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Thursday, 17 December 2020

SFE hits EGP 26 bn milestone

The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) now has nearly EGP 26 bn in assets under management (AUM), SFE CEO Ayman Soliman told CNBC Arabia in an interview (watch, runtime: 16:00). The fund’s portfolio of owned assets has separately reached EGP 13 bn, Soliman said, without naming any of the assets.

The SFE is focusing on healthcare and logistics for the pharma industry, electricity, transport, agriculture, and infrastructure through specialized sub-funds as part of its plan to recalibrate its priorities, which began when the pandemic took hold in March. It’s currently working on the sale of a 70% stake in the first of three Siemens / Elsewedy Electric / Orascom Construction combined-cycle power plants to private sector investors and marketing stake sales of up to 100% in army-affiliated companies to the private sector.

The fund could consider issuing sukuk and conventional bonds to fund infrastructure projects it’s planning to tender to the private sector through its infrastructure sub-fund, Soliman told CNBC Arabia. Debt and sharia-compliant sukuk issuances are an attractive source of financing for the fund as they can be backed by the Finance Ministry, he added. This would make the SFE another state-backed entity that could potentially issue sukuk as Egypt is getting ready to pass a bill that would pave the way for our first sovereign sukuk sale.

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