The long-term fundamentals in Egypt are very attractive in just about every sector, and construction is no exception. In the wake of the revolution, a number of projects scheduled for 2012 were moved up to 2011, stimulating the economy but leaving a dearth of government approved projects for the future. With presidential elections having taken place, the construction sector in Egypt is now beginning to gear up for more work. However, while the first half of 2012 saw a revival in project activity, challenges for contractors include securing project financing and managing costs and cash flows until the political situation resolves itself and new private sector building opportunities grow.
Large-scale demand and a shortage of supply in most segments has been the recent story of Egypt’s real estate sector. While the housing market is looking to have rebounded somewhat from the troubles it experienced in 2011, it seems possible developments in other areas may not have been as negatively impacted by the revolution as had been previously thought. The outlook for sales in planned communities was improving in the first part of 2012, with earnings from the first quarter showing a marked increase on numbers for 2011.
This chapter contains an interview with Osama Bishai, Managing Director, Orascom Construction Industries (OCI); and a viewpoint from Mohamad Talaat, Member of the Management Committee, Helmy, Hamza & Partners (Baker & McKenzie).