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Banque Du Caire among 23 Egyptian state-run firms set to float stakes

Egypt announced on Sunday the names of 23 state-owned companies it will offer stakes in beginning this year, part of a plan to raise about 80 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.6 billion) through minority share offerings on the Cairo bourse.

They included Banque Du Caire, the country’s third biggest state-run bank, 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 percent in the next two to two-and-a-half years, the finance ministry said in a statement announcing the list.

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 International Monetary Fund 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.

The last time state-owned companies were listed on the exchange was in 2005 when shares of Telecom Egypt, the state’s landline monopoly, and oil companies Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals and AMOC were floated.

Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals will now sell another stake and was included in the list announced on Sunday.

Source: Reuters

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