Egypt’s Biggest IPO Since 2015 Soars in Highly Anticipated Debut
(Bloomberg) -- Egypt’s state-run e-payments company soared Wednesday in its trading debut after the biggest initial public offering on the local stock exchange since 2015.
E-Finance for Digital and Financial Investments jumped 40% to 19.51 Egyptian pounds at 10:02 a.m. in Cairo, providing fresh incentive for authorities to push ahead with a long-stalled government program to take more companies public.
The company raised more than $370 million in the public offering, which was 61.4 times oversubscribed. Egypt’s benchmark EGX 30 Index rallied for 10 days in anticipation of the IPO before dropping Tuesday.
E-Finance “looks to be Egypt’s ‘hottest’ issue so far,” Prime Securities analysts wrote in a note on Tuesday. The analysts also wrote last week that the stock “could be a liquidity booster, given its ability to attract some cash that was originally on the sidelines.”
The E-Finance IPO is key for Egypt, which saw a program to either float or sell additional stakes in more than 20 state enterprises grind to a halt amid tough conditions for emerging markets that were exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. The program largely stalled after the 2019 sale of an additional 4.5% stake in tobacco monopoly Eastern Co.
Officials have said that they plan to offer other companies before the end of this year, though they haven’t detailed which. A strong showing by E-Finance could provide a sorely needed boost to that effort. The IPO is the biggest since the 2015 listing of Emaar Misr for Development SAE, according to the Egyptian Exchange.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.