The Saudi Egyptian Investment Co. (SEIC), recently launched by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), has acquired minority stakes in four listed Egyptian companies for around $1.3 billion.

The four companies are Abu Qir Fertizilers and Chemical Industries, Misr Fertilizers Production Co., Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling and E-Finance for Financial and Digital Investments, according to a statement on Egypt's planning ministry's website  on Wednesday.

Egypt's Planning Minister Hala al-Said said this deal comes within the framework of the state's plan to expand the ownership base and encourage foreign direct investment. The deal reflects the confidence of the foreign investor in the Egyptian economy, she added.

Last week PIF set up SEIC with the stated aim of investing in Egypt's “promising economic sectors.”  The launch of the company was in line "with PIF’s ongoing expansion domestically and globally, and in alignment with our 2021-2025 strategy," PIF's Deputy Governor and Head of MENA Investments Yazeed Alhumied had said.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund is building an international portfolio of investments while also investing locally in projects to help reduce the Kingdom's economic reliance on oil. It has approximately $620 billion of assets under management.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)