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Sunday, 24 February 2019

Are there division in the gov’t over how to kickstart state privatization program?

EXCLUSIVE- Could an IPO, not a stake sale, kickstart the state privatization program? The government committee tasked with managing the state privatization has is mulling whether to proceed with the original lineup for the program — with Eastern Company selling shares in an accelerated book build — or to switch things up and go with an initial public offering straight out of the gate, a senior government official tells us. Those arguing in favour of an IPO are pointing to the EGX’s more than 16% gain since the beginning of the year, while others believe that staying the course with the stake sale is appropriate given the ball is already rolling on the original lineup. Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik most recently said the program would start with stake sales.

We could have news on this front as early as this week: Both Tawfik and Finance Minister Mohamed Maait told us that they could not speak on the lineup as the committee has yet to decide on it. The committee, which is headed by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, will make a decision on the matter “soon,” they added. Tawfik had previously noted that a decision was to take place this week.

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