Bahrain Financial Services

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Although Bahrain has faced economic headwinds in recent years, the modest recovery of oil prices in 2017 bodes well for the future in addition to the non-oil sector driving growth, with activities unrelated to hydrocarbons extraction forecast to expand by 3.9% in 2018.

 

Bahrain’s sharia-compliant insurance industry has developed rapidly in the years following the turn of the century. According to a report by multinational professional services firm EY, in 2001 takaful (Islamic insurance) accounted for 3% of the sector’s gross written premium (GWP), but by 2016 it had expanded to capture nearly a...

 

In 2017 Bahrain took an important step towards a more centralised approach to sharia supervision. The issue has been on the domestic agenda for some years, and speaks to the broader conversation taking place in the global Islamic financial services (IFS) sector as to how the industry should be governed.

 

How will the issuance of new regulations that require Islamic banks in Bahrain to undergo external audit challenge the market?

 

Reduced oil prices and fiscal austerity measures being carried out by governments across the GCC have resulted in a challenging environment for Bahrain’s sharia-compliant financial institutions. The competitive domestic market – home to the largest concentration of Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East – has reacted to adverse...

 

The Bahrain Bourse (BHB) was established in 1987 and commenced operations in 1989, with only two stocks trading. By February 2018 the bourse had grown to comprise 43 common stocks, government bonds and mutual funds, and a real estate investment trust (REIT). The market is serviced by 12 brokers, of which three are individuals. SICO is the...

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