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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Sawiris’ Pakistani real estate venture to break ground on USD 2 bn development in Islamabad next month

Naguib Sawiris’ Pakistani real estate business Ora Developers will begin constructing a USD 2 bn residential project on the outskirts of Islamabad next month, project CEO Tarek Hamdy tells Bloomberg in an interview. “The ‘Eighteen Islamabad’ development will feature more than 1,000 homes, a golf course and a mall on 2.25 mn sqm of land. It will take six years to complete,” according to Hamdy. He added that the company will invest USD 400 mn in the project in the first two years and expects to see “very reasonable margins” of 10-40%. Three-bedroom units at Eighteen Islamabad will start retailing at USD 275.4k.

Ora Developers expects to announce new real estate projects by year’s end. The company — a joint venture in which Sawiris owns 60% with Pakistan’s Kohistan Builders and Developers and Saif Group holding the balance — hopes to tap into the country’s booming real estate sector, which has seen substantial growth “in recent years as militant violence receded.” Hamdy says that “overseas Pakistanis particularly in the US, UK, and Middle East [are] major buyers.” BMI Research finds that “a shortage of housing units will boost construction activity in Pakistan as the urban population grows by nearly 30 mn by 2027,” according to Bloomberg.

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