Paris reportedly eying investments in MEA, LibanPost, Beirut port

France is interested in some sectors that are nominated for partial or complete privatization in Lebanon, especially the country’s national carrier Middle East Airlines, a media report said on Friday.

Citing preliminary reports, al-Akhbar newspaper said MEA’s value will be estimated at more than $1 billion and a law to sell around 49% of its shares will be devised.

“French transportation giant CGM, which is managed by Lebanese-French businessman Rudolph Saade, desires to acquire a large share of MEA,” the daily quoted sources as saying.

Sources close to the French company meanwhile said that it has been offered only 10% of the Lebanese company’s shares, as MEA chairman Mohammed al-Hout was quoted as saying that should the privatization proposal be implemented, a cap of 3% will be imposed on the shares of any stakeholder.

According to al-Akhbar, the French are also interested in Lebanon’s mail sector, whether through purchasing the LibanPost company or obtaining a BOT contract to operate it, in addition to the Casino du Liban and banks owned by the central bank.

“Other French companies are proposing a project for a comprehensive administration of the (Beirut) port,” the daily said.

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