Markaz "Mumtaz" "Islamic" and "Gulf" Funds Win Four Lipper Awards for Best Performance


“Markaz”,  announced that three of its MENA mutual funds collectively won four Lipper Awards for best risk-adjusted performance. Markaz "Mumtaz" Fund won two awards for best Kuwaiti Equities Fund for the periods of three and five years. "Markaz Gulf Fund" won best MENA Equities Fund and "Markaz Islamic Fund" won best Islamic Kuwaiti Equities Fund, both for the period of three years.

Amani Al-Omani, Senior Vice President of Local and GCC Investments at Markaz said "Markaz Funds have now won a total of eight Lipper Awards in the last three years alone. These awards recognize Markaz's commitment to achieving the best risk-adjusted performance through following a research driven methodology and investing in high quality assets."

"Mumtaz", rated "A" by Standard & Poor's, is a winner of five Lipper Fund awards for the years 2010, 2008 and 2007, and recently won the Kuwait Equity Fund of the Year Award by MENA Fund Manager. It is an actively managed fund, targeting outperformance of the KIC index. It has achieved 23.1% CAGR since inception in 1999, outperforming its benchmark by 10.1%. Its net assets are worth KD68.4 million and the fund's investment decisions rely heavily on research driven considerations. The Net Asset Value (NAV) as of February 28, 2010 is KD4.177.

Markaz Islamic Fund, winner of two Lipper Fund awards for the years 2010 and 2008, was established in 2003 and aims to invest in Sharia'h-Compliant quoted and unquoted equities in Kuwait. It has posted 8.3% CAGR since inception, outperforming its benchmark by 7.2%. Its net assets are worth KD21.8 million The Net Asset Value (NAV) as of February 28, 2010 is KD1.666.

Markaz Gulf Fund, rated "A" by Standard & Poor's, was launched in 2006, and in 2008 the fund's mandate was changed to expand its investment universe into the MENA region. The fund has been run to outperform the MSCI Arabian Markets index, while retaining a GCC bias of approximately 75-80%. It has posted -4.1% CAGR since inception, outperforming its benchmark by 11.2%. Its net assets are worth USD 34.4 and the Net Asset Value (NAV) as of February 28, 2010 is USD2.52.

All the above mentioned funds have a low minimum subscription and weekly subscription and redemption. In addition, subscription is open to all nationalities.

Markaz manages a major market share in the region through its funds; it’s ranked the first in Kuwait and the fourth in the GCC. As of January 31, 2010 the Markaz Local and GCC Investments team managed assets of approximately KD 543 million (USD 1.89 billion), of which more than 60% are managed on behalf of institutional investors.

Markaz’s track record in asset management in Kuwait and the GCC extends back to more than two decades. In 1983, the company started offering portfolio management services in the Kuwaiti Market and in 1999 it entered the fund management field with the launch of the first Kuwaiti Equities Fund – "Mumtaz".

Lipper is a Thomson Reuters and the Awards program highlights funds that have excelled in delivering consistently strong risk-adjusted performance, relative to peers. The Awards are granted to funds across 21 countries in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Photo Caption: Mr. Mohamed Al-Saad, Manager – Local and GCC Investments represented Markaz in the Lipper Awards ceremony that took place on 30 March 2010 in Dubai.

About Markaz:

Kuwait Financial Centre S.A.K. 'Markaz', with total assets under management of over KD865 million as of December 31, 2009, 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.