The US-based Bennett Capital Management (BCM) is looking to raise up to $100 million through two funds to invest in the stock markets of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

The main Arab markets being targeted are Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, and other regional markets include Israel, Turkey and Pakistan (MEED 17:3:95).

The main investment vehicle will be an offshore fund called Key Emerging Value, which is domiciled in the British Virgin Islands and listed in Dublin. The marketing campaign, which began in late April, will continue until a cap of $50 million is reached. However, the fund is open-ended and investment can begin immediately. The advisers to the fund are the London-based Key Asset Management.

The fund will invest in no more than 50 listed stocks, although the actual number of invested stock is likely to be about 35. All the companies must also have issued financial statements for three years, and have a minimum market capitalisation of $40 million.

‘We are cash flow driven, we are not interested in buying assets,’ says Jack Sorensen, vice-president of BCM. Mostly middle-ranking firms will be targeted and are expected to have good growth potential with a strong management team. ‘We have a bottom up approach, which distinguishes us from other funds,’ he says.

BCM has also launched a second fund which will mirror the investments made by the Key Emerging Value fund. However, the second fund, called the Windham Partners fund, will be registered in Delaware and will target US investors. The cap for this fund is also expected to be $50 million, but Sorensen says the amount raised is likely to be well below this figure.