CEO: company looking to duplicate Kuwaiti business model locally
CAIRO: Kuwait s Efad Holding, a private company with 16 subsidiaries operating in the real estate, transportation and banking sectors in the gulf, announced the establishment of Efad Egypt Holding (EEH) during last week s Egypt Invest 2007 Conference.
EEH is now the 17th subsidiary under Efad Holding, but its first holding company to be established outside of Kuwait. EEH Chairman Najeeb Al-Humaidhi said the company s long-term goal is to transfer the mother company s business model to the Egyptian market, with simultaneous operations in several active sectors.
EEH has so far established one subsidiary, Efad for Real Estate and Tourism Investment (ERET), with LE 300 million in capital. According to Al-Humaidhi, ERET has finalized a deal to purchase a 1 million sq. m. plot in New Cairo for LE 250 million. The land will be developed as a housing project with investments of up to LE 1 billion. Specific plans for the project have yet to be laid out, he added.
This project is just a start, Al-Humaidhi told The Daily Star Egypt. It s a way for us to gain a foothold in the market. But if we can t move forward with other larger projects, we will just leave. Our company s strategy is based on operating in several sectors.
Al-Humaidhi said EEH has made numerous proposals to the Egyptian government to launch several projects but none have been finalized yet. He declined to comment more specifically on the nature of the proposals.
Efad is the latest in a surge of gulf investors coming to Egypt in the past 18 months. In July, UAE s Etisalat won Egypt s third mobile license for $2.9 billion, following Emaar s acquisition of prime resort land in Sidi Abdel Rahman for $1 billion, with plans to build a $10 billion resort in addition to a $4 billion residential area in Cairo, and Saudi Arabia s Anwal finalizing the deal to purchase retailer Omar Effendi for $102 million. Also, in August, a consortium of UAE and Bahraini companies established a $1 billion company with plans to invest $30 billion to upgrade the country s transportation infrastructure.
Al-Humaidhi said Efad came to Egypt for the same reason many of his gulf counterparts did: new opportunity resulting from the reforms implemented by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif s economic cabinet and the positive impact they have had on the country s overall investment climate.