Egypt’s Global Telecom in for $600m buyout

Traffic on 6th October bridge and Ramses Street in Cairo. Egypt’s blue-chip index has risen for a ninth straight session, with 27 of its 30 stocks up. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2019
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Egypt’s Global Telecom in for $600m buyout

  • Veon’s offer for the stake in Global, formerly known as Orascom, represents a 20 percent premium to its closing price on Monday and is worth $600 million
  • Veon, based in Amsterdam, operates telecommunications companies in Russia and in developing countries in Asia and North Africa

AMSTERDAM/CAIRO: Telecoms operator Veon said on Tuesday it intends to offer 5.30 Egyptian pounds ($0.3005) per share for the 42.3 percent of Cairo-listed Global Telecom Holding it does not already own.
The offer for the stake in Global, formerly known as Orascom, represents a 20 percent premium to its closing price on Monday and is worth $600 million.
Veon, based in Amsterdam, operates telecommunications companies in Russia and in developing countries in Asia and North Africa. It holds a 55.6 percent stake in Global, which operates the Djezzy network in Algeria, Mobilink in Pakistan and Sheba Telecom in Bangladesh.
Veon said in a statement it has not yet submitted the offer to Egyptian financial authorities and it would not comment further. It called off a previous attempt to buy out Global’s assets in October.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund will conduct its final review of Egypt’s three-year $12 billion loan program in June, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Tuesday.
The IMF announced on Monday that it was disbursing the fifth out of six $2 billion tranches, after completing its fourth review of the program.
Foreign investors hold $13.1 billion in Egyptian treasuries, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmed Kouchouk said on Tuesday.
Kouchouk had last put the figure at $14 billion as of end-September, after a turbulent summer for emerging markets with weakened investor appetite.
Foreign investors bought Egyptian treasury bills and bonds worth $900 million in January, Maait said.
The average yield on bonds in the period from July until December was 18.5 percent, and the average yield on treasury bills sold in the same period was 19.5 percent, Kouchouk said.


Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

Updated 25 April 2019
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Head of Saudi Arabia’s SRC: ‘Ask banks for a mortgage, and we will refinance it’

  • SRC CEO Fabrice Susini: One of our key objectives is to ensure that the banks are extending loans to more and more people
  • Extending home-ownership is one of the cornerstones of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy away from oil production

RIYADH: The head of the state-owned Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) has made an unprecedented offer to the Kingdom’s home-seekers to underwrite future mortgages.
Speaking at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh, Fabrice Susini, SRC CEO, told the audience: “Ask them (the banks) for a mortgage, and we will refinance it.”
Although Susini later clarified his remarks to show that he still expected normal standards of mortgage applications to be met, the on-stage show of bravado illustrates SRC’s commitment to facilitate home-ownership in the Kingdom.
“Obviously if you have no revenue, no income, poor credit history, that will not apply. Now if you have a job, it is different. We have people in senior positions at big foreign banks that could not get a mortgage,” he explained.
He said that Saudi banks have traditionally assessed mortgages on the basis of “flow stability” of earnings. Government employees, or those of big corporations like Saudi Aramco and SABIC, found it easy to get mortgages “because you were there for life.”
“One of our key objectives is to ensure that the banks are extending loans to more and more people. The government is pushing for entrepreneurship, private development, private jobs. If you work in the private sector and cannot get a mortgage the next thing you will do is go to the government for a job,” Susini said.
Extending home-ownership is one of the cornerstones of the Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy away from oil production. Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest rates of mortgage penetration of any G20 country — in single digit percentages, compared with others at up to 50 percent.