- Middle East Business News
Tuesday, 11 August 2020 05:29 UAE time
24#  The Sawiris Family  - picture not available
24# The Sawiris Family

Net Worth: US$ 3.3 Billion
Country of Residence: Egypt
Industry: Technology
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Onsi Sawiris always says that the greatest investment he ever made were his sons, who, after coming home from studying abroad, took over the leadership of Egypt's Orascom conglomerate and expanded its operations into three major sectors - construction, telecommunications and tourism.

A practicing Coptic Orthodox Christian, Onsi is in retirement mode these days, but does spend plenty of time talking business with his sons Naguib, Nassef and Samih.

It has been another difficult year for Orascom Telecom, which culminated in the restructuring of its management last month. Khaled Bichara was named as CEO, taking over the role from Naguib Sawiris, who will stay on as executive chairman, a company statement said. Bichara will report to Sawiris, but it is hoped that the reshuffle will allow the new CEO to draw on his experience in the restructuring of Italian mobile operator Wind, to turn the Middle East's largest mobile operator into a more agile firm. Orascom said Sawiris would retain overall responsibility for Orascom Telecom Algeria, although that news was followed swiftly by a $596.6m tax bill from the Algerian authorities.

Its Algerian subsidiary generated 51 percent of Orascom Telecom's group earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation in the first nine months of 2009, ratings agency Moody's said, promptly downgrading Orascom Telecom Holding's corporate family rating.

Payment of $596.5m or the firm's inability to repatriate 2009 dividends until the subsidiary resolved the issue with the authority "would put significant pressure on Orascom's already weak liquidity profile," Moody's said - pointing to another tough twelve months ahead for the Sawiris clan.



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