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Thursday, 21 November 2019

Tharaa will not crowd out private sector -Soliman.

Tharaa wants to engage with — not crowd out — the private sector -Soliman. The CEO of Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund, Tharaa, denied wanting to crowd out the private sector, telling Bloomberg that the fund wants to attract fresh capital to the market by engaging with private firms (watch, runtime: 6:04). Ayman Soliman told the news channel in a televised interview that Tharaa does not plan on buying out any private investors, nor will it compete for private investment opportunities unless businesses themselves invite the fund to help them scale up. The fund will create “its own class of assets” to bring to the market, but Soliman claimed that this will not crowd the market but instead make it more diverse.

Tharaa’s message to investors: Invest in Egypt now. Soliman promised investors access to exclusive asset classes, better valuations and higher returns in the future if they put their money into Egyptian equities. The market, he claimed, would become “very attractive” in the coming years if the country manages to secure more foreign direct investment.

If any military companies go to market, Tharaa probably won’t have anything to do with it, Soliman said. “I don’t know if the fund will have any role” in the potential process of listing military-owned companies on the EGX, but it could step in if there is agreement that it could add value in that step, he said.

Who’s interested in what Tharaa has to offer? Soliman told Bloomberg that he is focused on drumming up partnerships in the Gulf, noting that he has also been meeting investors from Egypt, Asia, and the West over the past 5-6 weeks. Most investors have expressed interest in fixed-income trades and are looking to pile into the equity or corporate debt markets. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have “an appetite to invest in Egypt,” he said. Tharaa has already received seven offers from investors for potential partnerships in healthcare, pharma, and agricultural manufacturing ventures and is still in talks with Oman for cooperation, which Soliman expects to be completed by the end of this year, having already sealed a USD 20 bn investment platform with Abu Dhabi Holding Company.

The Electricity Ministry may exchange a combined-cycle power plant for a stake in Tharaa: The Electricity Ministry is looking into buying into Egypt’s Tharaa through an in-kind contribution worth the value of one of the Siemens / Orascom Construction / Elsewedy Electric combined-cycle power plants, after the ownership is transferred to the fund directly or one of its sub-funds, Planning Minister Hala El Said told Al Mal.

Tharaa is also cooperating with the Endowment Ministry and Internal Trade Development Authority (ITDA) to tap unexploited assets, ITDA head Ibrahim Ashmawy told the local press. The Supply Ministry, meanwhile, has identified 6 mn sqm of unexploited assets in 27 governorates owned directly by the ministry or through its affiliated bodies.

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