The National Investor eyes real estate sector

02 June 2006

Abu Dhabi-based The National Investor (TNI) is planning to launch a real estate development fund in the third quarter. 'In Abu Dhabi, the Gulf and the region, real estate is buoyant,' says TNI chief executive officer Orhan Osmansoy. 'We'll seek to develop property, maybe buy land, and redevelop or refurbish property.' The fund will invest in commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate.

TNI's Capital Growth Fund is expected to hold its second closing early in the second quarter. The $150 million private equity fund will invest in established businesses that require growth capital in the GCC, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, India and Pakistan. The fund will exit its investments in three-five years and has an expected internal rate of return of 20-25 per cent.

In Saudi Arabia, TNI has applied for an investment banking licence from the Capital Market Authority, which it expects to be approved by the end of the year.

The investment bank is also looking beyond the region. 'We have strong relationships with both India and Pakistan,' says Osmansoy. 'There are compelling growth opportunities [in India] and we have relationships with large corporates there.

A third of our investment banking pipeline is coming out of India.'

TNI is also considering setting up an office in India to serve businesses looking to list shares or establish operations in the Gulf, including enterprises in the telecommunications, oil and gas and shipping sectors.

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