Sico's key GCC-based funds ‘major success’
Manama, July 25, 2013
Bahrain-based Securities and Investment Company (Sico) has announced its GCC-based equity funds outperformed peers and benchmarks during the first half.
The funds benefited from the improved performance of GCC stock markets during the first six months of the year, with the Standard & Poor (S&P) GCC index increasing by 9.4 per cent for the period, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The UAE's bourses were the best performers, with investors regaining confidence in the improving underlying fundamentals of the GCC state. Dubai increased by 37 per cent and Abu Dhabi by 35 per cent, while all other GCC markets increased by around 10 per cent.
Sico's Khaleej Equity Fund, which invests in GCC-listed equities, gained 17.2 per cent and significantly outperformed its benchmark's return of 9.4 per cent.
The fund's core holdings in Saudi consumer-related stocks and UAE equities contributed to its strong performance.
Graded Gold by S&P's Capital IQ, the Khaleej Equity Fund is one of only two funds in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to have been awarded a 'Five-year Long-Term' grading by S&P Capital IQ.
The Sico Gulf Equity Fund, which invests in GCC-listed equities excluding Saudi Arabia, delivered a return of 20.7 per cent compared with 12.1 per cent by its benchmark.
Graded Gold by S&P Capital IQ, the fund's strong performance was primarily due to its large exposure to the UAE bourses and highly-selective stock selection from other GCC markets.
Meanwhile, the Sico Kingdom Equity Fund, graded Silver by S&P Capital IQ, which invests primarily in Saudi-listed equities, delivered a return of 20.9 per cent compared with 10.2 per cent by its benchmark.
Selective stock picking from within the consumer space enabled the fund to post such a strong performance.
The Sico Selected Securities Fund, which invests principally in Bahrain-listed equity and debt securities, achieved a return of 11.1 per cent in line with its benchmark.
Graded Silver by S&P Capital IQ, the fund has one of the longest track records in its asset class.
In addition to these equity funds, the Sico Money Market Fund recorded a rise of 0.43 per cent compared with a 0.14 per cent rise by its benchmark.
Launched in May 2010, the fund invests in short-term government and investment grade bonds and also places fixed deposits with regional banks.
Adding to the bank's diversified fund portfolio, the Sico Fixed Income Fund was launched during the second quarter.
This new fund actively invests in government and corporate fixed income, sukuk, and other fixed income-related instruments.
The objective of the fund is to generate income and seek capital appreciation over the medium- to long-term.
"A clear and disciplined investment process has enabled us to deliver another strong performance for our clients during the first half," Sico chief executive Anthony Mallis said.
"The combination of regional insight and quality of research is a key factor in enabling Sico to provide consistent and stable long-term returns.
"Looking ahead, GCC equities are predicted to continue generating interesting returns for the rest of the year, as regional and international long-term investors are likely to deploy additional funds into our regional markets - thanks in no small way to the recent lacklustre performance of emerging markets.
"Reversing the trend from 2009 to 2012, GCC markets are now outperforming emerging markets, which fell by 11 per cent during the first half of the year.
"With total assets under management increasing by 13 per cent to BD257 million ($681 million) at the end of June, from BD228 million ($604 million) at the end of last year, Sico maintained its status as a leading institutionally-focussed GCC public markets asset manager," he added. – TradeArabia News Service
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