Algeria’s president orders government to sell stakes in state banks, firms

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Sunday ordered his government to sell stakes in state companies and banks, the presidency said, part of long-awaited economic reforms in the oil-producing country.

This is the first time Tebboune has talked about concrete steps the government needs to take, after he previously promised to reform the economy but without providing details.

Reforms in the North African country are aimed at reducing reliance on oil and gas, which account for 60% of the state budget and 94% of total export earnings.

Algeria in the past failed to develop its non-energy sector despite promises due to bureaucracy and a lack of investment mainly from foreign firms.

The plan to open up state firms to private capital is intended to “find effective solutions” and avoid “administrative management”, the presidency said in a statement after a cabinet meeting chaired by Tebboune.

Tebboune did not give details on the number or size of companies and banks involved. Algeria has six state banks, accounting for about 95% of total bank assets.

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