KUWAIT CITY, April 14: KAMCO Investment Company K.S.C (Public) held its annual general meeting (AGM) and its annual Shafafiyah Investor’s Forum at the Chairman’s Club in KIPCO Tower on April 14, 2016.
During the general assembly meeting, KAMCO’s board members presented the company’s financial earnings report for the year ended Dec 31, 2015 and agreed to a 5% cash dividends (5 fils per share) distribution to registered shareholders.
KAMCO Investment Company held its annual Shafafiyah forum, which served as a platform for the company’s executive management to present the main events that occurred during 2015, as well as its outlook for 2016 to shareholders, partners, and institutional investors. This forum represents our high commitment towards international standards in terms of transparency and corporate governance.
Entisar Al Suwaidi, KAMCO’s Vice Chairman, said, “Despite the backdrop of unfavourable economic conditions and geopolitical tensions which unveiled many challenges during 2015, KAMCO managed to record a revenue of KD 7.3 million, maintained operational growth and witnessed a significant upsurge in investment activity, asserting KAMCO’s leadership in the market.”
She added, “2015 was evidence of KAMCO’s vigor and resilience in securing positive growth via its sustainable strategy. We confidently approached challenges with renewed faith and acclimatized to change as consistently demonstrated since the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008 up until now, recording a net profit of KD 523,688 for the year ended 2015. Once and again asserting that KAMCO’s name is and will remain a trademark for trust and safety for its investors and shareholders.”
Al Suwaidi also assured that, “We owe these results to the successful implementation of our clear long-standing strategy that had consistently ushered KAMCO towards enhancing operational performance and focusing on conservative yet maximum return-yielding investments.”
She concluded her speech with a message on behalf of the Chairman, saying, “Now, we embark on a new year with a transformational vision and sustainable plan towards setting higher benchmarks for our company, our clients and our shareholders, backed by 17 years worth of expertise in the investment banking and asset management divisions, a proven track record achieved by an ambitious team who are constantly seeking to reach new heights of success, and further consolidated by our robust reputation for solidity, transparency, prudence and product innovation. With this in mind, we are looking forward to expand our geographical presence, in the near term, by penetrating new markets in order to maximize our investment knowledge and capitalize on our ever-expanding network base.”
Faisal Sarkhou, CEO of KAMCO, said, “Looking in the rear view mirror, KAMCO encountered strong headwinds during the past few years after the financial crisis, but stood tall whilst the economic conditions spiralled downwards.”
He also noted that, “As the economy dipped to new lows in 2015 with steep market volatility due to China’s currency devaluation, the extended slump in commodity prices, and record-low oil prices, KAMCO managed to maintain operational revenue and record a profit by year-end.”
On behalf of KAMCO’s investment funds, Sarkhou said, “As a result of our prudent and risk averse approach, our client managed funds and assets have overall exceeded set relevant benchmarks during 2015, despite sharp fluctuations in local and regional markets. The KAMCO Real Estate Yield Fund (KREYF), which was launched in January 2014, outperformed its counterparts in the market, generating 5% returns since inception. In 2015, the fund distributed 3.70% dividends, increased its AUM by 125% since establishment, and is continuing its path in providing investors with returns and long-term capital growth in the target markets.”
“During 2015, our Product Development team was successful in obtaining the CMA operational license for the KAMCO MENA Plus Fixed Income Fund (KMPFIF). The fund primarily targets higher returns in comparison to short-term deposit rates and was successfully launched in the first quarter of 2015 and closed the year with a return higher than set benchmarks.”
“In addition to that, our Kuwait Education Fund (KEF) also performed exceptionally well for the year, delivering a gross IRR of 8.48% as of the financial year ended 2015, and 1.13x return on realized investments.”
Sarkhou added, “Our KAMCO Investment Fund (KIF) performed better than the Kuwait Stock Exchange Weighted Index during 2015, and outperformed the benchmark over the trailing one, three and five year periods.”
In relation to that, Sarkhou continued to say, “Our discretionary portfolios achieved another noteworthy year of performance, with all accounts posting positive annual returns and significantly over-performing their mandated benchmarks. With these successes in hand, the team is aiming to further develop and expand our offerings in 2016 by including long-term investment plans, an open-architecture platform, as well as structuring and launching new product offerings in different asset class categories to tap potential market opportunities and generate higher returns. Meanwhile, in the private equity class, we expect the conditions to improve in 2016, our team will remain committed to increase their exposure in this space with innovative and targeted products.”
Regarding the investment banking sector’s performance, Sarkhou said, “The economic recession took a toll on investor confidence as well as market expectations leading to fewer investment banking transactions in Kuwait. However, despite tough times, the Investment Banking team has managed to successfully execute over 85 transactions since inception till the end of December 2015 valued at more than USD 12 billion.”
“Our IB team, with the effective support of our Wealth Management team, continued to provide top-notch services across its platforms including the Buy/Sell Side M&A advisory, debt issuance, and capital restructuring advisory services.”
The team also acted as joint lead managers in successfully executing the National Bank of Kuwait S.A.K.P.’s (“NBK”) KD 125 million, 10NC5, Subordinated Tier 2, Basel III compliant bond issue.”
He continued, “This private sector corporate bond issuance is considered the largest in the history of Kuwait. This transaction also highlights KAMCO’s continued success in providing prudent investment management services and role towards catering to and augmenting the local, regional and international markets. Going into 2016, the team completed a cross-border assignment in the pharmaceutical sector for assisting one of its clients in selling its significant equity stake to a regional industry player, a deal that was initiated in 2015 and completed early 2016.”
2016: Towards progressive development and exceeding boundaries
In terms of the company’s future outlook, Sarkhou said, “Moving forward, we look at 2016 with optimism and a renewed faith in our abilities to generate market-beating returns for our clients and shareholders despite the expected difficult conditions. Our agenda for the year includes regional expansion plans in the near term, further diversifying our product and service offerings, strategic penetration of neighboring markets in the GCC and MENA region as well as further fostering and formulating local and regional partnerships.”
He concluded by saying, “To echo our Chairman, KAMCO is and will remain a trademark for trust, safety and I add leadership, with a renewed outlook along with your continuous support and cooperation, we shall pave the way to further progress and develop a more successful 2016.”