MANAMA // An investment fund set up by three Gulf banks that targets the hospitality industry aims to raise US$300 million (Dh1.1bn) by the first quarter of 2009, the consortium said today. The fund is signing six agreements for investments in property developments in the Middle East and India, the consortium of Bahrain-based Islamic investment banks Gulf Finance House and Ithmaar Bank, and Abu Dhabi Investment House said in a statement on the bourse website. The Hospitality Investment Fund, set up in August, has an authorization to raise up to $1bn for investments in tourism and property in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. While banks' liquidity in the Gulf region has been affected by the global credit crisis and the region's central banks have launched measures to shore up confidence, wealthy investors are still prepared to make private placements. The three banks have also jointly launched a bank to finance infrastructure projects and a fund worth up to $1bn billion to invest in agricultural projects. * Reuters
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