GCC needs to setup sovereign funds

There is a need to setup a sovereign fund by the GCC governments to provide the support to the banking sector, the Chairman of Bahrain-based Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) Dr Dr. Fuad Al Omar on said, Monday.

Such move, the KHCB Chairman added, will help the banks and financial institutions by providing them financial cushioning if needed.

“The sovereign fund can also make better returns for the investors,” he said.

The sovereign funds, Dr Al Omar said, can be funded through the surplus and un-utilised assets and the extra income from the spiralling fuel prices.

“The key focus for us in the medium term is to build the scale necessary for the Bank to become a leading player in the local and regional market. We will continue to aggressively grow our commercial and retail banking business while exploring other options including viable acquisitions of other entities and asset portfolios,” he said.

“We would like to build on the positive market response to these products and use the new branches to reach a larger segment of customers,” added Dr. Al Omar.

“In line with our growth plans we are also exploring options to acquire portfolio of assets and entities with existing consumer finance business. We believe that there are attractive opportunities in the local market for acquisition of portfolios.”

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