Egypt's EFG Hermes sets up Syria equity fund

March 3, 2010 15:10

CAIRO — Egypt-based investment bank EFG Hermes said Wednesday that it is launching a $250 million to $300 million private equity fund to target investments in the "untapped" Syrian market and will open an office in the Syrian capital.

The Cairo-based bank's chief executive Hassan Heikal said that the new initiative is part of the firm's strategy to boost its regional presence.

Hassan said the Syrian government's recent efforts to liberalize its economy and boost investment opportunities have made the Arab nation "a compelling investment opportunity."

The new operation is a 70-30 partnership with Syrian businessman Firas Tlass, with EFG Hermes holding the larger stake.

The bank said it is still waiting for Syrian regulators to give the final approval for the venture.

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