Egyptian leader hints at fresh privatization

CAIRO: Egypt’s interim president suggested Wednesday that the biggest Arab nation was open to resuming privatization, a move that could revive confidence in the battered economy after years of turmoil.

“There is no selling of the public sector at a cheap price,” Adly Mansour said in a televised speech, hinting that the state could sell some of the hundreds of companies it owns.

Former Islamist President Mohammad Morsi, who was toppled by the army last July after mass protests against his rule, ruled out further privatization while he was still in power.

President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted by a popular uprising in 2011, sold off a number of state companies in an attempt to encourage growth of the private sector. But some of the deals were tainted by allegations of corruption.

Privatization could send a positive signal to investors, who have been unnerved by chronic political turbulence and violence since Mubarak’s fall. The economy has suffered as a result, growing by only 2.1 percent in the last fiscal year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 01, 2014, on page 6.




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