GULFMENA has launched a long-only relative value fund focused on MENA equity markets.
The Luxembourg-regulated Gulfmena Access Fund will look to capture excess returns in MENA equity markets relative to the S&P Pan Arab Composite Index.
It will be managed by Haissam Arabi and his team from Gulfmena Investments, a Dubai based and DFSA regulated asset management company which recently won the Asian Investor’s 2011 Investment Performance Awards, Middle East Onshore Fund House.
“Investors, especially foreign investors, still look at the region as an out of index bet and are specifically interested in the volatility it offers,” said Arabi, CEO and fund manager of Gulfmena. “
“They are interested in taking advantage of a directional call on high oil prices, a peak in the commodities cycle or on purely event or thematically driven situations due to, for example, excessive government spending.”
The fund is actively managed and designed to capture the upside potential of MENA equity markets and their directional sector specific moves, he added.
Gulfmena also manages an absolute return fund and with the launch of this long-only relative value fund hopes to now cater to both alternative and traditional investors seeking access to the region.
The company raised more than $65m in assets under management in its second year of operations, despite difficult regional markets and a challenging fund raising environment. It has also added two directors to its board, Amjad Al Dwaik and Mark DeSario. Its shareholder base now includes, in addition to the management’s share, prominent families from the region including the Malhas Family, a Saudi based family office.
“We are and continue to be committed to the region despite recent events. The launch of this fund is a clear demonstration of that commitment,” said Al Dwaik.
“Our goal is to offer investors the best solutions for extracting value on their investments and portfolios in MENA. We believe that the Gulfmena Access Fund exemplifies that objective. Its launch comes at a time when the region is faced with turmoil, re-emphasizing the opportunities the region offers, as well as taking advantage of distorted and cheap valuations today which will represent tremendous value tomorrow.”