MANAMA: Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company's approach towards new projects will be cautious, chief executive Talal Alzain said.
Despite the current economic climate, opportunities in the real estate sector are out there, he said in an interview with Oxford Business Group (OBG).
"Every crisis comes with opportunities for investors," he said.
Mr Alzain gave the example of tapping into distressed assets.
This was a route, he said, that Mumtalakat would certainly consider taking.
He cited the urban design concept which Edamah, the Bahrain Real Estate Investment Company, is developing as an expansion opportunity for Mumtalakat.
Edamah is well-established in developing and managing public real estate properties and land in Bahrain.
Mr Alzain believes that other areas of business also have the potential for growth despite facing a challenging economic climate.
He said that the hospitality and leisure sector offered a wealth of opportunities, thanks to the growing business tourism market.
The insurance industry also looked strong, he said, on the back of years of good performance and the solid reputation of the central bank.
Mr Alzain is also confident that light manufacturing will enjoy a period of growth in the mid-to-long term.
On investment, he highlighted the positive impact that the financial crisis has had on the reputation of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF).
He said that Western countries were becoming increasingly aware that SWF-managed companies had the same objectives as other private investors, which was to add value to both the fund as well as the subject of investment.
"Bahrain is particularly well-placed to be positively received in foreign markets thanks to the high transparency and open communication the government and Mumtalakat maintains with the outside world," he said.
Oxford Business Group is set to publish The Report: Bahrain 2009, the latest of its annual business guides, with the most comprehensive and accurate review of the country's economy.
Meanwhile, Mumtalakat has announced that its transparency score has been upgraded following quarterly research undertaken by the independent Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.
The latest upgrade sees Mumtalakat retain its position as one of the leading investment companies in the GCC region for transparency.
Mumtalakat's transparency score has increased to seven from sic out of a possible 10 index score.
Of the nine Gulf investment companies covered in the study, Bahrain has the joint highest transparency score on the SWF Institute's Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index, alongside the UAE's Mubadala.
Out of the 45 investment companies from around the world surveyed by the SWF Institute, 15 scored seven or more.
The upgrade follows the publication of Mumtalakat's first set of financial results last year, which saw it post total revenues of BD1.8 billion which generated net income of BD245.8 million for the period June 29, 2006 to December 31, 2007.
"Mumtalakat has always been open and transparent in its holdings and investment strategy," said Mr Alzain.
"We remain committed to expanding the company's investments internationally whilst demonstrating our commitment to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.
"We intend to continue to invest in our corporate governance as we believe greater transparency builds investor confidence and helps to create better operational performance across Mumtalakat's portfolio of assets."