• Egypt’s military sets up contracting company
  • Company set up with £E100m ($13.1m) of capital
  • Minister of military production will head company’s general assembly

Egypt’s National Authority for Military Production has issued a decree announcing the establishment of an independent contracting firm.

MP for Engineering Projects, Consultancies and General Supplies will serve the armed forces as well as other parties across several sectors including housing, tourism, roads and factories, as well as social infrastructure.

The company was set up with £E100m-worth of capital and is fully owned by the National Authority for Military Production. The authority will appoint the company’s CEO, while the minister of military production will head the company’s general assembly.

This comes at a time of a projected acceleration in construction activity across the country, following the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) held in Sharm el-Sheikh in March.

Egypt’s military has historically been an active developer over the past few decades, with several major real estate and infrastructure projects, including the expansion of the Suez Canal. The project is set to open earlier than scheduled, in late July. It was scheduled for completion on 6 August.

The expansion scheme will add a 34-kilometre channel running parallel to the existing canal. This will allow for more ships to pass through the waterway, reducing waiting times.

Currently, ships travelling from the north have to berth for several hours to wait for convoys of vessels from the south to pass. A 2013 report from the Washington-based World Bank found the canal was providing limited returns, and this project is hoped to reverse the situation.

The scheme is being funded by investment certificates. In September, the government said it had raised the $8.5bn-worth of funds needed. The certificates have a 12 per cent interest rate, pay quarterly dividends and come in denominations of £E10, £E100 and £E1000 ($1.4-$140).

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