Oman’s Bankmuscat has launched an index tracking fund with US ratings agency Standard & Poor’s for institutional investors interested in the GCC markets.

Named the BM S&P Large Cap Index Fund, it invests in securities from companies listed in the S&P GCC Large Cap Composite Index, published by S&P Indices. It is an open-ended fund based in Luxembourg and invests in blue chip, highly-liquid large stocks resulting in low trade cost and little concentration risk.

“We believe that the GCC region is entering a very interesting growth phase, with high oil prices resulting in budget surpluses, fast-growing population and inflation under control. The six regional markets have an aggregate market capitalisation of $750bn. To enable institutional investors to seize this attractive opportunity, we have introduced the BM S&P Large Cap Index Fund,” says Abdul Razak Ali Issa, chief executive officer of Bankmuscat.

The index includes all six of the GCC markets.

“Investments in the Pan Arab region have become increasingly popular. The S&P GCC Large Cap Composite Index is a closely followed benchmark that meets the growing demand for investors looking to gauge the performance of blue chip companies in this important region,” says Charbel Azzi, head of client coverage in the Middle East & Africa for S&P Indices.