, and has financial and administrative independence.
The sub-fund also has the right to buy, sell and rent fixed and transferred state-owned assets, in addition to having the right to borrow, to obtain credit facilities, and to issue bonds, financial sukuk and other sorts of debt instruments.
The main wealth fund has recently launched five sub-funds focused on different sectors including health care and tourism.