SBC Warburg and Lazard launch Egypt investment fund

16 August 1996

A new investment fund, the Egypt Trust, has applied to have 10 million shares listed on the London bourse at $10 each.

The trust has been established by SBC Warburg and Lazard Capital Markets and was expected to be listed on the London Stock Exchange on 8 August. The fund is also likely to be listed on the Egyptian and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges.

The trust is a closed-end investment company with the objective of achieving medium to long-term capital growth by investing up to $100 million in companies listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange (ESE). The company's policy allows it also to invest in unlisted companies expected to be listed in the short term and in debt instruments issued by the Egyptian private and public sectors. The company says that it expects to be able to capitalise on low valuations on the ESE and to benefit in the short term from the high dividend yields currently available.

The US' Lazard Freres Asset Management will manage the company and National Bank of Egypt (NBE) will be investment adviser. Both are expected to take stakes in the fund. NBE is proposing to take a 40 per cent stake, or to procure subscribers for 40 per cent.

A similar fund, the Egypt Investment Company, raised $46 million earlier this year, with HSBC James Capel acting as placement agent.

Beirut finance house Lebanon Invest is planning a Lebanese fund expected to be worth $100 million. The fund will invest in Lebanese businesses in need of medium and long-term finance. SBC Warburg is joint lead-manager of the fund and the UK's Foreign & Colonial Emerging Markets is co-manager with Lebanon Invest. The launch is scheduled for September.

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