Timing of gov’t offering depends on stock’s price: Minister

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Tue, 04 Dec 2018 - 04:45 GMT

FILE – Hesham Tawfik

FILE – Hesham Tawfik

CAIRO – 4 December 2018: Minister of Public Affairs HeshamTawfik affirmed the government’s commitment to its IPO program, adding that the timing of the offering will depend on the right price point for the stock that should come in line with the agreed upon pricing mechanism.

As per pricing mechanism, it is determined based on the average stock price for the month preceding the agreement with the investment bank (+/- 10 percent).

This came during Tawfik’s participation with Minister of Finance Mohamed Ma’it at Beltone Access event seriesto shed light on recent macro developments within Egypt’s economic reform program and elaborate on recent policies.

Tawfik also confirmed that there will be a fair representation for the private sector in the management of the companies enrolled in the program, according to its new shareholder structure, noting that the program is a part of a wider plan to restructure SOEs and improve their profitability.

The first phase of the government’s IPO program includes additional stake sales of five State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The first phase will start with offering 4.5 percent of Eastern Company.

He added that the second phase of the IPO program is expected to be announced before the end of the year.

The IPO program targets to offer 15-30 percent of stakes of some state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX) to increase the funding to Egyptian companies and maximize the benefit from state assets. It will also serve as a main tool to attract local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

Theministry’s plan to reverse Loss-Making Companies

The ministerof public affairs referred to theministry’s ambitious plan to reverse loss-making companies to profit-making.

He stated that the ministry’s portfolio includes 73 companies registering profits of LE 15 billion, and 48 companies with losses of LE 7.45billion during fiscal year2016/2017.

“The plan also includes lifting productivity of profit-making companies to realize their full potential, namely those in insurance and maritime transport,” he said, adding that these sectors were chosen to increase the country’s competitiveness and help attract investments.

During his speech, Tawfikalso highlighted the plan to utilize the SOEs’ unutilized assets, whose debt settlement plan will continue to be financed.

The debt reached LE 35 billion, LE 23 billionof which are settled with the oil and electricity sectors and the National Investment Bank, according to the minister
Tawfik added that the plan also includes upgrading and improving the operational performance and productivity of these companies. “These assets, mostly lands, will be part of the sovereign wealth fund as well.”

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