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Olayan Invests in Credit Suisse Emerging Markets Fund

The Olayan Group has taken a major position in a new fund created by Credit Suisse (CS) that will specialize in emerging markets.

CS announced its plans to launch the fund on Aug. 12.  It said the fund “will have in excess of $1 billion in committed capital, with a small group of Credit Suisse’s key shareholders to opportunistically pursue credit investments in global emerging markets.”

Rob Shafir, CEO for the CS Asset Management Division, said, “We are very pleased to launch this product, which further builds on Credit Suisse’s client-focused, capital-efficient strategy. Our shareholders commitment to the fund is a testament to the strength of Credit Suisse’s Emerging Markets franchise and the value that can be created for investors in these important markets.”

Since the CS announcement, media have widely reported that other large CS shareholders participating in the fund include the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and IDB Group of Israel.  Some of the press reports asserted that The Olayan Group, along with QIA and IDB, have “tied up” or “joined forces.”

“The reality is quite different,” commented Aziz D. Syriani, president and CEO of The Olayan Group.

"We have simply decided to take a position in a fund specializing in emerging market credit opportunities created by Credit Suisse," Syriani explained.  "As is common in the industry, CS offered some of their key/larger shareholders the first opportunity to participate in that fund. We have been an investor in CS for over 25 years.  QIA and IDB were given the same offer, since they too have become key/large shareholders in CS.
“We decided to accept that offer, as did QIA and IDB.  As it is a CS fund, the bank sets the strategy and manages the fund.  We simply hold a position in the fund."