Egypt s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly speaks in a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, 1 February 2023. Cabinet
The full plan for state stake sales will be announced following the next Cabinet meeting, Madbouly said. The Cabinet usually holds its weekly meetings on Wednesdays.
The 20 or more state companies, whose names will be announced soon, will be offered for the first time, he said, noting that the companies will be listed on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) and also for strategic investors.
The companies will be offered on bourse to expand the participation of citizens in the ownership of these public institutions, he said.
Furthermore, Madbouly stated that offering the companies to strategic investors “aims to restructure these companies, ensure expansion in new production lines – therefore increasing the capital of the existing companies – and add new job opportunities.”
He said that the percentage of the companies’ shares planned to be offered will be specific and should be determined based on the nature of the company’s business and activities.
The premier stressed that floating the companies is one of the strategic goals under the recently-announced State Ownership Policy Document.
The document, approved by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in December, charts a roadmap to determine the state's presence in economic activities and enhance the private sector's participation in public investments.
The ownership document states that Egypt seeks to raise the role of the private sector in the country’s economic activities from 30 percent at present to 65 percent within three years.
Boosting the role of the private sector in growth in parallel with reducing the size of the state’s footprint in the economy was one of the country's commitments and targets under the $3 billion 46-month loan approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Egypt offered the first state-owned company, tobacco monopoly Eastern Company, on the EGX under the IPO (Initial Public Offering) programme in March 2019.
The national plan to float state companies dates back to 2018, when Egypt announced the names of 23 state companies whose stakes will be offered, including Banque Du Caire and Middle East Oil Refining (MIDOR). However, the plan had been delayed due to the consequent global crises.
Meanwhile, the plan has regained urgency amid the economic impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which has placed pressure on the Egyptian economy and local currency.
During the press conference, Madbouly announced granting nine “golden licences” to investors for establishing priority projects for the state. He also approved another four licences.
The “golden licence,” announced by El-Sisi in October, grants investors approval to buy/rent lands and operate and manage projects without the need to gain approval from multiple government bodies.
“The Egyptian state is very keen to support the private sector at such a critical time,” the premier stated.
He added that the Cabinet is coordinating on a daily basis with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to ensure the release of all goods from ports, noting that the situation at the ports has become stable and that the release of goods at ports is currently proceeding at a normal pace.
Late in January, the premier announced that the crisis of accumulated goods at ports has come to an end as the country had been working since December to release $9.5 billion worth of goods amid a shortage in foreign currency.