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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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Malawi receives US$14.2M drought recovery insurance payout

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In a ceremony presided over by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Malawi, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the African Risk Capacity Group, in the presence of Representatives of Partners organisations (Ambassador of Germany to Malawi), and of the UN system (WFP and UNDP country directors), delivered a symbolic US$14.2 million insurance payout cheque to the Malawi Government.

“I assured Malawians that we have enough food for everyone and even those few whose crops had not done well would be provided for. My confidence came from the fact that we had taken this insurance policy to support Malawians in time of need. And I want to thank the ARC Group for honouring the agreed payout,” said His Excellency, Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi.

The Government of Malawi had a drought insurance policy, supported by the African Development Bank through its Africa Disaster Risk Financing (ADRiFi) Programme Multi-Donor Trust Fund. Many regions of Malawi, particularly the Central and Southern regions, are experiencing severe food insecurity caused by drought-related events like erratic rainfall and crop failure.

The Governments of the United Kingdom, through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation contributed to the ADRiFi trust fund. The Government of Germany, through KFW Development Bank/Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, as well as the International Fund for Agricultural Development subsidized Malawi’s insurance policy premiums.

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During the 2020/21 season, the country experienced an unprecedented dry start to the production season, leading to higher rates of sowing failure in significant parts of the Southern and the Central Regions as modelled by Africa RiskView, the African Risk Capacity Group’s (ARC) risk modelling and early warning tool. This, combined with mid-season erratic rainfall conditions in most parts of the country resulted in a modelled number of people affected estimated at about 6.4 million, the second-highest number of affected people, since 2001.

“ARC’s drought insurance mechanism is an innovative pan-African tool that provides our member states with the funds needed to better plan, prepare and respond to climate-related disasters,” said ARC Group Board Chairperson, Dr. Anthony Mothae Maruping. “The payout to the Government of Malawi will not only release pressure on public finances but it will also bring nutritional and financial support to those that have been affected by the droughts caused by an increasingly variable and changing climate,” he added.

“Malawi is a signatory of the ARC Treaty and a key partner in the region. We have no doubt that the funds disbursed will support the country in scaling up its response to the drought-induced challenges,” said United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and ARC Group Director General, Ibrahima Cheikh Diong.

“ARC’s drought insurance product ensures the swift release of funds when they are needed most, allowing them to be channelled effectively to respond to a crisis. The most vulnerable in the country, who are facing severe hunger, will now have access to food relief,” declared Lesley Ndlovu, CEO of ARC Limited, the insurance affiliate of the ARC Group.

 

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Press Release

The State of AI in Africa: 2022 Report

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The State of AI in Africa Report launch was held on the 14th June at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Pretoria, South Africa and co-hosted by the World Economic Forum Centre for the 4IR South Africa and City of Tshwane. This 32-page report will appeal to analysts, enterprises, channel managers, governments, VCs or investors, NGOs, Embassies, trade missions and regional promotion agencies who are seeking deeper insights about the dynamics of this rapidly growing frontier tech market.

A key finding was just how cross cutting this technology is, with South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya dominating this sector and AI impacting at least 120+ separate market segments across Africa. Privately owned SMMEs or Micro businesses make up 75% of this sector, 40% of which were founded in the last 5 years, showing the importance nation states need to place on supporting their local tech ecosystems.

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It’s also attracting serious capital, with Tunisian AI start-up InstaDeep receiving $100m USD Series A funding earlier in 2022.  The global AI market is also projected to grow from $387 Bn USD in 2022 to $1,394 Bn by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 20%. Bradshaw concluded, “It’s a positive sign that this technology and the growing regional AI start-up ecosystems can win big across Africa if these trends continue.”

A copy of the report can be obtained online here.

The AI Media Group is a South African based industry analysis, publishing & business events consultancy specializing in the 4IR or smart tech sector in Africa. They are curators of AI Expo Africa, the continent’s largest B2B/B2G Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) trade show and publishers of Synapse, the first quarterly trade magazine charting Africa’s 4IR innovation journey. The group also runs AI TV which hosts discussions on trends in AI and 4IR technologies with local, regional and global thought leaders.

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valU, Lifestyle-Enabling Fintech, Enters into An Agreement with The Alhokair Family

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valU CEO, Walid Hassouna and Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding

valU, MENA’s leading Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) lifestyle-enabling fintech platform, announced today that Fawaz Abdulaziz Alhokair, Salman Abdulaziz Alhokair, and Abdul Majeed Abdulaziz Alhokair (“Alhokair Family”) have entered into an agreement to acquire a 4.99% stake in valU through a capital injection of USD 12.4 million, signifying a valuation of USD 247.4 million for the company.

Currently subject to relevant regulatory approvals and satisfaction of certain conditions precedent, the transaction marks Alhokair Family’s first investment in a BNPL platform in Egypt, underscoring valU’s strength in the market and marking a key steppingstone for the platform to create strategic regional partnerships.

The transaction comes on the heels of valU’s entry into the Saudi market last week through FAS Finance, a joint venture (JV) with FAS Labs in which FAS Labs owns 65% while valU owns 35%. The launch of FAS Finance and the strategic partnership bring a lifestyle-enabling solution to Saudi shoppers, with valU offering greater affordability and value for customers, all available through one digital platform.

“We are thrilled to be further growing our partnership with the Alhokair Family. The transaction puts valU, the largest BNPL provider in Egypt, at a USD 247.4 million valuation, and is a testament to valU’s visible success story, business model, and potential for growth in Egypt and on a regional level,” said Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding. “We are proud to have grown a strong brand like valU that, since late 2017, has not only established itself as the leading BNPL platform but has also attracted the interest of the world’s largest retailer, Amazon, one of the most important brands globally, and now one of the region’s most prominent retail players, Alhokair,” concluded Awad.

valU is a fast-growing, innovative fintech platform in the MENA region that serves more than 574,000 app clients in Egypt, the Arab world’s largest consumer market. In its home country, valU currently boasts over 5,000 points of sale locations catering to hundreds of thousands of customers transacting in home furnishings, electronics, home appliances, fashion, auto spare parts, healthcare, education, and travel, among a wide array of other services. With its entry into the Saudi market, valU will be present across Alhokair’s expansive retail network of more than 1,000 stores as well as online on the VogaCloset and monobrand websites, including 14 in Saudi Arabia. It will also extend to other vendors, retail networks, and merchants to include and cover the entire Saudi market.

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Alhokair Family’s agreement to acquire a stake in valU signals investors’ interest in the NBFI space in Egypt and puts it on the map as a leading innovator and exporter of financial inclusion solutions, at a time when inflationary pressures are on the rise in the country and the rest of the region.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that Alhokair Family is now a shareholder in valU. Preceded by the announcement of valU’s entry into KSA last week – our first new-market entry since we began operations out of Cairo 5 years ago – the acquisition agreement cements our solid partnership with Alhokair, a retail powerhouse and a perfect partner on our journey to expand across the region,” said Walid Hassouna, CEO of valU. “valU has definitely filled a financing gap in the Egyptian market and supported financial inclusion. The business model that we created strives to have a positive daily impact on hundreds of thousands of consumers, retailers, and service providers across the country,” concluded Hassouna.

Last month, EFG Hermes Holding and Amazon entered into an option agreement whereby Amazon agreed to acquire USD 10 million in EFG Hermes GDRs with the option to replace that investment into valU at a future date, translating into a stake of 4.255% of the issued share capital of valU.

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