IFC in talks with Egypt’s sovereign fund to tap into investment opportunities

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank, is in talks with Sovereign Fund of Egypt to partner in a number of projects the fund offers to private sector investors, according to its country manager.

Walid Labadi, the IFC’s Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen told Ahram Online that opening state-run companies to private investments is a critical action towards Egypt’s growth,

This move will help provide companies affiliated with the Egyptian Army with opportunities for growth, Labadi added at a virtual round table the World Bank held on Sunday on the role that Egyptian fund can play in boosting private sector investments in the Egyptian market.

The IFC has provided Egypt with a total of $400 million since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March to support the private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises, along with the health sector, Labadi said.

He further referred to IFC’s cooperation with Egypt’s Financial Regulatory Authority to issue the country’s first of its kind green bonds.

Supporting the private sector will create more jobs, especially with the significant loss of jobs and wages that all countries have witnessed due to the pandemic, including Egypt, Labadi noted.

He also said that the IFC invested a total of $307 million in Egypt during the 2019/2020 financial year that ended in June 2020.

IFC’s total investments in Egypt exceed $4 billion, which is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, the official added.

According to Labadi, IFC’s portfolio in Egypt is the fifth highest of any country in the world.

He also underscored the promising sectors that are expected to witness an upturn in the Egyptian market in the post-coronavirus phase, including trade and logistics, value chain, green finance, and healthcare.

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