Explainer: Why does Egypt need IFC's assistance for its IPO programme?

Muhammed Khalid , Monday 19 Jun 2023

The Egyptian government signed on Sunday an agreement with the International Financial Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank, to provide advisory services for its initial public offerings (IPOs) programme for state-owned companies.

President El-Sisi, IFC Managing Director Makhtar Diop, Rania El-Mashat.
President El-Sisi, IFC Managing Director Makhtar Diop, Rania El-Mashat. Cabinet.


As Egypt faces challenges in privatizing 32 state-owned companies, what does the IFC have to offer? And why did the country seek out the international body for assistance? 

Here are the answers to those questions:

  • As per the recently-signed Transaction Advisory Services Agreement (TASA), the IFC will provide the Egyptian government with technical assistance and advisory support to develop a strategy and implementation plan, help structure and prepare assets for sale - including improving corporate governance - and ultimately implement selected approved transactions.
  • Supported by the capabilities and resources of the World Bank, the IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.
  • Egypt's privatization programme is based on increasing the share of the private sector in the economy to 65 percent, up from the current 30 percent, according to the State Ownership Document.
  • The North African country is currently under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) review for the second tranche of a $3 billion loan. Talks with the fund have slowed, as IMF officials demand more acceleration of the privatization programme.
  • The IFC is experienced in stimulating privatization plans in developing countries. Notable achievements were realized in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Peru, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Kenya and Zimbabwe, according to its website.
  • The IFC has provided over 400 advisory operations to developing countries and implemented 64 agreements to enable the private sector.
  • The IFC's approach is distinguished by its accommodation of countries' political concerns in the privatization transactions it advises.
  • The IFC also plays a role in supporting investments after the implementation of the privatization plans. In fiscal year 2022, IFC committed $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries.
  • Egypt could really use that, as the country is in dire need of foreign liquidity (up to $90 billion, according to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi).
  • The IFC, since its inception, has invested a total of $7 billion in Egypt, and $3.2 billion since 2018.
  • In March 2023, the World Bank launched its Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Egypt under which $7 billion in financing will be provided.
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