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MENAFN Press - 25/04/2011

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(MENAFN Press) Securities & Investment Company (SICO), the Bahrain-based GCC regionally focused investment bank, announced today that two of its funds - the Khaleej Equity Fund (KEF), sponsored and managed by SICO, and Al Aseel Islamic Equity Fund sponsored by Ithmaar Bank and managed by SICO - have been acknowledged by Lipper in the Lipper Fund Awards for 2011. The Khaleej Equity fund has been awarded the 'Best Equity GCC fund over 5 years' and Al Aseel Islamic Equity Fund has been awarded as the 'Best MENA Equity fund in a 3 year category'.

Lipper announced the awards at the Lipper Funds Award ceremony held in Dubai on March 30th, 2011

Dunny Moonesawmy, Lipper's Head of Research for Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: "Finding first rate companies to manage client assets is an important concern among investors, and the Lipper Fund Awards recognize the groups that are the best in producing consistent and superior results relative to their peers. Lipper is proud to honor Khaleej Equity and Al Aseel Islamic Equity funds for their outstanding risk-return performances for the past 5- and 3-years respectively. ".

The Lipper Fund Awards are awarded to funds in 23 countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Lipper designates award-winning funds in most individual classifications for the three-, five-, and ten-year periods.

SICO's flagship, the Khaleej Equity Fund -which invests in equities listed on the six GCC stock markets - achieved a return of 14.1% for 2010, against a 12.8% appreciation in its benchmark, the S&P GCC Composite Index. Over a five year period ending in 2010, the fund delivered a return of 9.2% against a negative 53.4% for the benchmark. This has been achieved despite having a significantly lower volatility, resulting in the fund achieving one of the best risk-adjusted returns among its peer group over the medium-to-long term. The Khaleej Equity Fund has been rated "AA" by Standard & Poor's and in 2008 was awarded the best GCC fund by Lippers.

Established in September 2005, Al Aseel Islamic fund, invests principally in Shariah-compliant equity securities listed on MENA stock markets. In 2010, the fund generated a positive return of 11.0%, in comparison to a 9.8% increase in its benchmark, S&P Arabian Islamic Index. During the last three years ending 2010, the fund declined by 19.8%, against negative 39.7% return of the benchmark.

SICO credits this strong performance to its active asset allocation and stock picking capabilities, while in parallel adopting a top down approach to risk management by closely monitoring company, country and sector exposures. The buy side research team, along with portfolio managers, focus on identifying companies that are undervalued and fundamentally strong.

Commenting on these results, Anthony Mallis, Securities & Investment Company's CEO, said: "This recognition given by Lipper is another testament to SICO's prudent investment approach, characterised by superior stock picking and asset allocation. The combination of our regional insight and the quality of research are key factors in enabling SICO to provide consistent and stable long term returns to our investors.

Additionally, our asset allocation, and disciplined investment and risk management processes have enabled us to preserve capital during downturns and periods of volatility. Our strong performance during the downturns of 2006 and 2008 and periods of volatility have been one of the main contributors to our overall outperformance of market and other competing regional funds, he added.

Securities & Investment Company is a wholesale bank offering a selective range of investment banking services, including asset management, brokerage, corporate finance and market-making, on a regional basis and with a particular emphasis on Bahrain. SICO was incorporated in Bahrain in 1995 and holds a banking license from the Central Bank of Bahrain.

As of December 31st, 2010, SICO reported total assets of BD81.2 million, with shareholders' equity of BD 56.7 million. SICO's shares have been listed on the Bahrain Bourse since May 2003. Securities & Investment Company was the first 'closed' company to list on the exchange.

More information is available online at www.sicobahrain.com
For more information on Lipper Leaders, please visit www.lipperweb.com

About Securities & Investment Company (SICO)
Securities & Investment Company (SICO)


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