QInvest to launch private equity fund

Qatar's QInvest is aiming for a $250m first close early next year for its maiden private equity fund. Meanwhile, plans to raise $1bn in tandem with Silver Leaf and Qatar Islamic Bank have been delayed.

Islamic investment bank QInvest is set to launch a private equity fund focused on the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, Shahzad Shahbaz,  chief executive officer of QInvest, said in an interview.

It will focus on growth capital and buyout opportunities though it will also opportunistically look at a few other types of transactions. “Given what has happened in the markets, we may also make PIPE or pre-IPO deals,” Shahbaz said.

The fund marks the bank's entrance into private equity fund management, though it did last month close a QAR728 million ($200 million) sharia-compliant mezzanine real estate fund in partnership with Qatar-based investment bank Amwal and Shuaa Capital.

The private equity fund will be launched in the first quarter of next year and is targeting a first close of $250 million, Shahbaz said. He added that the final target size for the fund has not been determined yet.

It will be sector-agnostic, and while Shabaz said QInvest has no plans at present to make real estate investments from the fund, a final decision has not been made.

In March, QInvest, Silver Leaf Capital and Qatar Islamic Bank disclosed plans to launch a $1 billion private equity fund invest in sectors such as telecom, environmental recycling, oil and gas and infrastructure. However, the plan has been put on hold owing to market conditions. The firms are evaluating its options, given what is happening globally, Shahbaz said.