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EFG Hermes Declares Buoyant Q1 Result of 2022

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EFG Hermes Holding Group CEO, Karim Awad 

EFG Hermes Holding, a universal bank in Egypt and the leading investment bank franchise in Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM), announced today an outstanding set of results to kick off the year, with revenues for the first quarter of 2022 leaping 55% Y-o-Y to EGP 1.9 billion. Group net profits after tax and minority interest grew 18% Y-o-Y to EGP 345 million driven by solid performance across the Group’s lines of business.

“EFG Hermes Holding’s diversified operations and holistic product offerings continue to drive our resilient performance and exceptional revenue growth, making us one of the fastest growing companies in our footprint,” said EFG Hermes Holding’s Group CEO Karim Awad. “Our Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) platform is responding to consumer and corporate needs during high inflationary times. Net profits for the platform, together with results generated following the majority-stake acquisition of a commercial bank, generated half of our Group’s net profits after tax and minority. On the sell-side of the house, I am equally pleased with our Investment Banking division, which closed five transactions valued at USD 301 million, including the first IPO in the cosmeceutical space in Egypt and two regional M&A transactions. Meanwhile, our Brokerage division continues to hold firmly onto its first-place ranking in Cairo, Nairobi, and Dubai,” added Awad.

Sell-side revenues gained a record 61% Y-o-Y to EGP 494 million on the back of solid performance by the Investment Banking and Brokerage divisions, which grew revenues 52% Y-o-Y and 62% Y-o-Y respectively. Investment Banking revenues reached EGP 64 million driven by strong deal execution capabilities in the MENA region, while revenues from the Brokerage division grew to EGP 430 million on the back of stronger revenues generated by all MENA markets together with higher revenues from the Structured Products desk.

The Group’s buy-side revenues came in flat Y-o-Y to record EGP 113 million in 1Q2022. Asset Management revenues rose 7% Y-o-Y to EGP 90 million due to higher management fees driven by increased AUMs. Meanwhile, Private Equity revenues stood at EGP 23 million compared to EGP 29 million in the same period last year due to a high base in 1Q2021 that included additional management fees following the third close of the EFG Hermes Education Fund, which, if excluded, would have boosted the division’s revenues by 28% Y-o-Y.

The NBFI platform recorded a 34% Y-o-Y increase in revenues to EGP 601 million. The platform’s growth in the first quarter was predominantly driven by the Group’s microfinance player Tanmeyah, Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) fintech platform valU, and EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions’ factoring arm. Tanmeyah booked revenues of EGP 395 million, up 21% Y-o-Y driven by stronger sales. valU posted stellar results for the quarter, with revenues surging 157% Y-o-Y to EGP 143 million. In parallel, EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions’ factoring business more than doubled its top line, with revenues hitting EGP 18 million – a 118% growth compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, revenues from EFG Hermes Corp-Solutions’ leasing business revenues declined 21% Y-o-Y to EGP 45 million.

Revenues generated by capital market and treasury operations contracted 24% Y-o-Y to EGP 294 million in 1Q2022, mainly due to a decline in net interest income that was partially attributed to a lower cash position following the acquisition of a majority stake in aiBANK.

The Group’s operating expenses rose 49% Y-o-Y to EGP 1.2 billion in 1Q2022, driven by the consolidation of aiBANK’s operating expenses, valU’s higher operating costs, and an increase in the Group’s employee costs.

Group net profit before tax rose 67% Y-o-Y to EGP 677 million in 1Q2022, while net profit after tax and minority interest came in at EGP 345 million in 1Q2022, up 18% from the same period last year, mainly on higher taxes and minority interest. The consolidation of aiBANK’s taxes, growing tax charges from expanding Egyptian operations (NBFI and Brokerage), and increased taxes from distribution of dividends to the Holding led to a 143% Y-o-Y growth in tax expenses to EGP 229 million at the end of 1Q2022.

“We look forward to driving more value for shareholders as the year progresses and we work to hit the milestones we’ve set out for 2022. In the quarters to come, we will continue to focus on garnering more opportunities in the GCC and cementing our foothold there in the Investment Bank space. At the same time, our NBFI platform will continue to grow as our BNPL player valU expands its operations and Tanmeyah continues to deliver solid revenues. On the commercial bank front, we will continue to support the new senior management team to drive change across the bank, create growth opportunities, and capitalize on the synergies inherent in our business model as a universal bank in Egypt. As an impact-driven organization, we will maintain laser-sharp focus on providing boundless financial opportunities that foster growth and create value for our stakeholder base and the communities in which we live and work,” said Awad.

