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Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Hala wallah

The upcoming sale of military-owned Wataniya Petroleum is attracting more attention from GCC oil and gas companies, the local press reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations. State-owned Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) and Saudi Aldrees Petroleum and Transport Services Co. are reportedly interested in vying with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Qalaa Holdings’ TAQA Arabia, the sources say.

When is the sale going down? Wataniya could be selecting its preferred suitor by the end of the month to begin due diligence, paving the way for the sale to be wrapped up by the end of 1H2021.

But it hasn’t worked out how much it wants to sell: Planning Minister Hala El Said and Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) head Ayman Soliman suggested last month that Wataniya and the National Company for Producing and Bottling Water (SafI) — both subsidiaries of the military’s National Service Products Organization (NSPO) — could be fully privatized. But the SFE could still step in and acquire minority stakes of 20-30% in both companies, leaving 70-80% for the private sector, Soliman said.

More military firms could be on the table in the coming months: Wataniya’s sale comes as part of a wider effort to privatize military-affiliated companies in 2021 which will include at least three other — as yet, unnamed — companies alongside Wataniya and Safi. The SFE-led initiative dates back to early last year when the NSPO signed a cooperation agreement with the fund that authorized it to market subsidiaries of military-affiliated companies to private investors with the ultimate goal of listing their shares on the EGX.

IN OTHER INVESTMENT NEWS-

  • Unionaire Group is planning to build a new factory in the Sixth of October City at a cost of EGP 1 bn, and earmark the plant’s output for export, CEO Mohamed Osman said, according to Al Mal. The A/C and electronics manufacturer will fully cover the cost to set up the 55k sqm plant, which it expects to inaugurate in 2022, Osman added.
  • The announcement came after the company signed an agreement to manufacture TCL products in Egypt, Al Mal separately reported. Unionaire signed an exclusive manufacturing and distribution agreement with the Chinese TV and electronics giant.
  • Odin Investments plans to launch four EGP 500 mn investment funds before the end of 2021 with an eye to up its AUM by EGP 3-4 bn, CEO Hashem El Sayed told Amwal Al Ghad.

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