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Egypt plans to divest stake in 250 state firms

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The Egyptian government intends to divest its stakes in 250 companies under its privatisation programme, according to assistant prime minister Osama El Gohary.

“The committee supervising the privatisation programme has identified 800 companies with government stakes,” Ahram Online newspaper reported, citing the official’s comment during a meeting with a delegation from the US treasury department in Cairo.

The government has decided that 250 of the 800 companies can be offered now, El Gohary said, adding the committee will decide on the timings for the rest.

In February the government announced a privatisation programme to sell stakes in 32 state-owned companies to garner $2.5 billion by the end of the current fiscal year on June 31, 2023.

The programme is part of the commitments to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the 46-month loan package.

The government has only sold stakes in Paint and Chemicals Industries (Pachin) and Telecom Egypt, despite the latter not being included in the initial 32-company list. 

Egypt is awaiting a review from the IMF to receive the second loan tranche of $347 million, which was scheduled in March, but postponed to June.

In May Egypt’s annual urban consumer inflation rate jumped to 32.7 percent from 30.6 percent in April, data from the country’s statistics agency Capmas showed.

Month-on-month, urban inflation increased to 2.7 percent from 1.7 percent in April.

Inflation has grown sharply over the last year after a string of currency devaluations since March 2022, a protracted shortage of foreign currency and persisting delays in getting imports into the country.

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