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Egypt suspends sale of state-owned Telecom Egypt stake

Ooredoo telecoms tower Reuters
The agreement supports STC’s strategy to expand its international footprint in key markets with significant growth potential

Egypt has decided to suspend the sale of a stake in state-controlled Telecom Egypt because of market conditions, three sources close to the matter said.

Telecom Egypt said on March 7 that the government had started to consider a sale of an additional stake in the company. Sources had previously told Reuters the government was seeking to sell a 10 percent stake. The government currently owns 80 percent of Telecom Egypt.

Egypt’s government has announced ambitious plans to sell off stakes in public enterprises and boost public sector investment as it faces severe economic pressures and a shortage of foreign currency.

Earlier this month, Telecom Egypt shares fell sharply from a high of EGP27.8 following news of the planned sale. 

Government officials declined to comment and Telecom Egypt officials were not immediately available for comment.

Asset sales are a major pillar of a $3 billion support programme Egypt signed with the International Monetary Fund in December.

The government sold a 20 percent stake in Telecom Egypt in an initial public offering in November 2005.

Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly said last month that Egypt plans to sell stakes in at least 32 companies by the end of March 2024.

Among the planned sales are stakes in three prominent banks, Banque du Caire, United Bank of Egypt and Arab African International Bank. Insurance, electricity and energy companies will also be on the block as well as hotels and industrial and agricultural concerns.

The first stakes will be offered by the end of March and a quarter by end-June, Madbouly said after a cabinet meeting.