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Sunday, 23 January 2022

Fawry eyes capital increase, US listing

US listing in the works for Fawry? EGX-listed e-payments giant Fawry has received approval from its board of directors to create an American depositary shares (ADS) program, which would allow the company to list shares in the US, and is exploring an SEC-registered secondary offering to follow, CEO Ashraf Sabry said on an investor update call on Thursday. Sabry did not provide further details or a timeline for the potential offering, which remains subject to market conditions and shareholder and regulatory approvals, according to a disclosure to the EGX (pdf).

What’s an ADS listing? ADS are shares in a foreign company that are held in a US bank so that they can be traded within the country. The bank converts dividends on the shares into USD and disburses them. It is not quite the same thing as an American depositary receipt (ADR) program. Investopedia has your back if you want to dive deeper into the distinction.

Capital increase coming: Fawry is looking to raise its capital by EGP 800 mn through a rights issue to existing shareholders, according to the regulatory filing. The capital increase should close in 1H2022, subject to approvals, according to the investor update presentation. This follows the company’s last EGP 400 mn capital increase through a rights issuance in June of last year.

Where’s the fresh capital going? The majority of funds raised through the capital increase will go towards expanding the company’s non-banking financial services (NBFS) offering. This includes consumer financing, digital ins. and money market funds. Fawry recently obtained a consumer financing license and is planning to launch a mutual fund with Misr Capital this month or next, Sabry said.

A large portion of the funds will focus on turning MyFawry into a super app. This includes being able to issue MyFawry pre-paid cards, host digital accounts, and issue instant payment notifications (IPNs) for transfers between any bank and the MyFawry card. Over 40 mn customers use the Fawry network, and the MyFawry app was downloaded 4.3 mn times as of September 2021.

The rest will fund fresh investments, including in startups that complement Fawry’s offerings, including new entrants in e-commerce, fintech, logistics and other sectors.

The plans come as the company is expecting its entire business to grow more than 40% this year, Sabry said on the call. Fawry’s consumer finance stream will start to impact the company’s numbers in 2023, after the company launches its buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) product in 3Q2022.

EDITOR’S NOTE- This story was corrected on 23 January, 2022 to reflect that Fawry’s most recent capital increase was in June 2021, not November 2020. 

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