Saudi PIF comes in as anchor LP in NBK Capital’s credit fund

 Saudi PIF comes in as anchor LP in NBK Capital’s credit fund

The Public Investment Fund (PIF), the Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund, will be the anchor investor in a credit fund floated by Dubai-headquartered private equity firm NBK Capital Partners.

NBK Capital said in a statement that the investment by PIF and other institutional investors has helped the Shari’ah Credit Opportunities Fund make its first close. The fund aims to raise a total of US$300 million.

The investment by PIF is “a clear indication of increasing investor confidence in the region’s private credit sector and its enormous potential for growth,” said Yaser Moustafa, senior managing director at NBK Capital.

NBK Capital, a unit of the National Bank of Kuwait, didn’t disclose the amount it raised in its first closing or the value of PIF’s investment. However, Reuters reported that PIF would commit at least a third of the targeted US$300 million.

For PIF, the investment marks its foray into the private credit market as demand for debt rises from companies that have limited access to banks.

The wealth fund has traditionally focussed mainly on equity investments and infrastructure bets. But it has been expanding its activities of late. Last year, for instance, it deployed a total of around US$3.3 billion in the digital services, retail and fibre network units of Reliance Industries Ltd, India’s biggest private-sector company.

NBK Capital’s new fund will provide capital to mid-market companies in the Middle East. The fund aims to make 10 to 12 investments of US$15 million to US$ 50 million throughout its eight-year life.

This is NBK Capital’s third private credit fund. Since the launch of its first fund in 2007, NBK Capital has struck 35 investments across sectors such as healthcare, logistics and education. It has made 17 profitable exits to date.

NBK Capital advises private equity, private credit and real estate funds. The firm targets companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It has total capital commitments in excess of $1.1 billion, its website shows.

The PE firm is based in the Dubai International Financial Centre and is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). Its parent bank has offices in Kuwait City, Manama and Istanbul.

Aman Malik

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