EFG-Hermes Weighs South-east Asian Acquisition

EFG-Hermes Holding SAE is considering an expansion into South East Asia as Egypt’s biggest investment bank seeks to grow in emerging markets.

The Cairo-headquartered company, which operates in 12 countries, is “looking at potentially one or two” new markets this year, its Chief Executive Officer Karim Awad, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Dubai yesterday.

The investment won’t be “too big” and would involve “building market share from the ground up,” he said.

EFG-Hermes, the top adviser for initial public offerings in MENA last year, bought Nigerian brokerage and research firm Primera Africa Securities Limited, in July, as part of its broader African expansion. The investment bank, which obtained a stockbroking licence in Kenya in 2017, plans to use Nigeria as a regional hub.

The bank this year plans to focus on consolidation in markets its recently entered, including those in Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The company also sees an opportunity to expand in Vietnam, Ali Khalpey, the company’s CEO of its frontier unit said in November.

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