Azimut Group, one of Europe’s leading independent asset managers, signed on Tuesday an agreement to acquire 100% of Rasmala Egypt for asset management from Rasmala Group, an independent alternative asset management group.
Following the acquisition, Rasmala Egypt will be renamed Azimut Egypt Asset Management.
Rasmala Egypt, founded in 1997, specialises in conventional and Sharia-compliant portfolio management in Egypt, with assets under management (AUM) of EGP 8.46bn ($474m) as of November 2018, with strong expertise in equity strategies, representing 85% of the total AUM.
Pietro Giuliani, chairperson of Azimut Holding stated, “The investment in Egypt confirms our commitment toward expanding our MENA and Turkey’s regional footprint which will see Azimut as the first global asset manager with investment teams on the ground in Dubai, Cairo, and Istanbul, with an oversight on the markets which we expect to attract global investors’ significant interest,” he stated, adding “It marks the first move of the group in Africa, a vast region offering unique untapped opportunities for product management and distribution expansion.”
According to the press statement, Egypt is the largest economy in North Africa, with a population of 95 million and a GDP-PPP adjustment of $1.1tn as of 2017, considered as the 21st world’s largest. Following the flotation of its currency in 2016, Egypt has embarked on a significant home-grown economic reform programme supported by the International Monetary Fund and some neighbouring countries to rebalance its economy, and set the fundamentals for one of the most attractive growth stories in the region and across the global emerging markets (EM).
The economy is expected to grow 5% per annum through to 2020, with foreign direct investments benefiting from the removal of capital restrictions, major structural developments in the energy industry, and a revival of the tourism sector to support the improvement of the country’s account deficit.
Ahmed Abou El Saad, CEO of Rasmala Egypt stated, “This acquisition is considered as the most important in the Egyptian capital market for years. It marks the first presence of major international investment banks in the field of asset management in Egypt, and will encourage investment banks to enter the Egyptian market, one of the most important markets in the Middle East and Africa region,” he declared, adding, “This proves the level of excellence which Rasmala Egypt has achieved over the past years to become one of the largest asset management companies in Egypt, and our team is very happy to join the leading European asset management company.”
Azimut believes that Egypt poses a significant opportunity for global asset management companies due to its fast-growing demographic as 60% of the population is below 30-years-old, and the country has one of the highest GDP-PPP adjusted per capita in the EM complex, excluding the energy exporting countries. In addition to Egypt’s relatively low market capitalisation of the economy, Egypt’s equity market represented almost 25% of the GDP in 2017 vs 30% in Turkey, and 48% in Brazil.