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Monday, 25 October 2021

e-Finance could list two subsidiaries following IPO -chairman

Seems e-Finance has caught the listing bug: State-owned fintech firm e-Finance could follow up last week’s blockbuster IPO on the EGX with several fresh listings, according Al Mal, which quotes Chairman Ibrahim Sarhan as having said the company is considering selling shares in two of its subsidiaries, Khales and e-Cards. The company is preparing to split its digital payments subsidiary Khales into two companies, e-Hub and e-Retail, to qualify it for listing on the exchange, Al Mal quotes Sarhan as having added. Enterprise was unable to reach the company for comment by our deadline for dispatch. Al Mal also quotes Sarhan as saying the company could consider a dual listing at some point in the future.

The story comes a week after e-Finance raised EGP 5.8 bn (c.USD 370 mn) in its IPO on the EGX, making it the biggest listing in Egypt since Emaar Misr went public in 2015. The sale saw heavy demand from institutional and retail investors, potentially providing new momentum for further listings in the coming months.

The records for largest IPOs in Egypt are held by Telecom Egypt, which raised the equivalent of nearly USD 900 mn in 2005 and property developer TMG, which raked in nearly USD 850 mn when IPOed in 2007.)

A digital bank on the horizon? The company plans to apply for a digital banking license once the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) issues the executive regulations of the Banking Act, Sarhan said, describing a move into digital banking as one of the company’s biggest ambitions. Local press reports claimed that the central bank would have the framework in place by the end of 2021.

And more detail on post-IPO expansion plans: Existing relationships in Libya, Iraq and Sudan will give e-Finance hints as to which markets to target in a planned expansion into Arab and African countries over the next 18 months, Sarhan said. The company is also planning to run e-ticketing and automated gates for 32 Egyptian tourism destinations through its e-Aswaq platform, while we should expect an announcement on new smart solutions projects for e-Cards at November’s Cairo ICT conference, according to Sarhan.

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