Egypt expects IPOs of five state firms to raise up to $1.4 bln

Egypt is seeking to start floating shares in five state-owned companies soon to raise up to 25 billion Egyptian pounds ($1.4 billion), Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said at a conference on Tuesday.

Egypt in March announced the names of 23 state companies that will sell stakes from this year under its plan to raise 80 billion pounds through minority share offerings on the Cairo bourse.

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 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.

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.

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.