Arabian Gulf Fund targets Dubai SMEs

AGF has partnered with the Government of Dubai to support SMEs in high growth sectors in the UAE.

Dubai-based investment firm Arabian Gulf Fund is engaged in preliminary discussions over direct equity investments in several companies listed in the Dubai SME 100, a ranking of Dubai’s best performing small and medium-sized businesses, according to a statement from AGF.

Earlier this year AGF signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai SME, the Government of Dubai agency that created the ranking, to foster SME investments across high growth sectors in the UAE.

As part of the partnership the two parties will work together to identify promising businesses for equity investment and AGF portfolio companies will have access to consultancy and support services from Dubai SME, a joint statement announcing the memorandum said.

The AGF, which is managed by Arabian Gulf Capital Management, is targeting $300 million including a GP commitment of 10 percent, according to documents released by the firm in February.

“The [political and economic] upheaval in the [Gulf Cooperation Council] region could ultimately benefit investors. While most investors may sit tight and see what’s happening, those who take a longer view should be able to do well. This is particularly true for local companies that may be able to assess the risk much better than outsiders,” said AGF advisory board member and former governor of the Central Bank of Turkey Nihat Bülent Gültekin.

“Like everywhere else, changes provide opportunities,” he added.

The Arabian Gulf Fund channels private equity into SMEs across the Middle East and North Africa, with special focus on the GCC countries and Egypt. The firm said in a statement it is monitoring opportunities in career education, healthcare, oil and gas logistics and infrastructure ancillaries.

“We are looking at opportunities across the UAE in which to invest,” said Sameh Mohi El Deen, senior vice president at AGF. “Quality assets in growth markets can outperform and generate significant returns – even during challenging periods, and this is underscored by the Dubai SME 100.”

PEI will be hosting its annual conference for the region, PEI Capital Connect: MENA, next week from April 18-19 in Dubai. For further details, click HERE