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Egyptian real estate tycoons keep busy during COVID-19 pandemic

Ever wonder what your favorite Egyptian real estate billionaires have been up to during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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Yasseen Mansour, Egyptian billionaire and real estate magnate. ©Billionaires.Africa

Ever wonder what your favorite Egyptian real estate billionaires have been up to during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s a sneak peek into some of their latest projects.

Raouf Ghabbour

On March 1, multimillionaire and New City Housing and Development owner Raouf Ghabbour launched the first phase of his 120 feddan** ECO West project in 6th of October* city in Cairo during an event at the pyramids.

The EGP 2.5 billion (about $159 million) investment is a 3,800-unit project that Daily News Egypt reported would last four years as of the second half of this year. 

“Eco West provides a smart modern design based on a European Japanese architecture that makes best use of its land areas,” said Rami Youssef, the company’s CEO. The goal is to provide integrated housing solutions to bridge the gap between consumer aspirations and financial capabilities for the country’s teeming youth population.  

“Youth represents 60 percent of the population [in Egypt], leading to an increase in demand for residential units at reasonable prices, especially since the number of marriages is increasing, reaching 900,000 marriages annually,” he said. “We believe that Eco West is the ultimate solution to fulfill the demand of the ambitious Middle and Upper Middle classes, who make up about 35 percent of society.”

As of 2018, Forbes estimated Ghabbour net worth at $440 million.

Yasseen Mansour

On March 15, Palm Hills Developments (PHD) announced a partnership with Inspired Education Group to build its premium King’s School in Egypt under The Crown project. 

The first King’s School in Egypt will be built in The Crown, with classes scheduled to begin in September 2022, Zawya reported. The Crown is uniquely located on a group of hills surrounding 6th of October city and spans an area of 190 feddan. The partnership will see Inspired construct three more premium schools in Egypt. The other locations will include Alexandria, New Cairo and Badya, where PHD has an existing footprint.

“Inspired and King’s School Group have some of the highest performing academic schools globally and we are pleased to be able to establish such schools in our Palm Hills Developments throughout Egypt to ensure the highest quality education for our communities,” Mansour said.

PHD is well-known for its integrated residential, commercial real estate and resort projects. At the same time, Inspired is globally renowned for building and running premium schools in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Latin America.

Yasseen Mansour owns Mansour Group and chairs PHD. His estimated net worth is $1.1 billion, according to Forbes.

*6th of October is a city in the Giza Governorate, a satellite town in urban Cairo, Egypt, 32 kilometers outside the city. 

**Feddan is an Egyptian measurement unit equivalent to 1.038 acres (0.42 ha).

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Financial services firm linked to Egypt’s Sawiris family suffers over $12 million in losses in H1 2022

OFH was founded in 1997 by the late Onsi Sawiris, a member of Egypt’s billionaire Sawiris family.

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Naguib Sawiris.

Orascom Financial Holding (OFH), a technology-driven financial services investment company led by the Sawiris family, reported losses in excess of $12 million at the end of the first half of 2022, owing to rising operating expenses.

Founded in 1997 by the late Onsi Sawiris, a member of Egypt’s billionaire Sawiris family, and led by his son Naguib Sawiris, OFH incurred standalone net losses of EGP234.45 million ($12.23 million) in the first half of 2022, compared to net profits of EGP 55.17 million ($2.87 million) in the same period in 2021.

Its financial performance in the six months ending June 30 was hampered by a loss of EGP320.5 million ($16.75 million) in the second quarter. The news comes after the group reported a consolidated net profit of EGP27.43 million ($1.43 million) in the first three months of 2022.

Despite a 30.8-percent increase in revenue from EGP57.9 million ($3.02 million) to EGP75.75 million ($3.96 million), the group was in the red at the end of the first six months of its 2022 fiscal year due to a surge in operating expenses.

This represents a decline from the EGP27.43 million ($1.43 million) in profit reported in the first three months of the year.

Despite its poor financial performance in the first half of 2022, its shares on the Egyptian Stock Exchange were slightly higher at EGP0.19 ($0.0099) per share, up from an opening price of EGP0.18 ($0.0094) per share earlier this month.

