Anew regional fund focusing on investments in the technology sector is being set up by the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), and the Bahrainbased Islamic investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH).

The fund is expected to be worth $50 million and will focus on taking private equity positions in technology companies in the Middle East and North Africa.

The fund is to be Islamically structured and will concentrate on generating a diversified portfolio for Islamic investors seeking exposure to markets that have historically been difficult to access.

The fund is one of the first major moves made by GFH since its establishment last August (MEED 20:8:99). Along with one of its major shareholders, Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House, GFH is understood to be involved in the establishment of a new entity, Bahrain Islamic Insurance Company.

ICD was formed to stimulate Islamic private sector activity by the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, at which Fouad al-Omer, GFH’s chairman, is also vice-president.