UPDATE 1-Egypt's EFG Hermes to expand debt restructuring, securitisation activity in 2019

(Adds details, background)

CAIRO, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Egypt’s EFG Hermes will expand its debt restructuring and securitisation activities next year, the co-head of its investment banking division said.

Hermes is advising on four merger and acquisition (M&A) deals expected in the first half of 2019 as well as a major M&A deal in Saudi Arabia’s health sector due to be completed next year, Mostafa Gad told Reuters.

Hermes, the Middle East’s largest investment bank, operates in countries including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan and Jordan.

The bank has been moving into non-banking services since 2015, and is currently considering expanding into the insurance and mortgage sectors, its CEO told Reuters last week.

“We will expand our activity in arranging and restructuring debt in 2019 and we will expand securitisation starting with our own financial leasing portfolio and the market in general,” Gad said in an interview.

Hermes is also working on two share offers for private companies on the Egyptian stock market in the coming months, one in the food sector and the other in manufacturing, Gad said.

Share offers for state-owned Eastern Tobacco as well as construction and engineering group Hassan Allam have been delayed pending an improvement in market conditions, he added. (Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Potter)