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Business - Real Estate

Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-04-07 07:57:35
Egypt's largest real estate exhibition Cityscape Next Move is due to start today, Monday at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC).  The exhibition will be held April 7 – 9, under the auspices of Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Mostafa Madbouly and Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Sherif Samy, Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority and more than 200 leading investment and financial institutions. International experts will take part in the event to explore new ways of stimulating the real estate sector in Egypt.  Madbouly said the government is currently working on creating attractive investment environment, including the amendment of real estate regulations in order to create more job opportunities and keep the development momentum. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-04-06 16:04:01
Egypt's largest real estate exhibition Cityscape Next Move will kick off tomorrow at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC).  The exhibition will be held April 7 – 9, under the auspices of Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Mostafa Madbouly and Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade, Sherif Samy, Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority and more than 200 leading investment and financial institutions. International experts will take part in the event to explore new ways of stimulating the real estate sector in Egypt.  Madbouly said the government is currently working on creating attractive investment environment, including the amendment of real estate regulations in order to create more job opportunities and keep the development momentum. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-04-06 15:53:34
Egypt has settled a dispute with property developer SODIC (OCDI.CA) over one of the company's main projects after the firm accepted to pay $129.08 million in instalments over around seven years, the Egyptian investment minister said on Sunday. "The dispute is closed," Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour told reporters about the state's legal dispute with SODIC, one of Egypt's biggest real estate companies, on its Eastown scheme in New Cairo, a development of offices, shops and homes twice the size of London's 97-acre Canary Wharf district. "They found a solution and it was approved by the council of ministers last Thursday," he said. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-04-02 09:15:15
UAE-based Arabtec Holding announced on Wednesday the appointment of Sami Asad as Chief Executive Officer for its newly created subsidiary: Arabtec Egypt for Real Estate Development, and reporting directly to the MD and CEO of Arabtec Holding. According to the company’s statement on Wednesday, Sami joined Arabtec in 2013 as CEO of its Construction Group. He played an instrumental role in driving Arabtec’s phenomenal growth, with the Company’s backlog reaching unprecedented levels. As the Group continues to diversify its business and expand into new areas, more subsidiaries came on board. One of these is Arabtec Egypt for Real Estate Development, which will be involved in a multitude of projects, notebly the one million housing units Arabtec will develop and construct in thirteen locations across Egypt, the biggest project of its kind in the region which will be led directly by Sami. Commenting on Mr. Asad’s appointment, Arabtec Holding Managing Director and CEO Hasan Ismaik said: “Mr. Asad’s strong background, proven experience in managing mega construction and engineering projects make him the natural choice for leading our new subsidiary which will focus on the real estate sector in Egypt and launch a number of mega projects.” He added: “The Egyptian market holds lucrative opportunities in a host of areas, including infrastructure sector. The creation of this subsidiary will further consolidate our drive  to diversify our business into other high-margin segments.” Mr. Asad brings to his new job a versatile experience of over 25 years in the development and construction field. He came to Arabtec from Abu Dhabi real estate development company Aldar, where he served as Chief Operations Officer then as Chief Executive Officer. At Aldar, he led a massive strategic growth plan that saw the development of Yas Island as a sought after tourist and business destination, with the creation of such iconic attractions as Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Yas Mall, Yas Links, Yas hotels, and infrastructure works. He was also in charge of a host of residential and commercial developments in Al Raha Beach, Al Falah National Housing, Central Market and other initiatives that are contributing significantly to Abu Dhabi’s economic development. Prior to Aldar, Mr. Asad worked in the oil and gas industry as Deputy Vice President of Projects for Dolphin Energy and for Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) where he spent 20 years in a number of engineering executive roles. Mr. Asad commented: “I am proud to be leading this new subsidiary in Egypt, and I thankful to Mr. Ismaik for his trust in me.  We believe the Egyptian economy, which which holds high investment potentials in a broad range of areas, is poised for a significant upturn, particularly with the current governmental policies geared towards encouraging foreign investment. I do hope the new subsidiary will be an invaluable addition to Arabtec’s diverse offerings. On the personal level, I am particularly pleased to be back to Cairo, where I had my undergraduate studies, and to be part of a host of projects that will benefit the Egyptian people, particularly the project that will provide homes for millions of Egyptians.” Mr. Asad holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the high Institute of Technology in Cairo as well as a Business Administration degree from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. More»
