Abraaj opens in Ramallah

The MENASA-focused firm has hired Fayez Husseini to lead up to 25 Palestinian SME investments over the next four years.

Abraaj Capital has opened an office in Palestine’s West Bank to support small-to-medium enterprise investment activity in Palestine.

Part of the firm’s SME platform, Riyada Enterprise Development, the Ramallah office will source and manage deals for the “Palestine Growth Capital Fund”, a Palestinian SME fund that Abraaj established in January in partnership with the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF).

Both parties committed $15 million each to the fund, which has a $50 million target. The Bank of Palestine is also among its limited partners, having committed $5 million. The fund intends to make between 20 and 25 investments over the next four years. It held a first close in January but has not yet made any investments.

The fund comes at an important time for the Palestinian economy when it is projected to grow by more than 7 percent this year.

Fayez Husseini

Fayez Husseini, who Abraaj noted has more than two decades of investment experience in the region, has been hired to lead the office. He was most recently a senior business development executive at mobile network company FRiENDi Group. Prior to that,  he was an investment manager with PIF’s predecessor, the Palestine Commercial Services Company, as well as chief executive of the Palestinian Economic Development Group.

Fayez Husseini

 

“Fayez brings with him a great wealth of investment expertise across many sectors,” Tom Speechley, Abraaj executive director, said in a statement. “This will be crucial in helping Riyada Enterprise Development find and invest in entrepreneurial Palestinian SMEs with the potential to expand at home and across the region.”

Husseini said in a statement the fund was exactly what Palestinian entrepreneurs needed, adding: “The fund comes at an important time for the Palestinian economy when it is projected to grow by more than 7 percent this year, and when the Palestinian government is focusing more and more on developing the SME sector.”