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Strong Growth Predicted by Deloitte in MENA Private Equity Market


Deloitte, the business advisory firm, has announced the results of the first survey ever conducted to measure confidence and market sentiment in the Middle East and North African private equity market. The survey is based on interviews in March and April carried out for Deloitte by Arbor Square Associates.

Chris Ward, Global Head of Corporate Finance at Deloitte, comments: "Confidence levels are high for long term growth prospects in the MENA region, largely due to the plentiful availability of capital for investment, combined with a buoyant economic climate in the region. There is a growing awareness of private equity in the region, but more needs to be done to raise the profile of the industry which currently has more capital to deploy than investment opportunities."

The relative attractiveness of this region, from both a regional perspective and at global level, means that an increasing number of funds are expected to target the region in the short to medium term.

Neven Hendricks, Regional Managing Partner for Financial Advisory Services in Deloitte and Touche Middle East, comments: "The consensus of opinion amongst those private equity professionals who participated in the survey, is that the region will continue to see increased levels of investment activity, primarily driven by domestic players and focused on the GCC, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. We see more investment opportunities coming mainly from the energy, infrastructure, utilities, real estate and financial services sectors. However, perceived industry challenges in the short term which have been identified include a shortage of skilled investment professionals and restrictive foreign ownership legislation."

Timothy Mahapatra, Managing Partner for Transaction Services in Deloitte UK, provides these further observations: "Whilst domestic players are expected to be most active within the MENA region in the next 12 months, we are seeing a rising number of international private equity firms looking towards the region as a new and exciting area, rich in growth opportunities in what is still a relatively untapped market, to deploy capital. In a region which has largely escaped the wider impact of the global credit crunch, the attractiveness of the region from an investor perspective cannot be underestimated, with an economic climate ripe for conducting business in.

“As part of our commitment to continually improve our levels of service extended to both local and international private equity firms, Deloitte is relocating a partner-led UK Transaction Services team, with significant private equity experience, to the region, to support the existing local Deloitte team and its clients."

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