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Egypt announces deals to boost private sector

Egyptians walk past a poster depicting a U.S. dollar outside an exchange office in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023.   -  
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The Egyptian government announced on Tuesday it had signed a number of deals to sell off $1.9 billion dollars worth of stakes in state-owned companies.

Among the sales is the country's large state-owned communications company, Telecom Egypt.

“We announce today that we have been achieving contracts with the private sector - which will be announced by the minister of planning and in total are $1.9 billion American dollars. In total, as the minister will announce, as a country we will be receiving that from a few companies. From that number, we received $1.65 billion dollars, with the remainder of $250 million that we will get in Egyptian pounds. Or we've actually received them, or a part of them, from (selling, Ed.) the communications company (Telecom Egypt, Ed.) and some other companies that the minister will talk about", said Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly.

The move is part of a major privatization reform to sell stakes in at least 32 state-owned companies, from petrochemical firms to major banks, in a bid to downsize Egypt's public sector.

The plan was first unveiled in January and is part of a $3 billion bailout package that Egypt secured from the International Monetary Fund in December to help the cash-strapped North African economy weather recent shocks to the global economy, including the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

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