Bahrain

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Report
July 19, 2018

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Executive SummaryShare    

The investment climate in Bahrain is generally good and has remained relatively stable in the last year. Bahrain has a liberal approach to foreign investment and actively seeks to attract foreign investors and businesses. In an economy largely dominated by state-owned enterprises, the Government of Bahrain (GOB) aims to foster a greater role for the private sector in economic growth. Government efforts focus on encouraging foreign direct investment in Bahrain, including in the manufacturing, logistics, information and communications technology (ICT), financial services, and tourism sectors.

The U.S.-Bahrain Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) entered into force in 2001. The BIT provides benefits and protection to U.S. investors in Bahrain, such as most-favored nation treatment and national treatment, the right to make financial transfers freely and without delay, international law standards for expropriation and compensation cases, and access to international arbitration.

Bahrain permits 100 percent foreign-ownership of new industrial entities and the establishment of representative offices or branches of foreign companies without local sponsors. In 2017, the GOB expanded the number of sectors in which foreigners are permitted to maintain 100 percent ownership stakes in companies to include tourism services, sporting events production, mining and quarrying, real estate activities, water distribution, water transport operations, and crop cultivation and propagation.

The U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA) entered into force in 2006. Under the FTA, Bahrain committed to world-class Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection.

Despite the Government of Bahrain’s transparent, rules-based government procurement system, U.S. companies sometimes report operating at a perceived disadvantage compared with other firms in certain government procurements. Many ministries require firms to pre-qualify prior to bidding on a tender, often rendering firms with little or no prior experience in Bahrain ineligible to bid on major tenders.

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) introduced in 2017 a financial technology (FinTech) regulatory “sandbox” that enables the testing and launching of non-conventional FinTech startups in Bahrain, including in cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. The CBB also issued additional regulations in 2017 to enable conventional and Shari’a compliant financing-based crowdfunding businesses.

Table 1

 

Measure

Year

Index/Rank

Website Address

TI Corruption Perceptions Index

2017

103 of 175

http://www.transparency.org/
research/cpi/overview

World Bank’s Doing Business Report “Ease of Doing Business”

2017

66 of 190

http://www.doingbusiness.org/rankings

Global Innovation Index

2017

66 of 128

https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/
analysis-indicator

U.S. FDI in Partner Country (M USD , stock positions)

2016

USD 548

http://www.bea.gov/
international/factsheet/

World Bank GNI per capita

2015

USD 22,660

http://data.worldbank.org/
indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD

1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign InvestmentShare    

Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment

The Government of Bahrain (GOB) has a liberal approach to foreign investment and actively seeks to attract foreign investors and businesses. Increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) is one of the government's top priorities. The GOB permits 100 percent foreign ownership of a business or branch office, without the need for a local partner. The GOB does not tax corporate income, personal income, wealth, capital gains, withholding or death/inheritance. There are no restrictions on repatriation of capital, profits or dividends, aside from income generated by companies in the oil and gas sector, where profits are taxable at the rate of 46 percent. The Bahrain Economic Development Board, charged with promoting FDI in Bahrain, places particular emphasis on attracting FDI to the manufacturing, logistics, information and communications technology (ICT), financial services and tourism and leisure sectors.

To date, U.S. investors have not alleged any legal or practical discrimination against them based on nationality.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

The GOB permits foreign and domestic private entities to establish and own business enterprises and engage in all forms of remunerative activity. The GOB imposes only minimal limits on foreign control, and the right of ownership and establishment of a business. The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MoICT) maintains a small list of business activities that are restricted to Bahraini ownership, including press and publications, Islamic pilgrimage, clearance offices, and workforce agencies. The U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement outlines all activities in which the two countries restrict foreign ownership.

U.S citizens may own and operate companies in Bahrain, though many such individuals choose to integrate influential local partners into the ownership structure to facilitate quicker resolution of bureaucratic issues such as labor permits, issuance of foreign visas, and access to industrial zones. The most common challenges faced by U.S firms are those related to bureaucratic government processes, lack of market information, and customs clearance.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

The World Trade Organization (WTO) conducted a formal Trade Policy Review of Bahrain in 2014 (see link below):
https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/FE_Search/FE_S_S006.aspx?Query=(@Symbol=%20wt/tpr/g/*)%20and%20((%20@Title=%20bahrain%20)%20or%20(@CountryConcerned=%20bahrain))&Language=ENGLISH&Context=FomerScriptedSearch&languageUIChanged=true#.

Business Facilitation

In 2016, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MoICT) introduced an online commercial registration portal, “Sijilat” (www.sijilat.bh) to facilitate the commercial registration process. Through Sijilat, business people can obtain a business license and requisite approvals from relevant ministries. The business registration process normally takes two to three weeks, but can take longer if a business requires specialized approvals. In practice, some business people retain an attorney or clearing agent to assist them through the commercial registration process.

In addition to obtaining primary approval to register a company, most business owners must also obtain licenses from the following entities to operate their businesses:

  • MoICT;
  • Ministry of Electricity and Water;
  • The Municipality in which their business will be located;
  • Labour Market Regulatory Authority;
  • General Organization for Social Insurance.

Outward Investment

The Government of Bahrain (GOB) neither promotes nor incentivizes outward investment. The GOB does not restrict domestic investors from investing abroad.

2. Bilateral Investment Agreements and Taxation TreatiesShare    

Bahrain and the U.S. signed a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in September 1999, the first BIT between the United States and a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) state. The agreement entered into force in May 2001. The U.S.-Bahrain FTA does not include a separate investment chapter.

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Bahrain has bilateral investment protection agreements in place with Algeria, Belarus, Brunei, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Italy, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, and Yemen.

The Government of Bahrain signed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) with the United States Government in January 2017. The GOB issued the law implementing the agreement in February 2018.

