Egypt's public business sector will now be handled by the country's ministry of foreign trade and industry, instead of the investment ministry as before.
The shift means that Egypt's nine public holding companies and more than 140 subsidiaries will now fall under the management of Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour, who retains his post as minister of foreign trade and industry after this week's cabinet reshuffle which saw 15 ministers resign.
Osama Saleh will leave his post as investment minister under outgoing prime minister Hazem El Beblawi's government, said ministry sources speaking with Ahram Online.
The new investment minister has not yet been determined. However, the modified position will entail overseeing the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) and the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones (GAFI).
In 1991, Egypt announced that it would begin a privatization programme with the ambitious aim to privatise all 314 public companies before the start of the third millennium.
Egypt's public business sector was previously under the public sector ministry until the creation of the investment ministry in 2004.
The investment minister at the time, Mahmoud Mohieldin, launched an asset-management program to activate the privatisation scheme.
In 2008, Moheildin along with Gamal Mubarak, son of ousted president Hosni Mubarak and secretary of the ruling National Democratic Party's (NDP) policy committee, announced a proposal to adopt a “voucher privatisation” or “mass privatisation” programme which was largely rejected at the time.
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