‘A sovereign fund is a state-owned investment fund that is commonly established from balance of payments surpluses, official currency operations, the proceeds of privatizations, governmental transfer payments, fiscal surpluses, and/or receipts resulting from resources exports. The definition of sovereign wealth funds excludes foreign currency reserve assets held by monetary authorities for the traditional balance of payments or monetary policy purposes, state owned enterprises, government employee pension funds or assets managed for the benefit of individuals.’

    Sovereign wealth funds may be development-related, stabilisation funds, savings funds or pension reserve funds. Bahrain has a range of funds whose purposes and mandates differ. These include the Future Generations Fund, established to reinvest revenues from natural resources; the National Oil & Gas Authority (NOGA), enhancing the oil and gas and related sectors, while contributing to domestic economic development; and Osool, set up to grow national pension reserves through a multi-pronged investment approach.

    Established as an asset manager with a mandate to safeguard and grow a portfolio of state-owned strategic and commercial assets, we have since evolved into an investment fund with both a stabilising and savings focus. Our business focus is two-pronged – to increase our nation’s wealth through commercially sound and sustainable investments across multiple sectors and geographies; and to drive strategic initiatives that enhance the value of our portfolio companies, helping them grow.

    We are owned by the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain and our Shareholder representative is the Ministry of Finance.

    We work to ensure that the relationships and lines of engagement between our board of directors, managers, and shareholders are clearly defined. This is important as it ensures transparency, accountability, fairness and responsibility.

    We have incorporated the Generally Accepted Principles and Practices of Sovereign Wealth Funds (the Santiago Principles) and operate in compliance with the Bahrain Code of Conduct.

    As our governing body, our Board of Directors is the ultimate decision maker at Mumtalakat. The Board reviews and approves management’s strategic business plans, provides guidance, delegates responsibilities to the Board investment and risk committees, monitors the company’s control system and approves the appointment of Board members to various committees.​

    Our overarching objective is to generate sustainable wealth for future generations. As a result, we contribute to the national economy in line with our mandate. These undertakings run in parallel to our investment and growth strategies, making a significant difference to local sectors and the way in which people live, supporting both the Government Action Plan and national budget.

    From our very inception in 2006 we have actively supported and funded our diverse local portfolio companies with over BD 600 million [US$ 1,596 million], a considerable contribution for a young sovereign wealth fund that only received BD 5 million [US $13 million] from the Government at establishment and no further funding since.

    Examples of our support and financing abound.

    Between 2006 and 2012, we provided Gulf Air with financing of BD 475 million [US$ 1,263 million] and implemented restructuring initiatives to improve its operational efficiencies, strengthening its competitive position as the leading airline for timely, short-haul flights. This led to a reduction in the airline’s operating losses by 86% from BD 184 million [US$ 489 million] in 2012 to BD 31 million [US$ 82 million] in 2015. Including government subsidies, Gulf Air’s net income changed from a loss of BD 81 million [US$ 215 million] in 2012 to a net profit of BD 66 million [US$ 176 million] in 2015.

    We have supported the expansion plans of some of the country’s key industrial players…

    We helped enhance Alba’s production capacity through an efficiency programme implemented in 2014 and supported the development of its Line 6 expansion plan. Due to operate in 2019, this enlargement will make Alba the largest single site aluminium smelter in the world. With a strategic focus on the country’s downstream aluminium industry we supported the development a new re-melt facility designed to develop GARMCO’s metal recycling capability and increase the company’s production capacity of aluminium slabs by 150%.

    We’ve also established a number of important joint ventures. Our partnership with Mueller Industries, US and Cayan Ventures, Saudi Arabia has led to the establishment of the first regional copper tube manufacturing facility in Bahrain – Mueller Middle East.

    This has meant that over the years we have borrowed from banks and international capital markets to meet some of the needs of our Bahraini companies and spearheading strategic initiatives to increase their value.

    We continue to honour our debt obligations while our investments in the country continue to grow, providing over 14,600 direct employment opportunities to date.

    Notably, due to the performance of certain investments, we have been able to commit a share of our profits to support the country’s national budget in 2017 and 2018.

    We are always looking for more investment opportunities in Bahrain and certainly, the majority of our portfolio is based in the country. Our investment decisions however take into consideration the commercial viability of each prospect as well as the importance of risk mitigation and diversification.

    Mumtalakat has established itself as a self-sustaining operation. We do not obtain any contributions from the government and seek investment options that will deliver returns in order to enable us to meet our debt obligations and help grow the wealth of the country.

    At our inception in 2006, we inherited 29 non-oil and gas assets from the Ministry of Finance with a mandate to manage and grow a portfolio both strategically and commercially. These included industrial giant, Alba, our national airline, Gulf Air, our real estate investment arm, Edamah, and host to the first Grand Prix in the Middle East, the Bahrain International Circuit.

    Our responsibility is to generate sustainable wealth for our nation and generations to come. It is our duty, therefore, to ensure our investments deliver returns.

    As such, we seek to minimise risk through diverse investments in well positioned businesses with established track records and strong growth prospects.

    What sets us apart is our long-term investment outlook and active partnership approach through which we address the needs of businesses beyond financial capital. Leveraging our extensive reach, expertise and resources, we bring far more to the table than a typical investment institution or private equity firm.

    In addition, unlike some private equity firms, we are not looking for quick gains. We don’t invest to re-sell in the short term. We aim to play an active value adding role and invest for the long-run.

    We continuously monitor our investment performance keeping abreast of our portfolio companies’ financials, operating performance and fair value movements. Furthermore, we conduct various valuations as well as benchmarking and comparable analyses to ensure their growth is in accordance with our expectations.

    On an organisational level, we have a structured performance management framework in place, ensuring our operational and strategic performance are in line with our plans and objectives.