Proposed ownership regulation to apply to new Egyptian operators only?

11 Apr 2012

Proposals for an amendment to current Egyptian law which would introduce a requirement for a percentage of shares in mobile network operators to be held by Egyptian entities will only apply to new licensees, Reuters reports, citing a communications ministry official. According to the report, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohamed Salem has claimed that draft alterations to the country’s telecoms law are needed due to the sensitive nature of the field in which telecoms businesses operate. As such, it is understood that preliminary discussions regarding ownership restrictions have focused on proposals that 20% of the shares in Egyptian operators should be domestically owned. An unnamed ministry official, however, was cited as claiming that, should such regulatory changes be introduced they would not apply to existing businesses. ‘The proposed amendments to the telecommunications regulatory law in parliament are limited to new licences and won’t be applied to existing operators,’ the official noted, adding, ‘They will be applied to the fourth operator in case it exists.’