Morocco to Spearhead Islamic Private Equity in The MENA Region With a US$ 1 Bill...

Nov 2012
Morocco, November, 29 2012 - A collective of investment professionals is undertaking to set up a US$ 1 billion integrated Islamic finance investment platform in Morocco through the creation of the country’s first Sharia compliant financial institutions, including a private equity management company and an Islamic microfinance organisation.

The project is part of the “1 Million Jobs for MENA initiative”, a regional endeavor designed to provide attractive investment opportunities to a bunch of world class institutional investors and sovereign funds in order to contribute to the MENA region’s high growth and employment expectations.

Investments shall focus on projects enhancing food security and boosting job creation, two of the MENA region main concerns, while targeting the following strategic objectives:

  1. Providing high returns to international and national institutional investors both in dividends and capital appreciation.
  2. Creating 1 million jobs in the MENA region within 5 to 7 years (200.000 jobs for Morocco).
  3. Contributing to MENA food security.
  4. Strengthening regional trade integration and investing in food distribution networks.
  5. Boosting rural development in MENA countries.
  6. Promoting Islamic finance through private equity and microfinance.
  7. Leading impact investments in the region.

The 1 Million Jobs for MENA initiative is carried out by the Arab Spring Foundation for Entrepreneurship & Employment, Farasee Foundation, a private non-profit international organisation to be incorporated for this purpose in Casablanca. The Foundation shall create a for-profit global private equity management company, headquartered in Dubai, to set up and manage a regional portfolio of growth companies and microfinance institutions.

The Moroccan investment finance platform shall provide standardised Islamic finance packages to the agribusiness sector, in parallel with Moroccan authorities’ plans to make agriculture a major lever for growth during the next decade under the “Green Morocco Plan“. Investments would target high productivity SMEs, as well as micro-enterprises aggregated in value chain clusters.

Morocco is the leader in the MENA region regarding SME financing, microfinance institutions, as well as fruits, vegetables and seafood exportation, and the initiative intends to capitalise on these advantages to build the largest fresh food supply chain and distribution network in the MENA region.

Source : RIBH

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