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External articles (11)

The government has relaunched a privatization program

After a 15-year hiatus, the government has relaunched a privatization program by floating a minority stake in Eastern Tobacco, a monopoly cigarette maker, on the stock exchange. The state asset sale program was agreed with the International Monetary Fund as part of a $12bn three-year Extended Fund Facility. Public Enterprise Minister Hisham Tawfik says “the government intends to float additional stakes in listed public enterprise companies, including Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company, Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemicals Industries Company, and Heliopolis Company For Housing and Development. An adjusted list of companies active in the industrial, mining as well as energy and petroleum sectors are to be offered in an initial public offering later on in the year.” [bne IntelliNews, 4 March 2019]

Source: peopleoverprof.it

Privatization has always been on the state’s agenda

President Sisi says privatization has always been on the state’s agenda. “The state has long thought of the privatization of public sector companies at some point in time, and this is very good, and there was an idea that there would be a form of balance between the public and private sector.” The privatization drive may be spurred on by a draft law drawn up by the minister of public enterprise, Hisham Tawfik, allowing the private sector for the first time to own shares in public sector holding companies. [Business News Europe/bneIntellinews, 8 August 2018].

Source: peopleoverprof.it

The government has announced its intention to privatize 23 state companies through a share offering

The government has announced its intention to privatize 23 state companies through a share offering. “They included Banque Du Caire, one of the country’s largest banks, major oil companies Middle East Oil Refining (MIDOR) and Engineering for Petroleum and Process Industries (ENPPI), as well as Misr Insurance Company. The government had said that it intended to sell shares in dozens of state companies to boost public finances and draw more investors to the Cairo exchange, but had previously only identified a handful of companies as candidates.”

Source: U.S.

Whether privatization in Egypt provides economic stimulus or is just a form of crony enrichment?

Knowledge Resources researcher Mukai Jaison asks whether privatization in Egypt provides economic stimulus or is just a form of crony enrichment. “Privatization can lead to natural monopoly, in which a company or a few companies dominate. Regulating such companies and ensuring that the public interest and not making profit is the objective can be difficult in a liberal economy. The government by selling its companies forfeits any future revenue from said company in the long term, since any profits generated go to shareholders. In this context, the government of Egypt should ensure that privatization is accompanied by policies that enable smaller firms to compete in the market and thus create employment.”

Source: www.humancapitalreview.org

A new investment law intended to promote public land privatization runs into difficulties

A new investment law intended to promote public land privatization runs into difficulties. “The new investment law states that each ministry will appoint a representative at the investor services centre to authorize the privatization of state-owned land. However, the law does not resolve a long-standing issue: various state bodies often claim the right to the same piece of land. As a result, investments would risk being caught up in disputes between various ministries and authorities.” In addition, tax incentives included in the new law could hurt state revenues. [Economist Intelligence Unit, 15 May 2017]

Source: peopleoverprof.it

Social pressures mounting in Egypt as a result of neoliberal policies

Youssef El-Gingihy, the author of How to Dismantle the NHS in 10 Easy Steps, sees social pressures mounting in Egypt as a result of neoliberal policies. “The [2015] Sharm el-Sheikh conference was itself emblematic of the unbroken continuity of neoliberalism in post-2011 Egypt. International Monetary Fund (IMF) bail-outs have, as per usual, come with strings attached. A massive program of privatization is in progress, attractive to international investors with tax cuts and deregulation proceeding apace. The conference saw heavy representation from Western and Gulf allies anxious to prevent further disruption to their interests. It was produced by global PR and consultancy firms. Tony Blair—who has advised President Sisi—was a keynote speaker while Lazard—the financial consultancy—is advising Sisi on economic policy.”

Source: The Independent

Investment Ministry prepares feasibility studies for offering 75 Takamul hospitals to private sector

The Ministry of Investment is preparing feasibility studies for the privatization of 75 integrative Takamul hospitals across 16 governorates. “There are a total of 377 hospitals countrywide that are in need of restructuring, but only 75 are ready for the process.” But Rashwan Shaaban, the assistant secretary of the Doctors Syndicate, “said that the syndicate rejected measures of privatization because it will increase the price of health services provided to citizens. The syndicate instead called on the state to develop these hospitals. According to sources, civil society partners in this initiative include Misr El Kheir, Baheya, Dar Al Orman charity, and Egyptian Cure Bank.”

Source: Daily News Egypt

The privatization process “has been handled poorly”

The privatization process “has been handled poorly in the past few years and was plagued with corruption charges,” says ECES chairman Omar Mohanna. “The outcome is that today people believe that privatization implies that companies and assets are sold in backroom deals at very low prices.”

Source: en.wataninet.com

Gulf firms invest in Egypt's health sector as privatization looms

The Egyptian Doctors Syndicate expresses concern that Gulf-based companies are investing in the health sector as privatization of public health services looms. Mohamed Hassan, head of the Committee for Defending People’s Rights to Health, “said the deal is part of a government plan to privatize the public health sector in Egypt, which is in turn part of an agreement signed with the World Bank and USAID for the promotion of the private sector. ‘To stop privatization, we need public pressure, and if that does not happen, then the country will face a crisis,’ he said.”

Source: Egypt Independent

Saving Egypt's public sector

Ahmed El-Sayed Al-Naggar, chair of the board of Al-Ahram, defends Egypt’s public sector, writing that “the Egyptian public sector has historically played an important role in the economy and society. It should be reformed, rather than being sold off to the private sector.”

Source: english.ahram.org.eg