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 2021, the number of mutual funds stood at 1730 funds, of which 73 funds were Bahrain domiciled, compared to 2076 funds as of March 2020. The number of Sharia compliant funds stood at 78 as of March 2021.
The net asset value (NAV) of those funds totalled US$ 8.093 billion as of the end of December 2020, reflecting a 12.4% increase compared to US$ 7.200 billion the previous year. Of the total NAV, US$ 3.848 billion is invested in locally incorporated funds, and US$ 1.346 billion in Sharia compliant funds.