Egypt announces partial privatization for power distribution firms

Published March 19th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Egypt's minister of electricity Ali al-Saidi announced Sunday that one or two electrical power distribution companies will be privatized later this year. 

 

Saidi, quoted by the state-run MENA news agency, said a restructuring plan for Egypt-Electricity was set up in which 12 new companies would be formed, five for electricity production and seven for distribution.  

 

"During the second half of 2001, 10 to 20 percent of the shares of one or two distribution companies will be sold" on the stock market, Saidi said. 

 

The assets of the Egypt-Electricity are estimated at 60 billion pounds ($15.6 billion), the minister said.  

 

The private sector is already allowed to invest in building new electrical power plants. In 1998, the parliament adopted a law changing Egypt Electricity's status as a public holding company into one that could raise private capital, though the state remained the majority stake holder. 

 

The cabinet is responsible for determining the portion of capital that can be floated on the stock market but it must not exceed 49 percent of shares of each company, according to the law. 

 

The law also grants the cabinet the right to approve electricity rates set by the distribution companies.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Presse 2001. 

 

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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