Egypt’s Eastern Co shares up to 5 percent at opening on Egypt stock exchange

Reuters , Ahram Online , Sunday 3 Mar 2019

Egypt’s top cigarette maker Eastern Company SAE shares were up 5 percent at opening on Egypt stock exchange after share offer to reach 17.50 Egyptian pounds($1.00) per share.

The company sold 95 percent of the shares on offer in the private sale and will sell the remainder at a public offer that begins on Sunday.

The Egyptian government had been planning to launch a programme of sales in state companies last October by selling 4.5 percent of Eastern Company.

The total amount of the IPO will not exceed 1.635 billion pounds.

Sunday’s trading comes nearly a week after the cigarette making monopoly said it will be offering 4.5 percent of the shares of Eastern Tobacco to the stock market, with 95 percent in a private offering, and 5 percent for public offering.

This comes under a 2018 state launched programme to sell stakes in state-owned companies under strengthening the Egyptian capital market and attracting more liquidity to the Egyptian stock exchange.

Under the programme, dozens state-owned companies will offer shares over the next three to five years in sectors such as oil, services, chemicals, shipping, marine services and real estate, to help support the state's public finances.

The programme will also see shares offered in Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company, Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemicals Industries Company, and Heliopolis Company For Housing and Development.

The last public offering of state-owned companies was in 2005 when shares of Telecom Egypt, AMOC and Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Company were sold.

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