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Infrastructure finance: MENA fund is on the road

DIC Asset Management – a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai International Capital, the international investment arm of Dubai Holding; HSBC Bank Middle East; and Oasis International Leasing – has concluded the first close of its MENA Infrastructure Fund with commitments totalling $300 million.

"The positive response by investors is indicative of their confidence in the region and in the fund’s ability to deliver attractive returns from an asset class with low volatility," says Robert Swift, the fund’s chief executive. He adds that the infrastructure and energy sectors provide a range of opportunities and that the investment team at the fund has several initiatives already under way.

All three sponsors are also investors in the fund, which was established in 2006 with an ultimate $500 million final close target.

"The fund’s distinctive asset class provides investors with the opportunity for sector and geography-specific diversification of their portfolio and attractive returns on their investment," adds Salem Rashid Al Noaimi, Oasis Leasing’s acting chief executive.

Infrastructure class

The background to the fund is that the mineral wealth and high GDP and population growth rates in the Middle East and North Africa region are driving the need for infrastructure and energy investment, which typically grows at a multiple to the underlying GDP growth rate.

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