Top financial regulator to be considered for investment minister

Egyptian state Controlled media said Wednesday that Chairman of the Financial Regulatory Agency Ziad Bahaa el-Din is one of the possible contenders to head Egypt’s investment ministry following incumbent minister Mahmoud Mohieldin’s appointment as a managing director of the World Bank Group.   

Mohieldin, a prominent economic liberalizer, will resign from the Egyptian government to take up the post beginning in October, the cabinet said on Wednesday.

Expectations that he would take the World Bank post has led to media speculation about possible successors for his ministerial portfolio, seen as vital to an economic team that has pushed through controversial free market reforms since 2004.

"As soon as he takes up the new position, he will leave the ministry," said cabinet spokesman Magdy Rady.

The state-run website said possible contenders to head the minister included Bahaa el-Din, who was in charge of drafting of several key legislative documents including Unified Company Law, New Capital Market Law, the Central Securities Depository Law, the Executive Regulations of the Central Securities Depository Law, the Mortgage Law, the Executive Regulations of the Mortgage Law.  

Mohieldin is one of three leading ministers who spearheaded liberal reforms under the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif. These included the sale of major state assets and sharp reductions in income taxes and tariffs.

On Wednesday, World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick said that he appointed Egyptian Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohieldin Managing Director of the World Bank Group.

“Mahmoud Mohieldin has proven himself a tireless reformer whose work on economic and financial reform helped Egypt weather the global financial crisis,” Zoellick said in a press statement.  

In his new role, the Egyptian minister will oversee the offices leading the Bank’s Knowledge development including: Finance and Private Sector Development; Sustainable Development; Poverty Reduction and Economic Management; Human Development; and the World Bank Institute.

 “I look forward to joining this dynamic institution in supporting the enhancement of sustainable and inclusive growth of developing economies. At this critical juncture, when instability and successive crises have afflicted world systems and economies, the importance of the World Bank’s mission and presence has become more apparent than ever before,” said Mohieldin in the statement.  

Mohieldin holds a Economics from the University of Warwick, UK; a Masters in Social and Economic Policy Analysis from the University of York, UK; a Diploma of Quantitative Development Economics from the University of Warwick; and a B.Sc. in Economics from Cairo University.

Mohieldin will join the Bank on 4 October, 2010.

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