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Barwa Bank’s“THE FIRST INVESTOR GCC EQUITY OPPORTUNITIES FUND (Q)”Up 11.5% year to date

Mr. Khalid Al-Subeai, The First Investor’s CEO

Doha, June 24, 2013–Barwa Bank, Qatar's fastest growing Shari'ah compliant banking service provider, recently successfully launched its first equity fund: “The First Investor GCC Equity Opportunities Fund (Q)”. The Fund manager is The First Investor, (TFI), the investment division of Barwa Bank Group.

The fund was awarded “Best Islamic Investment Fund” by The Banker Middle East in April 2013 and as at the end of May 2013 the Fund is up 11.5% since the beginning of the year. The fund has achieved very robust returns; beating deposit rates, fixed income investments and other similar investment schemes from competitors. Assets under management are now in excess of QAR 100m.

Mr. Robert Pramberger, The First Investor’s Acting Head of Asset Management commented “Global stock markets are adjusting for higher interest rate expectations as the U.S. economy is finally gaining positive momentum. Disgruntled fixed income investors are taking more risk and continue to seek higher returns in equities. Regionally, we may see a pick-up in volatility and some selective short lived-profit taking though the medium and long term outlook for equities remains strong. Additionally, MSCI recently upgraded both the UAE & Qatar from frontier to emerging market status; both markets will gradually benefit from this as they will enjoy better depth, breadth and liquidity. We will opportunistically and selectively buy on potential dips as we go through the summer months”.

Mr. Khalid Al-Subeai, The First Investor’s CEO added, “This Fund is an illustration of our ability to provide our clients with competitive investment solutions that can maximize their risk-reward spectrum. We strive to deliver our clients robust and sustainable performance across different asset classes including listed securities”.

Mr. Steve Troop, CEO, Barwa Bank CEO concluded by saying “We are very pleased with the performance of the Fund so far, another example of Barwa Bank’s commitment to delivering value for its customers.”

The Fund invests in equities and equity-related securities listed on exchanges in the Gulf Cooperation Council (the “GCC”) countries. The Fund is a 100% Shari’ah compliant, open-ended collective investment scheme and is seeking to achieve long-term capital growth through a broadly diversified regional portfolio. Subscriptions are open monthly to Qatari Institutions as well as Qatari individuals and can be subscribed to at any Barwa Bank branch, through a Barwa Bank Relationship Manager or directly at The First Investor.

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