Bahrain is host to a thriving mutual funds industry. The first overseas mutual funds started being marketed in Bahrain during the 1980s, and the first Bahrain domiciled scheme was launched in 1984.
The first Collective Investments Schemes rules were issued by the CBB in 1992 and were subsequently revamped in June 2007, when the CIU Module within CBB Rulebook Volume 6 was issued. The rules were further revamped and issued in a separate Volume of CBB Rulebook (Volume 7). The new Volume provides comprehensive rules and regulations pertaining to the authorization/registration and supervision of mutual funds domiciled and/or offered for marketing in Bahrain.
As at the end of March 2017, the number of mutual funds stood at 2610 funds, of which 81 funds were Bahrain domiciled, compared to 2741 funds as of March 2016. The number of Sharia compliant funds stood at 97 as of March 2017.
The net asset value (NAV) of those funds totaled US$ 7.55 billion as of the end of December 2016, reflecting a 6.64% increase compared to US$ 7.08 billion the previous year. Of the total NAV, US$ 3.26 billion is invested in locally incorporated funds, and US$ 1.26 billion in Sharia compliant funds.