BMA authorizes Islamic fund managed by Global Investment House
The Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) has authorized an Islamic equity fund, sponsored by leading Kuwait-based asset management firm, Global Investment House.
The Global GCC Islamic Fund aims to raise US$300 million for investment in a portfolio of Shari’a-compliant companies in the GCC region.
The Bahrain-domiciled, US dollar-denominated open-ended fund, is the 23rd fund to be incorporated in Bahrain by Global, a leading asset management firm in the Middle East region. The firm, which currently manages assets in excess of US$6.3 billion, is listed on three bourses in the GCC region, including the Bahrain Stock Exchange.
The Islamic fund industry is a fast growing segment of Bahrain’s overall mutual funds industry, which has been posting phenomenal growth in recent years.
The total assets under management by BMA-authorized mutual funds have grown 55% to US%8.3 billion in the past one year alone, while growth in the last four years has exceeded 180%.
The number of CIS authorized by the BMA totaled 2,094 at March-end 2006, compared with 1,657 and 1,256 funds at the same time in 2005 and 2002, respectively. The assets managed by the authorized funds stood at US$8.3 billion at March-end 2006, up from US5.4 billion and US$2.9 billion in 2005 and 2002 respectively.
Locally-incorporated mutual funds totaled 92 at March-end 2006, compared with 63 at the same time in 2005 and 28 in 2002. The assets under management of the authorized locally-incorporated funds was US$2.8 billion at March-end 2006, compared with US$1.4 billion and US$180 million at the same time in 2005 and 2002 respectively.
Of the locally-incorporated CIS at March-end 2006, 36 were Islamic funds, with a value of over US$915 million.