‘The capital increase is part of the process of re-engineering the financial structure of the bank,’ says Rabbat. ‘The strategy is to get Misr Exterior back to being the jewel in the crown of the Egyptian private sector banks.’ The 2.13 million new shares are to be sold at par of £E 70 ($15.5).

The bank is also planning a £E 500 million bond issue, along with the capital increase, he says (see page 6).

Misr Exterior was set up in 1981 as a joint venture between Banque Misrand Banco Exterior de Espana. The Spanish partner withdrew in the mid 1990s, leaving the Banque Misr group with a controlling stake. Misr International Bank (MIBank)now holds 30.1 per cent, Banque Misr itself 20.6 per cent, and the Banque Misr and MIBank mutual funds hold about 16 per cent in total.

The bank has total assets of about £E 7,000 million ($1,552 million).