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Egypt to weigh up further state company sales, says finance minister

Published: Updated:

Egypt’s finance minister said on Wednesday the government will weigh up in January how to proceed with further state company sales, with five share offerings planned to take place by the end of this year.

Egypt hopes the privatization drive will spur investment and private-sector growth, which has been moribund since an uprising in 2011 that has rocked the economy.

“The five companies we decided to work on, we decided to see how it would go,” the minister, Mohamed Maait, said at a business event, adding that Egypt would then see whether it could work with strategic investors for further sales.

Maait also said the country’s economy was so far coping with the consequences of emerging market turbulence.

“Until now our economy is able to deal with the consequences of this negative effect,” Maait said.

Emerging markets generally have been shaken by an escalating trade war between the United States and China, as well as interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve which are attracting funds back to the United States.

The impact of the crisis in emerging markets has rattled Egypt’s stock market, which plunged 3.6 percent on Wednesday, its lowest close this year, as liquidity tightened.