Egypt puts cigarettes manufacturing tender on ice, Reuters

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) has postponed a tender for a license to set up Egypt’s second tobacco company, Reuters reported according to two unnamed industry sources

An auction for the licence, which would have ended a decades-old monopoly by the state-controlled Eastern Company, was due to be held on Tuesday.

Companies were informed about the decision one day before the deadline set for submitting the bids, sources added.

“What we understand … is that the postponement is for an indefinite period … Certainly, the conditions for the auction will be changed if it is held again,” one of the sources told Reuters.

Background: The IDA issued in March a tender for the license, which would have brought to an end Eastern Company’s monopoly on the tobacco industry. But a few days later tobacco players filed a complaint with the competition watchdog alleging that the license violated antitrust rules, before another complaint was handed to the Federation of Egyptian Industries demanding that the IDA scrap the tender and revise its terms.

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