Bahrain's business confidence grows
Manama, May 18, 2010
Business confidence in Bahrain grew strongly last month, according to the Shuaa Capital GCC Investor Sentiment Report.
Bahrain was this month's biggest gainer, as its Investor Confidence Index rose by 2.4 points to reach 106 points, the highest on record since November last year.
Elsewhere across the region, all other indices remained relatively flat with the UAE index dipping by just one point to 119.4 points and Kuwait's by 0.6 points to reach 103.9.
Qatar has seen a slight increase of 0.4 points, to lead the region and has the highest regional Index at 131.9 points, the report states.
The Investor Confidence Index and its country sub-indices have a range between zero and 200.
A number greater than 100 represents positive sentiment while a number lower than 100 represents negative sentiment.
The GCC Investor Sentiment Index slipped by 7.7 points last month, although remained very much in positive territory at 113.1, the report added.
This comes at a time when global markets and economies face numerous challenges including the Greek sovereign debt crisis, allegations of high level US investment bank fraud, an election in the UK and the ramifications of the Icelandic volcano eruption.
The decline also came from the year's highest index level in March of 120.8 after Dubai World and Nakheel presented restructuring proposals to creditors which were broadly welcomed by the market.
The dip in the GCC Index was largely driven by Saudi Arabia and Oman, as their indices dropped by 7.9 and 4.6 points to 128.4 and 112.1 points respectively. Again, both indices did come from a relatively high level.
'Given the integration of the GCC into the global economy in recent years, it comes as no surprise that the GCC is impacted by economic challenges stemming from Europe and North America, resulting in a decline in investor confidence,' said Shuaa Capital chief executive officer Sameer Al Ansari.-TradeArabia News Service