Sources: Egypt’s Qalaa Holdings approves LE1.7 bn capital hike

Qalaa Holdings, one of Egypt's largest investment companies, has approved a share swap with subsidiary companies that equates to a LE1.7 billion ($223 million) capital increase, two informed sources told Reuters on Saturday.

The move would be the firm's third capital hike since it listed on the Egyptian bourse in 2010 and comes as the company considers a series of money-raising divestments as it seeks a return to profit.

The increase would involve exchanging shares in the holding company for larger stakes in subsidiary companies, mostly in the energy and cement sectors, and would bring the company's capital to LE9.7 billion, the sources said, without giving any further detail.

"Qalaa's management decided that this will be the last increase," said another source.

No one at the firm could immediately be reached for comment.

On Wednesday the firm said it had hired investment bank EFG Hermes to advise it on the possible sale of its food businesses, a deal the conglomerate said would help it return to profit this year instead of 2016.

Qalaa, which is seeking to raise $300 million over the medium term through divestments, is considering selling confectioner Rashidi El-Mizan and dairy producer Dina Farms, Chairman Ahmed Heikal has said.

Qalaa has some $9.5 billion in assets under management, including dozens of firms mainly in Egypt, east and north Africa. 

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