From The Report: Bahrain 2016
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Thanks to a prudent yet flexible regulatory system, Bahrain’s lenders have been able to extend from a relatively small domestic base to become significant regional and global players. The wide range of external markets served by Bahrain’s banking sector makes for natural risk diversification, which has helped the industry maintain strong performance against global economic challenges. The country’s banking industry is divided by the licensing regime into both conventional and Islamic, and retail and wholesale operations, with numerous institutions holding multiple licence types. Moving forward, intense competition for business in the credit card segment has seen entry-level requirements for credit fall considerably in recent years, while an internet penetration rate of around 96% means Bahrain is set to continue playing a major role in the regional boom in e-commerce.

This chapter contains a viewpoint from Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor, Central Bank of Bahrain; and an interview with Ahmed Dayyat, Country Head, Mashreq Bank Bahrain.