Twelve months since co-launching a new UCITS MENA equity fund, the partnership between Azimut Group and Al Mal Capital (AMC) is paying off in terms of both performance and AuM, the companies have announced.
The AZ Fund Al Mal MENA Equity fund is the best performing UCITS offering within the MENA hemisphere, year-to-date is down 0.02%. The S&P Pan Arab index is down 4.8%
The fund's first anniversary has also seen it surpass $55m in AuM, putting it on course to achieve its target of $250m, according to the company.
According to Giorgio Medda, group co-CEO and global head of asset management at Azimut, this reflects the value of the partnership between these two firms. "AMC has a proven strategy over many years in delivering consistent returns in MENA equities relative to both peers and benchmark indices. This complements Azimut's regional expertise and commitment to strengthening our global investment management platform."
Naser Al Nabulsi, vice-chairman and CEO of Al Mal Capital also added "Al Mal Capital's strategic partnership with Azimut strengthens our distribution reach whilst also increasing our range of investment offerings to clients. Our Asset Management team has an outstanding track record and we believe now's the time to leverage this and grow our market share within the region.
Several factors have contributed to the success, based on an investment process that is focused on targeting companies and sectors where the fund sees value over a time horizon of three to five years via strong potential growth.
The fund has positioned itself to capture trends across various sectors and themes accelerated by the pandemic.
This has included looking beyond financials, telecoms and materials sectors - which account for roughly 80% of the index across most of MENA. With around 30% exposure outside the GCC, the fund can avoid any excessive downside risks that could arise from cuts in government spending amid falling oil revenue and subsequent austerity measures.
As a result, the fund is more focused on sectors under-served namely the education, healthcare, utilities, and consumer staples across the region - generally constituting a much smaller portion of MENA indices.