Total assets at the company were BD5.3bn ($14.1bn) at the end of December 2007.

The results were reported as part of Mumtalakat’s aim to be as transparent as possible. The company says it hopes that by being open it will gain better access to deals outside the region. There has been heavy criticism in the US and other Western countries about the secrecy of some sovereign wealth funds, with calls by some nations to restrict their activities.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Khalifa, chairman of Mumtalakat, says the current financial market turmoil offers opportunities for the firm to make more investments in the West.

“The current financial climate offers, we believe, a wealth of opportunities for long-term investment returns,” he says.

Mumtalakat was created in June 2006 as a holding company for the government’s non-oil and gas assets, which include a 30 per cent stake in McLaren Group, ownership of Gulf Air and a majority stake in National Bank of Bahrain.

In late August the firm raised a $500m loan from the banking market (MEED 24:8:08).