Bahrain: Wealth fund to invest in global securities
Mumtalakat to diversify portfolio; Alba IPO raises $338 million
The head of Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund says it plans to invest in liquid assets in international markets to lessen its reliance on local private equity and real estate investments and create a more balanced portfolio.
Talal Al Zain, chief executive of Mumtalakat, whose main holdings include Gulf Air and Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), says the $10 billion fund will invest in equities and fixed-income securities as well as certain hedge fund strategies worldwide to diversify its portfolio.
"Our medium-term plan is to have 50% of the fund invested in the Middle East and North Africa across asset classes and 50% invested globally across asset classes"
Talal Al Zain, Mumtalakat
"Our medium-term plan is to have 50% of the fund invested in the Middle East and North Africa across asset classes and 50% invested globally across asset classes," says Al Zain, adding that this goal will take between five and 10 years to fulfil. At present almost the entire portfolio is invested in Bahrain, with real estate assets accounting for one-third and private equity most of the rest. So while the fund is sectorally diversified – including hospitality, telecoms, financial services and natural resources – Al Zain admits it is too concentrated from a geographic and asset-class point of view.