3. Legal RegimeShare    

Transparency of the Regulatory System

Currently, there is no competition law in force in Bahrain. However, Bahrain’s so-called Law of Commerce (Legislative Decree No. 7, passed in 1987) addresses the concept of unfair competition and prohibits acts that would have a damaging effect on competition. Companies also are forbidden from undertaking practices detrimental to their competitors or from attracting the customers of their competitors. There is no official competition authority in Bahrain.

The GOB uses International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as part of its implementation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). IFRS are used by domestic listed and unlisted companies in their consolidated financial statements for external financial reporting.

Bahrain adopted International Accounting Standard 1 (IAS 1) in 1994 in the absence of other local standards. Non-listed banks and other business enterprises use IASs in the preparation of financial statements.

The 2001 Bahrain Commercial Companies Law required each registered entity to produce a balance sheet, a profit-and-loss account and the director's report for each financial year. All branches of foreign companies, limited liability companies and corporations must submit annual audited financial statements to the Directorate of Commerce and Company Affairs at the MoICT, along with the company’s articles and /or articles of association.

Depending on the company's business, financial statements may be subject to other regulatory agencies such as the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA) and the Bahrain Stock Exchange (banks and listed companies).

Bahrain encourages firms to adhere to both the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Bahrain’s Code of Corporate Governance. Bahrain-based companies by and large remain in compliance with IAS-1 disclosure requirements.

There are no informal regulatory processes managed by non-governmental organizations or private sector associations. The Council of Representatives (COR) engages in consultations on proposed regulations during committee meetings with the general public, businesses, or other entities that might be impacted by pending legislation. Those individuals or entities may raise concerns at committee meetings or send their comments in writing for review by Members of Parliament. According to the World Bank, however, the GOB does not have the legal obligation to publish the text of proposed regulations before their enactment and there is no period of time set by law for the text of the proposed regulations to be publicly available. Bahrain, therefore, ranks among the countries with low rule-making transparency.

http://rulemaking.worldbank.org/data/explorecountries/bahrain#cer_transparency

Laws and regulatory actions can be proposed by legislators, the government, or the King and are normally drafted under the Cabinet’s guidance prior to being transferred back to the Council of Representatives (COR). If the bill or legislation is approved by a majority of the COR, the legislation advances to the Shura Council. If approved by a majority of the Shura Council, it is referred back to the Cabinet for the King’s ratification. If the COR advances a version that the Shura Council disagrees with, a revised draft goes back to the COR. If the two houses cannot agree, they meet in what is known as the National Assembly, where both chambers meet to iron out differences on a specific bill. The publication of the regulatory action in the Official Gazette is the final legislative step. The implementation of any laws takes place the day following its publication. The media sometimes publishes the draft laws and offers commentary on various legal interpretations.

International Regulatory Considerations

Bahrain is a member of the GCC. The GOB has agreed to enforce GCC standards and regulations where they exist, and not to create any domestic rules that contradict established GCC-wide standards and regulations. In certain cases, the GOB applies international standards where domestic or GCC standards have not been developed. For example, the GOB mandates that imported vehicles meet either the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or the so-called “1958 Agreement” standards developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Bahrain is a member of the WTO and notifies all draft technical regulations to the WTO Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade.

Bahrain ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in September 2016 through Law No. 17 of 2016. Bahrain Customs and MoICT have begun working toward implementing the TFA’s requirements.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

Bahrain’s Constitution defines the Kingdom as a sovereign, independent, Arab Muslim State. Although Article 2 of the Constitution states that Islamic Sharia (Islamic) law is the main source of legislation, general matters and private transactions are governed mainly by laws derived from modern legislation. Three types of courts are present in Bahrain - civil, criminal, and family courts.

The civil court system consists of lower courts, courts of appeal, and the Court of Cassation -- the highest appellate court in the Kingdom, hearing a variety of civil, criminal and family cases. Civil courts deal with all administrative, commercial, and civil cases, as well as disputes related to the personal status of non-Muslims. Family courts deal primarily with personal status matters, such as marriage, divorce, custody, and inheritance.

Many of the high-ranking judges in Bahrain come from the ruling family, prominent families, or are non-Bahrainis (mainly Egyptians). Bahraini law borrows a great deal from other Arab states, particularly Egyptian codes.

Bahrain has a long-established framework of commercial law. English is widely used, and a number of well-known international (including U.S.) law firms, working in association with local partners, are authorized to practice law in Bahrain and provide expert legal services both nationally and regionally. Fees are charged according to internationally accepted practices. Non-Bahraini lawyers can represent clients in Bahraini courts. In April 2007, the government permitted international law firms to be established in Bahrain. These firms provide services such as commercial and financial consultancy in legal matters.

Entrenched local business interests with government influence can sometimes cause problems for foreign companies. Interpretation and application of the law sometimes varies by Ministry and may be dependent on the stature and connections of an investor's local partner. These departures from the consistent, transparent application of regulations and the law are not common, and investors report general satisfaction with government cooperation and support.

The GOB is eager to develop its legal framework further. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) has conducted training and capacity-building programs in Bahrain for several years, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs, the Higher Supreme Council for Judges, and the Judicial and Legal Studies Institute.

Judgments of foreign courts are recognized and enforceable under local courts. Article nine of the U.S.-Bahrain Bilateral Investment Treaty outlines how problems with U.S. investments should be handled within the Bahraini legal system. The most common source of investment-related problems in Bahrain is slow or incomplete application of the law.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

The U.S.-Bahrain BIT provides benefits and protection to U.S. investors in Bahrain, such as most-favored nation and national treatment, the right to make financial transfers freely and immediately, the application of international legal standards for expropriation and compensation cases, and access to international arbitration. The BIT guarantees national treatment for U.S. investments across most sectors, with exceptions only for ownership of television, radio or other media, fisheries, and dredging or oil exploration. Bahrain also provides most-favored nation or national treatment status to U.S. investments in air transportation, the purchase or ownership of land, and the purchase or ownership of shares traded on the Bahrain Bourse.

The national treatment clause in the BIT ensures American firms interested in selling products exclusively in Bahrain are no longer required to appoint a commercial agent, though they may opt to do so. A commercial agent is any Bahraini party appointed by a foreign party to represent the foreign party's product or service in Bahrain.

Bahrain permits 100 percent foreign-ownership of new industrial entities and the establishment of representative offices or branches of foreign companies without local sponsors. Wholly foreign-owned companies may be set up for regional distribution services and may operate within the domestic market as long as they do not exclusively pursue domestic commercial sales. Private investment (foreign or Bahraini) in petroleum extraction is permitted only under a production-sharing agreement with the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO), the state-owned petroleum company.

Expatriates may own land in designated areas in Bahrain. Non-GCC nationals, including Americans, may own high-rise commercial and residential properties, as well as properties used for tourism, banking, financial and health projects, and training centers.

Officials from U.S. companies with investments in Bahrain occasionally have reported their belief that certain court cases brought against members of the Royal Family have languished in the court system. These officials believed the delays could be attributed to subtle executive pressure put on the judiciary.

Below is a link to a site designed to assist foreign investors navigate the laws, rules, and procedures related to investing in Bahrain: http://cbb.complinet.com/cbb/microsite/laws.html.

Competition and Anti-Trust Laws

There is no formal competition law in Bahrain, nor is there a specific agency that monitors competition-related issues. However, the MoICT’s Consumer Protection Directorate is responsible for ensuring that the law determining price controls is implemented and that violators are punished. There are general restrictions on FDI in some sectors, including the oil and gas and petrochemicals sectors, in which all companies are government-owned.

Expropriation and Compensation

There have been no expropriations in recent years, and there are no cases in contention. The U.S.-Bahrain BIT protects U.S. investments by banning all expropriations (including "creeping" and "measures tantamount to") except those for a public purpose. Such transactions must be carried out in a non-discriminatory manner, with due process, and prompt, adequate, effective compensation.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention

Bahrain uses multiple international and regional conventions to enhance its commercial arbitration legal framework. Bahrain is a party to the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration, the New York Convention, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), and the GCC Convention for Execution of Judgments, among others. These conventions and international agreements established the foundation for the GCC Arbitration Centre, and the Bahrain Chamber for Disputes & Resolution (BCDR). Bahrain’s Constitution stipulates international conventions and treaties have the power of law.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

The U.S.-Bahrain BIT provides for three dispute settlement options:

  1. Submitting the dispute to a local court;
  2. Invoking dispute-resolution procedures previously agreed upon by the national or company and the host country government; or,
  3. Submitting the dispute for binding arbitration to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) or any other arbitral institution agreed upon by both parties.

In 2010, the Ministry of Justice established the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution (BCDR). In partnership with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the BCDR specializes in alternative dispute resolution services. The jurisdiction of the BCDR-AAA is twofold: Jurisdiction by Law (Section 1 cases), and Jurisdiction by Party Agreement (arbitration, also referred to as Section 2 cases).

Jurisdiction by Law (Section 1 Cases)

Disputes exceeding BD 500,000 (approximately USD 1.3 million) which involve either an international commercial dispute or a party licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) are referred to the BCDR-AAA. Prior to the creation of the BCDR, these cases fell within the jurisdiction of the courts of Bahrain.

From the establishment of the BCDR-AAA through April 2018, 205 cases were filed under Section 1, with claims totaling over USD 3.4 billion. Of these cases, 31.2 percent were decided or settled within 6 months; 41 percent were decided/settled within 6–12 months; 9.3 percent were decided or settled within 12–18 months; 6.8 percent were decided or settled within 18–24 months; 3.4 percent were decided or settled after 24 months; and 8.3 percent were ongoing.

Arbitration (Section 2 Cases)

As of April 2018, ten cases have been filed: one in 2013, one in 2015, three in 2016, and five in 2017. Of these cases only three of the cases filed in 2017 as of April 2018 were ongoing and the rest were awarded or settled.

Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution
Suite 301, Park Plaza
Bldg. 247, Road 1704
P.O. Box 20006
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Tel: + (973) 17-511-311
Website: www.bcdr-aaa.org

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reported that Bahrain faced its first known Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) claim in 2017. The case involves investor claims over the Central Bank of Bahrain’s 2016 move to close the Manama branch of Future Bank, a commercial bank whose shareholders include Iranian banks. Bahrain and Iran are party to a BIT.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts

Arbitration procedures are largely a contractual matter in Bahrain. Disputes historically have been referred to an arbitration body as specified in the contract, or to the local courts. In dealings with both local and foreign firms, Bahraini companies have increasingly included arbitration procedures in their contracts. Most commercial disputes are resolved privately without recourse to the courts or formal arbitration. Resolution under Bahraini law is generally specified in all contracts for the settlement of disputes that reach the stage of formal resolution but is optional in those designating the BCDR. Bahrain’s court system has adequately handled occasional lawsuits against individuals or companies for nonpayment of debts.

Bahrain Law No. 9 of 2015 promulgating the Arbitration Law (the “New Arbitration Law”) came into effect on August 9, 2015. The law provides that the UNCITRAL 1985 Model Law with its 2006 amendments on international commercial arbitration (the “UNCITRAL Law”) will apply to any arbitration, taking place in Bahrain or abroad, if the parties to the dispute agreed to be subject to the UNCITRAL Law.

The GCC Commercial Arbitration Center, established in 1995, serves as a regional specialized body providing arbitration services. It assists in resolving disputes among GCC countries or between other parties and GCC countries. The Center implements rules and regulations in line with accepted international practice. Thus far, few cases have been brought to arbitration. The Center conducts seminars, symposia, and workshops to help educate and update its members on any new arbitration-related matters.

GCC Commercial Arbitration Center
P.O. Box 2338
Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Arbitration Boards’ Secretariat
Tel: + (973) 17278006
Email: case@gcccac.org
Website:
http://www.gcccac.org/en/

Bankruptcy Regulations

The GOB enacted its bankruptcy and insolvency law in 1987. Chapter three of the law states that if a business is facing financial difficulties, fails to make consistent financial payments, or fails to pay commercial transactions within a 30-day timeframe, either the company or debt collectors may declare bankruptcy or ask that the company be liquidated. Chapter 7 of the law specifies that the Supreme Court specialize in bankruptcy and liquidation cases. Chapter 2 briefly describes the procedures for managing insolvency, including that the Supreme Court designates a firm to represent the business in all legal and business procedures. The representative will be involved in managing the firm’s funds, making payments, and other administrative procedures.

CLDP attorneys have been working with the GOB for the last several years to help draft and ratify a new bankruptcy law. The law was approved by Bahrain’s Parliament and Shura Council on April 29, 2018 and as of May 2018 awaits final ratification by the King. The GOB has prioritized updating its bankruptcy law as part of efforts to spur entrepreneurship and the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Bahrain credit reference bureau, known as “BENEFIT,” is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and operates as the credit monitoring authority in Bahrain.

4. Industrial PoliciesShare    

Investment Incentives

The GOB offers a variety of incentives to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The Bahrain Logistics Zone, Economic Development Board (EDB), Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP) and Tamkeen all offer incentives to encourage FDI. Some examples of incentives include: assistance in registering and opening business operations, financial grants, exemption from import duties on raw materials and equipment, and duty-free access to other GCC markets for products manufactured in Bahrain.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

Khalifa bin Salman Port, Bahrain's primary commercial seaport provides a free transit zone to facilitate the duty-free import of equipment and machinery. The Government of Bahrain has developed two main industrial zones, one to the north of Sitra and the other in Hidd. The Hidd location, known as the Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP), is adjacent to a logistics zone, known as the Bahrain Logistics Zone. Foreign-owned firms have the same investment opportunities in these zones as Bahraini companies.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MoICT) operates the BIIP, a 2.5 million square-meter, tax-free zone located minutes from Bahrain’s main Khalifa bin Salman port. Many U.S. companies operate out of this park, among them Mondelez International. BIIP is most suited to manufacturing and services companies interested in exporting from Bahrain. The park offers manufacturing companies the ability to ship their products duty free to countries in the Greater Arab Free Trade Area. BIIP has space available for potential investors, including some plots of vacant land designated for new construction, and some warehouse facilities for rental.

A 1999 law requires that investors in industrial or industry-related zones launch a project within one year from the date of receiving the land, and development must conform to the specifications, terms, and drawings submitted with the application. Changes are not permitted without approval from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

Companies in Bahrain are obliged to comply with so-called “Bahrainization” employment targets, under which the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) mandates that a certain percentage of each company’s employees are Bahraini. Companies may contact LMRA to determine their Bahrainization rate, which differs based on the sector of the economy in which they work, or use a calculator available at http://lmra.bh/portal/en/page/show/193. The applicable Bahrainization rates are mandatory across the board in the company structure, applying equally to senior management and line workers. Per Cabinet Resolution Number 27 of 2016, LMRA announced in 2016 that companies that are unable to comply with the Bahrainization rates would only be eligible to apply for new work permits and sponsorship transfers by paying an additional fee of BD 300 (roughly USD 800) per non-Bahraini worker. LMRA may apply fines to companies that do not comply with Bahrainization requirements.

There is no excessively onerous visa, residence, work permit, or similar requirement inhibiting the mobility of foreign investors or their employees in Bahrain. Americans and citizens of many other countries can obtain a two-week visa with relative ease upon arrival in Bahrain or online. Bahrain also offers a multiple-entry visa that lasts for five years, if required.

Bahrain has a liberal approach to foreign investment and actively seeks to attract foreign investors and businesses; no product localization is forced and foreign investors are not obliged to use domestic content in goods or technology. There are no government-imposed conditions on permission to invest, including tariff and non-tariff barriers, on American investments.

There are no special performance requirements imposed on foreign investors. The U.S.-Bahrain Bilateral Investment Treaty forbids mandated performance requirements as a condition for the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, or operation of a covered investment. Foreign and Bahraini-owned companies must meet the same requirements and comply with the same environmental, safety, health, and labor requirements. Officials at the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, LMRA and the MoICT supervise companies operating in Bahrain on a non-discriminatory basis.

The Central Bank of Bahrain regulates financial institutions and foreign exchange offices. Foreign and locally owned companies must comply with the same rules, policies, and regulations.

There are no requirements for foreign IT providers to turn over source code and/or to provide access to surveillance.

5. Protection of Property RightsShare    

Real Property

The Government of Bahrain enforces property rights protections for land and homeowners. Most land has a clear title. Ownership of land is highly concentrated among a few royal family members, and certain areas are off-limits for Bahraini nationals and expatriates alike. Foreign firms and GCC nationals may own land in certain areas in Bahrain. Non-GCC nationals may own high-rise commercial and residential properties. Foreign investors may own property to operate businesses in the following sectors:

  • Manufacturing;
  • Tourism;
  • Banking and Financial Services;
  • Healthcare;
  • Education and Training;
  • Design;
  • Advertising.

Foreign investors may own commercial property in the following geographic areas of Bahrain:

  • Ahmed Al-Fateh (Juffair) district;
  • Hoora district;
  • Bu Ghazal district;
  • Seef district;
  • Northern Manama, including the Diplomatic Area, where the main international corporations are located.

Foreign investors may own residential property in the following tourist areas:

  • Durrat Al Bahrain;
  • Dannat Hawar;
  • Riffa Views;
  • Amwaj Islands;
  • Bahrain Financial Harbor;
  • Bahrain Bay;
  • Diyyar Al Muharraq;
  • Norana;
  • Saar Gate;
  • Saar Central;
  • Reef Island;
  • Jeyoun Village;
  • Ishbelliya Village.

