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Investcorp Plans $1bn GCC Investment Fund

A billion dollar fund to initiate and develop strategic projects within the GCC is being launched a major investment bank. Investcorp will target important sectors that will contribute to the economic development of the region and the broadening of the private sector.

The bank will launch the fund with a $75 million pledge and will be asking other banks and investors to contribute the rest, said president and chief executive officer Nemir Kirdar. The plan marks the first time that the Investcorp directly invests in companies in the region, although its acquisitions abroad have regularly done business here.

"We estimate that the fund will finance between 20 to 25 projects," said Kirdar. "Around $30 to $50 will be injected into each project from the fund, with banks supplying any additional funding that may be required.

"We don't have any particular sectors in mind, but the projects that will be selected will either be in areas that are either new to Bahrain or have room for growth."

The fund will be used to either launch new companies or buy existing ones and develop them.

Foreign expertise will be hired to manage the businesses, at least for the first few years, to ensure that it has the right know-how to be successful.

The companies will then be sold off to the private sector.

Kirdar said that the initiative would have a positive effect on the regional economy, helping to broaden the private sector of the region.

He added that governments are welcome to participate in this fund also if they wish to.

"We will not be taking any money initially, but collecting pledges from companies and investors," continued Kirdar.

"We expect by the end of the year to have secured $1bn and to have established a mechanism through which we can implement the idea.

"That's when we will start collecting the funds."

The bank's other four lines of business, namely corporate investment, real estate, asset management and technology investment, continue to do well and will remain in place, said Kirdar. -(TradeArabia News Service)


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