We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 7 Feb 2011 11:39 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Saudi investors undeterred by Egypt turmoil

Kingdom is one of Egypt's biggest trade partners; Saudis are leading investors in the north African country's major sectors

Saudi investors undeterred by Egypt turmoil
TRADE PARTNER: Saudi is one of Egypts biggest trade partners and Saudis are leading investors in its stock market, tourism, aviation, real estate and agriculture

Saudi investors will not quit Egypt and its attractive growth opportunities in spite of the political turmoil that has hit the north African country's financial markets and sent its currency to a six-year low.

An uprising in Egypt which started two weeks ago has paralysed the country, as protesters demand an end to President Hosni Mubarak's three decades of rule.

Egypt's main stock market index is down 21 percent this year and its financial markets have been shut for eight working days.

However, builder Construction Products Holding Company (CPC), an affiliate of conglomerate Saudi Binladin Group, is standing by Egypt.

"The Egyptian market has great importance for CPC's investments," said Faisal Ibrahim al Aqil, director of business and administration affairs development.

"The board is confident and optimistic the crisis will be resolved soon and things will go back to normal."

Investment firm Abdul Muhsin Al Hokair Holding, which invests in shopping malls and other services, said it would stick to its investment plans in Egypt despite a fall in its business there of between 30 and 40 percent in recent days.

"Our strategy and work is continuing. We have great confidence in the Egyptian market," said Chairman Abdul Muhsin Al Hokair.

Some Saudi companies are less optimistic, however, such as travel agency Al Tayyar Group, which has some $26.67m of investment in Egypt.

"Our operations declined by nearly 30 percent," said Nasser Al Tayyar, the firm's president. "We are seriously thinking of not paying salaries if the crisis continues."

Saudi Arabia is one of Egypt's biggest trade partners and Saudis are leading investors in its stock market, tourism, aviation, real estate and agriculture sectors. Some two million Egyptians live and work in Saudi Arabia, providing cheap labour.

Saudi investments in Egypt are estimated at $4.6-5 billion, said Abdullah Dahlan, head of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council, adding some companies working in Egypt expect their production to run at lower capacity for several months.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Real news, real analysis and real insight have real value – especially at a time like this. Unlimited access ArabianBusiness.com can be unlocked for as little as $4.75 per month. Click here for more details.