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Egyptian Steel to go public and seeks 25pct of steel market
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Tuesday, 20 Nov 2012

Qatari and Egyptian steel venture, Egyptian Steel has taken the decision to go public by selling part of its shares in the stock exchange.

Ahmed Abu Hashima the company's chairperson said during Reuters Middle East Investment Summit that ES is currently in talks with an international company to manage the initial public offering. The timing and amount of the offering has not been set yet.

Earlier in November, Egypt's government approved a new tax that would deduct 10 per cent from any profits companies make in IPOs. For his part, Mr Abu Hashima denied that the tax would change ES's plans. I know about this tax but we are determined on going into the exchange. Egypt has only seen one IPO since that of Amer Group in November 2011.

Mr Abu Hashima said that he along with his Qatari partners, has set up a cement company under the name Egyptian Cement. The venture will seek to acquire a cement license out of seven the Egyptian government is planning to offer. Around USD 250 million is expected to be invested in the new cement plant which will have an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonne to 1.8 million tonne.

A relatively new face to Egyptian business world, Mr Abu Hashima has frequently made headlines in the past two years as he expanded his businesses. He said that we plan to have 20% to 25% of Egypt's steel market after we start production in all of our plants. There is a growing demand for steel and Ezz Steel is not building any new factories.

ES is currently building a steel plant in the governorate of Beni Suef with total investment amounting to EGP 1.5 billion and aiming start production by 2014. After establishing a new cement business in Egypt, he will go into tile production.

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