Egypt sells $121.6 mln stake in state-controlled Telecom Egypt


Cairo (Reuters) – Egypt’s government sold a 9.5% stake in state-controlled Telecom Egypt (ETEL.CA) for 3.75 billion Egyptian pounds ($121.6 million), the finance ministry said in a statement on Sunday, breathing life into a privatisation programme that had seemingly stalled.

Egypt desperately needs privatisation proceeds to meet a series of foreign debt obligations over the coming few months.

Telecom Egypt’s is the second sale of state assets since Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly promised on April 29 to press ahead with the sales programme and sell assets worth $2 billion by the end of June.

Under a $3 billion, 46-month financial support package signed in December, Egypt promised the International Monetary Fund it would roll back the state’s involvement in the economy and allow private companies a much greater role.

The stock exchange said on Sunday the sale of 162.2 million shares of Telecom Egypt had been executed for a total 3.75 billion pounds.

The finance ministry said the shares were sold at 23.11 pounds each in a subscription that was 3.11 times oversubscribed. Another 0.5% of the shares are now being offered to Telecom Egypt employees until May 25.

The two-part sale will reduce the government’s stake in Telecom Egypt to 70% from the previous 80%, with the other 20% floating on the Egyptian Exchange. Two local investment banks, CI Capital and Ahly Pharos, were managing the sale, according to market sources.

The ministry statement did not say what portion of the shares were sold to local buyers as opposed to non-Egyptians. Egypt has been looking to raise foreign currency through its asset sales.

Al Mal newspaper said on Thursday that Moon Capital, based in New York, was among the bidders.

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