June 24, 2024

Bahrain Bourse ‘to list five state companies this year’

The public will be offered shareholding in five government-run companies this year, according to Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the top official of Bahrain Bourse (BHB).

Shaikh Khalifa said this during the just concluded Arab Federation of Capital Markets (AFCM) Annual Conference hosted by Bahrain.

“The initial public offering strategy focuses on developing the financial market sector by encouraging public subscriptions and listing more companies, including small and medium-sized companies,” he added.

Shaikh Khalifa, who has become the AFCM president for the year 2022, said, “The Economic Recovery Plan announced by Bahrain plays an important role in attracting investments to the country which enhances its competitiveness and supports the local economy. The plan to develop the capital markets, which is part of the Financial Services Sector Development Strategy 2022-2026 will enhance Bahrain Bourse’s role in attracting investments and providing advanced services to both investors and issuers. This will also strengthen co-operation with Arab capital markets and central depositories to increase liquidity in the local market and support the economy of the kingdom.”

Held under the patronage of Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, the two-day conference was held virtually and attended by more than 400 participants from exchanges, regulatory bodies of financial markets, and brokerage firms.

The event highlighted the role of capital markets in supporting and financing strategic projects during the pandemic.

Also addressed were efforts by the BHB, a self-regulated multi-asset marketplace, to attract foreign investments, the development of CSD services to provide more products and services for investors, ESG disclosures in the region, and the rise of the new RegTech Era.

Rami El Dokany, secretary general of AFCM, said, “The year 2021 was an exceptional year on many different aspects, where global markets started to recover from the impact of the pandemic. The Arab markets were not an exception, and markets witnessed an increase in market capitalisation by 18 per cent to $3.8 trillion. The volume of shares traded surged by 57pc to 1.3trn. Last year, the region witnessed 23 IPOs with overall returns of $8.1 million. Overall, all Arab markets witnessed a noticeable increase in its indicators, led by the GCC markets in the region.”

Premium sponsors of the conference were Mubasher and DirectFN, whereas platinum category sponsors of the event were Ahli United Bank, SICO and Tamkeen.

Gold category sponsors included Alba, Al Salam Bank, BBK and ADIB Securities, while HSBC Bahrain, Nasdaq, Sanabel Securities, Refinitiv and Wavetec were single panel sponsors, Wamid as supporting partner, Instinctif as investor relations partner, and Convene as boardroom digital transformation partner.

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