Egypt announces plan to privatize state companies 

Egypt announces plan to privatize state companies 

Egypt announces plan to privatize state companies

Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli has announced a string of planned privatisations of state-owned companies, as Cairo grapples with an economic crisis and inflation at almost 15 percent.

Following years of accusations of state companies crowding out private investments, the government announced a roadmap on May 15 to more than double the private sector’s share in the economy.

Madbouli laid out plans for 10 state-owned companies and two army-owned companies to be listed on the stock market later this year.

Two new holding companies, to incorporate “the seven largest ports” and “Egypt’s top hotels” will also be formed, percentages of which “will be listed on the stock exchange”, he told reporters.

By 2025, the government hopes to see “private sector contribution in investment grow to 65 percent,” up from 30 percent today.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi last month announced plans to “double its support to the private sector” in a programme aimed to attract $10 billion annually over the next four years.

The state’s grip on the Egypt’s economy has been criticised as creating unfair competition.

Since Sisi became president in 2014, the former army general has embarked on massive national infrastructure projects, where the key but opaque role the army has played in Egypt’s economy for decades took centre stage.    

Although no official figures are published about the army’s financial interests, the new push for privatisation of military-owned companies could seek to correct a skewed investment environment.