Egypt’s stock exchange gets new chairman

Traders work near the exchange bell at Egypt's Stock Exchange in Cairo July 3, 2013. Cairo's benchmark dipped 0.3 percent, slipping off a three-week high and extending 2013 losses to 9 percent. Bourse data showed that foreign investors were sellers but Egyptians remained net buyers on hopes a military intervention would put an end to the Islamist president's rule. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany (EGYPT - Tags: BUSINESS)

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s prime minister has appointed Mohamed Farid Saleh as the new chairman of the country’s stock exchange, the investment ministry said on Sunday.

Saleh, a former vice chairman of Egyptian Exchange (EGX), will replace Mohamed Omran whose four year term ends this week.

An economist, Saleh helped to launch the first weighted index on EGX during his time as vice chairman from July 2010 to October 2011, the ministry said. Since then, he headed a financial consultancy.

Nearly 270 companies are listed on EGX and the government is launching an IPO programme that will offer shares in dozens of state-owned companies over the next three to five years in areas such as petroleum, services, chemicals, shipping, maritime and real estate to help boost state finances.

The programme is part economic reforms aimed at luring back foreign investment after an economic slump in Egypt in the years since a popular uprising in 2011 drove foreign investors and tourists away.

The listing of oil company ENPPI will kick off the programme in the next 12 months, the country’s first initial public offering of a state-owned company for 12 years.

Reporting by Ellen Francis; Editing by Susan Fenton

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