February 28, 2019 / 7:05 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Egypt's Eastern Co obtains approval to offer additional shares -source

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CAIRO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Egypt’s top cigarette maker Eastern Company SAE obtained approval from Egypt’s Financial Regulatory Authority to offer an additional 4.5 percent of its shares on the Egyptian stock exchange, a source familiar with the offering said on Thursday.

The private offering to institutional investors of around 95 percent of the offered shares began on Thursday and will end later in the day, the source said.

The public offering for small investors will begin on Sunday and end on Tuesday, the source said.

The indicative price for the offering is between 16.84 and 20.85 Egyptian pounds per share, the source said.

The Egyptian government had been planning to launch a programme of sales in state companies last October by selling 4.5 percent of Eastern Company.

It was to be the first of up to five sales previously due by the end of 2018, but plans were derailed by global market volatility. Another 18 sales were expected over the next few years.

Egypt hopes the sales will raise badly needed funds for the state and boost the private sector as the country implements austerity measures backed by the International Monetary Fund and tries to contain inflation and debt. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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