Tarek Al-Rohayem, Head of GCC Research at GIC
Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) today announced the half yearly returns for its Gulf Bond Fund, the GCC’s oldest and largest fixed income fund. The Gulf Bond Fund achieved a Year-to-date (YTD) return of 3.29 %, showing consistent performance when compared to the same period of 2010 despite market instability in the first half of this year.
When asked to comment on the Gulf Bond Fund, Mr Khalifa Al Rashid, Vice President - GCC Fixed Income Desk and Fund Manager said “the Fund’s noticeable performance since it was launched 6 years ago is a reflection of GIC’s industry expertise built up over the last 26 years”.
Mr. Al-Rashid also mentioned that GIC’s primary objective is to ensure that the Gulf Bond Fund provides investors with consistently competitive performance. The Fund, which was launched in 2005, aims to generate a return in excess of short-term bank deposits. It also seeks maximum current income and price appreciation, consistent with the preservation of capital and low return volatility.
The high quality of the portfolio, where 84% of underlying assets are rated A- and above, according to International Rating Agencies, and the management’s prudent selection criteria, which involves selecting highly rated and highly liquid regional securities, weekly redemptions and consistent returns with a low risk profile, attracts clients seeking a conservative investment approach to the Fund.
As a result, even in the current market scenario, the Fund was able to achieve positive performance for the second quarter in a row and continues to attract new subscriptions from a range of clients such as insurance companies, banks, high net worth individuals and pension funds, and has grown to reach approximately USD 150 million. This places GIC ahead of all specialized institutions in managing investment products in the bond sector.
Mr Tarek Al-Rohayem, Head of GCC Research at GIC said “The Fund’s solid performance has been backed up by the concerted effort of one of the largest buy-side research desks in the region, dedicated to analyzing market trends and directions and uncovering investment opportunities. This is done through a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches to investment research with a special focus on the Debt Capital Markets of the region which we believe would become one of the most promising in terms of risk-return profile”.
Mr. Al Rohayem also highlighted the significance of the half yearly results saying: “Despite wide-spread market instability in the region in the first quarter of the year, we have managed to grow positively and protect our products against any significant downside impact. We stand first in the region in introducing a dedicated credit research desk and manage high profile portfolios across the region.
GIC has a proven track record of delivering consistent performance across the region. This reflects the team’s longstanding expertise in the regional markets and application of rigorous risk management methodologies and practices. GIC is also a benchmark for many international investors looking to enter the GCC market and is often used as a reference because of its insights and expertise.