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Sunday, 4 April 2021

Up in smoke

Egypt puts tender for tobacco license on ice: The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has shelved a tender for a license to set up Egypt’s second tobacco company, two unnamed industry sources told Reuters. The bidding round was slated to be held this Tuesday. Companies were informed about the decision one day before the deadline set for submitting the bids, sources added.

So, when is the tender going ahead? Not for a while, by the looks of things. “What we understand … is that the postponement is for an indefinite period … Certainly, the conditions for the auction will be changed if it is held again,” one of the sources told the newswire.

Background: The IDA issued in March a tender for the license, which would have brought to an end Eastern Company’s monopoly on the tobacco industry (with a few caveats). But a few days later tobacco players filed a complaint with the competition watchdog alleging that the license violated antitrust rules, before another complaint was handed to the Federation of Egyptian Industries demanding that the IDA scrap the tender and revise its terms.

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