Egypt mulls selling shares in two state-owned lenders

20 January 2016

The Central Bank is also considering selling a stake in one of its ventures to a strategic investor

Egypt is mulling plans to sell shares in two of the state-owned lenders to public in initial public offerings (IPOs), according to Egypt’s Central Bank governor Tarek Amer.

“We are studying taking a couple of banks to the stock market for capital increases, diluting around 20 per cent,” he said in an interview with the news agency Reuters.

Cairo, however, doesn’t want to sell shares in banking giants National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr. The central bank may, separately, offer a stake in one of its ventures to a strategic investor, he said without elaborating.

The Egyptian government owns large chunks of the country’s economy, including three of its largest banks - National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque Du Caire - along with much of the oil industry and vast swathes of real estate. The Central Bank of Egypt owns 99 per cent of United Bank of Egypt and about 50 per cent of the Arab African International Bank, according to Reuters.

The Presidency has earlier said that Egypt plans to list shares in state-owned banks and companies on the stock market, a move aimed at boosting economic growth and attracting investments.

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