Egypt’s central bank plans United Bank stake sale within H1-2020: governor

Egypt’s Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer said on Wednesday he expects the deal to sell a stake in the United Bank to complete within the first half of 2020.

United Bank, owned by the central bank, was formed 15 years ago by the merger of three financially distressed commercial banks. The central bank has since appointed new management to reform the bank’s operations.

In March 2018, Egyptian government named 23 state-controlled companies in which it will sell mainly minority stakes on the local bourse. It said the plan would hopefully raise 80 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.92 billion).

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has not decided yet the amount of share to be sold, Amer further told Amwal Al Ghad.

“The CBE hopes to sell a stake to a strategic partner who would upgrade its operations in areas of financing micro, small, and medium-sized businesses,” Amer said.

Late November, the central bank selected EFG Hermes and New York-based Evercore as financial advisors to lead the planned sale of an equity stake of the United Bank to a strategic investor. The sale aims at turning the United Bank into a specialised lender for MSME projects.