| CAIRO, Sept 26
CAIRO, Sept 26 Cairo-based Ridge Islamic Capital
is seeking to buy a local brokerage as part of its expansion
plan, so that it can offer a full range of sharia-compliant
financial services in the country, a company official told
"We want to start providing sharia-compliant brokerage
services during the fourth quarter of 2012," Ahmed Rizkallah,
country manager of Ridge Islamic, told Reuters on Wednesday.
He said his firm was looking for an established brokerage
with a solid reputation and a track record, but declined to name
any possible targets or specify a potential deal size.
Despite Egypt's current economic troubles, prospects for
Islamic finance in the country appear to have improved with last
year's ousting of Hosni Mubarak's regime and the election in
June this year of President Mohamed Mursi, the candidate of the
Ridge Islamic plans to develop products in the areas of
wealth management and pension funds, Rizkallah said.
Entering Egypt's takaful (Islamic insurance) market is also
on the company's priority list, either through the purchase of
an existing company or by applying for a licence, but this will
not happen before the beginning of next year, he added.
Earlier this month the company said it would have $100
million available to place as capital or to invest in funds over
the next two years.
Ridge Islamic was created this year through the acquisition
by Dubai-based Ridge Solutions International Holdings of
Egyptian asset management firm El Rashad Holding. Financial
details of the transaction were not disclosed.
(Writing by Bernardo Vizcaino; Editing by Andrew Torchia)