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Thursday, 10 December 2020

The Egypt-Saudi Investment Fund could finally be becoming a thing

The Egyptian and Saudi governments have drafted a final agreement to launch the long-dormant Saudi-Egypt investment fund, according to a cabinet statement following a meeting between Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Saudi Minister of State Issam bin Saad bin Saeed. The fund’s mandate will focus on “priority sectors” including tourism, healthcare, pharma, ports and infrastructure, education, food, and digital payments and financial services, the statement said.

A refresher: The joint fund was first proposed back in 2016. The plan was to create a joint SAR 60 bn vehicle, but progress stalled over the past four years, and a previous agreement to launch in 2018 has so far come to nothing. A Saudi official told Reuters back then that Riyadh will provide funding to help develop the Egyptian side of NEOM (Saudi’s robot utopia).

Yes, but when is it going to launch? That remains one of the key unanswered questions.

Reminder: The Saudi wealth fund is also eyeing up Egypt. The Public Investment Fund could invest in Egyptian projects alongside the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, bin Saad said last month. We’re still none the wiser on what the two funds are cooking up.

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