Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer revealed plans to sell a stake in Banque du Caire, one of the country’s biggest state-owned lenders, toward the end of this year.
“The size is around 20 percent; might go up to 30 percent,” Amer said in an interview in Washington, where he attended the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings. The sale would be through the Egyptian Exchange, he said.
“It’s not about money,” Amer said. “We have a plan to support the stock exchange with new issues. There is a lot of demand.” He didn’t give a value of the expected sale.
Banque du Caire is fully owned by Banque Misr, Egypt’s second largest state-run lender.
According to Bloomberg, the push reflects efforts to revive private investments.
The government plans to raise 80 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) by selling stakes in 23 public companies within three years so as to increase public finances and draw more investors to the Cairo exchange, but had only acknowledged a handful of companies in the past as candidates.
In a statement publicizing the list, the country’s Finance Ministry said that the 23 companies ranging from real estate to banking and petroleum companies and the government will look to sell stakes ranging from 15 to 30 per cent in the next couple of years.
The market value of those companies is estimated at 430 billion Egyptian pounds, according to the 2019-2020 budget.