Egypt postpones tender for license to make cigarettes - sources

A man smokes a Cleopatra cigarette, produced by Eastern Company SAE, at a cafe in Cairo, Egypt, on October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s has postponed a tender for a licence to manufacture conventional and electronic cigarettes, two sources in companies selling tobacco there said.

An auction for the licence, which would have ended a decades-old monopoly by the state-controlled Eastern Company, was due to be held on Tuesday.

“What we understand ... is that the postponement is for an indefinite period ... Certainly, the conditions for the auction will be changed if it is held again,” one of the sources told Reuters.

Egypt’s Industrial Development Authority informed companies about the postponement a day before the deadline to lodge bids, the sources said, adding that some had asked authorities to halt the bidding round.

Reporting by Ehab Farouk and Ahmed Ismail; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; editing by John Stonestreet