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Egypt’s central bank to float the United Bank of Egypt

The United Bank was formed out of the merger of three failing banks which the central bank acquired in 2006

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Egypt’s central bank plans to float the United Bank of Egypt, in which it holds a 99 percent stake, in an initial public offering, Governor Tarek Amer said on a talk show on Sunday.

The United Bank was formed out of the merger of three failing banks which the central bank acquired in 2006.

“We are in the process of getting rid of it. We are not supposed to own the United Bank, we just bought it for a specific purpose, to fix it. Now that the reform process has started we will float it,” Amer said.

The last time state-owned companies were listed on the Cairo exchange was in 2005 when shares of Telecom Egypt, the state’s landline monopoly, and oil companies Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals and AMOC were floated.

The state owns vast swathes of the economy, including three of its largest banks - National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr and Banque Du Caire - along with much of its oil industry and real estate.