Egyptian state-operated payments firm e-finance plans to float a minority stake on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX).

The platform will offer up to 14.5% of its shares in the fourth quarter of this year, Reuters reported citing a company statement.

Established in 2005, e-finance is authorised to operate the government’s financial network, which processes around 500 million transactions annually.

The firm aims to float 177.8 million new shares on the stock exchange. It will also offer 80 million shares that are currently owned by current shareholders to investors.

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions.

State-owned lender National Investment Bank holds a 63.64% stake in e-finance, according to a 2019 annual report. Two other lenders National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr own 9.09% holding each.

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Payments operator Egyptian Banks Company and Egyptian Company for Investment Projects each own the remaining stake equally.

The sale of stake follows a government’s plan to reduce its stake holding in several companies. However, the programme was affected by market downturns and the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, e-finance reported an annual revenue of EGP1.23bn ($78m). In the first half of this year, the figure was EGP904m.

Due to a large unbanked population, Egypt is primarily a cash-driven society. Last year, cash accounted for around 74.7% of overall payment volume in the country.