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Egypt’s privatization plans stall despite growing buzz

Only a fraction of the targeted sales to Gulf investors have materialized over the last year, largely due to a general lack of agreement and volatility of the Egyptian economy
February 9, 2023, an EgyptAir aircraft flies on its landing approach past the 19th century Mosque of Mohamed Ali in the Cairo Citadel. (Photo by Amir MAKAR / AFP) (Photo by AMIR MAKAR/AFP via Getty Images)

CAIRO — Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's visit to Saudi Arabia this week, where he met with the kingdom’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ended without any major announcements. But it came at a time when Egypt is battling a deep economic crisis while its Gulf allies have grown increasingly reluctant to offer support without conditions.

In the document accompanying the $3 billion agreement that Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) signed in December 2022, Cairo stated that it had identified a group of state-owned enterprises from whose stake sale it hoped to raise $2.5 billion by June. The funds would be allocated to the country’s $5 billion financing gap.

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