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Fri 2 Jul 2010 09:11 AM

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US agency to fund Middle East private equity

Financing up to $455m for 5 funds; move in response to Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo.

US agency to fund Middle East private equity
(Getty Images)

A US trade promotion agency will invest up to $455m in five private equity funds in the Middle East and North Africa as part of President Barack Obama's push to boost ties with the Muslim world.

The financing is in response to Obama's speech in Cairo last year, in which he said the United States would set up a fund to develop technology in Muslim-majority countries, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) said on Thursday.

OPIC said it approved up to $150 million for a fund to be run by a company owned by Kuwait Projects Co. (KIPCO), Kuwait's largest investment firm, and up to $150 million for a fund managed by Dubai-based Abraaj Capital.

It will also invest $100 million in a fund managed by a subsidiary of Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital.

OPIC will put $30 million into a fund run by Ramallah-based Siraj Fund Management Company, aimed mostly at start-ups and small businesses in the Palestinian territories.

OPIC is an agency of the U.S. government whose aims include helping U.S. businesses invest overseas, encouraging economic development in emerging markets and supporting U.S. foreign policy. (Reuters)

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AMERICAN IN KUWAIT 10 years ago

No oversight, no transparency and a waste of money. Another desparate attempt by Obama. Us citizens have the rright to criticize our President so please publish the comment.

kamran 10 years ago

I guess the taxpayers would get better returns then funding wars!!!

Roger 10 years ago

Obama shoing his muslim roots. Why doesn't he invest this in similar projects in the US.

ghraudeaux 10 years ago

Interesting. The knee-jerk reaction some people have against anything Obama blinds them to whether a program or action has merit. This is investment, not bleeding money away, as in the Iraq war. And even if the money were flushed, it represents about four or five days worth of Iraq war. Where was your complaining then? This is all not to mention that it probably represents a good investment in building partnerships, as well as financially.