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|| EFG Hermes launched $300 million Syrian private equity fund

syria-gulf.jpgEFG Hermes, a leading investment bank in the Arab world, will enter the Syrian market with the opening of its office and the simultaneous launch of a new private equity fund.

EFG Hermes Syria is a partnership between EFG Hermes (70%) and Syrian businessman Firas Tlass (30%). EFG Hermes Syria will offer full range of world-class investment banking, private equity, brokerage and asset management services and it will target multiple sectors within the Syrian economy, providing growth capital for established businesses as well as greenfield investments.

Gulf Finance House, another Islamic finance firm, is also launching one of the largest Islamic banks in Syria under the name of Syria Finance House (SFH). They are launching the bank as the leading and one of the largest Islamic banks in Syria, with a capital of $333 million.

EFH Hermes is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR20.

Their full press release follows

The Arab world's leading investment bank opens its office in Syria offering its full range of world-class Investment Banking, Asset Management, Private Equity and Brokerage services to one of the region's fastest growing economies and launches a USD250-300 million Syria private equity fund

Damascus: EFG Hermes, the leading investment bank in the Arab world, will enter the Syrian market with the opening of its full fledged office in the Syrian Arab Republic and the simultaneous launch of a new private equity fund that targets investments in the untapped Syrian market.

EFG Hermes Syria is a partnership between EFG Hermes (70%) and Syrian businessman Firas Tlass (30%). The Damascus office will offer EFG Hermes' full range of world-class investment banking, private equity, brokerage and asset management services. EFG Hermes Syria is awaiting final approval from the Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities to launch its operations out of the Syrian capital Damascus.

"The recent reforms undertaken by the Syrian government to liberalize the economy and facilitate the business environment have made Syria a compelling investment opportunity," said EFG Hermes CEO Hassan Heikal. "Having a direct presence in Syria was the next logical step for the firm as we continue to implement our regional expansion strategy."

With a population of over 20 million and steady, average GDP growth rates of 4.1% over the past three years, the Syrian economy has remained relatively robust despite the global economic downturn. Consumer demand is expected to remain strong with average population growth at 2.5% per annum over the next five years and more than a third of the population under the age of 14. Syria's underdeveloped private sector is also in need of significant amounts of capital across all its major industries.

"This is precisely where our Fund comes in," says EFG Hermes CEO, Yasser El-Mallawany. El-Mallawany noted that EFG Hermes Private Equity has raised approximately USD 1.2 billion over nine funds and invested in 34 companies across sectors including oil and gas, real estate, food and agribusiness, and construction and building materials.

EFG Hermes' Syria Fund will target multiple sectors within the Syrian economy, providing growth capital for established businesses as well as greenfield investments. EFG Hermes will contribute 10% of the Fund's total commitments.

Commenting on the event, Firas Tlass, who will be acting as Chairman of EFG-Hermes Syria, noted "I figured that a partnership with the leading investment bank in the Arab world along side with the establishment of the Syrian Private Equity Fund would probably be one of the best ways to develop investment in the Syrian economy, prepare the companies to enter into the financial market and push up the level of trading in order to bring Damascus Securities Exchange up to the regional level."

EFG-Hermes has appointed Hazem Badran as Chief Executive Officer for EFG-Hermes Syria. Badran has been with the firm for over 6 years and was most recently a Managing Director with the Investment Banking Division.



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