DIC, HSBC launch infrastructure fund

The investment arm of Dubai Holdings and HSBC Bank are establishing a $500m fund to invest in infrastructure opportunities across the Middle East and North Africa.

Dubai International Capital, the private equity investment arm of Dubai Holdings, and HSBC Bank are launching a $500 million (€414 million) infrastructure fund, in which each will commit $50 million, to invest in infrastructure projects across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Dubai Holding is a diversified group that operates in healthcare, technology, finance, real estate, research, education, tourism, energy and communications.

Investors from across the region as well as internationally will be targeted for the MENA Infrastructure Fund, which will have a broad mandate to invest in companies and other entities operating within MENA, according to a joint-statement from DIC and HSBC.

“We expect to see a strong drive for privatization and project finance in the region and particularly interesting investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector such as in utilities, energy, transportation and public-private partnerships,” Sameer Al Ansari, CEO of DIC, said in the statement.

David Hodgkinson, CEO and deputy chairman of HSBC Bank Middle East, said: “Infrastructure assets offer a particularly attractive investment opportunity…expenditure over the next ten years in the Middle East and North African region is estimated to be in excess of $300 billion.”

He added that the fund offers exposure to a portfolio of assets that are otherwise difficult to access, while “underlying asset valuations are generally stable over the short term while offering potential for strong growth long-term capital growth.”

DIC has committed over $300 million to private equity funds covering Europe, Asia and the MENA region. It is the third-largest shareholder in DaimlerChrysler following a $1 billion investment, and operates The Tussauds Group in the UK, a £800 million acquisition.