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Qatar bank eyes more PE deals in Turkey

Doha, August 30, 2010

Qatar First Investment Bank's (QFIB) private equity arm hopes to close a second deal in Turkey and is working on two other transactions in its home market, deputy chief executive Emad Mansour said on Monday.

Privately owned QFIB announced last week that it had acquired a 40 per cent stake in Turkey's second-largest healthcare provider, Memorial Health Group, in a joint venture with London-based private equity house Argus Capital.

'We are looking at a number of things in Turkey right now. This week we've started due diligence for a transaction which might be consummated, an energy deal,' said Mansour, who is also chief investment officer.

'We could also close maybe two (deals) in Qatar before year-end, one in energy and one in real estate,' Mansour said in an interview. 'Saudi Arabia is also a very appealing market.'

Turkey, whose economy proved resilient during the financial crisis, is expected to lead the rebound of private equity in the region. Global private equity group Carlyle acquired a 40 percent stake in Medical Park, one of the other large healthcare services company in the country, at the end of 2009.

'The macroeconomic indicators of Turkey have improved remarkably in the last five years. Interest rates have never been lower in Turkish history, exchange rates have never been lower, demographics are strengthening. It's a stable economy with disciplined economic management by the Turkish government,' Mansour said.

The bank is keen to pursue an initial public offering, but because of regulatory requirements won't be able to do so before early 2012, Mansour said.

QFIB is a relatively new player to Qatar's banking scene.

Launched in 2009, its main investors are institutions and wealthy individuals from Qatar and other parts of the Gulf. It is also active in asset management and corporate finance.

In terms of private equity, the bank expects to conclude at least $500 million worth of deals in Turkey in the years to come, but not all of that with the bank's own funds. It aims at returns of between 20 and 25 per cent, Mansour said. – Reuters

Tags: Doha | Turkey | Private equity | Qatar First Investment Bank | QFIB |

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