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Tuesday, 17 January 2023

HCCD reportedly in talks to sell land to Gulf investors

Gulf investors are reportedly interested in HCCD’s land bank, assets: The state-owned parent of Heliopolis Housing is in talks with Gulf investors to sell off land and other assets, Bloomberg Asharq reported Sunday, citing two sources familiar with the matter. The investors are negotiating with the Holding Company for Construction and Development (HCCD) to acquire land in several regions of the country and are interested in investing in Heliopolis Housing’s Heliopark project, one of the people said. A source at the company we spoke to yesterday denied that HCCD was considering selling land and characterized the arrangement as a partnership. The identities of the Gulf investors remain unknown.

Mountain View was supposed to be on board for Heliopark: Heliopolis Housing said in December 2021 that it had accepted an offer from Mountain View to co-develop the New Cairo project, which it anticipates to generate EGP 397 bn in revenues over a 23-25-year time period.

The state is fielding foreign offers to buy land for FX: The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) has received “many requests by Arab and foreign investors” to pay for state-owned land in USD, Walid Abbas, assistant housing minister and supervisor of planning and projects at NUCA, said last month. Abbas’s statements came days after the cabinet approved the sale of a state-owned plot in Sadat City to an unnamed Gulf investor to set up a housing project, setting a precedent to approve similar cases where foreign investors agree to pay for land in FX.

REMEMBER- The government has recently revamped its privatization strategy amid a foreign-currency shortage and the finalization of our loan agreement with the IMF, which saw policymakers pledge to reduce state involvement in the economy and move to a fully flexible exchange rate. Our Gulf neighbors last year pledged over USD 22 bn in total to support the economy amid the fallout from the crisis in Ukraine, with Gulf wealth funds investing a combined USD 3.1 bn in government-owned shares in EGX-listed companies. The Sovereign Fund of Egypt is now leading efforts to attract strategic investors into other state- and military-owned firms, with plans to raise as much as USD 6 bn.

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