Egypt’s Beltone to sell stake in brokerage Auerbach in 2020

Staff at Beltone Financial’s HQ office in Cairo, Egypt. (Reuters)
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Updated 13 January 2020

Egypt’s Beltone to sell stake in brokerage Auerbach in 2020

  • Beltone believes a sale will help it return to profitability this year after losses since it bought the Auerbach stake in 2016
  • The company, which has branches in Europe, United States and the Middle East, aims to become Egypt’s second biggest brokerage this year

CAIRO: Egyptian investment bank Beltone Financial Holding plans to sell its 60% stake in New York-based brokerage Auerbach Grayson & Company to help stem losses, the bank’s chief executive said on Monday.
Beltone, controlled by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, believes a sale will help it return to profitability this year after losses since it bought the Auerbach stake in 2016, Ibrahim Karam told Reuters.
“Although it (Auerbach) helps us with a presence in more than 120 markets, the losses that come from it are big. We have a plan to deal with it that will be finalized before March,” Karam said in an interview in his office overlooking the Nile.
The board of directors had authorized him to negotiate the sale, he added.
Beltone reported losses of 14.3 million Egyptian pounds ($900,000) in 2017, 82.4 million pounds in 2018 and 66.5 million pounds in the first nine months of 2019.
The company also plans in 2020 to enter Gulf and African countries, expand its non-banking financial activities and manage the initial public offering of a big private company on Egypt’s stock exchange, Karam said.
Sawiris bought Beltone Financial in November 2015 for about 650 million pounds. It now has 13 subsidies specializing in investment, asset management and securities.
“We will enter the markets of UAE and Saudi Arabia within 2020. We will have a different model in Saudi Arabia to avoid the mistakes of others,” he said, without elaborating.
“We aim for non-banking financial activities to represent 30-40% of the company’s revenues within the three years until 2023,” he added.
Beltone received approval from the Egyptian regulator to launch new non-banking financial activities in 2020, including financial leasing, mortgage financing and consumer financing. It later plans to begin other activities such as micro-finance, insurance and factoring.
The company, which has branches in Europe, United States and the Middle East, aims to become Egypt’s second biggest brokerage this year, Karam said.
Beltone in 2019 was fourth among Egypt’s 131 brokers by value of trades, according to the Egyptian stock exchange. It had a market share of nearly 5%, Karam said.


Saudi Arabia: OPEC, allies coordinating to hold Saturday meeting

Updated 05 June 2020

Saudi Arabia: OPEC, allies coordinating to hold Saturday meeting

  • Russian energy ministry earlier confirmed the meeting

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Friday that OPEC and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, were working to hold their oil output policy meeting on Saturday.
“The conditions right now warrant hopefully successful meetings. Coordination is under way to hold OPEC and OPEC+ meetings tomorrow afternoon,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said.

The Russian energy ministry earlier similarly said a video conference of a group of leading oil producers, known as OPEC+, would be held on Saturday.