Egypt Seeks Advisers for IPO Program Aimed at Boosting Revenue

(Bloomberg) -- Egyptian authorities are in talks with local and international investment banks to advise the government on selling stakes in state-run companies on the stock exchange, a senior official said.

The plan focuses on initial public offerings that would “broaden the ownership” of the companies among Egyptians, bolster local capital markets and help the government raise revenue, Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said. Egypt has already hired HSBC and EFG-Hermes to advise on the planned IPO of state-owned lender Banque du Caire, while officials have said the program would also include oil companies.

The stake sales are part of broader efforts to revive an economy battered by unrest since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Inflows have surged since Egypt’s central bank abandoned currency controls in November to secure a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan. Nasr said the government is also working on other measures, including an investment law to remove red tape.

“We’re re-branding Egypt, improving the business environment and making sure that more investments come” from the U.S. and other countries, Nasr said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in New York this week. “We’re moving very fast.”

Egypt expects to conclude talks on the final $1 billion tranche of a $3 billion loan from the World Bank within four months, she said.