Dubai:  The Qatar Investment Authority and the Saudi Arabian Olayan Group will partner Israel's IDB Holdings and Swiss bank Credit Suisse in a $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) credit fund targeted at emerging markets.

Each of the partners will contribute $250 million to seed the fund, people close to the transaction told Gulf News. QIA, Olayan and IDB all have a shareholding in Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse said yesterday it plans to launch the fund through its asset management business, with committed capital from "a small group of Credit Suisse's key shareholders" to "opportunistically pursue credit investments in global emerging markets".

It did not name the partners.

Rob Shafir, chief executive of the asset management division, said: "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."

In response to an e-mailed questionnaire, Credit Suisse told Gulf News: "To date, the fund is targeted at over $1 billion, which would make it the largest, first-time start-up fund in 2010 and one of the largest since the 2008 financial crisis.

"The fund's objective is to achieve superior risk-adjusted returns by investing in alternative assets in global emerging markets on an opportunistic basis. The fund expects to invest in a broad range of countries, industries and companies."

Qatar and Saudi Arabia are still technically part of the Arab League's boycott against Israel, launched in 1951, in support of Palestinian rights after the 1948 establishment of Israel. The boycott is not, however, legally binding.

"The Arab boycott is mainly on paper," said Doron Peskin, head of research at Info-Prod Research, a business consultancy specialising in the region. "There is a flow of Israeli know-how and products to the Arab world."

Peskin said some nations were exceptions to this.