Israel Opportunity Fund chair meets Gulf investors

The Gulf sovereign funds had an aggregate $2 trillion in assets under management in mid-2008.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that Israel Opportunity Fund chairman Dan GIllerman met senior officials from Gulf sovereign funds at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He apparently wants to interest the officials in Israel as an alternative place for their investments.

The Gulf sovereign funds reportedly had an aggregate $2 trillion in assets under management on the eve of the global economic crisis. They reportedly invested more than $10 billion in US banks, including Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) and Merrill Lynch & Co. (NYSE: MER), as well as in Switzerland's UBS AG (NYSE: SWX: UBS).

Gillerman and Matthew Bronfman launched Israel Opportunity Fund in September 2008, and set the goal of raising $100 million for it. They have struggled to reach this target in the current economic climate. Bronfman is investing in the fund through Bronfman Fisher Investments Ltd., which he jointly owns with Shalom Fisher.

Gillerman declined to comment on the meetings. He said, "During my stay in Davos, I held a number of meetings concerning the Israel Opportunity Fund. Despite the situation, I received positive responses about a willingness to invest in Israel. We're continuing our fundraising for the fund. Bronfman and I believe in the Israeli economy. Bronfman has invested in Israel even during the most difficult times."

The Israel Opportunity Fund aims to invest in manufacturing, energy, alternative energy, and water ventures. Bronfman Fisher Investments has pledged to match 20% of the amount that Israel Opportunity Fund raises from other sources.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 8, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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