Securities and Investment Company (Sico), the Bahrain-based investment bank, said Standard & Poor's (S&P) has awarded new fund management ratings to its range of investment funds.
The Khaleej Equity Fund, a GCC Equity Fund, has been upgraded to "AA" from its "A" rating awarded in December 2007, while Gulf Equity Fund, rated for the first time, has also been awarded a "AA" rating.
Sico Selected Securities Fund, a Bahrain-dedicated country fund, and Sico Arab Financial Fund, a Mena-based Financial sector Fund, have been awarded "A" ratings by S&P Fund Services.
The ratings reflect high standards of quality based on its investment process, risk awareness and consistency of performance relative to its own objectives.
Sico has made significant investments in its asset management team over the past year, with the recruitment of high-quality and proven analysts as well as reorganising the team into research and portfolio management, to enable the rigorous implementation of Sico's investment strategy.
The Khaleej Equity Fund, which invests principally in equity securities listed across the six GCC stock markets, has delivered a nearly 69 per cent return since its inception in 2004.
The fund's bottom up investment approach has helped it become one of the best performing funds in the GCC producing top quartile returns over one and three years and year to date.
"The Khaleej Equity Fund has established itself as one of the top GCC equities funds and we take comfort from the fact that head of asset management, Shakeel Sarwar, is still closely involved with portfolio construction," said S&P Fund Services lead analyst Roberto Demartini. "Its success is a testament to the group's disciplined yet decisive approach. The strong performance until last summer resulted from stock selection while, more recently, raising cash to 60 per cent has added most value."