Egyptian expats to soon invest in high-return national projects through new company: Minister

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 1 Aug 2023

A group of high-profile Egyptian investors abroad will soon establish an investment company to engage the country’s expats in high-return national projects, Minister of Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates' Affairs Soha Gendy said.

Egypt s Minister of Emigration Soha Gendy speaks during the fourth edition of the Egyptians abroad conference in the presence of founders of the expats investment company expected to be established soon. Egyptian Cabinet


Expats will be able to buy shares in the company, whose name will be Egyptians Abroad for Investment, Gendy said.

The minister made her remarks during the fourth edition of the Egyptians abroad conference that was held in Cairo on Monday to discuss economic, political, and social issues faced by Egyptians living abroad.

An online form has been prepared to seek the opinion of the Egyptians abroad about the company’s main fields of work, Gendy said.

Also, a list that includes investment opportunities has been handed to the investors abroad, while another list of agricultural, livestock and tourism investment opportunities will be presented, she added.

Gendy had previously stated in March that the government will not interfere in the company’s management or its financial decisions, which will be fully managed by experienced expats.

$1 billion issued capital

During the conference, the founding investors revealed that they plan to offer shares of the company for $1,000 each.

“We seek that the company's issued capital be $1 billion with the paid-up capital by the founders being $100 million,” businessman Hassan Al Jarrahi, chairman Al-Amal Printing Company in Saudi Arabia and a member of the company’s founding board, said.

“The remaining [shares] will be offered in IPO for $1,000 per share and will be available to all [Egyptian expats],” he added.

Ebrahim Ezzat, an Egyptian businessman in Austria and CEO of Lacto Misr, said the founders will seek to make the company one of the biggest in Egypt and the region by offering it on the Egyptian and international bourses.

Founding board

The company is being established by ten well-known Egyptian investors abroad, Gendy said.

They are coordinating with the ministries of trade and industry, public business sector, finance, agriculture and land reclamation, and tourism as well as the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI), the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRI), the Egyptian Exchange, and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to establish the company, she added.

Also among the founding investors are Ashraf Doss, a businessman in the United States and founder of California-based Vernbro Global Investments; and Lord Naser Fouad, CEO of St George Healthcare Group and deputy lieutenant of Cheshire.

The founding board also includes Tamer Hedayat, senior VP of global services at Texas-based Netsync; banking expert Wael Hassan, who is the founder and CEO World Environment Exports Company and senior home lending advisor at JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York.

Adel Boulos, president of the Egyptian Canadian Business Network (ECBN) and CEO at Amira Enterprise in Canada; Omar Abdullah, CEO of Victoria Agritech Solutions in South Africa; and Karim Asaad, founder and CEO of Brooks & Kempton in the UK are also among the founders.

Fields of work

The company will be a joint stock company that operates in various fields, including agriculture, tourism, and industry, Doss said during the conference.

The company plans to establish a four-star hotel, among other investments, he noted.

Doss affirmed his confidence in the strength of the Egyptian economy despite the ongoing global economic crisis.

For his part, Omar Abdullah highlighted the importance that the company places on cooperating with African countries in a way that boosts the Egyptian economy and relations with friendly countries.

In March, Gendy said in a meeting with the founders that real estate investment is the top priority for investors abroad, followed by industry in technology and other fields, then livestock and agricultural production and fish farming.

Foreign currency crunch

The planned establishment of the company comes as Egypt is working on increasing foreign currency inflows amid the global economic crisis that has placed pressure on local currency and caused the country to suffer from a dollar crunch.

Egypt has launched many initiatives to attract more foreign currency, including from expats – around 14 million according to 2021 figures – especially since the outbreak of the global crisis.

Such efforts include a recent initiative that is set to allow Egyptian men living abroad with outstanding conscription status to apply online to settle the issue for $5,000, as well as an initiative that allowed expats to import tax-free cars, which garnered over $760 million in around seven months before expiring in May.

Also, a government decision in May to exempt gold brought with Egyptian travellers from customs duties has allowed the entry of hundreds of kilograms of gold to the country. The decision aimed at stabilizing the gold market in Egypt, which was disrupted by shrinkage in supply due to the shortage in US dollars and ballooned demand.

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