SHANGHAI: Invest AD, which manages investments for the Abu Dhabi government and institutional investors, said on Monday it was launching a private equity fund to invest in the Middle East and its Hong Kong partner will close subscriptions for a separate Middle East stock fund in June.
Invest AD, formerly known as Abu Dhabi Investment Co, says that the oil-rich Middle East, long seen as a source of capital, is also an attractive destination for Asian investors seeking to diversify their portfolios as economic growth in the region will remain robust and valuations of assets there comparatively low.
"Abu Dhabi is a gateway to enter the Middle East," Mohammed Salih Al Hashemi, executive director of investment management, told Reuters in Shanghai. "There’re opportunities beyond Abu Dhabi to Chinese investors."
Asked if the company, which has been investing on behalf of the government since 1977, was interested in investing in the Agricultural Bank of China’s initial public offering in Shanghai and Hong Kong, he said he was not aware of such plans.
The China Business News reported on Monday that several Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds were holding talks with AgBank about investing in the bank’s $30 billion listing, which would be the world’s largest IPO.
Invest AD, which was given a mandate in 2007 to attract third party funds, has ambitious targets to grow its asset management business and has so far launched four funds that invest in listed equities.
Earlier this month, Invest AD partnered with Hong Kong financial services Group Quam Ltd to launch a Middle East equities fund targeting Asian investors.
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.