The US’ Morgan Stanley and Egypt’s Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) have agreed to form a joint venture to develop and invest in infrastructure assets across the Middle East and Africa.

Each of the partners will own a 50 per cent stake in the new company, which will capitalise on Morgan Stanley Infrastructure’s investment experience. Morgan Stanley Infrastructure manages a $4bn portfolio of investments.

OCI focuses on investment in transport, infrastructure, industrial and commercial projects. As of September 2009, its construction arm had a $7.2bn backlog of outstanding projects. Sixty per cent of these are infrastructure schemes.

OCI made a net profit of £E1.94bn ($356m) in the nine months ending 30 September 2009, down from £E5bn for the same period in 2008.