Company holds AGM for 2016 and annual Shafafiyah Investors forum

KUWAIT: KAMCO Investment Company KSC (Public) holds its annual general meeting (AGM) for the year ending December 31, 2016 and its annual Shafafiyah Investor’s Forum yesterday at the Chairman’s Club in KIPCO Tower.

KUWAIT: KAMCO Investment Company KSC (Public), a leading investment company with one of the largest assets under management (AUM) in the region, held its annual general meeting (AGM) for the year ending December 31, 2016 and its annual Shafafiyah Investor's Forum yesterday at the Chairman's Club in KIPCO Tower.

General assembly

The Firm's shareholders approved the Board's recommendation to distribute 5% cash dividends, the equivalent of 5 fils per share of the nominal value, for the fiscal year ending in December 31, 2016, and after the deduction of treasury shares for the same year.

Shafafiyah Forum

The AGM was followed by the Company's annual Shafafiyah Forum, which serves as a platform for the Company's executive management to highlight milestones achieved during the year 2016 and present the outlook for 2017. The Forum, attended by shareholders, partners, and institutional investors, reflected KAMCO's strong commitment towards the highest international standards in transparency and corporate governance.

Maintaining a Stable Performance

During the AGM, Vice Chairman of KAMCO, Entisar Al-Suwaidi spoke briefly about the global events that directly and indirectly influenced the performance of financial markets on a local, regional and international scale during 2016. These events include falling oil prices, geopolitical instability, BREXIT and the subsequent impact of the presidential elections in the United States (US).

Al-Suwaidi said, "KAMCO recorded a revenue of KD 8.3 million and sustained operational growth bolstered by an upsurge in investment activity across diverse markets, further asserting KAMCO's leadership position in the asset management sector."

She added, "The Company also opened its first regional office in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which was one of the highlights of 2016. The office will serve the Company's wide international client base by providing advising services on financial products and credit along with arrangements for credit or deals in investments."

Al-Suwaidi concluded the AGM saying, "Looking ahead, we embark on a new year with renewed vigor, an unwavering vision and a sustainable plan towards setting higher benchmarks for our company, our clients and our shareholders. We plan to accomplish our goals by utilizing our 18 years' worth of expertise in investment banking and asset management, our proven track record achieved by an ambitious team who are constantly seeking to reach new heights of success, and further consolidating our robust reputation for solidity, transparency, prudence and product innovation. In the near term, we intend to continue expanding our geographical presence by penetrating new markets in order to maximize our exposure and capitalize on our ever-expanding network base."

Sustaining Leadership

Also during the Shafafiyah Forum, Chief Executive Officer of KAMCO, Faisal Mansour Sarkhou presented the Company's performance during 2016, which included the results of expanding KAMCO's geographical presence, along with providing diverse investment opportunities across identified core sectors, such as capital and international real estate markets, providing sustainable returns to shareholders. He also stated that the end year results of 2016 are a sheer sign of KAMCO's relentless commitment to provide innovative revenue-generating assets that continue to add value to clients and long-term shareholders.

Sarkhou mentioned the Company's most remarkable achievements during 2016 that included growing KAMCO's income and maintaining profitability, expanding regionally through KAMCO's first international office in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), managing Investment Banking transactions worth approximately $1 billion, receiving the CMA's approval for the KAMCO Islamic Equity Fund, and winning 6 awards in recognition of outstanding performance during 2016 in Asset Management, Investment Banking, Alternative Investments and Wealth Management.

Sarkhou also said, "Year end, four of our funds' performances exceeded benchmarks, ranking amongst the top three performers in their relevant sectors. In addition to that, we successfully managed acquisitions and exits for clients locally, regionally and globally in the oil and gas, health, pharmaceutical, and real estate sectors."

As for the Company's operational performance, the value of assets under management stood at USD 10.4 billion as of December 31, 2016. All listed equity funds and discretionary portfolios managed to outperform their respective benchmarks.

The KAMCO Investment Fund (KIF), which invests in select companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange(KSE), was the second best performing fund in Kuwait during 2016, achieving a net return of 4.75 percent in comparison to -0.42 percent of the weighted index return. KIF also registered a return of -12.27 percent over the 3-year and 0.17 percent over the 5-year periods, in comparison to the benchmark return of -16.07 percent over the 3-year and -6.29 percent over the 5-year periods.

In relation to KAMCO's future outlook, Sarkhou said that markets have stabilized after witnessing a run-up at the start of 2017, which came on the back of positive investor sentiments against a backdrop of improving oil fundamentals and positive

2016 corporate earnings.

He also said, "Near term market direction are expected to be driven by key policy changes on the fiscal and spending front, including VAT implementation in the GCC. Oil will continue to be an underlying factor for market direction as procedures adjust their output to support prices. For 2017, corporate earnings would continue to remain a primary support for listed companies in the GCC on the back of a robust project market, as well as strong balance sheets and fundamentals for banks and companies in core sectors."

Commenting on the Company's strategy, Sarkhou assured that KAMCO intends to continue growing its AUM and client base. The Company also plans to continue exploring and expanding to new geographical locations throughout the GCC and MENA region, while launching attractive and innovative products in different asset classes.

Sarkhou emphasized that KAMCO will continue offering a wide range of investment banking services in equity, debt and advisory with increased reach and presence in the region. He also said the Company wouldproceed in progressively developing its offered superior and personalized client experiences by enhancing the role of our Wealth Management team and utilizing our state-of-the-art-technology. In addition, to operational focus in the GCC through our KAMCO DIFC office.

KAMCO is positioned to maintain and increase growth of fee income and overall profits through diverse revenue sources to generate a predictable stream of income. The Company will also reaffirm its leadership position in the investment sector by continuing to provide premier asset management and investment banking services, increase its market share locally and regionally through IB transactions, focus on introducing innovative investment products and enhancing existing investment funds' performance, while adding value to investors by creating platforms for investment products and services that provide risk-adjusted returns through proper management, transparency, integrity and robust risk management frameworks.