Egyptian Billionaire Sets Up New Fund to Invest in Startups


Egyptian billionaire, Naseef Sawiris has set up the Nile Holding Investments, a firm set to focus on Egypt for investment opportunities, of which he’s confident that the North African country is positioned to achieve exceptional economic growth soon, attracting direct investments in key sectors that offer substantial investment opportunities.

Naguib Sawiris who runs the family’s Orascom Telecom, Media and Technology noted that they will be investing in new projects, factories and new initiatives that would provide jobs for youth in Egypt.

This comes after the family last year announced plans to invest in Egypt after the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi amidst Egypt’s reformation. To date, the farm has put some $56 million in the healthcare sector, despite challenges in Egypt by attracting direct investments in key sectors which continue to offer substantial investment opportunities, noted Naguib Sawiris.

Indeed, the pace of structural reforms in Egypt over the past decade, including fiscal, monetary policies, privatization and new business legislations, has helped Egypt move towards a more market-oriented economy, prompting the growth of increased foreign investment. Reports say that the reforms and policies have strengthened macroeconomic annual growth results which averaged 5 per cent annually.

However, critics say that the government largely failed to equitably share the wealth and the benefits of growth have failed to trickle down to improve economic conditions for the broader population, especially with the growing problem of unemployment and underemployment among youth under the age of 30 years.

Nevertheless, the Naseef Sawiris’ Orascom Group’s operations in Egypt is key in the country’s economy, employing over 100,000 Egyptians, making it one of the biggest private sector employers in the North African country.

For the new firm NHI’s, Naseef Sawaris has disclosed that the initiative of contributing 25 per cent to a $300 million capital strategic alliance called Duet-CIC that exists between UK-based alternative asset management, Duet Group, and Egyptian private equity firm, CI-Capital.

He said there would be no conflict in the activities of Duet-CIC and that of family conglomerate, Orascom group. But he expressed belief that the partnership formed by the two investment firms will build on the growth prospects a rejuvenated investment environment has presented the Arab nation.

In all, NHI has investors from the Arab Gulf, Europe and the United States, who will help in identifying growth opportunities in Egypt, a country now its recovery phase, as reserves went down to a critical level last year and budget deficit rose to 14 percent of GDP.