Most of the new development projects in Bahrain permit expatriates and international investors to own houses, buildings, outlets, or freehold apartments.

Intellectual Property Rights

Under the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the Government of Bahrain (GOB) committed to enforce world-class Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protections. Bahrain signed the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property in 1996. The GOB ratified revised legislation to implement Bahrain's obligations under the WTO/TRIPS Agreement in 2006. The GOB has passed laws related to intellectual property to bring Bahrain's local laws into compliance with its current Paris Convention commitment and to position it to join the Nice Agreement, Vienna Agreement, Patent Cooperation Treaty, Trademark Law Treaty, Madrid Agreement, Budapest Treaty, and the Rome Convention. Bahrain has joined the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

The government has made progress in reducing copyright piracy, and there are few reports of significant violations of U.S. patents and trademarks in Bahrain. The government's copyright enforcement campaign began in late 1997 and was based on inspections, closures, and improved public awareness. The campaign targeted the video, audio, and software industries with impressive results. Commercially pirated video and audio markets mostly have been eliminated. However, audio, video, and software piracy by end-users remain problems.

There are no technology transfer requirements that force firms to share or divulge technology through compulsory licensing to a domestic partner, nor are firms required to undertake research and development activities in Bahrain.

In May 2016, the GOB issued the Implementing Regulations for the Trademark Law of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which had originally been approved by Law No. 6 of 2014. Law No. 6 provided a unified trademark regime for all six GCC countries. Bahrain is not listed in USTR’s Special 301 Report of the global state of intellectual property rights protection and enforcement and does not track and report on seizures of counterfeit goods.

For additional information about treaty obligations and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/.

The Embassy’s webpage also offers a link to local lawyers, some of whom specialize in IPR and/or patent law: https://bh.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/attorneys/.

Resources for Rights Holders

Peter Mehravari
Intellectual Property Attache for the Middle East & North Africa
U.S. Embassy Kuwait City, Kuwait
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
Tel: +965 2259 1455
Peter.Mehravari@trade.gov

For additional information about national laws and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/.

6. Financial SectorShare    

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

Consistent with the Government of Bahrain's (GOB) liberal approach to foreign investment, government policies facilitate the free flow of financial transactions and portfolio investments. Expatriates and Bahrainis alike have ready access to credit on market terms. Generally, credit terms are variable, but often are limited to 10 years for loans under USD 50 million. For major infrastructure investments, banks often offer to assume a part of the risk, and Bahrain's wholesale and retail banks have shown extensive cooperation in syndicating loans for larger risks. Commercial credit is available to private organizations in Bahrain but has been increasingly crowded out by the government’s local bond issuances.

In 2016, the GOB launched a new fund designed to inject greater liquidity in the Bahrain Bourse, worth USD 100 million. The Bahrain Liquidity Fund is supported by a number of market participants and will act as a market maker, providing two-way quotes on most of the listed stocks with a reasonable spread to allow investors to actively trade their stocks. Despite these efforts, the market remains relatively small compared to others in the region.

The GOB and the Central Bank of Bahrain are members of the IMF and fully compliant with Article VIII.

Money and Banking System

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) is the single regulator of the entire financial sector, with an integrated regulatory framework covering all financial services provided by conventional and Islamic financial institutions. Bahrain’s banking sector remains quite healthy despite sustained lower global oil prices. Bahrain’s banks remain well capitalized, and there is sufficient liquidity to ensure a healthy rate of investment. Bahrain remains a financial center for the GCC region, though many financial firms have moved their regional headquarters to Dubai over the last decade. The GOB continues to be a driver of innovation and expansion in the Islamic finance sector. In 2017, Bahrain ranked as the GCC’s leading Islamic finance market and second out of 92 countries world-wide, according to the ICD-Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Indicator.

Bahrain has an effective regulatory system that encourages portfolio investment, and the CBB has fully implemented Basel II standards, while attempting to bring Bahraini banks into compliance with Basel III standards. Bahrain’s banking sector includes 23 retail banks, 69 wholesale banks, and 36 representative offices. Twenty-four of these banks are Islamic banks.

There are no restrictions on foreigners opening bank accounts or corporate accounts. Bahrain is home to many prominent financial institutions, among them Citi, American Express, and JP Morgan.

Ahli United Bank is Bahrain’s largest bank with total assets estimated at USD 33.2 billion as of 2017.

Bahrain implemented the Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System and the Scripless Securities Settlement (SSS) System in 2007 to enable banks to carry out their payment and securities-related transactions securely on a real time basis. The CBB reported in 2017 that it was in the process of introducing a private network as an alternative communication network for the RTGS-SSS Systems.

After introducing Financial Technology “sandbox” regulations in the first half of 2017 that enabled the launch of cryptocurrency and blockchain startups, the CBB released additional regulations on its website in August 2017 for conventional and Shari’a compliant financing-based crowdfunding businesses. Any firm operating electronic financing/lending platforms must be licensed in Bahrain under the CBB Rulebook Volume 5 – Financing Based Crowdfunding Platform Operator.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange Policies

Bahrain has no restrictions on the repatriation of profits or capital and no exchange controls. Bahrain's currency, the Bahraini Dinar (BD), is fully and freely convertible at the fixed rate of USD 1.00 = BD 0.377 (1 BD = USD 2.659). There is no black market or parallel exchange rate.

There are no restrictions on converting or transferring funds, whether or not associated with an investment.

Remittance Policies

The Central Bank of Bahrain is responsible for regulating remittances, and its regulations are based on the Central Bank Law ratified in 2006. The majority of the workforce in the Kingdom of Bahrain is comprised of foreign workers, many of whom remit large amounts of money to their countries of origin. Commercial banks and currency exchange houses are licensed to provide remittances services.

