Egypt Watch

Qatar to invest $2.5 billion in Egypt

Bloomberg has said Qatar is currently in talks with the Egyptian government to invest $2.5 billion in Egypt by buying state-owned stakes in major companies. The agreement, expected to be completed by the end of the year, means that the Qatar Investment Authority, which oversees assets estimated at $445 billion, will acquire a 20% stake in Vodafone Egypt.

The Egyptian government owns 80% of Telecom Egypt, which owns 45% of Vodafone Egypt. While Saudi and Emirati sovereign wealth funds have already pumped billions of dollars into the Egyptian economy, Qatar has not yet announced any direct investment, Bloomberg added. However, Qatar deposited $3 billion to the Central Bank of Egypt this year. It also agreed with the Egyptian government on investments and partnerships with a total value of five billion dollars.

Bloomberg spoke with Egyptian financial sources who said that this slowdown in investment by Qatar is due to its desire to acquire majority stakes in major Egyptian companies, which the Egyptian government rejects. According to insiders, Qatar also watches for the Egyptian pound to trade fairly versus the dollar.