We could see the first tranche of our IMF loan before the new year, says Maait
Could we see the first chunk of our IMF loan as soon as this month? Egypt could receive the first tranche of its new IMF loan before the end of the year, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait has said, according to Bloomberg Asharq. Speaking at a conference yesterday, the minister said that Egypt could receive USD 750 mn this month, equating to 25% of the USD 3 bn loan program announced at the end of October.
Hold your horses: The loan program isn’t yet a done deal. The staff-level agreement we reached in October still needs the sign-off of the lender’s executive board. As of this morning, Egypt’s program isn’t yet scheduled on the board’s public agenda, which runs through 14 December.
ICYMI- The USD 3 bn, 46-month extended fund facility (EFF) will provide much-needed foreign currency to Egypt’s financial system which has come under significant liquidity stress on the back of tightening global financial conditions and the spillover effects of the war in Ukraine. It could be topped up with around USD 5 bn from unnamed “multilateral and regional partners,” the IMF has said, plus another USD 1 bn that we’re applying for from the lender’s resilience and sustainability trust.
PANDA BONDS COMING IN THE NEW YEAR?
Egypt is planning to take its inaugural USD 500 mn panda bond issuance to market in 1Q 2023, Al Mal quotes Maait as saying. Plans to issue the CNY-denominated bonds have been in the works since 2019, but were put on hold due to the pandemic. Vice Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk previously said the ministry could issue the panda bonds before the end of this year.
All part of our debt diversification strategy: The government is also looking to issue sukuk and “green” versions of samurai and panda bonds, following the ministry’s JPY-denominated bond issuance in late March. The issuances are part of efforts to diversify our debt and move away from hot money, which has seen some USD 22 bn in outflows this year, according to Maait.
PRIVATIZATION PROGRAM COULD RETURN IN 1Q 2023
One state-owned bank we know for sure is planning to go public: Banque du Caire (BdC) has long planned to IPO on the EGX but has repeatedly delayed its plans in response to periods of market turmoil triggered by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The bank was planning to make its debut this year but decided in July to postpone the sale until market conditions improve. BdC has until 31 March 2023 to finish the IPO procedures.
Other state companies are looking at going public in 1Q 2023: Damietta Container & Cargo Handling Company and Port Said Container & Cargo Handling Company — both subsidiaries of the Holding Company for Maritime Transport — could both sell 25% stakes on the EGX during the coming quarter.
Both companies took a step towards a share sale yesterday: The ordinary general assemblies of both companies have approved the plans, Al Mal reported yesterday, citing informed sources.
REFRESHER- The government is looking at how and when to reboot its privatization program with recent listing changes and a new pre-IPO fund set up by the Sovereign Fund of Egypt (SFE) in September. The fund will offer stakes in state-owned companies to strategic investors and sovereign funds ahead of listing them on the bourse. The fund plans to market several state companies — including the military-owned firms Safi and Wataniya — to strategic investors ahead of IPOing them on the EGX.