Business | Markets

EFG to sell QInvest joint venture stake next year, Arqaam says

It will now become a holding company

  • Agencies
  • Published: 14:11 October 11, 2012
  • Gulf News

EFG-Hermes Holding SAE will sell its 40 per cent stake next year in the investment bank it is forming with QInvest and will become a holding company, Arqaam Capital Ltd said.

EFG-Hermes would hold assets in Lebanese unit Credit Libanais SAL, as well as a private equity unit managing $980 million (Dh3.6 billion) and a “large surplus capital position, part of which will be distributed to shareholders,” analysts including Jaap Meijer said in a report. The Cairo-based bank was added to Arqaam’s core portfolio with a buy rating and a price estimate of 15.9 Egyptian pounds, a 34 per cent premium to yesterday’s closing price.

The biggest publicly traded Arab investment bank and QInvest, a unit of Qatar Islamic Bank, said in April they planned to form the largest investment bank in “the Arab World, Africa, Turkey, South and South East Asia,” including EFG- Hermes’ investment banking and brokerage businesses. Egypt’s financial regulator said yesterday it will allow the proposed joint venture to proceed.

Qatar International Islamic Bank

Qatar International Islamic Bank has launched a $700 million, five-year Islamic bond, or sukuk, after receiving strong demand, a person aware of the deal said Thursday.

The final price of 190 basis points over midswaps is tighter than the initial talk of around 205 basis points over midswaps, the person, who declined to be identified, told Zawya Dow Jones.

Orders booked were in excess of $5 billion, the person noted.

HSBC, QNB Capital and Standard Chartered Bank are book runners on the issue. They helped arrange the investor meetings for QIIB in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

QIIB’s bond follows the $750 million sukuk issued by Qatar Islamic Bank last week and indicates the healthy global appetite for Gulf debt. First Gulf Bank also issued a $650 million bond in October.

Barclays

Barclays Plc, Britain’s second- largest lender, is in talks with about six privately-owned Gulf-based companies that are seeking to raise funds for expansion.

The bank is “in conversation - in some cases at an advanced level - with about half a dozen companies over bonds or IPOs,” Rezwan Mirza, head of corporate banking at Barclays in Dubai, said in an October 9 interview, without giving more detail.

Barclays has been mandated for six bonds worth $553 million this year and is the thirteenth largest debt underwriter in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council region, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. More of the region’s private companies are moving away from the reliance on pure bank financing to considering bond issues and initial public offerings, he said.

Saudi Aramco

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Dow Chemical Co. are seeking funding offers above the $12 billion to $13 billion needed for their Sadara Chemical Co. petrochemicals joint venture to try and lock in the most competitive rates.

“Our strategy is to be overfunded and then scale back to achieve the best terms and conditions,” Luciano Poli, chief financial officer of the joint venture, said yesterday in an interview in Dubai. “We’re at a very important stage where all the different tranches are being finalized and negotiated. We’re well on schedule and will close the financing soon.”

Sadara, a $20 billion petrochemicals complex being constructed in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, is being funded 65 per cent with debt and the remainder with equity. The US Export-Import Bank said September 27 it approved a $5 billion loan for the complex.

The first of the plant’s 26 units may begin operating at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, Poli said. Starting up all the units will take 18 months, he said.

Saudi Aramco owns 65 per cent of the Sadara venture, with Dow holding the remainder. Aramco plans to sell part of its stake to the public, after which its share will equal Dow’s.

Gulf News
Retail Gold Rate
Business Editor's choice