WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27—The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved US$25 million in financing to an
Egyptian company, Orascom Projects and Touristic Development (OPTD), for
the expansion of the El Gouna tourism development near Hurghada on the
Red Sea coast.
El Gouna, a fully integrated, environmentally friendly, large-scale tourism
development, is rapidly emerging as a popular local and international resort
destination on the Red Sea coast. The current phase of expansion will help
El Gouna meet the growing demand for quality tourism facilities. IFC’s
investment in OPTD will be key to financing critical investments in infrastructure.
The facilities at El Gouna, which already include two international quality
hotels, three smaller hotels and a growing town center, will be expanded
over the next three years to include two more international hotels, three
more smaller hotels, a golf course, a marina, a medical facility and all
utilities (power, water, sewage treatment) required to service the expanded
IFC’s financing consists of a loan of US$20 million for its own account
and an equity investment of US$5 million. The financing package will enable
OPTD to implement the current phase of its planned expansion, estimated
to cost over US$100 million. Part of IFC’s long-term loan will be used
to restructure the existing short-term debt of the company.
OPTD is owned by the Sawiris family, a well-known business family in Egypt
and owners of Orascom, one of the largest construction companies in the
country. OPTD’s shareholders also include Al-Ahli for Development and
Investment, a local investment company and Commercial International Investment
Company, the investment arm of Commercial International Bank.
Mr. André Hovaguimian, Director of IFC’s Central Asia, Middle East, and
North Africa Department said, “IFC is very pleased to be associated with
this investment, which is expected to contribute substantially to the expansion
of the country’s tourism sector and be a model for other similar projects.
Tourism is Egypt’s largest foreign exchange earner and generates significant
employment in the country,”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral source
of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing