In the presence of Mr. Henri Guillemin, Managing Director of Credit Agricole Egypt and Mr. Hazem Barakat, Chairman of Private Equity, Credit Agricole Egypt and Beltone Midcap Management S.A. signed an agreement to invest 5 million USD in the new Midcap Fund. This new fund was initiated to provide support and help in developing the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector in Egypt. Under this agreement, CAE is the first multinational bank, and the second local bank to participate in this fund.
"SMEs are considered the backbone of the Egyptian economy due to their significant role. At Credit Agricole Egypt we have been working vigilantly to develop this vital segment of the economy. Besides our diversified product portfolio, the bank provides financial advice for entrepreneurs, which has been translated into the greater confidence shown from SMEs clients" said Henri Guillemin, CAE Managing Director. "We are very happy to join hands with Beltone, Siparex as well as other renowned financial institutions such as the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) and the European Investment Bank. Through this agreement, the fund will support SMEs by funding their capital. This will help SMEs to increase their capital and business volume as well as allowing them to become more capitalised and therefore bankable", he added.
In 2009, the bank launched several initiatives to empower the Egyptian SME sector.CAE launched the first platform of international trade in Egypt (www.egyp-import-export.com) to support international trade operators providing free access to information and business alerts. Also, the bank conducted extensive location and proximity studies. Accordingly, Credit Agricole Egypt has launched 11 business centres in Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Port Said and Sinai. The business centres are focused on serving companies as well as major industrial shipping and touristic areas, helping customers to execute all their banking activities in one place.
"In general, SMEs represent an influential segment of the global economic activities worldwide. SMEs are significantly contributing to national GDP, especially the family SMEs that help in boosting various economic activities in Egypt. However, Some SMEs lack technical and managerial expertise, as well as solvency; which negatively affects their growth potentials. Currently, our plan is to provide SMEs with necessary resources that would help them to overcome various obstacles generated from the global crisis" said Dr. Abdel Monem Omran, Managing Director of Belton Private Equity. "Although the fund will not manage the SMEs, it will help in developing their potentials especially those with real export capabilities. Our objective is to help SMEs financially while enhancing their standard performance and maximizing revenues on all levels. At the end, this will positively impact the fund overall performance and investment returns."
Since the Fund inception, the International Finance Corporation - a member of the World Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Export Development Bank of Egypt joined the Beltone MidCap Fund as Anchor Investors.
It is worth mentioning that Beltone Midcap Investments has also invested in the fund with 5.5 million USD, the Arab Investment Bank with 1.5 million USD as well as the Fund Manager with one million USD and a total of individual investments of 500,000 USD. The fund is managed by a joint company formed by bringing together Beltone Private Equity's knowledge with Siparex international experience in SMEs fund management.
Beltone is expecting the volume of the fund to reach 200 Million USD, divided in two sub funds as follows: 100 million USD to be invested in Egypt; and 100 million USD to be invested in the GCC.
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