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French Version

Fund provides unique investment resource

The Jordan Fund, a private equity fund, was launched last week by the Deutsches Bank, Atlas Investment Group and Foursan Group, under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdallah.

At a press conference marking the launch, Iyad Masheal, manager of investment funds for the Atlas Group, said this fund would be the first step in establishing more funds in the future that will form a private equity industry in Jordan, with the aim of developing the Jordanian economy and achieving greater benefits for investors at the same time.

The fund, the brainchild of His Majesty King Abdallah, is intended to reach $50 million, with an initial commitment of $20 million from the government of Jordan. The fund will extend seed money over a seven year period, divided into two phases: The first four years of financial commitment and the next three years in which the fund would begin to take profits.

The fund will focus especially on firms established to take advantage of the free trade agreement with the US and other such initiatives; consolidations and efforts to turn around established but troubled Jordanian companies; and joint ventures or direct investments by foreign investors in Jordan.

Omar Al Masri, director of Al Atlas Investment Group, said this fund is unique in many ways, particularly in that it represents the beginning of the private equity industry in Jordan, which goes hand-in-hand with the vision of His Majesty to take Jordan to the next level. He continued that the government would contribute $20 million, while the fund will also raise capital from institutions and individuals in the Middle East, as well as outside the region.

He explained that the fund has two phases. The first four years, called the investment phase, will seek out regenerating investment opportunities. The following three-year phase is the period in which the fund will reap the fruit of investments and begin to exit these investments, through selling off their share of ownership in the Amman stock change or through other strategies.

"The Jordan fund came from His Majesty King Abdallah and is the product of his new vision of a dynamic country with attractive investment opportunities," said Jeffery Culpepper, vice chairman of global cooperation finance at the Deutsches Bank. He added that the fund aims to take advantage of the resulting investment opportunities, as well as to be a catalyst and driver in shaping these opportunities. He believes that Jordan is able to reap the benefits of its free trade arrangements with the US and other nations, concluding: "I believe Jordan is a young and dynamic country and rich in leadership and human resources." Nashat Masri, a partner in the Foursan Group, said: "We believe the fund will benefit the Kingdom's economy and human resources through an influx of foreign capital and expertise, and we also expect to increase direct foreign investment into the Kingdom."

Amman,12November2002
Lubna Khader
The Star


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