Tested through challenging conditions on local and GCC markets for many years now, Markaz Asset Management activity has consistently outperformed the relevant benchmarks on its equity funds and managed portfolios. Markaz has earned a credible name for itself amongst the top performing fund managers in Kuwait due to this strong and consistent performance spanning many years. The support of a qualified research team of experienced finance professionals helps the investment managers set their investment strategies. In an effort to focus on meeting client investment needs, Markaz introduced the first options trading platform in the Middle East by issuing and selling derivative instruments (Call options) on Boursa Kuwait listed stocks.
Fundamental criterion that broadly include profitability, business growth, capitalization, leverage & quality of balance-sheet, business outlook and such other performance evaluation indicators are analyzed on spread-sheets. Forward-looking information on the company’s business and overall industry are also analyzed. Valuation indicators like PE/PBV multiples and business valuations using free cash flows are used to evaluate the investment opportunities within the available universe.
Research process is an integral part of the portfolio construction process. Decisions to buy and sell stocks are based on the manager’s portfolio strategy of both strategic and tactical approach. Strategic decisions to buy/ sell shares in the portfolio are driven by fundamental research. Given the extreme volatility in GCC stock markets, short-term trading may account for 15-20 % of the portfolio to take advantage of trading profits and thus, enhance portfolio performance over its benchmark. Technical analysis skills are available in the trading department to time stock market cycles as also good networking with capital market intermediaries to stay informed on corporate developments and stock market trends.
Research has started assuming an increasingly important role in the investment decision making process of portfolio managers, due to its proven success in identifying above market-average performers and its ability to analyze sound investing themes. The reach of institutional money managers for corporate information, research and analytical resources and long, track record of investment experience in stock markets is of immense value-addition for investors.
MENA Investments amounted to KD 502.852 million (USD 1.64 billion) as of the end of December, 2016.