Wednesday, April 24, 2024
English English French Spanish Italian Korean Japanese Russian Hindi Chinese (Simplified)

In a move to further its reform agenda, Egypt successfully sold a 9.5% stake in the state-run Telecom Egypt on Sunday. The transaction, valued at 3.7 billion Egyptian pounds ($121 million), marks a significant step forward for the North African country’s ongoing efforts to improve its economy. The sale of 162.2 million shares was executed through the Egyptian Stock Exchange, with each share priced at 23.11 Egyptian pounds, as stated by the company in a bourse filing.

In addition to the sale to investors, the government plans to offer an additional 0.5% stake in Telecom Egypt to the company’s employees, according to a separate filing made by the company on the same day. This move aims to promote employee ownership and participation in the company’s success.

The Egyptian government had initially discussed the sale in March as part of its broader economic reform agenda, which includes divesting state assets to strengthen the economy. The government plans to partially sell shareholdings in 32 companies, either through initial public offerings or private placements. Among the state-linked enterprises targeted for divestment are a number of companies operated by the Egyptian military. While only Wattaneya and Safi have been named so far, others will also be included.

Egypt’s economy has faced significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine. The country’s currency has depreciated by over 50% following three rounds of devaluations since March of the previous year. Seeking to stabilize its economy, Egypt aims to secure financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). To qualify for an IMF loan program, the government has committed to reducing its role in the economy and limiting the presence of military-run companies.

Furthermore, Egypt has pledged to increase the private sector’s involvement in the economy from 30% to 65% by 2025. In January, an IMF report outlined that $8.6 billion in state assets would be sold by the end of this year.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly recently reaffirmed the government’s plan to list state companies, announcing that ten more military-run firms would be added to those to be listed through public offerings. However, progress in floating these companies on the stock exchange has been slow, despite the government’s repeated assurances that the program remains on track.

Gulf countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, have been the main investors in Egypt and have shown significant interest in purchasing state assets. They are expected to be the primary beneficiaries of the government’s stake sale efforts.

Over the past year, Egypt has witnessed a surge in mergers and acquisitions, with 66 deals completed, more than double the previous year’s number. Companies from the UAE and Saudi Arabia have acquired stakes in 40 of these transactions.

Most recently, the UAE’s National Paints acquired an 81% shareholding in Egypt’s state-owned Paint and Chemicals Industries. The deal involved the purchase of 19.358 million shares worth $25 million.

As Egypt moves forward with its economic reform agenda, the successful sale of the Telecom Egypt stake demonstrates progress in attracting investments and diversifying the country’s economic landscape. With the government’s commitment to reducing its role in the economy and encouraging private sector participation, the aim is to strengthen Egypt’s financial stability and promote sustainable growth in the long term.

Subscribe

* indicates required

The Enterprise is an online business news portal that offers extensive reportage of corporate, economic, financial, market, and technology news from around the world. Visit to explore daily national, international & business news, track market movements, and read succinct coverage of significant events. The Enterprise is also your reach vehicle to connect with, and read about senior business executives.

Address: 150th Ct NE, Redmond, WA 98052-4166

©2024 The Enterprise – All Right Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept