Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 17 September 2017

Naguib has no plans to divest from North Korea

Naguib says North Korea investments not political, has no plans to divest: It’s best not to issue empty threats against North Korea, Naguib Sawiris told CNBC TV in an interview on Thursday. “If you threaten and you don’t act you really look stupid, so it’s best not to,” Naguib says. He added that he still has the only mobile operator license in North Korea, without plans to divest, and that his investments there were worth about USD 250 mn, “but that these have nothing to do with politics and that Egyptian businesses with North Korea are old.” He says “I believed I’ve extended a good service to the innocent people of North Korea … They’re allowed to have the simplest services that everybody in the west has. It has nothing to do with politics… As an investor, I obey by all UN resolutions making sure we’re not violating any sanctions, any rules.”

It’s worth noting here that Naguib effectively lost control of his North Korean subsidiary Koryolink in late 2015 with Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding writing off the fair value for its former subsidiary and redesignating it as an associate in November 2015. Closer to home, Naguib also spoke about the rift with Qatar, saying it is not a political row, and accused Doha of harboring terrorists. He added that he does not think the US cutting military aid to Egypt is “a smart move,” but he does not believe it was US President Donald Trump’s decision. Aid cuts aside, Naguib says the economy in Egypt is in better shape with a better investment climate, but the high interest rate remains a negative “side effect.” He hope interest rates would come down in the next “year or two.”

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.