Bahrain financial sector regains momentum
Manama, March 24, 2011
Bahrain's banking and financial sector has generally recovered their normal momentum, Central Bank of Bahrain Governor Rasheed Al Maraj said.
He was speaking at a key meeting with senior officials of Bahrain-based commercial banks and insurance companies, which was also attended by Finance Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
Al Maraj revealed that an initiative was under study to extend a lifeline to medium and small-sized businesses to alleviated the detrimental impact of recent events.
He stressed the importance of ensuring banks and financial institutions continue serving customers and maintain regular banking operations.
He thanked the financial and banking institutions for their positive co-operation and efforts in ensuring banking and insurance services for citizens.
'The priority in the aftermath of the exceptional situation is to continue providing banking services and facilities with the same standards,' he said.
Responding to a question on employees' attendance, he urged banks and companies to apply their internal rules and regulations. Government departments enforce rules and regulations set by the Civil Service Bureau.
The potential negative impact of downgrading Bahrain sovereign ratings on companies' standing also came under the spotlight.
The negative stance of global rating agencies was blamed on the lack of accuracy and objectivity of media reports. Bahrain is now inviting these financial rating agencies to get the truth about Bahrain's political and economic outlook directly from concerned officials.
Downgrading Bahrain's sovereign ratings is unjustified as the national economy boasts solid and unshakable pillars that withstand any turbulence, he said.
The Finance Ministry revealed plans to soon announce details about the ways in which the GCC package would be spent. The government will co-ordinate with the Economic Development Board to prioritise the sectors in need of assistance, particularly infrastructure and housing.
Shaikh Ahmed stressed the importance of learning the lesson from recent events and set the economy back in motion and emerge stronger.
Al Maraj also pledged that the CBB would spare no effort to assist Bahrain-based financial institutions. He revealed that the CBB had so far not received any request for assistance from banks and financial institutions.
'We will provide, if need be, all that guarantees utmost competence and efficiency of the banking sector in Bahrain,' he vowed.-TradeArabia News Service