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Sunday, 22 March 2020

Egypt postpones state privatization program, new program to be announced in two months

PRIVATIZATION WATCH- The state privatization program is officially being put on ice as the covid-19 outbreak wreaks havoc on global equity markets, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik told Ahram Online. The government will announce in two months the new plan for the privatization program, an unnamed official said. The program — which includes up to 23 companies scheduled to IPO or offer secondary stakes on the EGX — was previously expected to resume after several postponements next month with the long-anticipated IPO of Banque du Caire (BdC). Sources involved with the program had already signaled last week that BdC’s IPO was shelved.

Background: The state privatization program was announced in 2018 and is expected to reel in EGP 80 bn for state coffers, but has been postponed numerous times due to unstable market conditions. So, far only a single offering has come through — the 4.5% secondary stake offering of Eastern Tobacco in March of last year. Along with BdC, the other candidates for the state privatization program include Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling, Abu Qir Fertilizers, Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals, and e-Finance (which was pushed to 4Q2020 for other reasons).

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