Global investors are expected to intensify interest in Egypt as the government plans to resume its program to offer stakes in state-run firms by the end of next month.
Big lender, Banque du Caire’s IPO is expected to be second in a line-up of three companies on offer, Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik has said.
The resumption of privatisation in a key African peer is bound to increase pressure on Nigeria to expedite long awaited plans to push ahead with sale or concessioning of some publicly run agencies like airports in Lagos and Abuja, rail services as well as the Nigeria Gas company.
Officials launched the bold privatization program three years ago to either list anew or sell additional stakes in state companies, but moved ahead with only one before the initiative stalled amid a market downturn.
The effort was part of a broader plan to revive the economy and authorities had hoped to raise around 100 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.4 billion) from the sale of stakes in more than 20 companies.
Tawfik, speaking in an interview Tuesday, declined to identify which companies would be offered in the coming period, but said that the committee in charge of the program pushed for the sale of Banque du Caire.
Central bank Governor Tarek Amer has said Egypt could sell a stake of up to30% in the bank, one of the country’s largest.
Another state-run firm, Heliopolis Housing, has set a deadline later this month for bidders for a company to oversee management of the property firm in exchange for a 10% stake, while another 12% stake is to be offered on the stock market.
The only sale to take place under the program so far has been an additional 4.5% stake in Eastern Tobacco, the country’s monopoly cigarette maker. That deal was completed last March.