Under its Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), the European Investment Bank (EIB) is participating to the tune of EUR 10 million in the creation of Maghreb Private Equity Fund II (MPEF II). Focusing on investment in medium-sized enterprises in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, the Fund is being launched by Tuninvest Finance Group (TFG). This private equity fund, which aims to raise EUR 100 million, will target a limited number of sectors in order to create regional groups.

The Fund has been launched in Tunis by Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive, EIB Vice-President in charge of FEMIP, Mr Ahmet Abdelkefi, co-founder of Tuninvest Finance Group (TFG), and other leading European and international investors.

MPEF II is the eighth fund to be launched by the management company TGF. Based in Tunis, Casablanca and Algiers, TGF has a number of years' experience and manages over EUR 150 million, intended mainly for businesses in the Maghreb countries.

At the official signing ceremony Mr de Fontaine Vive stated: This investment signals FEMIP's support for one of the region's best qualified management teams and its commitment to developing the financial sector in the Mediterranean countries, particularly in the Maghreb.

This operation supports direct investment in the countries concerned and encourages inter-Maghreb trade and industrial ventures, especially through operations promoting external growth, with the aim of creating regional champions.

In addition to its loans and grants provided as part of technical assistance, FEMIP encourages the development of the private sector by acquiring equity and quasi-equity stakes in private companies in order to help Mediterranean countries speed up their economic and social modernisation, in particular through increased regional integration. These FEMIP activities are financed from the Community budget (EUR 200 million over the period 2001-2006) and by the FEMIP Trust Fund, which was set up in December 2004 (EUR 33.5 million).

Further information on FEMIP and the Mediterranean partner countries may also be obtained on the EIB's website, in the section dealing with the Mediterranean partner countries (http://www.eib.org/med/index.htm).