Marwa Hemdan - 2014-04-01 17:39:10
Egypt-based Arab Contractors Company is competing to win a bidding for infrastructure projects and tunnels in Saudi Arabia, according to Chairman Mohsen Salah El Din. The Egyptian company is targeting more expansions in the south and the east of the KSA, he noted on Tuesday. According to the Egyptian official, AC’s total turnovers in the KSA exceeded one billion Saudi riyals. AC is currently carrying out the King Khalid Airport project in Riyadh, with a total cost of 113 million Saudi riyals, he noted. In addition, AC is working on the King Fahd Street project, with a total cost of 82 million Saudi riyals. Moreover, Salah El Din referred to AC’s other projects, one in the north of Saudi Arabia with a total cost of 91 million riyals and another one designed for sanitation network in the southern area. For the ongoing biddings, AC chairman said his firm is seeking to carry out a number of land bridges and tunnels in south of KSA, with total costs exceeding around one billion riyals. AC is also competing to win a bidding to establish a power station in Saudi Arabia. For regional expansions, Salah El Din pointed out that AC is seeking to make its strong presence in Bahrain within the upcoming phase to take part in a number of infrastructure projects. AC is planning to have its new branch in the Arab world to be in Bahrain within the current year. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-03-29 08:54:38
UAE-based Arabtec Holding on Thursday said it in the process of establishing a new Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC) to execute multi-billion dirham project in Egypt. The company said in a statement to Dubai Financial Market on Thursday that it is engaged in talks with the Egyptian authorities to establish a joint stock company to build one million houses in the country. The company announced on March 9, 2014, that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Defense and Military Production on behalf of the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt to develop and construct one million units of middle-income housing in various locations across Egypt. This project is the biggest of its kind in the Region, with an overall development value of LE 280 bln (AED 147 bln; USD 40 bln). Through the developments, millions of Egyptians will have access to full-fledged communities, with public amenities such as schools, hospitals, parks and places of worship. The company, the statement said, will disclose any developments in this regard in accordance with the laws and regulations in due course. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-03-24 15:32:38
This April will witness one of the most important events on the industry calendar, Cityscape Egypt 2014 in association with Next Move. Following 5.9% growth in the sector year on year and real estate’s contribution to overall GDP climbing 4.6% in the same period, Cityscape Egypt 2014 will be the largest in its history withmore than 100 exhibitors and over 100,000 showcased properties. Key exhibitors at the fifth edition of the flagship event include Abraj Misr, Al Ahly Real Estate Development, Palm Hills Developments, SODIC, Rooya Group, Al Morshedi Group, Amer Group, Cairo Festival City, Emaar Misr for Development, Hassan Allam Properties, Maxim For Real Estate, Arabia Group, New Giza and Talaat Mostafa Group. Director of Cityscape Group, Mr. Wouter Molman revealed that increased demand for exhibition space has resulted in a sell-out event, with halls booked out weeks ahead of its opening on 9-12 April at the Cairo International Convention & Exhibition Centre (CICC). Visitor numbers are expected to match the continued growth of the exhibition, totaling more than 12,000 in 2013. Cityscape Egypt 2014 is taking place at a time when Interim government is exerting tremendous effort to boost the real estate market. Key strides include mortgage law amendments and real estate fund legislative changes designed to ease investment hurdles and support overall real estate market growth in the coming period”, added Molman . Further improvements to the mortgage market include this week’s announcement by Central bank of Egypt to allocate EGP 10 billion funding to affordable housing units.  