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Monday, 5 April 2021

At least two state companies could hit the EGX in 3Q2021

Two or three state-owned companies will sell shares on the EGX in 3Q2021, reviving the long-dormant state-privatization program, Public Enterprises Minister Hisham Tawfik said during an industry conference today, according to Reuters. Tawfik didn’t mention the names of the companies lined up, or whether the offerings will be IPOs or secondary sales.

Is e-Finance going first? The IPO of the state’s e-payments arm e-Finance is expected sometime during the second half of 2021, Chairman Ibrahim Sarhan said earlier this week in a statement that coincides with the timeline provided by Tawfik. E-Finance was among a lineup of state enterprises that were originally expected to hit the bourse in pre-pandemic 2019. But the government put a pause to its listings program, citing a series of unexpected delays that came just before covid further stalled the program. Unconfirmed press reports suggested Banque du Caire will be another state-owned enterprise whose IPO will materialize by year-end.

A quick recap of the program: The state privatization program ran headlong into global market turmoil since it was announced in 2018 and has seen transactions postponed multiple times. It is due to include both stake sales by already-listed companies and fresh IPOs. Out of the two dozen companies slated to IPO or offer secondary stakes, only a single offering has materialized: Tobacco monopoly Eastern Company’s 4.5% secondary offering in March 2019. Banque du Caire had planned to debut 20-30% of its shares on the EGX in April 2020 but shelved plans due to the onset of the pandemic. Alexandria Containers, Abu Qir Fertilizers, and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals have also pushed back stake sales.

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