SICO BSC (c), a leading regional asset manager, broker, market maker and investment bank (licensed as a conventional wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain “CBB”), announced today that the Bahrain Liquidity Fund (BLF), now in its fourth year, has continued to make a major impact on the average daily traded volume (ADTV) of the Bahrain Bourse. The Bahrain Bourse ADTV has reached BD 1.121 million in 2019 increasing by four folds since inception in 2016
BLF transactions in 2019 represented 31.25% of the total ADTV on the Bourse compared to the 22% recorded in 2018.
Commenting on the track record and performance of the Fund, Fadhel Makhlooq, SICO’s Chief Capital Markets Officer, said, “The Fund had a positive impact on the BHB despite its reduced size, resulting from paying back in cash 10% of the Fund’s size to its shareholders, in addition to paying out all dividends received during 2019. The increase in the participation rate over last year is a clear manifestation of the Fund’s role as a liquidity provider.”
In terms of returns, the BLF has generated an annual return on capital of 8.19% representing a net asset value (NAV) of BD 39.5 million. This return includes cash dividends distributed to Fund unitholders.
“We are extremely proud of these results which are a reflection of SICO’s capabilities as a market maker, a concept that we pioneered two decades ago,” said Makhlooq. “Since its launch in 2016, the BLF has had a huge impact on investor sentiment, market volumes, valuations and performance.”
“The 20.4% performance of the Bahrain All Share Index during 2019 was the second best in the GCC region and a clear indication of investors’ confidence in the Bahraini market. Looking ahead, we believe the market will enjoy a positive year during 2020 supported by fundamentals and generous yields,” Added Makhlooq.
BLF was initiated and co-seed by SICO and a group of prominent Bahrain-based financial institutions: BBK, Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, Osool and NBB. The Fund seeks to enhance liquidity on the Bahrain Bourse by reducing Bid Ask spreads and enhancing market depth. The fund also seeks to create absolute returns to investors around the level of market returns.
SICO continues to maintain its position as the leading market maker on the Bahrain Bourse. In 2018 the Bank was also awarded new licenses to act as market maker on both UAE exchanges, the DFM and ADX.
SICO is a leading regional asset manager, broker, market maker and investment bank, with USD 2.1 bn in assets under management (AUM). Today SICO operates under a wholesale banking licence from the Central Bank of Bahrain and also oversees three wholly owned subsidiaries: an Abu Dhabi-based brokerage firm, SICO Financial Brokerage, a specialised regional custody house, SICO Fund Services Company (SFS), and a Saudi-based asset management provider, SICO Financial Saudi Company. Headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain with a growing regional and international presence, SICO has a well-established track record as a trusted regional bank offering a comprehensive suite of financial solutions, including asset management, brokerage, investment banking, and market making, backed by a robust and experienced research team that provides regional insight and analysis of more than 90 percent of the region’s major equities. Since inception in 1995, SICO has consistently outperformed the market and developed a solid base of institutional clients. Going forward, the bank’s continued growth will be guided by its commitments to strong corporate governance and developing trusting relationships with its clients. The bank will also continue to invest in its information technology capabilities and the human capital of its 100 exceptional employees.
Ms. Nadeen Oweis
Head of Corporate Communications, SICO
Direct Tel: (+973) 1751 5017
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