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BSFF to provide portfolio management services for shares listed in the Damascus Securities Exchange

Damascus, 23 May 2011

Bemo Saudi Fransi Finance (BSFF) announces that it has received final approval to activate its Asset Management division from the Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities (SCFMS) to provide discretionary and non-discretionary portfolio management services for shares listed in the Damascus Securities Exchange (DSE). The go ahead comes two years following the launch of the DSE, which now consists of 20 listed companies with a capitalization of over S£115 billion (approximately US$2.5 billion).

The service is expected to attract high net worth individual and institutional investors interested in gaining access into the DSE via the experience and skill of a dedicated investment manager. Based on the needs, expectations and risk tolerance of each individual investor, the investment manager will construct a customized portfolio of shares according to each investor’s preferred investment horizon.

In this regard, BSFF has appointed Mr. Hamza Hamza to serve as Investment Manager in advising investors in Syria and abroad. Mr. Hamza, a derivatives professional with extensive experience in trading on the European and US markets, was until recently Fund Manager at Sucden Financial – London trading primarily commodities, bonds, currencies and indices. He is also a Certified Technical Analyst, and was a market media commentator (2006 – 2010) for Dow Jones, CNBC Arabia, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

In a statement, Mr. Omar Al-Ghraoui the General Manager of BSFF said: “I am very pleased that we have received the final go ahead from the Securities Commission to activate our Asset Management division, which is the first to be provided to a financial services company in Syria. I am confident that this service will have a positive impact on a growing market and an increasingly more sophisticated investor base”, Mr. Hamza added: “I will combine the best features of different investment processes by carefully selecting companies for investments based on fundamental studies, and diligently timing our entry and exit points based on technical and market studies”.

Discretionary service mandates at BSFF delegate the management and investment decision to the investment manager, benefiting from his expertise and flexibility in reacting quickly to the fast moving markets. While through non-discretionary services the investment manager will provide direct recommendations to investors who prefer to remain in control over the buy and sell decisions, but with access to informed recommendations.

BSFF’s brokerage operations hold the largest market share among financial intermediaries working in the exchange, with a 28.65% share for Q1 2011. BSFF has maintained the leadership position since the launch of the securities exchange in March 2009 and has been recognized by EMEA Finance Magazine as Best Investment Bank – Syria for the third consecutive year in 2010, and by World Finance Magazine as Best Brokerage Company – Syria 2009.

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