Ridge Capital Rides on Egypt’s Islamic Finance Growth

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Ridge Islamic Capital, a Sharia-compliant investment bank, is seeking to expand its activities in Egypt and the region as the Islamic finance industry is expected to grow.

The Egyptian government is looking to raise the market share of Islamic finance to 35 percent from 5 percent and Ridge is positioning itself to take advantage of that by offering investment products compliant with the principles of Islamic law, the company told reporters in Cairo today.

“We’re targeting a $150 million fund-of-funds to be launched by the end of this year or early next year with 20 to 30 portfolios under management across sectors in the Middle East, North Africa, and Gulf regions,” said Ritjana Ceveli, managing director of asset management.

Ridge expects to add brokerage services to its current offering of asset, wealth and fund management, she said.

“We’re identifying opportunities at three companies and assessing their potential for acquisition,” Ceveli said in an interview. “We hope to conclude this by early to mid next year.”

Ridge, based in Cairo, was set up in May after acquiring El Rashad, an Egyptian investment bank. It has 22.5 million pounds ($3.7 million) in capital and a total of 20 million pounds of assets under management for Misr Iran Bank fund, as well as about 100 private clients, Miguel Henriques, chief executive officer, said in a phone interview. The Islamic investment bank is owned by Ridge Solutions, an Angola-based holding company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadine Marroushi in Cairo at nmarroushi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net