OFH’s share price has fallen from EGP0.23 ($0.012) to EGP0.19 ($0.0099) since the start of the year, bringing its market capitalization on the local bourse below EGP1 billion ($52.3 million), while the Sawiris family’s 51.6-percent stake in the group is valued at EGP510 million ($26.66 million).

OFH sold a portion of its holdings in one of its subsidiaries, Beltone Financial Holding, to Chimera Investment, an Abu Dhabi-based firm led by Pakistani businessman Syed Basar Shueb, as part of its efforts to exit its recent loss position.

It is unclear how much of OFH’s 59.22-percent stake was acquired during the share-purchase transaction.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour gains $1.86 million in 74 days from Palm Hills stake

Mansou owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

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Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour. ©Billionaires.Africa

Egyptian billionaire Yasseen Mansour has recorded a EGP35.6-million ($1.86 million) boost in his net worth in the past 74 days, as shares in Palm Hills Development increased by nearly 19 percent in reaction to the company’s recently released first-quarter results.

Palm Hills Development, an operating subsidiary of Egypt’s largest conglomerate, Mansour Group, is a well-known real estate developer with active investments in Egypt. The company develops integrated residential, commercial, and resort communities.

Mansour, the chairman of Palm Hills Development and one of Egypt’s and Africa’s wealthiest individuals, owns a sizable 5.6-percent stake in the Cairo-based real estate firm.

The Egyptian real estate developer revealed that its profit increased by more than 40 percent in the first quarter of 2022, from EGP217.4 million ($11.36 million) in the first quarter of 2021 to EGP305.8 million ($16 million), owing to sustained growth in demand for properties in Egypt.

As a result of the firm’s strong financial performance, investors on the Egyptian Stock Exchange increased their buying interest in Palm Hills shares, resulting in an 18.6-percent increase in the firm’s stock price from EGP1.13 ($0.059) on June 1 to EGP1.34 ($0.07) on Aug. 14.

Mansour’s 5.6-percent stake in Palm Hills Development has increased in value over the past 74 days, from EGP191.94 million ($10 million) to EGP227.6 million ($11.89 million) at the time of writing.

This equates to a total gain of EGP35.6 million ($1.86 million) for the Egyptian billionaire, who ranks as one of the wealthiest men on the African continent, alongside his brothers Mohamed Mansour and Youssef Mansour, both of whom own Mansour Group and Palm Hills Development.

His net worth is estimated at $1.1 billion, making him one of Africa’s wealthiest businessmen.

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Led by Egyptian Khamis family, Oriental Weavers set to withdraw investments from China

Oriental Weavers operates under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

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Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis.

The board of directors of Oriental Weavers has decided to withdraw its investments in China as the management implements measures to maximize earnings and revenues in line with its strategic growth roadmap. 

Operating under the leadership of Egyptian businesswoman Yasmine Mohamed Farid Khamis and other family members of the late Mohammed Farid Khamis, Oriental Weavers is a leading carpet manufacturer and distributor with active operations in about 150 countries worldwide.

According to the plan to withdraw its investments from China, the company declared that it will accept already made offers to buy out its stake in Oriental Weavers China, and further information will be released after the deal has been completed.

Through this decision, the company will sell its Chinese manufacturing facilities, Oriental Weavers (Tianjin) Company Limited (Oriental Weavers China), to local investors.

The decision to withdraw its investments in Mainland China was made almost eight months after the company’s board gave the management permission to study the situation and decide whether to sell or liquidate Oriental Weavers China.

Oriental Weavers’ exit from China will be crucial to lowering operating costs as it seeks to cut ties with the Asian economy as a result of brewing regulatory tensions in China and escalating trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

According to Yasmine Al-Gohary, Oriental Weavers’ investor relations manager, the decision to withdraw its investments from China can be attributed to the high operating costs in the country, particularly following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

According to Al-Gohary, the operations in China, which make up just 0.3 percent of the group’s total assets and only contribute one percent of its revenue, were also impacted by the frequent factory closures and shortening of working hours.

Al-Gohary added that the business also intended to invest $10 million this year to place itself on the path of growth and increase its production capacity to keep up with market demand.

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