Egypt to offer shares of AAIB and Banque du Caire on bourse

Egypt will offer a 40 percent stake in Arab African International Bank (AAIB) and 20 percent of Banque du Caire on the Egyptian stock market at the end of the year, central bank governor Tarek Amer said.

Amer said in January the central bank was considering initial public offerings in two state banks but did not name them at the time.

"We want to strengthen the bourse to make Egypt attractive," Amer said in television interview on Saturday.

The government will offer 20 percent of Banque du Caire by increasing its capital through an initial public offering, Amer said.

He said that 40 percent of AAIB would be offered in the same way, with half to be sold by the government and half by the bank's Kuwaiti investors.

The government owns three of Egypt's largest banks — National Bank of Egypt, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire. It has a 50 percent stake in AAIB which it jointly owns with Kuwaiti investors.

The economy has struggled since a popular uprising in 2011 drove foreign investors and tourists away. Political instability since has hit growth in the Arab world's most populous country and more than halved its foreign currency reserves.

The presidency aims to list shares in state-owned banks and companies in order to boost investment and economic growth.

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

Amer said that the United Bank of Egypt, which is 99 percent owned by the central bank, would also be sold to a strategic investor this year.

Egypt last privatised a bank in 2006 when it sold 80 percent of Bank of Alexandria to Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo for US$1.6 billion.

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