(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Egypt and Saudi Arabia are poised to become MENA s most attractive PE (private equity) destinations, experts from Ernst & Young said.
Saudi Arabia was ranked as the most attractive PE investment destination in 2011.This was due to the Kingdom s government initiatives and to its relaxed foreign ownership norms, which increases the likelihood of attracting higher volumes of PE capital.
While challenges exist within the PE investment landscape in MENA, the region and the Kingdom in particular continue to be an attractive PE investment destination Ernest & Young officials said, according to the Saudi Gazette.
Key factors include historical PE under-penetration, earning backed returns, low leverage capital structure, increasing demand for growth capital and opportunities for future investment and growth.
Phil Gandier, MENA Head of Transaction Advisory Services at Ernst & Young said , "Ii addition to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, there is a focus on Tunisia, Morocco and the UAE as attractive hubs for investments."
The positive outlook has continued in 2012, growth capital and buyout funds closed more than 20 deals during the first quarter of this year. Experts are optimistic about continued growth and opportunities across MENA. As the regional PE industry matures, the secondary market is expected to play a more important role in the next five years, he added.