Al Salam Bank-Bahrain’s ASB Global REIT Fund posts record 25.75% total return in 2019

Record year for the ASB Global REIT Fund

Hussain Abdulhaq

Hussain Abdulhaq

  • Ranked 1st amongst a comparable set of funds
  • Fund is amongst best performers during COVID-19 pandemic

Kingdom of Bahrain: Al Salam Bank-Bahrain, the pioneering Shari'a-compliant Bank in the Kingdom, announced that its ASB Global REIT Fund achieved a record 25.75 percent total return for the year ended 31 December 2019.

Launched in 2014 as one of the first Shari’a compliant REIT Funds and converted to a global mandate in 2017, the ASB Global REIT Fund has holdings in REITs listed on stock exchanges globally with exposures to various sub-sectors of real estate. The current portfolio is mainly comprised of US REITs, in addition to REITs with focused mandates in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. Historically, REITs have comparatively outperformed equity indices; US REITs, for example, recorded a 10.7% 30-year compounded annual total return compared to 10.0% by the S&P500.

The ASB Global REIT Fund has consistently ranked amongst the best performing global REIT funds, ranking 1st (for the period since 2017) and 3rd (Year to April) out of a comparable set of funds.

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain Head of Treasury & Capital Markets, Hussain Abdulhaq, who is also a director of the Fund, said: “The ASB Global REIT Fund offers individual and institutional investors a unique opportunity to invest in a Shari’a-compliant product that provides exposure to multiple real estate sub-sectors across geographies without the hassle of owning direct real estate. The Fund is highly liquid offering investors the ability to subscribe and redeem on a weekly basis. Yielding in nature, the Fund has paid quarterly dividends since its inception in 2014.” 

Mr. Abdulhaq added: “2019 has been a record year for the Fund, achieving a total return of 25.75%. With a balanced sectorial allocation that excludes hospitality, one of the most impacted sub-sectors of real estate, the Shari’a-compliant investment criteria is expected to aid in cushioning the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the Fund.”

Christian Bernasconi, the co-founder of B&I Capital and the asset manager of the ASB Global REIT Fund, commented: “The Fund has a concentration in growth sectors that are anticipated to offer better risk-adjusted returns relative to the more traditional sectors of real estate which are currently facing disruption.  Over 23% of the Fund is invested in data centers and cell towers to capitalize on the expected growth from 5G rollout in the US and greater cloud adoption by enterprises.  The Fund is also exposed to logistics REITs, at approximately 17%, benefitting immensely from the uptake in global demand for logistics space driven by e-commerce and retailers looking for greater operational efficiency.” 

“These sectors are currently witnessing secular growth and are inherently defensive in nature. The high growth concentration, combined with low leverage, strongly positions the Fund for a sustainable future,” commented Mr. Bernasconi.

For more information or to invest, visit  or contact the customer care center on 17005500.

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About Al Salam Bank-Bahrain

???Al Salam Bank-Bahrain B.S.C (ASBB) is an Islamic bank headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

ASBB was established on 19 January 2006 in the Kingdom of Bahrain with paid-up capital of BD 120 million (US$ 318 million) and commenced commercial operations on 17 April 2006. The Bank was listed on Bahrain Bourse on 27 April 2006 and subsequently on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) on 26 March 2008.

ASBB completed its merger with the Bahraini Saudi Bank (BSB) on 22 December 2011. On 2 February 2014, Al Salam Bank-Bahrain and BMI Bank B.S.C. (c) confirmed the conclusion of a business combination between the two institutions after obtaining the approval of their shareholders at their respective extraordinary general assembly meetings, and of 30 March 2014 BMI Bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of ASBB.

ASBB offers its customers a comprehensive range of innovative and unique Shari’a-compliant financial products and services through an extended network of branches and ATMs, utilizing the state-of-art technologies to meet various banking requirements. In addition to its retail banking services, the Bank also offers Corporate Banking, Private Banking, Investment and Treasury services. The Bank's high-calibre management team is comprised of highly qualified and internationally experienced professionals with proven expertise in key areas of banking, finance, and related fields.

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