Egypt Watch

Egyptian Iron and Steel Co liquefied after 67 years

The extraordinary general assembly of Egyptian Iron and Steel Co, affiliated to Metallurgical Industries Co, which is one of the public business sectors, decided, on Monday, to separate the mining sector from the iron and steel factory in Helwan in preparation to liquefy the factory.

The board of the company decided, on November 29, 2020, the division of the company’s activities in preparation to liquefy the factory and called the general assembly to meet on January 11 to approve the decisions. The decisions came on the background of recurrent losses of the company over the past years, which reached approximately EGP 1 billion in last fiscal year so that it was indebted with EGP 6 billion with a 13 per cent rise in 2020, according to the Accountability State Authority.

The decision is shocking as Egyptian Iron and Steel Co has represented a popular symbol of national independent development since its establishment in 1954. The liquefaction represents, on the contrary, a state handover of development to the businessmen’s private interests. “At the last instance, the company liquefaction is destruction of a public asset in favour of private and foreign companies as what was happening in Mubarak’s era with firing thousands of workers,” said Ahmed el-Sayed al-Naggar, the well-known economic expert, while the labour leader Kamal Abbas described the event as “a black day.”