Gulfmena Investments has launched the Gulfmena Arab Opportunities Fund.

This is the first directional absolute return hedge fund focusing specifically on the Mena equity markets to be managed by a GCC-based and Dubai Financial Services Authority-regulated asset management business. 
 
The asset manager of the fund, Gulfmena Alternative Investments, was granted a license by the DFSA to operate as a DIFC asset management company in August 2009 and is headed by chief executive and fund manager, Haissam Arabi.
 
The fund offers a multifaceted strategy for investing in Mena public equities. The strategy is designed to take advantage of current short-term market inefficiencies, whilst being able to capitalise on long term directional opportunities.

The fund will be offered on a private placement basis and is suitable only for professional clients who are qualified high net worth individuals and institutional investors.
 
Arabi says: “Today, investor appetite is returning gradually as we can see from recent markets performance, but while everyone would like to take advantage of the recovery story and existing price distortions in the short term, investors remain somewhat sceptical over long term prospects. Therefore risk aversion and liquidity remain high priorities when making investment decisions at least until risk appetite returns and when investors will demand higher risk and relative value type products. This is why a debut flagship fund today should be a conservative hedge fund product, which is absolute return, unconstrained, multi faceted that is designed for both today and tomorrow’s MENA markets. We believe it is the ideal product at the ideal time with the ideal strategy.”

The fund will adhere to stringent risk management and portfolio construction parameters such as stops and rolling stops in addition to an overlay hedge strategy that is designed to minimise volatility aiming at preserving investment capital during all market conditions.

The fund will target annual returns in excess of 15 per cent while it aims not to exceed an annual volatility of seven per cent.

The fund will also observe strict liquidity criteria and capacity override rules which are built into the strategy to ensure high liquidity levels that allow it to be open-ended and to offer weekly liquidity.


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