Saudi investment firm Itqan Capital is preparing to launch a private equity fund to invest in the education sector of the Gulf Arab region.
Itqan, which is a unit of Bahrain’s Al Baraka Banking Group, is seeking $200m for the fund, its CEO Adil Dahlawi told Reuters.
The firm noted that the private education sector will represent 14 per cent of the Gulf region’s $40bn education market. It said that private equity firms poured only $275m in the sector between 2005 and 2009.
Dahlawi said, “We are pushing the envelope today. We are saying, if you want to start an investment on the education side, be fully dedicated to that and don’t come into it only seeking returns. There is a social commitment to this which we want to adhere to.
The firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with D3 Consultants to raise the fund, which is expected to be launched in the first half of 2014.
In August this year Sauda Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund SAMA Foreign Holdings became the second largest in the world after leapfrogging giant competitors from Abu Dhabi and China in assets.
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