Commercial International Bank
Growing, and helping others to grow
Actis had been following CIB's progress for some years, so when the chance came to invest in the summer of 2009, Actis moved decisively, investing US$244m in July 2009 in a fast-paced deal that was concluded in a matter of weeks.
In a country of 76 million where under 20% of the population had a bank account, the potential to grow a retail banking brand was huge. Egypt's expanding middle class was creating a strong demand for sophisticated modern personal finance and savings products. Commercial International Bank (CIB) was established in 1975 and at the time of Actis’ investment was Egypt's leading private sector bank, serving corporate, small and medium sized enterprise (SME) clients and retail banking customers.
The CIB investment is a case study in co-operation between Actis’ on-the-ground team and global sector insight. Actis worked with CIB to accelerate its presence in consumer banking and to introduce new business practices to its SME banking services. CIB supported its customers in bespoke ways such as through the introduction of women-only branches, run entirely by female staff. It implemented a global cash management capacity for the first time, strengthened the banks risk and governance reporting and upgraded its IT capabilities. The investment team also worked closely with the bank to refine its Investor Relations strategy, introducing new investors to the bank and in February 2010, Actis Chairman Paul Fletcher joined the CIB board.
In May 2014, Actis successfully realised its investment in CIB in an accelerated book build to international investors, followed by a placing to Canadian blue-chip investor, Fairfax Financial.
The CIB partnership is an example of Actis’ ability to add value and grow a business even in times of volatility and civil unrest; bringing the company through the Revolution to stability and then to exit.