Egypt Watch

Egypt receives $335.5 million from Japan

On Tuesday, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance issued a statement saying it had signed a financing agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for 44 billion Japanese yen ($335.5 million). According to the statement, the agreement supported Egypt’s efforts to achieve comprehensive health insurance for its citizens. “The agreement is a new impetus for the march of development cooperation between Egypt and Japan,” said Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait. According to the International Monetary Fund, Egypt faces a funding gap of about $17 billion.

Last week, the World Bank issued a statement announcing the approval of its Board of Executive Directors for a new partnership with Egypt worth $7 billion. According to the statement, over the fiscal years 2023 to 2027, Egypt will receive $7 billion from the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.

The partnership aims to support Egypt in dealing with the severity of the consequences of climate change and to help it introduce more governance. The funding will be directed to housing, health and infrastructure development projects. Asharq Business said the features of a comprehensive program to sell stakes in Egyptian state companies were beginning to unfold. The news website identified companies expected to be listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange during the year, including Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals, Egyptian Drilling, Middle East Oil Refinery, Engineering For The Petroleum And Process, Alexandria Mineral Oils, Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives, Assiut Oil Refining. The list included about 12 companies in the petroleum sector. Local newspapers also quoted government sources saying Gulf investment funds are interested in buying shares in El-Nasr for Intermediate Chemicals.

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

The influence of Gulf sovereign wealth funds greatly expanded 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, they have 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.