The skyline in Bahrain Image Credit: File photo

Dubai: Bahrain’s Investcorp Bank BSC and Standard Life Aberdeen Plc started an $800 million to $1 billion fund to invest in infrastructure in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The joint venture that will be carried out with the Scottish firm’s Aberdeen Standard Investments unit will focus on health care, education and utilities. The fund may also invest in the wider Middle East and Levant.

“The GCC region has always benefited from significant availability of capital from the state,” Investcorp co-Chief Executive Officer Hazem Ben-Gacem said in an interview in Abu Dhabi. “Now with oil at half what it was a few years ago and the ambition of governments to diversify away from oil, the window is opening for private capital to play a bigger role in this area.”

The partnership comes as Investcorp pushes ahead with plans to boost its assets under management to $50 billion through acquisitions and growth in its private equity, real estate and alternative investments units. Last month it announced a $1 billion European buyout fund in partnership with Coller Capital.

Set up in 1982, Investcorp is the Gulf’s largest private investor in US real estate and has charted a new growth plan after a shift in management in 2015. Abu Dhabi sovereign investment fund Mubadala Development Co. acquired a 20 per cent stake in Investcorp in 2017 as part of its strategy to grow through partnering with other investment firms.