Gulf investors to pump funds into Morocco's private sector

Units of the Islamic Development Bank, a multilateral lender, and sovereign wealth fund Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) have signed an agreement to invest jointly in Morocco's private sector.

The partnership between the Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Casablanca-based Al Ajial Funds was signed on the sidelines of an investment conference in Morocco on Wednesday.

The ICD supports its 51 member countries by financing private sector projects which follow Islamic principles; Al Ajial was created in 2006 by KIA to aid Morocco's economic development.

"Joining our forces to accompany the development of Morocco's private sector is an important milestone for ICD's investment strategy in the kingdom," ICD chief executive Khaled Al Aboodi said in a statement.

He did not specify the size of potential deals or whether the partners would focus on any particular economic sector. But the agreement comes at a time of growing momentum for Islamic finance in the country.

Morocco's parliament has started to discuss a bill regulating Islamic banks and issues of sukuk (Islamic bonds), after the Islamist-led government adopted it in January.

The ICD provides financing for projects such as infrastructure, but has also made direct investments to establish Islamic financial institutions including banks and takaful insurers on the African continent.

KIA is the oldest sovereign fund tracked by the SWF Institute with an estimated $410bn in assets, making it one of the world's largest.

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Posted by: SAM

It's quite touching to see a foreigner so concerned for the well being of the citizens of Kuwait (tear). Are you so sure KIA is not investing in Kuwait? Are you privy to KIA financial records to prove your accusations? Ahh, it must be another one of those that do not like to see a spirit of cooperation between nations in this region. KIA has some of the brightest minds working for them, so I doubt your comment will be illuminating, one way or another.

Posted by: John

I wonder if the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) ever thought of investing in their own country? With massive traffic issues throughout the country due to lack of road development, and airport that can no longer handle the passenger levels, and further, no movement on key development projects, one wonders if the Kuwaitis care about their own country. By developing private sector projects in the country of Kuwait, they could increase job opportunities for their own citizens. With high unemployment rates, they could benefit greatly by investing in their own nation.

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