Sawiris to take break from business, shift focus to charity work

Egyptian business tycoon Naguib Sawiris on Sunday said that, after nearly 35 years of wheeling and dealing, he planned to turn his attention to charity work.

Instead of putting in his usual long hours making business deals, he said, he intended to spend up to 16 hours a day on himself and on charity.

During an appearance on television talk show "90 minutes" with host Moataz al-Demerdash, Sawiris said he had no intention to get involved in politics. When asked if he would ever consider running for the presidency, Sawiris replied: “The very most I would do would be to run in elections at the Gazira Sports Club–but I won’t be running for the presidency.”

He added: “I want to rest and take care of my life and family, from which business has taken much of my time over the past several years.”

Sawiris went on to say that he had made the decision following problems encountered with the Algerian government concerning his Orascom Telecom (OT) Algerian subsidiary, Djezzy, and a $600 million tax claim the Algerian authorities made on OT. He said he had failed to reach a compromise with the Algerian government, leading him to sell his stake in Djezzy to Russian company Vimpelcom.

Sawiris concluded by promising to provide more job opportunities for young unemployed Egyptians.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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