Executive manager of Egypt's Sovereign Wealth Fund, Tharaa, Ayman Soliman announced that the fund is to establish four sub-funds in agriculture, tourism and antiquities, manufacturing, and renewable energy.
Soliman told Ahram Online on the sidelines of Egypt Economic Summit held in Cairo Tuesday that Tharaa's action plan focuses on the most attractive sectors in the Egyptian market to invest in, such as raw materials recycling, a field offering tempting returns as the Egyptian pound recovers strength over the coming period against the US dollar.
According to Soliman, countries like China and India are are hungry for recycled materials, so it is a suitable time to invest in the sector and to work on exporting such materials.
Antiquities sector is poor in investment
For the tourism and antiquities sector, Soliman told Ahram Online that tourism has begun to recover in the past two years, while the antiquities sector is still suffering, adding that this sector did not receive new investments for 10 years. Thus, Tharaa, he explained, plans to reuse the assets of the sector through an agreement signed with Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities that gives Tharaa usufruct rights over number of archeological areas, to pave the way for investors to play a role in this regard.
For the renewable energy sector, Soliman said that the support Tharaa obtained from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and the government will help the push for investment in this sector.
Public dept instruments are Tharaa's core target
Tharaa is also targeting public debt instruments.
"We plan to invest in such instruments, as they provide a fertile ground for attracting more investment, local and foreign alike,” Soliman said.
"Interest rate hikes and the challenges capital markets were facing in the wake of the economic reform programme adopted in November 2016 caused capital and investment flight. But now, interest rates are decreasing, the Egyptian pound is heading towards better performance, in addition to all promising macroeconomic indices that reflect improvements in Egypt's economy and investor trust in it. All these factors are a solid base for investing in public debt instruments," Soliman added.
He highlighted that Egypt's domestic investors are the "heroes" in this phase, as their successes, and providing support to them, will attract foreign investment. He stressed that Tharaa will work hand in hand with the private sector, as it assumes a core role in Egypt's emerging fund.
New agreements on use of state-owned assets
Tharaa has inked two new venture cooperation agreements with Egypt's Ministry of Public Sector Business to make greater use of state-owned assets.
The two agreements aim to create a portfolio of assets attractive to investors and marketed by Tharaa in cooperation with the ministry and National Investment Bank (NIB).
Soliman added that the agreements are Tharaa's first step to expanding the venture opportunities supported by the fund.