Earlier this month, the Firm was recognized by the Financial Times and Statista as one of Africa’s fastest-growing companies in 2022. It was one of only 10 African financial services companies listed on the year’s ranking and was named 55th fastest-growing company in Africa. In its home market of Egypt, the Firm was also named the fourth-fastest growing company and was the only Egyptian financial services institution listed in the ranking.

 

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BII and African Guarantee Fund sign $75 million to fund African SMEs

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British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution and impact investor, and African Guarantee Fund (AGF), a leading Pan African guarantee provider, have today announced their partnership of a $75 million re-guarantee agreement for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa.

Through this facility, AGF and BII will provide credit guarantees to partner financial institutions for up to 75 per cent of the risk on SME loans, thereby increasing access to credit and reducing collateral requirements for these SMEs. As a result, the eight-year partnership is expected to facilitate up to $150 million in loans to 17,300 SMEs through partner financial institutions. This partnership will also encourage lending to SMEs that are women-owned or led as well as SMEs that are climate-focused.

SMEs in Africa continue to face significant challenges in accessing credit. Financial institutions are often constrained by regulatory requirements, limited appetite for a segment that is perceived to be higher risk, a lack of adequate collateral available from SMEs, knowledge gaps by the lenders and skill gaps demonstrated by SME borrowers.

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Risk-sharing facilities are a key tool to support knowledge gaps by the lenders and in broadening their SME lending while mitigating risk and allowing them to build capabilities and track record in serving this market segment. As such, at least half of the overall facility will specifically target SMEs in the most fragile African economies to support promising businesses that can contribute to productive economic development over the long term.

UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly said: “British International Investment is already a force for good in Kenya, supporting jobs and livelihoods in Africa. This investment shows that when we go together, we can go far.”

Constant N’zi, Deputy Group Chief Executive Officer and Group Chief Risk Officer, African Guarantee Fund said, “Our partnership with British International Investment marks our first engagement with a UK Development Finance Institution and is the beginning of a journey that will positively impact African SMEs. Through this re-guarantee, our capacity to support lending institutions has been increased and we are certain of increased economic growth across the forty African countries wherein our guarantee products are utilized.”

Jo Fry, Investment Director & Head of Intermediated Credit, British International Investment (BII) added: “We are delighted to partner with African Guarantee Fund, a deeply impact-focused African institution, on this critical mission. This investment will increase access to finance for SMEs across the African continent, with a focus on those in the most challenging contexts. The partnership, which will also target funding at climate-focused businesses as well as SMEs owned and led by women, will contribute toward increasing inclusive and sustainable development for Africa. The programme represents BII’s commitment to working with best-in-class local institutions who are deeply embedded in the countries and communities that they serve.”

The joint facility contributes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 on promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The investment also qualifies under the 2X Challenge, an initiative by the development finance institutions (DFIs) of the G7 to mobilise capital to support increased economic empowerment for women in emerging economies.

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Lipa Later Group Acquires Sky.Garden, One Of East Africa’s Leading E-Commerce Platforms

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Lipa Later Group, has acquired Sky.Garden in a move that re-energizes our commitment to bridging the gap between the merchant and a customer with more empowerment between both parties, merchant and customer, stellar service, stellar tech, and revamped strategies that promise to disrupt the industry.

This acquisition of Sky.Garden by Lipa Later marks an important milestone in the group’s goal to offer innovative solutions that meet the needs of businesses and consumers. This move will enable Lipa Later to expand our customer base and solidify our presence in the market.

The e-commerce industry has exploded in recent years, providing businesses with the opportunity to reach customers quickly, cheaply, and more often. This is the driving force behind the decision to invest in Sky.Garden.

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Speaking during the onboarding ceremony, Lipa Later CEO Eric Muli reiterated that the acquisition is timely as fintech continues to build an end-to-end avenue that connects merchants to customers and vice versa.

“Guided by our objective to empower African businesses and consumers to do more by enabling e-commerce, financial inclusion and shopping all on one centralized and fully integrated platform, our plan has always been to venture into e-commerce with unique value propositions for our consumers. Sky.Garden has done an incredible job and checks all those boxes. Lipa Later is no stranger to the e-commerce industry, having already established a strong presence in the online payment and finance sectors. This acquisition has greatly accelerated our plans of redefining the shopping experience for consumers,” said Lipa Later CEO Eric Muli.

Sky.Garden, which has raised north of $6,000,000 prior to this acquisition, will now be fully owned by Lipa Later Group and will continue to operate using its name.

