SGAM to launch two real estate funds in Morocco

Following its previous North African fund, Société Générale Asset Management will launch two Morocco-focused real estate funds by the end of the year.

Société Générale Asset Management Alternatie Investments has, through its Casablanca-based subsidiary SGAM AI Maroc, launched a real estate investment business in Morocco. The firm says this business will launch two vehicles focused on the area by the end of the year.

SGAM will be working with the support of Société Générale Marocaine de Banques in Morocco. The funds are targeting MAD 1.5 billion ($186 billion, €135 million) of equity capital, and are slated to have an investment capacity of almost MAD5 billion.

The firm’s previous fund in Morocco, SGAM AI Kantara, was a capital development and buy-out fund investing across North Africa. The firm also managed Oléa Capital, which invests in olive oil production in Morocco.

Morocco has received some minor attention, with Egypt, as being a potential untapped area of investment in North Africa. Last week it was reported that Kuwait-based Global Investment House is preparing to launch a $300 million Sharia-compliant real estate development fund that will target North Africa in addition to GCC countries, and Morocco was listed as one of the main targets for investment. The country’s desirable geographic location and popularity as a European tourist destination are some of the factors attracting some foreign investors.

The firm says that the first fund will look for short-term investment opportunities in operations involving office development. The second fund will act as a land company, making longer-term investments in professional rent-bearing assets.

For LPs, the funds will target foreign institutional and private investors as well as domestic Moroccan investors.

Based in Paris, SGAM AI’s real estate business manages close to €1 billion of assets within its opportunistic and core fund ranges. The real estate business began targeting emerging markets last year.