The commercial banks and currency exchange houses require two forms of identification before processing a routine remittance request, and any transaction exceeding USD 10,000 must include a documented source of the income.

Bahrain enables foreign investors to remit funds through a legal parallel market, with no limitations on the inflow or outflow of funds for remittances of profits or revenue. The GOB does not engage in currency manipulation tactics.

Bahrain is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and the GCC is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Additionally, Bahrain is a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF), whose headquarters are located in Bahrain. Participating countries commit to combat the financing of terrorist groups and activities in all its forms and to implement FATF recommendations. The Government of Bahrain hosted the MENAFATF’s 26th Plenary Meeting Manama from December 2-7, 2017. MENAFATF has not yet released a final declaration from the meeting.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

The Kingdom of Bahrain established Mumtalakat, its sovereign wealth fund, in 2006. Mumtalakat, which maintains an investment portfolio valued at roughly USD 11 billion as of early 2018, conducts its business transparently, including by issuing an annual report online. The annual report follows international financial reporting standards and is audited by external, internationally recognized auditing firms. By law, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under Mumtalakat are audited and monitored by the National Audit Office. In 2016, Mumtalakat received the highest-possible ranking in the Linaburg-Maduell Transparency Index, which specializes in ranking the transparency of sovereign wealth funds. However, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund does not follow the Santiago Principles.

The sovereign wealth fund holds majority stakes in several firms. Mumtalakat invests 70 percent of its funds in the Middle East, 22 percent in Europe, and eight percent in the United States. The fund is diversified across a variety of business sectors including real estate and tourism, financial services, food & agriculture, and industrial manufacturing.

Mumtalakat often acts more as an active asset management company than a sovereign wealth fund, including by taking an active role in managing SOEs. Most notably, Mumtalakat has been instrumental in helping Gulf Air, Bahrain’s flagship air carrier, restructure and minimize its losses. A significant portion of Mumtalakat’s portfolio is invested in 38 Bahrain-based SOEs.

Through 2016, Mumtalakat had not been directly contributing to the National Budget. Beginning in September 2017, however, Mumtalakat announced it would distribute profits of BD 20 million to the National Budget for two consecutive years, distributed equally for the years 2017 and 2018.

7. State-Owned EnterprisesShare    

Bahrain’s major state-owned enterprises (SOEs) include the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO), Aluminum Bahrain (ALBA), Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC), Gulf Air, Bahrain Telecommunications Company (BATELCO), the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) Bahrain Flour Mills, and the Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (ASRY). While the GOB maintains full ownership of oil production, refineries, and heavy industries, it allows investment in ALBA, BATELCO, and ASRY, and encourages private sector competition in the banking, manufacturing, telecommunications, shipyard repair, and real estate sectors.

The SOEs are managed by two government-run holding companies: the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) Holding Company, which owns nine energy sector companies, and Mumtalakat, which owns 38 domestic companies in all other sectors. The full portfolio of the NOGA Holding Company can be viewed at www.nogaholding.com/portfolio/, while the full portfolio of Mumtalakat companies can be viewed at www.bmhc.bh.

Bahrain is not a party to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA), however, in 2008 Bahrain was granted “observer” status in the GPA committee.

Private enterprises can, in theory, compete with SOEs under the same terms and conditions with respect to market share, products/services, and incentives. In practice, however, given the relatively small size of Bahrain’s economy, large SOEs such as ALBA, BAPCO, GPIC and ASRY have an outsized influence in the market.

In 2002 the GOB instituted guidelines to ensure its SOEs were in line with OECD policies on corporate governance. SOEs produce quarterly reports. The National Audit Office monitors all SOEs and annually reports any irregularities, mismanagement, and corruption.

To enhance transparency and accountability the government appointed the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism to be responsible for Mumtalakat. The Minister of Oil and Gas is responsible for NOGA Holding, and all the companies under its umbrella.

All Bahraini SOEs have an independent board of trustees with well-structured management. The Mumtalakat Holding Company is represented by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Crown Prince, while NOGA Holding’s Board of Trustees is appointed by a Royal Decree. Each holding company then appoints the Board of Trustees for the SOEs under its authority. In some cases, the appointment of the Board of Trustees is politically driven.

Privatization Program

The GOB has been supportive of privatization, and advocates for increased foreign investment as a means of driving private sector growth. The GOB’s decision to privatize the telecommunications sector in the early 2000s is an example of incentivizing private sector growth in Bahrain. The GOB does not, however, have any current sectors targeted for privatization.

8. Responsible Business ConductShare    

The Ministry of Social Development in 2011 authorized the creation of the Bahrain Corporate Social Responsibility Society (BCSRS) as a social and cultural entity. Though there are no measures in Bahrain to compel businesses to follow codes of responsible business conduct, the BCSRS has sought to raise awareness of corporate social responsibility in the business community, and in 2018 held its second Bahrain International Corporate Responsibility Award ceremony. The Society is a founding member of the Arab Association for Social Responsibility, which includes representatives of most Arab countries.

In 2006, Bahrain established a National Steering Committee on Corporate Governance to improve corporate governance practices. The GOB then drafted a Corporate Governance Code to establish a set of best practices for corporate governance in the kingdom, and to provide protection for investors and other company stakeholders through compliance with those principles. The GOB enforces the code through a combined monitoring system comprising the board, the shareholders and others including the MoICT, CBB, Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE), Bahrain Courts and Professionals firms including auditors, lawyers and investment advisers. The code does not create new penalties for non-complying companies, but it does state that the MoICT (working closely with the CBB and the BSE) will be able to exercise the penalty powers already granted to it under the Commercial Companies Law 2001.

The GOB, represented by the LMRA, has put in place advanced regulations and laws protecting labor rights -- the most vulnerable category comprising migrant workers from Southeast Asia. Labor courts have not been effective in settling labor disputes between employers and employees. However, there have been some reports of cases that were settled in favor of employees in Bahraini labor courts.

