Egypt Watch

Banque du Caire: New state-owned asset to be abandoned to acquire cash

On Sunday, press reports revealed that Banque Saudi Fransi showed interest in acquiring Banque du Caire amid an expected valuation of about $3 billion. It still needs to be determined whether the acquisition will be partial or complete.

According to Economy Plus, there is a plan to offer Banque Du Caire shares on the Egyptian Stock Exchange. According to sources, the government plans to attract new investments worth $10 billion annually over four years by selling assets or shares in major companies. Last April, Banque Misr acquired Banque du Caire by 99.9% in a huge purchase deal worth EGP 6.97 billion. The average share price in the value was 6.2 pounds. The Al-Tijari Financial Brokerage facilitated the transaction.

Founded in 1952, Banque Du Caire is one of the oldest and largest Egyptian banks, with 248 branches and 1,640 ATMs spread all over the country. Last week, a government report issued by the Council of Ministers revealed that the government intends to implement three deals worth $8.2 billion to restructure its asset portfolio. According to Bloomberg, the Qatar Investment Authority deposited about $1 billion with the Central Bank of Egypt last month in preparation for executing an acquisition deal that may include the Egyptian government’s share in Vodafone Egypt.

Misr Aluminum may be included in those deals, primarily as the company seeks to finance expansions and increase its capital, with investments that may reach $500 million. By selling shares in government companies to foreign investors, the Egyptian government aims to bring direct investments as one of the solutions to pump hard currency into the local market. The first phase of the asset portfolio structuring plan included five deals worth more than $11.7 billion, two executed for more than $3.5 billion, and three remaining for about $8.2 billion.

Egypt signed an agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, according to which the latter would acquire shares in five major companies, and an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which would acquire stakes in five other major companies.