May 29, 2024

Bahrain’s Investcorp, China’s CIC launch $1B Sino-Gulf investment platform

Bahrain-headquartered investment firm Investcorp and sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation (CIC) have launched a $1 billion platform to invest in high-growth companies across the Gulf and China.

In a statement Wednesday, Investcorp said the platform has a target size of $1 billion and will be anchored by institutional and private investors from the Gulf and CIC, one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with around $1.24 trillion assets under management at the end of 2022. The Sino-Gulf investment platform was launched at Investcorp’s China-GCC Investment and Business Cooperation Summit in Riyadh on Wednesday, the statement said.

The companies the fund will target are expected to have high growth potential in attractive sectors, including consumer, health care, logistics and business services, Investcorp said. A company representative told Al-Monitor that on the Gulf side, the fund will mainly focus on Saudi Arabia. They added that there is no immediate plan to upsize the fund.

The Investcorp Saudi Pre-IPO Growth Fund, which is part of the platform, already announced three investments in the Gulf over the past couple of years, including in TruKKer, MENA’s largest digital freight network, with over 45,000 trucks inducted on its platform. The fund later invested in NourNet, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading ICT companies.

The commitment by CIC to the platform comes at a time when the GCC’s appeal to institutional investors is gathering pace due to an attractive regulatory environment and its pro-business policies, including its economic diversification drive and strategic privatization mandates, Investcorp said.

Bin Qi, executive vice president and deputy chief investment officer of CIC, said the platform would “strengthen financial and industrial ties between China and GCC countries.”

In an interview in January on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Investcorp Co-CEO Hazem Ben-Gacem said there was a big push by Gulf investors to invest in infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, controlled buyouts in Japan, and growth investments in India and China.

Investcorp, which invests in sectors including health, real estate and green energy, is planning to raise between 2 billion and 4 billion yuan (up to $550 million) in its first private equity fund denominated in Chinese renminbi.

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