The Abraaj Capital Limited (ACLD) – a member of The UAE Abraaj Group that is authorised and regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) – has been gradually expanding its influence on health institutions in Egypt, especially after its purchase of the Al Borg and al-Mukhtabar laboratories, as well as more than 15 private hospitals, including the Nile Badrawi, Al Nakheel, Cleopatra and Cairo Specialized Hospital.
The Abraaj Group is a leading private equity investor, purpose-built for operating in global growth markets. Employing over 300 people, Abraaj has over 25 offices spread across six regions with hubs in Istanbul, Mexico City, Dubai, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore. The Group currently manages c. US$ 7.5 billion across more than 20 regional, sector and country-specific Funds, encompassing private equity and real estate investments.
US$ 200 million investment in North Africa Hospital Holdings Group
The Abraaj Group on 2 March, 2015, announced the formation of the North Africa Hospital Holdings Group (NAHHG), a healthcare investment platform to enhance the quality and accessibility of health care in Egypt and Tunisia, in partnership with leading development financial institutions – the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwickungsgesellschaft mbH(DEG), and the Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique S.A. (Proparco). The EBRD is making an equity investment of US$ 25 million, DEG and Proparco are providing US$ 15 million each, while The Abraaj Group, with US$ 145 million, will be the main investor in the health care investment platform, through its Funds.
Dr. Khalid Samir, a member of the Egyptian Doctors Syndicate and head of the Free Egyptians Party’s Health Committee, said that the domination of more than 122 private hospitals by the UAE Abraaj Capital and its acquisition of analysis laboratories such as Al Borj and al-Mukhtabar, represents a serious threat to Egypt’s health system and the country’s national security.
Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egyptian newspaper, published the contents of a secret report issued by the Administrative Control Authority (ACD) regarding the Abraaj Capital’s domination of the Egyptian health sector after its purchase of a number of private health institutions, which threatens Egypt’s national security. The report warned of a possibility of ‘money laundering’, particularly regarding the Credit Healthcare Ltd., that is indirectly owned by Abraaj Capital, whose shareholders are unknown. The ACD report also confirmed that there are suspicions on the purpose of the purchase.
Dr. Mona Mina, Egypt’s Doctors Syndicate deputy, described the UAE’s purchase of the Egyptian medical institutions as a ‘disaster’. She added that while the new privatization plan of health insurance is seeking to allow the private medical sector in Egypt to buy some public hospitals, Abraaj Capital is taking over the largest private hospitals in Egypt gradually.
It is noteworthy that the data of the Central Bank of Egypt show that the UAE occupies the first position in terms of direct Arab investments in the health sector in Egypt, by 401.2 million dollars.
The dangerous effect of UAE’s domination of the Egyptian health sector on the country’s national security
In fact, the UAE Abraaj Capital company’s purchase of the largest and most famous blood analysis laboratories has dangerous effects on Egypt’s national security. In 2012, the Egyptian Shura Council’s Health Committee received a secret letter from one of the sovereign bodies (usually referring to intelligence services) calling for taking necessary measures against certain bodies that were collecting samples of Egyptian’s blood from labs to be used in DNA identifications, for purposes that could harm the Egyptian national security in the future. Hence, this suspicious role played by this UAE company raises fears that such DNA analyses could be misused by Egypt’s enemies. In December, 1998, The Sunday Times published a report on an Israeli project to produce an ethnic genetic bomb for killing the Arabs in general and the Egyptians in particular!