Dubai's Ridge Capital buys Egypt asset firm Rashad

CAIRO Tue May 15, 2012 12:41pm EDT

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CAIRO May 15 (Reuters) - Dubai-based regional investment bank Ridge Capital has bought 100 percent of Egyptian asset management firm El Rashad Holding, which is expanding its Islamic financing business, its financial adviser said on Tuesday.

Rashad manages two funds, one for Misr Iran Bank and the other for National Bank of Egypt, and last month launched a third in Bahrain that specialises in Islamic investments, Karim Amin of Sempra Capital, which acted as Ridge's adviser on the deal, told Reuters.

The new $100 million Bahraini fund has been licensed to raise money in Bahraini dinars. It will take money from funds in the Middle East and North Africa for investment in Sharia-compliant funds in Bahrain and elsewhere in the region, Amin said.

An emailed Sempra statement quoted Ridge official José Ferreira Ramos as saying: "We are optimistic about the prospects of the Egyptian economy and the financial services sector in Egypt, especially Islamic finance."

Amin declined to provide other financial details on the transaction.

El Rashad Holding, which was formed in the early 1990s, sold its securities group earlier this year to another Dubai company, Arqaam Capital.

Ridge Capital is owned by Angola-based Ridge Solutions. (Reporting by Patrick Werr; Editing by Will Waterman)

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