Egypt sells 9.5 pct of state-owned telecom firm amid privatization efforts

Egypt’s Finance Ministry announced on Sunday the selling of a 9.5-percent stake in state-owned Telecom Egypt at the country’s stock exchange market.

The ministry said in a statement that it sold 162,171,802 shares of Telecom Egypt, representing 9.5 percent of the company’s capital, at about 3.75 billion Egyptian pounds (about 121 million U.S. dollars).

The sale comes amid Egypt’s privatization efforts urged by foreign lenders, particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF approved in December a loan to Egypt of about 3 billion U.S. dollars over 46 months to support the country’s economic reform program, hoping it would pave the way for “sustainable, inclusive and private-sector-led growth.”

The IMF asked the Egyptian government to make a permanent shift to “a flexible exchange rate regime” and reduce “the state footprint” in the economy as part of the reforms. ■

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