Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes said in a filing to the stock exchange yesterday its alliance with Qatari firm QInvest is legally binding and can only be broken through legal action, firming up its position against a counter bid mounted by Planet IB Ltd, the consortium of Arab investors. “With the approval of the company’s general assembly of the agreement signed with QInvest, the agreements have become binding on the two parties,” the EFG statement said. EFG Hermes’ shareholders on June 2 unanimously voted in favour of a deal with QInvest, but the bank has faced a counter bid from Planet IB that prices the company at a premium to the share price. The statement added that the contract doesn’t include a penalty clause in the event of the termination of the alliance with QInvest. But this “doesn’t imply that we are approaching a termination, we are just clarifying the contract to the stock market,” May el Gammal, marketing manager at EFG Hermes told Zawya Dow Jones via phone. EFG Hermes shares were yesterday trading +0.3% at 10.03 Egyptian pounds ($1.7) in a slightly higher overall market. from gulf times.