UAE private equity group Abraaj Capital has received $150m investment in its small business fund from US trade promotion agency Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).  

Abraaj’s regional SME (small and medium enterprises) investment platform, Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), is planning on investing more than $700m in SMEs throughout the Mena region, as well as in Turkey and Pakistan.  

The primary focus of Abraaj’s RED initiative is on profitable SMEs in need of capital and institutional support to grow. It operates at both regional and country levels and makes individual investments of between $500,000 and $15m for influential minority and, in some cases, majority stakes. Abraaj is among the world’s 50-biggest private equity groups.     

The OPIC investment is part of a $455m US allocation to a number of private equity funds in the Mena region.