Orascom Development Holding AG, a resort company run by billionaire Samih Sawiris, plans to spend E£5bn ($913m) on building low-cost homes in the Middle East and Europe to generate steadier earnings growth.

The company is targeting Romania, Turkey and Iraq, Sawiris said in a 8 March interview at his office in Cairo. It has already invested E£1bn of that money on budget housing in Egypt, the most populous Arab country.

“Our projects are targeting a surge in demand 10 years down the road,” said Sawiris, who is chairman and chief executive officer and controls about 60 percent of the company. “Short-term investment has an inherent risk because of exposure to the downturns.”