Egyptian MoD to grab largest stake in national telecoms infrastructure entity

12 May 2015

Egypt’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has reportedly given itself a majority stake in the new entity which will be tasked with developing and controlling the national telecommunications infrastructure, according to Al Bawaba, which cites local business daily Al Borsa. Under a new legislative amendment submitted by the MoD, the role of the country’s major telecoms operators in the venture will now be limited, both in terms of the stake they hold in the company and their participation in the network development. As per the revised plans, the MoD will now take a 60% stake in the national telecoms entity, while other government ministries will hold a combined 20% stake, leaving just 20% for Egypt’s existing telecoms companies, down from the originally planned figure of 40%. Meanwhile, the updated guidelines also include a proposal that telecom companies will play no part in extending or installing communication cables, with existing operator limited to renting cables from the company managed by the MoD.

By comparison, under the original plans announced in late-December 2014, the government had said it would establish the national entity for telecommunications, with state bodies – comprising the MoD, the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT), the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Electricity – set to take a combined 60% stake. Meanwhile, the initial plan envisaged the country’s three mobile network operators – Vodafone Egypt, MobiNil and Etisalat Misr – each acquiring a 11.5% stake in the joint venture, while fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt would have taken the remaining 5.5% shareholding.