EMPEA's assessment of Private Equity Trends in the Middle East and North Africa in 2009, heading into 2010, provides an overview of fundraising and investment.
Private equity fundraising and investment activity throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region stagnated in 2009. MENA was shielded from greater financial contagion during the global downturn due to the relatively insular nature of economies in the region and limited use of leverage.
However, many MENA economies were significantly impacted by declining oil prices and reduced capital inflows, forcing local governments to draw down their capital reserves. Additionally, negative headlines such as Dubai World’s debt troubles and default scandals surrounding Saudi Arabia’s Saad Group and A. H. Algosaibi & Bros. have shaken investor confidence, feeding concerns about financial oversight and corporate governance practices.