resuscitating stock

Egypt gears up for resumption of government IPOs

By Sherif Tarek

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Posted on April 14, 2021 15:38

Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo
Traders work at the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo, Egypt September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egypt needs to make its private sector more attractive to investors if its long-awaited programme of initial public offerings (IPOs) is to succeed.

The anticipated resumption of IPOs by Egyptian state companies has started to take shape after multiple delays over the past years, even with uncertainties over how such listings will fare amid unfavourable conditions still looming.

The ambitious government IPO programme kicked off two years ago following a $12bn funding agreement with the IMF, signed in 2016. Proceeding with the IPO programme was reiterated by the stand-by agreement Egypt signed with the IMF in 2020, as a step to “deepen structural reforms” as penned by the Fund.

Although Egypt has met requirements to receive the multi-tranche IMF loans, such as the 2016 devaluation of the Egyptian pound and gradual removal of subsidies, the country is yet to fully embark on the IPO programme that aims to float over 20 stakes of state firms from various sectors on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

In July 2017, the government declared oil

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