Bahrain sovereign fund raises $500m to fund foreign acquisitions

11 August 2008
Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, has appointed National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) to arrange a $500m syndicated loan to finance acquisitions outside Bahrain, as the fund seeks to balance its portfolio of foreign and domestic assets.

NBB has committed to fully underwrite the facility, the first attempt by Mumtalakat to access the bank market since its establishment in 2006.

Mumtalakat holds the ownership of the Bahrain government’s 100 per cent stakes in Gulf Air, the Bahrain International Circuit racetrack and 49 per cent in NBB.

Currently, the majority of Mumtalakat’s investments are in Bahrain, but the firm’s chief executive officer Talal al Zain says: “We have a very clear investment objective which is to create a balanced portfolio of national, regional and global investments to achieve high returns and spread risk through geographic and industrial diversification.”

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