April 29, 2014
Al Hilal Bank, the progressive Islamic Bank, has announced that its Al Hilal GCC Equity Fund was named the ‘2014 Best Islamic Fund’ at the Banker Middle East UAE Product Awards organized recently by publishing, events and news company CPI Financial. The fund bested a highly competitive field through its careful selection of healthy GCC stocks and its focus on diversification, both of which have enabled it to minimize volatility while consistently outperforming benchmarks.
Launched by Al Hilal Bank in March of 2011, the Al Hilal GCC Equity Fund has generated a return of 55.89 percent for its investors through a diversified portfolio of Shariah-compliant Gulf equity securities. To meet its long-term goals, the fund will continue to invest at least 75 per cent of its assets under the previously mentioned equities under normal operating conditions.
With the GCC stock market currently in the midst of a multi-year bullish cycle that has not even peaked, Al Hilal Bank’s fund is expected to gain further momentum and maintain its leading position in the regional equities markets. GCC economies have rebounded well from the global financial that began to impact the region in late 2008. The Dubai Financial Market General Index in fact emerged as the best performing Index in the world in 2013, appreciating by a remarkable 108 per cent.
“This is a major accomplishment for the GCC Equity Fund and for Al Hilal Bank given that we managed to emerge on top after five weeks of voting with over 12,000 participants. We will continue to deliver the kind of innovative and market-leading products and services in fulfillment of our promise of being ‘a bank like no other’ to our valued customers and partners, especially where equities are concerned” said Lim Say Cheong, Head of Investment Banking Group of Al Hilal Bank.
“Banks in the UAE continue to improve their products and services every year – that improvement is recognised by these Awards and in the stiff competition between institutions for them. The Banker Middle East Product Awards programme is designed to encourage, inspire, and reward distinction in the banking and finance industry, raising standards throughout the MENA banking sector,” said Adam Broom, CEO, CPI Financial, publisher of Banker Middle East.
“The Banker Middle East Product Awards identify the best products and services available in banking and finance in the Middle East. This year our Awards programme has been designed to assist both retail and corporate customers by doing so on a country-by-country basis, naming the top products and services in nine countries across the Middle East – watch this space!” concluded Robin Amlôt, Managing Editor, CPI Financial.
The annual Banker Middle East UAE Product Awards recognizes banking and financial products and services that are either exceptionally innovative or have shown excellent financial performance and/or market share. It is open to banks and financial institutions in the UAE, the KSA, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the Levant territories of Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. The awards are based on a peer-vote process in which only registered readers of Banker Middle East, or its sister publications Banker Africa, Islamic Business & Finance, WEALTH Arabia and FinanceME, together with registered users of the real-time financial news website www.cpifinancial.net are eligible to participate in. This year’s edition covered 186 nationally-available financial products across 38 categories.
Aside from its award-winning GCC Equity Fund, Al Hilal Bank also owns the Al Hilal Global Sukuk Fund and earlier this week launched the Al Hilal Global Balanced Fund to further cement its leadership in the regional securities market. The bank had recently received two major awards for ‘UAE Deal of the Year’ and ‘Syndicated Deal of the Year’ under the ‘Deals of the Year’ category at the 2013 Islamic Finance News Awards.