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Bahrain: one year on
25 January 2012
When the Arab Spring reached Bahrain a year ago the asset management and asset servicing sectors felt immediate pain. The central bank and local banks are optimistic but much depends on the actions of the authorities, finds Stephanie Baxter
The Bahraini financial centre, together with many in the region, had a difficult 2011 following the revolutionary protests that arrived in the country on February 14.
In the eyes of many in the West, Bahrain quickly changed from an up-and-coming tourism destination and banking hub into a volatile front of the Arab Spring, as clashes escalated between the Sunni regime’s riot police and majority-Shia pro-democracy opposition.
The country’s capital markets were hit in the months following the start of the protests, with substantial stock market declines. The Bahrain Bourse suffered the most in the GCC region with a fall of 20.15% during 2011, according to Global Investment House.
Despite unrest, GDP still increased 1.3% on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter, 1.1% in the second quarter and picked up slightly in the third quarter with 2.4% growth – but remains well below the 6% average of...
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