CAIRO: Egypt is planning to float 5 to 10 percent of the company responsible for constructing the new capital near Cairo by the second quarter of 2024, its chairman said on Monday.
The sale of shares in the Administrative Capital for Urban Development, of which 51 percent are owned by the Egyptian military and 49 percent by the government’s New Urban Communities Authority, was first earmarked to take place in 2023 at least two years ago.
Speaking on Asharq News, Khaled Abbas, chairman of the ACUD, gave no estimate for the value of the offering, but said the timescale of the sale was likely to change.
“We might not be able to offer a portion of the shares before the end of the year. We are talking about 5 percent to 10 percent of the company,” he said, adding: “But I think that the timing of the offering might be delayed until the first or second quarter of the coming year.”
The new administrative center for the country is being constructed 45 km east of Cairo, and in 2019 the cost of the project was estimated at about $58 billion.
The capital’s first phase, covering about 168 sq. km, contains ministries, residential neighborhoods, a diplomatic quarter and a financial district, as well as a large mosque and a cathedral.
“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 said.
Construction of the city began in 2015 but has been repeatedly delayed.
The ACUD chairman added that despite the delays, life had begun to get underway in the city,
“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.
Among the skyscrapers under construction in the as-yet-unnamed city is Iconic Tower, a 385-meter building set to become the tallest structure in Africa.
There will also be a sports stadium, an airport, and a huge building which will serve as the headquarters for the country's Ministry of Defence.