Egypt’s newly formed sovereign wealth fund plans to take control of some of the government’s most promising assets in industries such as power and real estate, to bring in private investors to develop them, its chief executive said.
Egypt has been trying to revive its economy without giving up majority ownership of many of its economic assets after a negative reaction by parts of society to privatisation drives in the 1990s and 2000s.
The fund’s capital, which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in October could rise to as much as several trillion pounds, currently has a paid-in capital of 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($62 million). It is planning to acquire assets chosen from among a vast portfolio held by other government bodies.
“We will be a catalyst to try to do things differently, unshackled from all those bureaucracies, and improve the way of doing business itself and work with the checks and balances within the government management that investors cannot navigate,” Ayman Soliman, CEO of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, told Reuters, saying he would cherry-pick assets based on investor appetite.
The fund is looking to unlock value and create wealth, he said. “Snowballing that can cater to a 6 or 7 percent yield.”