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Egypt's Mansour brothers debut on Forbes list, as one of them faces profiteering charges
The Mansours, one of whom is facing corruption charges, make it on the Forbes list for the first time, along with the Sawiris family
Published in Ahram Online on 10 - 03 - 2011

Former minister of transportation's brother, Yassen Mansour, who's now facing charges of profiteering and waste of public money, is listed, along with his two brothers, on Forbes World's Billionaires list.
New to the list, the fortune of 49-year-old Yasseen, the chairman of Egypt's second largest real estate developer Palm Hills Developments (PHD), is worth $1.8 billion, ranking #692 on the list.
The family assets of Mansour, head of the Mansour Group and Maghrabi Investment Company, were frozen last week by Misr for Central Clearing, Depository and Registry Company (MCDR), along with aother 25 Egyptian officials and their families whose shares have been frozen.
Three weeks ago, Egypt's public prosecutor referred Yasseen to a criminal court on charges of wasting public funds, in a land deal involving PHD, in Sixth of October city on the outskirts of Cairo.
His cousin Ahmed el-Maghrabi who was Mubarak's housing minister in the ousted cabinet has also appeared before prosecutors on Monday to face charges of squandering public money, profiteering and seizing state land in a land deal in 2007.
Other members of the family also appeared on the Forbes list including Mohamed Mansour, former minister of transport from 2005 to 2009 , whose rank is #595 with an overall wealth estimated at $2 billion, and their older brother Youssef Mansour, worth$1.8 billion and ranked #692.
The Mansours are the biggest sellers of GM vehicles worldwide, and their Mansour Group has other interests including the largest supermarket chain in Egypt and the country's second largest real estate developer.
The case of PHD land acquisition, which in recent weeks has been brandished as yet another notorious example of the land grabbing that, many claim, has become one of the most prominent features of crony capitalism, in which government bureaucracy colludes with big business.
The PHD deal was taken to court, on the grounds that it violates the law regulating government tenders and auctions.
PHD has one of the largest land banks in the country, with most of its revenues during the period 2007-2009 coming from the resale of plots of land.
It was founded by Mansour and Maghraby Investment and Development Company (MMID) and is listed on the Egypt Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.
The mother company (MMID) belongs to one of Egypt's largest family-owned businesses. MMID currently owns about 50% of the shares.
An HSBC report, published in early 2010, gave a strong recommendation to its investors to buy PHD shares, giving the company a very good rating of overweight V, partly based on an "inexpensive and diversified land bank". The report titled "Picking Winners in the Egyptian Real Estate Sector" spotlighted PHD, along with SODIC and the Talaat Mostafa Group.
According to HSBC, while Palm Hills Development bought land at a very low cost, at an average of LE 155 per square meter, all its products are oriented to the richest 12 per cent of the population, with a minimum price of LE1.2-1.5 million per unit.
Forbes' 2011 list this year has 14 Africans, among them 8 Egyptians, including Egypt's wealthiest family the Sawiris family. Nassef, chairman of Orascom Construction, was ranked #182 with $5.6 Billion, Naguib of Orascom Telecom #310 with $3.5 B, and Samih, the younger brother and owner of Orascom Development #879 at $1.4 B. Their 81-year-old father and founder of the Orascom empire, Onsi Sawiris was ranked #393 with a fortune estimated at $2.9 billion.
This year's list has also included Egyptian tycoon and former owner of London's Harrods, Mohamed Al Fayed, whose net worth of $1.2 B was ranked #993 on the list.

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