By Toyin Akinosho
THE VERYTOP OF THE LISTING ON THE Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchange (CASE) is Orascom Telecommunications, 57% of which is owned by the Sawiris family. Next on the list is Orascom Construction, almost 70% owned by the same family. The third largest company on CASE, Africa’s second largest stock exchange, is another family owned company, which doesn’t have anything to do with the Sawiris. Abdel-Azziz Ezz is the chairman and managing director of both Alexandria National Iron and Steel(ANSDK), which is Number 3 on the CASE top 10 and Ezz Steel Rebars (Ezz Steel), which shows up on Number 9.
To understand how significant these four, family owned companies mean to the size of the Egyptian economy, we must understand this:
Egypt’s top 10 companies on the CASE make half the money on the exchange and if an exchange is a barometer of the health of an economy, then it means they simply dominate the economy. Whereas combined net profits for bt100-Egypt’s largest and most actively traded 100 stocks-grew to $2,457 billion in 2004 from $1,487 billion, the gulf between the top 10 and the rest of the list continued to widen. With combined revenues of $8,980 billion in 2004, the top 10 accounted for 57.91% of bt100’s revenues, and their $1,381 billion in net profit was 56.19% of bt 100 profits.