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 August 2015, the number of mutual funds stood at 2879 funds, of which 82 funds were Bahrain domiciled, compared to 2842 funds as of August 2014. The number of Sharia compliant funds stood at 95 as of August 2015.
The net asset value (NAV) of those funds totaled US$ 7.2 billion as of the end of June 2015, reflecting a 4.6% increase compared to US$6.9 billion the previous year. Of the total NAV, US$ 3.5 billion is invested in locally incorporated funds, and US$ 1.3 billion in Sharia compliant funds.