Abraaj Capital Plans to Double Fund Size to $250M

Dubai-based Abraaj Capital plans to increase its regional real estate fund to $250 million, more than double its original target. The fund is eyeing deals in Saudi Arabia’s construction sector, Reuters reported. A first close of the fund was in December 2010, with $100 million.

(Reuters) – Dubai-based Abraaj Capital is looking to more-than-double a regional real estate fund to $250 million this year and is eyeing investments in Saudi Arabia’s construction sector, its Principal said on Saturday.

The first close of the fund, ASAS, which invests in income generating property in the Middle East and North Africa, was in December 2010, Faisal Khan told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Jeddah.

“The first close was $100 million. We are hoping to take it up to $250 million. Some of those investments will be in Saudi Arabia … We have a few deals in the pipeline which we are working on,” Khan said.

The fund will look at schools, the retail sector, and offices in the kingdom, he said declining to give more details.

Abraaj, the Middle East’s biggest private equity firm, manages assets of over $6 billion.

Abraaj has held talks with Egypt’s Citadel Capital with a view to possibly buying a stake in the rival private equity firm, a source familiar with the matter said last week.

Saudi Arabia is undergoing multi-billion infrastructure projects and aims to create more than 500,000 homes, costing around $66 billion.

King Abdullah this year issued packages worth more than $130 billion to create jobs, lift wages and build homes for Saudi Arabia’s rapidly-growing population.

(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Jason Benham)