Talal Al-Tawari, Head of GCC Equities Division at Gulf Investment Corporation has said that “the Gulf Premier Fund”, the first of its kind in the Gulf region, managed by a team of leading GCC shares portfolio management experts and supported by the impressive experience of the Research Team, and which has attracted the attention of numerous GCC and foreign investors, has achieved a year-to-date return of 11.49%, as expected. He said that the GCC economies were the most stable despite the deep global financial crises witnessed today. Al-Tawari emphasized that the posted a strong performance and high return since it was launched in April 2003, with a return of 80.14%.

He attributed this remarkable performance to several factors, mainly the professional approach adopted by the fund management team in identifying, evaluating and selecting investment opportunities according to set professional criteria supported by field visits to the underlying companies, yet considering that all the GCC markets form one large super market forming a class of their own.

Al-Tawari also lauded the strong performance of the Gulf Islamic Fund since the beginning of 2009, having achieved a 34.3% growth. The fund was launched in January in line with Gulf Investment Corporation’s strategy to establish Sharia compliant funds that takes into consideration the level of each sector and country in addition to the conventional funds.

The Gulf Islamic Fund seeks to achieve a higher return on the capital by investment in the shares of GCC companies whose operations are compliant with the provisions of the Islamic Sharia. The fund’s management is undertaken by investment professionals specialized in GCC companies’ shares at Gulf Investment Corporation. The fund adopts a strategy of selecting companies on the basis of the strength of their operational balance sheets. It applies a conservative growth policy aiming at achieving satisfactory returns. This has prompted specialized bodies, including Zawiyah, to classify the fund as the best-performing fund compared with the other GCC shares funds for this year.

Commenting on the good performance of the two funds, Malek Essa Al-Ajeel, head of Business Development at Gulf Investment Corporation, attributed their outstanding success to a number of factors, foremost among which is the remarkable competence, focused experienced and deep knowledge of the GCC markets by the respective management teams who have an experience extending more than 26 years in the field.

Another factor has been GIC’s well-placed reliance on specialized analyses and studies of the individual companies in order to forecast their expected performance. Extensive research is undertaken on an on-going basis with a view to identify the best investment opportunities in terms of sector and geography. The company is guided by the results of its research efforts in support of the investment policies as applied to GIC’s funds, keeping abreast with the progress of its strategy toward achieving its goals.

Al-Ajeel emphasized the benefits of investing in the GCC markets which provide high financial returns with minimal risks, as witnessed by analytical studies of the implications of the global financial crisis. He said that GIC recommends investment in those GCC shares funds that enjoy professional management, strong risk management and good performance, in addition to the diversification feature in terms of sector and country, as well as selecting the shares that have good current and prospective underlying operational performance.

Gulf Investment Corporation is a leading regional financial institution, with a strong performance in the money and investment industry. Established in 1983, GIC is owned equally by the governments of the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Its main objective is to promote regional economic cooperation, develop the private sectors and support economic growth in the region, in addition to developing investment products in the GCC financial markets. GIC has made tremendous achievements in major projects in the various GCC countries, with projects distributed among the various sectors and economic activities.