Consumers are protected under Law Number 35 of 2012. MoICT is highly effective in implementing the law.

Bahrain’s amended Corporate Governance Law enhances transparency and ethical business conduct standards. Among the changes, the GOB urged companies to submit audited ratified accounts to the MoICT.

The GOB does not maintain a National Contact Point (NCP) for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines nor does it participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

9. CorruptionShare    

The King and Crown Prince have advocated publicly in favor of reducing corruption and some ministries have initiated clean-up efforts. Legislation regulating corruption are outlined in Bahrain’s “Economic Vision 2030” plan, and in the National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Bahrain ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Arab Convention Against Corruption, both in 2010. Bahrain also jointed the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) in October 2016. The General Directorate of Anti-corruption and Economic and Electronic Security dealt with 68 cases in 2017, including those mentioned in the report of the National Financial and Administrative Audit Court. A law to thoroughly revamp government procurement procedures went into effect in 2003 and mandates criminal penalties for official corruption. Under law, government employees at all levels are subject to prosecution and punishments of up to 10 years imprisonment if they use their positions to engage in embezzlement or bribery, either directly or indirectly. The law does not require government officials to make financial disclosures.

Giving or accepting a bribe is illegal. The government, however, has not fully implemented the law, and some officials reportedly continue to engage in corrupt practices with impunity. Officials have at times been dismissed for what is widely believed to be blatant corruption, but the grounds for dismissal rarely have been tied to corruption.

The National Audit Office, established in 2002, is mandated to publish annual reports that highlight fiscal irregularities within government ministries and other public-sector entities. The reports enable legislators to exercise oversight and call for investigations of fiscal discrepancies in government accounts. In 2013, the Crown Prince established an Investigation Committee to oversee cases highlighted within the National Audit Office’s annual report.

The Minister of Follow-Up Affairs at the Royal Court was designated in 2015 to execute recommendations made in that year’s National Audit Report. At the same time, the Crown Prince urged all government entities and the Council of Representatives to work closely to implement the recommendations made in the report. In late December 2017, Bahrain's National Audit Office issued a report for the years 2016-2017 that listed a number of violations committed by various Bahraini state bodies and agencies, including the Electricity and Water Authority, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, and the Ministry of Health.

As a result of the 2011 National Dialogue process, the Ministry of Interior established an anti-corruption directorate. In 2011 the Ministry of Interior signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Development Program to enhance the anti-corruption directorate’s capabilities.

Bahrain has conflict-of-interest laws in place, however, in practice, the application in awarding contacts is not fully enforced.

Local NGOs generally do not focus their efforts on corruption-related issues, though human rights activists and members of the political opposition who have spoken out about corruption have at times been detained, prosecuted, and banned from travel for reasons related to their broader political activism. All civil society groups are required to register with the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, which has the discretion to reject registration if it determines the organization’s services unnecessary, already provided by another society, or contrary to state security.

Few cases have been registered by U.S. companies reporting corruption as an obstacle to their investments in Bahrain.

Bahrain signed and ratified the UN Anticorruption Convention in 2005 and 2010, respectively. Bahrain, however, is not a signatory to the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency or agencies responsible for combating corruption:

General Directorate of Anti- Corruption & Economic & Electronic Security
Ministry of Interior
P. O. Box 26698, Manama, Bahrain
Hotline: 992

Contact at "watchdog" organization:

Sharaf AlMosawi
President
Bahrain Transparency Association
P.O. Box 26059
Adliya, Bahrain
Phone: +973 39640929
Email: Sharaf115@gmail.com

10. Political and Security EnvironmentShare    

Historically, Bahrain has been an open, politically moderate, economically liberal Gulf state that enjoys close ties to the United States. Bahrain has experienced cyclical periods of violence often motivated by political and ideological divisions between the government and the Bahraini Shi’a majority. Notably, since 2011, a violent minority of the opposition have occasionally targeted Bahraini security forces, including by using improvised explosive devices. In 2016 and 2017, the government dissolved the country’s two largest opposition political societies and closed the only opposition-leaning independent newspaper. On May 13, 2018, the Bahraini parliament passed a law banning members of political societies dissolved by a government order from running as candidates in elections.

Feelings of oppression and discrimination continue to linger among some members of the Shi’a community; the case against prominent Shi’a cleric Sh. Isa Qassim, other Shi’a activists, and death penalty convictions against alleged militants could continue to serve as future flashpoints for violence.

Neither demonstrators nor violent extremists have targeted Americans or Western expatriates though civilians have occasionally been harmed in terrorist attacks. American citizens visiting Bahrain and companies interested in investing in Bahrain should visit the Embassy’s website to receive the most up-to-date information about the security situation and register with the Embassy’s consular section.

11. Labor Policies and PracticesShare    

As of the second quarter of 2017, Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) estimates the Bahrain labor force to number 763,618, of which 606,357 are foreign and 157,261 are local workers. Therefore 79 percent of the total workforce is comprised of foreigners, the majority being unskilled construction workers. The number of new regular work permits issued by LMRA during the second quarter of 2017 was 33,498 representing a decrease of 32.4 percent over the previous year.

According to Bahrain’s Information and e-Government Authority, foreigners comprised 55 percent of the Bahrain’s population in 2017. LMRA stated that Bahrain’s unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in the second quarter of 2017.

The government's primary initiative for combating unemployment is "Bahrainization," or the replacement of expatriate workers by national citizens. In 2009, under the initiative of the Crown Prince, the Economic Development Board launched “Bahrain Economic Vision 2030,” a long-term plan to raise Bahrainis’ standard of living, reform the government, education, and health sectors, and increase privatization, training and education of the Bahraini workforce to establish Bahrain as a regional center for human capital. For more information please refer to: http://www.mofa.gov.bh/img/partners/Vision2030Englishlowresolution.pdf.

