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Opinion
Timothy Kaldas

Egypt’s Military Companies Aren’t Going Anywhere

Despite plans to sell shares in some firms, the military will retain control of much of the economy. 

A new source of funds for the military.

A new source of funds for the military.

Photographer: Khaled Desouki/AFP

After several years of aggressive expansion by military-owned businesses, Egyptian officials say change is on the way. The country’s new sovereign wealth fund is preparing a number of these companies to sell equity to private investors and potentially shares on the Egyptian Stock Exchange. The fund reportedly intends to invest in the companies itself.

Minister of Planning Hala El-Saeed has said the sale of military companies would mark a “historic shift in how Egypt’s economy is structured.” But the shift may be less dramatic than advertised. The ultimate result could be to deepen the private sector’s dependence on government-led growth, extending the trend of the past several years.