The ceremony was attended by Mr. Mohamed El Etreby – Chairman of
Banque Misr – Mr. Hisham Okasha – Chairman of NBE, Chairman of ACH – Mr. Karim
Saadeh – Managing Director of ACH – Mr. Akef El Maghraby – Vice Chairman of
Banque Misr – and Mr. Yehia Aboul Futouh – Vice Chairman of NBE. The ceremony
was also attended by Mr. Mustafa Serhank – Chairman of the Board of IBAG – Mr. Jean-Claude
Farah – President of the Global Network – Mr. Hatim Soliman – Deputy Chairman
Middle East and South Asia – and Ms. Dina Mehanna – Senior Manager Near East
and Egypt – as representatives of Western Union, in addition to team members of
the relevant parties.
Mr. Mohamed El Etreby – Chairman of Banque Misr – stated that this
partnership was considered a step towards integrating the informal remittances
sector with the banking sector, strengthening financial inclusion and reiterating
the directives of the Central Bank of Egypt. It also attests to the role played
by Banque Misr in supporting the Egyptian economy, coupled with the necessity
of expanding the base of targeted customers. Mr. El Etreby asserted that the
partnership with IBAG constituted a link with the non-banking sector and a
means for supporting technological transformation, which is anticipated through
the online remittances services set to be rendered by the company.
Following the signature, Mr. Hisham Okasha reported that the deal
comes in line with the strive by NBE and its investment arm to integrate the
segment of targeted customers into the banking sector and to undertake formal
remittance transactions. This, he added, would be through the provisioning of a
suite of banking services that accommodate the needs of this customer segment,
while contributing to boosting foreign cash flows in general and remittances by
Egyptian expatriates, in particular. He alluded that the deal comes in light of
the growing investment efforts by ACH in non-banking services, which the
company has expanded in considerably and achieved rapid growth, among which are
online remittances that support NBE’s as well as the state’s strategy towards
On his part, Mr. Karim Saadeh expressed his gratitude and
appreciation for the opportunity to collaborate with IBAG, whose team
incorporates efficient and competent members, adding that this cooperation is
bound to strengthen the presence of ACH in the domain of non-banking services.
Mr. Saadeh noted that ACH had previous invested in this field via Al Ahly for
Financing, Services and Electronic Payment Holding, which is considered NBE’s
online payment platform. This is in addition to the acquisition by ACH the
previous year of Pharos Securities and Pharos IPO Promotion and Coverage.
Mr. Akef El Maghraby added that Banque Misr’s confidence in the
competency of the company’s team and its continued ability to drive the status
of the company culminated in agreeing to allow the current executive team to
continue to manage the company. This is while according the team any needed
support via representatives from both Banque Misr and NBE to ensure the best
possible outcomes, moving forward.
On his part, Mr. Jean-Claude Farah – President of the Global
Network Western Union – stated that IBAG is considered one of the most
important and reputable strategic partners in Egypt and expressed Western
Union’s appreciation of this enduring partnership that has long been based on
innovation and dedication in offering high quality services and exceptional
solutions to customers in Egypt. Mr. Farah congratulated the company on this
new achievement, which constitutes a qualitative addition to its impressive
track record, noting its dedication to continuing its strive for strengthening
financial inclusion, supporting digital transformation and boosting the
country’s economic growth.
Worth noting is that IBAG is considered the oldest agent for
Western Union International in Egypt. It was established in 1995 and through
its 38 branches – distributed throughout the Republic – renders exceptional
services to more than 2 million existing customers, with total remittances
amounting to 2.4 million transactions, valued at USD 1.3 billion annually. This
has undoubtedly had a positive impact on increasing the banking sector’s USD
proceeds and supporting the national economy.
Dr. Zaki Hashem and Partners assumed the role of legal advisor for
both ACH and Banque Misr, whereas Ernst & Young performed the financial and
taxation due diligence studies; with Misr Capital being the financial advisor
of Banque Misr; and Yahya Kadry and Bahaa-Eldin Law Office in cooperation with
BonelliErede assuming the role of legal advisor for IBAG shareholders.