GCC embraces private capital

Assets under management (AuM) in the GCC’s private capital sector more than doubled between 2021 and 2022, according to the latest data from research firm Preqin.  

As of December 2021, AuM had reached US$5.8 billion which increased to $12.3 billion by December 2022.

The market is dominated by Saudi Arabia which holds $10 billion in AuM with the UAE holding $2.1 billion.

According to Preqin, one reason for the growth in AuM is the involvement of large international private equity firms such as Blackstone, CVC Capital Partners, Silver Lake and Apollo that see the GCC as an attractive destination for capital deployment.

This can be seen by the increase in the number of active general partners (GPs) in GCC countries, which increased from 268 in 2018 to 529 in 2023.

The report also highlights the influential role of sovereign wealth funds within the region. Average allocations to alternative assets from these SWFs doubled between December 2021 and December 2022 – from 22% to 44%.

“As GCC leaders focus on domestic employment opportunities for their young population, the region’s SWFs are becoming more focused on domestic investments,” stated report author David Dawkins. “Even a small uptick of the domestic fund alternatives allocations would have a transformative impact on the GCC’s private capital GPs.” 

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