DUBAI, June 2 Dubai-based construction firm
Arabtec Holding aims to float half of its Egyptian
unit on the Cairo stock exchange in 2016 or 2017 in an initial
public offer that would value the unit at around $10 billion,
the firm said on Monday.
In response to questions from Reuters, Arabtec also said it
planned to invest about $60 billion in Egypt over the next three
years in sectors such as real estate development,
infrastructure, trains, airports, and oil and gas.
The company did not give details of its plans, which will
depend heavily on factors outside its control, such as Egypt's
political and economic stability in the wake of its 2011
Nor did it specify how it would finance such huge
investments, which could strain its finances at the company's
current size. Arabtec's revenues rose 30 percent to 7.4 billion
dirhams ($2.0 billion) last year.
But the announcement underlined how Egypt, which is trying
to rebuild its economy after three years of political turmoil,
can hope for substantial support from state-backed companies in
the wealthy Gulf countries.
The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait applauded
the ouster of Egypt's Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last year
and have given Egypt billions of dollars of aid since then to
help prevent any resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Arabtec, whose largest shareholder is Abu Dhabi state fund
Aabar with a 22 percent stake, has emerged as a
major channel for the UAE's economic diplomacy.
The company said in March that it would help to ease Egypt's
politically sensitive housing shortage by launching a $40
billion project to build one million homes by 2020 on land
provided free by Egypt's armed forces.
In its statement on Monday, Arabtec linked its planned
investments in Egypt to last week's presidential election
victory by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the favourite
of the Gulf states.
"The political stability which will be witnessed in Egypt
following the victory of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in
the presidential election will boost the company's investment
plans in Egypt," the company said.
(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Additional reporting by Mirna
Sleiman; Editing by Andrew Torchia)