Egypt's Privatization Plans May Finally Be for Real Foreign Investors Show Interest in State Firms

By Sarah Gauch, | The Christian Science Monitor, April 15, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Egypt's Privatization Plans May Finally Be for Real Foreign Investors Show Interest in State Firms


Sarah Gauch,, The Christian Science Monitor


FOR years, the Egyptian government has stalled on privatizing its bloated public sector, promising to sell off its state-owned industries while failing to follow through.

But after the recent release of a list of 120 public companies, store outlets, and hotels to be sold this year, accounting for 45 percent of the entire public sector portfolio, Egypt's business community figures the government is serious this time.

"The new government is convinced that privatization can solve the economic problems in Egypt," said Fouad Sultan, chairman of Al-Ahly for Development and Investment, referring to the new cabinet formed after the country's parliamentary elections last fall. The real proof that privatization is taking off, businesspeople and economists say, will come this month. Some shares of a flour mill have already been offered on Egypt's stock market. Before the end of April, the authorities are expected to announce the sale of shares in Al-Ahram Beverages, the only brewery in Egypt. The cabinet under Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri is pursuing economic reform more aggressively in general. Mr. al-Ganzouri's cabinet has reduced customs duties on capital goods, simplified investment regulations, and, most recently, issued several decrees to make exporting easier. The directive to sell public-sector entities has also come from the top, from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak himself. Businesspeople say the president finally realizes that privatization is necessary for the country's economic progress. "If local savings are not enough, you have to seek international investments," Ates Obeid, minister of public enterprises, said. In the near term, he estimated, the government could gain $4.18 billion if it sells the companies on this list. Privatization is also the perfect way for Egypt to convince international donors that it is serious about reform. After Cairo agreed on an economic reform program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, and international aid donors in May 1991, it made little headway in selling its public-sector companies, which account for 70 percent of the country's industry. Of Egypt's 314 public sector industries, three have been sold outright by the government since 1991.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Egypt's Privatization Plans May Finally Be for Real Foreign Investors Show Interest in State Firms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?