Thursday, October 11, 2007

Middle Eastern Plays in Western Markets

My biggest question is how are the sovereign wealth funds and other middle eastern investors reconciling their religious principles against the fact that private equity investments involve the application non-trivial amounts of leverage? Owning non-controlling stakes in Carlyle or any other PE firm isn't going to position them to remake the business along Islamic finance lines. I doubt they would want to anyway (hopefully) seeing as how they are investing on the basis of the returns the firms have generated using levered tactics. If a private equity firm can't lever, is it a private equity firm anymore? I think not; now its just a mutual fund with worse overhead.

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