Egypt: ME sovereign wealth funds poised to infuse $120bn into Egypt, report

Knight Frank suggests that sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East could infuse up to $120 billion into Egypt over the next few years.

Knight Frank, one of the world’s leading independent real estate consultancies, founded in 1896 and headquartered in London, UK, said in a report that Cairo is emerging as a promising investment destination.

In its report titled “Africa Horizons 2023/24,” the global real estate consultancy noted that major global powers, including Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, the UAE, South Korea, and China, have renewed their investment interests in Africa, particularly post-pandemic recovery.

“With a population exceeding 109.3 million, Egypt stands as an alluring prospect that beckons us. In the heart of this historic land lies an extraordinary opportunity, one that resonates strongly with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) market and Middle Eastern buyers alike,” said Zeinab Adel, head of the Egypt office at Knight Frank.

“Egypt’s magnetic blend of rich heritage, strategic geographical location, and burgeoning economy propels it to the forefront of investment destinations,” she added.

The North African nation’s appeal as an investment hub is evident as Saudi Arabia, the second-largest investor in the nation, has allocated $6.1 billion across 6,017 projects, according to Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir.

The minister revealed that the Kingdom’s investments in Egypt spans across various sectors, which include industry, construction and tourism as well as agriculture, finance, communications and information technology.

Last year, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund had also launched the Saudi Egyptian Investment Co., aimed at investing in promising sectors and widening the fund’s investment footprints in Africa.

In March, Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said that the country is ready to do whatever it takes to make Saudi Arabia feel at ease with increasing investment in the crisis-hit country.

According to the latest Knight Frank report, Egypt currently has a portfolio of approximately 2 billion sq. feet of active real estate properties, which offer immense potential for growth.

The report further added that the real estate market in Cairo, especially the residential portfolio, is currently witnessing a growth trajectory.

Knight Frank noted that the real estate investments in the capital city hit $20 billion in 2022, with $16 billion completely dedicated to the residential sector.

Moreover, the average residential property prices increased around 10 percent in 2022, highlighting the strong levels of investor demand, the report added.

In New Cairo, apartment sale prices have risen by 24 percent year on year in 2022, reaching around $450 per sq. meter, while villa prices have increased by 8.5 percent to $690 per sq. meter.

Similarly, in Sheikh Zayed City, apartment prices have surged by 27.8 percent year on year, taking values to almost $430 per sq. meter, while villa rates have inched up by 2.1 percent to $625 per sq. meter over the same period.

“Egypt has always held a special place in the minds of GCC investors and we are starting to see a demand renaissance of sorts, with GCC buyers increasingly looking at the Egyptian second homes market, particularly on the north coast of the country,” said Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank.

“Clearly the weakness of the Egyptian pound, the relatively affordable home values when compared to major cities in the Gulf and the pleasant summer climate on the Mediterranean coast are adding to the country’s attractiveness,” he added.