Ezdehar aims to launch a fund to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Egyptian pounds, with a size of EGP 2bn, next September. It is in the process of applying to the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) with an application for incorporation.

Emad Barsoum, managing director of the fund, revealed that the fund will start promotion during the current month with the aim of collecting pledges from local and foreign banks, stressing that it has received interest from local government banks, in addition to foreign banks operating in the Egyptian market.

He explained that the fund aims to support SMEs, especially in light of the current circumstances, explaining that the focus is on collecting pledges from banks within the framework of the CBE’s legislation to oblige banks to achieve 25% of the credit facilities portfolio to finance companies and micro, small and medium enterprises.

In a related context, he added that Ezdehar 2 fund aims to invest $50m in about four investment opportunities that it is currently considering, provided that they will be completed within the next three months in the manufacturing, insurance, and retail sectors, in addition to the medical sector.

He explained that the “Ezdehar 2” fund closed with a volume of $175m. The fund has also executed its first deals by acquiring a stake in Zahran Market, bringing the total volume of assets under the company’s management to more than $300m.

Regarding “Ezdehar 1” fund, he said that the portfolio of companies has reached about five companies, and none of them will be exited during the current year. The first exits will take place in early 2024. He also explained that there are two companies that will be exited through offering in the money market by the end of 2024.

He went on to explain that the “exchange rate” represents a challenge for companies in the investment decision, as clarity of vision is an important factor for investors so that they can pump investments.

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