Coronavirus outbreak drives Egypt to delay state IPO plan

Egypt will postpone its planned government initial public offering programme, which includes dozens of state-owned companies, until the second half of the year to ease the coronavirus threat.

The decision was made after stock markets across the world have seen major sell-offs due to the outbreak of the virus, official sources with knowledge of the matter told Amwal Al Ghad on Monday.

Authorities hope conditions would stabilise within the second half of the year, they said.

The government said last year it is aiming to raise EGP 8 billion for the state’s budget by offering shares in 23 public-owned companies on the EGX.

Egypt seeks to raise 100 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.3 billion) through selling some shares of 23 state-owned companies on the country’s stock exchange.

The country’s IPO committee is studying the situation and the appropriate timing to launch the programme, they added.

The IPO committee includes ministers of investment, petroleum, trade and industry, finance, planning, and public-sector enterprise as well as the legal affairs division in the Egyptian parliament.

Egypt confirmed nine new coronavirus cases and two fatalities, the health ministry said in a statement earlier on Saturday, bringing the totals to 294 confirmed infections and 10 deaths.