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|18 April, 2019

Egypt's Talaat Moustafa, GB Auto and EFG Hermes to partner in mortgage financing business

Trio combine to create a joint venture with initial paid-in capital of $8.7 mln

A man counts Egyptian pounds outside a bank in Cairo, Egypt October 24, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A man counts Egyptian pounds outside a bank in Cairo, Egypt October 24, 2016. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Three of Egypt’s publicly-traded companies have announced that they are entering into an agreement to create a mortgage financing joint venture.

Developer Talaat Moustafa Group has teamed up with the non-bank financial intermediary (NBFI) arms of Ghabbour Auto Company (GB Capital) and investment bank EFG Hermes (EFG Hermes Capital) to create a company offering home loans to potential buyers. Each of the partners will hold one-third of the equity in the mortgage financing company, which will have initial paid-in capital of 150 million Egyptian pounds ($8.7 million).

Commenting on the agreement, Talaat Moustafa Group’s CEO and managing director, Hisham Taalat Moustafa, said: “The new joint venture will capitalise on TMG’s four decades of experience in real estate development and over 100,000 units across the Group’s multiple projects.

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“Our aim is to bring to the market real estate units with long-term and competitive financing solutions that would increase affordability and better align housing supply with Egypt’s large, growing population of homebuyers.”

He said that loans would be offered both for Talaat Mostafa Group’s readily-available homes and for off-plan properties in the company’s pipeline.

“EFG Hermes and GB Capital are longstanding partners with whom we look forward to doing business for years to come,” Talaat Moustafa said.

Raouf Ghabbour, chairman and CEO of GB Auto, said that the partners were aware that “several years of high inflation” in Egypt had eroded customers’ purchasing power, but that home ownership remains important to Egyptians, with 900,000 couples marrying and looking to start new lives each year.

“We are bringing to the market a portfolio of easy-to-access financing solutions that will feature the fastest decision-making time in the industry. We have worked for years with EFG Hermes and are honoured to partner with them and with TMG on a joint venture that complements our established, fast-growing consumer, lease and micro-finance ventures ,” Ghabbour said.

Karim Awad, Group CEO of EFG Hermes Holding, said that Egypt’s market for home buyers was currently “underserved and under-penetrated by non-bank financial institutions”.

“This joint venture is the natural evolutionary step to help grow the mortgage business in Egypt and expand our non-bank financial services platform,” Awad said.

The partners have said that they will target a portfolio of mortgages worth 450 million Egyptian pounds within the first 12 months of operations, with loans mainly available for 10-year periods. A name for the business, which will have its own CEO and an independent management team, will be revealed when it launches next month.

The joint venture will be created via an existing mortgage finance company owned by TMG, where the parties will increase the company’s capital to allow each to have an equal share of ownership. EFG Hermes Investment Banking will act as financial advisor on the deal, which is subject to Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) and other approvals.

Speaking on the sidelines of the company’s launch, Hisham Talaat Moustafa said the developer is also expanding its hospitality operations in Egypt.

“Currently, we are working on three new hotels that will be added  to the Four Seasons chain of hotels," he told Zawya.

Moustafa said that the first Four Seasons hotel will be built within its Madinaty master planned community near New Cairo, the second will be in Sharm El Sheikh, and the third will be in Luxor. The first two hotels are already under construction, while the third is awaiting the necessary approvals.

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

(michael.fahy@refinitiv.com)

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© ZAWYA 2019

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