Report: Abraaj steps into hedge funds

Abraaj Capital is expanding its alternatives platform and has hired Ahmed Nashaat from Permal Group to lead its foray into hedge funds

Abraaj Capital, the Dubai-based buyout firm, has hired Ahmed Nashaat to help it establish a hedge fund programme, Bloomberg reported.

Nashaat joins Abraaj from Permal Group, the hedge fund division of global asset management firm Legg Mason. He is currently Permal’s regional director for the Middle East.

“Abraaj wants to move to a model like Blackstone that spans the capital structure,'' Bloomberg quoted Nashaat as saying. According to the report, he will assume the role of head of asset management at Abraaj and he plans to establish a team of about 12 people to trade in Middle Eastern and South Asian securities.

“There are very few players of credible size in the hedge-fund space here, yet some fantastic opportunities,'' he said. He added that Abraaj Capital has raised $300 million for investments outside private equity.

Abraaj Capital focuses on investments in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, and manages a total of four private equity funds. They are the $116 million Abraaj Buyout Fund I, the $500 million Abraaj Buyout Fund II, the $113.5 million Abraaj Real Estate Fund and the $2 billion Infrastructure and Growth Fund.

The firm’s recent private equity deals include a $145 million investment in Al Borg Laboratory, an Egyptian medical testing group, and an investment in Turkish healthcare group Acibadem Healthcare Services.