Oman's Vision to launch third open-ended fund
A new open-ended fund to be launched by Oman's Vision Investments will target infrastructure growth in the Gulf and stay away from investments in financial firms, its manager said.
The fund, named Vision Real Economy GCC Fund, scheduled to formally launch on February 16, will target investments in listed companies in the Gulf, involved in activities such as manufacturing, logistics and distribution.
The fund will mainly focus on Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Oman, but its charter will allow a 15 per cent allocation in North Africa, including Egypt.
"A lot of money has been invested in infrastructure growth in the region with most of the countries going into value-added downstream projects. Our focus is on that opportunity," Rajesh Venkat, Fund Manager for Vision Investments said.
Infrastructure spending in the region is on the rise with countries such as Saudi Arabia planning to spend more than $400 billion (Dh1.46 trillion) on infrastructure projects. The kingdom plans to provide one million houses by 2014 to meet the needs of its growing population.
The fund has generated a "good appetite" among institutions, including sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, Venkat said, adding that it was the first of its kind to be focused on the "real economy" in the region. "We are talking to almost all the institutions in the region, including institutional investors and pension funds. Sovereign wealth funds are also showing interest," Venkat said.
"Generally most of the funds launched here have a banking exposure. Post-2009 correction, we are one of the few to have come out with such a fund," said Venkat, who is also the fund manager for two other funds run by Vision Investments. The Real Economy Fund will be Vision's third fund to be launched since its inception.
The firm's first open-ended fund, Vision Emerging GCC Fund, was launched in 2005. It operates another Oman-based fund named Vision Emerging Oman Fund.
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