Upsurge in Middle Eastern Investment in Latin America Makes Sense

December 17, 2008

Investment groups from the Middle East have been especially interested in Latin America recently, according to Ricardo Ernst, deputy dean of the McDonough School and co-director of the Global Logistics Research Program.

"Private equity groups in the Middle East, with high liquidity from oil revenues, are interested in the region for its features that allow investments compatible with Sharia laws," says Dr. Ernst. His comments appeared in Latin Business Chronicle. Groups from the Middle East, he writes, "prefer to focus their investments in infrastructure, natural resources and energy alternatives, as their laws forbid them to invest in banks, alcohol and weapons."

The Latin American region received $7.4 billion of private capital last year, says Dr. Ernst, most of which came from the Middle East. He notes that Brazil is attracting the most investment capital but anticipates increased investment in Colombia and Peru as well.

A summary of his comments appear here.