Saudi Arabia’s Sedco Capital eyes $300 mln Europe real estate deal

The firm launched last month the first fund managed by its own in-house team, expanding its asset management capabilities

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Jeddah-based Islamic investment firm Sedco Capital plans to arrange a club investment of up to $300 million in European real estate, and will soon distribute its Luxembourg fund range via two European investment firms, its chief executive said.

Sedco Capital, a fully owned subsidiary of Sedco Holding, already distributes its funds through Credit Suisse, seeking a crossover opportunity between ethical and sharia-compliant investing to widen its investor base.

"Soon enough we will be in the platform of two major institutions, one is a European bank and one is a specialized fund platform," chief executive Hasan Aljabri told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Dubai, declining to name the two new institutions.

The firm will also make a final investment in the next quarter for a 500 million riyal ($133 million) Saudi real estate income fund which the firm launched last year, said Aljabri.

Last month, the firm launched the first fund managed by its own in-house team, expanding its asset management capabilities ahead of the opening of the Saudi stock market to direct foreign investment early next year.

The market opening is causing some international fund managers to seek partnerships with local firms, while others are bulking up their own research teams to enter the market on their own, Aljabri said.

"Already we have been approached by a couple that are interested to cooperate when the right time comes.

Saudi Arabia's Capital Market Authority is preparing rules that will determine the exact format of the market opening. Aljabri said the regulator would likely maintain a preference for large and well-established asset managers, to balance a market which is predominantly retail-driven.

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