Egypt’s sovereign fund partners with UK Actis to help attract investment

Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund signed on Monday a partnership with UK-based private equity firm Actis to help allure and steer private investment into the North African country.

The two parties will also cooperate in a number of high-profile areas, in particular energy and infrastructure.

Signed in London on the sidelines of the UK-Africa Investment Summit, the memorandum of understanding will directly support the Egyptian fund’s “objective to attract and steer private investment toward critical sectors for Egypt’s economy,” Actis said in a statement.

The signing of the memo was witnessed by Egypt’s Planning Minister Hala el-Saeed and Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of the Trade and Minister for Women and Equalities from the UK Government.

“This cooperation agreement will support energy transition and underscores “a new chapter for sustainable, high-quality UK investment in key markets such as Egypt.” Minister Hala el-Saeed said.

In February 2019, Egypt set up the fund to take control of some of the government’s most promising assets in industries such as power and real estate and invite private investors to develop them.

The fund has a paid-in capital of 1 billion Egyptian pounds ($63.5 million). Yet, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in October the capital could rise to as much as multi trillion pounds.

It will start off by selling a 25-year concession, owned by the state Egyptian Electricity Holding Co, to operate three 4.8GW power plants built by Siemens under a €6 billion ($6.65 billion) deal signed in 2015.

Actis has offered to help sell one of the three plants, its chief executive Ayman Soliman said in the statement.

“We consider Actis’s proposal to be a strong sign reflecting its underlying interest in expanding its investments in Egypt and we look forward to unlocking further appetite and value through such partnerships,” Soliman said.

Actis’ currently energy portfolio in Africa includes Lekela, 1GW of wind across Egypt, Senegal, and South Africa; Azura a world class IPP focused on baseload generation across Nigeria, Senegal, and Mozambique. It also includes Biotherm, a pan-African wind and solar platform which involves Kenya’s largest wind farm and Eneo, the utility of Cameroon.