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Wednesday, 16 June 2021

NBE, Banque Misr, BdC to launch EGP 1 bn fund of funds targeting SMEs

A consortium of the National Bank of Egypt , Banque Misr and Banque du Caire are planning to launch a fund of funds with an initial assets under management of EGP 1 bn, an unnamed source at BdC told Enterprise, confirming an earlier statement by Deputy Chairman Yehia Abou El-Fotouh during a webinar. The three state-owned banks are working to finalize Financial Regulatory Authority approvals to launch the fund, the source added. NBE did not return a request for comment by dispatch time.

Where will it invest? The fund plans to invest in SMEs in healthcare, education, fintech, agribusiness, renewables, fast-moving consumer goods as well as information and communications technology, the BdC source noted. The source declined to specify how many funds they were looking to back or the ticket size for each.

Still unclear to us: Who’s managing the fund of funds and whether it’s going to pursue equity or debt opportunities.

What’s a fund of funds? In basic terms, a fund of funds (FoF) is one that chooses to invest in other funds — whether equity or debt — rather than individually vetting specific companies or debt issuances it may want to back. The fund managers to whom the FoF hands AUM are then trusted to generate returns that pass back to the managers of the fund of funds.

NBE, Banque Misr and BdC contributed in April to the final close of a USD 28 mn Egypt-focused tech fund by VC firm Sawari Ventures. BdC also earlier announced in February plans to launch a number of investment funds for SMEs.

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