The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Egyptian Private Equity Association (EPEA) held a roundtable discussion on 20 April about the Bank’s approach to investing in private equity funds in Egypt.
Developing and promoting the private equity industry is one of the Bank’s focus areas in Egypt. This market is beginning to re-emerge but is still in the early stages of development.
Gathering over 60 professionals, including established as well as potential first-time fund managers, the roundtable focused on best practice and promoting private equity as a financing tool. The meeting also helped increase awareness of the EBRD’s activities related to investment in private equity funds.
During the session experts from the Bank gave an overview of the EBRD’s investment process and highlighted several areas that all potential fund managers need to consider when approaching the Bank.
Hassan el Khatib, EBRD Managing Director for Equity, said: “This roundtable is part of our strategy to encourage new fund managers as they attract investors and to pave the way for further investments in equity funds, reaching various sectors of the Egyptian economy. Through our investment in private equity funds, we aim to promote best practice in the industry, to build capacity by supporting first-time funds as well as providing follow-up support, and to help align the interests of investors and equity funds.”
Dalia Tadros, EPEA Executive Director, said: “The roundtable is part of a series of activities that EPEA is implementing, to achieve one of its important objectives. These goals include benefiting our members and helping to align their interests, as well as facilitating and encouraging business development among stakeholders of the equity investment ecosystem in Egypt and the wider region.”
To date the EBRD has invested in more than 150 equity funds across the countries where it works, reaching small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and various sectors such as infrastructure, services and agribusiness. The Bank aims to build institutional capacity and encourage private equity activity in early transition countries, as well as in underserved markets.
The Bank also facilitates the development of innovative financing tools by supporting selected niche funds that offer more specialised products, such as mezzanine capital, infrastructure or sector-specific funds.
Since the EBRD began working in Egypt in 2012, it has committed over €762 million to 24 projects across a wide range of sectors. The Bank has also facilitated direct technical assistance through its Small Business Support programme, which to date has benefited approximately 185 Egyptian SMEs.