What Is the Mumtalakat Holding Company?

The Mumtalakat Holding Company is a government-owned investment organization that manages the sovereign wealth fund for the Kingdom of Bahrain. The fund's deposits come primarily from surplus revenues from the development of oil and gas reserves in Bahrain. The firm's portfolio, however, is composed of assets unrelated to oil and gas.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Mumtalakat Holding Company is a government-owned investment organization that manages the sovereign wealth fund for the Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • The fund's deposits come primarily from surplus revenues from the development of oil and gas reserves in Bahrain.
  • The fund's investment portfolio is composed of investment firms unrelated to oil and gas.
  • The fund's holdings are concentrated in local and regional firms that contribute significantly to Bahrain's economy.

Understanding the Mumtalakat Holding Company

The Mumtalakat Holding Company is managed by a nine-member board of directors composed of a mix of public officials and private sector experts. The investment portfolio is composed of investments unrelated to oil and gas. The fund's holdings are concentrated in local and regional firms that contribute significantly to Bahrain's economy. The portfolio is diversified, includes a variety of business sectors, and holds majority stakes in several firms.

Building Wealth for a Nation

According to the fund's website, mumtalakat.bh, the idea for the holding company initiative took root in 2005 at an economic reform workshop by the Crown Prince of Bahrain. "Open to participants from ministries and government entities in addition to representatives within the private sector, the workshop focused on enhancing the private sector’s role in future economic growth in the Kingdom. There, a vision was launched to form the basis for the next phase of the national economic reform initiative," the website states.

As of 2019, the fund held $16.8 billion in assets in a wide range of industries and nations, some 60 companies in 13 countries. The largest holdings were in real estate and tourism, followed by manufacturing and financial services, and food and agriculture. The fund said it provided over 13,400 direct jobs within its local companies.

According to its website, the fund seeks long-term "partners with proven track records, effective management teams, and with strong growth potential who share our values and commitment to high levels of governance and transparency and international best practices. By leveraging our diverse sector-specific expertise, we aim to help businesses meet their growth and expansion objectives."

The fund has professionals with in-depth experience across multiple sectors, such as real estate and tourism, logistics, media, telecommunications, healthcare, education, consumer, industrials, manufacturing, financial, and general services.

The fund follows the Generall Accepted Prinicples and Practices (GAPP), also known as the Santiago principles and states the following: "Dedicated to the highest standards of transparency and corporate governance, we have adopted the Generally Accepted Principles and Practices (GAPP) of Sovereign Wealth Funds to ensure accountability and the sound conduct of investment practices. This is critical to our success, and we work to ensure our partners also implement effective governance practices."