Nov 25 2010

HBG investment fund set to boost trade between the UK and UAE

Dubai 25th November 2010 - HBG Holdings (" HBG "), a leading UK private equity investor and fund management business specialized in the Middle East, has today announced plans to invest $500 million in small and medium sized enterprises in the United Kingdom. HBG will specifically target companies with potential to expand operations in the United Arab Emirates and the GCC states.

Zulfi K. Hydari, Group Managing Director of HBG Holdings said, "At a time when the UK government is urging British firms to engage fully in fast growing emerging markets, we are doing our part to facilitate capital flows from the Gulf into small cap companies in the UK."

He added, "We believe this initiative is unique in its ability to help growing firms in the UK access capital from overseas and will encourage them to invest and expand in the Middle East."

The GCC is the seventh-biggest destination for British exports and the UAE is the UK's largest export market in the region, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, spanning machinery and equipment to financial services and energy.

The HBG initiative comes at a time when the new British government is taking steps to increase trade with the UAE and GCC. A taskforce has been set up to help raise UAEUK bilateral trade from £7bn to £12bn by 2015. Since the election there have also been a series of high level visits to the region including Prime Minister David Cameron and the current visit by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

HBG confirmed it has commenced investing from its Shariah Small Cap Fund ("SSCF") primarily in high growth companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM") of the London Stock Exchange. According to industry reports SSCF stands alone in providing Islamic private equity to the AIM market.

The AIM market has long been the world's leading market for growth companies and has provided a simple regulatory environment for over 2000 companies who have chosen AIM over the last 15 years.

Michael Toxvaerd, Executive Director, HBG Holdings said, "The global financial crisis has been challenging for the AIM market with many companies suffering from lack of liquidity and dislocated credit markets. The maturity profile of LBO debt is also likely to have a knock on effect on smaller firms in the medium term. In these circumstances SSCF can play a pivotal role in financing growth companies."

The announcement follows HBG 's recent investment in AIM listed Northbridge Industrial Services Plc ("Northbridge") which has operations in the Middle East.


HBG Holdings (' HBG ')
HBG is a leading UK private equity investor and fund management business specialized in facilitating the flow of investment capital from the GCC into high growth small and medium sized companies.

The firm successfully generates superior returns by leveraging its expertise in acquiring businesses and expanding them regionally through organic growth and "bolt-on" acquisitions, often in close partnership with leading regional partners.

The HBG team is impressive in its heritage, having managed some of the region's largest businesses and played a leading role in its landmark M&A transactions.

The firm manages a diverse client base of leading private and institutional investors from across the Arabian Gulf.

HBG is licensed by the Financial Services Authority in the United and Kingdom.

For further information please visit www.hbgholdings.com.

Shariah Small Cap Fund ('SSCF')
SSCF is a pioneering Cayman based open ended Shariah compliant private equity fund that provides growth capital primarily to companies listed on the Alternative Investment Market ('AIM') of the London Stock Exchange.

The fund supports small and mid cap firms by financing organic and bolt on acquisitions.

For further information, please contact:
Desiree Zapanta
HBG Holdings
Al Moosa Tower II, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 331 4133
Email: info@hbgholdings.com

© Press Release 2010

© Copyright Zawya. All Rights Reserved.

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