EFG Hermes, an investment bank, yesterday announced the launch of a $250 million (Dh918m) to $300m Syrian private equity fund and is awaiting final approval from the Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities to launch its operations from Damascus.
EFG Hermes Syria is 70 per cent owned by EFG Hermes and the rest by Syrian businessman Firas Tlass. The Damascus office will offer a full range of investment banking, private equity, brokerage and asset management services.
"The recent reforms undertaken by the Syrian Government to liberalise the economy and facilitate the business environment have made Syria a compelling investment opportunity," said EFG Hermes Co-CEO Hassan Heikal. "Having a direct presence in Syria was the next logical step for the firm as we continue to implement our regional expansion strategy."
EFG Hermes Co-CEO, Yasser El Mallawany said EFG Hermes Private Equity has raised about $1.2 billion over nine funds and invested in 34 companies across sectors including oil and gas, real estate, food and agribusiness, and construction and building materials.
EFG Hermes' Syria Fund will target multiple sectors within the Syrian economy, providing growth capital for established businesses as well as greenfield investments. EFG Hermes will contribute 10 per cent of the Fund's total commitments.
Firas Tlass, Acting Chairman of EFG-Hermes Syria, said: "I figured that a partnership with the leading investment bank in the Arab World along side with the establishment of the Syrian Private Equity Fund would probably be one of the best ways to develop investment in the Syrian economy, prepare the companies to enter into the financial market and push up the level of trading in order to bring Damascus Securities Exchange up to the regional level."
EFG-Hermes has appointed Hazem Badran as CEO for EFG-Hermes Syria.
Badran has been with the firm for more than six years.
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