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Abu Dhabi Buys 8 Pct of Egypt's EFG Hermes - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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DUBAI, (Reuters) – State-owned Abu Dhabi Investment Authority said it had bought an 8 percent stake in EFG-Hermes and would take a seat on the board of the company, Egypt’s largest investment bank.

The authority invests the oil revenues of Abu Dhabi emirate, the largest member of the United Arab Emirates federation and owner of more than 90 percent of the country’s oil reserves.

Standard Chartered estimated last year its assets were worth more than $500 billion.

“Driven by diversification of services into retail products and regional expansion across Gulf markets including Saudi Arabia, EFG-Hermes has remained unaffected by the volatility of regional markets,” the authority said in a statement late on Sunday.

Most Arab stock markets tumbled last year, with four of the seven domestic bourses in the Gulf losing more than 35 percent of their value.

Five of the seven are trading above their 2006 close, while Egypt’s Case 30 index has gained 7 percent this year.

The statement did not give details of when the authority bought the stake or how much it paid.

EFG-Hermes said on Saturday it had applied for licences in Oman and Bahrain, and wanted to enter the Qatar market to offer investment banking and brokerage services.

EFG will quadruple staff in Saudi Arabia, where it was granted a licence to set up a brokerage in November, Yasser Malawany, the company’s chief executive, said.

The investment bank reported a 20.3 percent rise in first-quarter net profit last week.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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