It all started in 2005 at an economic reform workshop held under the patronage of the Crown Prince of Bahrain. Open to participants from ministries and government entities in addition to representatives within the private sector, the workshop focused on enhancing the private sector’s role in future economic growth in the Kingdom. There, a vision was launched to form the basis for the next phase of the national economic reform initiative.
From this dialogue, eight public and private committees were formed, tasked to identify areas for the development of the nation’s companies, its investment environment, economic growth and others.
Within this overarching vision of economic reform to meet the requirements of the future, the Economic Development Board (EDB) worked hand in hand with the Ministry of Finance to set up a holding company focused on developing a diversified economy for Bahrain to grow the wealth of the country.
This resulted in the creation of Mumtalakat and a Royal Decree establishing its mandate was issued on 29th June 2006.
Set up to align and implement the execution of the government’s initiatives, to pursue value-enhancing opportunities, improve transparency and help achieve operational excellence for its state-owned, non-oil and gas related assets, the Arabic name “Mumtalakat” (or assets) was chosen to reflect the importance of the new holding company’s mandate.
Upon our establishment, 29 commercial assets were transferred to us from the Ministry of Finance, along with a capital of BD5 million. These assets included Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), Gulf Air, Bahrain Real Estate Investment (Edamah), Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco) and the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB).
Looking to improve the operations of our assets and enhance governance and transparency, we appoint a representative Board member to help work with the executive management of each company and monitor their performance. In this way, we help to improve the growth of each business.
With no government contributions (excluding our founding capital), we have focused on securing sustainable returns and wealth generation for Bahrain and its people from the outset by developing and diversifying our portfolio of assets. This has also meant that we have funded ourselves through international financial markets and by generating returns from our investments.
Over the years, we achieved a number of key milestones that helped in adding value to our portfolio companies, built our sector expertise and added new companies to our portfolio.