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$4.6 billion needed: Egypt to float 23 state companies

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Staff Writer | March 19, 2018
Egypt announced the names of 23 state companies that will sell stakes from this year under its plan to raise 80 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.6 billion) through minority share offerings on the Cairo bourse.
Amr Al Garhy
Africa   To boost public finances
They included Banque Du Caire, one of the country’s largest banks, major oil companies Middle East Oil Refining (MIDOR) and Engineering for Petroleum and Process Industries (ENPPI), as well as Misr Insurance Company.

The government had said that it intended to sell shares in dozens of state companies to boost public finances and draw more investors to the Cairo exchange, but had previously only identified a handful of companies as candidates.

The 23 companies range from banking and petroleum to real estate and will look to sell stakes ranging from 15-30 per cent in the next two to two-and-a-half years, the finance ministry said in a statement announcing the list.

Finance Minister Amr Al Garhy told television channel CBC that the first stake sale would be held within two to three months, without specifying which company.

The list includes some companies already traded on the exchange and others that will hold an initial public offering.

Egypt’s economy has been struggling to recover since a popular uprising in 2011 drove foreign investors and tourists away, but a $12 billion (Dh44 billion) International Monetary Fund (IMF) lending programme signed at the end of 2016 has helped to spur growth and lure back foreign investors.

The state owns vast swathes of Egypt’s economy, including three of its largest banks — National Bank of Egypt, Banque Du Caire, the United Bank of Egypt — along with much of its oil industry and real estate sector.

ENPPI has been discussed previously as a candidate to be the first state company to offer shares this year, and others such as Banque Du Caire have been mentioned in recent years but their offerings have been delayed.