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Monday Aug. 16, 2010 4:58 PM (EST+7)
Private equity giant to open office in Ramallah

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RAMALLAH, Aug 16 (JMCC) - Abraaj Captial, the largest private equity group in the Middle East is set to open up an office in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.

The Dubai-based financier will allocate $50 million for the office to manage its Palestine Growth Capital Fund, according to The Media Line.

...Since its establishment in 2002, Abraaj Capital has raised $7 billion and distributed almost $3 billion to its investors. The Palestine Growth Capital Fund is part of a $700 million regional enterprise investment platform called Riyada Enterprise Development.

“The Fund highlights Abraaj Capital’s confidence in and commitment to the Palestinian economy, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Palestinian people,” Abraaj Capital said in a statement.

“Backed by a dedicated Riyada Enterprise Development team, with eight offices across the region – including Dubai, Amman and Cairo, [new country manager] Mr. [Fayez] Husseini’s primary focus is on SMEs [small- and medium-sized enterprises] that need capital and institutional support, with a preference for those that can leverage technology and innovation,” the statement reads.

Dr. Oussama Kanaan, representative for the West Bank and Gaza division of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that the decision could be seen as part of a general trend.

“It’s a period of high growth and a recovery trend so people tend to be quite optimistic,” Kanaan told The Media Line.

According to data from the World Bank, the Palestinian economy grew by 6.8 percent in 2009 from 5 percent in 2008. The economy is heavily dependant on foreign donations, which in 2009 totaled $1.4 billion...

Read the full article at The Media Line...






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