Egypt Claims Satisfaction with Privatization Program
Egypt’s minister for the public business sector, Mokhtar Khattab, said on Sunday that the privatization program adopted by his country was being carried out in a satisfactory manner.
He noted that the sum involved in the buying and leasing of companies and institutions included in the program had reached 418 million Egyptian pounds this year, reported the official Kuwaiti news agency, KUNA.
Khattab was quoted as telling reporters Friday that these companies had been causing annual losses to the state that exceeded 150 million pounds ($35.4 million).
He stressed that negotiations were being held with those investors to reach the best offers, especially to sell some of the state's hotels and cement companies.
He said the privatization program had achieved positive returns, with new investment opportunities available in the local market.
The minister added that the losses that were being witnessed in the Egyptian economy had been put to an end within the framework of the multinational ownership of several companies and factories.
Egypt started an economic reform program in 1990 with the aim of expanding private ownership, increasing economic activity through changing the government's patterns of administration, boosting the role of the private sector and attracting more foreign investment, said the agency.
It added that the Egyptian government had so far sold off 190 companies and factories for 16 billion and 170 million pounds, respectively.
Egypt recently devalued the pound, a move which was received with contradictory responses in the market.
The government and some economic observers have said, however, that the move is in the right direction.
The International Monetary Fund has been among those giving positive reviews of the devaluation, said the agency – Albawaba.com
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