02 May 2011
Rasmala Investment Bank Ltd. (“Rasmala”) in Dubai announced the launch of the Rasmala Palestine Equity Fund (the “Fund”) in cooperation with the Palestine Investment Fund (“PIF”), which will seed the Fund. PIF will initially invest US$15 million with the overall investment size of the Fund expected to reach up to US$100 million during the next three years.
The Fund will target local and foreign investors interested in gaining investment exposure to the Palestinian equity market. The Fund resides in Luxemburg and is subject to its laws and regulations and will be managed by Rasmala.
The Chairman of PIF, Dr. Mohammad Mustafa, said: “The investment in the Rasmala Palestine Equity Fund is in line with PIF’s goal to promote investment in Palestine.” He added that he has full confidence in the Palestinian capital market and in Rasmala’s ability to succeed.
Dr. Mustafa said that the launch of the Rasmala Palestine Equity Fund is a significant accomplishment in and of itself and will contribute to giving a strong push to the Palestinian financial market.
Commenting on the launch of the Fund, Eric Swats, Head of Asset Management at Rasmala, noted that the Fund has faced many difficulties and challenges given the novelty of setting up a fund at this level in the Palestinian market, but that he is very optimistic about the prospects of this Fund.
Mr. Swats added: “After carrying out some research on the investment environment and the opportunities in Palestine, it became clear to us that the Palestinian market is very attractive in terms of its growth and return potential.”
For his part, Mr. Maher Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Palestine Capital Markets Authority, said: “The launch of the Rasmala Palestine Equity Fund confirms the attractiveness of investment in Palestine due to the encouraging strong legal and regulatory environment, as well as the feasibility of investment and the promising future prospects.” He added: “We assure those in charge of the fund and the investors that the results you will see in the coming years will prove the soundness of your decision to invest in Palestine. We also emphasize that the Palestine Capital Market Authority has worked since its inception and will continue to work on providing a safe investment environment in Palestine in accordance with best international standards.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Palestine Securities Exchange, Mr. Ahmed Oweida, said the introduction of investment funds of this type to the Palestine Securities Exchange will add depth and sophistication to the Palestinian equity investments landscape.
Mr. Oweida indicated that the Palestinian Securities Exchange has outperformed many regional markets during the first quarter of this year. He added that currently an organized effort is underway to promote the Palestinian capital market, especially among retail investors.
Rasmala is a leading regional Investment Banking Group, with offices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt. Rasmala’s core business activities include Corporate Finance, Asset Management, Brokerage and Research.