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Egypt's Talaat Moustafa Group to invest $21 bln in north coast development

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Egypt's Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) is to invest $21 billion in the SouthMED tourism development that includes luxury villas and a marina on Egypt's Mediterranean coast, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The SouthMED development, which spans 23 million square metres of land on the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria, is expected to generate sales of about $35 billion © Mena Today 

Egypt's Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) is to invest $21 billion in the SouthMED tourism development that includes luxury villas and a marina on Egypt's Mediterranean coast, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

The SouthMED development, which spans 23 million square metres of land on the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria, is expected to generate sales of about $35 billion, CEO Hisham Talaat Moustafa said.

Initial bookings for purchases at the development reached about 60 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.25 billion) in 12 hours of pre-launch sales, TMG said in a disclosure to the Egyptian stock exchange.

SouthMED is a "fully integrated development" that includes shops, restaurants, golf courses and other facilities and services as well as villas, according to the TMG website.

SouthMED has been heavily advertised in Egypt in recent weeks, including with a commercial featuring Sylvester Stallone as a wealthy foreigner being persuaded to buy a villa.

The announcement comes after Egypt received a windfall of investment and financing earlier this year which eased a shortage of foreign currency that had crippled the economy.

The largest influx of funds came from a deal with Abu Dhabi sovereign fund ADQ, which agreed to pay $24 billion for the rights to develop a new city at the site of Ras El Hekma, also on the north coast.

TMG has said it will also be involved in the development of Ras El Hekma.

Separately, Egypt expanded its programme with the International Monetary Fund to $8 billion and received billions in pledged money from the European Union and the World Bank.

Until now, Egypt's north coast and its white sand beaches have mainly been a destination for affluent Egyptians who stay in villas and hotels there during the hottest months of the year.

The government is now promoting it as an international destination, and has built a new city with glass-fronted tower blocks at El Alamein, about 100 km (62 miles) west of Alexandria.

SouthMED is located on the coast close to Dabaa, where a nuclear power plant is under construction by Russia's Rosatom, and El Alamein international airport. It is about 55 km (34 miles) east of Ras El Hekma.

Speaking at Tuesday's press conference, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said the project showed Egypt's confidence in local investment after the influx of foreign investment in the Ras El Hekma deal.

"We as a country are determined to attract investments, whether local or foreign," he said.

"These projects would attract millions of tourists. More importantly, they create job opportunities to attract Egyptian youth to settle" (on the north coast), he added.

Neither Talaat Moustafa nor Madbouly gave details on where the funds for SouthMED would come from, referring only to TMG's "local investment," and they took no questions.

($1 = 48.1550 Egyptian pounds)

Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir

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