Naguib Sawiris reflects on currency flotation, economic challenges

Shaimaa Al-Aees
2 Min Read

Naguib Sawiris, Egyptian tycoon and Chairperson of Ora Developers, has expressed uncertainty regarding the Egyptian government’s timing to float the local currency after the elections. He emphasized the necessity of establishing a realistic value for the Egyptian pound and ensuring the availability of foreign currency.

Sawiris remarked that the future exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against the dollar is known only to ‘God’, highlighting the unpredictability of the currency market.

He revealed that his company has faced profitability challenges over the past two years due to inflation and fluctuations in the dollar exchange rate, despite achieving sales exceeding EGP 55bn this year. Sawiris pointed out the risk inflation poses to real estate developers, as fixed-price sales to customers are undermined by the daily increase in raw material and construction costs, threatening business continuity.

Sawiris announced that Ora Developers has secured two land plots totaling 393 feddan in New Cairo and the North Coast, with plans to launch projects on these sites next year. The North Coast plot measures 218 feddan, adjacent to the Silver Sands project, while the New Cairo plot is 175 feddan.

He stated that Ora Developers is not considering entering the Saudi market, focusing instead on a $15bn investment project in the UAE over ten years. Additionally, the company is developing an integrated city in Iraq, with investments quintupling those in the UAE.

Ora Developers has achieved EGP 55bn in contractual sales for its various projects this year, ranking second in Egypt. Sawiris mentioned that the company is avoiding bank loans due to high-interest rates reaching 20%.

In the hospitality sector, Sawiris shared that Ora Developers is designing two hotels on the North Coast and exploring the development of a hotel near the Pyramids to serve west Cairo and the ZED Sheikh Zayed project residents.

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