Saudi's Alkhabeer eyes regional investments, bourse listing
Aug 13 (Reuters) - Jeddah-based Alkhabeer Capital says it plans to broaden its investments around the Gulf and seek a listing on the Saudi stock exchange, underscoring an improvement of investor sentiment in the region.
Saudi firms such as Alkhabeer, an Islamic investment company, are expanding their range of sharia-compliant investments, catering to clients' appetite for both regional and Western markets, said Henri Chaoul, Alkhabeer's chief investment strategist.
"In private equity for example, we are planning to invest further in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region and are currently looking at a number of serious opportunities."
The company was founded in 2004 as an advisory firm and made the transition to an investment firm in 2008 with a modest $10 million in assets under management. It now manages close to $500 million, a 17 percent increase from a year earlier, said Chaoul.
"Going forward, we envisage a similar growth momentum."
Alkhabeer aims to seek a listing on the local bourse, Chaoul said without elaborating on a time frame. In 2008, it raised $217 million via a private placement with domestic investors.
In the past year, the firm has closed real estate deals in the United States and launched a British real estate fund, with more funds in the pipeline, Chaoul added.
"For real estate the key area for growth for us will be in international markets. Added to this, we have recently launched a new Saudi equity fund and are currently developing our regional capital markets offering."
Alkhabeer currently has 10 Islamic funds: six real estate funds, three publicly listed funds and an industrial private equity fund. (Editing by Andrew Torchia)
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