EMEA: Market round-up
Algeria: bank reform picks up pace
In an effort to quicken the pace of banking sector reform, Algerian finance minister Mourad Medelci has dismissed the chief executives of state banks Crédit Populaire d'Algérie, Banque Extérieure d'Algérie, Banque Algérienne de Développement Rural and Caisse Nationale Epargne Populaire. The state banking sector accounts for about 95% of total bank assets and loan portfolios, and suffers from poor management, a lack of transparency, and a tradition of lending to loss-making state firms.
Lebanon: commercial banks speak out about debt
The Association of Banks in Lebanon has warned that while commercial banks have long financed public debt, "this trend might change if the banking sector does not achieve real growth in deposits and assets". According to Lebanon's central bank, net public debt stood at more than L£22 trillion ($32.9 billion) at the end of January 2005, a figure the IMF says is unsustainable.
Egypt: Telecom Egypt gets privatization rolling
State-owned Telecom Egypt has invited investment banks to participate in evaluating a plan for its own part-privatization. Egyptian law allows a maximum 49% stake to be sold. Analysts expect strong demand for the IPO, which they hope will take place this year.