EFG-Hermes ready to walk among the Cedars

Cairo investment bank acquires stake in Credit Libanais.

Storm clouds over EFG-Hermes parted yesterday as the Cairo investment bank pulled off a major acquisition that gives it a foothold - again - in the prosperous Lebanese banking sector. The largest publicly traded investment bank in the region agreed to pay US$542 million for a 65 per cent stake in Beirut's Credit Libanais. It also retained the right to buy an additional 25 per cent over the next two years on the same terms. The company is paying cash and will not require outside funding. Before the announcement was made at midday yesterday, the outlook for EFG-Hermes was gloomy. Earlier in the week, it posted a 39 per cent dip in second-quarter profitbecause of sagging trading volumes on regional stock exchanges and falling commission income.

EFG-Hermes is 18.5 per cent owned by Dubai Financial Group, a division of the government-owned conglomerate Dubai Holding, and has offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. But the equity markets in those countries are flagging badly. Adding Credit Libanais provides important diversification into consumer and commercial banking. Credit Libanaishas deposits of $5 billion and a market share of about 5 per cent in Lebanon, according to EFG-Hermes. Credit Libanais had net income of $36m and almost $1.47bn of net loans as of June 30.

For EFG-Hermes, the acquisition appears to be an effective deployment of its cash, as well as a return to the Lebanese market. Previously, EFG-Hermes owned a stake in Bank Audi for less than four years. It sold that holding this year for a $260m profit. Lebanese banks have not had to make large provisions and Lebanese expatriates have sent home a steady flow of deposits. Still, the government has significant debt, and the uncertain political situation is a constant risk.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.

if you go

The flights 

Etihad and Emirates fly direct to Kolkata from Dh1,504 and Dh1,450 return including taxes, respectively. The flight takes four hours 30 minutes outbound and 5 hours 30 minute returning. 

The trains

Numerous trains link Kolkata and Murshidabad but the daily early morning Hazarduari Express (3’ 52”) is the fastest and most convenient; this service also stops in Plassey. The return train departs Murshidabad late afternoon. Though just about feasible as a day trip, staying overnight is recommended.

The hotels

Mursidabad’s hotels are less than modest but Berhampore, 11km south, offers more accommodation and facilities (and the Hazarduari Express also pauses here). Try Hotel The Fame, with an array of rooms from doubles at Rs1,596/Dh90 to a ‘grand presidential suite’ at Rs7,854/Dh443.