With the acquisition of Sky.Garden, Lipa Later is now in a position to provide a comprehensive e-commerce solution to consumers, and with Sky.Garden’s established infrastructure and market presence, consumers will be able to purchase items from Sky Garden using any preferred payment method including Lipa Later’s buy now, pay later model which provides for a payment plan that is flexible and affordable through monthly instalments.

Last month, we saw no other option than to file for insolvency,” Martin Majlund, founder of Sky.Garden, reiterated. “Today, I’m happy to see that Sky Garden will live on with new owners and new management. We built a great product over time, and I believe Lipa Later has the potential to take Sky Garden to the next level. Through this acquisition, the vision of Sky Garden will continue to live on while retaining jobs and businesses on our platform.”

This acquisition is a key step forward in our goal of becoming a leader in the e-commerce space. The acquisition of Sky.Garden by Lipa Later presents a great opportunity for both companies to benefit from each other’s strengths and further the growth of the e-commerce industry. With the combination of our expertise in financial services and Sky.Garden’s innovative e-commerce platform, the potential for growth is tremendous, and the impact this could have on the industry could be immense. Expansion plans are in place to see Sky.Garden integrated across other Lipa Later countries of operation which include Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria.

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Press Release

VENCO secures $670,000 pre-seed funding

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VENCO, a technology company that provides solutions to enhance living experiences in residential and commercial communities in Africa, has secured $670,000 in an oversubscribed pre-seed funding round to scale its all-in-one technology platform that manages collections, service charge administration, utilities vending, visitor access and other services associated with multi-unit property developments across Africa.

The pre-seed funding round was led by Zrosk Investment Management, with participation from other strategic investors including Voltron Capital, Decimal Point Ventures, Fast Forward Fund, Tayo Oviosu (CEO of Paga), Odun Eweniyi (COO of Piggyvest), Oo Nwoye, Desigan Chinniah, Dakar Network Angels and Viktoria Business Angel Network. Starting with Nigeria and Kenya, the new funding will support VENCO to build out its credit delivery infrastructure for rent and household spend, as well as its expansion into other cities and countries on the continent. 

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With growing urbanisation across Africa, multi-property developments have emerged as the preferred mode of delivering residential and commercial real estate. Of the 2.5 million households in Nigeria that earn more than $1,000 per month, 80 percent live in multi-property communities. 25 percent of their income is spent on rent and 50 percent is spent on other household needs, including consumables, utilities, internet data, cable TV and other services. This market for household spend represents a $22.5 billion opportunity in Nigeria, and $100 billion across Africa.

However, with the process of managing various aspects of life in these communal developments being largely manual and paper-based, there are many inefficiencies that negatively impact residents’ experience and profitability for property owners. For example, the default-rate on service charge collection for multi-property developments in Africa can be as high as 60 percent, which means that property managers are either out of pocket or forced to operate on insufficient funds. Even when payments are collected, the manual process means reconciliation is error-prone and theft is common.

Co-founded by Chude Osiegbu (CEO), Reagan Mbitiru (CTO) and Uzochukwu Alor (COO), VENCO automates collection and reconciliation of all dues and payments in communities resulting in improved receipts and better margins for property owners. For residents, self-service tools provided by VENCO make processes such as visitor control, issue and emergency management as well as utilities-vending more seamless. With residents able to build an economic profile based on their financial transactions on the VENCO platform, they can now access a range of embedded financial services, including insurance, credit facilitation for rent, service charges and household spend along with many other services.

VENCO has recorded over 200 percent growth over the last 9 months and is currently in 6 cities and more than 12,000 property units across Nigeria and Kenya. Since January 2022, it has processed more than $10 million in transaction value via its platform. The company is also partnering with ecommerce platforms to enable easier access to merchants within and around the community, energy companies to ensure reliable energy metering and collections, and other service providers to improve the overall experience in these communities.

According to Chude Osiegbu, CEO and co-founder of VENCO, “the manual nature of many processes associated with life in residential and commercial communities in Africa presents many issues that we believe technology can fix. Beyond this, we also want to leverage technology to deliver new services and experiences that will transform how people live in Africa’s growing cities and create better value for everyone across the board. Our goal is to deliver technology solutions that will enhance living experiences across the continent, and we are excited to have raised these funds to support that mission”

Samson Esemuede, Managing Director, and Chief Investment Officer at Zrosk Investment Management said The team at VENCO are building a platform that allows for the validation of the GDP of the African household. Not only does a platform like VENCO allow for significant improvement in the experience of African residents, facility managers and property owners, it could potentially unlock at scale the sort of financial services the African consumer really needs. We view VENCO as both a SAAS and a financial inclusion play with a potential for strong multiplicative impact across the continent. We are excited to support the VENCO team in achieving their vision”.

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