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Tuesday, 7 March 2023

NUCA to offer cut-price land to investors paying up front in FX

The New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) is trying to sweeten the deal for foreign investors considering purchasing land in Egypt with a discount for immediate payment in hard currency, according to Al Mal. The authority will reportedly hand investors a 15% discount on the price of land if they pay the total sum up front using hard currency held abroad, the newspaper says.

Installments are also available: Investors will reportedly be able to pay for the land in installments using USDs, taking into account the average interest rate of USD certificates at state-owned banks during the time of the repayment.

No USDs, no problem: NUCA has approved a decision to allow local and foreign investors to pay their installments in EGP, taking into account the central bank’s interest rate and the USD exchange rate at the payment day, provided that the installment period doesn’t exceed three years.

The state really wants hard currency: The attempt to tempt foreigners to purchase land with foreign currencies is one of a number of ways the government is looking to bring in greenbacks and end the FX shortage. It is trying to encourage Egyptian expats to import cars and pay customs and taxes in FX via a — so far unsuccessful — scheme that launched in November, while proposed amendments to the Investment Act would hand tax breaks to companies that use FX to fund local projects.

Who’s eligible? Investors wanting to purchase state-owned land for various uses, with the exception of industrial activities and warehouses.

Background: The cabinet approved the sale of a state-owned plot in Sadat City to an unnamed Gulf investor in December, setting a precedent to approve similar cases where foreign investors agree to pay for land in FX. Walid Abbas, assistant housing minister and supervisor of planning and projects at NUCA, said the following month that NUCA had received “many requests by Arab and foreign investors” to purchase state-owned land in USD.

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