EFG Hermes expands into Syria, launches Syrian private equity fund
EFG Hermes Syria is a partnership between EFG Hermes (70 per cent) and Syrian businessman Firas Tlass (30 per cent). The Damascus office will offer EFG Hermes’ full range of world-class investment banking, private equity, brokerage and asset management services. EFG Hermes Syria is awaiting final approval from the Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities to launch its operations out of the Syrian capital Damascus.
“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 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.”
With a population of over 20 million and steady, average GDP growth rates of 4.1 per cent over the past three years, the Syrian economy has remained relatively robust despite the global economic downturn. Consumer demand is expected to remain strong with average population growth at 2.5 per cent per annum over the next five years and more than a third of the population under the age of 14. Syria’s underdeveloped private sector is also in need of significant amounts of capital across all its major industries.
“This is precisely where our Fund comes in,” says EFG Hermes CEO, Yasser El-Mallawany. El-Mallawany noted that EFG Hermes Private Equity has raised approximately $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.
EFG-Hermes has appointed Hazem Badran as Chief Executive Officer for EFG-Hermes Syria. Badran has been with the firm for over 6 years and was most recently a Managing Director with the Investment Banking Division.