INTERVIEW: Egypt's Concord planning real estate fund

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CAIRO: Concord International Investments, which manages $1.4 billion in Egyptian securities, is working on three projects and is planning to set up an equity fund by next summer, its chairman said in an interview.

The new fund will likely be closed-end and will invest opportunistically in industry.

We re looking at the food industry, the health care industry, light manufacturing, Mohamed Younes said on Thursday. We d like to start with a bite-sized $100 million, $200 million, and if things go well, we ll increase the size.

The Cairo and New York based private equity group has 14 mutual funds in Egyptian securities with both international and domestic investors that are geared mainly toward the long term.

It also manages an additional $800 million in international securities out of its New York office.

Last year, a difficult year, its Egyptian portfolios lost 27 to 30 percent compared to a decline of the Egyptian market as a whole of 56 percent, said Younes.

This year to date its portfolio has risen 35 percent, compared to 48 percent for the Egyptian market, he added.

The Egyptian economy has remained relatively resilient to the international downturn and Egyptian companies have recently been reporting healthy profits, Younes said.

We re very bullish on what s happening here, he said.

Concord has just raised about $50 million for a fund to build a super luxury boutique hotel at Abu Sir near the pyramids of Saqqara with mainly institutional subscribers.

It is now setting up a company to build the 80-room hotel with Thai real estate developer Anan Group Asia, with construction due to start within five months and continuing for two to two-and-a-half years, Younes said.

Concord last year set up a $60 million, 10-year real estate fund to build a residential development in Sixth of October City outside Cairo that he expects to break ground within three months.

The company was just incorporated right now, said Younes.

The group earlier set up a fund to develop an office building in the New Cairo area east of the capital. Construction started a year ago and will be completed in about 18 more months. (Writing by Patrick Werr; Editing by Rupert Winchester)

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By Reuters
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