CAIRO - Egypt is planning to float 5 to 10 percent of the shares of the company building its vast new capital 45km east of Cairo by the second quarter of 2024, its chairman said on Monday.
The sale on the stock exchange of shares in the Administrative Capital for Urban Development (ACUD), now owned 51% by the Egyptian military and 49% by the government's New Urban Communities Authority, was first mooted at least two years ago for 2023.
"We might not be able to offer a portion of the shares before the end of the year. We are talking about 5% to 10% of the company," Khaled Abbas, chairman of the ACUD, said in a television interview on Asharq News. "But I think that the timing of the offering might be delayed until the first or second quarter of the coming year."
Abbas gave no estimate for the value of the share offering. His predecessor, Ahmed Zaki Abdeen, had estimated in 2019 that the project needed financing of about $58 billion.
"The stock exchange has certain requirements as a company, concerning the financial statements, the structure of the board of directors, all the procedures, so that the company might list. We have one of the biggest accountants going over the company's budget," Abbas told Asharq.
The capital's first phase, covering about 168 square km, contains ministries, residential neighbourhoods, a diplomatic quarter and a financial district, as well as a large mosque and a cathedral.
Construction of the city, begun in 2015, has been repeatedly delayed.
Nonetheless, Abbas said life had begun to get underway.
"The entire government has now transferred to the new government quarter and is running the country from there. The parliament will transfer there by October," he said.
(Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by Leslie Adler)