Markaz Fund for Excellent Yields 'Mumtaz' Posts 40.1% Year-to-Date Outperforming KIC Index by 13%


Strong Q1 Profits and Optimism about Q2 Results Favorably Reflect on the Market Performance Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K. “Markaz”, one of the leading investment banking and asset management companies in the Middle East, announced that its local funds had a remarkable YTD performance for the month of May. Markaz Fund for Excellent Yields 'Mumtaz', a winner of two Lipper – Reuters funds awards 2007 returned 40.1%, outperforming KIC index with more than 13% on a year-to-date basis. The large cap shares continued their stellar performance, driving Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) into new highs, with MTC and KFH shares at the forefront. This was coupled with extraordinary liquidity that the market has not seen since its inception. The high liquidity extended in May to embrace the shares of small size companies, as compared to the previous high growth cycle when abundant liquidity effect was limited to the shares of the large cap companies. The market price index, which posted in May its best performance since the beginning of this year, broke the level of 11,000 points psychological barrier. This was driven by total corporate profits announced at the end of March 2007 reaching KD 1,190 million, up by 179% compared to KD 479 million for the corresponding period of last year. The returns of Markaz Fund for Excellent Yields "Mumtaz" reached 14.6% for the month of May compared to 11.61% posted by the KIC index, and 40.1% since the beginning of the year compared to 26.39% posted by KIC index for the same period; On the same note Markaz Investment & Development Fund "MIDAF" reached 9.0% for the month of May and 24.3% since the beginning of the year. Markaz Islamic Fund posted a rise of 11.6% in May, to reach 30.4% year-to-date, outperforming Al-Mal Shari'a Index by 3%. Markaz Forsa Financial Fund, a fund that invests in the options market, returned 6.5% for the month of May, and 20.0% since the beginning of the year. Noteworthy in this regard is that Markaz, as the sole option market maker in Kuwait, will increase the number of listed companies in the options market, during the second half of the year, after obtaining all the necessary approvals from the Kuwait Stock Exchange. "The Kuwaiti financial market is prepared for a moderate correction following the positive performance that lasted for five consecutive months; unless more positive information, particularly profit forecasts for Q2 2007, enables it to maintain its upwards trend" said Bader Alghanim – Vice President, Local and GCC Investment Department, Markaz commenting on the market performance. Alghanim added "The strong Q1 profits lead by operational companies and optimism about Q2 results are favorably reflecting on the market leading it to continue the upward trend it has seen during the past period". Alghanim concluded "As for the future outlook of the market, we are still optimistic as to the market performance during the remaining period of the year. The market will ease, following the expected adjustment in prices, and then resume its strong activity pushing up the market index to close the year at record levels". Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K. 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD. 1.21 billion as of 31 March 2007, was established in 1974, and 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 awarded a BBB+ corporate rating by Capital Intelligence Ltd. -Ends- Photo Caption: Bader Alghanim – Vice President, Local & GCC Investments