EFG Hermes concludes microlender ASA International’s London IPO

Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes has concluded on Saturday its advisory to microfinance lender ASA International (ASAI) on its £125 million ($165.4 million) initial public offering on London bourse.

The Bangladeshi-Dutch company, which provides small loans to businesses in developing economies, announced plans to list on London’s main market last month. The offer price was set at £3.13($4.11), it said on Friday. Admission to the market is expected on July 18.

ASA, one of the world’s largest private-sector microfinance institutions, has operations in 12 countries. It was founded in 2007 as an international expansion of the work of a non-governmental organisation — ASA NGO Bangladesh — but ASA International operates on a commercial basis.

ASAI has secured a market capitalisation of £313 million through its London listing, the first of its kind in Europe for this type of lender.

EFG Hermes was joint bookrunner on the transaction alongside Investec plc, while Citigroup Global Markets acted as sole global coordinator and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) as lead manager. Shares of ASAI have been admitted to trading on the main market of the LSE with a premium listing under the stock ticker “ASAI.”

“This is a milestone transaction for EFG Hermes and one that marks the firm’s first investment banking foray in frontier markets following the launch of our frontier strategy in early 2017,” said Ali Khalpey, the London-based CEO of EFG Hermes Frontier, in a statement on London Stock Exchange