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Thursday, 26 May 2022

Privatization continues to dominate the airwaves

Planned public consultations on the state’s privatization strategy got the talking heads talking last night — one day after Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said his government would seek opinions from stakeholders over a period of three months before signing off on the plans. Salet El Tahrir (watch, runtime: 23:55) and Masaa DMC (watch, runtime: 2:04) had coverage, among others.

Privatization is good for the budget: Economist Mostafa Badra told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Mohamed Sherdy (watch, runtime: 5:27) that opening up the economy to the private sector will boost public finances, lower the budget deficit, prevent further hikes, and support the EGP. Badra was referring to the draft state ownership policy document obtained by the press last week, which would see the government withdraw from as many as 79 industries over the next three years.

Another state-owned company is set to be axed: That’s according to Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik, who told Salet El Tahir’s Azza Mostafa that the ministry will soon announce which company will be wound down (watch, runtime: 23:55). Compensation for workers has already been worked out, he said, remaining tight-lipped on the details.

Three loss-making state-owned enterprises have been liquidated over the past four years, the latest being Egyptian Iron and Steel in 2021. The National Cement Company (NCM) and the Egyptian Navigation Company (NNC) were also wound down in 2018 and 2020, respectively after suffering bns of EGP in losses.

Tawfik is crossing his fingers for no further liquidations: “We hope we don’t see any liquidations [after that]. Any company that is not able to turn profitable within three years will be liquidated,” he said.

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