Egypt has contracts to sell $1.9 bln worth of state assets – PM

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CAIRO, July 11 (Reuters) – Egypt has signed contracts to sell stakes in state assets worth a total of $1.9 billion as part of a programme to boost the private sector and raise scarce hard currency, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Tuesday.

The contracts include a deal to sell minority stakes in three companies to Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund ADQ for $800 million, and a deal to raise $700 million by increasing the capital of a company that owns a group of hotels in Egypt, said Planning Minister Hala el-Said.

Egypt’s government is trying to accelerate a programme to offload state assets as it struggles with a persistent shortage of foreign currency.

The programme has faced delays in recent months, increasing pressure on the Egyptian pound, which has lost about half its value against the dollar since early last year.

The government is about one quarter through a list of 32 state companies that it announced last year it would sell stakes in, and is preparing stake sales in other companies for later, Madbouly told a press conference in Cairo attended by several senior ministers.

Egypt expects to increase its annual inflow of hard currency by $70 billion per year by 2026, reaching a yearly total of $191 billion, the prime minister said.

(This story has been corrected to fix the targets for hard currency to “by $70 billion a year” from “to $70 billion a year”, in paragraph 6)Reporting by Sarah el-Safty, Nayera Abdalla and Momen Saeed Attallah Writing by Aidan Lewis Editing by Mark Potter