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Western Union Expands in Egypt

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In an effort to expand in Egypt, Western Union Co. (WU - Free Report) has signed an agreement with AlexBank to offer money transfer services in the region. 
AlexBank is one of the leading banks in the region and is the Egyptian subsidiary of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group.   
According to the pact, Alex bank will debut the money transfer service across 50 select branches. The services will then gradually be expanded to cover more branches. The bank targets to serve its members in 120 branches across the country within a year.
Western Union is deeply engaged in supporting Egyptian Businesses, and especially SMEs – which are the backbone of its economy. Moreover it is estimated that more than 6 million Egyptians live abroad and the number is expected to grow over time which will fuel long term demand for money remittance.  Money remittance has increased six times over the past eight years and accounts for a substantial chunk of the total remittance flowing into the Middle East and North Africa region.  
Western Union already has a strong presence in the Egyptian region where has been operating for more than twenty years. At present the company provides money transfer service in Egypt via an agent network of over 90 locations across the country.  
The agreement with AlexBank will further strengthen Western Union’s position in Egypt by increasing agent locations to over 200 over time. 
Another money transferor MoneyGram International Inc. (MGI - Free Report) also provides services in the Egyptian region. 
Western Union currently retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other players -- Visa Inc. (V - Free Report) , Weight Watchers International (WTW - Free Report) both with Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) -- are worth considering.

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