Al-Ahram Weekly Online   21 - 27 April 2011
Issue No. 1044
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Al-Kharafi passes away

CLIENTS heading to have their lunch last week at KFC, TGI Friday's or Fish Market, or to grab their latte from one of Egypt's Costa outlets and follow that with a frozen yoghurt from Baskin Robbins, were received by closed doors. The American food chains were closed as Nasser Al-Kharafi, the owner of their operator, Americana Group died earlier in the week.

Al-Kharafi is a Kuwaiti billionaire and one of the most prominent Arab investors in Egypt, with investments mounting to $7 billion in 35 different sectors including energy, telecommunications, real estate, tourism and airports. Americana is only one of Al-Kharafi's many investments in Egypt. Another prominent company the late businessman had a stake in was the Egyptian Kuwaiti Holding company (EKH). EKH is a financial investment company, established in 1997, and focuses on private equity investments, and operates primarily through subsidiaries across the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region. The company has a diversified portfolio of investments in the fertilisers, energy, manufacturing, information technology and insurance sectors.

Marsa Alam International Airport, located in the Red sea resort of Marsa Alam, with total investments of $2.1 billion, is another big investment for Al-Kharafi in Egypt.

Forbes magazine placed the deceased among the wealthiest businessmen in the Arab world. He was ranked 77 on the world's list of billionaires in 2011 with an estimated wealth of $10.4 billion. He was the brother of Jassem Al-Kharafi, who has been the speaker of Kuwait's parliament since 1999.

Nasser Al-Kharafi was chairman of Kharafi and Sons group which has an annual turnover of $4.3 billion in sales. The group has holdings in Mobile Telecommunications Zain, National Bank of Kuwait and Americana group.

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