Periodically, foreign firms experience difficulty obtaining required work permits and residence visas for expatriate employees due to Bahrainization efforts. However, this does not appear to be a matter of high-level policy, and often can be resolved on a case-by-case basis. Where problems occur, U.S. businesses are encouraged to appeal to the highest levels of the concerned ministries, and to consult with the U.S. Embassy.

In 2006 the King ratified the Labor Reforms Law, establishing two entities: the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), and the capacity-building organization known as Tamkeen. The law imposed a monthly fee of BD 10 (USD 26.67) on each expatriate employed by a company. The revenues collected under this program are earmarked to provide job training for Bahrainis. The Prime Minister suspended the LMRA fee after the unrest of 2011 over pressure from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry and reinstated it in 2013 as a legal amendment to the labor law. Companies pay BD 5 (USD 13.35) for the first five foreign workers and BD 10 (USD 26.67) for every employee over that limit. The Council of Representatives has attempted unsuccessfully to amend the fee structure, most recently in late 2017.

In 2007 the Minister of Labour and Social Development introduced an unemployment allowance to be paid from a general labor fund. The fund is financed by deducting one percent from the wages of all workers and is the first such program in the GCC.

In 2002 the King approved the Workers Trade Union Law of 2002 that recognizes the right of workers to collectively organize and form trade unions and provides limited rights to strike. The law prohibits workers from striking in certain vital sectors including security, aviation, ports, hospitals, and utilities. With the exception of domestic servants, foreign workers are allowed to join trade unions. The law prohibits employers from dismissing an employee for trade union activities. In 2011, the King issued a decree that changed Bahrain’s labor law as it pertained to trade unions and federations. Union leadership heavily criticized the new law for some of its other provisions that appear to inhibit freedom of association. The 2012 law prohibits multi-sectoral labor federations and prohibits individuals convicted of felonies from holding union leadership posts. While the amendment also allowed for the formation of multiple trade union federations, it gave the Minister of Labour and Social Development the sole right to select the federation to represent the country’s workers in international fora and in national-level bargaining.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bahrain Ministry of Labour and Social Development convened the first meeting of the U.S.-Bahrain Sub-Committee on Labor Affairs, as established under the U.S.-Bahrain FTA. At the meeting, they reaffirmed their obligations under the FTA related to internationally recognized labor rights, including their obligations as members of theInternational Labor Organization (ILO) and commitments stated in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (1998).

During the political and civil unrest of 2011, thousands of Bahraini employees were dismissed from their private and public-sector jobs. In June 2011, the AFL-CIO filed a petition with the Department of Labor accusing Bahrain of violating the labor rights terms of the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement. The November 2011 Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report concluded that the majority of dismissals were motivated by retaliation against employees suspected of being involved in demonstrations. By the end of 2012, the vast majority of dismissed workers in the public and private sectors were reinstated, with the Government working to resolve the remaining cases. In March 2014, the Minister of Labour and Social Development, the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions signed a Tripartite agreement to resolve the remaining worker reinstatement cases. Subsequently, the International Labor Organization dropped the complaint it initiated in 2011. Bilateral consultations between the U.S. and Bahrain -- invoked under the Labor Chapter of the FTA in response to the 2011 AFL-CIO complaint -- are ongoing.

12. OPIC and Other Investment Insurance ProgramsShare    

Since 1987, the Government of Bahrain and the U.S. Government have maintained an Investment Incentive Agreement permitting the U.S.’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to provide investment insurance and reinsurance for companies operating in Bahrain.

13. Foreign Direct Investment and Foreign Portfolio Investment StatisticsShare    

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy

 

Host Country Statistical Source

USG or International Statistical Source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

Economic Data

Year

Amount

Year

Amount

 

Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (M USD )

2015

USD 3,113

2016

USD 3,218

https://data.worldbank.org

Foreign Direct Investment

Host Country Statistical Source

USG or International Statistical Source

USG or International Source of Data:
BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other

U.S. FDI in Partner Country (M USD , stock positions)

2015

N/A

2016

USD 567

www.selectusa.gov

Host Country’s FDI in the United States (M USD , stock positions)

2016

USD 1,468

2016

USD 1,056

www.data.gov.bh

www.selectusa.gov

Total Inbound Stock of FDI as % host GDP

2015

N/A

2016

8%

www.data.gov.bh

https://data.worldbank.org


Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI

Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data

From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)

Inward Direct Investment

Outward Direct Investment

Total Inward

25,890

100%

Total Outward

7,405

100%

Kuwait

7,251

28%

Kuwait

5,637

28%

Saudi Arabia

6,356

25%

United States

1,467

7%

Libya

3,251

13%

United Kingdom

1,353

7%

Cayman Islands

1,697

7%

Cayman Islands

1,234

6%

India

996

4%

Egypt

716

4%

"0" reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.


Table 4: Sources of Portfolio Investment

Portfolio Investment Assets

Top Five Partners (Millions, US Dollars)

Total

Equity Securities

Total Debt Securities

All Countries

62,520

100%

All Countries

53,713

100%

All Countries

8,807

100%

Kuwait

36,468

58%

Kuwait

29,823

56%

Kuwait

6,645

75%

Saudi Arabia

8,628

14%

Saudi Arabia

8,480

16%

United States

2,077

9%

United States

4,872

8%

United States

2,795

5%

Saudi Arabia

148

2%

UAE

2,525

4%

UAE

2,476

5%

UAE

49

0%

Qatar

1,190

2%

Qatar

1,190

2%

Qatar

0

0%

14. Contact for More InformationShare    

Gary Schumann
Economic and Commercial Officer

Hadeel Hassan
Commercial Assistant

U.S. Embassy Manama
P.O. Box 26431
Bldg. 979, Rd. 3119
Block 331, Zinj
Kingdom of Bahrain
Telephone No. +973 1724-2700
E-mail address: manamacommerce@state.gov