image by Marwa bayoumi, via Wikimedia Commons.  Accessed 19.03.2018

 

All eyes are on the current golden boy of Egyptian industry, Ahmed Abou Hashima (“AAH”). The Cairo-based businessman heads up Egyptian Steel and Egyptian Cement, two companies that have taken the economy by storm since 2011. Years of competing against Ahmed Ezz’s holding, Ezz Steel, left the remaining players in Egypt’s steel sector in the shadows; but recent developments hint at a new future under a new dominant market player.

Today’s insight considers the market influence of AAH, his rise to prominence, and overall position in contemporary Egypt.

  • On the surface, Abou Hashima’s story is one of good fortune, calculated investments, and perfect timing. According to his official biography, he started out as a small-time steel trader in the 1990s and gradually expanded his interests over the years.
  • But Shadow Governance Intel sources advise that the steel magnate’s early wealth came from prominent contacts. Backing from Qatari investors in 2011 subsequently catapulted him to unprecedented levels of wealth and influence, making him one of Egypt’s richest businessmen.
  • Although he veers away from direct involvement in politics, the Egyptian commercial environment is such that he must carefully navigate between Egypt’s political and commercial spheres.