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Sunday, 8 May 2022

Privatization program back in action this September, says Tawfik

Egypt plans to offer shares in state companies on the EGX starting in September, Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik told Reuters yesterday. The minister said the move had been delayed until after the summer, without providing further details on the companies to be listed.

Egypt had hoped to sell shares in as many as 10 state-owned companies on the EGX in 2022, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine upended the global economy. Officials were previously set to resume the revived privatization program in March as part of plans to list “as many state companies as possible” this year. The plans would have seen the government selling stakes in state-owned companies every month or two, according to statements by Planning Minister Hala El Said earlier this year.

Could this also include military-owned firms? The minister’s statements come days after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi directed the government to list military-owned firms on the EGX by the end of this year. Bets are on bottled-water maker Safi and filling station operator Wataniya, which are currently being prepared for public or private offerings before the summer, Sovereign Fund of Egypt chief Ayman Soliman said last month.

Also slated for IPOs / secondary offerings: Heliopolis Housing and Development | Mopco | Banque du Caire | Misr Life.

BACKGROUND: The Madbouly government has been looking for years now to sell state assets under its privatization program, but has run into obstacles including the global emerging-market selloff in 2018, and then covid over the past two years. Since its launch in 2018, the state has successfully taken fintech company e-Finance to market, and has sold secondary stakes in state tobacco monopoly Eastern Company and Abu Qir Fertilizers.

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