File Photo: A general view of the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt has postponed its planned government IPO programme in light of its procedures to contain the coronavirus threat and the drop in the stock market.
The government said last year it is aiming to raise EGP 8 billion for the state’s budget by offering shares in 23 public-owned companies on the EGX.
An official source told Ahram Online on the condition of anonymity that the government is working now on an alternative plan for the IPO, taking into consideration that stock markets across the world have seen major sell-offs due to the outbreak of the virus.
The source added that the plan may see the IPOs rescheduled.
The plan will be announced within two months, the source said.
The source also said that the rapporteur of the IPO committee in the cabinet, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait, has told the companies of the decision to suspend their IPOs to be ready for the anticipated plan.
For his part, Public Business Sector Minister Hesham Tawfik told Ahram Online that the IPO committee has not been convened for a long time, but in the light of the recent challenges, the postponement of the offerings is a necessity in response to the current threats.
He added that postponement is an irritating procedure in this phase with the decline of not only the Egyptian stock market, but also the drop in all stock markets across the globe.
On the other hand, managing director for financial affairs at Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development, Sahar El Damaty, told Ahram Online that she had been told about the IPO postponement, adding that it is a right decision at the right time.
Heliopolis Housing is to offer 10 percent of its stocks on the EGX.
It had already been temporarily excluded from the IPO programme because it is finalising a plan that aims at improving the company.
El Damaty also said that the company recorded sales of EGP 1.76 billion and an increase in revenues of 611 percent in the previous fiscal year,
She added that the company has around 5,000 acres of land which is untapped.
Banque du Caire, which was ramping up to offer between 20 percent and 30 percent in April, has announced that it has postponed its plans due to the deterioration in the markets.