Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund sees losses widen

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Bahrain's $9 billion sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat said its full-year consolidated net losses widened due to higher provisions and reduced income from associate companies.

Mumtalakat, which owns stakes in firms such as Gulf Air and Aluminium Bahrain, made a net loss of 270.6 million dinars ($717.68 million) in 2011, it said in a statement on its website.

That compares with a loss of 234.3 million dinars in 2010.

Losses from struggling national carrier Gulf Air in particular weighed on the fund's income.

"Several restructuring initiatives were undertaken at Gulf Air to reduce operating losses, achieve cost efficiencies and improve the quality of product offering and customer service," the statement said.

Consolidated revenue and gross profit in 2011 increased 8.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively, primarily due to the strong performance of Aluminium Bahrain, it said.

The fund, which appointed Mahmood Hashem al-Kooheji as chief executive in March, booked impairment losses of 316.5 million dinars in 2011 compared with 191.2 million the previous year.

Mumtalakat said its consolidated operating loss fell almost 88 percent to 5.9 million dinars in 2011, from 48.9 million.

Mumtalakat is one of the smaller sovereign wealth funds in the world's top oil-exporting region.

Its chief executive said this month the fund may offload a portion of its stakes in firms and reinvest the proceeds in the country's economy.

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