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Egypt Considers Establishing Sovereign Wealth Fund to Manage State Companies

Egypt Considers Establishing Sovereign Wealth Fund to Manage State Companies

Tuesday, 6 March, 2018 - 14:45
The Egyptian government is looking to offer public shares of 10 companies on the bourse to attract foreign investors (Reuters)
Cairo- Asharq Al Awsat
Egypt is considering setting up of a sovereign wealth fund to manage state companies as it plans to list them on the stock exchange, Minister for Public Enterprise Khaled Badawi said on Monday.

“The idea of the fund is being discussed internally and is in its early stages,” Badawi told a conference in Dubai.

Egypt is looking to offer shares in eight to 10 state companies on the stock exchange over the next 18 months, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy told Reuters in January, as part of a drive to attract foreign investors.

Badawi told reporters that Egypt is looking to raise two billion to three billion dollars from the sale of stakes in state companies ahead of their formal listings. The timeline for such deals is more than a year, he added.

He said the plans are being reviewed by the cabinet and a law will need to be introduced first for such sales.

The moves come as investor interest in Egypt has improved in recent months after years of political turmoil, encouraged by the North African country’s economic reforms, a major gas find, streamlined business rules and a devalued currency.

At the level of private sector companies in Egypt, Egypt’s Emirates NBD Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the non-oil private sector fell to 49.7 in February, compared to 49.9 in January.

Emirates NBD research said in a report on Monday that this decline refers to the contractionary of the Egyptian non-oil private sector, given that the headline figure was near from neutral 50.0 level which delineates contraction and expansion.

The report added that the outlook remains fairly upbeat, especially with respect to recent annual averages.

“The headline PMI figure has been on a broad uptrend since the economic reforms implemented as part of an IMF package began in November 2016, and in November exceeded the 50.0 mark for the first time in two years,” the report said.

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