Citi bank to assist Egyptian gov’t with IPO programme

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CEO of Citi bank in the Middle East and Africa, Atiq Rehman has revealed the bank’s intention to help the government with its planned initial public offering (IPO)programme.

The government is launching an IPO programme that will offer minority stakes in dozens of state-owned companies over the next three to five years, in areas such as petroleum, services, chemicals, shipping, maritime, and real estate to help boost state finances.

The first five state companies to be offered are: Alexandria Mineral Oils Company, Eastern Tobacco, Alexandria Container, Cargo Handling, Abu Qir Fertilisers, and Heliopolis Housing.

According to Rehman, Egypt has a long list of opportunities during the upcoming period.

“We have seen a substantial change and that gives a lot of credit to the Egyptian government. I feel optimistic about Egypt’s economy. The phase of reform was done in a very good manner, and now it is the phase of stabilisation and incoming inflows”.

He confirmed a positive view of investors and multinationals businesses towards the Egyptian economy, “we have a lot of work during the next period with the government,” Rehman added.

Citi bank controls around 70% of the portfolio of bonds issuance in Egypt during last years. “We have to use our global connectivity and relations with big institutions to promote Egypt’s bond issuance during the upcoming period, and I can assure a good appetite from the international players” he explained.

Rehman added that Citi bank has a real plan to expand its activities during the upcoming period, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. “After the financial crisis, Citi didn’t exit any country, and now it is time to multiply our activities. Saudi Arabia is one of the important markets for the bank in the coming period, the United Arab Emirates as well, and our clients are focusing on this market.”

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