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Alternative Market Briefing

"Huge increase" in investment funds' activity in Gulf region

Friday, July 12, 2013

Phillip Sacks
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers:

Participants at the recent Opalesque Gulf Roundtable noted on a "huge increase" in activity among investment funds, including more fund launches from both established and new managers. Nowadays, 80% of new formed funds set up by Gulf-based managers are closed-ended while 20% are open-ended funds, including hedge funds and other funds investing in listed equities. Furthermore, many of the fund launches are quite sizable with $300m+ seed money from key institutions and ultra high-net worth individuals. And a lot of the local capital now tends to stay in the region and fund local funds.

New products are sizable Fred Tabbal, Regional Head of Fund Services for Maples Fund Services in the Middle East, reveals that early last year in the Middle East, he started to see a "significant spike in activity" related to investment funds, especially those that invest in tangible assets.

"We have seen some of the most established managers launch new funds and new products," he says. "The interesting thing is that these new products are sizable. They are not the old $30m to $50m, but we are looking at $300m+, with seed money from key institutions and ultra high-net worth individuals."

This growth is encouraging, he continues, as it comes from both existing and new managers in the region, some of whom tie up with outsid......................

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