Egypt Names Barclays, CI Capital as United Bank Sale Advisers

(Bloomberg) -- Egypt named Barclays Plc to serve as advisers in the sale of state-held United Bank, signaling new signs of progress in a broad plan to sell state assets in a bid to ease a crippling dollar crunch and revive the economy.

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Barclays will serve as international sell-side adviser, the central bank, which owns United Bank, said in a statement. It will work alongside local investment bank CI Capital.

The appointment of the foreign adviser comes as the government has been stepping up efforts to either sell or partially list at least 32 state-held firms, including several banks and two military-affiliated companies. The push is aimed at bringing in fresh hard currency and boosting private sector participation in an economy reeling from the aftershocks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Read also: Talks on Saudi Purchase of Egypt’s United Bank Stall Over Pound

Egyptian authorities have devalued the currency three times since early 2022, an effort that helped secure a $3 billion International Monetary Fund program. However, billions of dollars more pledged by Gulf Arab states have yet to materialize amid concerns of another devaluation.

Officials are working to push aside worries that they won’t move quickly enough with the pledged reforms. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly earlier Wednesday outlined a series of 22 investment incentives aimed at addressing private sector concerns. He also pledged greater transparency about what the government will do going forward, including with state asset-sale program and efforts to clear the import backlog and draw in more dollars.

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