Markaz IPO and Pre-IPO Program gains 20% in 4 months

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Markaz IPO and Pre-IPO Program gains 20% in 4 months 23 - Sep - 2007

Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K. “Markaz”, one of the Middle East’s leading investment banking and asset management companies, announced that Markaz IPO and Pre-IPO program has achieved a provisional gain of 19.59% in the first four months from its launch in May ‘07 against a targeted IRR of 15%. Its investments were spread over Central and South East Asia, Gulf, Africa and USA. This performance was greatly helped by careful selection of IPOs through in-house research and strong due diligence. Among others, the Program benefited through investment in the much celebrated IPO in the Gulf i.e., Deyaar. The Program has also participated in other IPO’s like DLF (India), Safabourse (Africa), Ghabbour Group (North-Africa), VMWare (USA), Blackstone (USA), etc. Markaz IPO and pre-IPO program seeks capital appreciation over the medium term by selectively investing in IPO/pre-IPO opportunities sourced globally and researched in-house. Markaz, through its strong ties with leading global investment banks, is in a position to provide access to attractive global IPO opportunities, with a strong focus on the GCC and other emerging markets. The Program predominantly focuses on emerging markets with an emphasis on the Gulf region. There are more than 130 issues planned in 2007/8 for the Gulf region, out of which 100 are already confirmed and in the pipeline. Money raised through IPO’s in the gulf region more than doubled from $4 billion in 2004 to $8.2 billion in 2006. This is nearly 3% of global IPO value. Global IPO activity is also expected to remain strong supported by strong liquidity and economic conditions, especially in emerging markets. Given the strong IPO pipeline in the region and in emerging markets, Mr. Gopal Menon, EVP of International Investments at Markaz and strongly believes that the opportunistic nature of the Program will serve well the investors going forward. Among the attractive features of the Program, an investor needs to pay only 25% of his commitment at the time of subscription. In addition, there is no subscription fee. The remaining balance will be called in stages at the discretion of the Investment Advisor, Markaz, subject to adequate notice being given to the investor. One year lock-up applied to the redemption is only for the initial subscription. Incremental investments can be redeemed freely upon the expiry of the lock-up period for the initial subscription. ### Photo Caption: Mr. Gopal Menon, Executive Vice President of International Investments and Investment Advisory, Markaz About Markaz Kuwait Financial Centre 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD1.40 billion as of June 30, 2006, 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.