Banque du Caire plans to offer around 20 to 30 percent of its shares on the Egyptian Exchange by the end of this year, raising between $300million-$400 million in the process, chairman Tarek Fayed said last week.

"The bank is currently ready for listing,” Fayed told a press conference in Cairo last week, adding that its plan to float later this year was subject to market conditions.

Speaking to Zawya on the sidelines of the conference, Fayed added that the bank is in the midst of an expansion strategy through which it aims to open between 90-100 new branches over the next three years.

“We will start with 20 branches around Egypt this year. These will be added to our 221 branches that we already have at this time," Fayed said.

He added that Banque Du Caire had also recently opened a representative office in the UAE to support its clients based in the country.

"The branch is working to maximise joint investments across the UAE specifically and the GCC in general. The UAE office contributes not only to stimulating trade between Egypt and the Arab Gulf countries but also attracting Arab & Gulf investments to Egypt, financing foreign trade operations as well as capturing remittances from Egyptian expats," he added.

In a previous press release published to announce the opening of the UAE representative office in March, Fayed had said that it would support its share of the market for Egyptian customers banking in the Gulf. He said that Banque du Caire (BDC) currently captures 10 percent of all remittances from Egyptian expats routed via Gulf Arab countries.

He also said that BDC’s strategy was not only limited to the UAE, but could extend to other countries – initially across the Gulf. The bank has also arranged deals with a number of major exchange houses in a bid to attract and capture more of the expat remittances market.

BDC is not only looking eastwards towards the Gulf, though. The bank is currently awaiting approval from the Central Bank of Egypt to conclude the purchase of the 40 percent of its Ugandan arm, Banque Du Caire Kampala, that it does not already own. BDC already had a 60 percent stake, but is looking to acquire the remainder from fellow Egyptian lenders National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr.

During the press conference, BDC announced that it earned a pre-tax profit of 3.9 billion Egyptian Pounds ($227.5 million) in 2018, a 70 percent increase on the 2.3 billion pounds made in the prior year. Net income after tax was 2.5 billion pounds, more than treble the 800 million pounds made in 2017.

The bank’s total assets grew to 165.7bn pounds, a 13 percent increase on 2017.

Its total loan portfolio increased by 48 percent, or 21.4 billion pounds, to 66 billion pounds last year. Loans to SMEs more than doubled, while its corporate loan portfolio increased by 90 percent. Micro-loans also doubled, and loans to the real estate market grew by 90 percent.

In terms of deposits, the bank said that total deposits increased to 141 billion pounds, up 7.5 percent, or 9 billion pounds.

BDC also said it had improved a key efficiency ratio, with overheads as a percentage of its overall revenue declining to 40 percent, from 48 percent in 2017.

(Reporting by Marwa Abo AlMajd; Editing by Michael Fahy)


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