Qatari group stake in EFG-Hermes still under discussion: Official

Ahram Online, Thursday 26 Apr 2012

Egypt's leading investment bank says its negotiations are continuing with Qatar's Qinvest over its plans to buy a majority stake

Egypt's EFG-Hermes is still negotiating the details of its strategic alliance with Qatar's Qinvest and no final deal has been reached, a spokesperson for the Egyptian investment bank has said.
On Wednesday, Egyptian independent newspaper Al-Shorouk reported that EFG-Hermes had completed talks to sell a 60 percent stake to Qinvest.
But speaking to Ahram Online on Thursday, Hanzada Nessim, EFG-Hermes' associate vice-president for strategy and investor relations, denied media reports that the deal had been finalised.
Earlier in the day, EFG-Hermes sent a statement to the country's stock exchange confirming that Qinvest is trying to acquire a majority stake in the firm with the aim of creating an investment bank covering the Arab world, Africa, Turkey and Southeast Asia.
Neither the proportion nor the value of the stake Qinvest is exploring were mentioned in EFG-Hermes's statement.
Al-Shorouk's story said the venture would include securities brokerage, asset management and investment banking operations, but not EFG Hermes Private Equity.
"The negotiations began months ago and the deal will be announced in the next 10 days," a source with knowledge of the deal told the paper without giving details of the value of the deal.
EFG-Hermes, Egypt's biggest investment bank, has a market value of $1.08 billion and runs offices in nine Arab countries. It also controls a 65 percent stake in privately owned Lebanese bank Credit Libanais, which it bought in 2010 for $542 million.
QInvest has a paid-up capital of $750 million and offices in Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, its website says. Its shareholders include Qatar Islamic Bank, other institutional investors and high net worth individuals.
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