Markaz international products outperform their benchmarks for the First Half of 2007


Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K. “Markaz”, one of the Middle East’s leading investment banking and asset management companies, announced that its range of international products outperformed their benchmarks for the half year ended 2007. During H1 global markets produced the best returns in a long while with all major market indices recording higher single digit or double digit positive gains. Among the developed markets USA, DJI posted returns of 7.59% and S&P500 6% for this period. In Europe Germany was spectacular with 21% gain, while UK achieved 6.22% and France 9.26%. Double digit growth came from the emerging markets especially BRIC recording 15.27%, Latin America 25.32%, EMEA 7.40% and Asia 17.27%. Japan was the only major market which posted a modest gain of 5.3% only. The basic reasons for the positive growth in global stock markets were: (a) Better than expected economic growth (b) Companies displaying higher earnings (c) Benign inflationary outlook (d) No new and major geopolitical issues. Mr. Gopal Menon, Executive Vice President of International Investments and Investment Advisory said “In this scenario of favorable market conditions, Markaz had the added responsibility to demonstrate their ability to achieve superior performance and at the same time take adequate measures to diversify risk. Markaz achieved this by adopting tactical asset allocation methodology which emphasized emerging markets and thematic investments.” During H1 Markaz International Products outperformed their own benchmarks. Atlas Diversified Class, which invests in diversified asset classes and geographically diversified markets, achieved a YTD performance of 12.92% compared to its benchmark Markaz Global Securities Index (MGSI) which performed at 9.39% for the same period. MGSI is an index compiled by Markaz and constructed as follows: 15% KIC index, 25% S&P500 index, 20% MSCI Europe index, 15% Lehman Brothers Aggregate Bond index, 10% HFRX Global Hedge Fund index, 5% Russell 2000 index, 5% 3-month KWD rates and 5% US 3- month treasury bill. Atlas ETFs Program, which invests in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) of different markets and sectors worldwide with a dynamic approach and first of its kind in Kuwait, had a YTD performance of 8.5% compared to 8.01% achieved by its benchmark MSCI World Index. Atlas Fund of Hedge Funds posted returns of 6.31% YTD. -Ends- 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. Photo Caption: Mr. Gopal Menon, Executive Vice President of International Investments and Investment Advisory, Markaz