UPDATE 1-Majid Al Futtaim to expand in Egypt, Saudi in emerging markets push

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CAIRO, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim will invest 16 billion Egyptian pounds ($996.26 million) in Egypt over the next two to three years, its CEO said on Wednesday, 14 billion pounds of which will be for a single mall in Cairo.

Majid Al Futtaim also plans to expand in Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Uganda, chief executive Alain Bejjani told Reuters in an interview.

The company will spend 2 billion Saudi riyals ($533.6 million) building cinemas in Saudi Arabia as part of a five-year 16 billion riyal investment plan, he said.

Majid Al Futtaim, which has already built 100 cinema screens in Saudi Arabia, will bring the total to 600 screens at the end of the five-year plan, which began a year and a half ago. The conservative kingdom lifted a nearly 40-year ban on commercial cinemas in 2017 as part of broad social and economic reforms.

“We will open seven Carrefour locations in Uzbekistan in 2020 and on Dec. 16 we will open a Carrefour in Uganda,” he said, adding they will also enter other markets. The Carrefour in Uganda will be the company’s first investment there.

Majid Al Futtaim has invested around 28 billion Egyptian pounds in Egypt since the end of 2015, he said. ($1 = 16.0600 Egyptian pounds) ($1 = 3.7498 Saudi riyals) (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Louise Heavens and Christina Fincher)