Banque du Caire shelves privatization plans due to COVID-19

EGYPTBanque du Caire Tarek, one of Egypt’s largest commercial banks, has once again shelved plans to list its shares on the Egyptian Stock Exchange due to the economic challenges caused by the corona virus pandemic.

Speaking to Reuters, Chairman of Banque du Caire Tarek Fayed revealed that the bank had started the procedures of the offering process but it suspended those plans due to global conditions.

He added that that things have not been clear and global markets were still unstable, and continued to be troubled by corona virus.

Fayed was however hopeful that the offering will be considered again.

The offering of a stake of Banque du Caire in the bourse will be the largest sale of state assets in Egypt since 2006.

The bank’s planned privatization is part of a revived program to sell shares in a long list of national companies, which was announced three years ago but has faced repeated delays.

In April, the Bank’s Chairman announced postponing his bank’s plan to float a stake of its shares on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

Fayed added in a statement to a local media that this decision came due to the repercussions of the emergence of coronavirus globally and locally, and its impact on stock exchanges all over the world.

Banque du Caire was planned to offer 20 to 30 percent of the bank’s shares on the stock exchange, in April, as part of the government offer program.

Banque du Caire is one of the largest public banks in Egypt and is wholly owned by Banque Misr, Egypt’s second largest bank.

Earlier in February, Chairman of Banque Misr Mohamed Eletreby said that his bank seeks to offer a stake of up to 45 percent of Banque du Caire unit on the Egyptian Stock Exchange during the first half of 2020.

According to Eletreby, Banque Misr was also open to sell part of the stake to a foreign investor during the initial public offering (IPO).

In 2016, Egypt announced the launch of the government’s IPO program offering shares over three to five years in several state-owned companies in fields such as petroleum, services, chemicals and real estate.

As part of the economic reform program, the government targets offering 15-30 percent of stakes in state-owned companies on the stock exchange (EGX).

This move is aimed at increasing funding to Egyptian companies, maximizing the benefit from state assets, and attracting local and foreign capital flows to Egypt.

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