Securities & Investment Company’s funds deliver strong performance during first half of 2008
Securities & Investment Company (SICO), the Bahrain based regionally focused investment bank, today announced first half of 2008 performance results for its GCC equity funds, which have outperformed market indices. SICO’s funds generated strong positive returns to their investors during the year though most of the regional markets continue to face pressure with the overall GCC market losing 9.4% during the year, with Saudi Arabia, down 15.3%, leading the losses.
SICO’s funds include the Khaleej Equity Fund, a flagship fund, which invests principally in equity securities listed across the six GCC stock markets. The award winning Fund, has bagged the prestigious Lipper Fund Award 2008 for being the top performer in its class ( GCC Equity) for the past three years and one of the first Gulf based funds to receive an ‘A’ rating by standard & poor’s last year. The fund is up 14.3% for the year to date and up 181.8% since its inception in March 2004.
The SICO Selected Securities Fund, the only Bahrain-dedicated mutual fund, invests principally in equity and debt securities listed, or which are expected to be listed, on the Bahrain Stock Exchange. The Fund is up 11.5% year to date and 247.7% since its inception in May 1998.
SICO’s Gulf Equity Fund, which invests in listed securities across the GCC stock markets with the exception of the Saudi Arabian stock market; delivered a 18.5% return year to date and continuing its market beating performance since its inception in March 2006, up 50.9%.
SICO’s newest fund, the SICO Arab Financial Fund, seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in financial sector equities in the GCC and MENA regions. The fund is up 14.2% for the year to date and is up 37.8% since its launch in August 2007.
SICO attributes this strong performance to its conservative asset allocation and bottom-up driven stock picking strategy. At the same time, SICO also adopts a top down approach to risk management by closely monitoring company, country and sector exposures. Portfolio managers focus on identifying companies that are fundamentally strong, and that are trading at less than their fair values.
Commenting on these results Mr. Shakeel Sarwar, Head of Asset Management, said: “SICO’s investment philosophy and strategies have enabled us to deliver strong out performance for our clients during the first half of 2008 , a period which witnessed a great deal of volatility and uncertainty that spilled over from other emerging markets into investor sentiment in our region. We believe the GCC and MENA regions will continue to offer potential for superior returns for investors during 2008, as we forecasted in our recent GCC market overview research. The combination of our regional insight and quality of our research is helping SICO to deliver consistent returns for investors, and these factors will continue to form the keystones to our investment approach with highly selective stock picking to deliver above average returns to investors.”
Securities & Investment Company is an investment bank offering a selective range of services, including asset management, brokerage, corporate finance and market-making, on a regional basis and with a particular emphasis on Bahrain. SICO was incorporated in Bahrain in 1995 and holds a banking license from the Central Bank of Bahrain.
As of December 31, 2007, SICO reported total assets of BD 104.832 million, with shareholders’ equity of BD 42.106 million. SICO’s shares have been listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange since May 2003. Securities & Investment Company was the first ‘closed’ company to list on the exchange.