NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Muscat, Oman, United Arab Emirates, 2008/06/09 - Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, Bahrain’s own sovereign wealth fund, has ranked first for transparency in the Gulf region, according to new research conducted by the independent Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.
Of the ten Gulf sovereign wealth funds covered in the study, Bahrain has the joint highest transparency score, with a rating of 6 points on the Institute’s Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index, alongside the Kuwait Investment Authority. The well established Government of Singapore Investment Corporation was also awarded a comparable rating.
The Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index, developed at the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, is based on ten essential principles that depict sovereign wealth fund transparency to investors. These include the provision of percentage ownership of company holdings, financial returns, and geographic locations of holdings as well as the provision of clear strategies and objectives for the future.
As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calls for an official line on sovereign wealth fund regulation, and controversy in the West surrounding the international investments of these state-backed funds continues to grow, greater transparency is a key driver in winning investor confidence.
Talal Al Zain, Chief Executive of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, commented: “Mumtalakat has always been open and transparent in its holdings and investment strategy. We remain committed to expanding the company’s investments internationally whilst demonstrating our commitment to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.”
Commenting on the Index’s findings, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), the government body with overall responsibility for formulating and overseeing the economic development strategy of Bahrain, said: “In this current economic climate, openness in all areas of finance is essential to drive investor confidence. This endorsement of Mumtalakat from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute is a strong reflection of what Bahrain offers as a transparent and well regulated finance centre.”
He added: “Our regulator, the Central Bank of Bahrain, has led the way in public and private partnership, with an excellent reputation for transparency in its regulatory and supervisory responsibilities. This reputation, along with key endorsements from the IMF and other external bodies, has contributed to Bahrain’s continued success as the region’s leading financial services centre.”