Bahraini Islamic investment house Arcapita wants to invest in the regional infrastructure sector for the first time, and could launch a fund targeting the sector, according to Atif Abdulmalik, the firm’s chief executive officer.

The firm plans to launch a $1bn Asian infrastructure fund before the end of 2009, and will also do some select Middle East infrastructure deals.

Abdulmalik says if these are successful then a Middle East infrastructure fund, potentially worth $500m, will be launched. “We are looking at the infrastructure sector and are in the process of launching an Asian infrastructure fund and we want to do a few select Middle East deals before launching a Middle East fund,” he adds.

Arcapita is also planning to exit some of its existing investments following the successful sale of US fast-food brand Church’s Chicken, that gave the firm a return of 2.5 times the value on its investment.