By Mirna Sleiman
DUBAI, April 23 (Reuters) - Swiss lender Credit Suisse is advising Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB), a private equity firm, on a listing of all of its shares on the Doha bourse, two bankers with knowledge of the deal told Reuters on Sunday.
QFIB, which sold its 41 percent stake in Qatar Engineering and Construction Company (Qcon) for $77 million last week, has said it is expecting to list in Doha by November.
Spokespeople for Credit Suisse and QFIB were not immediately available for comment.
Qatar First Investment Bank’s chief executive Emad Mansour had told Reuters in February that the firm is not seeking to raise money but wanted its 1,200 shareholders to trade the stock.
The Qatar Exchange has fallen 0.87 percent so far this year after rising 1.1 percent in 2011.
Dubai-based Abraaj Capital is gearing up for an initial public offering (IPO) as early as next year following its recent acquisition of emerging market fund manager Aureos Capital, Group Chief Executive Arif Naqvi told Reuters last month.
The Middle East and North Africa regions are important investment areas for private equity firms, which have raised $22.7 billion to invest into the area in the past five years, according to figures from London-based research firm Preqin.
Deal activity in the region is showing signs of a rebound after a period of slowdown following the global financial crisis.
In January, Qatar First Investment Bank acquired a 15-percent stake in Al Rifai International Holding, a manufacturer of nuts and snacks in the Middle East and Europe. It was the company’s first investment in the food and beverage manufacturing sector.
The firm last year acquired a 10.3-percent shareholding in Islamic insurance firm Watania Takaful. It also bought a $16 million stake in Kuwait Energy Company (KEC).
QFIB made a net profit of $25.8 million in 2011, up 20 per cent compared with 2010, according to the company’s website. Total capital invested to date reached $333 million. (Reporting By Mirna Sleiman; Editing by Reed Stevenson)