Egypt’s EFG Hermes considers move into insurance and mortgage sectors – CEO

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s EFG Hermes <HRHO.CA> is considering expanding into the insurance and mortgage sectors after obtaining regulatory approval, the investment bank’s CEO said.

Hermes is also looking to enter a new market in Asia or Africa within a year, Karim Awad told Reuters in an interview.

Hermes, the Middle East’s largest investment bank, operates in countries including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan and Jordan.

Since 2015 it has been expanding into non-banking services, which grew to about 20 percent of its profit in the third quarter of this year compared with 12 percent a year ago, Awad said.

“In our view, non-banking financial activity will account for about 50 percent of the group’s profits by the end of 2021,” he said, adding that he expects these earnings to reach 30 percent at the end of this year.

Hermes “will study the practices (of non-banking financial services) after obtaining the necessary regulatory permissions”, he added.

Hermes began an emerging markets expansion in early 2017, opening offices in Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh.

“Morocco is a good market, but establishing a presence there isn’t currently in our plans … we really intend to enter a new market in Asia or Africa within a year,” Awad said.

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