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Banks buy into Damac's Egypt project

A consortium led by Egypt's Housing and Development Bank signs an agreement to buy a 60% stake in Hyde Park, a project being developed in Cairo by Damac Properties.

A consortium led by Egypt's Housing and Development Bank (HDB) has signed an agreement to buy a 60 per cent stake in Hyde Park, a project being developed in Cairo by Damac Properties, based in Dubai. HDB told the Egyptian Stock Exchange it would acquire a 30 per cent stake in the project, while 20 per cent would be acquired by another Egyptian bank and 10 per cent by an investment firm in Egypt. Damac said grading works had been done at the villa development and contractors had been invited to bid for construction, expected to begin this summer.

Hyde Park, valued at US$7 billion (Dh25.7bn) when launched in 2007, is one of six projects Damac plans to build in Egypt. The firm entered the market a year earlier with Gamsha Bay, a residential, commercial and tourism development by the Red Sea. Last week, Damac said it would not finish a Malaysian land deal with UEM Land, a Malaysian firm, adding it would focus on projects under construction. Damac has laid off at least 250 staff since the slump hit Dubai's property market in October.

Hussain Sajwani, the chairman of Damac, said in November plans for projects in India, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia would be put on hold. It also has projects in Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. agiuffrida@thenational.ae

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