Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development (Heliopolis Housing) plans to launch an IPO for a stake of around 32.25 percent of the company's shares on the Egyptian Exchange by mid-2019, a company official has told Zawya.

The Cairo–based firm is a subsidiary of the Holding Company for Construction, which is an affiliate of Egypt's Ministry of Public Enterprises. Heliopolis Housing is part of the first wave of companies owned by the ministry due to sell partial stakes under a programme launched early last year aimed at strengthening Egypt's stock market.

The first sales had been due to take place last year, but the programme faced delays, which the Minister of Public Enterprises, Hisham Tawfik, blamed on “market conditions” as the headwinds that buffeted emerging markets took their toll on Egyptian equities valuations.

The IPO programme recommenced last week as a stake in tobacco firm Eastern Company was floated on the exchange. Alongside Eastern Company and Heliopolis Housing, stakes are also set to be sold in Alexandria Container and Cargo Handling Company and in Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemicals Industries Company.

“The IPO percentage (is) waiting for company's board of directors approval, which is expected to be announced (in the) next few days,” Sahar Al Damati, Heliopolis Housing's managing director for financial affairs, told Zawya last week.

Land set for auction

Al Damati also said that the company's board has approved the sale of part of the firm's land portfolio to finance its investment plans.

“The company decided to sell its 1,980 square metre land plot behind the Sheraton, as well as a 100 acre land plot in Heliopark City in New Cairo, and a 190 acre land plot in New Heliopolis City to implement Heliopolis Company's investment plan, along with conducting a financial restructuring of the company and considering a capital increase,” she said.

She added that the land would be offered "at a public auction within the next two months".

Al Damati said Heliopolis Housing's land portfolio is concentrated in four areas. One of these is in Al-Obour City, where the company has fully built-out its 93.8 acres of land. It also has an area near the suburb of Heoliopolis, which is also fully developed. It has 1,695 acres in New Cairo, where its Heliopark site is in detailed planning, and more than 5,400 acres (22 million square metres) near the New Heliopolis City, about 50 percent of which has been utilised.

Al Damati said “the sale of land will not affect the (IPO) process”, stating that the latter is part of the government's bigger plan to boost markets, while the land sales are being used for financing purposes.

She ruled out plans to securitise land or to take on more bank loans to finance development projects, saying the firm wanted to ensure a balanced financing structure.

The company's net profit reached 48.6 million Egyptian pounds ($2.8 million) for the first half of its financial year to December 30, an 18 percent year-on-year decline on the same period in 2017. Revenue for the first half of the current fiscal year rose 23.8 percent to 383.4 million Egyptian pounds, from 309.7 million pounds in the corresponding period last year.

The Holding Company for Construction and Development holds the Ministry of Public Enterprises’ interests in around 20 companies, which includes nine contractors, three housing companies and two electrical firms.

(Reporting by Marwa Abo Almajd; Editing by Michael Fahy)


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