Egypt's Beltone in US buyout to create regional powerhouse

Mergers and aquisitions1Egypt's largest asset manager, Beltone Financial, says it has acquired a 60% stake in US-based brokerage Auerbach Grayson for an undisclosed sum. The deal is "the first step in our strategy to create a major Middle East-based global investment bank", said Naguib Sawiris, the Egyptian billionaire whose conglomerate, Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, bought Beltone Financial in 2015. Listed on the Egyptian Exchange, Beltone Financial has 30 billion Egyptian pounds ($3.4 billion) under management and maintains offices in Cairo, London, Dubai and Tripoli, Libya. The acquisition is expected to assist Beltone Financial in offering its products to the US while helping it expand in frontier markets. Auerbach Grayson, based in New York, provides research, execution and settlement services for equities, derivatives and bonds to US institutional clients. Morgan Stanley is a minority shareholder in the firm, which maintains a network of local broking partners in 125 countries. Earlier this year, Auerbach Grayson founder David Grayson predicted a deal with Beltone Financial would, "expand our overseas coverage in the European and Gulf markets, giving us broader reach in our core agency broking and capital markets distributions". After its takeover by Orascom Telecom Media and Technology, Beltone Financial tried to buy another investment firm, CI Capital, from Egypt's Commercial International Bank, but the deal was blocked by the local regulator. ©2016 funds global mena

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