Saudi investor asks to withdraw capital from nationalized company

A prominent Saudi investor has asked to retrieve funds he invested in an Egyptian retail store chain that was subsequently nationalized again by the Egypt government.

London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat quoted Saudi businessman Jamil al-Qanbit, former owner of Omar Effendi, on Monday as saying that the issue should be resolved without having to engage in legal disputes.

An Egyptian judiciary court last May annulled a corruption-marred deal in which Omar Effendi, a state-run company, was sold to Qanbit’s Anwal Group.

Qanbit said his investments in the company — LE950 million — counted for 85 percent of the company’s total capital.

Qanbit told the newspaper that he had shown understanding for the Egyptian uprising and decided to disburse tripled salaries for Omar Effendi workers.

But he said that the new Egyptian government has to devise effective solutions that tackle losses suffered by Saudi investors over the past year in order to avoid a negative impact on overall foreign investments.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian government has taken action to alleviate the losses of the stalled Saudi investments, which are worth US$27 billion. Included are Omar Effendi’s investments in the apparel and other industries.

Last month, Egyptian-Saudi Business Council Chairman Abdallah Dahlan said the People’s Assembly Economic Affairs Committee is committed to Saudi investment agreements in Egypt.

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