Investment Ministry seeks strategic investors

26 May 2006

The Investment Ministry is pressing ahead with the privatisation of government assets, with the sale of shares in state-owned Bank of Alexandria (BoA) and Middle East Oil Refinery (Midor) to strategic investors to be concluded by the end of the year. Due to the fall in the local stock market in recent month, initial public offerings (IPOs) in BoA and Midor will now be launched at a later stage.

'The finalisation of the Bank of Alexandria deal [is planned for] the fourth quarter this year,' Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin told MEED on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh on 21 May. 'On Midor, the Petroleum Ministry has already given the mandate to Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. They will sign the contract some time this month. We hope to have the sale concluded before the end of the calendar year. What is common between those two big transactions is that there is a mix between a strategic investor approach and an IPO.'

The government plans to sell a 75-80 per cent stake in BoA to a strategic investor. A further 15-20 per cent will be sold through an IPO following the strategic sale, while the remaining 5 per cent will be offered to the bank's employees (MEED 7:4:06).

The Midor transaction is expected to involve the sale of a 51 per cent stake to a strategic investor, which will be followed by an IPO. The Petroleum Ministry has not yet decided whether it will retain a minority stake (MEED 17:3:06).

Other transactions planned by the Investment Ministry include the sale of a plot of land near Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean coast, Mohieldin said. The land will be used for the development of real estate, tourism and educational facilities.

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