Gulfmena Investments Limited has launched the first directional absolute return hedge fund focusing specifically on the MENA equity markets to be managed by a GCC based and DFSA regulated asset management business.
The asset manager of the fund, Gulfmena Alternative Investments Limited, was granted a license by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) to operate as a DIFC asset management company in August 2009 and is headed by CEO and Fund Manager, Haissam Arabi. Arabi is one of the region’s most respected and prominent fund managers having managed SHUAA Capital’s Arab Gateway Fund from March 2001 to June 2008 and headed its asset management division.
“Today, investor appetite is returning gradually as we can see from recent markets performance, but while everyone would like to take advantage of the recovery story and existing price distortions in the short term, investors remain somewhat sceptical over long term prospects. Therefore risk aversion and liquidity remain high priorities when making investment decisions at least until risk appetite returns and when investors will demand higher risk and relative value type products. This is why a debut flagship fund today should be a conservative hedge fund product, which is absolute return, unconstrained, multi faceted that is designed for both today and tomorrow’s MENA markets. We believe it is the ideal product at the ideal time with the ideal strategy.” commented Haissam Arabi, CEO and fund manager of Gulfmena Alternative Investments Limited.
The fund will adhere to stringent risk management and portfolio construction parameters such as stops and rolling stops in addition to an overlay hedge strategy that is designed to minimise volatility aiming at preserving investment capital during all market conditions. This is particularly important to professional investors during the early days of a market recovery when visibility is still not clear and there remains little appetite for risk. The fund will target annual returns in excess of 15% while it aims not to exceed an annual volatility of 7%. The fund will also observe strict liquidity criteria and capacity over-ride rules which are built into the strategy to ensure high liquidity levels that allow it to be open-ended and to offer weekly liquidity, unique to most hedge funds.
The fund’s operator and sponsor is Gulfmena Investments Limited (Cayman Islands). The Gulfmena Arab Opportunities Fund Limited will be registered as a regulated mutual fund with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority and is managed by Gulfmena Alternative Investments Limited, a DIFC based MENA specialist asset management company that is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).