Assets under management of Barwa Bank’s ‘The First Investor GCC Equity Opportunities Fund (Q)’ have reached QR100mn for the first time by April-end, the bank said yesterday.

The fund manager is The First Investor, (TFI), the investment division of Barwa Bank Group.

The Fund is up by more than 8% since inception and has out-performed deposit rates, most fixed income investments and other similar investment schemes from competitors. The fund was recently awarded ‘Best Islamic Investment Fund’ award by The Banker Middle East in April 2013.

Robert Pramberger, acting head (Asset Management) said: “We believe equity markets will continue to outperform other asset classes in 2013 as tail risks continue to fade, government bond yields remain close to record lows and investors look to invest in asset classes that return an attractive yield after inflation”.

TFI chief executive officer Khalid al-Subei said: “The fund is ideal for individuals with a long-term horizon, enabling them to achieve long-term capital growth through investment in a broadly diversified portfolio of equities and equity-related securities. Over the past eight years, GCC markets have returned more than 12% a year and portfolios under TFI management have consistently outperformed the markets.”

Barwa Bank Group CEO Steve Troop said: “The fund is a very promising product and is expected to attract a large number of investors. Barwa Bank and TFI intend to launch more products, targeting retail and institutional investors as well as government-related entities in the near future.”

The fund invests in equities and equity-related securities listed on exchanges within the Gulf Co-operation Council countries. The fund is a 100% Shariaa compliant, open-ended collective investment scheme and seeks to achieve long-term capital growth through a broadly diversified regional portfolio.

Subscriptions are open monthly to Qatari institutions as well as individuals and can be subscribed to at any Barwa Bank branch or through a Barwa Bank relationship manager.