London firm sees opportunity in Middle East ventures

12 January 1996

PFM, the London-based financial services company, is planning to expand its Middle East activities 50 that by the end of 1996 its office network includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

All the offices are set in joint venture with local companies and are part of a strategy, implemented since 1993, to tap Middle East investors and provide them with international and regional investment vehicles and services.

Our network of offices provides the opportunity to encourage and facilitate cross border investment across the whole of the region,' says Peter Green, chairman of PFM. 'According to clients' needs investment will either be through individually tailored portfolios or through the range of mutual funds to be launched in 1996.'

PFM already has three offices in the region, in Cairo, Jeddah and Doha. Each office has been set up as a joint venture with a local company. In Egypt, PFM has a 24 per cent stake in Egyptian-Anglo for Mutual Fund Management, which manages two local mutual funds. A second joint venture company, United Company for Portfolio Management, was incorporated in mid-November in which PFM has a 10 per cent stake and has signed a five-year management contract. United plans to launch its own mutual funds that will invest in Egypt, as well as other Middle East markets.

In Qatar, PFM also has a five year contract to manage City Investment Group that provides local and international brokerage services, international fund management and other services. It also plans to promote intra-regional investment, rather than simply channelling funds outside the Middle East.

PFM also signed an agreement in 1994 to set up an office in Jeddah through an affiliate company, Valuation Information Services. The new company will provide financial services and supply financial information systems to local institutions.

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