HK-based Quam ties up with Invest AD for Mideast fund

HONG KONG, May 25 (Reuters) - Quam Ltd 0952.HK is partnering Abu Dhabi government-owned Invest AD to launch a Middle East equities fund targeted at Asian investors, said a senior executive with the financial services company on Tuesday.

The Quam Middle East fund will look to raise around $50 million to invest primarily in companies in the UAE, said Bernard Pouliot, chairman of Quam. “After what happened with Dubai, unfortunately the whole region got painted with the same brush.

“But we think the timing is right for investments in the region. When there’s no bubble, it’s absolutely the right time to buy,” he said.

Companies listed on the Abu Dhabi Stock exchange are trading at 9-10 times their price to earnings, compared with historic valuations of 20 times, as the region, bruised by the global financial crisis, missed equities rally in 2009 and was further hit by Dubai’s debt problems late last year.

The fund will target high net worth investors in Asia and will be managed by Quam with Invest AD on board as a sub-advisor.

“People in Asia are overwhelmed by the China story but its important to diversify,” said David P. Sanders, chief investment officer of Invest AD’s asset management department.

Invest AD, formerly known as Abu Dhabi Investment Company, is a wholly-owned by sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Council. The firm began managing third-party money a year ago.

“The Dubai situation created great opportunities for investors like us ... There are some real estate companies that provide housing, some banks and consumer names that look good now,” he said.