Egypt’s army-run companies should join IPO programme – Sisi

Companies run by Egypt’s Armed Forces must be allowed to sell shares on the local stock exchange alongside other state companies under the public offering programme, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Thursday.

In 2018, the government said it intended to sell minority stakes in 23 state-owned companies in an initial phase of privatisation, as a part of a plan to raise up to 80 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.97 billion).

The programme has been repeatedly delayed due to weak markets, legal hurdles, the readiness of each company’s financial documentation, and in the case of some companies a downturn in the business cycle, a government adviser on the share sales told Reuters this month.

The sale of minority stakes in two of the state companies are planned by year-end, officials have said.

“The offerings being prepared by the Egyptian state should include a chance (for) the armed forces companies. In this way we will have opened a door for the Egyptian people and society to these companies,” Sisi said at a ceremony to inaugurate two new army chemicals factories in Abu Rawash, west of Cairo.

He gave no details.

Sisi said last year that Egypt would offer shares on the stock market of a $1.1 billion cement plant owned by the military, but no steps have yet been disclosed.

The military has launched numerous projects across the country since Sisi came to power in an election in 2013.