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Sunday, 9 June 2019

Government IPOs set for September on schedule

EXCLUSIVE- IPOs by state-owned companies set for fall as planned, come what may: State-owned companies selected to make initial public offerings of their shares under the second phase of the state’s privatization program will move forward with transactions starting in September as scheduled, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik told Enterprise over the weekend. The government is committed holdings its first IPO under the program in September even if there’s turbulence in the market, he added. The statement marks a shift in the government’s tone about how global markets could impact the program. While he would not name the first company due out of the gate, it is widely believed that oil and gas contractor Enppi is the frontrunner, as Oil Minister Tarek El Molla had suggested it would IPO in 1H2019. The ministry had planned to IPO four or five state companies at a rate of about one per month starting from September.

Share sales by already-listed companies will still hinge on market conditions, Tawfik said. Alexandria Containers & Cargo Holding and Abu Qir Fertilizers are both set to make offerings, and the timing will come down to recommendations from the investment banks quarterbacking the sales. No dates have been penciled, the minister added.

Abu Qir could sell shares any day now, according to a report in Al Mal that we picked up before the Eid break. Eastern Tobacco piloted the program of accelerated book builds with the sale of a 4.5% stake earlier this spring.

We may get clarity on share sales this week: A meeting with investment banks advising on the share sales will take place this week to decide on the next step in these share sales, Tawfik told us.

Advisors: Renaissance Capital and CI Capital are leading the accelerated book build on Abu Qir, while EFG Hermes and Citi are leading on Alexandria Containers. CI Capital, Jefferies International Limited, and Emirates NBD were said in late 2018 to be managing the IPO of Enppi, which could include both a domestic listing and a global depositary receipts program on the London Stock Exchange. State-owned investment bank NI Capital is presently soliciting pitches from houses interested in taking fintech player e-Finance public.

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