Dubai's United Investment Bank launches football fund

Bank plans to attract $200m from investors to acquire players, listed football clubs
UAE-based Royal Emirates bought out La Liga side Getafe in a $120m deal in April
By Reuters
Sun 30 Oct 2011 05:02 PM

Dubai-based United Investment Bank has launched a football fund, aimed at providing an alternative to traditional investment opportunities, the firm's chief executive officer said on Sunday.

The Royal Football Fund, which is eyeing $200m from investors, will allocate around 80 percent of its capital to acquire economic rights of young players - in partnership with clubs and agents - in Latin America, Africa and European countries with a track record of developing talent, such as Portugal and Holland.

The rest of the funding will be aimed at purchasing stakes in listed football clubs and television rights for friendly games and tournaments.

"Many funds in traditional investment areas have not done so well recently, except for a few in gold and some other commodities," Raul Silva, the CEO of UIB said.

"Previous funds have not done well in football. Many have invested on their own but we are looking to co-invest with agents and clubs as they have the expertise."

UIB, which is marketing the open-ended fund to institutions and high-net worth individuals in the Middle East, has targeted an average annual net return of 20 percent.

The bank was set up in 2011 and offers investment solutions to high-net worth individuals, family groups and other institutional clients.

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