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Milltrust International, an Emerging Markets focused asset manager, has awarded SEDCO Capital, a leading global asset management firm based in Saudi Arabia, with the mandate to manage the Milltrust SEDCO MENA Fund. The Fund aims to achieve long term returns for international institutional investors by investing primarily in companies in the MENA region through a portfolio of equity securities under the UCITS IV framework. The Fund offers daily liquidity.

In partnership with Milltrust, SEDCO Capital is the first Saudi based asset management firm to be awarded a mandate to manage MENA & Saudi equities under a UCITS platform.

Hasan Al-Jabri, Chief Executive Officer of SEDCO Capital, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Milltrust SEDCO MENA Fund in partnership with Milltrust International. We are pleased that our successful track record in managing MENA equity portfolios was able to attract a key partner such as Miltrust and we look forward to deepening our cooperation with them in the future.”

In line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision to diversify the economy, improve the business environment, as well as creating opportunities and increasing foreign direct investment from 3.8 per cent to 5.7 per cent, the CMA has agreed to change some of the rules for foreign investment and to open the Kingdom’s capital market under the economic diversification plan. These announcements have paved the way to an eventual inclusion of Saudi Arabia into the important MSCI Emerging Market Index and the emerging-market universe. These developments are inviting for international capital that is seeking significant capital appreciation through the transformation and reform of the economy which has the Saudi Stock Exchange at its core. “The launch of the fund comes at an exciting time as the Kingdom is opening its doors to welcome investors from all around the world to diversify the Saudi economy and broaden investor base”, Al-Jabri added.

The fund will focus on investing in MENA and Saudi equities, and will be actively managed by the specialist MENA Liquid Equity team at SEDCO Capital. The team will apply the firm’s research-driven philosophy and process which has provided a strong track record over the medium to long term through all market cycles.

Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer of Milltrust International Group, said: “We are very excited about partnering with one of the leading asset managers in GCC. The launch of this fund broadens our offering to clients, providing access to a portfolio with dedicated MENA equities exposure, and complements our award-winning GEMS investment solutions. We believe this partnership will create compelling investment opportunities across an extremely diversified and dynamic stock market universe.”

Yazan M. Abdeen, Lead Fund Manager & Head of MENA Capital Markets at SEDCO Capital, said: “Saudi Arabia together with all other MENA markets provide a perfect optimizer for an emerging market allocation as they all provide favourable demographics, growth potential in a protected currency environment. Not many other emerging economies can claim such positioning. At SEDCO Capital, we have the fundamental investing philosophy, combined with a stock-selection based investment process, a dynamic team and a solid track-record that stands in good stead to benefit from the reforming MENA region.”