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Sunday, 28 November 2021

valU eyes regional expansion, M&A could be in the cards here in Egypt

EFG Hermes’ consumer finance platform valU is planning to expand into Saudi Arabia and North Africa as early as next year in what will be the company’s first cross-border expansion, EFG Hermes Finance CEO Walid Hassouna told Bloomberg Asharq.

Saudi has been on valU’s radar for a while: Group CEO Karim Awad previously told us that the group believes the company as a fintech solution could do well in Saudi Arabia — and that it was considering expanding into three other countries.

M&A in the cards, too? ValU is also looking to acquire local companies “that do not work in the same field, but serve the same customers,” Hassouna said, without going into further detail.

The company has carved out for itself a sizable market share in Egypt: Official figures (pdf) show that this year valU has risen to become the third-largest non-bank consumer lender in the country with a market share of 11.3%. Its lending portfolio more than doubled y-o-y in 3Q2021, helping its revenues to more than triple to EGP 97 mn, according to its most recent earnings release (pdf).

Fresh securitized bond tranche coming: ValU is planning to issue the next EGP 500 mn tranche of securitized bonds as part of its EGP 2 bn securitization program in 1H2022, Hassouna said. The company kicked off the program in September with a EGP 323 mn bond issuance.


EFG Hermes’ will provide a wider range of brokerage services on its relaunched and expanded digital trading platform EFG Hermes One, according to a press release (pdf). The new version, which was unveiled during RiseUp on Thursday, also features a new digital payment gateway, a new user interface, as well as a “virtual simulator” that allows investors to practice before executing real trades.

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