(Recasts with executive comments, adds detail)
By Nicolas Parasie and Megan Davies
DUBAI Oct 13 Private equity activity in the
wider Middle East region in the near future will be especially
strong in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, a top executive of The
Carlyle Group [CYL.UL] said on Tuesday.
"The Gulf is not only a source of capital, I think it will
be a source of dealflow," said David Rubenstein, co-founder and
managing director at Carlyle, one of the world's biggest private
"I suspect in Saudi Arabia more deals will be done."
Rubenstein was speaking at the Super Return conference, the
annual gathering of the private equity industry in Dubai.
Rubenstein's comments reflect the general mood among private
equity specialists about growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia,
the Arab world's largest economy.
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is attractive to investors because of
its fast-growing population, the potential of thousands of
family-owned businesses and the government's large-scale
investment plans in transport and infrastructure.
Rubenstein also singled out Iraq, which in coming years
could become a more important investment target.
"As the economy recovers from the war you'll see more
capital flowing in," he said.
Capital to invest in the Middle East will mostly come from
local investors, followed by Europe and Asia, Rubenstein said,
adding that American capital is unlikely to find its way here.
Rubenstein expects sovereign wealth funds to play a more
"There will be more political pressure on sovereign wealth
funds to invest in the region," he said.
(Editing by David Holmes)