Egypt Watch

Egyptian government to sell 10% stake in Telecom Egypt

On Monday, Reuters reported that the Egyptian government intends to sell 10% of its stake in Telecom Egypt. Telecom Egypt’s net profit amounted to nine billion and 187 million Egyptian pounds in 2022. 20% of Telecom Egypt is freely traded, while the state owns 80% of the company.

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly has said his government is continuing to follow up on regional and international investment reactions since announcing the offering of state-owned companies on the Egyptian stock market. Madbouly held a meeting with the Minister of Planning, Hala Al-Saeed, and the Executive Director of the Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Ayman Suleiman, within the framework of following up on the results of investment talks with Gulf countries, including Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and the Emirates.

Egypt seeks to bridge a funding gap estimated by the International Monetary Fund, about $ 17 billion. Al-Saeed said that the main objective of the talks is to present introductory presentations about the Egyptian economy and explain the available investment opportunities, stressing that she made clear during the negotiations her country’s keenness to provide more facilities and incentives that attract domestic and foreign investments.

Sources said the Egyptian government had come very close to selling Helwan Fertilizers. Managing Director of a securities trading company, Ahmed Abu Hussein, has said that Helwan Fertilizers is one of the government companies that achieve significant profits. Helwan Fertilizers achieved a net profit of $101.9 million in 2021.

The Egyptian government intends to sell at least 32 state-owned companies in 2023. Among the companies are Banque du Caire, The United Bank, and the Egyptian government’s share in the Arab African International Bank. Wataniya Petroleum and Safi Waters, owned by the Egyptian Armed Forces, are also for sale. Asharq Business has said the features of a comprehensive program to sell stakes in Egyptian state companies were beginning to unfold.

The news website identified companies expected to be listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange during the year, including Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals, Egyptian Drilling, Middle East Oil Refinery, Engineering For The Petroleum And Process, Alexandria Mineral Oils, Egyptian Ethylene and Derivatives, Assiut Oil Refining. The list included about 12 companies in the petroleum sector.

Local newspapers also quoted government sources saying Gulf investment funds are interested in buying shares in El-Nasr for Intermediate Chemicals. An Enterprise report revealed an unprecedented wave of Gulf acquisitions of major companies in Egypt in 2022. It said mergers and acquisitions deals in Egypt more than doubled in 2022, as the number of completed deals rose to 66, up from 31 in the previous year. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were involved in 40 deals in Egypt in 2022.

According to Enterprise, banking and financial services have attracted the most deals, followed by industry and energy. The influence of Gulf sovereign wealth funds has dramatically expanded in the Egyptian economy, in addition to depositing ten billion dollars in the Central Bank of Egypt, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Saudi Public Investment Fund pumped about $3.1 billion to acquire stakes in powerful companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange. The Qatar Investment Authority is considering spending $2.5 billion to buy Egyptian government-owned stakes in companies, including Vodafone Egypt. It also deposited one billion dollars with the Central Bank of Egypt as a temporary deposit.