Markaz Atlas ETF Program Posts 16.62% Year-to-Date Outperforming MSCI World Index By Over 5%

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Markaz Atlas ETF Program Posts 16.62% Year-to-Date Outperforming MSCI World Index By Over 5% 22 - Oct - 2007

Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”, one of the Middle East’s leading investment banking and asset management companies, announced that Markaz's Atlas ETFs Program has achieved 16.62% Year-To – Date (YTD) as end of September. A comparison to MSCI World Index would be reasonably appropriate where, ETF outperforms MSCI's World Index (11.16%) by almost 550 basis points and Markaz's weighted benchmark index (13.29%) by over 300 basis points. "We regard this accomplishment to be very significant as it is considered a difficult task for many managers to achieve since ETFs are traded in tandem with index movements, thus making it difficult to attain returns much higher than the indices they track" said Mr. Gopal Menon, Executive Vice President of the International Investment Department. Mr. Menon continued "However, due to Markaz’s tactical approach of allocating the right amount of assets between the different sectors and markets at the right time, greatly increasing the spectrum of our investment capabilities, we were able to stay several notches ahead of the tracked indices". Atlas ETFs Program seeks a balanced combination of the volatility of emerging markets while maintaining the efficiency of developed ones, in addition to avoiding the risks associated with stock-picking. Mr. Menon added "Atlas ETFs Program covers many markets and sectors, including technology, healthcare, and financials, and commodities such as oil and basic materials, from all over the world in order to use the most dynamic asset allocation techniques to maximize profits for our investors. Management fees are only 1% and there are no redemption fees. There is a 10% performance fee that is only charged to returns in excess of the benchmark's performance". Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are securities that represent mutual funds. However, they are traded on an exchange just like regular stocks, thus its price changes throughout the day as it is bought and sold. Although similar, ETFs and open-end funds have differences that give the former an advantage over the latter. Unlike mutual funds, which are priced at their net asset value at the end of each valuation day, ETF prices fluctuate throughout the trading day and are bought and sold at the market price. Another advantage is the ability for ETF shares, like stocks, to be traded using conditional orders, be bought on margin, and sold short. In addition, management fees are lower when it comes to ETFs, which is a bonus for investors trying to minimize costs while maximizing exposure. Probably the most important advantage offered by ETFs is its availability in almost every market and the fact that there is an ETF that represents every major index and sector around the world. If an ETF does not yet represent an index or sector, it most likely will in the near future. Compared to regular stocks, ETFs have advantageous differences as well. Rather than investing in individual companies, an investor can concentrate on a specific sector or market, as is the case with exchange-traded funds. Also, ETFs offer more security than stocks because they are traded in tandem with index movements, making them less volatile but ultimately safer. Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K. 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD1.40 billion as of June 30, 2007, was established in 1974 has become one of the leading asset management and investment banking institutions in the Arabian Gulf Region. Markaz was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) in 1997; and was recently awarded a BBB+ corporate rating by Capital Intelligence Ltd. -Ends- Photo Caption: Gopal Menon, Executive Vice President of the International Investment Department at Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz”