Regions

Middle East & North Africa

Please find below a sampling of some of the latest EMPEA statistics, programs and content covering information on the MENA region. For a more comprehensive listing, please search “MENA,” “Middle East” or “North Africa,” in addition to customizable criteria in Advanced Search.


New Lines in the Sand: Gulf Investors Looking Towards Emerging Markets for New Global Opportunities

An excerpt from a recent op-ed by Robert W. van Zwieten, President and CEO, EMPEA

The newsflash in the Wall Street Journal last week that the Saudi government has decided to rethink its “multi-billion dollar U.S. financial strategy”, as well as the possible New York listing for the partial IPO of Saudi Aramco in 2018, is the first public marker of a trend we have observed in private conversations in the Middle East going back to March of this year: many senior decision-makers in the Middle East are concerned about the political risk posed by the incoming Trump Administration in the United States, they and have begun to make important financial decisions informed by their assessment of that political risk.

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Special Reports:

Private Equity in Middle East and North Africa

This Special Report provides a data-driven analysis of the broad range of private equity opportunities across the region—with a deep dive into the fundraising and investment dynamics in both the Middle East and North Africa. The publication, researched and written by EMPEA Consulting Services with support from EMPEA Member Firms, features a variety of stakeholder perspectives including local and global fund managers, institutional investors, law firms, placement agents, and local venture capital and private equity associations.  
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Source: EMPEA, May 2015

Data Insight

MENA Data Insight (Q3 2016)

Fund managers in MENA raised and deployed less capital in the first three quarters of 2016 than in Q1-Q3 2015, as few fund managers had MENA-focused funds in the market and macroeconomic uncertainty appeared to slow GPs from deploying capital. Consumer-focused sectors such as health care, consumer goods and consumer services that have proven popular for GPs in recent years attracted just US$80 million in Q1-Q3 2016. This represented just 13% of capital invested in Q1-Q3 2016, compared to 44% and 54% in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

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Source: EMPEA, 2016


MENA Fundraising and Investment

Source: EMPEA
Fundraising (US$m) Investment (US$m)
Q3 2016 420 618
2015 1,052 951
2014 1,045 752
2013 777 645
2012 933 1,990
2011 579 508

EMPEA’s Industry Partners Active in Middle East & North Africa (MENA)

  • Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)
  • Association Marocaine des Investisseurs en Capital (AMIC)
  • Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)
  • Convergence
  • Egyptian Private Equity Association (EPEA)
  • Initiative for Global Development (IGD)
  • Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA)
  • Institute for Private Capital (IPC)
  • MENA Consultants
  • MENA Private Equity Association (MENA PEA)
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
  • SME Finance Forum (SMEFF)
  • The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Learn more about EMPEA’s Industry Partner Network »

Additional Resources

Special Report: Private Equity in Middle East and North Africa
The Special Report: Private Equity in the Middle East and North Africa provides a data-driven analysis of the broad range of private equity opportunities across the region—with a deep dive into the fundraising and investment dynamics in both the Middle East and North Africa. The publication, researched and written by EMPEA Consulting Services with support from EMPEA Member Firms, features a variety of stakeholder perspectives including local and global fund managers, institutional investors, law firms, placement agents, and local venture capital and private equity associations. 

Marketing Private Funds in the Middle East
In the past, managers promoting private funds in most countries in the Middle East have not found much difficulty navigating local rules. Foreign fund managers typically did not worry too much about local securities laws, often relying on “reverse solicitation” or “passive marketing” practices, with the tacit approval of regulators. Those days may be over. Source: EMPEA Legal & Regulatory Bulletin, Autumn 2012.

EMPEA Professional Development Webcast – The MENA Region: An Overview and Update
This EMPEA Professional Development Webcast examines the effects of the geopolitical turbulence in the MENA region on the PE industry and investors’ perceptions. Listen to industry leaders from EMPEA Leadership Circle Member Abraaj Capital discuss how today’s headlines may be laying the foundations for tomorrow’s great returns. Source: EMPEA Professional Development Webcast, June 2011

Slogan or Salvation: Operational Value Creation in MENA Private Equity
For a third consecutive year, Keystone (the General Manager of GrowthGate) has published a white paper that is the collective work of: (i) Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty members (MBA – Class 2012), (ii) Prof. Josh Lerner of HBS and one of the leading authorities on Private Equity (PE) in the US; and (iii) members of Keystone’s combined investment advisory and portfolio management teams. Source: Keystone, May 2012

Impact Case Study: Jazeera Steel
In 2007, Jazeera Steel was planning a major expansion of its operations into the steel bar market. Kuwait-based fund manager Global Capital Management identified an opportunity to create value by funding Jazeera Steel’s plant expansion through acquiring a majority stake in the company. Over the next several years, Global guided Jazeera Steel through a sharp contraction in the world steel market, significantly reduced borrowing costs and nearly doubled the company’s profits within four years of its acquisition. Source: EMPEA 2012.

EMPEA Insight: North Africa
While it is too soon to speculate about the potential long-term consequences of the unrest unfolding across North Africa, EMPEA’s members are expressing confidence that this chain of events will result in more stable, faster-growing economies that will present private equity players with compelling investment opportunities and more investor-friendly domestic regimes. This report includes analysis and commentary from Abraaj Capital, Citadel Capital, TunInvest-AfricInvest Group and Swicorp. Source: EMPEA 2011.

Impact Assessment of the Recent Events in Tunisia
Expert Commentary by TunInvest-AfricInvest Group: The extraordinary events in Tunisia, which were sparked by a spontaneous youth movement protesting unemployment, social inequities and corruption will undoubtedly have a long-term impact on the investment environment there. TunInvest-AfricInvest Group shares an analysis of the short- and long-term outlook for Tunisia, based on official news, contacts with business community leaders, and the firm’s own understanding of the situation on the ground, based on the experiences of its portfolio companies, both former and current. Source: EMPEA 2011.

Private Equity in North Africa: What Every LP Should Know
This EMPEA Professional Development Webcast convenes the region’s private equity insiders to discuss the immediate impact of changes underway, where the region’s private equity industry may be headed, and how anticipated reforms may affect the long-term investment thesis and investor returns. The recent developments that began in Tunisia and reverberated across North Africa and the Middle East have raised the perceived risk profile as well as questions about the challenges and opportunities in the region over the longer term.  Source: EMPEA Professional Development Webcast, February 2011