The Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has blocked a bid by the Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris to invest in the country’s telecoms sector.
The decision evoked an angry response from the business tycoon who vowed never to invest “even a single penny” in the country again.
Sawiris told the official Al Ahram newspaper that he was ‘extremely surprised and disappointed’ by the Canadian government’s decision to block his bid to acquire one of the country’s fibre optic companies for C$520 million ($US504 million).
Meanwhile, a report posted by Asrararabiya said that it is believed the decision was taken because of Sawiris’ close ties with Israel; and that his investments in the Canadian telecoms sector would place Canadian conversations at the mercy of the Israeli intelligence.
Sawiris who is ranked by Forbes as the ninth most riches person in Africa is renowned for his close ties with the former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Jamal and Ala’a, as well as the leader of the 3 July Coup, General Abdul Fatah Al Sisi.