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Egypt signs MOUs with developers for $12.7 billion in projects: minister

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gives his speech during the closing session of Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 15, 2015.REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

By Ehab Farouk

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Egypt has signed preliminary deals with four Arab real estate developers for four projects worth a total of $12.7 billion, the country's housing minister said on the sidelines of an economic summit on Sunday.

The Arab world's most populous country faces a persistent housing shortage, with population growth outstripping new construction of affordable housing units.

Moustafa Madbouly said that the housing ministry had signed MOUs with Egypt's Mountain View and Saudi Arabia's Sisban Holdings for two real estate projects, with Egypt's second-largest listed developer Palm Hills (PHDC.CA) for a third project, and with a consortium of Arab firms for a fourth.

It was not immediately clear how much of the projects would be for residential or commercial properties.

Mountain View and Sisban will develop 500 acres (202 hectares) in New Cairo at a cost of $3 billion, and 470 acres in 6th of October City at a cost of $2.7 billion, he said.

Final agreements on these projects are expected to be signed within three months, Madbouly said.

He added that Palm Hills signed an MOU to develop 500 acres in New Cairo at a cost of $3 billion.

A consortium of Arab firms will develop a tourist town on 557 acres in 6th of October City on the outskirts of Cairo for $4 billion, the housing minister said.

"6th of October will become the new tourist capital of Greater Cairo," Madbouly said.

(Reporting By Ehab Farouk; Writing By Shadi Bushra; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)