MANAMA Dec 12 Bahrain's Takaud Savings and Pensions became the first Gulf-based private pension provider with the launch of its maiden product on Wednesday.
Takaud, which received regulatory approval to operate in Bahrain last September, aims to meet growing demand for pension products across the Middle East and North Africa.
"This is one product in a range of corporate and individual savings and pensions solutions we will be launching over the coming months," Chief Executive Abdallah Kubursi said.
Takaud is owned by Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO) and its subsidiary United Gulf Bank, each holding a 50 percent stake.
The firm aims to expand in nine countries over the next four years, forecasting $1 billion of assets under management within the next five years.
Ageing populations across the Middle East are expected to put pressure on government retirement schemes, which could be complemented by privately run products.
The population over the age of 65 in Gulf Cooperation Council countries - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain - is forecast to grow by 94 percent between 2010 and 2020 to about 1.9 million, according to United Nations data. (Editing by David Goodman)