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UK launches £100m fund to invest in Islamic startups

7 Nov 2013

pound_sterling_170sqThe UK government plans to establish a £100m fund to lure Islamic technology entrepreneurs to London.

The plan was unveiled at the World Islamic Economic Forum by mayor Boris Johnson. The vehicle will be backed by the UK government and Quantum Capital, which will also seek to raise money from the governments of Middle Eastern countries such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

“When start-ups have reached a certain stage in those countries, in the past, they had to go to Silicon Valley. London is now easier for some entrepreneurs,” said Quantum partner Jeremy Green, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The report also quoted CEO of Middle East-based investment fund Wamda Habib Haddad, whoc said that “it would be ideal for companies that are building from the region and going to international markets.”

In August this year Gulf Capital’s head of research Anthony Hobeika said that A drying up of traditional financing in the Middle East in the last few years had created an opportunity to profit by filling the gap.

He noted that the total size of MENA equities, bonds and bank assets is around 94 per cent of GDP compared to between 200 per cent for emerging markets and 400 per cent for the world.

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