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$126mn fund launched to boost liquidity on Muscat Stock Exchange

18 May 2024 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Musat – The Muscat Stock Exchange (MSX) on Thursday witnessed the launch of a new fund dedicated to enhancing market depth and boosting liquidity on the Omani bourse.

The Tanmia Liquidity Fund, valued at $126mn, has been launched by Oman National Investment Development Company (Tanmia), a leading investment and fund management company, in partnership with SICO, a Bahrain-based regional investment bank. Tanmia will act as the investment manager for the fund in collaboration with SICO.

The timing of the fund’s launch aligns strategically with the ongoing reforms within the Omani capital market, coinciding with announcements of new initial public offerings (IPOs), regulations pertaining to market making, and intensified marketing endeavors by MSX through roadshows and other promotional activities.

In recent months, the Muscat Stock Exchange has undergone a series of initiatives geared towards bolstering the local capital market, and there has been a notable reform in certain capital market regulations, particularly concerning the dividends tax.

In a statement, Khalid bin Awadh al Balushi, CEO of Tanmia, emphasised that this project marks a milestone in Tanmia’s long journey with its strategic partners to launch the Tanmia Liquidity Fund, which will expand the investor base and enhance liquidity in local financial markets.

He expressed gratitude to the Financial Services Authority, the Muscat Stock Exchange, the National Program for Financial Sustainability, and Muscat Clearing and Depository Company for their adequate support in realising the vision of establishing the new fund.

Balushi added, “This fund is an extension of the company’s journey since its establishment in 1998 in launching various investment initiatives and products that achieve investment returns and enhance the national economy. We at Tanmia always seek to promote sustainable investments and maximise value for shareholders in collaboration with various financial institutions and regulatory authorities to achieve Oman’s Vision 2040, in line with the noble directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.”

SICO’s Group CEO, Najla al Shirawi, said, “The launch of the Tanmia Liquidity Fund underscores the joint efforts of SICO and our partners in Oman, backed by the regulatory authorities in the sultanate. We are grateful to our partners for their confidence in our abilities and dedication to improving the liquidity for shares of listed companies.”

Shirawi noted that highly liquid financial markets are essential in providing tangible advantages to the national economy. “A robust and dynamic capital market can significantly increase economic growth and promote a more diversified economy.”

The partnership between SICO and Tanmia aims to emulate the prosperous model of the Bahrain Liquidity Fund, SICO’s fund on the Bahrain Bourse. Since its inception, this fund has nearly tripled the market’s overall liquidity. Consequently, the index has achieved impressive returns, while listed companies have enjoyed enhanced valuations.

SICO is a leading regional asset manager, broker, and investment bank with $6.2bn in assets under management (AUM). SICO operates under a wholesale banking license from the Central Bank of Bahrain and also oversees three wholly-owned subsidiaries: an Abu Dhabi-based brokerage firm, SICO Invest, a specialised regional custody house, SICO Fund Services Company, and a full-fledged capital markets services firm, SICO Capital, based in Saudi Arabia.

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