UPDATE 2-Egypt's Beltone agrees 5-to-1 share split

Mon Jun 9, 2014 3:24pm EDT

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(Adds Sawiris statement)

CAIRO, June 9 (Reuters) - The board of Egyptian investment bank Beltone Financial agreed to a five-to-one share split on Monday to boost trading of its shares and increase its investor base, the company's investor relations manager told Reuters.

Last week Beltone said that, together with a group of investors, it was seeking a 20 percent stake in investment bank EFG Hermes in a $257 million deal.

Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris confirmed that he is among the investors and said in a statement: "This offer is a vote of confidence in the young management team of EFG Hermes."

Beltone's shares were up almost 10 percent at the close on Monday to trade at 30.11 Egyptian pounds ($4.21).

The share price has shot up by more than 82 percent this year. At its highest, at 33.37 pounds in April, it had more than doubled in 2014.

"The board agreed on splitting the shares of the company into five with the aim of increasing the liquidity of the shares in the market and to broaden the investor base," Osama Rashad told Reuters by telephone.

The company hopes to receive shareholder approval for the share split at the end of this month, he added.

($1 = 7.1501 Egyptian Pounds) (Reporting By Shadia Nasralla and Ehab Farouk; Editing by Jason Neely and David Evans)

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