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Tuesday, 5 April 2022

PIF could invest in Al Wataniya, Siemens power plants + ADQ could buy stakes in unlisted Egyptian firms -Soliman

Wataniya + Siemens power plants on the table for Saudi PIF: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could take stakes in military-owned Wataniya Petroleum (a national operator of filling stations) and the three Siemens-built power plants as part of its proposed USD 10 bn investment in Egypt, the head of Egypt’s wealth fund said yesterday. The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) is offering both companies to the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which is looking at green- and brownfield projects in Egypt’s healthcare, education, agriculture and financial services sectors, SFE head Ayman Soliman told Al Arabiya TV (watch, runtime: 9:45).

The sale of some or all of Wataniya has attracted significant investor interest for more than a year, while there has been talk of selling stakes in the power plants going back to 2019 when the SFE was first established. The fund has in the past suggested that it could acquire significant minority stakes in both as a prelude to their sale.

The news comes as ministers are scheduled to meet this week to discuss which state-owned companies will be offered on the EGX this year. The government is reviewing the program “in light of recent developments,” with an eye to offer four to five companies during 2022 in the energy, ins. and financial sectors. The government had originally aimed to sell shares in as many as 10 firms in 2022, but the deteriorating global market conditions have forced it to rethink its plans.

ALSO FROM THE SFE BOSS- Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADQ could acquire stakes in both listed and unlisted Egyptian companies as part of its investment in Egypt, Soliman told the broadcaster. The investment would come as a move of support, especially to companies that are preparing to list on the EGX, with details set to be announced within days, Soliman said.

Refresher: Bloomberg reported last month that ADQ could acquire state-held stakes in five EGX-listed companies: private firms CIB and Fawry, and state-owned Abu Qir Fertilizers, Mopco, and Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling. The planned acquisitions are part of a USD 2 bn investment to shore up Egypt’s finances amid surging food and energy prices.

Our GCC neighbors have recently stepped up M&A, investment and (in the case of KSA) deposits at the central bank.

It goes both ways: The SFE also plans to invest in Saudi Arabia’s fintech and financial inclusion sectors, Soliman told the news channel, without disclosing the size or value of the investments it plans to make.

OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS-

Mexican concrete giant Cemex could cut back on spending in Egypt and the UAE this year due to the war in Ukraine, the company’s Egypt and UAE CEO Carlos Emilio Gonzalez told Bloomberg Asharq. The company could now invest USD 10-15 mn in 2022, down from a planned USD 20 mn, he said, adding that some investments could be delayed to next year.

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