France’s BNP Paribas is planning to raise up to $300m from regional investors for a private equity fund looking to take advantage of the financial crisis.

According to Jean-Christophe Durrand, regional director in the GCC for Paribas, the fund will raise up to $150m by October.

The bank may decide to raise a second tranche of a similar size in 2010.

Durrand says the fund will not focus on a particular sector and the bank is “well placed to get access to deals in the region”.

The first tranche will cover between two and four investments.

Durrand says the bank is already lining up potential purchases.

BNP Paribas will be a co-investor in the fund, contributing 25 per cent of the value of the fund – up to $37.5m – from its own resources.