Abraaj sets $250m target for Middle East fund

Middle East private equity firm reveals an increased capital raising target for its ASAS real estate fund in an interview with news agency Reuters. The fund’s investment strategy will take in Saudi Arabia, the firm said.

The largest private equity business in the Middle East is reportedly increasing the capital raising target for its ASAS real estate fund to $250 million having reached a first closing in December.

According to a report by Reuters, Dubai-based Abraaj Capital raised $100 million for the Middle East-focused real estate fund, giving it the confidence to seek further capital. The firm hopes to close the vehicle this year.

Principal Faisal Khan told the news agency: “The first closing was $100 million. We are hoping to take it up to $250 million.”

He said, the fund would target investments in Saudi Arabia within its investing strategy, adding that a ‘pipeline’ of transactions had been identified. His words come at a time when Saudi capital Jeddah is benefiting from 500 billion riyal (€93 billion; $133 billion) of financial stimulus, according to a recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle.

The property services firm identified Jeddah’s residential sector as a particular asset class likely to benefit from rental and sale appreciation, adding that 25 million square metres of land was to be offered by Jeddah’s Municipality for large scale developments to meet demand and affordability requirements.

Abraaj’s ASAS real estate fund has already made an investment, in an Grade A office building in Cairo Egypt, according to a previous statement by the firm. The fund is expected to be used to invest in a variety of real estate sectors across the Middle East and North Africa.

Abraaj, predominantly private equity-focused, has more than $6 billion of assets under management in total.