Naeem Holding sells stake in Saudi asset management firm

15 August 2008
Egypt’s Naeem Holding is selling its minority interest in Saudi asset management firm Naeem Investment Company, following the Capital Market Authority’s (CMA) decision to revoke the Saudi firm’s licence to operate in the kingdom.

The 18 per cent stake is being sold for SR18m ($3.2m) to existing investors in the Saudi operation following the removal of its CMA licence in late July.

Meanwhile, Naeem Holding is in the process of investing AED210m ($57m) in Abu Dhabi-based asset management firm Unifund Capital, which will give it an 85 per cent stake in the business. “We will then look at expanding into Saudi Arabia through Unifund,” says Hany Tawfiq, chief executive officer of Naeem Holding.

The CMA says it revoked Naeem Investment Company’s licence for “providing false and misleading information”, although further details are not available.

While Naeem Investment Company could not be reached for comment, Tawfiq says it is planning to take legal action against the CMA for revoking its licence.

The company was established in Saudi Arabia in 2002 as the asset management arm of Saudi Investmesnt Bank. It began oper-ating as a separate company after a CMA law was introduced requiring investment banks and asset management firms to be licensed separately.

Naeem Investment Company was initially granted a licence to conduct discretionary portfolio management.

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