The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is broadening the scope of two UAE funds and one GCC fund so that they can invest across the Middle East and North Africa region.
The firm says the expanded scope of the funds will offer greater diversification which it hopes will appeal to both institutional and retail investors.
"It is time to make this adjustment to our funds to maximise growth potential for our investors," says Saleem Khokhar, head of equities, NBAD Asset Management Group. "The move also offers NBAD fund managers broader investment options and greater risk control mechanisms."
The NBAD UAE Islamic Fund (Al Naeem) will be renamed the NBAD Islamic MENA Growth Fund; the NBAD GCC Opportunities (AJAJ) fund will become the NBAD MENA Growth Fund; and the NBAD UAE Distribution fund will become the MENA Income & Growth Fund.
"MENA markets have performed strongly over the past few years and have registered double digit gains in 2014," says Khokhar. "Based on the strong underlying fundamentals we believe MENA will continue to perform through 2020 and beyond."
In a statement, the firm talks about the upgrades of the UAE and Qatar to emerging market status by index provider MSCI earlier this year, which it says has almost tripled daily trading volumes.
The news comes as stock markets in the UAE recover from a correction during May and June, which destroyed some of the value created by a long rally during 2013 and the early part of this year. The Dubai Financial Market lost nearly 25% of its value, however it is still trading at roughly double its level 12 months ago.
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