Bahrain-based regional investment bank, Securities & Investment Company (SICO), released year-end 2013 performance results for its award-winning family of regional funds. During the year, all SICO’s Bahrain Bourse-listed funds continued to perform robustly in contrast to peers and respective GCC benchmark indices.
The Bank’s flagship Khaleej Equity Fund (KEF), which invests in GCC-listed equities, achieved a return of 28.4% for 2013, compared to an appreciation of 25% of the S&P GCC Composite Index – outperforming its benchmark for the eighth consecutive year. Since the fund’s inception in March 2004, the fund has generated a return of 178.1% compared to a 61.1% return of the benchmark. It is the only fund in the GCC to be awarded both a ‘Gold’ fund grading and a ‘5-year Long-term’ grading by Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.
SICO’s Gulf Equity Fund, which invests in GCC-listed equities apart from Saudi Arabia, delivered a return of 32.4% for the year, versus 27.4 per cent of the S&P GCC ex Saudi Index. The fund, which is graded ‘Gold’ by S&P Capital IQ, has produced a return of 43.3 per cent since its launch in February 2006, while its benchmark fell by 33.2 per cent during the period.
The SICO Kingdom Equity Fund, which invests primarily in Saudi-listed equities, delivered a return of 33.1% in 2013, in comparison with 25.5 per cent for the Saudi Stock Exchange’s Tadawul Index. Graded ‘Silver’ by S&P Capital IQ, the fund has generated a return of 45.2 per cent since its launch in February 2011, compared with 34.2 per cent by its benchmark,
The SICO Selected Securities Fund – a balanced fund – invests principally in Bahrain-listed equity and debt securities, achieved a return of 16.2 per cent for the year, slightly below the return of the Bahrain Bourse. Since its inception in 1998, the fund has made a positive return of 133.2 per cent while its benchmark generated a negative 1.1% return.
SICO’s Money Market Fund, which invests in regional investment-grade money market instruments, recorded an annualised return of 1.16 per cent in 2013 in contrast to the benchmark’s 0.26 per cent. Since its inception in May 2010, the fund has consistently outperformed its benchmark.
Securities & Investment Company launched in April 2013 the SICO Fixed Income Fund – the first of its kind to be managed by a Bahrain-based fund manager. During its 8 month lifespan the fund has managed to generate an interesting return, with the fund actively investing in government and corporate fixed income, sukuk and money market instruments.
Commenting on these results, Tony Mallis, Securities & Investment Company’s outgoing CEO, said: “SICO’s pro-active and risk-measured investment style enabled us to deliver another strong performance for our clients in 2013. Our asset allocation and stock picking skills, which focus on the long-term potential of underlying investments, rather on short-term momentum-driven rallies, has served our clients well on the medium and longer term. The combination of our regional insight and quality of research is a key factor in allowing SICO to provide consistent and stable long-term returns.”
During 2013, SICO maintained its status as a leading institutionally-focused GCC public markets asset manager, with total assets under management increasing by 39 per cent to a record BD 317 million (US DLRS 841 million). These AUMs comprise SICO’s own funds; funds sponsored by other institutions for which SICO acts as investment manager; and discretionary fixed income and equity portfolio accounts.