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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Is the CBE considering ditching an IPO for Banque Du Caire and United Bank?

IPO WATCH- Is the CBE reconsidering the IPOs of BdC, United Bank? The Central Bank of Egypt could scrap planned IPOs of state-owned Banque du Caire and United Bank and instead move ahead with stake sales to strategic investors, a senior CBE official said yesterday. CBE Deputy Governor Gamal Negm said “a number of factors” will play in deciding how the central bank will proceed with the sales, Negm told Al Mal without offering additional detail. The statement could cast doubt on the long-awaited IPO of Banque du Caire, which CBE Governor Tarek Amer had said as recently as last week would take place in 3Q2018.

Sales going ahead, the question is how: In either case, the banks will be partially privatized in 2018, Negm said, noting that the size of the stakes on offer and timing of the transactions have yet to be determined.

Moreover, the CBE hasn’t yet received official notice that the National Bank of Greece plans to exit Egypt, Negm said. Al Borsa had reported last month that National Bank of Greece was seeking for advisors on the potential sale of its 17 branches in Egypt as part of the bank’s restructuring plan mandated by the European Commission in the wake of Greece’s debt crisis.

Background: The EGX had approved in February BdC’s request to list 562.5 mn shares at par value of EGP 4 per share. Industry types had later said the government was considering selling up to 49% of Banque du Caire as part of the IPO process, including 5% which would trade a global depositary receipts on the London Stock Exchange. EFG Hermes and HSBC were tapped to lead the transaction; Baker McKenzie is serving as legal advisor.

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