Barwa Bank’s “THE FIRST INVESTOR GCC EQUITY OPPORTUNITIES FUND (Q)” assets under management reach QAR 100 million

Doha, May 12, 2013 – Barwa Bank, Qatar's fastest growing Shari'ah compliant banking service provider, recently launched its first equity fund: “The First Investor GCC Equity Opportunities Fund (Q)”. The Fund manager is The First Investor, (TFI), the investment division of Barwa Bank Group.

At the end of April 2013, the assets under management of the fund reached QAR 100 million for the first time since the launch through attracting subscriptions from new investors as well as recording considerable capital gain in the first quarter of 2013. The Fund is up by more than 8% since inception and has out-performed deposit rates, most fixed income investments and other similar investment schemes from competitors. The fund was recently awarded “Best Islamic Investment Fund” by The Banker Middle East in April 2013.

Mr. Robert Pramberger, Acting Head of Asset Management, TFI commented, “We believe equity markets will continue to outperform other asset classes in 2013 as tail risks continue to fade, government bond yields remain close to record lows and investors look to invest in asset classes that return an attractive yield after inflation”.

Mr. Khalid Al-Subeai, CEO, TFI added, “The Fund is ideal for individuals with a long-term horizon, enabling them to achieve long-term capital growth through investment in a broadly diversified portfolio of equities and equity-related securities. Over the past 8 years, GCC markets have returned more than c.12% per annum and portfolios under TFI management have consistently outperformed the markets.”

Mr. Steve Troop, CEO, Barwa Bank Group concluded, “The Fund is a very promising product and is expected to attract a large number of investors. Barwa Bank and TFI intend to launch more products targeting retail and institutional investors as well as government related entities in the near future.”

The Fund invests in equities and equity-related securities listed on exchanges within the Gulf Cooperation Council (the “GCC”) countries. The Fund is a 100% Shari’ah compliant, open-ended collective investment scheme and seeks to achieve long-term capital growth through a broadly diversified regional portfolio. Subscriptions are open monthly to Qatari institutions as well as Qatari individuals and can be subscribed to at any Barwa Bank branch or through a Barwa Bank Relationship Manager.