Injazat mulls incorporation

16 January 2006
The local Injazat Capitalis considering converting its $50 million venture capital Injazat Technology Fund into an investment company at the end of 2006. The sharia-compliant fund was established in 2002 and its original placement stipulated a five-seven-year lifespan, with an exit date in September.
The fund's original investors include Islamic Development Bank (IDB) affiliate the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, Gulf Finance House, Dubai Islamic Bank, Saudi Economic and Development Company and Iran Foreign Investment Corporation, which hold a combined 88 per cent stake. Investors would be given the opportunity to exit the fund or retain their investment in the new company.

'The last three or four years have proven the [business] model works,' says Injazat chief executive officer Hussain Rifai. 'The investment policy would have to change. Once a fund is converted, you can consider a more dividend play.' The fund has invested in start-up media, communications and IT companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Injazat's focus is in niche markets and the company's future plans may include a cross-sector fund, as well as a management buy-out fund, says Rifai. 'We are planning to take a new angle. A turn-around fund might be the right thing to do. What we are not happy to do is start up something at a local level which only operates at a local level.'

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