New Investment Minister Exits From Investments And Posts

Ashraf Salman, Minister of Investment in the newly-formed Mehleb government, said he has begun disengaging from his current investments he currently, and has resigned from his advisory and executive positions.

In remarks to Daily News Egypt on Tuesday following the new government’s meeting, Ashraf said that before taking the oath he submitted his resignation Monday to the 18 private sector positions he holds. These range from board memberships, chairmanships, to the investment committees he heads, and comes in accordance with the law prohibiting conflicts of interest.

Salman, who served as CEO of Cairo Financial Holdings (CFH) and who owns a 4.8% management share in the company, offered his stake for sale to current shareholders. A number of buyers expressed interest, and he will receive their reply within three or four days, he said.

“I had to sell this share out of an obligation to prohibit conflicts of interest, even though selling these shares represents a huge loss, especially as the company is in the process of merging with Al-Ahly for Development and Investment,” said Salman.

He added that the law allows government officials two months to act on their assets and resign from their positions, but instead he took action immediately. He will be liquidating his investment portfolio worth EGP 100,000, adding that “the sell orders were already issued.”

Salman said he preferred not to take up his role, take the oath, or attend the government’s meeting with the president until confirmation of his resignations and implementation of sell orders were received.

He added that the move to shift business sector companies under the Ministry of Investment to a sovereign fund, proposed before the formation of the new government, has been postponed.

With this sector still falling under his ministry, Salman said that he plans to create a climate attractive to foreign and Arab investments.

Salman said: “We are going to study every holding company and look at what we can do to reform them and solve their problems.”

He added that the conflict of interest law, which former president Adly Mansour issued last November, stipulates  the formation of a committee called “The Committee to Prevent Corruption”. It is entrusted to apply the provisions of the law, which apply universally.

The law requires officials to submit financial disclosure within a month of their appointment to the Committee and to update it annually. It also prohibits officials from holding public office while retaining membership on the boards of companies or commercial projects, and compels them to resign immediately after being appointed.

The law also requires them to divest from ownership in shares or stakes of companies or projects, end their management of them, and to sell their shares within two months. They are required to sell off their stakes during this period whether they are directly or indirectly responsible for the property.

Source: Daily News Egypt