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Sunday, 1 September 2019

Majid Al Futtaim plans expansion in Egypt

INVESTMENT WATCH- Majid Al Futtaim plans expansions in Egypt: UAE-based real estate developer and retail giant Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) is planning to open about 12 new stores in Egypt in the coming few months, CEO Alain Bejjani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV (watch; runtime 7:09). “Egypt is today the fastest growing market so it is back and it is back well and hopefully for good…we are very happy with Egypt but there is much more to come,” he said. The company announced in July that it will be opening its USD 437 mn City Center Almaza shopping mall in Heliopolis at the end of September.

The company’s 1H earnings aren’t great: Increased financing costs and impairment charges caused MAF to slip to a AED 429 mn loss in 1H2019 from a AED 464 mn profit in the same period last year, according to its financial statement (pdf). Although revenues increased by 1% y-o-y during the first six months of the year, Bejjani said the company has faced headwinds caused by slowing consumer spending “across the board.” He said the company’s main market in the UAE was “tough” but expected it to improve as EXPO 2020 in Dubai approaches.

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