Towards New Arrangements for State Ownership in the Middle East and North Africa

image of Towards New Arrangements for State Ownership in the Middle East and North Africa

The role of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the Middle East and North African economies  (MENA) has historically been and remains significant in terms of their contribution to the economic value added, employment and the provision of vital services. State-owned enterprises operate across a wide range of sectors in the region - hydrocarbons, banking, construction – but also in network industries. Despite the privatisations carried out during the 1980-1990s, the role of the state in Arab economies has not declined and in many ways have indeed increased, reflecting the growth of oil and gas SOEs, sovereign wealth funds and infrastructure development projects, often carried out with the involvement of the state. This publication seeks to provide insight into the varied and rich experience in SOE reform in the region over the past decade, highlighting reform initiatives undertaken at national and country specific levels. It is unique in highlighting the challenges faced by policymakers in reforming the governance of regional SOEs

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Transparency of Egypt's public-private joint ventures

This chapter examines a part of the state-owned enterprise sector that has been relatively unexplored to date, whether in Egypt or in the wider Middle East and North Africa region, namely, public-private joint ventures. Such ventures are a major feature of state-owned sectors across the region and are indeed the most common corporate form in Egypt’s oil and gas sector. They deserve greater attention for their importance within the overall role of the state in the economy, but also for the special challenges they pose in terms of corporate governance. The analysis presented here constitutes an initial effort to close the information gap on corporate governance of joint ventures with public participation, specifically focusing on transparency and disclosure practices. To assess performance in this area, this paper first explores the governance environment in which these firms operate, with particular attention to disclosure. It then analyses disclosure of key governance information on corporate websites for a sample of 12 holding companies and 100 publicprivate joint ventures.


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