Premium Card unveils successful closing of its third securitisation bond issuance

Premium International for Credit Services (Premium Card) announced on Monday the third issuance of its two-year short-term securitisation programme worth 2 billion Egyptian pounds ($126.5 million).

The 182 million-pound bond consists of a single 10-month maturity tranche, backed by a static pool of consumer card receivables.

The bond received from Middle East Rating & Investors Service (MERIS) – the regional Moody’s affiliate, a Prime 1 Rating, consistent with the previous two issuances – the strongest creditworthiness rating in the Egyptian bond market.

The rating has been based on MERIS credit assessment, considering the following points: (i) with 49 thousand individual contracts, the underlying pool of receivables is highly granular with individual concentrations not exceeding 0.03 percent; (ii) the receivables are backed by signed promissory notes covering the card limits of the cardholders; and (iii) the significant experience of the company, the efficiency of its operating systems in addition to the strict collection and monitoring guidelines and procedures.

The first of its kind in Egypt, the programme was approved by the Egyptian Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) in accordance with Law No. (172) for the year 2018 setting out the rules regarding issuance of Short-Term Debt Instruments (STDI).

This third offering was successfully 100 percent subscribed by several prominent institutional investors, namely EFG Hermes, the Arab African International Bank (AAIB), and EG Bank, reflecting the market’s confidence in the solid financial position of the company.

A consortium of the leading financial, banking and legal institutions collaborated on this two-year, short-term securitisation transaction. EFG Hermes and AAIB were tapped as lead arrangers and co-underwriters along with EG Bank.

EFG Hermes was appointed as sole financial advisor, book-runner, and transaction manager, while AAIB acted as placement agent and custodian of the transaction. Dreny & Partners acted as the legal advisor, and KPMG Hazem Hassan as the financial auditor for the transaction.

Commenting on the issuance, Paul Antaki – Founder and Chairman of Premium Card – said: “We are proud to have completed our third securitised bond offering less than five months after achieving the second issuance.”

“This transaction will solidify our position in the Non-Banking Financial Services (NBFS) sector and back-up our ambitious expansion strategy for Y2020-21 through a number of new innovative FinTech projects we have in the pipeline.”

“Over the past years, we have been successful in fostering, a strong and successful enterprise as a result of our resilient business model and deep understanding of the market fundamentals”.

“With this regard, the company is launching several new products and services to support Egypt’s plan to promote citizens’ purchasing and consumption power, particularly amidst the challenging economic conditions caused by the current coronavirus outbreak.”

Antaki added: “Looking ahead, while reinforcing its highly regarded status in the market, Premium Card strives to maintain a leading role among private sector institutions, working to enhance financial inclusion across our national economy.”

Rami Antaki, Co-Founder and member of Premium Card Board of Director, said: “We highly believe in the great potential of the debt market with the introduction of new innovative instruments – in line with the general direction of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA) – and their attractive cost of financing providing a cheaper funding alternative.

“We view short-term bonds, as the best financing tool for non-banking financial companies like us … We are honoured to have joined forces again with the reputable and highly experienced teams dedicated by EFG Hermes, AAIB, and Dreny law firm for this transaction.”

“With this talented team, we have all together paved the way for the first short-term securitisation, not only the first of its kind from a tenor perspective, but also the first in the consumer finance industry. We look forward to continue cooperating with regards to the remaining issuances of our EGP 2 billion programme.”