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Bahrain sovereign fund posts $183 mln loss in 2008

MANAMA, July 28 (Reuters) - Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat said on Tuesday it made a loss of $183 million in 2008, mainly on $981 million in impairment charges linked to investments in two Gulf Arab financial institutions.

“Impairment charges of 370 million dinars ($981.4 million) ... were booked during the period leading to a net loss of 69.3 million dinars ($183.8 million) compared to a net income of 170 million dinars for 2007,” Mumtalakat said in a statement.

It said the impairment charges were largely attributable to Mumtalakat’s holdings in Gulf International Bank and Gulf Investment Corp, which are run by the six Gulf Arab states.

Total assets fell to 4.8 billion dinars from 5.3 billion dinars in the previous year and total equity declined to 2.9 billion dinars from 3 billion dinars, the statement said. Revenue increased 13 percent to 1.45 billion dinars.

Mumtalakat's portfolio includes a 30 percent stake in Formula One team McLaren, and holdings in Aluminium Bahrain, Gulf Air [GULF.UL], Bahrain Telecommunications Co BTEL.BH and about 30 other firms, according to its website.

In April, Gulf International Bank said its six Gulf government shareholders had bailed it out by taking toxic assets worth $4.8 billion off its books, including its exposure to collapsed U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers and other international securities hit by a global stock market rout. [ID:nL1283360]

Earlier this month, Fitch Ratings placed Kuwait-based Gulf Investment Corporation on ratings watch negative, citing “concerns that the willingness to provide ongoing support to GIC by the shareholders (in case of future need), may have weakened ...” [ID:nWNA8255]

For details of Mumtalakat's portfolio click on: here (Reporting by Firouz Sedarat; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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