Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has deposited $1 billion with the Central Bank of Egypt, as the gas-rich Gulf state nears a deal to acquire state stakes in some major companies.
The Qatar Investment Authority, which has $445 billion in assets under its management, moved the money amid discussions about its acquisition of state-owned stakes in Egyptian companies, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential.
And Bloomberg reported last month that Qatar was in advanced talks over a deal in Egypt worth about $2.5 billion. The Qatar Investment Authority declined to comment on the deposit. Officials at the Central Bank of Egypt were not available for comment.
The urgent need for Egypt’s economy to bridge the external financing gap is increasing, while high oil and commodity prices have severely affected one of the world’s largest wheat importers, and the losses of tourists from Russia and Ukraine have reduced foreign exchange earnings. The conflict pressured the Egyptian pound and pushed it to seek assistance from the International Monetary Fund.
Gulf Arab states pledged more than $20 billion in deposits and investments to Egypt. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited Doha in September 2022, and a cooperation agreement in the field of ports was signed.
In October, Egypt agreed to a rescue package from the International Monetary Fund, adopted a more flexible currency system and raised interest rates.