Egypt Watch

Qatar to acquire primary Egyptian container and cargo handling companies

Press reports have said that the Qatar Investment Authority submitted an offer to the Egyptian Ministry of Transport to acquire more than 50% stake in the state-owned Port Said and Damietta container and cargo handling companies. Qatar agreed with the Egyptian government in March 2022 on investments and partnerships with a total value of $5 billion. Qatari investments in Egypt in the first quarter of 2022 amounted to about $121 million, while remittances from Egyptians working in Qatar increased by 15% in 2020-2021. Last year, Qatari deposits with the Central Bank of Egypt reached four billion dollars.

A report has revealed an unprecedented wave of Gulf acquisitions of major companies in Egypt in 2022. Enterprise has said that mergers and acquisitions deals in Egypt more than doubled in 2022, as the number of completed contracts rose to 66, up from 31 in the previous year. According to the report, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were involved in 40 deals in Egypt in 2022. According to Enterprise, banking and financial services attracted most of the deals, followed by industry and energy.

The influence of Gulf sovereign wealth funds has dramatically expanded in the Egyptian economy. In addition to depositing ten billion dollars in the Central Bank of Egypt, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Saudi Public Investment Fund pumped about $3.1 billion to acquire stakes in powerful companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange. The Qatar Investment Authority is considering spending $2.5 billion to buy Egyptian government-owned stakes in companies, including Vodafone Egypt. It also deposited one billion dollars with the Central Bank of Egypt as a temporary deposit.