24 April 2006
Rasmala Investments, an investment company focused on Asset Management and Investment Banking, today announced the launch of a diversified global ‘fund of funds’, its second branded open-ended fund. The Rasmala Global Equity Opportunity Fund (GEO) is a Cayman-domiciled US Dollar-denominated fund that aims to achieve solid returns and capital appreciation with moderate risk over a full market cycle.
The new product invests in global long only and long short equity funds and instruments. Rasmala has been managing GEO in-house for its clients since June 2003, and now offers the product as an open-ended fund available to all investors. The fund uses a combination of top-down and bottom-up strategies to achieve superior returns to its benchmark, the S&P/Citigroup BMI World Index.
Eric Swats, Partner and Head of Rasmala’s Asset Management business, said: “GEO has delivered consistent returns with moderate volatility and has been able to benefit from the upside during global equity market rallies. The inclusion of long short and market neutral strategies will provide downside protection during periods of market weakness.”
The fund has an allocation to several managers and instruments with different investment styles and is geographically diversified across regions, making it an efficient and effective way to gain exposure to global equity markets.
Swats added: “GEO uses best-in-class fund managers and globally pre-eminent service providers such as KPMG as auditor and Citco as custodian and administrator, thus ensuring independent third-party oversight. The fund offers monthly liquidity, does not have any lock-ups and manages currency exposure by investing in local currencies, in addition to US Dollar-hedged instruments, in order to maximise returns and take advantage of opportunistic market conditions.”
Today, Rasmala’s flagship portfolios include a LIBOR Plus Portfolio, a Global Diversified Portfolio and the Rasmala Hedge Fund Strategies, Ltd., a fund launched June 1, 2005 as a completely transparent ‘fund of hedge funds’ that aims to provide investors with low volatility absolute returns. Since inception, the fund has returned 13.8% on an annualised basis, a superb performance compared to its peer group of similar funds.
Rasmala Investments will be busy launching several new products in coming months, according to Swats. “We will be launching two Sharia-compliant funds, one focusing on public equity investments in Muslim countries, the other invested with global equity managers who adhere to Islamic investment guidelines. We also are planning to launch a Middle East and North Africa focused fund of funds in the second quarter. And lastly, we will be offering a two times levered feeder fund into the Rasmala Hedge Fund Strategies Fund,” he said.
Ali al Shihabi founded Rasmala Investments in 2002 as an investment bank focused on delivering best-in-class products and services to Middle Eastern clients. In addition to global asset management offerings, Rasmala Investments also sources and structures innovative and high quality investment opportunities in the GCC and other Arab markets in real estate, private equity and regional capital markets.