The Egyptian government has sold a 9.5 percent stake in state-controlled Telecom Egypt for 3.75 billion Egyptian pounds ($121.6 million), in a move that revives a privatization program that appeared to be facing roadblocks.
Egypt needs privatization revenues to meet a series of external debt obligations over the next few months.
It is the second sale of state-owned assets since Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly promised on April 29 to go ahead with the privatization program and sell $2 billion worth of assets by the end of June.
Under a $3 billion, 46-month financial support package struck in December, Egypt promised the IMF to reduce state involvement in economic projects and allow private companies a greater role in them.
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The EGX website reported on Sunday that the sale of 162.2 mn shares of Telecom Egypt on the EGX secondary market was carried out for a total value of 3.75 billion Egyptian pounds.
Egypt’s finance ministry said the shares were sold at 23.11 pounds per share in an offering that was covered 3.11 times. A 0.5 percent stake is now being offered to Telecom Egypt employees until May 25.
The two-phase sale will reduce the government’s stake in Telecom Egypt to 70 percent from 80 percent previously, with the remaining 20 percent listed on the EGX.
Capital market sources said two local investment banks, CI Capital and NCB Pharos, were managing the sale.
In its statement, the ministry did not say which part of the shares were sold to local buyers and which were sold to non-Egyptians. Egypt is seeking to increase its foreign exchange by selling its assets.
Al Mal reported on Thursday that New York-based Moon Capital was among the bidders.
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