BNP Paribas to launch MENA fund

The French bank has chosen the MENA region for its first private equity fund outside of Europe. It is reportedly launching at the end of the summer.

French bank BNP Paribas said Tuesday it plans to launch a private equity fund in the Middle East and North Africa region with a size ranging between $200 million and $400 million.

Jean-Cristophe Durand, regional director for Gulf Cooperation Council countries, told reporters at a press conference in Dubai the launch was planned for the end of the summer.

This is BNP Paribas's first private equity fund to be launched outside Europe, Durand said.

The bank will invest 25 percent of the size of the fund, according to Zawya, a business news site for the Middle East.

BNP Paribas will manage the MENA Private Equity Fund from its GCC hub in Bahrain, Durand said.

The bank recently received an asset management license from Saudi Arabia's Capital Market AuthorityCapital Market Authority and entered a joint venture with Saudi Investment Bank.

“BNP Paribas owns 25 percent of SAIB Asset Management,” said Durand.