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Egypt seeks private sector participation in state-owned assets

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the government to set a program for the private sector’s participation in state-owned assets, with a target of $10 billion annually for four years, state TV quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

The broadcaster did not mention any other details about the method of participation. The Egyptian president also ordered the government to list army-owned enterprises on the Egyptian stock exchange before year end, and to start selling stakes in some state-owned companies in the stock market, state TV reported.

The military owns dozens of companies in a variety of consumer, industrial and services sectors. In 2019, Sisi said the military must be allowed to sell shares on the stock exchange alongside other state companies slated for privatisation.

The government for years has been talking about selling state companies not owned by the military, and in 2018 it announced it would offer minority stakes in 23 in a plan to raise up to 80 billion Egyptian pounds ($4.33 billion).

The programme has been repeatedly delayed due to weak markets, legal hurdles and the readiness of each company’s financial documentation, according to government officials.