Over a 20-year period, banks will acquire money from the Central bank at below market interest rates and re-lend to low earners at a 7% decreasing rate of return. The announcement comes just days after the government inked a landmark deal to build 1 million affordable homes across Egypt with UAE construction company Arabtec Holding. Financial flexibility is being reported alongside a number of other positive announcements including Al-Futtaim Group’s $2.2 billion worth of new developments, TalaatMoustafa's 7.2 percent increase in net profit (in 2013) and significant levels of new supply entering the retail and residential markets. Dr. Mohamed El Mikawi, Managing Director of Al Futtaim Group Real Estate explained “Cityscape provides unparalleled opportunities that can help revive the sector. Having such a wide-range of properties to suit all tastes under one roof enables developers to get more insight into customers’ preferences.” Mikawi added that his company is planning to exhibit the second phase of its “Cairo Festival City” (CFC) mixed used project. “Cityscape brings better exposure to real estate products, positioning developers among competitors and providing an opportunity to meet customers directly” agreed Abdel Nasser Taha, Development Director Mivida Emaar Misr. He addedthat the company is anticipating an increase in sales volume driven by Egypt’s population growth rate of 1.8% per year. “The event timing is commensurate with a potential sector rebound on the account of foreign Direct Investment inflows. Investors need events like Cityscape to form a clear vision of the current status of the market,” said Esam Hafez, Country Director at Retail Group Egypt. Tarek Abdel Rahman, Chief Investment Officer, Palm Hills Developments stated that Cityscape Egypt will contribute significantly to reinvigorating the real estate sector through boosting property sales volumes, and that Palm Hills Development (PHD) will be displaying around 18 projects this year. Egypt’s real estate market has long been a key pillar of the economy and a lucrative market for investors seeking immediate income, medium to long term capital growth and a good resale potential. Recent announcements affirm that Egypt is on track to accelerate its economic growth, sustained by the government continuous efforts and the increasing property demand and supply. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-03-17 07:39:47
Dubai's Emaar Properties expects the listing of its retail unit to occur within months, while it is also preparing its Egyptian unit for an initial public offer in Egypt, Emaar chairman Mohammed Alabbar said on Sunday. The timetable for the retail listing "is definitely less than a year. We're hoping within months," Alabbar told Al Arabiya television. Emaar is in the final stages of discussions with banks on the best way to conduct the listing, he added. Dubai's largest listed property developer said on Saturday that it planned to list 25 percent of its shopping malls and retail unit in an offer expected to raise between 8 and 9 billion dirhams ($2.18-$2.45 billion). Alabbar did not give details of his plans for the IPO of the fully-owned Egyptian unit, Emaar Misr, which is a major foreign investor in Egypt's real estate sector and claims an investment portfolio of 53 billion Egyptian pounds ($7.6 billion). More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-03-12 10:13:11
Egypt's Medinet Nasr for Housing and Development SAE on Wednesday said its net profit jumped 102.6 percent in 2013 on the back of a 50 percent rise in sales. The net profit of the company, according to data it published on Wednesday in the Al-Akhbar newspaper, reached 186.88 million pounds ($26.85 million) in the year to end-December 2013 compared with 92.24 million in 2012. Sales by Medinet Nasr, a public shareholding company engaged in real estate development and housing, increased 50 percent to 658.48 million pounds from 438.97 million pounds in 2012. More»
Amwal Al Ghad English - 2014-03-11 07:37:35
A $40 billion deal for Dubai firm Arabtec to build one million homes in Egypt may mark the start of politically-inspired Gulf investment in the country's creaking infrastructure, from housing to transport, power generation and agriculture. Egypt's economy is recovering only slowly from the turmoil that followed its 2011 revolution. Its government lacks the cash to build infrastructure, while political and business risks are still far too high for most companies to invest in projects. But with the Arabtec deal - one of the largest construction contracts ever announced in the region - Egyptian and Gulf governments appear to have found a formula to channel billions of dollars into the economy in a way that serves their political and economic interests. The construction company said on Sunday that it had agreed with the Egyptian army to build the homes at 13 locations around the country on land provided free by the armed forces, which own a large amount of financial assets and real estate. The deal lets the army-backed government tackle a housing shortage that has been a grievance bringing Egyptians onto the streets in the past three years. Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi can tout the project in a presidential election campaign which he is expected to mount this year. By using such deals to shore up the popularity of the Egyptian army, governments in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) can keep at bay the Muslim Brotherhood, an arch-enemy of the Gulf monarchies. The Islamist movement ruled Egypt until its overthrow by the military last year. Gulf companies awarded such projects can gain market share in Egypt with only moderate risk, since they have the backing and protection of their governments. In Arabtec's case, the deal could help to transform it from a mid-sized firm into a regional construction giant. "We'll see similar deals in the coming period, whether it is in energy, oil and gas, roads," Karim Awad, co-chief executive of EFG-Hermes, Egypt's biggest investment bank, told Reuters. "Investors from the GCC are also showing interest in developing those sectors, including renewable energy." Egypt's assistant minister of investment Neveen El Shafei said talks with potential Gulf investors "on various levels and different sectors are ongoing, and we hope more deals will be concluded in the near future". The importance of the Arabtec deal goes well beyond its economic impact, said John Sfakianakis, chief investment strategist at MASIC, a Saudi Arabian investment firm. "It's a state capitalist project of trans-national magnitude that basically tells the world that the GCC will be there to support Egypt no matter what," he said. AID Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have promised over $12 billion in aid to Egypt since last July, when the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who was backed by the Brotherhood. Large sums of additional aid are expected. In the initial months, the donors focused on averting a financial crisis, stabilising Egypt's foreign exchange reserves and helping the government to pay its operating costs. The Arabtec deal signals they have now begun trying to engineer stronger growth for the Egyptian economy, hoping to ease political tensions by cutting unemployment and raising living standards. Construction of Arabtec's "middle-income" homes is expected to start in the third quarter of this year, with the first to be delivered in early 2017 and the whole project to be completed before 2020, the company said. Some details of the plan have not been released and some have not been decided. But Arabtec's chief executive Hasan Ismaik told Reuters that initial financing would be provided by the UAE government, while the rest would come in the form of advance payments and instalments paid by the home buyers. The homes will be bought over periods of 10 to 20 years, and Arabtec has reached agreements with 40 banks to provide financing to the buyers, Ismaik said. Last month, Egypt's central bank said it would deposit low-cost funds at banks so the money could be lent on as cheap mortgages. By giving a central role in the project to a UAE company, the Arabtec deal appears to ease at least partly a concern of the Gulf donors: that their money could be wasted through corruption or Egypt's inefficient bureaucracy. It is not clear that the project will be very profitable for Arabtec, which is listed on the Dubai stock market. This may explain the relatively sluggish reaction of Arabtec shares to the news; they rose only 1.7 percent on Monday. Local financial firm Arqaam Capital kept its "buy" rating on the stock but said it feared Arabtec would enjoy only modest profit margins. It also said the company would face execution risks, since it had never managed a project nearly as large. Ismaik himself indicated he was not counting on big profits: "We look at the project more as UAE aid to Egypt than we look at its expected revenue." But Arabtec's overriding motivation may not be commercial; its largest shareholder is Abu Dhabi state fund Aabar , which owns a 22 percent stake. That makes it a logical vehicle for the UAE's economic diplomacy. Even if profits are slim, the firm may benefit in other ways from the project. The contract is worth about $8 billion annually, more than five times Arabtec's 2012 revenues of $1.5 billion; by taking on the work, it may at a stroke become one of the largest construction contractors in the region. The deal effectively uses some of the UAE's oil wealth to finance overseas growth of one of its leading firms, in much the same way that some Chinese construction firms have moved abroad by working on projects funded by China's government. Aabar may already be compensating Arabtec in markets other than Egypt; last month the Abu Dhabi fund said it would assign all future construction work in its $20 billion real estate portfolio around the world to the Dubai company. PROJECTS Other areas where Gulf companies are likely to consider government-backed investments in Egypt include power generation, which has been a constraint on industrial growth, oil and gas extraction, which would earn the country badly needed foreign exchange, and agriculture, since food price inflation threatens political stability. Saeed Mohammed al-Tayer, chief executive of state-owned Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, said on Monday he believed other UAE and Egyptian firms were discussing energy and petrochemical deals. He did not name the firms. The UAE's Dana Gas, a privately-owned firm, said last month that it was upgrading an Egyptian natural gas production plant to increase its capacity by 25 percent. The Egyptian government owes it $274 million in unpaid bills, according to Dana; investing in Egypt in line with governments' wishes could help it recover that money. Gulf firms are already active in Egypt's farm sector. Since 2007 Abu Dhabi investment firm Jenaan has accumulated about 67,200 hectares of arable land there, growing wheat for Egyptian consumption. The Arabtec deal "could mark the beginning of similar infrastructure projects that involve GCC companies which have experience and depth, but also the required financing and at the same time the willingness to undertake such mammoth projects," said Sfakianakis. More»