November 12, 2019 / 10:42 AM / 24 days ago

Egypt's sovereign wealth fund to raise authorized capital to up to 1 trillion pounds

CAIRO, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund is expected to increase its authorized capital to up to a trillion Egyptian pounds ($62.15 billion) from 200 billion pounds within three years, depending on investors’ appetite, the fund’s executive director said.

Last year, Egypt’s parliament passed a law allotting 5 billion Egyptian pounds of start-up capital for the fund, called the Egypt Fund, with 1 billion pounds to be transferred immediately from the treasury.

The law also allows the president, who picks the board of directors, to transfer the ownership of any unused state assists to the fund or to any of the fund’s assists or companies.

“We expect to increase our licensed capital within three years to a trillion pounds or less ... it all depends on the investors’ response and investment appetite,” said Ayman Soliman, the fund’s chief executive.

“The sectors we will work in include industry, traditional and renewable energy, tourism and archaeology,” Soliman said.

President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said last month that Egypt could dramatically expand the size of its new sovereign wealth fund to “more than several trillion pounds”, and that it “aims to contribute to sustainable economic development through management of its funds and assets”.

The fund plans to buy a stake of about 30% in power plants built by Siemens AG, Soliman said, adding that six international investors have expressed interest.

“So far, six companies submitted offers to the Electricity Holding company to buy shares in the Siemens power plant,” Soliman said.

The plants, billed at the time as the world’s biggest, were built by Siemens in a 6 billion-euro($6.61 billion) deal signed in 2015. Sisi inaugurated them last year.

In May, Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said that the government is considering selling the power plants to private investors, but talks were still at an early stage.

$1 = 16.0900 Egyptian pounds $1 = 0.9074 euros Writing by Amina Ismail, editing by Larry King

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