Egypt’s United Media Services to list shares on stock exchange, launch regional news channel

Eslam Omar , Saturday 29 May 2021

The UMS held a press conference on Saturday to publicise its 'achievements in the past five years and announce its future plans'; Hassan Abdallah, an Egyptian banking cognoscenti, was named the new managing director

United Media Services
UMS press conference

The United Media Services (UMS) group announced on Saturday it plans to list its shares on the Egyptian stock exchange (EGX).

The UMS made the announcement at a press conference on Saturday to publicise its “achievements in the past five years and announce its future plans.”
The group said it will list between 20 and 30 percent of its shares in the EGX to retain the majority.
The UMS also said it will launch a regional news channel in the coming period.
The channel is planned to be “a modern regional news channel based on the latest technical systems, presenting Egypt's regional and local vision through public debate, and even criticism and analysis,” the group said at the press conference. 
The channel will target Egyptians and Arabs, within the coverage range of the Egyptian satellite Nilesat, as well as Arabic speakers in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia via IPTV services, the group added.
The UMS has started the preparation work for the channel at the Media Production City.
During the press conference, Hassan Abdallah, an Egyptian banking cognoscenti, was named the new Managing Director of UMS.
Abdallah succeeds Tamer Morsi, who will remain on the board alongside Mohamed Samir, Mohamed El-Saadi, Ashraf Salman, and Amr Al-Fiqi, the group said.
United Media Services
Managing Director of the UMS Hassan Abdallah addressing the press conference's attendees on Saturday
The group added that among the major challenges it has faced since its launch in 2018 is putting the brakes on losses, increasing resources, reforming the Egyptian media system, and dealing with the content that is not in line with national interests.
The UMS discharged criticisms of monopolising the market, saying "this year we have cooperated with five production companies."
The firm "does not represent the state, but it is simply a company that cooperates with other companies," it added. 
The group stressed that it was able for the first time since 2017 to make profits for satellite channels in this year's Ramadan season. 
Losses and profits of UMS in Ramadan
Losses and profits of UMS' satellite channels during Ramadan season from 2017 till 2021
The largest media conglomerate in the Middle East and North Africa region, the UMS has over 30 subsidiaries, including media production, advertising, and communication agencies for both below the line and above the line communications.
Among its various media outlets are ON TV Network, El-Hayah TV Network, CBC TV Network, Extra News channel, Al-Youm7 newspaper, Sout El-Omma, Ain, DotMsr, and Egypt Today and Business Today magazines.
The PR agency POD, the media production firm Synergy, and the sports agency Presentation are also part of UMS.
United Media Services
The UMS' subsidiaries
On its future plans the group announced the launch of new competitions, including the Scenario Prize for TV Drama, which in its first round will be named after seasoned writer Saleh Morsy.
Other competitions in the works will disburse prizes for writing children's drama, named after veteran journalist Abla Fadela Tawfiq; printed novels that discuss Egyptian society, bearing the name of famous writer Wahid Hamed; and children's stories, named after author Neam El-Baz.
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