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EGYPT

Terms for cigarette making licence amended

04 Jun 2021. After complaints from the tobacco industry, Egyptian authorities have amended the terms for bidding on a cigarette manufacturing licence, reports Reuters.

The Industrial Development Authority had invited bids from companies to acquire a licence which would have allowed the winning bidder to produce 15 billion cigarettes a year. However, four companies, including Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco (BATS.L), argued the winner would have an unfair market advantage. The amended terms will now allow the winning bidder to produce 1 billion cigarettes a year. Furthermore, a rule saying the Industrial Development Authority would not be offering any other licenses after the tender for a decade was scrapped, according to Reuters.

In Egypt, the cigarette industry contributes around EGP 60 billion (USD 3.8 billion) to government funds each year and the new rules could mark an end of the monopoly by the state-controlled Eastern Company (EAST.CA), which has a 70 per cent market share.