Abraaj Capital To Invest $533M in Saudi Arabia

Dubai-based buyout shop Abraaj Capital will pour 2 billion riyals ($533 million) into Saudia Arabia, investing in small and medium size enterprises, Reuters said. The investments are expected to be made over the next two years, Reuters said. Abraaj Capital has raised roughly $7 billion since it launched in 2002.

(Reuters) – Abraaj Capital, a Dubai-based private equity firm, plans to invest 2 billion riyals ($533.3 million) in Saudi Arabia, it said on Monday.

The investment will be in small and medium enterprises, real estate, private equity as well as listed firms, Abraaj said in a statement.

The firm’s chief executive said on Sunday that it expects to invest $2 billion in 2011 and 2012, and is eyeing a number of deals this year.

Middle East private equity investments have plunged in the last couple of years, with investors backing out of capital calls, and sellers demanding higher prices. But the industry is slowly showing signs of revival in 2011.

British-based international bank Standard Chartered said this month that its private equity arm expected to complete two transactions in the Middle East in 2011 and does not rule out another $100 million deal.

In December, Dubai-based lender Emirates NBD said it would sell a 49 percent stake in its subsidiary Network International for 2 billion dirhams ($539 million) to Abraaj.

Abraaj is the Middle East’s biggest private equity fund, having raised $7 billion since it started in 2002.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Amran Abocar)